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tv   Consider This  Al Jazeera  January 28, 2014 9:00am-10:01am EST

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here is more of what is ahead. >> president obama prepares for address. >> tomorrow night it's time to restore opportunity for all >> it's an indication of a new bipartisan spirit. we need it. >> one thing that needs to economy.
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necessary. >> a u.s. citizen has been gaoled in dubai after putting out a parody video. >> i did nothing wrong. there was nothing illegal about the video. >> for once, i'm somebody nobody thought i could be. the feeling you get back - you can't even describe it. >> we begin with president obama's fifth state of union address, expected to focus on income and equality, education reform, the environment. the president offered a sneak monday. >> tomorrow night it's time to restore opportunity for all. >> it's an opportunity again. >> let's declare that in the wealthiest nation on earth no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty and raise the federal minimum wage
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to $9 an hour. leaders from the business, labour, law enforcement agrees that the time has come to pass comprehensive immigration reforms. now is the time to do it. now is the time to get it done. >> so what will be different this year as the president goes into his speech with record low disapproval numbers. >> this is a year of action, to work with congress where he can, and bypass congress where necessary to lift folks that class. >> for more we are join by lynn sweet from chicago suny buffalo law school. and bill schneider, a contributor for al jazeera english, and professor at the george mason university. year of action that jay carney is referring to. the president says he has his pen and his phone and it's
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shorthand for bypassing congress with executive powers. some republicans are saying he has to follow the constitution. are we in for worse gridlock. >> to the first point, executive orders and directives are not unconstitutional. unless the republicans find something that he signed, that they want to make a court case out of, that is not going to do it. it's almost a diminished presidency,if the president has to concede he has to bypass congress and he's talking of using the telephone and his pen to get things done. it's not the strongest starting point. the white house is saying he wants to strike an optimistic note going in. nothing wrong with that. it will be hard to have a year of action that the president is talking about. >> we are talking about not having a strong starting point. president obama going in with record low numbers.
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a gallop pole found 41% disapproved. a washington post poll found 37% had confidence he'd make the right decisions. 63% do not think he will. i am sure a lot of this is fall out from obamacare. 63% having no confidence in the president. that is tough. >> he's paying a price for breaking his word on obamacare. when he said "if you like your health care plan, you can keep it." it wasn't true and he apologised. he's paying a price for the fact that there's no economic boom. in regan's second term the economy was booming. and people forgave. in clinton's the economy was booming. people forgave monica lewinski. the ki -- economy is not booming. there's little the president can do to create prosperity.
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>> there's a positive sign that 3 million signed up for obamacare, but a survey showed 55% of americans don't know that march 31st is the deadline. a fox poll shows 59% of americans oppose the law. how big a problem is that for the president as he tries to get year. >> let me take one of those numbers that you mentioned and that is the march deadline for signing up: the reason that is important, it's only the practical thing for anyone to have, no matter your politics, if you don't have health insurance, you will face a penalty that you'll have to pay. that might be a wake-up call more effective an advertisements. but expect a push in mass marketing pushing the numbers, whatever you said it was, 55% were not aware. that number will change. there'll be a renewed effort.
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because the website is working, i know there might be some problems there, but certainly it was totally not functioning in the october roll out. the advertising will be able to probably sink in more because people could take action once they - once they know what their situation is going to be. >> for people are able to sign up. it's working better. we heard the head of etna talking about how big a problem it was, because so few young people have signed up. if there is a push and more young people sign up. there's a lot of talk that the average premium will be up for a majority of americans. if more young people don't sign up, it will be a disaster. >> well, i can tell you you said i teach college, and i do. students don't do anything until the last minute, or young people. they wait until the deadline. >> that's what they are banking on. we are likely to see more young people signing up.
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a lot of young people say "when is the penalty, how much will it be $95. next april - that is never. some will not bother. if that happens rates will go up, and they'll go up in october, a month before the midterm election. a lot of companies, like etna, anticipate big rate increases or the risk pool will be so heavy with older and sicker and poorer people that they won't be able crisis. >> if it happens before the election it weakens the president further. >> immigration reform was a big focus. speech, i talked to a republican congressman that was optimistic that it would go through. what do you think. >> i think it's a proposal that barack obama could make head bay on, we'll talk about looking for common ground.
