tv America Tonight Al Jazeera October 22, 2013 12:00am-1:01am EDT
welcome to al jazeera america. i'm john siegenthaler. here are the top stories. a glimmer of hope for hundreds of thousands of commuters in san francisco. talks resumed monday between bay area rapid transit systems and union workers. shots fired at sparks middle school. >> police responding to a shooting at a middle school monday morning. a math teacher was killed trying to protect his students from a 1 year old gunman. authorities are still searching
for a motive. president obama says concerns over spying in france are li-- legitimate. the report angered if i recalls in paris and comes just as the secretary of state john kerry arrived in paris for a meeting. one of china's biggest cities is shut down with visibility from the smog as little as 10 yards. aljazeera.comful. >> on america tonight, younger every time. another school shooter killed on campus. this one, not even a teenager. >> he pulls out a gun and shoots my friend, and then he walked up
to a teacher and said, backup, and the teacher started backing up and he pulled the trigger. >> also tonight, puerto rico. a tourist haven. why it's now attracting a dangerous and different trade. and what could have been the world's greatest who done it. one of the biggest creatures ever to roam the earth is very nearly one that got away. >> i got an email, there's a dinosaur that has been stolen from the goby desert. and it's going to be auctioned in new york, and is there anything you can do legally to stop it. >> good evening, and thank you
for being with us, i'm joey chen. it's sparks nevada. one of the communities which has seen violence at school. at sparks middle school, michael lansbury will be remembered as a hero, who tried to get a 12-year-old 7th grader to put the gun down. two other 7th graders were shot as well. we begin the story as it has unfolded. >> active shooter, sparks middle school. >> he pulled out a gun and said, put the gun down, and he shot. >> we both started running and gunshot. >> inside of the cafeteria, the students are safe, and we're looking for the shooter now. >> we picked him up and carried him a little bit and we left him because our vice principle said get to safety.
>> we got the call that said this was a shooting and i went to sparks to pick up my kid. and i came here and found out he was a witness, and i didn't know what happened or anything. >> sparks, nevada is a suburban community outside of reno, nevada. and melissa chang is there now, and i understand there's new information from law enforcement. >> yes, we know that then took place at 7:16 am. and it lasted all of 3 minutes, 15 minutes before school started. as you know, the shooter was in the premises, and michael lansbury asked the shooter to put the gun down, and that's when he himself was shot and killed. just moments ago, we saw a mother and daughter stop by the school, and the daughter said that mr. lansbury had been her favorite
teacher, and he was clearly extremely popular, and you can imagine how distraught the community and the students and the teachers are. in terms of the investigation this is day one after all, and this is what the police had to say. >> a male student came to the school with a semiautomatic handgun. he shot two students, one male teacher, before turning the gun on himself. the teacher was deceased, as was the suspect. the two male student victims were transported to local hospitals. they were both 12 years old. one was shot through the shoulder, the other shot in the abdomen, both sustaining non-life-threatening injuries, and they're both in stable condition. >> we have a lot of heroes
today, including our children. though school hadn't started, when the teachers came out they listened to them and came into the classrooms immediately. our partners across the city of sparks, the city of reno and washoe county sheriffs' office, they were there in minutes and got control of the situation. >> well, in terms of the school, it's closed for the rest of the week, the officials said that they couldn't confirm if it would stay closed or whether today open on monday. it would depend on the investigation. now, just to put a little bit of context in all of this, according to moms against actions, this is the 16th school shooting in the entire country so far this year. >> aljazeera's melissa chan joining us from sparks, nevada. as shocking as a school
shooting is, but what's more shocking is the shooter was just a child himself. just 12 years old. and with us tonight, criminal behavior expert, we hear these stories, but a 12-year-old? >> well, in the studies that we have done, and in the wake of columbine, we actually looked at the 37 cases of school shootings that took place in the 25 years before that, we found that that's not terribly unusual. in 1987, we had a 12-year-old who carried out an act like that. a number of years later, we had an 11-year-old, and then a 13-year-old, and then in flint, michigan, there was a six-year-old who brought a gun to school and shot another student. >> so it's not unheard of at all, but what you've train school administrators from the top down from, the school administrators to the teachers
