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tv   News  Al Jazeera  May 29, 2014 11:00pm-12:01am EDT

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the conversation continues on the website or on facebook or google+ or switer at aj consider this. see you next time. hi everyone, this is al jazeera america, i'm john seigenthaler in new york. >> i was here 4.5 hours. >> the hurting. they served their country and are falling victim to the growing veterans' affairs scandal. their story. home again - moving out decades ago and coming back. the toll the economy is taking on baby boomers. whizz-kid - the star of the president's science fair. a teenager whose battle with cancer led to ground-breaking
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research on the disease. plus... ♪ take a look ♪ it's in a book her... . >> a childhood favourite returns thanks to acknowledge tore ley var burton, he joins he to talk about his new fundraising efforts. . >> eric shinseki is a decorated war hero and no stranger to contact. tonight the general and vet rains affairs leader are fighting to save his job. the call is for him to go. they were triggered from a new report saying patients in phoenix waited months to see a doctor. heidi zhou-castro is outside a hospital for more. >> that inspector general report
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pointed to systematic problems with wait times at v.a. hospitals and clinics in phoenix and around the country. it's here that we heard from veterans who say they have had enough. >> reporter: they were promised in exchange for serving their country, their country would take care of them when they come home. >> we put our life on the line, literally. >> this man was wounded by shrapnel during his first month in vietnam. at age 56 he counts on the v.a. to treat the effects of his injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. he says making veterans weight for medical care is unconscionable. >> especially for some of his older veterans in the 60, and '70s. we need medical attention, like now. >> it hurts me and makes me angry. >> veterans we spoke to in
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dallas say the issues was wait times and delay treatment are nothing new. >> including the veterans health in danger. the longer they wait, you never know when the lord could take them home. >> air force veteran benjamin jones was not surprised by the inspector general report, finding systematic scheduling problems apt the v.a. all over the country. >> if you are instructed to do something, and you know you don't have the people or the facilities to handle it at that specific time you are given. you find a way of going around. >> today i was here 4.5 hours to sign my name. >> reporter: vietnam vet ran lynn doesn't believe the promise to fix the problem. >> i don't believe they are true.
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i say get down here and see what it's about. >> not everyone says their experience is bad. >> i've used the v.a. for years, i'm 80 and they do a good job. >> reporter: this veteran agrees v.a. secretary ship should resign -- eric shinseki should resign. no matter how big or small the problems are, the agency should never have reached the point. >> the last veteran - he defended his experience, but still thinks that eric shinseki should step down. in fact, every veteran i spoke with agrees. in texas, there has been two whistleblower cases. a scheduler in san antonio and a retired doctor in austin, both coming out with evidence and claims that they were instructed to manipulate wait times. for someone in need of immediate medical subpoenaings, they can -- attention, they can mean a lot of attention.
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>> tonight - a deal to sell the l.a. clippers has been reached. the offer is coming from microsoft former c.e.o. steve balmer, agreeing to buy the team for $2 billion, the second-highest price in history. donald sterling's lawyers is aware of balmer's bid. donald sterling was forced to sell the l.a. clippers' after racist remarks surfaced. a nonprofit group says 36,000 undocumented immigrants convicted of crimes or released from prison - this revelation led to a hearing with republicans demanding answers from homeland security secretary jay johnson. they said the decision to free the inmates jeopardised public safety. >> i look at the same list you have seen and have seen serious criminal convictions on that list, including homoside and other things. i want a deeper understanding of
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the issue it make sure we are doing everything we should to ensure public safety. >> we have reported on the issues. paul is at the immigration and customs enforcement detention center. >> when the issue of immigration comes up. there'll be partisan fireworks. it's a politicized issue. it's exactly what we saw on thursday, when jay johnson testified. tough questions, aggressive questioning from the republican congressman, starting with a mass release called 36,000 detainees who have been convicted, in some cases of violent crimes. why they were released. the secretary did not have a lot of clarification on that. looking into this question himself, looking, saying he was looking for more information.
