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NEW DAY

New Evidence Indicates School Shooter Planned Attack; Air Force Personnel Working with Nuclear Arsenal Caught Cheating on Proficiency Exam; Shooter Opens Fire in Supermarket; Coach Sues Little Leaguer For Half a Million Dollars; Michelle Obama Talks Botox and Politics with "People"

Aired January 16, 2014 - 07:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a huge crime scene. There were several rounds fired in there.

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CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight, supermarket shootout. Three dead after a gunman opens fire. The police response was quick and effective. See how tragedy was averted live with the latest.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Deadly caller, the chilling new audio reportedly from the Newtown shooter talking about mass murder on a radio call-in show. What clues does it offer?

CUOMO: Watch a catch. Look at this video, the Home Depot hero who lunges to save a baby toppling out of a carriage. The video you just have to see to believe.

Your NEW DAY starts right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, and Michaela Pereira.

CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY. It's Thursday, January 16th, 7:00 in the east. And breaking overnight another night of gun violence, this time at a super market in northern Indiana. Three people are dead, including the shooter. Two women were shot. And while the suspect was threatening a third person, police took him out. Pamela Brown is following this for us.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, police say the gunman walked into the supermarket armed with a knife and handgun intent on causing harm. He killed two people, but the death toll could have been even worse had police officers who happened to be nearby the scene not arrived so quickly.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: It happened here at this Martin supermarket in Elkhart, Indiana, a short and bloody rampage that ended with multiple fatalities.

SGT. TRENT SMITH, INDIANA STATE POLICE: We live in that world. There's not a day that goes by it seems like anymore where we're not learning of a school shooting or at a business, or unfortunately we hope that this will never come to our hometown, and here it is.

BROWN: Police say a gunman snuck through the doors of deli at Martin supermarket and opened fire, killing two women, a store employee and a shopper. Their bodies found 10 store aisles apart from one another.

SMITH: It's a huge crime scene. The area where the shootings happened in the store are basically from one end of the store to the next.

BROWN: Police raced to the scene. When they arrived the gunman was holding a semi-automatic weapon, pointing it at a person's head, and that's when officers say the shooter turned his gun on them.

SMITH: They saw a subject there that pointed a gun at them. They fired on the subject. We believe they hit the subject. The subject is deceased.

BROWN: Police have not identified the gunman or the victims.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: And again, police found a large knife and a semi-automatic handgun next to the body of the suspect. Police say it is believed he lived in the area, but we are still waiting to find out who he is and why he decided to go on this deadly rampage.

BOLDUAN: Pamela, thank you.

We're also learning more this morning about Tuesday's school shooting in New Mexico. Police say it was all planned out. A journal found at the 12-year-old suspect's home apparently contained the details, and the boy even came to school with a shotgun he sawed off himself. And this morning we're hearing dramatic 911 tapes this morning capturing everything as the shooting raged on inside the school. Stephanie Elam has this story covered from New Mexico for us this morning. Good morning, Stephanie.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kate, we know that school will be resuming here today. This as overnight we've learned the alleged shooter has been charged with three counts of aggravated battery as a juvenile. We also learned that the parents are saying that they are thankful the judge has said that he should get mental health treatment as they say they're going to cooperate fully into why this alleged shooter could have done this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 911, do you have an emergency?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my god. ELAM: This morning, we're hearing for the first time the terrifying moments inside this New Mexico middle school after a student opens fire.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Someone just got shot.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who was it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He just killed a kid.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where is the kid that has the gun?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know. He's on the floor right now.

ELAM: Moments of fear and moments of great strength.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 911, do you have an emergency?

ELAM: Listen as this brave teacher comforts 13-year-old Kendall Sanders -- she was shot in the right shoulder but survived -- as they wait for paramedics to arrive.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Talk to me. Talk to me. What did you do on your day?