as well, the fact that somebody has to train school administrators in threat assessment is kind of frightening in and of itself. >> well, in the wake of col up bine, the country was so distraught that the department of education sponsored a study and a team of experts, i was part of that team, to travel around the country to help administrators and school resource officers and councilors identify these students before it happens. >> was there one overriding theme, something that you could point to be on the look for? >> one thing, time and time again, the students who carried out these terrible acts, had no trusting responsible adult, nobody to go about for the pain they were experience. over 60% of the students who carried out the students self
reported that they had been bullied and picked on. and the school was a source of misery. so in a lot of cases, when they would go in, people would say, they shot people they didn't know. the people were not the target. the school was the target. >> so in this case, this particular teacher, mr. lansbury was very well liked and the kind of guy that people would flock to. >> well, it's often the teachers with the best communication skills that actually stand up and try to diffuse these swayings, and i have to tell you, in a lot of cases they have been very successful. they have gotten the student to put the gun down, doing exactly what mr. lansbury did. and in this case, it didn't turn out the way that we would all hope. >> and early indications are that the boy turned the gun on
himself. and it was not a case where the law enforcement stopped him. but he took his own life. which seems to be hard to comprehend in and of itself. >> the students that we talk to that carried out these kinds of acts, they saw the violence as somehow inexplicately solving their problem, and in some cases, they expected to die. >> even when you're only 12 years old? >> well, that speaks to the level of misery that these kids are experiencing. that 12-year-olds, 11 years old, they have thoughts of suicide. >> in recent years, we have a thought that everything started with columbine, but 25 years ago, you were looking at these studies, were there links to video violence that might have been stimulated to this?
>> that's a source of a lot of controversy. my own thoughts on this, video games, whether they're violent or not, are not going to turn an absolutely normal kid into some kind of psych patrick killer. i think there are certain people that are vulnerable to violent images, and more violent than the general population, and in some of those cases, those kids seek out video games, and it stimulates them that way. but i haven't seen any convincing evidence that playing video games is going to turn a healthy, well adjusted teenager into a killer. >> so my last thought, what do schools to do? what's the best advice you can get? >> we certainly encourage them to go to the national threat center on the secret service's website.
and this they will find a study that was done. and it actually delineates the behaviors that you can identify of a kid who is walking that path to violence. we don't see these attacks as merely acts. they're part of a process that sometimes takes weeks, sometimes takes months, sometimes takes years. so if you can identify those behaviors in a kid, you are able to interdict and stop them before they get to the point where they are actually going to attack. it has been very effective. we have had over 100 reports of school officials who have been trained, using our methods, who come to us and say, we really believe and saw these patterns, and this kid was moving in that direction ask we were able to prevent it. >> thank you very much, our criminal behaviorist. in other news today, jpmorgan
chase, the largest bank in the country has reached a $13 billion deal with the justice department to settle wide range of issues to sub-prime mort ams. it would be the largest of its kind of. criminal matters could still be brought in this case. pratap joins oceanus, the executive director of corp watch, it advocates corporate accountability. and appreciate you being with us. a lot of people say, $13 billion, that sounds like a lot of money, and is it enough? >> it's a lot of money, it's not the biggest settlement ever, despite what they say. last year in march, the fcc had a $25 billion settlement with a number of banks, and of course its dwarfed by the tobaki administration, $250 billion. but it's half of jpmorgan's
profits so that are this year, so it's a substantial settlement. however, it's still not more than a slap on the wrist and it sounds a bad message. though it's a lot of money to the taxpayer, it's only small for people who sold bad houses, and if sends a message that some banks are too big to fail and some bankers are too big to jail and justice can be bought. >> i want to clarify the deal that they're talking about only covers the civil side of this, and not the criminal side. and what's the likelihood that somebody will go to jail over this. >> it's pretty low right now. in the savings and loan crisis 20 years ago, and five days after the crisis began, 150