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the democratic senate passed a bill. the house doesn't want to touch it. if you take bite-sized chunks, the republicans are up for it. paul ryan and mitt romney is willing. here is the one issue where i think it's hard, where democrats and rub caps will agree that students or youths in the country, through no fault of their own deserve a break. the democrats want a path to citizenship. republicans are looking at a path towards legalization. it will be hard to find comproblemingize. income equality is another big part of the speech. most of the things - one that the president called for is a minimum wage hike. do you think it will happen? >> it's popular, overwhelmingly popular. among voters it's popular.
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i'm optimistic that he can get a minimum wage hike through congress, over a number of years. it may not be as much as he wants. some say businesses won't hire true. there's a good possibility. the minimum wage hike is overwhelmingly popular. i wouldn't overstate the optimism. gun control was popular, the background checks, the early part of last year, and they didn't pass because there was a determined interest group that threatened members of congress against voting for it. >> republicans are pushing back on the income and equality. senator roy blunt says talk of bringing the middle class up is more the same. a pass to class warfare - we don't need the president saying that. americans believe that big government is one of the biggest threats we face.
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anywhere. >> i think an issue that we should look at or developments is what this may mean within the democratic family, where instead of talking the message on the middle class, it's poll-tested and focused grouped. when you talk about minimum wage, and income and equality, some don't hear that as middle class issues. so i think there is some work that barack obama may have to do to keep his sent rift right-leaning developments in line. if you call it middle class, you get more people with you, than if you talk about income and equality which has been democratic, obama administration catch phrase. >> the republicans are pushing back saying what the focus has to be on is creating jobs instead of talk about income and equality. let's talk about the republican family, the g.o.p. response to the speech is in full gear.
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senator ted cruz of texas listed a bunch of questions he wants the president to answer, in an effort to court women and combat the war on womenen, they'll have cathy cathy rogers to do the official, but we have mike lee doing a tea party rebuttal, and senator rand paul doing his own rebuttal. what does it say about the lack of leadership in the g.o.p. >> it says there's no leader of the g.o.p. it's not the former president bush or the nominee. it's not john mccain. there is no leader of the republican party. that is the problem. you have four or five different responses to the president's state of union because the together. >> rand paul is out there making a lot of noise in advance of the speech especially on the war on womenen.
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this is what he had to say. >> the media seems to have given president clinton a pass on this, someone that takes advantage of a young girl in their office, and have the gal to stand up and say republicans are having a war on womenen. >> one of those mistified as to why rand paul is going after bill clinton. anywhere? >> this is about rand paul, not the g.o.p. , which i do disagree with. there's one official response. hundreds of lawmakers enjoy responses, local, nationals. rand paul is provocative. that's why he brought up monica lieu inns ki. hoyne has a long record by now of being a senator and secretary of state. if you want to go at her for what she did in her capacity, do it. if you want to talk about the
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war on women ep, which is a package of issues that democrats talk about, including pay equity, the right to choose having access to women's preventative health care, that is the issues. rand paul bringing up what he did about don't , everyone knows about that. that is being provocative for the sake of getting attention for himself. >> the white house is promising, as lynn mentioned optimistic speech, but this is what the president said to the new yorkers. at the end of the day we are part of a long-running story. we try to get the paragraph right. the president was reflecting on past presidents, lincoln in particular, and how long it takes to get things done. doesn't it signal a sign of diminished expectations, the way he phrased that. >> yes, it signals a downscaling of his presidency.
