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tv   News  Al Jazeera  December 12, 2014 11:00pm-12:01am EST

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want. this is al jazeera america. i'm john siegenthaler. fine print in the trillion dollar spending bill. how big banks get richer at taxpayer expense. >> why did you do it? >> ponzi scheme, ben aeromadoff. >> i really felt immediately very strange. >> speaking out. a woman shares her own experience about abuse and
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shame. and gay talese. revisits the bridge that made him a literary giant. we begin in washington, where a $1.1 trillion spending bill hangs in the balance with the u.s. senate. the house narrowly approved the legislation last night, despite support from president obama it is getting a lot of push back from democrats who put a lot of the blame on banks. >> here we are five years after dodd frank with congress on the verge of ramming through a provision that would do nothing for the middle class, do nothing for community banks, do nothing but raise the risk that taxpayers will have to bail out of the biggest banks once again. >> and it is with the banks we take a closer look at the spending bill. as patricia sabga reports, it is
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all in the bills. >> it's an item in the bill that is so importantly to the big banks, j.p. morgan chief jamie dimon personally telephoned. a provision repealing a key dodd frank financial reform that would prevent banks from leaving taxpayers on the hook when certain risk 80 trades turn sour. drafted said published roirts, , that came directly from citigroup supporters. >> can now continue to engage in reckless derivative speculation. >> reporter: derivatives that bet heavily on the future health of the nation's housing market were a driving force between the 2008 financial melt down. the dodd frank provision was
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designed to make sure that federally supported banks engaged in speculation. >> they're all the more likely to engage in even more risky tradings in higher volume. >> while the white house doesn't support rolling back such protection it's willing to live with it to get a spending bill passed. >> on balanced the president was pleased with what was in this proposal. >> regulations they claim are bad for the economy but with taxpayers still bristling from bailouts, a return of wall street excess is a bitter pill, for residents to swallow.
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patricia sabga, al jazeera. >> urging them to vote in favor of the bill. how much sway does jamie dimon have with congress? >> since the banks have purchased a large number of them, he has sway. huge number of lobbyists, they've been calling, these people have contributed to campaigns, and if you don't just want to look at the banking provision there is another provision in this legislation that increases the amount of money that people can give. and so of course dimon has lots of sway and he shouldn't have. city corp should not be writing allocation to keep our government open. >> what do you mean jamie dimon has purchased members of congress? >> i certainly don't mean than thathatpersonally.
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he has spent money on their campaigns. they are beholden to the banking lobby. this is their opportunity to roll the clock back but more importantly because these are contributors they owe him and they're paying. >> it wasn't just about republicans, 57 house democrats voted to pass the house spending bill. is it true that money muscle has impact on both bipartisan? >> you make the appropriate correction. it's not a partisan thing it's really a class thing. it's about who cares about the middle class and who doesn't. the middle class doesn't gain from this. >> the cost rising immediately, you see when the republicans get in the house and senate they are going to change the way business is done, trying to loosen these regulations and change the laws that were tightened before?
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>> oh, absolutely. this is their agenda all along. the votes weren't there. you certainly have the fire brand of a senator, elizabeth warren, who has been pushing. but she's only one of 43, 44. the republicans own the senate and the house and can run roughshod over everyone else. unless the democrats stand up and say wait a minute, this affects constituents of republicans. who are these republicans paying attention to, jamie dimon or john q smith, jane q smith? >> some of the things that happened on wallet wall street,n corruption, do you think they will get rolled back? >> if this spending bill passes there will be some rolling back and there will be more. this is so soon john, we expected the majorities would essentially have their sway but not so quickly. i mean this is 5 minutes from
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the election and they're already saying this is how it's going to be. now we know we didn't have a spending bill before. we know there are more compromise than there will ever be bought you have more diffract votes. let's give it a month and see how much protection there is for the american taxpayer. >> julie malvose have a great weekend. >> thanks. >> the dow dropped more than 300 points. consumers are celebrating cheaper gas prices but russians are getting hammered. jonathan betz is here with more on that. >> price in the u.s. has dropped a lot. it is now $2.60 a gallon. that is down more than a dollar since april. europe imports most of its oil.
