tv Consider This Al Jazeera March 28, 2014 10:00am-11:01am EDT
this is al jazeera america live in new york city. i'm del walters with a look at today's top stories. the president is on his way to saudi arabia trying to mend fences with the royal family there. rescuers now saying they have recovered 17 bodies in washington state in that mud slide but the number is expected to rise. they identified the body of a four-month-old infant yesterday. heavy rain expected again today. lawmakers in washington, d.c. overwhelmingly backing bills to aid ukraine and punish russia for an decking crimea.
the house voting 399-19 for that on thursday. president obama using his tour of europe to urge u.s. allies to united states against russia. and unprecedented move from the air force, nine officers fired on tuesday in connection with a cheating scandal. a dozen other employees are expected to be disciplined as well. and visa being sued for $5 billion over swipe fees. wal-mart is suing the giant for allegedly rigging rates. they said in eight years those fees cost more than $350 billion. those are your headlines, "consider this" is next. >> with 90 people still missing five days after the massive mud
slide in washington state, bracing for a steep rise in the death toll. >> chris christie cleared of wrongdoing in the george washing tong bridge gridlock scandal, but there are questions about the findings and objectivity of the report. >> a jump in children with autism. >> will the ruling from the nlrb revolutionize college better. >> the latest on the mud slide in washington state. >> all the trees were going like this. >> we're going to exhaust all options to try to find somebody alive. >> a new report on the new jersey bridge scandal. >> governor christie had no knowledge beforehand. >> some question the impartiality of the report. >> this could be a game changer for college sports.
>> athletes in northwestern university can unionize. >> hundreds of millions of dollars come into these schools and now the players want a part of it. >> we begin with the search for bodies in oso washington where rescue workers scoured the mud slide zone in fear of what they might find. 25 confirmed dead, that is expected to climb substantially. >> 90 people, 90 are currently missing or unaccounted for. >> all of the news in that small town is bad and getting worse. a 4-year-old was confirmed dead. her mother who was at a yoga class helped rescuers look for her baby. more rain made the work even harder for rescue teams. >> sometimes it's just mud, trees, underneath, there may be a house or some houses are more intact than others. some look like they've been put
in a blender and dropped on the ground. >> the survivors are haunted bit moment the disaster struck, randomly taking some lives while sparing others. matt was beaten up by the mud slide, but his wife, linda, who was just feet away from him is gone. >> horrendous noise, i looked over one shoulder and all the trees were going like this, and the noise kept getting louder and louder. >> joining us is aljazeera seattle bureau correspondent alan schoefler. are they expecting to find that more than 100 people died in this tragedy? >> it looks like that's all the way the numbers are adding up. the one number really standing out and of course you can't just think of it in terms of numbers, because we're talking about human beings is
90, 90 people are missing, people they can't account for. remember, this is a mile, mile and a half stretch of road, so they don't know who was driving in that area. it's a mix of permanent and vacation homes, so they don't necessarily know exactly who was home at the time, but they've win knowed that down and if i canning they have nearly 100 still missing. yes, we expect to see those numbers climb dramatically in the next couple days. families are waiting for some kind of final confirmation of what exactly has happened to the ones they love. >> given that uncertainty, why are officials not releasing the list of those unaccounted for? wouldn't that help? >> i'm not sure about that. they've said from the beginning they want to make sure, go through their normal process, identify somebody, notify family, then after the medical examiners made those determinations, release the information to the public.