bankers have been charged. but mostly low level people. no executives have gone to jail. these bankers have become too big to jail. and this is a real problem. >> why is it? how is it that it happens even when a corporation can agree that look, our company did something significant to warrant $13 billion in payment. why is there not an acknowledgment that thi there sd be criminal culpabilities. >> you put your finger on the problem. they're paying $13 billion to not go to jail. so this is in a way getting out of jail. non-prosecution agreements. and the executives gets to stay in their offices and keep their salaries, and the shareholders pay the money. jp morgan is not going to cut the salary of jamie diamond, the
ceo of the bank. shareholders will pay, and as a result, they get to not go to jail at all. and this is really a trend that began about 10 years ago on encouragement the government. they said, pay us the money, and we'll let you go. and that's a real problem. >> so this idea that we would rather have the money back than be in jail. but isn't there another way it look at it? that is if you jailed some of these people at the head of these corporations, how would they perform the work that would allow for better behavior in the future, right? you still need this kind of leadership to run organizations this big. >> well, that's not necessarily true. about one-third of the ceos and the big banks turn out to do the job. three months ago, it showed that one-third of the ceos why guilty of criminal misconduct,
their companies went into bankruptcy, or they generally failed their company. these are not the best and the brightest. these are people who can pay the lawyers to cut a deal with the government to get themselves off of the charges. lehman brothers was shut down and they were jailed. and since then, nobody else is jailed. these are banks that essentially sold mortgages to people who couldn't afford them. and who are now without their homes, and for that, they are getting away scott-free, and that's a real problem. because they're essentially saying these banksers are too big to jail. >> we hear on you that, his organization is corp watch. and it advocates corporate accountability. thank you for being with us, and trouble in paradise, how a caribbean island the latest in
>> while you were asleep, news was happening. >> here are the stories we're following. >> find out what happened and what to expect. >> international outrage. >> a day of political posturing. >> every morning from 6 to 10am al jazeera america brings you more us and global news than any other american news channel. >> tell us exactly what is behind this story. >> from more sources around the world. >> the situation has intensified here at the boarder. >> start every morning, every
day, 6am to 10 eastern with al jazeera america. heightens it's efforts to fight the drug trade on the mexican border, traffickers are increasingly active on their island, which is america's third border. drugs from latin america can go to the mainland without going through customs, but not all of the drugs are leaving the island. officials have called drug addiction in puerto rico a public health crisis. >> this is an unannounced search for drugs on a ferry. it's a routine process. puerto rico has become a major transit hub for south american drugs headed to the united states, and according to the police, this is an average find. 15 pounds of pure cocaine.
[ speaking spanish ] >> interpreter: the person realized we were here and they came and left the backpack in the bathroom and we want walking out like any other person. >> the cargo is worth $100,000. in miami or new york, it could sell for hal half a million dol. >> he's good. >> the u.s. government reports an increase in drug interceptions in the last few years. and local authorities say that's only a fraction of what makes it into the island. lieutenant carlos figueroa fights the drug trade on the streets of san juan. a murder victim was just found with drugs if his pockets, and now the police are checking for suspects. [ speaking spanish ] >> interpreter: if you enter into this world, you will die,
it's like a death sentence, sooner or later, someone will kill you. >> the drugs here has caused the homicides rate to spike. the murder rate is 6 times that of the united states as a whole. the murder victims are young men who want to get rich quick. [ speaking spanish ] >> interpreter: they think it's an easy life and easy money, but their lives will be short. everybody thinks that it will turn out different for them, but that's never true. there will always be somebody waiting. >> puerto rican police are waging a constant battle. with more and more drugs coming onto the island, prices are dropping, and there's more business to fight for. each night in san juan, people
are fighting a different drug war. many narcotics are on the island for local assumption. they consider drug addiction here a public crisis. >> interpreter: these are the people who are the most marginalized in the country, always hoping that at some point, they will decide to stop using drugs. >> reporter: it's not hard to find drug addicts on the streets here. he's one of the few people who tries to help. his team looks at those lives in society's shadows. they take the dirty needles and offer them back clean ones. they provide on sight medical treatment and encourage detox programs. the doctors tend to around 100 addicts each night. >> this is what's happening to our society. people often blame the government, which is not responsible for this.
