good evening, everyone, welcome to al jazeera america. i'm john siegenthaler in new york. a new war on poverty, 50 years later a look at the nation's historic efforts to improve the lives of struggling americans. plus -- ♪ happy birthday to -- >> outrage over dennis rodman has he sings good wishes to north korea's leader. also this -- >> it would be unprecedented for the state to forcibly divorce 900-plus coupled. >> confusion in utah new questions about whether gay marriages are legal in the
state. and new questions for the governor of new jersey and how a growing discussion over traffic could impact his presidential aspirations. ♪ we begin tonight with a tough look at the successes and failures in this country when it comes to taking care of america's neediest people. exactly 50 years anding tonight, president lyndon johnson declared a war on poverty. the result, hallmark programs. today the white house says the war on poverty has been successful. the administration says some things, but not everyone is so optimistic. >> our federal government is a major impediment to the enterprise and engenuity of our
people. expensive tax code, and unsustainable national dead are suffocating this economy. that's why poverty and inequality has gotten worse. >> tomorrow president obama is expected to announce a new offensive against poverty in this country. he'll call for creation of promise zones for some of the poorest areas in the country. these areas will be eligible for governmental help. one major u.s. city where the need is greatest is detroit. and that's where tonia moseley is tonight. >> we are at the train station in detroit that has been vacant since 1988. but the lights behind me signify
the hope for change. the year was 1966, motor city was the ott automotive and music city capitol of the world. detroit was considered a model city. in 1967 the federal government sent $490 million to detroit to fight the 36% poverty rate, fund low income housing and social programs, but in the summer of that year, this. a domestic rebellion, rioters destroyed entire city blocks, dozens of people were killed thousands injured. >> 1967 was first and foremost about police brutality and violence against people in the inner city of detroit, and the lack of economic opportunity. those were two things that the poverty programs weren't -- weren't set up to
address. >> reporter: sheila was a civil rights activist and later a member of the detroit city council. >> the fiction is it was a model city. >> reporter: an emple of black-white conflict that exploded. auto plants and middle class jobs moved to the suburbs. >> we thought we were a model of good race relations, and we found out we weren't. and once the riots districted that notion, populations began to leave the city big time. >> reporter: still some programs worked. the mom and tots clinic was one of them. >> i don't think there was anything like that anywhere nearby. >> reporter: it was funded by the war on poverty and much
beloved, untouched by the rioters. >> it worked because it was local. >> reporter: the program operated out of this corner storefront for 15 years, and while it was able to survive the riots, it did not survive the economic decline. john gallagher believes the rebound of the city will not come from a government-funded war on poverty. >> it's not just a big government solution, it's all of these other things we're trying on the ground. >> reporter: 50 years after the war on poverty, the hope is that the city's resurrection will now come from small businesses, private donors, and people who care. now some of those federal programs are still around, just a few of them like head start and upward bound, but as gallagher said most of the
programs here today in detroit are those smaller ones at the grassroots level. >> tanya thanks very much. 50 years ago, president johnson said every american deserves a basic level of security. >> reporter: america is still among the richest in the world, so who are the ones in poverty? back in 1964 you had to make less than $1,500 a year. today it's about $11,000 annually if you live alone. if you make minimum wage you are likely not in poverty unless you have kids. so is the u.s. winning the war? some worry no, because the official poverty rate has barely moved over the decades. it is now at 15%, 50 years ago 19% of americans were in poverty. but studies show without all of those government benefits like food stamps and social security, the rate would have been very
likely much higher at nearly 30% today. evidence some say those government programs work. also keep in mind the united states no longer has children starving, and almost everyone has indoor plumbing. and that could not be said 50 years ago. another bright spot, the elderly, now less than 10% in poverty. medicare and social security get a lot of credit for that. that also raises criticism the u.s. may not be helping if it is just giving money to the poor. america has spent close to a trillion dollars a year fighting poverty that breaks down to about $20,000 a year per person. so the worry is that the war on poverty did not do enough to create actual jobs. because one thing is clear, nearly all of the people who have full-time jobs are not in poverty. >> mary francis berry was a
college student when president johnson delivered his speech on the war on poverty. she is joining us tonight from new orleans. it's good to see you. thanks for joining us. >> good evening. >> what was it like 50 years ago when the president made that speech? what was the mood of the nation? >> the mood of the nation was to be concerned about poverty. jfk and rfk has talked about it. michael harrington has written the other america about the poverty and we had seen some of it through the civil rights movement, and i personally had experienced it. i was in my ninth year of working full-time and going to college undergraduate and graduate school, eight hours a day, and school all day, and growing out of a situation where i spent time in an orphanage and was poor and hungry most of my