right now, they are looking into ways to get that information out to the public, maybe by stepping that normal procedure that they would do in the cases where they find somebody deceased. that could come tomorrow and help tie up loose ends. >> we talked about how this area had a series of mudslides over the years, but the believe continued. washington state's governor said today that he was going to see if there's any way of preventing that in the future? >> well, stopped a little short of that. he is at least going to have the state take a look at the way the agencies assess landslide risk around the state of washington. exactly what that means in terms of what agencies will be looking at what process i am not sure. that is something that came out this morning. the state is going to take a look at the way they look at hillsides like the ones that surround this town and assess whether it's safe to put people
in homes and neighborhoods at the bottom of them. we have a lot of this terrain in this part of the world, and if you start pulling housing permits from anybody who lives on or near a hill, you're going to have a pretty empty state of washington. >> how bad are the conditions? you lad more rain there on thursday? >> fortunately, the rain today was light, but any rain just adds to the misery. we hear of people working in waist-deep mud trying to get into these houses or smashed up cars. they're working near tree trunking that are five and six feet across, a debris field littered with the remains of houses, automobiles, propane tanks, whatever, so the conditions are not good, not good at all. what they're considering success is finding bodies, and in many cases, the bodies of people they know, because a lot of the workers are very local, so tough, tough situation out there.
>> that's terribly sad. alan, good to have you with us again, thank you. >> turning to the ongoing new jersey political scandal, a major law firm hired by governor chris christie to investigate the actions that led to massive gridlock on the george washington bridge found there's no evidence christie new about the four day traffic jam apparently engineered at political pay back. critics blasted the report as a defense of the governor by his own lawyers to put all the blame on two former aids, referring to one as having crazy ideas and the other as a frequent lawyer. the lawyer that headed the investigation, randy mastro spoke. >> david originated this idea and orchestrated it. he went to before i got kelly for approval in the governor's office and they had an ulterior motive for implementing that
decision. >> in an interview with abc news, christie maintained he knew nothing. >> does it defy credualty that aids would shut down the biggest bridge in the world? >> sometimes people do stupid things. none of it made any sense to me. it's been the toughest time in my life professionally. >> joining us is bob engal, the co author of chris christie, the story of his rise to power. he writes a column called "politics patrol." you've been following the scandal as closely as anyone. what do you make of this report? >> i didn't learn anything new about it. there are a couple of new things in there, you have to ask why
they were in there and what the heck the importance is. basically, it's what the governor told us all along, it's just in report form. >> now one main criticism that is gibson can be dunn and crutcher has done a lot of work for christie, he has strong relationships with people there. this is a major, major national law firm. if they get this wrong, the reputation of these lawyers and that law firm will be significantly harmed. >> that's what he said, as a matter of fact. they've got some fallback positions, probably, and it's also one of the problems with the report. there were many key players who weren't talked to, because they refused to be interviewed so that could be their fallback position, we didn't know that because they didn't talk to us. >> the lawyers looked as a massive amount of documents,
public and private emails, phone records, scores of interviews, but some of the central figures refused to talk, including before i got kelly, his deputy chief of staff. without her speaking, can any investigation be complete? i don't think so, they never talked to her, but are piecing it together. it's not going to hold water until we hear from her. >> david wildstein, the report says that the whole idea as we heard randy masstro say he hatched the whole thing. he thing. the report refers to the bridge plot as crazy ideas he had had before that never got off the ground.
the report brings up something that has been reported before, we talked about this before, that wildstein says he told christie about the traffic jam during a 9/11 commemoration. christie again today repeated that he doesn't remember that. >> well, that's right. we know that they were in the same place at the same time, because the wall street journal ran a photo of them together, so christie says not that he didn't talk about it. he said that he doesn't recall talking about it, and that's sort of a lawyer kind of answer. perhaps they didn't, perhaps they didn't really remember. there's no doubt that they were there at the same time, and they talked about something, whether it was small talk or what do you think that problem over at the bridge, we don't know at this point. >> one of the most peck things about the report is it really attacks bridget kelley. she was fired over the scandal and the report paints her as going rogue and goes into this whole thing about her having a
relationship with christie's former campaign manager bill stephan, who was dismissed because of that. the argument that her breakup had a bearing on her state of mind and maybe the motive? >> that's what it really looks like. that to me was the weirdest part of the 360 pages, it's like saying well, you know, she broke up, and she was all emotional and she couldn't control herself, and that's about the dumbest excuse i've ever heard for something like this. i think there are probably going to be a lot of women and men too watching this who are going to say you're not going back to that old line that women are too emotional to be in management positions, are you? >> could it backfire in other ways, like getting kelly angry if she ever comes out and tells her story. >> i think she's good and angry right now to tell you the truth. i think the backfiring would come from people reading the report or reading about the
report and saying oh, come on, this is stone age thinking. >> you recently wrote about a new poll of meteorologist voters that found christie had an all time low rating for trustworthiness, probably because of the scandal. only 23% said that the word trustworthy applies to him really well but fort% of voters are angry. do you think he'll be able to make this up for voters especially to run in 2016? >> i don't think he's at worried about what the people of new jersey think, since he's not going to run for office in new jersey again. i think he's more concerned about people in iowa, nebraska, ho i how and places like that think. the last poll i saw out of iowa said something like 57% of the people there didn't think that he was telling the truth about bridge gate.