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but the department issued a release on this, saying as many as three-quarters of these folks who had been released were released on court orders on the decision of judges, that they could not have been held, they had served their sentences and holding, detaining them would have been a violation of civil rights. questions vouched this. one the big immigration issues, one report on here is the question of upaccompanied minors, a wave, a surge of unaccompanied minors making their way through mexico, attempting a dangerous crossing into the u.s. the number expected to hit 60,000, doubling next year to more than 120,000, up from 6,000 in 2011. you can see the surge. we met a young person when we reported in nogalas, the city that straddles the border, a child that made his way from honduras with a couple of cousins. he made it into the u.s. and was
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reunited with his father, while his case makes its way into the courts. his father undocumented. both in the u.s. undocumented. the administration between a rock and a hard place, bringing the children into the country seems sympathetic, but it's expensive to process and house them. it's difficult to send them back to their countries of origin where they are facing lives of poverty. a lot of questions, a lot of moral, ethical questions about how to resolve the tidal wave of young people. >> that's paul beban in denver. seattle police fighting back against rules, talking about how much force officers are able to use. allen schauffler is in seattle with more on that. >> reporter: good evening. this is a civil rights complaint filed in federal court.
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by seattle police patrol officers, naming attorney, the city of seattle, mayor, police chief, city attorney and more. the officers are claiming that constitutional rights are violated by federally required reforms within the police department, governing the way they do their job, and particularly how and when they use force. >> reporter: seattle police are under orders to change their ways after the department of justice found for years officers used excessive force. a consent decree requires reforms, including complicated rules about the use of force. the lawsuit, brought by more than 120 patrol officers claims the new policy undermines the constitutional rights afforded plaintiffs, asking them to take unreasonable risks. it leaves the public less safe as well. it goes on to use the use of
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force policy vague, complicated and contradictory, claiming the confusion makes it inevitable officers or citizens will be killed or injured. the head of the police gild says the union is not behind the lawsuit and does not support it. he would like to see clarification of the 80 plus pages of use of force rules implemented this year. >> i can agree with the assertions in this complaint that the policy is confusing. i believe it is poorly written, contradicts itself in several places. >> smith says a recrew process exists, and -- a review process exists, and that's where concerns should be raised, not in a federal lawsuit. so% of the -- 10% of the patrol officers attached their name to the suit - most from the same presinct. the mayor says he inherited a
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department in turmoil. >> we will not fight the u.s. civil rights subdivision of the justice department. this is not the 1960s. we'll work with the federal government. >> and this is all going to land on the desk of a new police chief, kathleen o'toole, nominated by the mayor, has not been confirmed. she has been saying she'll push forward with the federal reform, and that she'll reach to the rank and file, the folks patrolling on the streets. the lawsuit will put a lot of urgency behind goals. >> talk about the basis for the complaint that constitutional rights are violated. the claim is they are violated on a series of levels. they are quoting the second, fourth, fifth amendment. some that the right to due process is violated, because workplace rules have been
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changed, and they didn't have an opportunity to participate in a meaningful way in that change. that their right to defense. basic right to defense is violated because of the changes in when and how they can apply force. >> allen schauffler in seattle. thank you. >> a disgraced police officer and ambitious attorney and dozens of innocent victims locked behind bars, leading the district attorney's office in brooklyn new york to re-examine 90 cases that led to wrongful convictions. it affects not just new york, but the entire country. jonathan betz is here to tell us. >> reporter: as technology improves question focuses on questionable convictions. the brooklyn district attorney is spending a million dollars to free people who never should have been sent to gaol. >> the motion to dismiss the
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indictment by the people is granted. >> they are the words being repeated that should never be set. >> the defendant's motion to vacate conviction is granted. >> judges releasing people that never should have been convicted. it happened time after again in brooklyn after veptions into question -- investigations into questionable convictions, many dating back decades, many linked to lewis scarsela. >> we are investigating cases involving detective scarsela. >> years later he relied on the same witness to finger suspects. included in a murder case against robert hill and his brothers - a judge overturned their convictions this month. >> it feels good. i'm going with my family and taking a bath. >> and david, accused of killing a rabbi. he was set free after scarsel e
