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tv   America Tonight  Al Jazeera  December 2, 2014 4:00am-5:01am EST

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also for being with us at home see you next time, in washington i'm ray suarez. are judge the president spent most of his day focused on ferguson too, and why hands up, shows no sign of surrender. facebook, gory postings showing up before the justices and what their decisions mean to
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anything any of us put online. and with her sweech o sweep of , she's changing the face of classical music. >> you're not supposed to cough, you're not supposed to clap. i found that off-putting. >> baltimore's musicianbaltimors maestro. exploring ways to try out a new beat. an good evening, thanks for joining us i'm joie chen. it's clearly not a fight the president want to get right in the middle of but he did. vowing to spend the last two years of his presidency, vowing
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to spen to heal the divisions that started with flash point, ferguson. hands up but no back down. if anything, the fury in new york k d.c., california, and in ferguson missouri growing louder with the message heard at the white house. >> because this is not a problem simply of ferguson , missouri, this is a problem that is national. >> after a full week of protest and under increasing demands for action, the white house schedule went on full on ferguson as the president convened three separate panels at the white house to take up issues that grew out of the august shooting death of unarmed teenager michael brown and the grand jury decision last monday for not indicting darren wilson for killing him.
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>> while no part of america is feeling like it's being treated unfairly, that's a problem for all of us not just some. >> while the president spoke more broadly on community relations laid out some specifics. he'll ask congress for $75 million to equip 50,000 police officers with body cameras whichists ca whichactivists believe will fpsn officers and reform police departments. the white house also released the results of a 90-day review of surplus military gear that had been transferred to local law enforcement agencies through federal programs. some 460,000 pieces so far. one outcome of that review, the president will issue an executive order aimed at improving
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improving oversight of local cops, very visible in the days after brown's death as the first protests of ferguson got underway.the president underscored a emphasis of accountability. and put charles ramsey who previously ran the washington, d.c. department, to look at large and small police departments. >> there have been commissions before, task forces, conversations and nothing happens. what i describe to people is why this time will be different. and part of the reason this time will be different is because the president of the united states is deeply invested in making sure that this time is different. >> but the skepticism remains. >> moments before, when the rams came out of the tunnel.
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the rams acknowledged -- >> a sienl statement, a gesture of support for the hands up don't shoot protest that continue to signal no sign of convenient diser. >> trying to understand what happened in those panel discussions, an exclusive with rasheen aldridge a newly appointed member of the ferguson commission but this day you were able to speak to the president and tell him what was important. i got to tell you he called you out in the press conference. what did you tell him? >> i told him the concerns that every day african americans like me have to face, at a we don't matter, walking up and down the streets and being harassed by police. i told him the truth, i told him the experience of my younger brothers and sisters in ferguson how they feel. >> do you think it can actually make a difference to have conversations here, and have the president's ear?
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>> i think it makes a difference. he went in wanting to listen to the young folks. you can tell he was geang engagd heard what we had to say. >> i hear you on that but on the street level people in the community people in police departments not just in your community but around the country. you know what can a president really do? >> i think this is the start of something. who knows what's going to coming com out of this? but for him to hear from the actual young folks, no one from elective issues, wanted to hear the young people and hear our issues and concerns. we were able to bring these to him and he heard them. it's going to be a starting point. who knows where it's going to go from here. but it did make a change. he called me out twice and there was a certain reason he called me out. he wanted me to tell everyone else in the room how african americans are treated on a
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day-to-day basis, living in the city going to school in the county how i was more comfortable in the county, instead of the city, how african americans are ticketed, how the police get their quotas off ticketing young people. i think he really did listen to what i had to say. >> you're on the ferguson commission looking into these issues. the first meeting was just today. obviously you had something else you had to do today, so you weren't at that meeting. but there i mean is that also an opportunity or is this going to be more talk? >> no, i think the ferguson commission is also -- it's a starting point with all these things that are popping up in ferguson and across this nation of young people standing up and having their voices be heard now everyone wants to kind of figure out things on what can we do to make it better. i think the ferguson commission is just like me with the president. it's a start. i really hope from the ferguson commission we're going to be
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able to get real solution he and real changes and people can feel like they're not human in this world that they say they live in that their rights are just the same as anyone else. i'm really excited because there are people on ferguson commission like brittany and reverend tracy blackman. who have been out there with the protesters from day 1. >> will it take them off the streets? protesters are on the streets today, there is still a lot of anguish. will it take people off the street? should it? >> no, i don't think so, i'm going to continue to go out there after the president in ferguson and clayton and st. louis, anywhere else that young people are standing up because this i believe young people calling out, young people out there peacefully protesting crying for their voices to be heard is a reason why we have a ferguson commission, is a reason why the president wanted to speak to the young people and figure out what is going on because we're at day 115 in
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ferguson and we're not going to stop. >> rasheen aldridge a member of the ferguson commission and we us. >> thank you. >> after the break. a player's anguish and the head injuries he said drove him to his hard end. >> i love you to death and i hope you find peace and you're happy. >> the death of a college standout raises new worries about could be cushion he a cusl level of play. not what the doctor ordered, why shows cheap generic drugs are ringing up price hikes and who's picking up the tab?