i think that's probably what he has to worry about. >> i got to say if the people in new jersey voled for him overwhelmingly and sort of their opinion of him has gone down, it certainly signals something. bob, always good to have you on the show, thanks. >> turning to a report on autism in america shows and alarming 30% increase among 8-year-olds diagnosed with the disorder in a two year period to one in every 68 children. this new estimate from 11 states in 2010 showed large increases in the number of children with average or higher i.q.'s who fall into the autism spectrum. it also found wide geographical variations in the presence of autism, for more, i'm joined by dr. wong. these numbers keep going up, one in 68, two years before that,
one in 88, two years before that, one in 110. we've seen a 60% increase in two years. what's going on? >> these numbers tell us that there are millions of the people in the country affected by autism. there are over a million children of age 21, two or 3 million duties as well with autism spectrum, all with very important needs, they need supports, resources, medical, educational. we need to make sure those supports are available for them. >> let's talk about the findings here. the children who had autism, the numbers vary dramatically from one place to another. parts of new jersey, you had a chance of finding one in every 45 kids, but alabama, and the number in alabama was one in 175. why the difference? >> it's the number of factors that account for that difference. reading the report closely, the cdc themselves speak to it, in
new jersey, they had more records to look through to find cases. in alabama they didn't have the educational records, only medical records. when you look across both medical and educational valleyses, you're going to find more. >> how much of it is also a question of money? you also found differences between whites, blocks and hispanics with whites being diagnosed much more often than minorities. is it a question of doctors, better doctors, recognizing autism where maybe some are not and held other places? >> you are absolutely right, there are big disparts in recognition and diagnosis when you go across the white, black and hispanic populations, much higher in the white population. there are certainly socioeconomic factors at work here. people better connected to medical resources, perhaps in medical school districts, more likely to be found, diagnosed
than those in less of a flu ended area. >> that means the number of one in 68 is a low number. >> yeah, first of all, all of these cases that they did find are absolutely real. they looked carefully at these cases sifting through the records. >> this is not over diagnose. >> it is not and the numbers are most certainly going up two years from now when the cdc comes out with their next report. >> one thing that changed over the years that has not changed is that kids are still mostly diagnosed when they're four years old, but could be earlier, as early as two, and that it's not happening as much as it should. why? >> there's a big push on, because we really should be diagnosing these kids early tore get them the interventions that will lead to better outcomes. why aren't they being diagnosed earlier? there's probably a lot of reasons.
