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tv   Consider This  Al Jazeera  January 7, 2014 10:00pm-11:01pm EST

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>> welcome to al jazeera america, i'm richelle carey. here are the top stories: a helicopter accident in the u.k. kingdom. a helicopter crashed and there are four fatalities, it happened near a training mission near clay on the east coast of great britain. a quarter-mile area around the scene has been cordoned off. >> a deadly avalanche at colorado. one has died and three injured. it was triggered outside the ski resort. >> record-breaking coal. arctic air continues to drive across the country. thousands of flights from
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cancelled. by tomorrow temperatures were supposed to rise. president obama called for meetings with lawmakers and intelligence officers for checks in the way the national security agency operates. privacy issues will be the topic when he meets with n.s.a. officia officials tomorrow and lawmakers on thursday. they talk about long-term unemployment tomorrow. if passed it would face opposition in the house. those are the headlines. "consider this" is up next. bsh
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>> bombshells about washington's most powerful players in a new memoir from a former defense secretary. robert gates is blasting everyone from barack obama to joe biden, hillary clinton, national security advisors and members of congress much consider this - why would a man with a reputation of being discrete go this public, and how will the white house handle an embarrassment by one of their own. >> the super bowl is coming to the new york city area, and it's feared new york sex trafficking will come with it. we look at what law enforcement is planning. and a tv so high it will look like you are peering through a window. we bring you newest technology from an it show. >> n.a.s.a.'s new planes. what we know about the new spacecraft. welcome to "consider this". we begin with a memoir written by former secretary of defense
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robert gates, the unemployment public servant and statesman, an insider that served under eight presidents. for a man with a self-described poker face, his new book, which is not out yet, is serving up a harsh critique of the white house. he shows harsh contempt for congress saying joe biden has been wrong on every policy issue in the last four decades. i'm joined by lawrence korb, former secretary of defense, and is a senior fellow at the center for american progress. and brigadier general mark kimmitt, a contributor to al jazeera english, who served in the middle east and worked with robert gates at the pentagon. also joining us is kevin baron, executive editor of defense one, a division of atlantic media, which covers u.s. defense and national security. kevin has covered and travel
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extensively with defense secretary gates and joins us from washington d.c. it's a pleasure to have you all with us. an excerpt from the book focuses on a meeting in march 2011 where gates questions president obama's leadership and relationship and writes: . >> the reference to the commander is david petraeus. general, let's start with you - should a former official criticise a sitting president. critics said he shouldn't, and certainly those comments about hamid karzai will damage a relationship that is problematic. >> well, first of all, i don't think that we should be surprised that this book came
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out. three years after stepping down as the director of the c.i.a., robert gates wrote his book "from behind the shadows", and was very, very forthright in that book as well. he was very positive in some regards, critical in others. i don't see anything stunning about these excerpts of a book that most of us have not seen yet, but, frankly, he is a private citizen, and he is writing for history as he wrote in 1996 as his experience as director. c.i.a. shouldn't he have the right to do that. you have been critical of gates, and former debtry and c.i.a. secretly leon panetta, because they criticised the president on syria and russia, and you said their behaviour was unprofessional and unseemingly. do you think he shut not write about his experiences while the president is in office? >> certainly he should not say
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some of the things. for example, joe biden has been wrong about every foreign policy issue for the last four years. it's not true. he's write about the balkans and the first gulf war, and right about what is happening in iraq, that it would fall apart. the idea of what he says is not true. and revealing these things, secreta secretary clinton said he didn't mean it. it's beneath him and the offices. others wait for 30 years to write about what happened. sir us vance who resigned when president carter was going to rescue the hostages in iran never went out and criticised them. if he didn't like it, why did he stay, why didn't he speak up. what about his obligations to the men and women he talks about so movingly in the book, if
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that's how he felt. i'll give you an example where he is dead wrong. obama, when he announced he'd add the 70,000 troops with the two tranches that he did, went to west point and said, "i'll be out in two years." and the military commanders he asked that, "do you support that?", they said yes. then david petraeus tells the press, no, he didn't. they should have spoken up then. again, i'm not sure what this accomplishes in terms of what he is trying to do, other than to protect his own reputation. >> the national security council responded specifically about joe biden. saying:
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>> how do you see this, kevin? who is right. >> right about what? >> the vice president specifically. >> well, you know, i think of all the things that we have seen so far, and we have not seen much, the criticism of the vice president is the one thing that sounds the least gatesian at all. sounds like a cheap hit on the democratic vice president. nobody is wrong on everything all the time. that said, going back to the original point and what the brigadier general said, no, we should not be surprised at secretary gates, we knew he would write the book, there's another in the works. we knew before he retired that that was in the plan. this seems to be, so far, in line with his previous memoire.