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coached victims. >> i said from the beginning i had nothing to do with this case. >> more than 300 from new york to texas have been exonerated in the past 25 years. not every release breption happiness -- brings hap yipness and april. >> where is the killer, who is the killer, who botched the case and who is responsible at the end of the day? >> in texas scarsela denied wrong doing. in some cases police have strong suspects. the prosecutors say the goal of reviewing the old cases is not to look for blame, but to correct an injustice. >> how long will it last. >> reporter: it will take years, 10 prosecutors reviewing close to 100 cases, old files being re-examined, witnesses found. it's massive. >> jonathan betz, thank you. >> pierre is a civil rights terny and represents three half brothers that have been
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exonerated and numerous others whose cases were connected to lewis scarsela and joins us. when did you determine that there may be problems with detective scarsela's cases? >> it goes back a couple of years. my office vetted problem areas -- investigated problem areas throughout the city of new york, involving troubled presincts and patterns of police, behaviour and difficult detective buros. >> why do you think scars targetsome of the men. >> many of the defendants or suspects that are targeted tend to be from poor areas, tend to be people of colour, and tend to be from inner city areas where crime rates at particular time are higher than others. these cases where we deal with
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detective scars date back to the late 80s, and early '90s, when new york city had a record murder rate and a difficult crime rate to deal with. >> how is robert hill doing since his release? >> robert hill is doing well for someone who is afflicted with multiple sclerosis and spent the last 25 years having to deal with that illness without proper treatment. >> do you see this as a victory that the brooklyn da's office is investigating 80 cases, 57 connected to scarsela. >> i see it as a mixed victory. clearly it's not a victory that my clients had to spend decades in prison waiting for their names to be cleared and for their innocence to be known. but it's certainly a testament to our justice system, and to the work that the brooklyn district - the current brooklyn district attorney is doing, that
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these cases were exposed and exonerated. >> this is what lewis scarsela told dr phil on the tv show saying: what is your reaction? >> that typifies the nahs six that detective scarsela - it typifies the character that he brought to the job. we are talking with someone rvt with 250 cases, and many whom sites, and so many are reexamined by the brooklyn district attorney's office. you want your client's freedom. what else, money? >> sure. ming will do that. >> what do they deserve? >> i suppose that will bear out
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in how the cases proceed. i don't think any amount of money can compensate for - friendships, david, the first individual, david granter, was compensated recent several months back. he missed out on his children's lives. his daughter was one when he wept away. >> so is detective scarsela an isolated incident or are there other detectives like him across the country? >> i can speak to new york, and say in my experience, in new york and beyond in new york state that it's not isolated. his is perhaps the most egregious detective's conduct. >> what did that say about the justice system? >> it's a mixed bag, saying that when crime is high, and the pressure is high for presincts to produce arrests and detectives to close cases, if
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you don't have prosecutors following the rules and expecting the constitution, or judges enforcing that constitution, we run into this travesty. it's a cluster of bad convictions, innocent me sitting in prison. >> good to talk to you. thanks for being with us. >> the u.s. is experiencing the highest number of measles cases in 20 years, according to the c.d.c. as of this week there's 288 confirmed cases and the number is growing. before the vaccine the measles used to infect 500,000 americans every year. some scientists say that drones would be the future of hurricane research and plan on philadelphia flyersing them into the eye of the -- flying them into the eye of the storm. >> this is the view from a cockpit as an aeroplane flies into the eye of a hurricane. researchers want to learn about
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a hurricane's intensity as it barrels to store - will it be a gat gri 1 or 3. >> our ability as to what it will do as far as intensity - we are not good at it. we are trying to get better. >> this drone is a stride. it's called the coyoty. in august researchers hope for the first time they'll employ a drone from an airplane and into the eye and the wall of a hur gain. >> the kylie weighs seven pounds. it's designed to fly with the wings and withstand them. >> with a battery life of 2 hours, it will fly as low as 100 feet, once the battery dies, so, too, does the drone. it drops into the ocean. researchers at the atlantic ocean graphic and meteorological laboratory will say how much each costs. they receive half a million to
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operate five of the coyotes. it's an experimental tool used to observe. >> this device will give a better representation of what is occurring so we can warn the people in harms way. >> if the drones are successful the home is one day they'll be ipp despencible to forecasting a -- indispensable to forecasting a hurricane ford motor company issued four recalls affecting more than a million vehicles in north america. most involve a steering defect in s.u.v.s resulting in accident. ford escapes and mercury mariner vehicles were the vehicles. car crashes have nearly a $9 million impact. the national highway traffic administration released a new study naming several factors for the high toll, including property damn, medical and rehabilitation costs.
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>> coming up, the american doctor from ohio is assassinated in pakistan. details about his selfless life and his violent death. plus, changing the world one back at a time. actor ley var burton talks about the new chapter of reading rainbow. var burton talks about the new chapter of reading rainbow.