we are probably picking up some cases because of better awareness, the doctor and teachers weren't aware of autism when they were young, now they are older and being found. >> do you think something else is happening here. it can't just be that we are diagnosing them more. are more kids born with this? >> we think absolutely yeah, there are more cases. >> then why is it happening? >> that's the million dollars question. researcher trying to get at that from different angles, jeanettes, environmental risk factors, looking at things as diverse as pollution and older parental age all as factors related to this. >> we know boys are diagnosed five times more often with this as girls. the consequences of all of this in so many different ways are going to be tremendous to society if we start seeing these numbers keep growing. what are those long-term
consequences. >> you are absolutely right again, there is huge needs here. even those subject, patients with higher range i.q.'s have a really hard time after they age out of the school system. they have a hard time with post secondary education, hard time with employment, with housing, huge needs. >> why do you think we're seeing more kids diagnosed who have higher i.q.'s than in the past. >> that is probably at least in part the awareness, understanding what autism looks like in someday who has an average range i.q. >> it's a fascinating study, but certainly very worrisome. thank you very much. >> coming up, the house and senate vote to give a billion dollars to ukraine. is that enough to deter russian aggression? >> also the pope meets our president. we will look into the meaning and focus of the meeting. >> hermela aregawi is tracking the top stories on the web. >> new studies highlight good
>> the political and military crisis ukraine faces with russia is just one of its major problems. the country is almost bankrupt. thursday, the international monetary fund promised $18 billion in loans and the u.s. house and senate passed a $1 billion aid package, as well. pressure is vowed to continue to the kremlin. >> we think we've done a very foundational work here, giving putin a sense of real consequences for further actions and says to other global actors in the world, don't think about it, because it's not going to be worth your time. >> joining us is ambassador william courtney, former ambassador to kazakhstan and georgia, ambassador, let's talk
about money first. $18 billion from the i.m.f., a billion dollars from the u.s., a lot more coming from the e.u. will it be enough to stabilize the ukrainian economy. >> it will be enough but only if ukraine makes dramatic economic reforms. the acting prime minister yatsenyuk has made those reforms to the parliament. the massive corruption needs to end. the key is reforms. >> austerity is never terribly popular. michael, the house and senate also approved sanctions in their bills, giving financial aid against russians deemed responsible for the crisis. how much do you think expanded sanctions are going to have. >> i think the key motive effect of all these sanctions are having a deterrent effect with
the promise of really serious economy wide sanctions on russia to come if vladimir putin goes any further than he already has beyond crimea. i don't think the sanctions announced so far will have that much of a broad economic impact either on ukraine or russia, but it's more of a political and diplomatic message. >> the russian economy is struggling, too. ambassador, you said you think it's not enough, that these sanctions are not enough, we need to increase military aid to ukraine and nato allies that have borders with russia. >> we need to do both. because of the russian military build up, increasing further within the last two days on eastern southern and northern ukraine on the border in russia, the west should be sending defensive arms, anti tank weapons, anti air weapons to ukraine. the whole purpose is not to defeat russia, which ukraine
can't do, but the purpose is to raise the cost of russian aggression. when the russians invaded georgia in 2008, the georgians didn't have much preparation but were able to shoot down five of the russian combat aircraft. the ukrainians could take even more. >> michael, you've brin about how a cool instead of a cold war is developing and about what you called the obama doctrine that in crisis, you only provide non-lethal aid as in syria and ukraine. where do you stand on however we should go with military aid in particular. >> well, i agree with the ambassador that arming the ukrainian military would have a powerful impact and the idea would be to prevent putin from going further. practically speaking, i've been told by administration officials that at the present, president obama is not going there.
he does want this going i will tear, he wants to keep it diplomatic and economic response. it's kind of a moot point what military aid might do. meals, food for the people in ukraine and military have been announced and perhaps more non-lethal aidill be announced. i think analogous to what's happening in syria, that can only do so far. it's one reason the militants there are doing so poorly against bashar al assad. >> the crimea invasion was deemed illegal and the international has sent a strong message that russia cannot simply trample over international law, but everyone agrees crimea has been lost to the russians and ambassador, you brought up the 2008 invasion of georgia where two regions were also lost to russia.