young life. >> so what did the new war on poverty mean for you? >> what it meant for me was hope that while i had no loans and grants to go to college, by the time my younger brother went there were pell grants so people could go to college. worrying about being hungry, soon there was food stamps and food availability. word about medical care soon for poor people. there was medicaid, so there were lots of changes that took place, and even jobs programs that were set up, so what the war on poverty meant was hope that things would change and a lot of things did change. >> so the white house says the poverty rate is now around 16%, is the country better off? >> we are a heck of a lot better off than we were, and we probably would be worse off if we didn't have it. but what we need is jobs and good wages so people can work
themselves out, and that's what the minimum wage and living wage movement is about, and education for the jobs that do exist, not exindication for jobs that don't exist. >> there is a poll out today that says that 80% of americans are economically insecure, and there's this huge disparity between the rich and the poor in this country today. so how does that factor into it? >> well, we know that that's the case, that the gap has been growing larger and larger. we have never gotten the right balance between, for example, free trade on the one hand, and jobs leaving the country on the other hand. the decline of unions and the inability to organize, workers to organize has affected this. the skills gaps. all of these things have occurred and we have not addressed them. at the time of the war on poverty, there was a bipartisan
move to change things, republicans and democrats. if republicans today want to help to change things so long as they understand it's jobs, wages, education, change might come. we do need a war on poverty, the war on poverty that occurred was more like a skirmish, the war on vietnam drained some of the money and funding out of it, but we certainly need a war whatever we call it today. >> thanks for being on the program tonight. >> all right. sure thing. while leaders agree that the war on poverty is far from over, there is more encouraging news on the job front. ali velshi says it all points to better economic growth going forward. >> we're getting the big report on friday, but we get this report every month just a few days before the government jobs report from adp. it says that private employers
hired staff at the fastest pace in some time. and showed solid gains in higher-paying jobs, construction workers hired the most since 2006. mark zandy says we're now going to start to see an economic recovery more typical of the economic recoveries that we have seen historically. worth noting that the national federation of independent businesses came out with a report and said that 1345u8 businesses hied the most workers in nearly eight years in december. so usually we see this report as a harbinger to the big jobs report. so this is good news. >> what are we expecting for friday's report? >> the difference between this report and friday's report is this is about private sector hiring, the government report is all hiring. everything that is not
agriculture, basically. analysts and economists were looking to at 106,000 new jobs added in this december, but because of this adp report, some of are revising their estimates a little bit higher. so we're probably looking to have created about 200,000 jobs in december. here is the thing, typically is it a mix of private and government jobs, but as you know there are no government jobs being added. so every last job will be a new private sector job, that's why we think today's report is reflective of what we'll see on friday. >> ali thank you. now to north korea where former nba basketball star dennis rodman is helping the country's leader celebrate his birthday. he calls kim jong un his best
friend. >> reporter: he has taken a group of fellow nba stars over to an exhibition game. before 14,000 fans, he sang happy birthday to the hermit leader of north korea, kim jong un. take a listen. ♪ happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you ♪ >> that might have been okay, except that north korea and kim jong un have a terrible human rights record. many of their people are thought to be starving, and he had his uncle killed simply because he was becoming too much of a political threat to him. and there is also the issue of ken bay, an american being held in north korea. he is a travel agent and also a deeply committed christian who the government there accuses of
trying to spread the gospel and undermine the government. they have jailed him for 15 years hard labor. his sister is very unhappy of what denny rodman and his friends are doing. at the white house they are refusing to comment on what is otherwise a private visit. safe to say they want north korea to live up to its obligations in the world and set ken bay free. >> kenneth bae's family has waited more than a year for his release, and his sister joins us now. welcome to the program. >> thank you for having me. >> first of all give me your reaction to what has happened in the last 24 hours regarding dennis rodman. >> we were shocked and just appalled. it's one thing for him to say -- [ inaudible ] and that's okay.