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in india four men have been arrested for a violent climb, two are police officers. two teenage girls were gang-raped, murdered, hanged from a tree. hundreds of locals gathered at the scene in protest in pakistan calls for justice. the prime minister ordered an investigation into the stopping of a young wife. the pregnant woman was beaten to death by sticks by her own family because they did not approve of her husband. her husband killed his previous wife four years ago but never went to prison because her family for gave him. this week a cardiologist from colombus ohio was assassinated while volunteering in pakistan. a member of the amarredy muslim
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community dr cometti's death is the latest attack. the group deemed non-muslim, we spoke with dr ab das moleef, his cole eke. >> he would an interventional cardiologist. he belonged to our group. we believe in serving humanity, doing work. our community built a state of the art heart institute in a remote area of pakistan. we have been providing a free service to the poor and the needy regardless of their religious affiliation and dr kumar had been involved in it. he would take the expertise and provide it to the local poor
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people. purely because that's what islam tells us. it was monday morning, may 26th in pakistan. it was evening here in america, and early in the morning, after morning procedures, they went to pay their respects to their elders' graves, and while they were getting into the graveyard, there were two men on a motorcycle that came up and shot him point blank. they put in 12 bullets in his body, in front of his wife and 2-year-old and he died on the spot. this is not knew. we have been dealing with it exhibits the inception of our community. it's been bad over the last few years. the last four years, this was 137 assassination there. he was well aware of the risks involved, and all of us
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belonging to the community, when we travelled to pakistan, we know that one of the high value targets, taking out educated people to inflict casualty, pain and suffering on the community. we keep on doing it because that's what we have been called upon to do to let people know what reelst lamb is. >> the lane doctor leaves -- slain doctor leaves behind a wife and three young son. they are hurt that the government has not condemned the attack. a ukrainian helicopter shot down flying over slovyansk. 14 soldiers were killed, including a ukranian general. in recent weeks slovyansk is the center of fighting between ukraine and the separatists. the government is launching an offensive to stop rebelians
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following the presidential elections. coming up, bargain price - the cheapest place to live in america. the answer will surprise you. young scientists. a teenager that left obama speechless with her project.
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this is al jazeera america. i'm john seigenthaler in new york. coming up, moving back home dash it's not just for young adults. gee whizz - meet the impressive young scientist who wowed the president. >> and the next chapter for reading rainbow. actor levar burton talks to me about his million-dollar fundraising goal. a rough winter is blamed for a shrinking economy today. for the first time in three years there was a sharp drop off in output during the first quarter. we saw a 1% contraction in
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economic growth. data indicates a recovery began in the spring. economists expect 4% growth by the end of the year. baby boomers are not kids. many are moving home, not because they want to, but they have to. melissa chan has their story. >> this woman has a list of chores. this afternoon there's work on the front lawn - but it's not hers, her mothers. 40 years after doing chores as a teenager, she's back at home. >> when i was a teenager, this was my bedroom. now it's my mother's bedroom. >> she lives in the basement. struggling to make a career switch in 2009, she was tired of her job as an office manager, the financial crisis meant opportunities dried up and she found herself unemployed and homeless. >> look at me. i'm in a position where i need
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to depend on my mother to have a roof over my head because i can't get a job. >> janine is one of many baby boomers and california who moved back in. the numbers are growing. in the past decade almost 200,000 older californians moved home - a 68% increase. >> millennials suffered from lack of proven job experience, the boomer job experience suffers from age bias and discrimination. >> when you are 50 or over, finding a job is harder than if you are in your 20s or 30s. you see people losing their homes, jobs and long-term jobless licence. >> she resisted and waited until all offers ran out, before making the move. >> i had nocial to go. she -- nowhere to go. she was getting sick. she needed more care, some
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company. and help. >> she pays her way to live at home. in part by fixing up the house, working on different proments. for now she has given up and is not actively looking for a job. >> sometimes it's wonderful. sometimes it drives me nuts. >> oftentimes the dynamics between parents and children don't change much from when they were teenagers. >> we clashed this morning. we always will. i'm very - i'm also someone who doesn't like to be told how to do things, and i'm 53. i'm like excuse me, i'm not a child, i'm not a baby. >> now that her mother has alzhiemer's, she has a compelling reason to stay at home. in the tough economic times she is certainly not alone.