hasn't it shown that it can trample over national law? >> you're right, it has, and it has done that in crimea. now the real concern is whether russia's going to invade eastern ukraine to open a land bridge to crimea, because it doesn't have a land bridge now, only sea and air, and secondly whether russia may go further and take kiev, russia may not go after western ukraine because the resistance there is likely to be higher, but right now, we should assume that russia may actually want to go to kiev. >> with all those thousands of troops amassing on the border. condoleezza rice, former secretary of state had harsh comments about the white house leadership in international affairs, she said there is a vacuum because america has lowered its voice, said the president is hiding behind america war weariness. is that fair criticism? >> it's standard, that's
because the republican stance, we heard it from john mccain, other republicans. i think condoleezza rice should take a good hard look at her own record of secretary of state in the bush administration and the rather mild reaction the bush administration mounted to the 2008 invasion of georgia, and i think, you know, they should question their own policies. i don't believe that this happened to large degree because there there was a vacuum in u.s. leadership. i think it happened because for the past 20 years since the cold war, there has been provocation and putin has a very peculiar point of view about restab issuing russia's greatness. >> their economy minister expect about $100 billion to be taken out of the russian economy by the end of the year as a result of all this and the sanctions
the world bank is predicts that the russian economy could some rink by 1.8%. will that have an effect on vladimir putin and his choice to be aggressive or not? >> it probably will have some effect internally. i think mike was right. the main reason that russia is invading is not because of weakness in washington. neither republicans nor democrats have shown themselves to be very strong on this issue. he is creating a more authoritarian society in russia itself and using foreign aggression as a way to shore up his sort of populace and nationalist political base, if you will. that base is quite supportive of the invasion. the small dip in economic situation in russia probably won't change that anytime soon. >> it's incredible 20 years after the end of the cold war we are in this situation again.
ambassador courtney, michael hirsch, appreciate you both joining us tonight, thanks. >> thank you. >> turning to president obama's european trip. he met thursday with pope francis for the first time. and while there are certain topics on which the two disagree, they have both focused much of their energy on helping the poor and striving for word peace. we are joined by father thomas rees, a senior analyst with the national catholic reporter and author of "inside the vatican." father, good of you to join us. while there are some points of contention between the president and catholic church in america, it seems most of the time, president obama spent talking to the pope, to pope francis was about improving the lot of the working class or the poor. >> certainly the principle topics that they focused on was the poor, the marginalized, and how they can work together for peace around the world. clearly, the pope has been
speaking out on poverty, on the growth in inequality, of wealth and income throughout the world. as the first pope from the global south, he feels these issues very strongly, and has a strong message about economic justice for the -- for countries like the united states. >> some american conservatives have said that this meeting was a p.r. stunt for the president, would use it as ammunition in so called class war, trying to get a public relations francis bump of sort. >> president obama is not running for reelection. he can't, so and on the other hand, if you take a look at what pope francis has been saying about capitalism, about the market system, and how it should not be -- money should not be
made an idol and we should not judge by how much money people make, he clearly has a very strong view on economic justice and the need for that. he's like an old testament prophet. he's saying it's not working, the economy is not helping the poor and something's got to be done. he's going to say that very strongly. >> they exchanged gifts and in fact, the pope gave president obama an encyclical with harsh words. on abortion, same-sex marriage, how obamacare man dates coverage of contraception that was argued before the supreme court this week and the president said he did not discuss it in detail with the pope but more in meetings with the vatican secretary of state. how important an issue is this for the church? >> well, the vatican always likes to support the local bishops whenever they're in some
kind of a conflict with their state, with their government. so this issue had to be brought up with the president, because the american bishops asked the vatican to bring it up. my guess is they probably spent about five minutes discussing that with the secretary of state, and then they moved on to other issues. the principle focus of the vatican in these meetings is on, you know, concern for refugees, concern for peace, concern for christians that are having trouble in the in the middle east. these are the principle focus of the vatican when they have these kinds of meetings. >> it is the second time the president visited the vatican. he moat pope benedict and that meeting did focus on abortion, embryonic stem cell research and while the social issues are not said to have been a focus of the conversation this time, we did
hear american cardinal raymond burke, he's been very harsh taking the president's policies have become more hostile toward christian civilization. on those social issues, is it possible to find common ground between the church and the obama administration? >> well, clearly there are disagreements between the catholic church and obama administration on issues like abortion and gay marriage. the pope has made clear that this is the teaching of the church, but we're not going to obsess about these issues. there's a lot of other things we want to talk about. with regard to cardinal burke, he is out of touch with the american scene and american bishops, he's been critical of them for not beating up on president obama more. i wouldn't take anything he says all that seriously.