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he has one thing he hopes will define his legacy. the health care bill. no american should be without health care, it's a big achievement. he's hoping that immigration reform will be the leing assy achievement of his second term. those are big things. as for other things, he needs on economic boom, he can't make it happen on his open, without the support of congress, and is pulling back expectations saying, "we are one paragraph in a long story", and we don't want to raise expectations too high for the remaining three years of this presidency, >> a final question, 30 seconds for each of you. do you think the speech will make a difference? >> stoounions rarely make a difference. if obama is into "lincoln", he should see the movie. there was a great scene where the congressman did deals to get what he wanted. >> you'll have five times as
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many watching the super bowl as you will the state of union speech. if someone shouts at the president or a supreme court justice mouths at the president that makes news. >> we'll see what happens and hope you join us in the weeks ahead to see where this all goes. appreciate you joining us. >> coming up, new concerns over the anti-vaccine movement. are americans being made more sick. a bitcoin bust involving maths and the twins that claim to have founded facebook. harmela aregawi is tracking the conversations on the web. >> a 21st problem. >> a state of the union - we ask what you expect to hear and want to hear from president obama. check out your answers and more on the website:
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the state of the union on al jazeera america. join us for complete coverage of the issues facing all of us from health care and immigration to the economy an national security. we're talking with those affected most. understanding where we are, taking a critical look where we're going. >> there is much progress to report. >> immediately after stay with us as we get your reactions live from around the country and across the globe. don't miss special state of the union coverage as only al jazeera america can deliver. right here on al jazeera america. real reporting that brings you the world. giving you a real global
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perspective like no other can. real reporting from around the world. this is what we do. al jazeera america.
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>> an explosive spread of childhood diseases that could be prevented by the use of vaccines is being felt worldwide, including in the u.s. a look at the map from foreign
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relations for 2008 to 2012 shows whooping cough and measles outbreak in the u.s. those are the green and red dots. and huge outbreaks of measles in western europe and sub-saharan africa. the move to discredit vaccines as triggers for autism may have powerful effects, none good. i'm joined by abdu el-sayed, a director ever epidemiology who focuses an disease and emerging challenges in public health. were you shocked when you saw the map? >> absolutely. the numbers there are shocking. beyond the outbreaks that we are seeing, it's interesting if you look at the map, which is on the website, you'll see the increase in time in the outbrakes. it tells us there's something about the way that we are failing to prevent the diseases that is the problem. >> the map goes through the year. when you look at the united
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states, you don't think that we are going to be having - there has been reports about measles, and whooping cough, but this is significant in the most developed country in the world. >> i think you hit the nail on the head. what is fascinating about this is we've been able to prevent the diseases for 30, 40 years now. the question is why are they resurging now. they are making the decision not to vaccinate the children. this is the decision that puts kids at risk, leading to bubbles that people are map. >> let's look at how dramatic uk the numbers are. according to the centres of disease control. more than 24 cases of whooping cough. we had 24,000 last year in the united states. down from 50,000, there was some improvement there. but when you look at what it was like three decades ago, as you can see there, from 1979 to
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1982, there were only 2,000. again, is this all attributable to the fact that a lot of parents got scared by the false report about the association of vaccines and autism. >> that's so. it shows the power of false research. sometimes when we think about vaccinations we think if i don't vac sinuate my own kids they'll be at risk, but they'll be protected by everyone around it. the minute you spread that argument and they don't vaccinate you increase the rick to your child. if your child is in a clerks and everyone is vaccinated he or she is protected. now, imagine five of those kids now chose - their parents chose not to vac sinuate them, those are four more kids well that kid is playing with them, they are exposed, potentially carrying the disease and affect the child. it's a parental responsibility
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not just to their own child, but the children around them. >> we forget about how bad the diseases are. unfortunately vaccinations have become a victim of their own success. we don't know people who had kids with a lot of these did i says. because they are rare, but it doesn't take match to talk to the parent's generation, and they can tell you about children measles. >> i had measles, but i didn't suffer from consequences throughout my life. i remember as a child you were afraid of a lot of diseases that we are not afraid of. small pox among the worst. they have - the vaccines have been successful. like i say, i'm sensitive to the issue of autism. i have a nephew and niece on the autism spectrum. is the science settled. >> there's no
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causele relationship between vaccinations and autism. the research was driven by anned in that you had an increasing in autism over a number of decades that if you laid it over an increase in vaccinations, it looked like they were increasing. dr andrew wakefield, who has been discredited published a study saying the mmr vaccine was associated with autism. a number of studies reproduced the findings, failing to do so. it is clear in the scientific relationship. >> it's amazing what happened when false information gets out there. let's look at the map. it's the whooping cough that is the issue in the united states. how bad are these diseases in. >> both are deadly. in the united states -- >> we saw 10 kids die from whooping cough in california.