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four cents drop in just four months. after weeks of rising prices, russia's gas has also dropped as well. china's economy has really been helped by this drop in oil. it's gas is down nearly 70 cents there. gas prices in fact are dropping so fast it's cause caught a lot of people by surprise. american drivers are rejoicing this holiday. >> i'm liking the gas prices i really am. it helps on my wallet, helps me save some money. >> while some are growing, oil prices are dropping like rarely seen before. under $60 a barely. >> travel more -- a barrel. >> travel more go home more it's nice. >> to cheaper heating oil. >> sylvia robinson in north
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carolina is stocking up. >> i watch the gas prices, figuring how low they're going, figuring oil prices will go with it. >> russia's economy relies high on its gas prices, driving up the cost nearly everything else. >> translator: it scares me to be honest. i don't know what will be next. >> the world is awash with oil, the shale oil is driving up the comep sheiks versus shale and saudi arabia refuses to blink. its minister say, keep pumping. >> they're a minority of the world global oil production so really don't have the power to influence prices like in the past. >> reporter: neighbors like iran are furious. its economy also largely runs on oil.
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and its president this week called the sharp drop in prices treachery and a conspiracy. >> the ones that are in particular need for higher prices are iranians who need about $140 and the venezuelans who need about $120. >> drillers in west texas wonder how long they can hold off. >> around $50 a barrel i believe you will see layoffs. >> reporter: for now, many drivers can't help but smile. >> i certainly hope it comes down more because the way the economy is, they've made plenty of money in the gas business. >> reporter: it's unclear how long this might last. opec may continue to push down prices but more can pop up like more unrest in the middle east or more demand which could cause this slide to stop. >> all right, jonathan, thank
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you. the fbi has launched an investigation into the hang death of a black teenager in north carolina. his death was originally ruled a suicide but his family claims he may have been lynched. roxana saberi has more. >> black subject. >> languaging from a swing. >> on the morning of august 29, 17-year-old lennon-lacey was found swinging from a belt. from this swing set in north carolina. >> he's not breathing. . >> the state medical examiner ruled it a suicide based on reports from the police and ocounty coroner. but his family and the naacp said the investigation was insufficient, they question whether it really was a suicide. lennon's mother claudia said i
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could not accept it then and i can't now. lennonwas a very shy boy. he wasn't depressed and he was looking forward to playing sports. she joins the naacp in calling for a federal investigation. >> we must make sure all of these leads are thoroughly investigated before this case is rushed to closure. and concluded as a suicide. >> they did an independent autopsy and found what they called contradictions. he was wearing white sneakers, shoes he did not own, lennon's mother ties his death to the
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deaths in ferguson and new york. roxana saberi, al jazeera. >> the shooting of tamir rice has been ruled a homicide. single gunshot to the torso. the boy was shot by a rookie police officer last month while carrying a fake gun. demanding new laws to end what they call racially discriminatory law enforcement processes. tom ackerman reports. >> on the steps of the u.s. capital this week, black members of congress walked identity. >> forgive, o god, our culpability. in contributing to our national pathology. >> reporter: the latest expression of black americans' grievances against white power at the center of government.
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the 1963 march on washington, best remembered by martin luther king jr.'s i have a dream speech. but it calls for an end to police violence unleashed in southern states to suppress voting rights laws in integrated public places. the so-called million man march focused on black men's self image and their need to stand up. against police abuse. >> the idea is pervasive in police departments across the country. and it's getting worse and not better. because white supremacy is not being challenged. >> that turnout in washington has never been duplicated in size. but today the local demonstrations marks a new chapter in protest. >> the fact that we've seen young people protesting sustained for three months i would argue that we haven't seen
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this kind of protest energy in the united states clearly among black and brown folks since the 18th apartheid in the 19-- antipawrd movement iantiaparthe9 80s. while polls show that most americans consistently oppose racial profiling there's a sharp division between blacks and whites over the recent cases of police inflicted deaths. race was a factor in local grand juries decisions not to indict police officers in missouri and new york.