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. >> new numbers out today show denver illinois is the cheapest place to live in america. the cost of living in the eastern illinois city is 20% lower than the average. the population is more than 33,000 and there are two colleges in the city. the median household income $30,000 a year. the most expensive places to live, russel honore and new york. a -- honolulu. a place on the list where you didn't want to live, pittsburgh, pennsylvania, but it rid itself of three decades of rust and turned itself around. steele is replaced with high tech. it's becoming a financial hub. john terrett has the story. >> reporter: racing out of the fort pitts tunnel. welcome to pittsburgh, the former iron and steele capital. it's a center for financial services companies, medical
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centers and high-tech industries. pittsburgh's mayor it said had to be flexible to survive when the steel industry left the up to. >> you can bomb, tear, burn a city or tear its economic heart out. as long as you invest in the people, it will come back. the mayor talked with detroit about recovery. >> reporter: motor city needs $2-3 billion to clear blight, earmarking $400 million. unlike detroit pittsburgh never anticipated federal government cash. it took 30 years to come back from when giant factories like this dominated the city. only the old stacks from the u.s. steel homestead work stand in honour of a once-great industry that employed tens of thousands. the city raised $300,000 to develop the mall which is on the site, carrying all the names. how has pittsburgh raised the
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cash. >> jeremy walled rop says $5.5 bill won came in in the past eight years. >> we have seek a real influx of funds and it started with the local companies and businesses, doubling down on downtown pittsburgh and committing to investing in the region. u.s. steele. companies like that, that still call council town home. you couple is that with foreign investment. google is making an investment in pittsburgh, expanding its operation. invest in arts, culture and people, and the big-named companies will follow and bring with them well-paying jobs. >> google's example is one of many. microsoft, intel, disney wanting to make a home in pittsburgh. companies realise it's because of the strategic advantage we had, which is talent.
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we are following the top stories, richelle carey is here with the briefing. >> more calls today for the resignation of the vet rains affairs secretary. several lawmakers saying it's time for general eric shinseki to go, responding to a scathing report saying some veterans waited an average of 4 months to get a first appointment. the president says he'll wait until investigations are complete before placing blame. the district attorney's office is re-examining nearly 90 cases due to concerns that those prisoner may have been wrongly convicted. two-thirds are linked to a former detective, lewis scarsela. the former head of microsoft is the highest bidder to buy the l.a. clippers from donald sterlings family. he is offering $2 billion for the team. if approved by the n.b.a. it will be the second-highest price
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for a sports franchise in history. the client is aware, but has not agreed to the sale. of course, the clippers opener was forced to go to the team after racist remarks surfaced. >> it's a lot of money. >> yes. >> a new film highlights the lives of foster children. what makes it compelling is it's written by and starves children in foster care. >> kristen saloomey reports. >> reporter: this is how many children entered the foster care system - forcibly tape from an abusive home. >> for others it may be due to a parent's death or in this case, a parent's drug adction. >> when they came she was like, "get some of your stuff." i didn't know ma to take. where am i going, if mum is not going, just me and my brother.