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>> what is sad about whooping cough is the children that die from whooping cough tend to be less than one year old. it's a dangerous disease leading to pneumonia, seizures, if not death. with respect to measles, there can be long-term consequences including pneumonia and death. the increase in measles in europe is probably because of parents declining to vaccinate their children. understanding. >> in situations in countries where we have the public health infrastructure, the only reason why we are seeing a resurgence of the disease is parents are taking advantage of the infrastructure. when parents don't vaccinate you see kids at greater risk. >> when you look at the big red dots, that is more likely a lack of access to the vaccines. >> yes, in sub-saharan africa or
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india where there's a lack of robust infrastructure that can mobilise and give access to vaccines for children, if you compare the rates in the united states to sub-saharan africa the numbers are staggering, because the infrastructure is lacking. what is interesting is as we work through the financial downturn over the last 5, 10 years, it had an effect on where the money goes. as the economy - thankfully it's improving, but as it worsens, we are seeing a ripple effect. >> i'll ask them to pull up the map. we are talking about sub-saharan africa. latin america, northern africa, the middle east. you see virtually nothing happening in those places. in one of the articles that i read, it said we had higher
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rates of whooping cough in the united states and afghanistan. would you have believed that that would happen. >> it's staggering to think about. all that shows though is how seriously people in the society takes vaccinations, recognising that this is a way to frect children from diseases that wreaked havoc in previous decades. if they can do the work of mobilising limited resource, it's a travesty that parents are not taking advantage of what is going on here. let's have a listen. a lot of lives are at stake. el-sayed. >> thank you for having me. >> switching to what may be a blow to bitcoin and other currencies, charlie shrem is vice chair of the bitcoin foundation and the ceo of bitinstant a website allowing users to exchange government-issued currency to bitcoin. the winklevoss who disuled with
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mark zuckerberg over facebook invested. they said they were passive investors, that followed charlie shrem's indictment and others for selling bitcoin for users of the deep web silk road website, conspiracy to commit money laundering and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business. combined charges could bring a maximum 25 years in prison. silk road allows users to purchase drugs and other services anonymously. >> i'm joined by andy greenberg. i know you have been on top of this for a while, the bitcoin world. for people that don't understand what it is. i suspect most have trouble grasping it, what is it if. >> it's a decentralized crypto currency, a digital cash that is not issued by a government or bank, it's controlled only by the users themselves. like cash.
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it can be used anonymously. like a digital currency, whatever facebook credits or world of war craft gold. it can be spent online, it anonymity. >> so what are the details of this indictment. what are they alleging happened. charlie shrem, a public face, a vice chairman of the foundation, it's the main group in terms of lobbying the government for bitcoin's acceptance as a legal tender and reducing the regulation of the potential black market currency. he's accused of actually helping to sell a million dollars worth of bitcoin to users through the exchange. according to a portion of the indictment that you mentioned,
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charlie shrem wrote to b.c. king and said: >> there's an email to a cofounder and said: >> those emails don't look good for him. >> this is the indictment that the prosecutors put together. what it shows to me is that charlie shrem did not want to do business with the guy, seeing that he was potentially involved in illegality, but was tempted by the profits you could make by exchanging bit coins for users. he started the change and convince his cofounder to do business with b.c. t king and deceive his cofounder. >> and talking about profits, silk road made incredible
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amounts of money. when ross ulbricht, because silk road is back in business, when he was arrested, you know, it was - i think in today's dollars, he had $38 million on his computer. >> the bitcoin exchange rate changes. the fbi seized more than a million in bitcoins in profits from silk road, held in the silk road servers. what about the anonymity. bitcoin would give it to you. if you find the guys doing the allegedly illegal acts is a lesson to be learnt. it's not fully anonymous, that there are ways of tracing. when the website was seized, it's not clear that the users of the site were outed. the administrator of the site was identified allegedly.