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disparity in attitude between races that the protesters have only begun to reckon with. tom ackerman, al jazeera, washington. >> the u.s. attorney general says he will not try to force a new york times reporter to reveal his source. wanted james risen who gave him details in a book about a cia effort to sabotage iran's nuclear weapons program. but in a statement tonight eric holder states he will knot be required to reveal his source after all. in california, 50,000 customers are without power, mudslides and flooding shut down roads in the past. more flooding up north. more from rob reynolds. is. >> reporter: the mighty storm caused havoc from the nation's most populous state.
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kingdale in the north. >> one moment it was raining and next it was snowing three inches an hour. emergency responders piloted a boat through rushing waters, one of the rescuers nearly got swept away and needed to be rescued himself. more than 22 centimeters of rain fell in some areas and winds reached speeds of 200 kilometers per hour. the storm is a result of a tropical atmospheric disruption called the pineapple express. dropping vast amounts of rain over the land. road traffic was severely disrupted, trains cancelled and flights delayed. there is a silver lining in all these storm clouds. california has been suffering
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from a record-breaking drought and residents have been longing for rain. they just didn't want it all at once. rob reynolds, al jazeera, los angeles. >> coming up next on this broadcast. the u.s. connection with this cuban hip hop group. plus. >> i think within journalism, you have people in larger number trying to avoid lies. >> gay talese, helped define journalism in 1960s and 70s. what he thinks about it now.
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>> hundreds of days in detention. >> al jazeera rejects all the charges and demands immediate release. >> thousands calling for their freedom. >> it's a clear violation of their human rights. >> we have strongly urged the government to release those journalists. >> journalism is not a crime. >> china is set to commemorate its first national ceremony, where 300,000 chinese were killed by the japanese in 1937. aidadrian brown reports. >> across the frozen landscape of northeast china lies the destructive legacy of another country. it's a bomb. one of 700,000 the japanese government admits to. more than half of them in this province. >> translator: they're
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everywhere. sometimes we find them when we move the land. >> he was burned after stepping on a shell ten years ago and he can't understand why this one hasn't been moved. >> translator: of course we worry, its could kill us if we accidentally touch it. >> reporter: nearby, a father of another victim said he saw a steel tube lying at the water's edge and tried to retrieve it thinking he could maybe sell it for scrap. instead chemicals inside caused serious burns to his hand, and leaving him with a long and so far futile battle with the japanese government. >> how can i not be furious? the jab knees tubes not only killed our ancestors but it will
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hurt our children and next generation. >> reporter: japan admits its retreating army left behind bombs which had mustard gas. the chinese government says it's not happening fafs enough. it's estimated, most surviving with burns and others injuries. tokyo says it's so far found and destroyed at least 4,000 of these munitions but that is still a small percentage of what its army left behind here. tokyo promised to destroy as many of its weapons as possible by 2012. now almost 70 years after the second world war ended it's still asking for more time.
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adrian brown, al jazeera in jalin province northeast china. >> a major computer glitch disrupted more than a dozen airports in the united kingdom yesterday, u.k.'s air traffic control center is investigating the cause. air traffic officials of officials do not suspect a cyber attack. new disclosures about enhanced interrogation techniques. now there's evidence of a u.s. covert program that employed cuban rappers to upset communist rule in cuba. andy gallagher reports. >> they call themselves los aldianos but this duo could be more than just musicians. according to a recently uncovered document, they were part of fueling political change in cuba. the idea was to infiltrate the island's hip hop scene and
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spread a message of dissent. but the program backfired. u.s.a.i.d, found out contractors for millions of dollars. it's said to be inspired by serbian protest concerts that helped oust slobodan milosevich. on at least six occasions, cubans were detained and interrogated, putting cuban artists at loggerheads. never a secret, but part of an effort to strengthen cuban society. the state department says safety of those involved was the responsibility of contractors. >> we recognize that ordinary cubans run the risk of upsetting
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cuban authorities by participating in community initiatives, and for that reason, these programs were managed with discretion. >> not the first time accused of undermining cuba's government. among all the cuban americans in miami programs like it are welcome. >> i believe firmly that anything that can be done along those lines perhaps not through u.s.a.i.d, so as not to create problems, for other programs, excellent programs that they have but anything that could be done is a good thing. >> critics say u.s. efforts to undermine the cuban government are simply counterproductive. >> all it does is bring out the worst in the cuban regime, all we're doing is he helping to foment more paranoia and more
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mistrust and incentivizing them to clamp down in all sectors of society. >> the program which ran for two years is now been closed down. those fear the only ones who will suffer now are cuba's real musicians. andy gallagher, al jazeera, florida. >> former supermodel beverly johnson, what happened with birl cosbwith billcosby 30 years ago.