ELAM: This community still reeling. A law enforcement source close to the investigation tells CNN the 12-year-old suspect planned the shooting in a handwritten journal at home describing, quote, "what he wanted to do."

CHIEF PETE KASSETAS, NEW MEXICO STATE POLICE: We did find evidence that the suspect had planned this event.

ELAM: A law enforcement source says the suspect sawed off the handle of a 20-gauge shotgun his father purchased from Wal-Mart and brought it to school in a duffle bag. The law enforcement source says the alleged shooter warned some student to, quote, "get out of here," as he entered the packed school gym where he fired three rounds, striking two of the 500 people inside.

KASSETAS: It was random. The victims were random.

ELAM: The alleged shooter's family released a statement that reads in part, "Our constant thoughts and our fervent prayers have been and are for the young man who was hurt and for the young woman who was hurt. We love our young son and grandson dearly as does everyone in his extended family. His whole family is heartbroken."

GOV. SUSANA MARTINEZ, (R) NEW MEXICO: The children that returned to school tomorrow were not the children who arrived on Tuesday. They are different.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ELAM: And that law enforcement source telling CNN that there were multiple weapons in the home, but that most of them were locked up, just not the shotgun, which then became sawed off that this suspect then used in the shooting. Still, at this point, Chris, no idea what the motive may have been for the shooting to begin in the first place.

CUOMO: Gun safety and storage, always an important issue. Stephanie Elam, thank you very much.

Also new this morning, an Air Force scandal involving one of our nation's most critical missions, the launch of nuclear weapons. And 34 officers removed from nuclear launch command, and listen to why -- cheating on a proficiency exam. The charge is raising serious questions about the qualifications and character of the people with their finger on the nation's nuclear button. Senior Washington correspondent Joe Johns has more. Joe, what do we know?

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Chris, it's the biggest scandal of its kind in Air Force history. Now the Pentagon is scrambling to get to the bottom of it as quickly as it can. What's so disturbing is that in the nuclear weapons business there is absolutely no room for this kind of thing among the people who have their fingers on the trigger of the U.S. arsenal.

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JOHNS: It started with a probe into illegal drug possession but unexpectedly led investigators to an air force cheating scandal, nearly three dozen airmen, most from an Air Force base in Montana. The Pentagon says some cheated on a proficiency test last August and September. Others apparently knew about the cheating but didn't stop it or report it. All involved have been decertified and restricted from missile crew duty. The cheating was accomplished using text message. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James --

DEBORAH LEE JAMES, AIR FORCE SECRETARY: This is absolutely unacceptable behavior and it is completely contrary to our core values in the Air Force. And as everybody here knows, the number one core value for us is integrity.

JOHNS: There's a long list of scandals involving missile defense personnel. Just last month an Air Force major was fired because he drank too much and got into trouble in Russia. In the nuclear arsenal business, where there is absolutely no room for error, a little thing like napping on the job is a major security issue. The defense secretary recently visited one of the missile bases to try to lift moral.

CHUCK HAGEL, DEFENSE SECRETARY: We emphasize how important your mission is, how important your work is, how we depend on your professionalism and how you do your work.

JOHNS: And it's not just the Air Force. A Navy admiral overseeing nuclear weapons was recently removed from command after being implicated in a gambling investigation. Studies show manning the missiles can be a very lonely, isolated job, and the DOD personnel assigned to them have suffered from burnout and been involved in domestic violence. But a CNN military expert says cheating must be dealt with as a question of character. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This isn't bad behavior. This is unethical behavior, and it gets right to the core of the culture of this -- of this group.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JOHNS: The air force is now retesting all of its launch officers. One expert told CNN there is a question whether the rigorous examination of this DOD personnel somehow sets them up to fail.

BOLDUAN: Joe, thanks so much.