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it doesn't mean the users of the site - charlie shrem did use the site. he - if this indictment had happened, we may not know that. the anonymity of the tools seem to have held other human errors that the administrators of the site made, that allowed them to be caught. if they went after the site, they may not have been able to trace the people buying the illegal drugs. >> exactly. how big a hit is this going to be to bitcoin to have an temporarily? >> it's a black eye for bitcoin's public perception. i think it can recover, as it recovered from the take down of the silk road. charlie shrem was a noted public figure, and his investors, the winklevoss twins, they'll participate in a hearing held by
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the financial regulators, and it then. >> as i read the research, i saw a quote that stuck out saying money without government appeals to people without law. is that fair. >> well, bit going has to youed this line between radical libertarians attracted to the currency that is not wrold by banks. and anarchists or an-ar-co-capitalists. we are seeing folks potentially - the line between legal libertarianism and flirtation with may be illegal anarchy and black markets and is a thinner or blurrier line that we may have thought. >> it's a fascinating story. we'll stay on top of it. thank you for coming in. >> thanks for having me. >> time to see what is trending.
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aregawi. >> lawmakers are working on a bill places tracking bracelets on children. it's named avante's law, after his body was found in east river, queens, last week, four months after he went missing. he wandered out of school. the security guard didn't realise he was autistic. wandering away or wondering off is something that families face on a daily basis. half the children with autism wandered off. senator chuck schumann worked to expand an alzheimer's tracking program since the teen went missing. they proposed designating $10 million towards the program. >> the program which set aside funding for local law enforcement agencies, so they can purchase gps tracking
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devices used by parents voluntarily, to track their children with autism. >> now to your reaction. erin says: >> you can read more at the website and join the conversation at this story and more. >> an american citizen thrown into prison over a youtube parody video. later, the oscar nominated look while you were asleep
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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 5 to 9 am 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 border. >> start every morning, every day 5am to 9 eastern. >> with al jazeera america.
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this is the 900 page document we call obama care. it could change costs coverage and pretty much all of health care in america. well, my show sorts this all out. in fact, my staff has read the entire thing. which is probably more then most members of congress can claim. we'll separate politics from policy and just prescribe the facts. money.
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>> imagine sitting in a foreign gaol for months, not knowing what crime you committed, then you find out it's for having done something no one would conceive of punishing in the u.s. shezanne cassim went through that nightmare all because of a video he posted about young people in the emirates. >> this is an important weapon. it is good to hit the enemy. i'll show you a demonstration. >> shezanne cassim joins us from minneapolis. this happened in dubai. this was something funny you and your friends decided to do and post on youtube. you invented a goofy dubai martial art.
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watching it, it's hard to believe anyone could be offended. why in ut world would you be thrown behind bars for this. >> that is a question i'm hoping to get answered some time soon. i don't know the answer. >> you are american, you grew up in dubai, you moved back for a job after college. dubai is a major tourist and business center. sorry, again, a similar question. why would they do something like this that could scare away visitors and businesses. >> yi don't know. i grew up in dube. and i can't do it. the three red flags is you don't instalment the religion, the government or criticise the government or insult the leaders. the video didn't do any of those things. i'm wondering what they felt was so wrong about the video. >> and you did this for fun. >> we.
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you know, the thing about dubai is it's going so fast and the way the international press looks at dubai is a bit artificial. it's fancy hotels and buildings. they forget that there's actually, you know, a unique culture, it's so multicultural, there's a lot of funny things that happen that make it a charming place to live. the video is about celebrating the funny stuff that happens in the city, in a way to kind of improve the whole creative scene that is happening, so we don't have to import everything, or import the entertainment. you posted the video in october 2012. you were detained six months later. what did they tell you when they arrested you. >> they called me and said, "could you come to the station", for what they said was a small problem. i've never been called by the police, so i had no idea what was going on. when i went to the station they
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said, "relax, you haven't killed anyone, it's not a big deal", after that they showed a screen shot of the video and asked questions "who paid you to make the video." from the start they looked at it as if it was a conspiracy, which it was not. i was very confused. i'm not entirely sure what i was accused of. >> were you treated well? >> when i was kept in the prisons, i was not physically harmed, but the conditions of the gaols in prisons were so bad that it amounts to psychological torture, especially having been kept there for so long without anyone telling me what i was accused of doing. >> other people were caught up, a human rights defender who defended you on cnn, got thrown into gaol and four friends that you made the video with. what happened to them?