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>> this is al jazeera america, i'm john siegenthaler. coming up, beverly johnson breaks her silence about what she claims happened with bill cosby. black lives matter. it's a movement that has been gaining momentum after the grand jury decisions in ferguson and new york city. we'll hear from one of the creators. and legendary journalist gay talese talks to me about the
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state of adjournment. journalism. former supermodel beverly johnson says she was drugged by bill cosby. she writes about it in the latest edition of vanity fair. he put something in her drink that made her lightheaded. >> i was getting very woozy, i took another sip and at that point i knew i had been drugged. and i just started to swear and curse and had a tirade. i wanted him to know that i knew he had drugged me. and it was -- i don't know. i was just -- i just went on survival mode. i knew it was -- i was in danger. >> silnau abrams is a domestic violence activate and a surviv survivor, the author of truth
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and reality. ists good to have you. >> thanks for having me. >> beverly johnson writes in vanity fair of her struggle to reveal this secret. fearful that she would be dismissed as she describes as an angry black woman. >> uh-huh. >> what's your reaction to that? >> i thi it's very, very -- it's a very real fear and concern as black women, there's this very prevalent tear joe type of us being very angry and very strong tendency within our community this feel, this need to protect our own even if it's at the expense of our own safety and well-being. and so what she said absolutely is something that many women have spoken of. >> more than 20 women have now come forward to accuse bill cosby of sexual assault. first of all are you surprised at the numbers we're talking about here? >> i'm not surprised at the numbers. i'm not surprised at all. when the first allegations came out i just knew it in my gut as
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a woman who came up around entertainment, as a former model myself, as a woman who spent probably the last 25 years of my life surrounded by men in power. i have seen crazy things. and so hearing that bill -- the first few, accusations, you know, i thought to myself, hmm, is there -- maybe, is there something to this? but then as more and more came forward it was very clear to me when there's that much smoke there's a burning fire. >> bill cosby and his lawyers have denied these allegation. but why women -- i mean help us understand why women have taken so long to reveal some of these things. >> well i can speak from personal experience. as a woman who is a survivor of sexual assault. i was raped by a celebrity 20 years ago. to this day, i cannot say his name. to this very day. out of fear. now, 20 years ago, when i was
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assaulted, it was -- >> can you just explain the fear that you're talking about here? >> sure, sure. well the fear, the fear at the time was, here i was 24 years old, i was drunk the night in question. he and i had had a prior sexual relationship. we had not been involved in over a year. and i blamed myself. which was a very -- which is a very common response. and so immediately after everything happened, the first thing that went through my mind was: what is going to happen to me if i speak out? because i'm just salai at the time baber. i'm just this drunken party girl model who gets drunk and hangs out with celebrity. who's going to believe me? 20 years ago we had the national
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enquirer. 20 years later i'm salai abrams, i work to combat sexual violence and domestic violence on college campuses. i'm a board member for national domestic violence hot line and i still cannot speak the truth because if i were to name my assailant, within the course of 36 hours, everything that i've worked for for the last 20 years would be destroyed by social media. if you look at what happened with these women, they waited 30 years, because of fear. and that fear is real. because even i, today, as a legitimate member of the anti-violence movement cannot speak freely. >> what strikes you about the way the media has treated these particular women? >> well, the way the media has treated these particular women i look really beyond just the media. the media actually gave them a platform. what's disconcerting, what is painful, what had has been
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incredibly traumatizing for me as a survivor is the public's response. to see rape culture, this culture of rape that is in our society, and to see how the first thing that an alleged victim has to do is prove that she's not lying, is to prove that she didn't make him do it. is to prove that she somehow did not -- that she didn't bring this onto herself. so to see the public's reaction immediately discrediting the women was terrifying. if i were raped today, looking at the way that these victims have been treated, where you're talking 30, 40 years later, they still can't speak. without being accused of lying and of having an agenda. and we see this happen all the time. the media, gave them a platform, but our community, our society, has to change its attitudes towards rape and sexual assault.