>> as you mentioned, the president and the pope wanted to take some time to talk about the conflicts of the word, about refugees, about ensuring peace. what role can the pope play? >> well, the pope has got a bully pulpit to speak out on issues of justice and peace and his voice is very strong. for example, he's just instituted an interfaith effort with muslims and other people of other faiths to work against trafficking of human persons, this new form of slavery, and people are joining up on that. this is an extremely important thing, when the pope leads on these issues, people listen, and you know, they don't always follow what he teaches, because, you know, we're all 16ers and selfish, but he reminds us that we have to have compassion and concern for our brothers and
sisters especially those who are poor. he also says we have to have empathy for the stranger and for those who aren't of our tribe, aren't of our religion, aren't of our beliefs, because that's the only way we're going to have peace. >> father thomas rees, thank you for joining us to talk about this important meeting. >> good to be with you. >> time now to say what's trending on aljazeera's website, let's check in with hermela aregawi. >> veterans are graduating at a rate capable to their civilian pierce. 56% of traditional students complete post secondary education within six years. veterans aren't far behind with a nearly 52% completion rate. they're ahead of non-traditional students who tend to be older and have families. 43 percent of them get their degree or certificate. the report took a look at those who sought higher education from 2002 through 2013 under the g.i. bill. william hundred barred,
spokesman said these results are better than expected, saying: >> some things worth noting about the study, it counted veterans who not only obtained a bachelors, graduate or associate degree but also those who received vocational certificate and those who completed an on the job training course. it allowed the veterans the full 10 years of the study to complete their education. let us know what you think on twitter at @ajconsiderthis. back to you. >> straight ahead, are helicopter parents not helping their kits by being over protective. >> the surprising starts for huge companies that did a 180 before finding success. >> later, a decision that could change more than a century of rules and billions of dollars in
>> what's become conventional wisdom is that protective parents make their kids safer, but how true is that and are there risks involved in not giving kids more freedom. a new article, the recovery protected kids looks at whether efforts to take better care of our children have made a positive difference. anna wrote the article and joins us from washington, d.c. hanna, good to see you. i know as i'm sure most parents know that kids now have much less freedom than we did.
your essay brings home the point with one specific example about the dramatic change in kids who walk to school by themselves. >> when i looked at the numbers i was amazed. when i was a kid in the machine 70's, 80% of 30 graders walked to school by themselves. now it's below 5%. we all know if you september a third grader to school by themselves, other parents might call police. there have been stories like that around the u.s. it's amazing to see how childhood culture that changed in one generation. >> it's not about hovering as helicopter parents. you bring up though many more women work, many more men and women are spending far more time with their children. you think that would be a good thing, but it might not be. >> i think we've gone a little too far, that our preoccupation with safety mean we don't let our chirp take any risks or be
independent in any way and it's hard to grow up that way. it might be safe when you're little, but when you have to go out in the world, you basically don't know how to deal with failure, something bad happening, with being sad. that's the a minute about the mill len yells and you can see the root of it. >> you also write about how all these actions we've taken to keep our kids safe from transforming playgrounds to not letting them roam more freely has only led to a minimal increase in children safety. >> we're in in a era of stranger danger, we've been there for a couple of decades, this idea if you let your child walk down the street, they might be abducted. that kind of stranger abduction is incredibly rare, just as rare as the 1970's. it's a freak occurrence but gets blown up in the media and brings terror to our hearts but erected a whole set of habits about
that even though it's not any more common. >> you look at injuries at playgrounds and they've been transformed over the years and really the drop in injuries is not that significant. one thing that does come to mind, if more kids did walk to school now as opposed to given how dramatic the drop has been, don't you think that we might see the numbers jump, that there might be more stranger danger? >> you mean that strangers might come and abduct? those are freak crimes. if you look at what happened in increases in abductions, it's because of divers, so you're much, much more likely to be abducted by your father, who's divorcing your mother than by a stranger. it's a repair occurrence. we can't accept it, he think the world must be dangerous. we've gotten it in our head that public spaces are dangerous and the only safe space is in your
house supervised by your parent and that is affecting childhood. >> why has it gotten so bad? is it local news scaring us, is it they the litigousness. >> more diverses and the sense of community has disintegrated. we've reacted to that with a panic. you tell your kids don't talk to strangers. that pretty much aassures you'll never have a neighborhood feeling in your neighborhood, because your kids have been told that every adult around them is scary. >> you write that kids ever a born instinct to take risks but when they don't can lead to fear in them. you quote a chidehood education specialist who said our fear of
harm can lead to for psychological pathology. >> it's the concept of exposure therapy, that kids inch their way, master things, feel like something's dangerous. if you just think of something literal like heighting, they go a little beyond their capacity and the thing they're doing is not dangerous, but feels dangerous and the great triumph is in conquering that. if you don't get the experience of going through those stages, you remain pretty fearful. that's the problem, you think it's dangerous, i better not try it and that brings on a newer atticism. >> you bring up that it's leading to what some believe is a decline in creativity. what do we do? you describe an adventure play ground in england that's highlighted in a documentary called the land that lets kids take risks in a place that looks like an old dump, which i confess when i was a kid, we'd go to a dump and play in there.