he's a private citizen, but it's another thing to hurl these outrageous accusations against my brother. he clearly doesn't know what he is talking about. he is uninformed about the case, and we were shocked by that. this isn't a game, this is a serious issue with a person's life on the line. >> let us play a sound bite that came from cnn. >> one thing about politics, kenneth bae, if you are going to say what kenneth bae did, do you understand what he did. >> what did he do? you tell me. >> to this country. >> what do you think is behind this, terry? >> it's hard to know. i'm not sure who he has been talking to. where he's getting his information, but, you know, i don't think dennis rodman has any authority to pass judgment on kenneth bae that's for sure.
>> there are some questions about whether dennis rodman should have this platform to say these things and make accusations that are not based in fact. what do you think? >> i certainly don't think so. if he doesn't know what he is talking about, then i think he should not comment and that's my opinion. >> do you think he could really help kenneth bae? >> you know, we knew it was a long shot, but we certainly hoped that he could at least try, only because he is the only american that has met with the leader. so when you have some possibility of influence in a situation like this, you would think as a fellow american, you could try to help. there is a father of three who has been in prison for more than a year, so we hoped at least that he could try, and he had offered his help at some point,
which is why we held that hope. >> this is an extremely delicate situation for you and your family. but your mother visited your brother in october. can you tell us how his health was. >> it was improving, but still in poor health. he has chronic conditions, including diabetes, enlarged heart, and severe leg and back injury that does not allow him to stand for more than 30 minutes at a time. and knowledge with that condition trying to work in a hard labor camp. so he has been in the hospital and is still being held in a hospital there. >> are you getting any information from the u.s. government? >> we're told they are doing whatever they can. they have tried to second an envoy in for which we're grateful, in august, but it has been a long time since then. and i know the u.s. government is doing what they can, but every day that passes by is just too long. and we want to see him home now.
>> terry it's great to have you on the program. thank you. >> thank you so much. the u.s. military is investigating its second deadly helicopter crash in just two days. rescuers are searching for the crew of a helicopter that plunged into the sea today. the navy says the helicopter was doing a routine training mission when it went down. and an investigation is ukkedway to find out why another helicopter went down in britain yesterday. that accident killed four u.s. service members. officials say the helicopter crashed into a nature preserve during a low-level training mission. bridge to nowhere, how new york city bridge traffic could impact governor chris christie's political career. plus pot push back, former
addicts have a warning. >> an exclusive "america tonight" investigative series >> we traveled here to japan to find out what's really happening at fukushima daiich >> three years after the nucular disaster, the hidden truth about the ongoing cleanup efforts and how the fallout could effect the safety of americans >> are dangerous amounts of radioactive water, leaking into the pacific eververyday? >> join america tonight's michael okwu for an exclusive four part series, as we return to fukushima only on al jazeera america sense for some people. >> you may want all these gadgets and want to take them home. it will be a while for a lot of them to be available to us. that great to have you on the show, good to see you, enjoy yourself out there in vegas. >> time now to see what's trending on aljazeera america's website. >> a new report out today by the american cancer society points to a 20% drop in can senior death rates, over a million lives saved in the last decades
due in large part to a smoking decrease. not much attention is paid to lung cancer, but it accounts for more than one in every four cancer deaths. a big headline is progress among middle aged black men. from noon 91 to 2010 cancer death rates have declined 50% among black men in that age range. death rates are still higher among black men than white men ♪ it is a busy bridge, and he is considered a possible republican front runner in the 2016 race for the white house. but tonight, governor chris christie is in the middle of a controversy, a new jersey
conflict that could have national implications. >> reporter: emails show top aid to chris christie instigated lane closures last year at the approach to the george washington bridge in order to punish a mayor who refused to endorse chris christie. the email went to a friend of christive's who had been overseeing bridges and tunnel. got it came the response. one month later, the agency closed several lanes as part of what it called a traffic study. for several days the amount of time it caused to cross the bridge stretched to four hours. another christy's aide said is
it wrong that i'm smiling. >> let's not pretend this is because of the gravity of the issue. >> reporter: but the prospect of his team settling political scores by inconveniencing hundreds of thousands of people have provener -- irresistible to a democrat. national democrats have ceased on the controversy as well. patrick leahy is demanding a federal investigation. meanwhile in new york and new jersey commuters are torn. >> i think people are going to be upset about it, but i don't know how much it is going to be felt. >> whenever traffic lanes are shut down it is never a good thing, but, you know, what can you do. >> reporter: late wednesday