Renewed pressure on Congress this morning to not issue new sanctions against Iran. The president telling Democratic senator that any new sanctions could damage already delicate nuclear talks with the country. Chief National Security correspondent Jim Sciutto is in Washington with the very latest.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Kate, good morning. You know, you can say the president has had two difficult negotiations on his hands, one with Iran of course over the nuclear program, the other with members of his own party over a new sanctions bill on Iran. Now support had been building. Some 59 senators had signed on, including 16 Democrats to support a bill which Iranian officials have told me would ruin the nuclear agreement.

So yesterday in a meeting with members of the Democratic caucus, he made a long, impassioned case for why he didn't want Congress to ask now. One, that the Iranians will walk from these negotiations, but two, also that Congress can introduce a bill in the administration's word, in a nanosecond if Iran doesn't live up to the agreement.

So a senator who attended this talk told our own Dana Bash it was one of the most powerful arguments he heard from Obama on this, and that push may finally be working. Democratic leaders telling reporters there are no immediate plans to put the sanction bill to a vote. If that holds, this would be big relief for the administration and let these very important and difficult talks with the Iranians survive another day.

CUOMO: Jim, thank you for that.

Listen to this everybody.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who else in the governor's office was involved in a decision that gave Bridget Kelly the belief that on August 13 she could issue an e-mail to close lanes?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: A key question being asked by New Jersey Assemblymen John Wisniewski confirming that this could be the day subpoenas get served in the bridge-gate scandal. He is heading up the committee investigating the manufactured traffic jam. And his first order of business could be serving two of Governor Chris Christie's former top aides. Erin McPike is in Trenton following this. Erin, what do we know?

ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chris, good morning to you. Yesterday that investigative committee appointed former U.S. attorney Reid Schar to investigate as their special counsel. He was the prosecutor in the corruption case against Rod Blagojevich, of the former governor of Illinois who is now in prison. So of course, they're taking this very seriously. So that investigative committee will get subpoena power today.

We actually expect to summon documents first, text messages like the text message we saw there from Bridget Kelly earlier when she said "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee." They want to look over those documents first and then subpoena some of these individuals who they can then question later.

But while all of this is going on, Chris Christie will be picking up his official duties as governor. We'll see him go to the Jersey Shore today touting relief efforts for super storm Sandy. As you may know, he is the chairman of the Republican Governors Association, so he has to travel the country to raise money for Republican governors and recruit candidates. So this weekend he'll be going to Florida to raise money for Rick Scott. All so on Tuesday, we'll see him doing his second inauguration. His inaugural address is at noon on Tuesday. Chris?

CUOMO: All right, Erin, thank you very much. Subpoena power not unusual, but also no joke. So these people are going to have to come forward and talk. We'll see what they do when they get there.

BOLDUAN: For of the other stories that we're watching, let's get over to John Berman in for Michaela for all those.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks so much, Kate. Four Americans killed in the consulate attack in Benghazi, Libya, they didn't have to die, that the word from a bipartisan report by the Senate intelligence committee. The report concludes the deadly attack could have been prevented by fixing known security shortfalls. It lays blame with the State Department, the Pentagon and even the late ambassador Chris Stevens himself who rebuffed efforts for extra protection at the diplomatic compound.

New this morning, a warning to the U.S. from North Korea demanding a halt to military exercises scheduled for next wouldn't with South Korea. Pyongyang calls the drills a direct provocation warning they could lead to a catastrophe. Last year at this time the North Koreas threatened to retaliate with military strikes while the annual drills were taking place. That triggered a military buildup, you will remember, on the Korean pa innocence la.

Happening now on the west coast, flames lighting up the sky in central California where a brush fire is raging. It's near the coast about 30 miles south of San Francisco. One structure has burned. Ten homes being threatened have been evacuated. Indra Petersons has been warning about these conditions. There's also a report of a second fire nearby. Officials trying to determine if they are separate fires.