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telling it like it is. my take on this is secretary gates is an executive branch. he's a guy that was never a politician, until the last job, the closest he got to having to be one. he writes about the frustration of not just fighting the wars, but fighting washington, and congress, who he hates more than anyone, and fighting his own administration, and understand that. dealing with ron emanuel and david axelrod, he understands the politics of it. >> let's talk about the politics. gates talks about how he was at ads with barack obama's controlling inner circle. he hasn't seen anything like it since kissinger and nixon. in one ex-cert he said: -- excerpt he said:
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>> i want to hear what you think general, and larry, you have both served in administrations. is this unusual as to how much politics determined national security decisions? >> well, i don't think it's surprising at all that in the first two years of an administration, especially for a president that ran on getting out of one war and trying to reform another, that there'll be that level of micromanagement coming from the west wing. that is something that i suspect secretary gates understood what happened at the beginning of administration. it's not something we want to see in public servants, that level of micromanagement done by nonelected, not even appointed politicians. it's a fact of life and shouldn't be surprising. i don't think that g secretary
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gates was overly harsh, but just acknowledging, from what i have read in the past book and this book. he's putting this down as history so if nothing else, america can take the lessons learnt from his seriousness, the director of c.i.a. and the secretary of defense, and learn from that and try to improve from that. >> larry, what do you think. is there an unusual amount of politics that are involved in national security decisions. >> gates should go back and look at what the first secretary of defense said. he had the workers in the pentagon in the middle and said, "listen, you can no more separate politics from government than sex from administration" i watched him play games in the reagan administration, in terms of saying, "well, regan shouldn't negotiate with gosha chov because he'll be succeeded by a stalinist", "the soviets will
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never leave afghanistan", the idea that he was naive. it's nonsense. if you take a look. he was a deputy or the security council for bush. he's been involved and was a member of the national security council. >> what are you saying that political people were making a lot of decisions or influencing the decisions. that's different to having the national security people making a decision. >> again, what is political. when i worked dieber was the one telling them to call others. political people don't understand what is going on, and they recognise if you have a policy, you have to sell it to the american people, to congress, and it's a constraint on what you want to do and need to do. the political people now, the tea party people want to cut the defense budget, which is
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different to previous republicans. they need to take that into account when formulating a defense budget. gates was a hold over from the george w. bush administration. will presidents think twice about keeping on someone from another party? >> i don't think there's anything to do with that. every move he makes, this is life. he knew that would put his book out early in the second temp, while he had a chance to influence a second term and what is going on, and not wait three years although obama leaves, or 30 or 15. i think there is something going on right now where politics in washington does not understand or care about national security. i think it's concerning. this goes to the sense he's
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trying to say. leon panetta had the same frustrations and chuck hagel experienced some of that, dealing with congress when it comes to the budget. the last two or three years. every leader in washington screamed their heads off. not to have a sequester, protect the country. it made no difference, because the political leaders are not vested in national security like in the '80s, '70s. gates leaves office, comes back into office for the special assignment to take control of the war and said he hates the job and convincing the white house why these things are important. this is the new era, it's not just convincing the security council colleagues, as he points out, it's convincing rahm emanuel, and david axelrod, the campaigners who came in. the general is right. he's acknowledging this is a
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fact of life. i wonder how much he grappled with, understanding how to get through it or whether this was a man, the politics surpassed his time. both gates and leon panetta left office with scathing speeches about the state of washington, the state of politics and the state of congress >> maybe the most scathing part of the book, aside from the attack on congress. even though he says he's a fan of hillary clinton, there is one moment that clearly he was very upset by. she was with president obama and he its hillary clinton told the president that her opposition to the 2007 surge in iraq was political, because she was facing him in the iowa primary. the president considered opposition to the iraq surge was political. to hear the two making submissions in front of me was surprising as dismaying.