governor christy issued a written statement declaring the lane closures inappropriate, and now the question is whether the aids agree with his version or not. david shuster, al jazeera. now to colorado, if you are 21 or older you can now legally purchase pot. but some are concerned about the state's new marijuana law and they think the drug can have a negative impact on young people. >> around age 12, age 13, i wanted to feel different. >> reporter: and just like that recovering addict paul says his 30-year struggle with marijuana was underway, smoking once a week soon became once a day. he was hooked. >> i did the bare minimum of what i had to do to get by and continue to be able to use pot. >> reporter: studies show that teens who start smoking pot
early smoke more and more often. and the brains of heavy users can develop abnormally. the big question now is colorado's new retail weed regime sending teens a dangerous message. >> there is a concern that if young people get the sense that it is not really a big deal, they don't see any reason to not use. >> reporter: this doctor says yes. >> more and more kids are viewing it as harmless essentially. >> reporter: mason, one of the leaders of colorado's legalization campaign, says the problems aren't the new laws, it's the old laws everywhere else. >> if the goal is to keep marijuana away from teens and more than 80% say they can get it easily. it's the sign of a failed policy. >> reporter: in the 1930s americas freaked out about
reefer madness, but with poll after poll now showing a favor of legalization, today they are more in tune with dazed and confused. that trend worries dr. christian who sees parallels between the public understanding of marijuana and tobacco. >> just as with our public health struggle with tobacco, the truth came out about its connection with cancer. >> today paul is a rehab support specialist, but he lost his old job, his home, and his marriage, but he finally kicked his habit. >> i was talking myself into believing that it was okay. it's just marijuana. >> reporter: experts say we just do know enough about the effects of marijuana on the human body. but that could be able to change here in marijuana.
state lawmakers are back in session and considering up to $7 million on marijuana research. the obama administration is forced to defend itself. plus utah governor says the gay marriages in that state will not be recognized. i'll have reaction from the first gay couple to tie the knot. else will ask. >> it seems like they can't agree to anything in washington no matter what.
welcome back to al jazeera america. i'm john siegenthaler in new york. and here are the top stories. the war on poverty, president obama warns that 50 years after the war was declared, too many americans are being born into lives of hardship. the white house tomorrow he will announce creation of new promise zones focusing on job creation and education in five of the poorest parts of the country. >> new jersey's gov for chris
christie is responding to null -- newly released emails about closing traffic lanes in retaliation of a mayor who refused to support christie. and the u.s. military is investigating two separate helicopter crashes, two navy crew members were killed yesterday, and an air force helicopter crashed in britain kills four service members. the white house responding to harsh criticism by robert gates. it's especially hard on the vice president, joe biden. let's go to washington and mike viqueira with the response. >> he served both republican and democratic administrations.
but former defense secretary, robert gates's new book has hit washington like a bomb shell. it is highly critical of the nation's top leadership, while american troops are still in the field and still in combat. and today the white house was on the defensive. >> read any good books lately? >> reporter: sarcasm from the president's spokesman, but the up coming memoir allegations were no laughing matter. joe biden was the victim of outright scorn . . . wednesday for the first time in five years the white house allowed a photo opof the weekly lunch the president has with biden. it looked like a show of solidarity, though joe carney insisted it was not in response
to the book. >> vice president biden is a key advisor on national security matters and domestic policy matters and other matters for in president, and the president greatly values the council he provides. >> reporter: gates lauds president obama in places, such as the decision to go after osama bin laden, but he describes the president as suspicious of military leaders . . . resentful for having been backed into a corner, mr. obama was . . . spokesman carney said the president made his goals in afghanistan clear from the
start. >> he thought it was very important to ensure that we had a withdrawal date; that we -- even after we surged our forces as part of refocusing the mission and bringing pressure on al-qaeda central, that we would also begin the drawdown or after that begin the drawdown, and that's the commitment he made and the commitment he is keeping. >> reporter: carney played down the certains of the apparent dislike of karzai will complicate future relations. >> the issues are not about personalities, they are about policies. >> reporter: and before gates served in the obama administration he served for two years in the bush administration. and he does not go unscathed as well.