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what bothers me about this is the fact that whether men, for example, came forward around jerry sandusky, there was no question about whether or not these allegations were in fact true. >> right. >> but every time a woman says that she has been raped, immediately the pressure's put on her to say prove it. prove it. we want proof. we don't necessarily ask that same proof. so here we have women coming forward 30 years later who finally feel safe and the numbers, think about it. to come out that first woman to come out takes incredible courage. then to have the safety in numbers, and to still be accused of lying, that's a really significant problem in our culture that has to be addressed. >> it's really powerful to hear you talk about this. so does the bill cosby case, do these allegations change, the dynamic that you've just talked about, do they help change it in any way, or not?
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>> i think does it change the -- >> does it help us move forward to a place where the things you've just described don't happen again, i guess is what i'm saying. >> absolutely not. it's going to take a lot more. what we need -- at the root of all this is patriarchy, mis misogyny. that women have a vendetta against men and this false belief, false rape -- i can't -- >> accusation. >> thank you very much. false rape accusations are commonplace, when in fact studies show that it's very rare. but despite that people don't want to look and address the fact that this is something that's very commonplace. and they say well, it's been 40 years. what's their agenda? why are they coming out now?
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you know i've also heard -- >> they want attention, they want money. >> they want attention, they want money. and also this, these are white women, come on 30, 40 years ago, they could have come out and destroyed a black man. why are they doing this? the truth of the matter is they're doing this because they finally feel safe and i applaud them for speaking up and i do hope that more women will come forward and share their stories. because the more that we do, the more that we can actually create change in our community. >> you've been on this program before but i really appreciate you sharing more of your story tonight. i think it's very enlightening for this issue to have discussion on it. solai, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> the fbi is investigating the death that was originally ruled a suicide in income. new evidence claims he could have been lynched.
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the death of tam ir rice has tan ruled suicide. a national march against police violence is set to take place in washington, d.c. on saturday, and in new york, a day of anger demonstration scheduled for tomorrow. over the past few weeks we've seen protests across the country. one phrase has galvanized thousands of americans, black lives matter. in tonight's first person report the story behind a phrase that has inspired a movement. >> hi, i'm alicia garza and i'm the co-founder of black lives matter. black lives matter was started as a conversation on facebook between myself and patrice colors and opal tametti and we were responding to the grief an the rage and the frustration of george zimmerman zimmerman being
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acquitted of the murder of trayvon martin and decided to create a platform to bring people together online so they could collaborate, strategy and come together offline. people are coming together to really demand transformation. what feels incredible about this moment is there is a new convening and coalescing of young people and elders who are united in our quest to live in safe and healthy communities, to live in communities that are not militarized and to be better in the way that we live together. when i first started seeing black lives matter signs in ferguson it felt -- it felt like an honor. it felt like a reflection of the relationships that we had built. and it felt authentic. and it felt like it was bigger
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than us. and that it was a real battle cry. that people in ferguson were fighting for their lives and black people everywhere are fighting for our lives. when i see signs like i can't breathe and hands up don't shoot, in addition to black lives matter, it feels like a poignant reminder that we have a lot of work to do to make sure black lives are valued in this country. this moment feels different to me. because we've had some experience now. there's been a lot of really powerful work that's been happening for a long time that's brought us to this moment. this isn't the first time that people have responded to police brebrutality. we say ferguson is everywhere. where i see for this movement is
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it gets larger and larger and i do fundamentally believe that there will be major transformations that will happen. >> garza believes that things will be different in five or ten years. adrian peterson's appeal of his season long suspension was denied today. now minnesota vikings star says he may take the case to federal court. peterson was deactivated for child abuse for injuring his four-year-old son. he pleaded no contest. >> this week, several former employees of bernie madoff were sentenced to jail. daniel bonventure received the longest sentence, ten years. personal assistant tells her