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we reacted very strongly to that when we saw that in our newsroom general. is that one of the most concerning revelations in this book? >> well, again, i think in total most of us have seen about two payments of what is probably a 600 page book. again, i think it's important to go back to his "96 book, and the last part of the book, which is entitled reflections. he talks about the problems he had with the agency. he talked about the problems with the white house aids, and the problems that he had with congress. what seems to be the most surprising thing that secretary of states is finding out, which all of us -- screcretary gates finding out is how intense the problems between since 1996 and 2012, the polarization in congress and the white house, the bureaucracy in the pentagon,
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all of these are the same problems he mentioned 18 years ago in his last book, but they seem to have intensified significantly to the point of frustration, which is an historical lesson that he's trying to bring out. he's a historiorian and is not writing the book to settle scores, but is writing for history and being an historic guide to improve, not to go after old political enemies and to sharpen the axes. the excerpts are released, and powerful and intriguing. >> lawrence korb, brigadier general mark kimmitt and kevin baron, thank you for joining us. >> sex crime - does the big game, super bowl bring an
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increase in sex crimes >> millions of americans are caught in the middle. we'll talk with two after the break. and gianna tobani is tracking the top stories on the web. >> good news the american cancer society released a report saying cancer death rates are dropping, due to one factor. i'll tell you what that is coming up >> what do you think? join the consider on twitter and facebook and google+ pages.
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>> as the new york city area prepares to host the festivities of super bowl 48, law enforcement is gearing up to police the dark underside that follows. sex trafficking. up to 300,000 americans are believed to be exploited in the sex trade, generating over $9 billion a year.
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many law enforcement officials believe the super bowl is the largest sex trafficking draw in the country. we are joined by tracy thompson, new jersey's head of human trafficking task force. and from los angeles, john keith wasson, an award winning film maker and director of the documentary "tricked." a film featuring the story of danielle douglas, who joins us in new york, a survivor of sex trafficking and works as an activist and blogs for the "the huffington post." >> danielle douglas, you are not typical of people ensnared in sex trafficking. you were educated at north eastern. how did you fall into this? >> that is not true. everyone is susceptible. there's no specific kind of person that this happens to any more, although it is common with run aways or drug addicts and the young stage where they have
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no support. basically i was a college student, i went away to school. i was tricked into trusting a person that i met. after if trusted him for a few weeks, i was then completely ensnared into being under his control, where i was then forced to prostitute on trucks and do escorting. >> we should explain the difference, if you can, between sex trafficking and prostitution. >> i guess there are two ways to define sex trafficking. the first one is any minor involved in the sex trade. the second is more in tune with what danielle was talking about, when somebody is brought into the trade through forced, fraud or coercion. >> let's talk about the super bowl.
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tracy forbes estimated that 10,000 prostitutes had been taken to miami for the 2010 super bowl. how can so many victims of the sex trade be taken into an area and not be noticed. >> the fact of the matter is they are probably being noticed, but people are afraid to intervene or what to do and how to safely intervene without being hurt or run the risk of causing further harm to the trafficking victims. >> why do event like this draw sex traffickers in huge numbers. are that many people going to the super bowl, a football game also looking to buy sex? >> what we have found is that it's happening everywhere in america, every night. yes, super bowl is a big event where a lot of people come together, and so naturally it elevates the numbers. but it is happening not just super bowl evening, but 364 days out of the year.