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co. >> concussions in football, there's no denying that football can be a dangerous sport. 75% are at risk of concussion. agreed to pay hundreds of
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millions of dollars to settle a lawsuit by former players that claimed that the league hid the dangers of repeated hits to the head of them. college football player's suicide, columbus police say ohio state university senior defense itch tackle kosta karageorge took his own life. poops then reported missing when he failed to show up to practice the next day. his mother said he had several concussions and a few spells of extreme confusion. head coach there urban meyer l called karageorge's death an incredible tragedy while his teammates are still reeling from the news. >> i wish you would have talked to me if you are struggling. i love you to death i hope you found peace and are happy. >> we should note here
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the ncaa announced that practices, two per week, but, twice as much as profootball players during the season and while the nfl has eliminated contact during spring practices the ncaa has not. for more on kosta karageorge and the college 3:check us out on, and reported cushions so far this season. concussions are not trnlg story of ryan freel, also led to his tragic end. for the first time ryan' ryan's mother and stepfather sat down tonigh
4:13 am speak with "america tonight"'s michael okwu. >> by 1995 ryan freel was finally living his dream. drafted by the toronto bluejays, he spen spent six years in the majors. freel personified utility, playing almost every position on the field but it was that flat-out full-throttle style that fans remember most. >> you can't watch this kid play and not think, there's somebody on the diamond who's playing with absolute wreckless abandon. and as a parent i would imagine that there's a mixture of pride. >> and fear. >> and fear. norma and clark vargas, freel's mother and stepfather, said what he lacked in size he made up with heart and hustle.
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sliding head first, sacrificing his body to make a play. >> i think rhin ryan was a grear athlete but a hardworking kid. i know that other players are much better athletes than ryan but they didn't work as hard as ryan. he was the first one on the field and probably the last one to leave. >> reporter: but giving his all on the field would eventually exact a price. >> i said ryan you cangt continue to play this way. because you getting hurt, and you're not going to be able to continue to play this way. and he said, this is the only way i know how to play. this was his exact words. mom, this is the only way i know how to play. >> reporter: by his mid 20s freel was struggling with add and alcohol addiction. he began playing impulsively and was often angry. >> were there other red flags? >> the way he handled himself,
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being depressed, i thought something could be wrong with him but he wouldn't go to the doctor. i only knew what he told me. i'm not sure if he was open enough with the doctors to el them how he felt. ut much later he would tell me, mom something is wrong with me. i feel like i'm inside a jar, my brain is not working right. feel like somebody is just pressing my head. >> reporter: by 2010 after eight years in the league, freel was dogged by constant injuries and his baseball career was over. by his own count he had suffered at least ten concussions. the divorced father of three began coaching a little league team he founded with the same energy he devoted to his play but he struggled with being off the field and soon gang began a new
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obsession, guns. his mother removed the weapons at home. freel's last communication with her came in a text message. >> he mentioned something about the rifles. and i said yes i have them. and he said yeah, but you missed one. >> reporter: when norma couldn't reach her son the next day she rushed to his home with a friend. >> we get out of the car and she said, "stay here. don't go in." and she was the one that went in and found ryan. so that was december 22nd. >> reporter: ryan freel committed suicide just three days before christmas in 2012. he was 36 years old. did ryan ever feel that the concussions that he had sustained during the course of his career might have something to do with how he was feeling? >> he might have at the very end
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when one of the football players i don't recall the name right now ithink he had committed suicide if i'm not mistaken. >> junior sale? >> yes i think so. and he said, i can relate to that. >> head injuries in sports have become a major health hazard in public relations nightmare. mostly affecting football hockey soccer and other full contact sports. to date 59 other nfl players have been diagnosed with chronicking degenera tiff encephalopathy. the symptoms range from erratic moods, cte can only be detected after death. ryan freel was the first baseball player to be diagnosed.