And nobody was predicting how much it will cost to have a baby, at least not in California. Listen to this. A just released study says it costs somewhere between $3,000 and $37,000 for an uncomplicated hospital delivery. That is a huge, huge difference. A C-Section varied from $8,000 to $71,000. Now researchers cannot find a logical explanation for the variation in these costs, and they say it illustrates why health care is so expensive in this country and so unpredictable. Setting the prices for these treatments is a huge, huge problem.

BOLDUAN: I think Sanjay and Elizabeth Cohen have both done investigations on how the cost, and there's been great newspaper reporting on it too, on how the cost, the charge for the same procedure, the same tool in the operating room are wildly different depending on the hospital.

CUOMO: A reminder that despite all the problems with have with Obamacare, this is a system that needs change, you know.

BERMAN: No joke.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, John.

CUOMO: No joke, indeed.

You know what else is not a joke? The weather. Let's check back in with Indra to take a look at the forecast.

INDRA PETERSONS, METEOROLOGIST: It's not that bad today. We're talking about mild conditions for the entire eastern half of the country. What a difference from just a week ago where temperatures in most places are actually above average. We will start to cool off, but even once we do so, we're not really going too far below where we should be this time of year. So that's the upside of it all. Yes, it's getting close to the weekend. And we do have a couple systems still out there.

First, I mean, look at how minor this guy is. It was just enough to bring some sprinkles, or maybe a few flurries today as it continues to make its way offshore. Again, in the major cities, we're talking about New York, Boston, Philly, yeah, you could see some light showers out there today. Not really the big system we're watching.

We continue to watch the one farther back, kind of out towards the upper Midwest today, eventually making its way into the Ohio Valley because currently it is bringing blizzard conditions into the Dakotas, also in through Minnesota.

What are we talking about? Strong winds. Some places are seeing heavy amounts of snow, but generally lighter snow amounts, but that visibility is low just thanks to those strong winds.

Overnight tonight in through Chicago, kind of into the upper Ohio Valley, we'll continue to see that snow, and then eventually it will make its way into the northeast for the weekend. But keep in mind it dries out as it makes its way east. So it will be a smaller system by the time it makes its way to the East coast.

Keep in mind behind that, a third system. Because this is the trend, it is winter. Again, another quick, dry system. So not really a big deal, but enough to keep flurries in the forecast as you go towards the weekend.

All said and done, Ohio Valley about four to six inches. Only about one to two inches in the northeast, most of that actually being rain because it's kind of warmer.

Do want to jump quickly to the West coast. Yeah, still talking about extreme fire danger now extended all the way even in through Friday thanks to those offshore winds. And I kind of want to show you real quickly, look at the difference. They're already talking about extreme drought conditions. This is January/February. This is the time period they normally recover. They should be recovering right now. This is only going to get worse as they go through next year if they don't get rain quickly.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Indra.

PETERSONS: Sure.

CUOMO: All right, here's the story that you just have to hear and then figure out if you can believe it. A 14-year-old little leaguer is being sued by his own coach. And the reason why is baffling. Too low a batting average? No, that's not it. But it's almost as much of a head shake.

The kid was apparently celebrating the game-winning run, OK? What does he do? He throws his helmet, accidentally hit his coach with it. The coach is now suing and suing for -- wait for it -- half a million dollars.

John Berman has the details.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We've all watched baseball, right? You see it on TV, common ways of celebrating, dancing across home plate, chest bumping, even the occasional tossing of equipment. We've seen it. It's an acceptable part of the game, at least on TV.

But now the parents of one little leaguer in California are finding out that one of these actions could end up costing them hundreds of thousands of dollars.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN (voice-over): California parents are in disbelief this morning after their 14-year-old was sued by his little league coach. The offense? Throwing his helmet in celebration after scoring a game- winning run, hitting the coach's angle and allegedly tearing his Achilles' heel.

JOE PARIS, FATHER OF LITTLE LEAGUER BEING SUED: I thought it was a joke. How can this be a grown man suing a young boy?

RAEGAN PARIS, MOTHER OF LITTLE LEAGUER: It was almost laughable.