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>> you were never forced to go to an event like the super bowl, but you felt and experienced in the sense that when there were big sporting events in your area, you saw a change. >> absolutely. when i was undercontrol, i was made aware that, "oh, there's a play-off game in the town tonight, in the city, so make sure we stay to a certain area, go to certain bars or hotels or restaurants that we knew that those people were going to be, you know, in the same area as that, so that we could have access to them. >> so you really noticed the difference. arizona, on the other hand, are hosting the super bowl. john mccain's wife cindy called the super bowl the largest human trafficking venue on the planet. many, including the global alliance against women trafficking, says the connection between sporting events and sex
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trafficking is a myth. >> i read studies to both sides of that issue and we don't have hard and fast numbers to confirm the volume, but other nongovernmental organizations who researched this have seen a spik three fold online sex adds and commercial activities. >> as attorney-general of new jersey, one of our popular states, how big of a problem is sex trafficking and human trafficking in in area on a normal day? >> well, on a normal day new jersey has been described as a hub for human trafficking because of where we are located. we are a tourist destination because of our dense population and ethnically diverse population. the victims hide in plain site. we expect this only to be increased because of the throngs and crowds of people that will be brought here by the super
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bowl. >> i know you are are asking for people to help, what are the signs of someone being victimized. there's a lot of signs easy to see. if you see a bump of women with one man and it looks out of place. you are probably right. looking for tattoos, such as money bag tattoos and large names with a male name on a piece of - the woman's body or the man's body, different physical attractions that they may show, where they maybe are not giving you an eye contact or they are only looking at the floor. things where they are looking like they are not able to communicate well. >> how can people then fight sex trafficking on any given day, and certainly when we see the sporting events like the super
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bowl. >> we have to all get on the same page, including the politicians, law enforcement. regular civilians of all types, as well as the social groups that are doing so much in that space. then what we have to do, as danielle is mentioning we have to recognise the continuum of harm that occurs. what steps is new jersey taking to deal with the super bowl and sex trafficking that it may bring? >> new jersey has taken a heightened approach in terms of the undercover law enforcement that we are implementing. law enforcement can't do it alone. we have an aggressive outreach and awareness and training program where we are training a number of sectors. taxi cabs, limo drivers and those types of people who will be coming into contact with
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nurses, emts, medical profession. everyone needs to be trained. this is an all-hands on deck. appreciate you joining us to talk about this issue. >> thank you. >> switching topics now. four years after the great recession began the economic outlook has improved. for the 12 million americans unemployed, the future is not very bright. 1.3 million of those people are the long-termed unemployed, actively looking for work without success for 27 weeks or longer. and lost the benefits when long term benefits expired. the president made a plea for congress to follow suit in relation to corresponding demands for budget cuts. >> long-term unemployed are not
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lazy or lacking in motivation. they may be an older worker coping with the worst economic situation. they may have to get retrained. it's hard. sometimes employers will discriminate if you have been out of work for a while. >> extending the benefits cost more than $25 billion. how long after the recession should the benefits last. who are the long-term unemployed. we are joined by brandy walsh. an executive assistant who has been unemployed since april. and teresa. an assistant unemployed since october 2012. they are among the millions of unemployed americans who have lost extended unemployment benefits. >> i want to start with you, a year and a half you have been looking for work. has it gotten easier? >> no, it's almost the same.
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>> you have seen no improvement despite the improvement in the economy. >> no, i have not. i have gone on several interviews and was interviewed by several companies. however, it did not land me a position, so i am still looking. >> do you think there's a prejudice against you because of the fact that you've been unemployed for this long. >> no, i feel that the market is tough because there's a lot of people that are unemployed. brandy, i know that you've been searching very hard. have you seen any improvement. how hard is it for you? >> i have not seen much improvement, other than the fact that there seems to be more people flooding the unemployment lines, as you can say. i'll finding it harder to find a job because one, they are discriminating against those that have been out in the workforce for a long period of time, as well as those who may
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not have a bachelor's degree, but may have years of experience. >> i know you are working towards getting a degree. have you gotten nibbles or interviews. >> i, in the early stages of my unemployment, i did have a few nibbles, but it was mostly temp work, and you go two, three interviews and they go on another candidate. >> the average payment is about $300 a week for the unemployment benefits. how much do you depend on these. what are you doing, i am sure this is less than what you were earning when you were working? >> i rely solely on my unemployment benefit checks. honestly, it's not enough to cover my current bills. it's rough. >> i know that it's not enough to cover your bills or barely coming close to it, christo