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the red circles show clusters of abnormal deposits indicating when he died freel was suffering from stage 2 cte. stage 4 was the most severe. >> i think losing the child, when i have a person who i love and admired, tell me dad, i'm scared, and this guy is a god in the field because he can control his mind and physical body and he tells me he's scared and i've got no answer? >> on average how many concussions occur over the course of a year in major league baseball? >> we generally have between 20 and 30 a year. again when you think about it, there's about 750 players, that's not a lot when we look at it. compared to other sports where that could be a busy weekend in some sports. >> reporter: despite the relative infrequency in sports, major league baseball has been
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working hard to get ahead of the issue. >> when did the league first become seriously worried or concerned about head trauma? >> well i would say over the last five or circumstances years, baseball's been more and more concerned about even though it's a relatively rare event how do we know we're the state-of-the-art in terms of evaluating and treating these injuries? >> over the last four years, the league has sing instituting no more home plate conditions, and seven day rule, a time to return to field in less time. >> showing most concussions are better in seven to eight days. major league baseball had a 15 day disabled list. what happened was, if a player got a concussion you wouldn't put him on a 15-day disabled list, why would you put them on a 15 day list if they're going
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to be better in seven? you would lose them an additional eight days if you put them on the 15 day list. >> what do you think the lesson of ryan's death should be? >> the lesson that concussion matters. creates permanent damage that if compounded you know sufficiently will lead into cte in that cte is a progressive degenera tiff diseas tivedisease, that the word be gn out to the youngsters, tell them what the consequences are, if they want to play, play as hard as you can, good luck to you but take protection. not everybody is going to make it to the big time. >> michael okwu, al jazeera, jeffrey fowle jacksonville, florida.
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>> to underscore, just last thursday australian cricket player died from a catastrophic head injury, he was struck in the head by a cricked ball cricket ball during the match. how they ended up before the supreme court and what it might mean to anything you post. also ahead, speaking her mind and standing up for silent women. >> they couldn't banish us all. they couldn't shamus all. it's one in -- shame us all. it's everyday life for so many women in america. >> her message about abortion and why it was delivered to an audience on the move. >> these people have decided that today they will be arrested >> i know that i'm being surveilled >> people are not getting the care that they need >> this is a crime against humanity
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>> hands up! >> don't shoot! >> hands up! >> don't shoot! >> what do we want? justice! >> when do we want it? >> now! >> they are running towards base... >>...explosions going off we're not quite sure... >> fault lines al jazeera america's emmy winning, investigative, documentary, series...
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>> now a snapshot of stories making headlines on america tonight. the united nations will stop providing food vouchers to 1.7 million syrian refugees because of a serious lack of funds. those ratification are now preparing for their fourth winter since conflict began in 2011. the you know, needs 65 million to continue feeding those refugees until the end of the year. stores said on black friday they saw about 2 million fewer shoppers . online sales may have played a role. elizabeth lauton, wrote that 16-year-old malia and
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13-year-old sasha obama should have shown more class at the annual turkey par don pardoning ceremony. louder later deleted her post and apologized but not before it went viral. be sure what you post. but the supreme court is deciding something, could decide the future of free speech. sheila macvicar with more. >> when can threatening comments made online be considered criminal. that's the heart of the argument the justices of the supreme today. it is the case of anthony alonis, convicted three years ago of posting what he described as graphic fantasies on his facebook page talking about killing his ex wife. she took out a restraining order. one post read, fold up your
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protection from your abuse order and put it in your pocket. is it thick enough to stop a bullet? he got into hotter water when he talked about harming a kindergarten class. that brought a visit from a female fbi agent. that took all i had to not (bleep) coo consider his comments as direct threats. convicting hip on four charges with a jail sentence of almost four years. alonis appealed. in his defense he argued his facebook comments are no worse than rap lyrics, and that he never intend his posts to be taken literally. that's the argument his defense team is putting to the court, that they have to be proven to be taken as a threat in order to
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be regarded as a true threat which are not protected by the first amendment. >> after the protective order was put into place the tone of his post changed and one thing he said repeatedly was, these aren't threats. and one thing he said repeatedly again, was that it would be wrongful to prosecute me because these are not threats. >> the justices are wrestling over the one subject before them, does the person have to have the intent to act on the threat or that a person would be threatened by the words. >> justice elena kagan said, even stuff that is wrongful may be permitted because we don't want to chill innocent behavior.