but the root of the problem is definitely at the family level. >> reporter: roberto is 31 years ol. he started smoking marijuana at 16, and using heroin at 18, and now he's hooked on ketamine, it's a powerful drug used as a horse tranquilizer. >> i know if i keep doing this, i'll end up dead. i know what i'm doing. >> reporter: the side effects of withdrawal are so painful, he's afraid to fall asleep. he wakes up with a violent headache, and he's determined to try. >> i'm going to be clean even if i dry trying. that's better than dying like a dog on the street. and i know i can do it. >> reporter: the volunteers make their way around the
island, and they are well intentioned and as soon as they leave, the drugs come back out. roberto once moved to miami to try to kick the habit. he has a wife and daughter there. he came back to visit his grandfather and never left. >> interpreter: i'm not going to lie to you, it feels really good, and i know it's bad for you. >> reporter: social workers and the state authorities and the addicts themselves have different explanations as to why young people start using, but all agree that drug addiction here is rising, and nobody knows how to stop it. >> here now, is there any solution that social workers or anybody is thinking of to help these people inner puerto rico. >> well, like in many
places, they have ideas on how to battle drug addiction and drug trade. they actually think that the legalization of marijuana can help with the addiction of stronger drugs. it has to do with how you buy drugs in puerto rico. in puerto rico, you go to the public housing projects, and some areas are sectioned off for the sale of drugs, and you get this, and it's basically like entering into a shop. you have a bunch of drugs and they're packaged and labeled and they have their prices, you can get marijuana, heroin, cocaine, and ketamine. if people are not going to there to get marijuana, they're not going to get offered and hooked on the stronger drugs. >> that's remarkable. is there anything that's prog? >> there's one idea. and this comes from the street. but recently, a senator, who
knows a lot about the drug war in general and law enforcement because he was a former superintendent of the puerto rico police, he has been forming the drug laws in puerto rico to law for the legalization of marijuana to some extent. they are seeing what will be on the table, and then the governor of puerto rico said even if you opened the public debate and the idea, right now, it's not a administration. >> thank you so much. casey kaufman for coming in and talking with us this evening. ahead, trouble tonight in the land down under. wildfires are burning out of control this. and will they emerge into what scientists have called a mega for instance, could striking workers in greece delay
tonight. a french newspaper reported that the nsa has conducted large scale spying on french citizens, angering one of the united states' closest allies. the agency had reported 70 million digital communications in a single month. and the french called it totally unacceptable. >> chris christie has dropped his court decision which would allow same-sex marriage in new jersey. it came nine hours after gay couples had already started exchanging vows in ceremonies. new jersey if is the 9th state to allow gay marriage. the category three storm arrived less than a month after tropical storm manuel devastated the ream and
caused 120 deaths! >> in australia, firefighters are warning that a huge wildfire could merge with another one to create a mega fire. heat and winds are hampering efforts to fight more than a dozen fires near sydney. >> andrew smith is on the night shift for the third night in a row. >> it has been very busy. >> reporter: normally smith works as a chef, almost 1,000 kilometers from the town of lithgow. but tonight, he's one of hundreds of volunteers firefighters that have known in from all over australia to help protect the blue mountain towns near sydney. >> that's what we're going to do. any questions? >> reporter: the hills above lithgow are alight. tonight's task to stop the bush fires traveling down to the town.
they will be fighting lightning fire with more fire. but first, a house needs protecting. >> if any embers do fall down on it, it's not going to catch. >> once the ground around the house is wet, beyond it is lit. and in seconds, this. >> the flames travel up the hill. and the big bush fire, down it. and it couldn't reach the town of lithgow. >> it's down and up. and the wind is going to start bringing it back. if that drops down here and ignites behind us, that house is gone. >> reporter: there are hundreds of operations going on across new south wales. much of the work being done when
it's coolest and the winds the lightest at night. >> if we didn't do this tonight, this would come straight down here. >> you're protecting the whole town? >> yep. >> the concern is that in coming days, already huge and separate bush fires could meet. and that could create what some call a mega fire. it could burn not just a town like lithgow, but the western ub burbs of sydney. >> now the story of a 12-year-old who fled her home in syria just a year ago. we caught up with her again on assignment for america tonight. >> reporter: to do girl games, recess, but she has more on her mind than tag. she has been displaced from her home in syria. she has had four of her uncles die and her house destroyed. in her 7th grade class, she studies math with the other
girls, but at the age of 12, she's determined to tell people what's really happening in syria. >> interpreter: i want to become a journalist or a lawyer, something to help defend my country's rights and expose the truth. to differentiate between the oppressor and the oppressed. that's the important thing. >> reporter: we first met her at another school near the border last year. >> i'm from syria, and we have been here for seven months. >> on her cellphone, she carried images of her relatives lying dead. >> we have seen everything. they have let little children know what a tank is, what an airstrike is, what bloodshed is, what terror is. >> reporter: in sixth grade last year, she had no jordanian friends, she said they didn't
believe what she had been through. sense then, the family has moved further from the airstrike zone. and she has made a few friends. >> it's different now. we have adapted to the atmosphere and the people. it's not the same as it used to be. we were hoping that we would return, and now we have gone used to it. there's no hope that we'll go back or anything this year. it's not like there's no hope at all, but we can't see anything improving. it's getting worse. >> she has had so many represents die, she's almost used to death. but it hurts. >> i feel like i don't want to go back to syria, because all of the people that i love are not there. >> reporter: she's one of the