john? >> all right. mike viqueira at the white house. mike thank you. today marks three years since a gunman opened fire on congress woman gabby giffords and others in this tucson, arizona. [ bell tolling ] >> the mayor of tucson rang a bell 19 times in honor of the 19 people killed and injured in the shooting. giffords marked the day in an unusual way. she went skydiving oversouthern arizona with a friend. her husband met her on the ground and tweeted that he is proud of her bravery. in utah about 1400 same-sex couples were married after a federal judge found the state's ban on gay marriage was
unconstitutional. but now pending a u.s. supreme court appeal, utah says it will not recognize those gay marriages. these two are the first two have gotten married. welcome to both of you. michael you first, what is your reaction? >> so many things to say. my reaction is i think it's pathetic that the governor has shown his true stripes to single people of lbgt status, give us no due process, and invite a hail storm of unnecessary expenditures of energy in his own state. >> we were talking about the legal and practical implications of same-sex couples who were married. so where do you stand now? >> he said they are not
nullified but not recognized. so we -- we don't know. we -- we have been told that our marriage license would be recognized in other states that recognize marriage equality like california and new york, but not in the state where we were legally married, so we feel in a really weird place. >> right. so michael what could be the consequences for both of you? >> well, this is the thing, not to sound cheesy, but as long as seth and i have each other there is so much love and happiness in our lives, and that is what is most threatening to the governor in this state. >> what is behind the governor's decision today? >> i think it's clear he really does not like gay people. >> and operating lawlessly to select a group of people and marriage licenses and say these marriage licenses are legal, but we're just going to disregard
them. that to me just underscores how much the religious right in utah hates gay people. >> and do i understand you both are going to get involved in the legal battle now? >> we're figuring that out. >> it's possible. we have been seeing posts on facebook and twitter about ac lu getting involved and other individual lawsuits. maybe a class action lawsuit, so there is definitely litigation of fire storm about to open up in utah. >> you guys have been on with us a couple of times, and there is clearly a change in tone tonight. can you give us a sense of what you are feeling. >> i -- i -- to be honest i do feel a little shaken up. the stay yesterday didn't come as a surprise to me. but today to have the governor of the state where i live single me out, and single out my family and my marriage and say we don't like you, and you are not equal,
and we're not going to recognize you is alarming, and frustrating and sad inning and outrageous. >> and we really are hoping the nation is watching and saying this is an outrage. this has to be addressed at a national level. >> we'll see what action you take in the future. good to have you on the program again thank you. >> thank you. years of bloody fighting in africa have lead to a generation of migrants, and that migration is causing tension in israel. >> reporter: this man has lived here for six years, but it no longer feels like home. he arrived here illegally, after fleeing horrible violence in his home country. >> there is nothing. and you are risking to be killed at any moment. >> reporter: at first this quiet
community outside of tel-aviv was welcoming. we applied for asylum, but he heard nothing. >> now it explodes. >> reporter: that explosion is unprecedented protest. 10,000 people boarded buses to jerusalem. >> i hope our voice will be heard by the government of israel, and that they are going to change their mind. >> reporter: and when they got there they filled the park that overlooks the israeli parliament. never before have this many non-israelis spilled this space. and the protest leaders showed up for appointments with politicians inside. but one of them blocked entry. eventually liberal members heard their grievances. >> no one checked any single
asylum request. and this is really inhuman. >> reporter: for years these migrants tried to keep a low profile, but now they say they have no choice, because they feel the israeli government is trying to throw them into prison. israel argues the vast majority of the migrants don't qualify for asylum, because they are here for jobs. >> translator: we are talking about illegal work migrants who infiltrate illegally, and we are determined to punish them to the fullest extent of the law. >> reporter: mussa is determined to change the government's mind. he'll continue protesting. >> reporter: my -- >> my father and mother -- >> reporter: because he has nowhere else to go. when you look at these photos does it make you miss your family? >> it makes me dream of when i
can see them again. when i can be surrounded with my loved ones. >> reporter: but you can't go back? >> i can't go back. >> reporter: and that's why he continues to fight to stay here. nick shiftren, al jazeera, jerusalem. soccer's 2022 world cup may be moving. an official with the international governing body said the game may be rescheduled to take place in winter not summer. organizers say a final decision has not been made. a gambling scandal sparks an investigation into the university of texas el passo basketball program. what sort of evidence are we hearing now? >> john, tim floor the coach of the team received a tip. he alerted the athletic