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and justice samuel alito was concerned about comment, if the writer says it's rap or entertaining, this sounds like a road map for threatening a spouse and get wag with it. the american rks getting away with it. >> supporten a an amicus brief n his favor. >> sarah jeong joins us from san francisco. we've heard a little bit about the arguments that were heard in front of the supreme court. why the court's decision might have an impact on something you or i might post. >> well, i think this case is sort of build as the facebook threats case but it's really revisiting a general category, an exception to the first amendment called the true 3rd. an
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threat, the true threat has been defined very loosely very poorly. the supreme court hasn't talked about it since 2003. it is finally getting back to the true threat today, and the way that the supreme court addresses this issue which is basically how much of a subjective intent is required, in assessing whether a true threat is a true threat, like are you supposed to -- >> the defendant in this case had said even and at the time of his postings, that jk, just kidding or he linked to first amendment article on wiki sphwhrp >> right. >> in some sense he was saying, i'm just kidding, it's my right to say these things, i'm not going to issue those kinds of threats on my facebook postings but how does it change what i might do? >> i don't think that those things are going to immunize you from what you're saying under either tests. the two tests that the supreme
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court is looking at, they're looking at a number of tests as seen in oral arguments today. but the one that elonis wants is he wants a subjective intent requirement. he wants the courts to say yes, not only is this a threat by any, you know, reasonable person standard it is also what you intend -- what you intended to threaten someone to make them frightened. the one the government wants is either, no intent, it's just that a reasonable person would find it to be a threatening statement, or a recklessness standard which would be you said something recklessly and you should have known that it was like you were grossly negligent in what you were saying. >> well, we appreciate your being with us sarah, a writer from san francisco and we'll all be looking to what the court decides next year. thanks so much. >> thanks. >> from the right to free speech
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online to the right to speak out without shame. thousands of women and men took to twitter to address one of the most controversial supreme court decisions, one that simmers in the background, roe v wade, gave women the right to have abortions, and almost one in three women will have one in their lifetime. not talked about. "america tonight" spoke to a pro-life advocate one who is that. frank stams. >> so every year there's a mars, which is when all the catholic schools send their kids on a field trip to protest abortion. a few days after the march i happened to be on an amtrak train where there was an entire car reserved for several dozen catholic high school students from louisiana who had been at
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the march and were returning home. so i decided that when these anti-choice kids got on the train that i was going to go into their car and i was going to tell them that i'd had an abortion. >> consume please, i wanted to say thank you for coming to washington. we love it in my city when you come to visit us. it's a gorgeous place and we're very friendly to visitors but what we're not so crazy about is when people come and try to tell us how to live our lives. and i know as a person from the south myself, from georgia, that you understand that, i had an abortion when i was 18. one in four has had an abortion, i'm a private citizen who exercises my rights. thank you, have a safe trip. >> i really hate that my voice shook. i wanted to be so much more firm on all of that.