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brandi, what happens if the unemployment payments don't come back. >> we are looking at what is the next option if you don't have a job. will you be out on the streets. who will be couch surfing. who will take care of things you have. i have pets, where will they go >> the president touched on the subject of who we are talking about when we say long-term unemployed. and the urban institute looked at statistics. they found: >> are you considering - i know that brandi is considering trying to get a degree. are you considering getting more training, going back to school? >> i have my associates, but that is not enough. the majority of the jobs, you
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know, they require a bachelor's degree, so i am looking to pursue my education. >> brandi, you had a chance to see what your competition is like for the jobs. when you go to the unemployment lines, do you think your age, even though you are still quite young, is it hurting you when you compete with the recent graduates. >> partially i do... >> i guess on certain softwares or propriety devices that they may use. >> i'm talking about devices, both of you doctor your computers eessential because you are using them to search for your jobs. i want to get from both of you. what do you say to the republican party in congress, john boehner saying this is too much money, where it's billions paid out every year, when the
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government, the administration is not coming up with ways to pay for it. what would you tell him? >> well, i would tell him a lot of us have worked years. we pay our taxes. even social security. so why not be afforded the um benefits, especially after working so many years. and being paid taxes and everything else. so i don't understand why we cannot have the extended unemployment benefits. >> i know you were laid off, a third round of lay-offs at a company you had work the at for 11 years. >> yes. >> brandi, what would you say to john boehner. >> i would tell him why don't he take a pay cut. they take on pay extensions, raises. why can't they take a cut and say hey, we'll take that money and send it to those unemployed.
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>> i thank you both for your thoughts and wish you both all the best and the best of luck in finding work in the coming months. thank you both for being with us. >> ahead - so much for self-driving cars, how about cars that can talk to each other. we'll tell you how the latest technology affects how you drive, and all sorts of other high-tech products coming up next. also it's cold up there, how freezing? states across america were colder than your standard meat locker. that is next. and the top secret plans for n.a.s.a.'s new space planes, some details just got leaked.
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>> we may not have hover boards, but plenty of new technology arrived at los angeles, at the innovation show. tim stevens is there at the los angeles convention centre. he's an al jazeera contributor. it's great to have you on the show. there's a delay because the satellite connection. i want to start with cars.
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they were a big deal at the show, because of the advancements we are seeing with self-driving cars. what are you seeing? >> yes, we are seeing interesting self-driving demonstrations. there's a car that audi has that can drive itself. you can park it from a phone. it will back into a parking spot. the most exciting is a vmw demonstration. put in the back of a vmw, raced around the track and drifted and kicked the tail out. it was exciting to say the least. >> there's also vehicle to vehicle conversation and an android alliance with google. vehicle to vehicle communications are something that are more important in the future. warning you when something is going on. mercedes deployed this. if you pull your mercedes over and pop the hood, it send
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notifications to other mercedes, letting them know there may be traffic. and the autoalliance. manufacturers, including honda are getting together to come up with ways to get android in the car. it's a basic idea to make it easier for a smartphone. not too many details, we'll see cars in there. tvs, and the show's bread and butter. from crazy hd tvs. 4k television. is the picture going to get much clearer. >> yep, 4k television is four-times the resolution of an hp 10 television. it's getting bigger and more beautiful. 105, 110-inch display. this seems crazy, but the idea
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is as you sit in a swede spot, the tv bends, giving you a clear picture. it's very much a prototype and expensive. 20-30-plus thousand. a tv that bends and flexes is a crazy thing, something you see at c.b.s. for now anyway. >> how does the curved screen help? >> the idea is basically that for each pixel, shooting light. if you sit in front of the tv, you want it bent around to be shooting the light at you. as the tvs get bigger. if it bend around it will give you a better picture. if you have multiple people on the couch, there'll be a perfect sweet spot. if you hit a button on a remote. it bends, hits a button, over 13 seconds, it's interesting to see. it's not something that is
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practical. >> i look forward to one of those. we have heard about the future of gadgets being wearable technology. smart watches have advanced. >> absolutely. one of the biggest announcements. i'm watching it, wearing it. there are two versions. there's a stageless steel version. it's the first metal version of the pebble. they raised over $10 million. it's an all-metal body version. it's cheap looking, it looks nicer. pebel is nicer. pebble is writing apps, it's distributed easily. mercedes benz signed on. you can get notifications from your car to the wrist where you parked your car, where the tyre pressures are, service reminders. it's increasing.