it's good to go and just play with different things and do things that might not really be that dangerous but makes them feel they're taking risks? >> i feel it's more what we do. i don't want to go back to the 1970's. it's nice that we have close relationships with our children. a lot of people felt neglected in the 1970s. it's about what makes a good parent. it's not someone who's constantly protecting their child but someone creating opportunities for their child to explore or to know themselves. >> that's a really thought-provoking article that brings up all sorts of interesting issues. hanna, good to have you on the show, appreciate your time. >> thank you. >> coming up, a ruling that could rock the decades-long battle over whether college athletes should be paid. >> first from gun power to taxi cabs, the surprising things some of our more successful companies >> i mean, i don't know who's
illegal, who's not illegal... al jazeera america presents a breakthrough television event. borderland a first hand look at the crisis on the border... >> i'm already afraid just being here >> six strangers, with different points of view take a closer look at the ongoing conflict. gary, a farmer, who hires many migrent workers... >> people say immigrants are stealing our jobs, it's not true... >> and allison, a born again christian, republican... >> let's just send them back to mexico and let their goverment handle it. >> they re-live the fatal quest of a young boy named omar... >> do you think that omar was way too young to make that trip accross the dessert? >> you just can't keep being strong... >> where will this path lead them? >> just because they make it to the u.s., doesn't mean good things are gonna happen to them. >> experience illegal immigration... up close, and personal. >> the only way to find out, is to see it yourselves. on... borderland only on al jazeera america
>> today's data dive is about companies that changed directions in a big way. facebook's purchase of the uculus virtual reality company raised eyebrows. facebook founder mark zuckerberg plans to turn it into a platform for many other experiences. the purchase has some so you saiders koriing about his plans to change it and to change facebook. if facebook changed its focus, it would be far from the first major company to transform itself. nintendo is best known for the wii and super mario brothers, but it's been around since 1989 when it produced decks of cards made from the barks of mull
about heli trees. it tried without luck to branch out into taxis and hotels before any kinding success with video games. do possibility is best known for paint and chemicals but the country born with a big bang. dupont was the american military's biggest supplier in the mid-1800s. computers came late in life to i.b.m., the companies that became i.b.m. started in the 1800s to find companies with everything from coffee grinders to scales and automatic meat slicers. they were responsible for the first and much-hated time clocks that keep track of worker's hours, not nearly as tech savvy as i.b.m.'s current products. diamonds may be a girl's best friend but weren't to tiffany's first store. tiffany's started as a stationery and fancy goods emporium. knee kia started in a similar
way with paper, that's right, the cell phone giant began as a riverside paper mill in finland in 1865. the company's name came from its second mill. it later moved into rubber, making galoshes to car tires. now nokia is about connecting much more than rubber to the road. >> a decision that could upsend the billion dollars business of college football. could a ruling that allows college players at a major school to unionize mean the end >> start with one issue ad guests on all sides of the debate. and a host willing to ask the tough questions and you'll get... the inside story ray suarez hosts inside story weekdays at 5pm et / 2pm pt only on al jazeera america
>> now to the ruling that could revolutionize college sports. the regional director of the nlrb ruled that football players at northwestern university are technically employees of the school and therefore should be allowed to unionize. what does that mean for the future of the student athlete and the billion -- multi-billion business of the ncaa. for more let's bring in the sports
editor for "the nation" and author of the book" game over." a number of factors went into this ruling, most clear how it found the college athletes spend more time working at their athletic job than most people do on work and more time on that than studies. looking at players with the university and found that athletes are in effect employees of northwestern. the consequences could be tremendous. >> absolutely tremendous. all the experts were wrong about this. the so-called experts said that the northwestern university football team would lose this ruling to the nlrb, it was settled law. this was decided in 1950's, they said and the nlrb would be loathe to overturn it. here's the thing, you could not recognize college sports today compared to the 1950's anymore you could compare say the new car off the assembly line in