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my name's michelle kinsey bruns, and i want you to know that an unwanted pregnancy is a challenging situation for many women to face. i lived in a violent home with a drunken violent stepfather who was very physically abusive. i walked around with a lot of bruises. we had the police called to our house a lot. so i'm -- yeah. my childhood was unsafe. i moved in with my boyfriend three months after my 17th birthday and found out that i was pregnant right around the time of my 18th birthday. so i was already poor, i was already a mess. i hadn't figured out how to live yet. alone in the world. and i do remember lying on the
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bathroom floor sobbing and telling my boyfriend that i wanted to kill myself because i couldn't do this. bus i hadn't survived my own childhood yet. there was no way i was equipped to raise a child of my own. so it wasn't a hard decision to have an abortion at all. i remember crying, as they started the anesthesia, and the doctor being very concerned and gentle and careful with me. you know are you okay, are you sure, and i had to reassure him through my tears, i'm completely sure, i'm just scared. people hear tragedy and trauma in my story and they hear pain in my story. but my abortion was not tragedy and trauma and pain. i remember abortion murders and fire bombings and vandalisms and clinic invasion he and i think that maybe i thought that we
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were largely past that. and when dr. tiller was killed, we found out that clearly that wasn't the case. that week, i volunteered for the first time as a clinic escort. abortion clinic protestors if they can't get you to turn around when entering the clinic they want to america sure that it's really unpleasant for you. so knowing that one in three women have an abortion, knowing that they're going to go through it whether they're scared of it or not, they shouldn't have to go through that alone. they shouldn't have to face only hostile faces walking into a clinic. i don't think abortion is violence and i don't think abortion is murder. i do think it is violence to conscript the body of a woman to insist that she will give birth to a baby that she never wanted to give birth to.
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if we all spoke up and we all told, they couldn't banish us all. they couldn't shame us all. it's one in three women. that's every day life for so many women in america. >> abortion rights advocate michelle brunz in her own words. she was part of the first ever online abortion speak out, one in three speaks, trended nationwide. one in three speaks, abortion kills human beings with great potential. adoption gives everyone a chance. #prolife, #prochoice. others challenge the notion that abortion is a rights issue, upholding personal and social responsibility for the creation of human life is not oppression. that is also prolive. this one also went viral more
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than three decades after roe are v wade. killed by #abortion. when we return, those cheap gairks an generics. >> that used to cost me about $100 to buy. now it cost me about $3,000 to buy. >> what's happening to gierk dru --generic drug price and who's picking up the tab?
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former fbi special agent ali soufan. >> if that specific information was shared with to the fbi agent 911 could have been stopped at its early stages. >> the ethics of torture, preventing terrorism and combatting isil. >> islamic state, their strategy differs from al qaeda because for the first time now they are controlling land. >> every saturday join us for exclusive, revealing and surprising talks with the most interesting people of our time. >> only on al jazeera america.
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>> finally from us this hour, the sounds of change. classical music not for you? maybe you haven't been at the right si symphony. the dynamic figure at the podium
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podium, "america tonight's" adam may cues up the orchestra in baltimore. >> the power of merrin alsop. maestra alsop is considered one of the world's leading conductors. there's enormous power in that little baton. while she uses the tool to help the audience's imagination take flight, she is surprisingly down to earth. >> classical music became quite extreme in terms of you're not supposed to clap, you're not supposed to cough. you know there's so many things that you're not supposed to do. that i always found that very off-putting, whereas my parents and our home life of classical music was fun. we had a couple of dogs and they would always scream when we would play, they would be
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shout l, ah ah ah ah ah. >> she decided she would become a conductor at the ripe old age of 9 . >> were there role models to look up to being a woman at that age? >> that didn't actually occur to me i'd have to say. >> her mentor inspiration is leonard bernstein, famous for making classical music accessible. >> my dad took me to the new york philharmonic. he was so charismatic, he turned around and talked to the audience. i had never seen that in a conductor, he was having so much fun. >> his dedication set her on her life's path. >> he ignored all the rules. that's what appealed to me. >> when alsop came to baltimore she immediately noticed the orchestra didn't exactly rep the city.
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wha-- represent the city. >> for me classical music needs to be about inclusion and accessibility for people. baltimore like many big american cities has some real challenges. particularly in terms of the huge economic divide between the poosh and the wealthy. that combined that the baltimore majority population is african american and yet in our orchestras, in many orchestras there are very few african american musicians. why is that and what can we do to impact that? >> 1-2-3 and! ♪ ♪ >> her solution: or kids. a series of after school music classes, taught in five elementariary schools, taught every day in some of the roughest parts of baltimore.