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story in the al jazeera documentary, in god we trust. >> you know we're not one of the big guise that lost all that money. we lost our life savings so. >> we have lost everything. i have lost everything. and you have lost everything. >> people have killed themselves. people have lost their health. >> $50 billion. >> $50 billion gone, vanished and there are allegations that this long running business was in fact a giant ponzi scheme. >> thanks to all over the world they all put money with ber berd madoff they thought he was a good man but he wasn't. >> elie weisel, the nobel
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laureate, he had stolen all his mondays. >> they are juice they're christians, they're muslims, they are hindus. >> my name is eleanor and for the last 25 years i was bernie madoff's secretary. i discovered there was more to the man and the crime than i could have ever imagined. playing out just 15 feet from my desk. the morning after the arrest i had come into work, my phones were going crazy and the fax machines and you know, one woman called in and she was sobbing and didn't know how she was going to to pa pay her bills and didn't know what she was going to do. there were just so many people. they ended up feeling victimized and ashamed there were so many people. all they wanted to know is what could you do? you did everything you could
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which was not much. >> sir why did you do it? anything to say to your victims? >> i was going to do something about it, i didn't know what but i was going to do everything i could to help the authorities. i knew i was the person that woorkd directly for him and i knew in my file there had to be stuff that would be helpful. >> eleanor is the ultimate pot of gold. she's honest, she knows all the players. she could basically teach you as an investigator the landscape of this business. >> they would create a phony spread she'spreadsheet, on thiss 500, they would create a phony portfolio on this spreadsheet and every month it would show a gain and mail them out to investors every month. >> white collar crime destroys lives. and it can happen to any one of us. >> part 1 of the documentary in
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god we trust airs at the top of the hour tonight. you can see the conclusion of that story sunday night at 9:00 eastern time. artists from around the country are targeting the problem of gun violence. they are transferring guns off the street of new orleans and creating a powerful new exhibit. jonathan martin has the story. >> in this new orleans gallery, visitors are greeted by guns, a back wall pierced by bullets. each presented a bold story. >> there's 33 different perspectives all on the issue of guns and gun violence in our country. >> new orleans has long ranked as one of america's most dangerous city. the exhibit is forcing frank dialogue about gun violence in the city and across america.
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>> you have conversations about the second amendment. you have conversations about murder. you have conversations about what are the solutions. you have conversations about who cares. >> the artists from around the country use decommissioned firearms taken off the street as raw materials. ferrara worked directly with the new orleans police department. >> i went and selected 186 guns. >> this chain is made from slices o of the barrel of a shotgun. >> debra lester is award winning photographer, her mother was killed by a home invasion 20 years ago. >> if you ask a person there's another person on the other side. >> another piece is called one hot gun. representing the summer of 2002 when someone was murdered nearly every day in nowrnlts.
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new orleans. >> you realize these are obituaries, this is a whole month of death. >> i'm not trying to give you an answer. i'm trying to encourage you to look for your own answers. >> some messages are clear. there is a map of new orleans featuring the names in red of more than 100 people in the city killed this year. >> under six years old and they're murdered? what is happening in the country that this happens on a regular basis? >> garnering praise from leaders across the city. jonathan ferrara, says if these conversations can happen in a room filled with art that's a step in the right direction.
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jonathan martin, al jazeera, new orleans. >> now to our interview with gay talese. one of his major works, the bridge, chronicals the building of verrazano bridge. here are some thoughts how he thinks journalism has changed for better or worse. >> what i do respect most about being a journalist, of all the professions including the medical profession and the business profession and the clerical profession, within journalism you have people in larger number trying to avoid lies. lies are so much a part of business life and educational life and political life and certainly wall street, even the clergy. i think per square yard there are fewer liars in a journalism city room than in any other comparable space environment. fewer liars.