BERMAN: It wasn't a laughing matter for the coach, Alan Beck, a chiropractor who is seeking $500,000 for pain and suffering and nearly $100,000 for lost wages.

ALAN BECK, LITTLE LEAGUE COACH: When you're six foot and 180 pounds, a 14-year-old with a large helmet and hit somebody Achilles' and split it, you know, you should be, you know, at least apologetic for it.

UNIDENTIFED MALE: Allegedly, it hit back here somewhere.

BERMAN: The boy's parents are calling foul, saying they didn't receive information about the lawsuit until six months after the alleged injury took place.

R. PARIS: I had spoken with little league, several board members. They were just, "What"?

BERMAN: Beck claims the family knew about his injury and turned their backs on him when he reached out for help.

BECK: It's not about the money with this family. It's about the acknowledgment and taking responsibility for their action.

BERMAN: Some say the lawsuit is frivolous.

JOE JACKSON, LEGAL ANALYST: You assume the risk. If you're engaged in baseball activities, for a coach to have a cause of action, a legal claim against a child for something like this is for lack of a better word, preposterous.

BERMAN: The coach says, he's just looking for an apology.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: An apology and $500,000. Now Beck's attorney, Gene Goldman, offered this statement to CNN, saying, "We are suing because of the rules and regulations in the game. You can't destroy private property and recklessly throw equipment at another human being and injure someone," he says, "there are consequences."

Now I should say a hearing is set for March. The family says they've already racked up more than $500,000 in legal expenses just preparing to fight this case.

CUOMO: $5,000.

BERMAN: $5,000 -- sorry, sorry. They racked up $5,000 in legal expenses already. But again, that's just for what they say tossing a helmet.

Now the coach says he whipped the helmet. I suppose there probably is a legal difference.

CUOMO: That's a huge legal difference. It's all about intention, right? If they were just celebrating, there can't be a case. Joe Jackson, in the piece, is right. You are right. Common sense tells you that.

But if the kid took the helmet and threw it at the coach, intending to hit and hurt him with it, then the resulting injury would be a cause of action.

BOLDUAN: I -- I hear you.

CUOMO: But why would he have done it?

BOLDUAN: Well, especially, if all he says is, "What I want is an apology," well, accept it from us. We apologize for that child. And why don't you not (inaudible) this lawsuit anymore? I mean, it's --

BERMAN: Awfully rich apology at $500,000.

BOLDUAN: Thank you.

CUOMO: Also equally shocking, 14-years-old, six foot, 180 pounds. Quite a prospect.

BOLDUAN: Big future. Big future. I think there's something else going on there maybe between the family and him. Why would you, if you're a coach, you love your players. That's why you get into coaching, and then you respond like this? I just don't get it.

CUOMO: More to come.

BOLDUAN: That's right.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, the chilling tape. The voice believed to be the Newtown shooter heard talking to a radio station about mass murder just one year before his rampage at Sandy Hook. Was a warning sign missed?

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BOLDUAN: Time now for our political gut check of the morning. First lady Michelle Obama will celebrate the big 5-0 on Friday. And ahead of the milestone birthday, she sat down with People Magazine for a candid interview that touched on many topics: growing older, life after the White House, and whether or not she would ever consider plastic surgery.

Joining us now to discuss, CNN political commentator and Republican strategist, Ana Navarro; as well as "Washington Post" fashion critic and Pulitzer Prize winner Robin Givhan.

Thanks, guys, for being here. It's great to see you both.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's nice to be here. Thank you.

BOLDUAN: So Ana, first to you, it was -- I thought it was a very candid interview. The first lady, to me when I read this piece, seems to have come into her own or has become more comfortable talking about herself and not kind of dodging questions since -- as she spent time in the White House. What was your big take away from this interview? ANA NAVARRO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, I think it was a candid girl's talk interview. And Kate, I spent a little time -- I met Michelle Obama while she was then-Senator Obama's wife, and she came to Miami for a few visits.