department. they turned it over to the focal chapter of the fbi, and the results of the investigation went out today. >> it has been determined that three men's basketball players, did participate on betting on one or more sporting events. to date, there has been, and there is no indication of any point shaving involved. let me repeat that. to date, we have no evidence of point shaving involved. however, gambling is a very serious ncaa rule infraction. >> and that's a very important point. that they did not bet on their actual games, but gambling is something the ncaa doesn't tolerate. the ncaa does annual studies on
gambling, and their latest study said that 26% of male student athletes bet on sports within the past year, but again, sports wagering of any kind is strictly prohibited, and that includes fantasy leagues, sports pools, and internet gambling, when you include those 57% of college athletes bet. >> what happens to these three players? >> again, gambling very serious in the eyes of the ncaa. they have been kicked off of the team and lose a year of eligibility. and for two of these players their collegiate careers are now over. >> so there is a program that is not very well-known, and what is the impact it might have? >> they are off to a pretty good start to the year, but their
leading scorer has been kicked off of the team. and the head coach said all three of these players would be important if they made the tournament. the last time they made the tournament was back in 2010. you may remember this team in 1966 when they were known as texas western, and they won beating the all white team of kentucky, with an all black starting five. >> michael thank you very much. next up, sochi security. i'll talk to one of the men in charge of emergency evacuation plans for the u.s. ski and snowboard teams. plus coconut crisis, the tropical fruit is in high demand but short supply.
chill is not as brutal. parts of nebraska, down to oklahoma, you dropped your temperatures down some spots as low as 20 degrees coaler at this hour. so with storm systems certainly in the central portion of the state there will be areas tonight with no storms, clear skies. you will see potentially the aurora bore all las, it is interacting now with the poles, and we can see that in places like the barron sea. but because of the storm moving through, you'll have clouds so you want be able to see the aurora as likely as we might be able to see it around the great lakes. again, away from the city lights. but a lot of snow in the
it's being called the ring of steel, russia's security perimeter about the sochi olympic games. and tens of thousands of police have been deemployed to the region. last week 34 people were killed in if two bomb attacks. that prompted the russian president to order more security measures, but some american athletes are taking security even further. experts who can evacuate athletes from the village of the
ski slopes from several miles away if necessary. joining us now is dan richards who's company will be providing crisis response to the u.s. ski and snowboarding team. thanks for being on the program. >> thanks for having me. >> how is this olympics different than others you have worked. >> you have a security concern that is obviously impacting winter olympic and snow sport competition, and you don't typically run into this type of environment affecting these types of athletic competitions. >> clearly the russian go has a tight grip on olympic security. however, how would you get u.s. athletes out of the olympic village in case something happens. >> sochi has some obvious geographical challenges associated with it. on one side you have the black
sea. on the other side you have a ring of mountains, and there are limbed access points to get into the region, so the best method would be air out of the sochi airport. and if that were unavailable we'll look for other ways. we have been involved in most of the global crises over the last decade. so it's not unusual that we would have clients such as the u.s. ski and snowboard association, that they would is ask us to try to assist them. >> it sounds almost like certain teams are hiring their own security. does all of this sort of take away from the spirit of the l h lich -- olympics. >> i think the olympics first
and foremost it is about the athletes, and i think the athletes will be focused on competing, and then it is about the fans, and i think the likelihood is the people attending these games are going to enjoy them. in the likelihood that something does happen is quite low. >> i suppose you don't want to tell us all of the details that your company is involved in, but can you give us a sense of how extensive your operation might be? >> let's just say that the planning that has gone into this, not only by global rescue, but also by ussa, the usfc, by the russias and many nations that are attending these games has been extensive. we have been planning for months to support ussa, and we know our friends and partners who will be over there have also been planning for quite a while -- >> i was going to say are there other companies providing
support to other teams? and what do you know about that? >> i actually don't know what other teams have decided to do. what i do know is what we're responsible for. >> and given the regional -- the geographics of this area, how confident are you that you could get these athletes out of the area if you needed to. >> well, that all depends, obviously, john, on what happens. and the likelihood that there is a major event that would prevent people from leaving the area is very, very low. could something happen at a check point, at one of the, you know, concentric circles of security, sure, something could happen. but would that result in a mass evacuation or the desire for many people to leave, i think the likelihood is -- >> hopefully your services won't be needed. thanks for joining us.