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>> in all cases it's a real-life drama. here played out in a movie called "know how", by actors that lived through it. it's a product of a possibility project run by paul griffin. he's been teaching theatre to underprivileged kids as a tool for empowerment. after staining a play based on the experiences of foster children, he saw an opportunity. >> the impact on audiences was overwhelming. they felt they had learnt something they had never seen. it was a surprise. >> movie reel: you are very intel knent. all you have to do is pass the test. >> reporter: the different story lines illustrate hard facts. 50% of american children in foster care finish high school. 50% are convicted of a crime. >> the film took three years to realise, and a commitment from a group of young people struggling to get their lives under
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control. they are showing it at film vest vales and the agencies and -- festivals and the agencies and those in foster care. >> reporter: for many in the cast, working on the promote was the first time they talk about their experiences. >> none of us think we'll go off and be the next densel, hali berry. we d it because it was important to tell the story. >> the goal is to improve foster care and provide a happy ending for children in the system. >> more than 100 student were recognised by president obama at the white house science fair. the students were honoured for their work in science, technology, engineering and maths. and focussed on women who excelled in all of the areas. the students coming from 30 state, projects including studies on cancer, the flu, and
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robots searching for bodies in dangerous weather. this was one of the students featuring her work at the science fair. she is a cancer survivor who helped solve the mystery of her open rare liver cancer diagnosis. welcome. it's great to see you. iment thank you for having me. >> what was it like being with the president? >> it was an incredible experience. the day was amazing. there were so many interesting project from kids around america. obama came around, he had read about them. he understood all of my story and project and got to talk to us, and basically he understood the details of everyone's projects. >> i can understand why you wanted to investigate your own cancer. it was a rare liver cancer. but what else inspired you to do this work? >> well, people don't know much about the disease. at the time no one understood it. it was terrifying for me to not
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know what was going on inside of me, what was causing it. no one knew. it was scary. because my community is small, i got to snow many. it's fibro millela pad u cellure lar carsin oma. it's hard to pronounce. >> harder to deal with. >> exactly. i got to know so many incredible patients who struggle. there's no chemotherapy or treatment, and unless you can get surgery, which thankfully i did, it was pretty scary. >> what did your research focus on. >> i did genetic subsequenting, i looked at tumor cells, the key difference, the geeps that when turned on could cause the cancer. i found a specific mutation, which when turned on causes tension and causes what i have. >> the pool toys that you turned
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into an impressive science project. maybe you can explain what you showed the president. >> the noodles are chromosomes. we have a healthy and here is mutated. there's a slight difference. chromosomes where you have your d.n.a., encoding for everything in your body. have you a gene in blue, another in green. they are far apart. what happens in fibro low mellar is there's a deletion. what happens is when the middle part is deleted the two genes fuse together and that's how you get the f.b.i. error lem iller. it has the head of one creature and the body of nor and they are fused and you get a weird protein that goes on and causes people to grow fibro millenar. >> what do you hope the study
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will lead to? >> i have a clinical project. today i was working on a blood test. now we know what causes the cancer you can test people. >> so you go to school. you are a high school senior, you go to school in new york. and you have plans for college. >> i'm going to harvard. >> i would assume that. what do you hope to do with your life going forward. you are cancer free how many years? >> six years now. >> congratulations. >> thank you. >> what do you want to do? >> i don't know. i'm planning on studying computer science, it was through computer science i did the research. it's so powerful. i don't know how i'm going to apply that. i want to do research, but i don't know exactly what field i'll study. >> in science, health, medicine. >> i'm not sure yet. i'll study computer science and science and find a way to meld
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them together. >> let's go back to the hotel at the white house. what did the president say to you. >> it was crazy. he walked up and said hello, on assign. i have been reading up on you. he started talking about me. i was just in awe. i was not aware that he was going to talk to me. i was shocked that he came over and spoke to me. we got to talk. he knew about the research. i explained everything. he gave me a hug. he asked me to take a picture. i was having a series of panic attacks inside. trying to act sane. it was cool. >> it's a great achievement. congratulations on that. and continued success at harvard and whatever you decide to do, and being cancer free for six years. great to see you. congratulations. >> thank you for having me. >> a scary moment for tourists. 1300 feet high in chicago. a man and his family stepping on
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to the world's famous glass-bottom ledge only to have that crack. officials at the willis tower say it's safe and it was the protective coating covering the glass that cracked, and not the class itself. they say the layers of class are intact and are capable of holding five times. the attraction is closed while repairs are made. coming up levar burton back reading rainbow for the digital age, and joins us next.
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eye two different large weather systems crossed the u.s. the first bringing in showers and thunder storms. we have been getting reports of wind gusts, powerlines down, trees down, a lot of issues from louisiana, florida, all the way up to south carolina. then we started talking about places where we didn't get initial storm reports. there has been a lot of thunder storms with heavy rain coming down, coming along the slopes of the rockies, the heavy rain falls getting closer to denver. when we look at the rain for the month of may we are well above normal. you go up into the mountains, where we are on the drier side. we have one more day of may left for tomorrow. the thunder storms are the focus of severe weather.
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we'll watch storms going up to dakotas, for large hail, winds and heavy downpourings. how about hurricane amanda. some of the moisture is working to parts of the south-west. al jazeera america continues after this.