And this is that type of Michelle Obama that can sit down and banter with girlfriends about plastic surgery, botox, turning 50, being a mother, what she wants to do.

And I think it was a terrific interview because she talked about women being free to do whatever they want, whether it's putting botox in their face, getting a nip-and-tuck or, you know, making whatever choice she wants to make as she grows older and decides what to do with her life. And she's focusing on being active and preparing herself to grow older and have an active life as a grandmother, as a mother. And I'm sure she's going to be making a difference in some way after she leaves the White House.

CUOMO: So Robin, but she's not just anybody. She is the first lady, so everything gets examined a little bit differently. There's this odd balance she has to perform between being aspirational and yet inspirational and yet common. What do you see in this article in terms of insight into how she plays the role?

ROBIN GIVHAN, FASHION CRITIC: Well, I think it's in keeping with how she has sort of comported herself so far in the White House, which is that she has sort of acknowledged the fact that she's in this sort of rarefied position.

As she said in the article that she, you know, can't really rest on her laurels (ph), her blessings, her successes. But also really trying to, sort of, be quote, unquote, "real". And I think the conversation about botox, for instance, which -- you know, there were over 6 million botox procedures in 2012 -- really kind of tapped into something that I think a lot of women talk about with their girlfriends.

BOLDUAN: And I think she does a good job. She has a good take on it. Because when I initially heard Michelle Obama talks botox, I got really upset about it. Because I was thinking, "You know what? Of course that's the topic that a woman is going to be asked when she's hitting her 50th birthday. That is not the same question a man would be getting on his 50th birthday."

But her take on it, I think she walked that line very well in saying never say never. The only thing she said that she would say never to is politics. She is basically -- and, I mean, maybe not a surprise, doesn't have any appetite for anymore politics herself after this.

GIVHAN: Well, I mean, it seems --

(CROSSTALK)

GIVHAN: Oh, I'm sorry -- that there hasn't been any indication so far that politics is something that she would want to do. But one of the things that she's been really great at, I think, is being able to bring this sort of three-dimensional powerful woman to the forefront.

And when I say three-dimensional, I mean someone who brings a law degree, brings motherhood, and brings fashion and style and all the things that make up her personality to the world stage.

BOLDUAN: Ana, what do you think?

NAVARRO: Look, I think you make a really good point about what women get asked versus men.

BOLDUAN: Mm-hmm.

NAVARRO: Frankly, I think there's nothing wrong talking about botox. By the time I'm 50, I hope to be drinking --

CUOMO: Of course, not. You're in Miami.

NAVARRO: -- it on the rocks with a twist of lime.

(LAUGHTER)

NAVARRO: Let me tell you this, Chris Cuomo, I know she's not a Hispanic woman, because you'd almost have to put a gun to the head of a Hispanic woman to get us to talk about our age that openly.

(LAUGHTER)

But I do hope to live to see the day, Kate, when a male candidate or maybe a male first spouse gets asked about his testosterone level. Let's talk about low T, you know? It's on every commercial on TV these days.

BOLDUAN: I love you, Ana Navarro.

CUOMO: What's wrong with low T?

BOLDUAN: Exactly.

CUOMO: What's wrong with low T?

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: The men at the table just got oddly uncomfortable. I don't know how that happened. Oh, and let's talk hot flashes. Just kidding.

Ana, great to see you. Robin, great to see you as well. Thanks you guys.

Low T?

CUOMO: Yes, absolutely, getting lower all the time.

BOLDUAN; Let's take a break.

CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, do we have a tape of the voice of the Newtown shooter offering what should have been a very huge red flag? We're going to tell you the story coming up.

BOLDUAN: Also ahead, another warning from the Food and Drug administration for people who might be taking too much of the popular pain medication acetaminophen without even realizing it. What you need to know to stay safe about this and the many other recent warnings they've been putting out. Coming up.

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