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>> well, the friends were all arrested, charged and convicted, just like me. two were u.a.e. citizens, and they got to remain in the country. two were indian citizens, they were deported like me. >> some were deported. you had a lot of support from the united states, including comedians. there was a movement called free shez. like. >> we are submitting this in support of chez and his eventual freeing from being wrongly gaoled for making simply a video. start putting people in gaol for making videos you don't like, you'll have to lock up everyone. >> shez is in prison for making a funny video. i was in boat trip, and i am walking free every day. that's insane.
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>> have you been in contact with them at all since you got back? >> i have been in touch with the guys. they are funnier. they've been supportive and i'm thankful for what they did to me. has the state department - how involved were they. did they help you. >> when i was in prison i was so isolated. i didn't have access to what was going on outside. i didn't have an idea of what the state department was doing. that. anyone? options. >> you lived there for a long time when you were younger. is that a reason you made the comedic video. do you have any intention of going back and working. you had a good job there? >> i cannot return, i have been banned from the place, i would like to help the place improve. it has a lot of potential. they need to make positive
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changes. if i could help them do that, that would be great. >> that is difficult to believe someone would be thrown into gaol for what you did. >> appreciate you joining us. thanks very much. >> thank you very much. >> straight ahead, how the internet is providing evidence that parents show preference for one child over another. we'll explain in the data dive. in an oscar nominated documentary, it looks at a case of prisoners taking care of the stream is uniquely interactive television. we depend on you, >> you are one of the voices of this show. >> so join the conversation and make it your own. >> the stream. on al jazeera america and join the conversation online @ajamstream. real reporting that brings you the world. >> this is a pretty dangerous trip. >> security in beirut is tight. >> more reporters. >> they don't have the resources to take the fight to al shabaab. >> more bureaus, more stories.
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>> no doubt about it, innovation changes our lives. opening doors ... opening possibilities. taking the impossible from lab ... to life. on techknow, our scientists bring you a sneak-peak of the future, and take you behind the scenes at our evolving world. techknow - ideas, invention, life. on al jazeera america
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>> today's data dive plays favourites with google. parents rarely admit to preferring one child over another. google searches tells a different story, especially when it comes to stereotyping their kids. for every 10 searches asking whether a son is over weight, there's 17 for a daughter. the truth is boys are 9% more girls. while they have greater concerns over a physical appearance, girls have a greater emphasis on boys. the department of education says mum and dad makes 2.5 times the amount of searches to ask whether their sons are gifted or their daughters. 56" more like i to ask about a girl's beauty than a boy's good
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locks. the preference with gender starts before the kids are born. parents around the world a likely to google if there are ways to ensure they have a baby boy. america is not in the top five, but 10% of parents search for ways to have a boy. there are a few countries partial to girls, including australia, new zealand and the u.k. parents will love their is. >> an osconsider documentary looks at how prisoners save the state of the union on al jazeera america. join us for complete coverage of the issues facing all of us from health care and immigration to the economy an national security. we're talking with those affected most. understanding where we are, taking a critical look where we're going. >> there is much progress to report. >> immediately after stay with us as we get your reactions live from around the country and across the globe. don't miss special
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state of the union coverage as only al jazeera america can deliver. right here on al jazeera america. .. . >> al jazeera's investigative unit has tonights
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>> spenting on prisons is sky rocketing not just because the prison population is growing, but it's ageing and more expensive to take
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care of prisoners. a small group of prisoners are running hospices. the iowa state's program is documented in "prison terminal." it shows the impact on the patients and caretakers. >> when i started i thought it would be about what i could give to the patient and what i could do to make them feel better. when you do what you do the feeling is you get back from them, you can't even describe it. it executives you a feeling that for once i'm somebody nobody thought i could do. >> the director joins us from chicago "prison terminal."