2014 compared to what people were driving in the 1950's. it was cadillacs with fins in the 19 50's and today an entirely different beast. it's different for one reason, and that's cable television money. it's changed the game dramatically and that's what they recognized and that's why athletes as you said are being worked so hard, because the stakes are so high. >> not everybody, though, is happy with the decision as you'd imagine, given that the stakes are so high. northwestern is appealing it, the ncaa expressed disappointment and i should a statement saying we strongly disagree with the notion that student athletes are employees while improvements need to be made we do not need to throw away a system that has helped millions of students over the past decade alone attend college. is this the best solution, dave? >> it's the best solution. the this. caa found itself in a position where it's very existence is being threatened. for northwestern, this is a
problem, because if the football players otherwise, they run the risk of being shut out of the ncaa revenue streams and run the risk of other groups trying to organize unions, as well. northwestern is a hostile climate to unionizing. for the ncaa, long-term, this could threaten its very existence, because if schools are allowed to bargain with athletic teams, then why do you need the ncaa? all of their power flows from the fact that they are the controlling authority over all of college sports and if you defy them, you are outside the revenue streams, yet nothing has been passed by the u.s. congress, legislation, nothing in the constitution that says the ncaa has to control college sports. there's the consent of the governor and if the governed do not consent, it's all done, the $35 million building, the 14 vice presidents, each of whom make six figure salaries, it's
all done if this gets out of the cartel. >> on the other hand, the cartel as you call it negotiates these big deals with cable television and brings in all this money to colleges. i brought this up with you before. if the revenue producing athletes, the football players, the basketball players start getting more money in whatever form they get it from universities, won't that hurt women's sports and men's sports that don't make money? because we already are seeing colleges cutting certain sports to save money. >> right and the reason they are cutting certain sports and the reason why as a lot of people point out, over 90% of athletic democrats are in the red to me only prove the system is broken and needs radical change. if people say where's the money, you see where the money is, it's in the $6 billion contract for college football. it's in the ncaa's huge bureaucracy and this is a key one, antonio, it's in the hundreds of thousands of dollars that gets spent at all major universities to make sure that they are in compliance with the ncaa.
i view it as capitol freed up, the opportunity for players to actually cash in on things that other students don't get a part in anyway and the opportunity to have something much more democratic and just than currently exists. >> i want to get one more question in on a different topic, because on thursday, the major league baseball and player's union said they're closer to a new deal that would increase the penalties for performance enhancing drug offenses. when you look at the players that have gotten huge contracts after being suspended, how -- you know, does it go far enough? >> it's just very difficult to take major league baseball seriously on any of this. we talked about this before, but one third of all minor league players come from dominican republic where steroids are legal and over-the-counter. until they address this, i will assume this is all public relations. >> dave, great to have you on the show, thanks.
>> consider this may be over, but the conversation continues on our website, aljazeera.com/considerthis or on or facebook and google plus places or on twitter at @ajconsiderthis. we'll see you next time. >> welcome to aljazeera america. i'm del walters. and these are the stories we're following for you. ousted ukrainian president, victor yanokovych, suggest that other apart of ukraine breakaway. trying to mend fences with the ally. and the weather, the recovery efforts in washington state and the mudslide.