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alsop started the praim with $150,000. funding now comes from grants and federal state and local government. >> what do you think kids get out of this? >> it is transformative for a kid. you learn incredible skills. you learn that things don't come overnight. you actually have to practice them. this hand-eye coordination, the athleticism involved in playing an instrument is enormous. then of course there's working with others. >> alsop's counterpart at orkids is dan fahey. he makes no bones about the ambition of their music. >> when i met merrin, she said i want you to think about some of the biggest problems in the world and we can actually solve them through music. poverty, homelessness, racism and things like that and we started attacking them.
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at that point, we thought about we're fighting a war here. >> all right are you playing today? excellent. how does that look? all right. i think that's okay. all right? ready. >> reporter: it's a war or kids may be winning, note by note. bobby burlington is the father of lead violinist. he's a big fan. >> to me it means it keeps him off the street and that keeps him really busy. he's a lot more in order, he reminds me of an older person. >> reporter: the students share their own victories with the icon they call ms. merrin. percussionist joseph wilkerson has been part of or kids for the last five years. >> a lot of people doing drugs and drinking and all this stuff
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and some people could be affected by this but since i've been in this program it actually helped me turn away from that. >> has or kids been successful? >> we started with 30 in 2008 and we have 750. if we keep going, we should be able to reach 80,000. 83,000. that's the number of kids in the baltimore city public schools. >> get them all in there? >> yeah, absolutely. >> alsop is a conductor's conductor. teaching college students at peabody conservatory. >> when you first start doing it how do you do it? >> this is the tricky aspect of conducting. you actually don't have an instrument. it's like playing air violin. it's all imagined. in order to practice as a conductor, you really need 40 people i would say to come over every day.
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>> yeah but i think it's too complicated. >> mike repper came to the peabody from california specifically to learn from alsop. >> what makes merrin a good conductor? >> it's so clear what she wants. >> she's inspirational. >> she is inspirational. she's my all time mentor so -- >> merrin gave me a mini lesson. i will admit it was a little nerve racking. >> up beat, 1-2-3, ah, you're a natural. don't give up your day job. >> i will not. >> she still battles criticism from some meaf mal male conductors who don't see a place for a female with a baton. >> does that glass ceiling still exists? >> oh sure, it definitely exists. i looked around and thought oh
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there will be more women within ten years. 20 years, not much company, if i'm not changing this who is going to? >> she started a conservatory, so far she has had nine students. to face the power of music. >> music is a transformative experience for people. when you come together with other human beings, in one space, the experience can be unique for you. you know it's not mandated that you hear a piece of music in any particular way. and letting go of everything just for a couple of hours can be liberating. >> it's a message the maestra, armed with nothing more than her baton wants to spread to the world.
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adam may, al jazeera, baltimore. >> and that's the sound of "america tonight." we hope you join us tomorrow as we begin an in depth look at burn pits on u.s. military bases in iraq and afghanistan, waste at any time go to a dump or incinerator. now waste released from burn pits were toxic. we'll have more of "america tonight" tomorrow. >> big waves. beautiful beaches. scenic overlooks. picture postcards from oahu's famed north shore. but now, something out of place comes into view. >> well, in your heart it kind of hurts. >> kent fonoimoana lives in the rural neighborhood of kahuku. in 2011, 12 wind turbines, tall
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and loud, were erected close to his home. >> i'm opposed to their proximity. when they put those things in i thought it was a blatant disrespect and a desecration of the valley. >> but mark glick, the states energy commissioner would also prefer to break hawaii's dependance on oil. over the past year the island state imported more than 46 million barrels of oil, that's 36 barrels for every person living in the state according to hawaii energy dot com. >> keeping our sights on the true goal, which is to rid ourselves of imported oil, which has created such a stranglehold on our economy. >> it's estimated the north shore wind farm will provide power for some 14,000 homes and now there are plans to build 15 more near this elementary and high school, but resident kent fonoimoana says he's grown weary of wind energy so close to home.
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♪ >> announcer: this is al jazeera. ♪ hello and welcome from the al jazeera news center in doha and these are the main stories we will be covering in the next 60 minutes, al-shabab claims responsible for an attack on a query in northern kenya and killed more than 30 people. the battle for aleppo and we examine how the fight for the largest city may be a turning point in the four-year long war. hong kong protest leaders call