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this will be 250. already there's a biometric tracking device that you wear that tells you if you slept well. are there more advances on that front? >> there are dozens here, not many drastically different to before. nothing revolutionary. it's a growing market. more and more people are buying the devices and the services provided are being built up. they are getting smarter about tracking your sleep. now they are able to detect if you go to the gym or ride your bike, making them useful. we have a ways to go before they are smart sensors. they are not sensitive or active enough. >> video games are taking a leap forward with virtual reality. >> it was a big thing and fell
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out of fashion. ocolus rift was a big success, they launched ocolus rift, and have a new service. it can detect your head in 3d space. it was a set of goggles. before i could track your head, so if you look right and left, it could change the perspective, now it leans left and right. you imagine being in a video game, you get behind a wall and look at them. cool stuff. they say we'll see it this year. they didn't say how much it will cost. >> we look at the pictures of people wearing those things. they look at alien zombies. we heard, we almost all have smartphones. you were looking at smart toothbrushes. it's definitely anned in that you think is crazy.
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the more you hear about it, it makes sense. a smart toothbrush tracks how long you brush your death, when, and how well you have done. there's an accelerometer inside so you can tell your emotions. when you think about a parent ug it for the kids, you can tell. parents can track the kids, make sure they brush their kids and give them rewords based on how well they brush their kids, with the toothbrush uploading your stats. >> you must want all the gadgets and take them home. it will be a while for a lot of them to be available. tim stevens, great to have you on the show. enjoy yourself in vegas. >> time to see what is trending on al jazeera's website. >> new report out today by the
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american cancer society points to a 20% drop in cancer death rates, over 1 million lives saved in the last two decades, due to a decrease in smoking. not much attention is paid to lung cancer, but it accounts for more than one in every four cancer deaths. a headline is progress among middle aged. cancer declined 50%. though positive that this finding was tempered death rates are higher among black men to white men for every major cancer. for 2014, lung, colon and prostate cancers will account for cancers with men and women. the three most common is lung, at the top, colon and breast. you can read more at the website aljazeera.com. tweet us your thoughts on this story. it goes without saying, get your
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screening, see your doctors, it's good news, as we know, cancer can strike anybody at any time. >> it can. ahead - america's battling freezing temperatures, we'll tell you how the cold in one case helped to fight crime. >> n.a.s.a.'s mysterious space plane. some developments out of a sci-fi film.
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>> today's data dive is freedsing. just as america is this week. the national weather service says parts of all 50 states fell
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below the freezing mark of 32 degrees farenheit. more than half of all americans, 187 million have been under a windchill warning or advisory. the associated press says every major weather reporting station in minneapolis and wisconsin relaid temperatures below zero. south dakota barely missed the mark. if you thought you could fly your way out of the problem, not really. more than one in 10 domestic flights were cancelled on monday. by 11:30am, the numbers are not much better. it was so cold the only polar bear in the lincoln park zoo spent most of the time inside. for context your freezers need to say at zero so millions of americans could have saved on their energy bills by unclogging them and putting their freezers
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outside. normally it begins at 32 degrees, and maybe that's why we got so many reports from new york. people who not long after a shower, whose hair froze. robert vick, an escaped inmate in kentucky turned itself in. he was out for a day. it was 20 below zero. he called the cops, so he can get back to the warmer prison cell. even scraepd prisoners feel the coal. >> and next n.a.s.a.'s new planes.