>> thank you, john. >> coming up, the reason i was not sitting in this chair last night. >> you are the prime time news anchor for al jazeera america. >> i am. >> okay. who got to you, and how? [ laughter ] plus the world supply of coconuts. we'll be right back. >> al jazeera's investigative unit has tonight's exclusive report. >> stories that have impact... that make a difference... that open your world... >> this is what we do... >> america tonight next only on al jazeera america
the world's supply of coconuts could be under threat. the un warning that demand is far outpacing supply. now india, top coconut producer is trying to fill the gap. >> reporter: coconuts are synonymous with this area. the state's name comes from the word meaning coconut. and it's easy to see why, the trees are everywhere. but even here, it's still not enough to keep up with demand. at this government-sponsored training camp, locals learn to climb coconut trees with the help of these machines, all in an effort to increase the number of coconut harvesters, and what
was once a job looked down upon it is becoming a popular profession. >> translator: i'm the fist one in my village to begin doing this. with the help of this machine it is easier and safer. >> reporter: it's not just simply climbing up trees, but also classroom work on treemaintenance, and yoga, before one can become a coconut harvester. but demand is set to out pace supply. >> this is a baby tree. >> reporter: coconut tree farming is booming here. this man has been farming here for 25 years. he says previously coconut trees were chopped down to make room for rubber trees. now that trend is reversing, and the coconut trees in his nursery are back in demand.
>> translator: the coconut price is now [ inaudible ] more than five [ inaudible ]. >> reporter: but supply hasn't risen enough, and traders are feeling the effects. times are tough at this coconut processing center. as farming coconuts become more popular, harvesting is also picking up and breathing new life into an old profession. and we want to wrap up this broadcast on a lighter note. most nights i am the one asking the questions. last night the tables were turned, and i left the anchor desk to visit stephen colbert. >> you are the prime time news anchor for al jazeera america. >> i am. >> who got to you and how? who turned you? when you were you radicalized? [ laughter ] >> well, i wasn't radicallized
but they approached me and asked me to host the -- >> do they have your family someplace? if this is stockholm syndrome, just blink and breathe. >> no, my family is safe. they asked me to anchor a newscast that focused on unbiased reports. >> oh, come on, this is al jazeera. >> this is al jazeera america. >> what is your angle? what -- what is the grift over there? it is liberal or it is fair and balanced is this >> no, no, i have no -- >> you have got to have a take. which one is it? [ cheers and applause ] >> which one are you? >> we have no angle. it's just the news. >> how do you keep people from being afraid of this? [ laughter ] >> you know, i can't keep people from being afraid of this, and i can't -- i can't convince people of that, all i can do is say watch what we do, and i think if they see what we do on the air,
and they see the stories we cover. i think they'll understand we're doing serious news. [ cheers and applause ] >> well, john, i think . . . [ applause ] >> -- if i know anything about the nsa, someone is watching what you are doing. [ laughter ] >> and our thanks to stephen colbert and the folks at the colbert report, now back to the real newsment coming up at 11:00. what a new jersey legislator wants to happen after the allegations involving new jersey governor chris christie. plus as good as the real thing, how one surgery performed in the u.s. is no more effective than a fake surgery. and today's top headlines in just a moment.
... welcome to al jazeera america. i am john seigenthaler in new york. u.s. military is investigating another helicopter crash. at least two navy crew members were killed in a crash today off of the virginia coast. yesterday, an air force helicopter crashed in britain killing four service members. the christie controversy. governor chris christie said there were several days of traffic jams on to the george washington bridge. critics say the governor's office was retaliating against a democratic mayor who refused to support christie. >> in utah, 1400 same-sex couples are in a state of legal confusion. state officials say they will no longerec