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when there are liars such as jason blare of the new york times a few years ago there are people within the office that call him out and fire him. you have to admire the quest for truth. the profession is trying to get to the truth and i think that's a good thing. negative: i think that journalism has fallen since 9/11 under the sway of the american government. i believe this area where you were, this channel for which you are under which you are employed is a valuable thing. because we need in this country and still are not getting enough of, a different point of view. and every since 9/11 and the invasion of iraq in 2003, fell under the power of the government, and they fell -- they were fearful of being deemed unpatriotic. so the if there's any contrary
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reporting that the rumsfelds of the government or this white house itself, there's not this kind of tough reporting that i remember from the days that i was young in vietnam, still you had courage and you had newspapers that backed the reporters. >> what did the courage go? >> national newspapers became part of the national defense, we couldn't say anything or write anything that was contrary to a national interest. >> is that why 13 years later we're just learning about what actually went on with regard to torture in the cia? >> slurl right. they have managed to keep, controlling the news censoring it, that's what it is, iraq or afghanistan, pakistan acknowledge syria, anywhere that
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foreign reporting where it is supposed to be done is done now with great caution. not any reporter wants to be identified with a lack of sensitivity or patriotism. >> how is the concept of celebrity changed journalism? you left the new york times and went to write for esquire. how has the culture of journalism changed now nowaday? >> i suggest journalism is diminished in covering celebrities. as you pointed out i did cover some. the tape recorder took away from the art of listening. took away something of the style and character of the reporter. the interviewer as opposed to the interviewee. we were as a rule, brazen
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people. outsiders, noses pressed against the window looking in from outside. today the journalists who work for the great newspapers are more educated. they go to the same schools and the people run the government, who run wall street. they belong to the same clubs. they -- in washington, they belong to the same clubs and swim in the same swimming pools. there is a breakdown of that class remoteness. >> coming up next, more of my interview with best seller gay talese. talking about a book he wrote 50 years ago, the bridge. >> a magnificent view of work under perilous conditions.
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>> just before the break we heard legendary writer gay talese, during the 1960s he was among a renegade group, when stal eastalese wrote the bridgee asked him what attracted him to the building of verrazano bridge. >> at that time i was a rather young reporter on the new york times and i hadn't been aware are of bridges all around us, in manhattan we see four or five bridges if we do any traveling. and i've often wondered about the skyscrapers or the bridges of this city, who built them.
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i have a curiosity, any good reporter is consume with curiosity. the workers not the designers. watching how they did this, from the high altitude in which they work. it's mag an magnificent view ofk under perilous conditions. >> perilous conditions, i mean this is most dangerous work you could do. >> the wind is mostly -- i mean the wind never stops, you know? and you're up there only holding on to sometimes the cat walks which are just you know a bunch of net, iron net. and the braces on your hand are just wire. and sometimes you're up on a beam that is no more than 12 or 14 inches wide. i mean to see it is both fear evoking but also initial to see
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how fearless they are, how risk takers they are really. they take an almost pride in what they do and what they do outlives them. >> this was a controversial bridge, it had its controversy didn't it? >> it was controversial because in order to build these you had to have enormous protests. hundreds and hundreds of families and stores and other buildings were destroyed because they happened to be unlucky in falling into the pathway to the bridge, the approach way to the bridge. so there was a lot of anguish and age are to the big builder in the city robert moses and over four years it appeared as a functioning way to get from brooklyn and tante island. istaten island. almost a million dollars a day is collected on the verrazano.
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but it is the gateway to new york. >> tell me what it was like, what you remember at that time. >> well i remember the thrill of watching a magnificent project in the making. watching it step by step, the links of a bridge i would witness on those trips sometimes twice a week, spending three or four hours a day watching as the steel was lifted by these very strong hardworking men. and what i got from that experience and what i retain now, more than 50 years later, is how hard americans, in great numbers, work. we don't associate, particularly in this technological time, how still americans work with their hands. and this bridge was built with hands. >> this book, the bridge, and many other wonderful books. gay talese.
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we could do this for a couple of hours. great to talk with you. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> now the picture of the day, you may not be able to see it, the grand canyon, covered with fog, told air inverse, cool air gets trapped, in warm air. in god we trust, is next. one else will ask. >> real perspective, consider this on al jazeera america
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