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>> a new planet has been discovered about 200 light years away. what is interesting is the exoplanet weighs about the same as the earth even though it's 60% larger with a thick gassious atmosphere. a new scrooet space plane --
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secret space plane, the air force and boeing teaming up to build a space plane a quarter of the size of the space shuttles. what will be its mission. >> we are joined by derrick pitts from the franklin institute science museum. let's start with the top secret air force plane. it's described as a smaller version of the shuttle, housed at the kennedy space center. many details are classified. there are reports that it will bring in a couple of hundred of jobs. why are they being secretive. >> the reason they are so secretive is because it's an air force platform in space for planetry surveillance looking at the surface and looking at satellites on orbit as well. so this is really just a vehicle that allows them to spy looking both down at the surface and looking at satellites in orbit. >> in fact, that is, as far as we know, what the use of the
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plane will be. >> as far as we know that's what the use it. we have to remember that this is the air force that is using it. they have been secretive about it. there are three of these craft. the third one that we are now finding out about called x37c has been in orbit for a full year, the two before that launched last year and the year before. they are back on earth now. because they belong to the air force, that is being used. the cool thing is coming to kennedy space centre or cape canaveral to make use of a hanger does bring jobs? >> an their that lost a lot of jobs. let's move on to new planets weighing the same as the earth. temperatures are too hot to support life as we know it on earth. it is an important discovery. >> it is an important discovery. >> we have to put it in the
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right context. new planets are discovered all the time, up to 1,000. new planets orbiting other stars. >> in this instance, even though this is somewhat earth like, the interesting part of the discovery is the way in which it was made. it was made by astronomers looking at the orbital motion of one of three planets orbiting the star, and another companion planet. the difference between how they orbit the star helps scientists to figure out how much it weighs. it's a new technique, shouldn't use it interchangeably, but close enough. >> that is something that hadn't happened before. this is the first time they've measured things that that way. >> using that particular method to get the degree of accuracy that they have been able to get. that's an interesting point about this.
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it's difficult to gather this data with fine division, if you will, over a long distance. so i think, you know, we need to give a tip of the hat to engineers who devised incredible devices that do a good job of measuring. >> it's amazing. 200 light years for them to do that. let's turn to a different planet. a mock mars mission has begun in the utah desert. a grew has gotten together, simulating what it might be like to live on the red planet. they have pictures taken by elizabeth howl. what is the point of this. what can they learn? >> it will be probably, certainly, the most changing expedition that humans have made to leave the planet and going to mars. going to the mon is one thing. going to mars is 60 days. sorry, six months away. at the at least, and so it will
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be a long trip. the minimum amount of time you spend on a trip is three years. this simulation will help scientists under how people need to live and work together effectively so they can have a successful mission. once they are out there they are on their own and need to depend on each other. it's important to understand how they'll work together. >> you believe a simulated nation can prepare them in that way. >> simulated missions are important. they set a great model and give people a chance to train. two weeks is on the short side. a trip to mars, as i said, is six months away at least. two weeks gives some indication and looks at specific things that they might be interested in studying. they need to spend more time. there has been other simulated mars missions in the past that lasted much longer and give better results. it's better to have more data points. >> why do this in utah.
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other than the fact it's in a desert area that might resemble mars in some way, and warmer in utah than it is on mars. wouldn't it be better to be in a colder place. >> it might be better to be in a colder place. if folks were working in a colder environment that would make it challenging for the complete operation of support for them and everything else. being in a warmer place like this makes it easier on the total operation, and they have the environment, the surrounding geology and geography, and is more mars like than other places. >> we have talked about similar missions on the show before. the mars one foundation starting out of netherlands, hoping to put people on the red planet and have a colony on the red planet starting by 2025. how realistic is this.
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they have volunteers, culled 200,000 people who volunteered down to a little over 1,000, how close are we to making a real voyage to mars. we have about 30 seconds. >> mars one wants to put someone on mars by the early 2020s. whether it's realistic is another question. approximately be a difficult trip to get everything together. but it's something that humans want to do. >> do you think it will be practicable, something that can happen soon? >> it is something that can happen that soon. we made the trip to the moon and get the technology together to make it happen for mars. we have to be determined. >> great to have you on the show. the show may be over. the conversation continues on the website. or on our facebook or google+ pages. you can also find us on twitter.
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see you next time. >> hello, welcome to al jazeera america. i'm richelle carey in new york. john seigenthaler has the night off. south sudan's orphans, the story you have to hear from the american couple vowing to rescue children caught in the crossfire. >> seeking shelter from the cold. the toll on the young and homeless. >> breaking silence before the n.s.a. leaks, there was the ipp famous fbi burglary. after 43 years they are talking. >> plus, fish out of water. taking on the army corp of engineers $18 billion plan to stop the menace of the mississippi.

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