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z cle ♪ buster fly in the sky -- butterfly in the sky ♪ ♪ i can go twice as high ♪ take a look ♪ it's in a book ♪ a reading rainbow ♪. >> it's a loveable show, it looks like it's coming back, reading rainbow has raised nearly there will 2.5 million in less than two days online. joining us the man behind the mission, actor producer, education activist levar burtjson. welcome. >> thank you. >> how did you start the kickstarter reading rainbow
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campaign. >> it really began out of a desire to continue the work of a show. we launched a sort of new incarnation of "reading rainbow" with the reading rainbow op, an ip ipad kinkedal that captures that which we did best, books and video. it was known for the video field trip that connected the literature that children were reading. in the app we had a library of books, hundreds of books and hundreds of video field trips giving kids an opportunity to enter the digital realm. discover material that they wanted to read. we recognised a slice of the population, 33% of americans had access to an ipad or tablet device like that.
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however, 97% of families are connected to the web and in order to be as effective as we wanted to be, we knew it was important to create a situation where we had what we referred to as universal access. >> talk about the capacity for where that come from. >> from my mother. i mention her name any time, every time i have the opportunity. i love my passage for literature. these are values she insteeled in me. i have two pass ims that my mum read to us and in front of us and had several books for her own enjoyment. i got the importance of literature and the rein word. the online fundraising campaign is out of this world. you almost raised 2.5 million. you were locking for 2 million
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475,000, and you were looking for a million when you started in 24 hours. we hoped to raise a million in 35 days. we were confident. we were able to relaunch at 6 o'clock yesterday, california time, and by dinnertime, by 5:00 p.m. we had topped a million dollars. it's been overwhelming. the response has been crazy. i have to tell you it's been through the $1 and $5 and $10. we are certain to set a kickstarter record for the number of people who are a part of this campaign. we are over 55,000 now, heading towards the end of day two, and i think the record for backers on kickstarter is 90,000. >> what is the secret to your success. >> i knew there was a lot of love for reading rainbow.
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i see it and feel it. the show had an impact on their lives. >> i had no idea that it ran this deep. the first generations of reading rainbow watchers. the kids that got the show on television, and tv was the technology we used back in the day. they are making sure that the next - the seceding generations have reading rainbow too. that's unbelievably gratifying. >> how is the new show going to be different from the old show? >> it's not a show that we are translating to the web. it's content, it's a service, hundreds. it's a library of books. it's video field trip, original content like the original
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series, and we'll be able to translate the experience to the web giving access and serving as a motel designed for teachers. teachers have loved reading rainbow. >> how do low income kids access this? >> one of the reasons we have initiated the kickstarter campaign is because it will give us the opportunity to give this product for classrooms away to schools in need. the kickstarter campaign is to subsidise for schools that can't afford it. i don't know of a school in america that is not a school in need. we want to give it away to reach as many kids. i was going to ask my producer if you have an updated number. we are about to see it, it's
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$2,479,000. i mean, you know, this is pretty - this is remarkable and exciting to watch it happen. you must be thrilled with this. >> i'm overwhelmed. never in my wildest dreams did i dare to think that it would take off like it has. people are really involved. i think what it says is that, you know, the value of my mother. the importance of literacy in our every day lives, this is kag that america believes in. we failed miserably. we are not the america that we used to be. it's how we cabinet the job of education, and a way for people to make a difference through their own personal involvement. >> let's explain how they can make a difference, while they are on the air and how they can add to it.
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explain what they need to do. >> help it's the $1, $5, $10 that is the engine driving the campaign. >> it goes on for a month; is that right? >> we have 33 more days before the campaign ends. >> i think you are just getting started and well on your way. congratulations. what a terrific project and cause that you have gotten behind there, and very, very exciting for you. i wish you all the best. thank you. >> the best news from me is all of the kids that we are going to be able to reach with reading rainbow, and it's made possible, as the saying used to be, people like you. >> great to see you. thank you for being with us. >> the results are in for the
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scripts national spelling bee. for the first time. there was a tie, two boys co-champions, winning 33,000 in cash and prizes. it ends in a tie if the final two contestments spell until the pronouncer runs out of words. 32 states completed the bee. "america tonight" is next.
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on "america tonight", more players take the field. >> we need better research, data, safety equipment and protocols. >> the president's new plays to tackle concussions and what we can do to protect vulnerable players. also - who knows what about you? correspondent michael oku gets inside the world of data brokers, and finds out how much of his open life is exposed. >> i see your data, they see you yoe a male, african-american,