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it will prem your on hbo, and start a run on friday, along with other oscar inform nominated documentaries. nomination. >> you focus on a gentleman we saw a moment ago. he is a world war ii vetter an. he killed the drug dealer after his son was hooked on drugs. over time in prison you show that he found some redemption. >> yes. jack hall has been in prison for 21 years by the time i met him. he spent 10 years in the infirmary. he had heart problems earlier on. he was so weakened. he was a long-term patient in the infirmary. >> so the hospices, like the one at the iowa state penitentiary help the prisoners in their final days. >> well, i mean, for the most
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part the prisoners, most ig bed with a guard outside the door, with no visitors can come. the prison hospice at the iowa state penitentiary allows the prisoner to die with family around and prison. >> research shows, as you said one out of every 5 prisoners is elderly or expected to die in the cells alone over the next decade. what impact do you think this hospice will have on the prisoners turned patients? >> i think the truth is we are not going to have - it will not be used, rarely is it used now.
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medical parole is rarely used. the hospice program is the next best thing for the prisoners destined to die behind bars. the benefit of the program is that this particular program in iowa trains the inmate to be a volunteer, and they can help their buddy go through the dying process. that is comfort care, palliative care. and simply holding their hand as they die. now, if the prisoner is lucky enough, fortunate enough to have a biological camly, they are allowed into the infirmary to be there at the dying moment. their loved once it's holistic . it helps the inmate and the family on the outside. there's 2.5 million people.
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that means there's millions of people on the outside with family members behind bars. the program helps everybody. as you said and as we saw from the person helping jack, it does have an effect on the prison population as a whole, especially on the people that volunteer. >> it has an amazing effect. the fact that they can do something worthwhile in prison. a lot of the programs that benefit or hake prisons feel goods have been yanked. the program is unique in that it gives the inmate a redeeming quality, a feeling that they are participating and helping somebody which let's face it happens rarely. the ripple effect of the benefits, it goes beyond the
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infirmary, rippling into the yard where the general population is - let's say they are skeptical about most prison infirm ris, but now that the hospice volunteers are involved day to day in the infirmary, the veil of mystique is lifted from prison infirm ris, so it has a benefit that ripples out into the yard. and you saw it, you spent is lot of time at the prison, in there with unbelievable access, and you were living in the streets. you saw what happened in the prison. what do you say, jack at one point says prison is a cold place, death is colder, you know you are dying. what do you say to people who think well why are we going out of our way to do anything for people like jack who killed people. should they be given an easier murdered. >> that is a great question.
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i ask that a lot. i prepare myself to that question. the truth is the punishment that they are getting is the freedom is taken away from them. they should not be punished. it's difficult to understand. they have done horrible things to other people. i feel that we, as a society, have to be better than they were when they committed the crime. the hospice program is something that - i know for some people it is hard to stomach. when you want to look at it in an economic way, it's a budget saver, you know, less drugs are used once the inmate accepts hospice. the inmate knows that their medication will be slowly taken away and they'll be taken care of on a pail yachtive level and they'll slowly die. the people that are worried about economics, and the program is going to cost too much.
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nothing. >> that was my next question. is there something that could and shut be replicated in prisons across the country, not taxpayers. >> that's why i made you the film. i wanted the program to be replicated across the country or standardized. sometimes legislatively pass a law. at this point the elderly population has grown so quickly, and it's not only elderly people that use the hospice. prior to me filming, there was a 28-year-old inmate that died of colon cancer. hospitals are not only for the elderly, although it is a huge portion behind bars. it's for younger in mates that have no other recourse. it's a cost - low-cost program, if anything. the program in iowa, when i
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filmed, used a lot of community volunteers. they would get church groups to knit the quilts. the prisoners themselves would make things at their own cost. it's a no-brainer in the sense that this program can be replicated at no to low cost. oscars. >> i'll take my mum. i told her to get a dress, we are going to hollywood. she was very happy. >> it's a thought provoking documentary. "prison terminal." premieres on hbo 8:00 pm eastern and a nationwide theatrical run short-documentaries. >> the show may be over but the conversation conditions on the website or facebook and google plus pages.
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