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tv   Real Money With Ali Velshi  Al Jazeera  April 21, 2015 1:30am-2:01am EDT

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for an american reporter detained in iran says he's facing charges including espionage, the washington post teheran correspondent jason has been held since last july. his lawyer says the charges including conducting propaganda against the establishment and collaborating with hostile government. vladimir vladimir putin's latespower play in the cold war with the west, plus china is making a power play in pakistan with a multimillion dollar bid. these two developments have me asking tonight: what if anything can america do about it? i'm ali velshi, our special report starts right now.
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is america losing the global competition for influence in the world? whispers have turned to loud proclamations. i heard them last week when i was in washington for a meeting of the world's most powerful financial leaders. i hear it when i talk to key players around the globe. but before we go down this road, we have to answers answer three questions. is america's influence declining, two, if it is, which is gaining? and three, taking a half foot
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foot step back from the world stage is it a bad thing? situation in ukraine morphed into an international crisis? in one bold strike last week vladimir putin announced plans to sell sophisticated missiles to iran, deploying those missiles in iran would thwart possible attacks by the u.s. or israel on iran's nuclear installations, advantage russia. the u.s. confirmed by saying it was sending 300 paratroopers to help train ukrainian military. and to destabilize ukraine and advantage america, maybe. but almost on cue, the ceasefire talks began to flare up again. and fresh moves on a rebel area in crimea which russia annexed
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last year, perhaps advantage russia after all. and anyone hoping russia will end this new cold war last a long time to wait. russian sanction he are taking a big bite out of russian prosperity but despite all the hardships poll after poll shows solid putin backing. rory challands reports. >> it's seven weeks since boris nemtsov died. clearly he's deeply missed. many attending an opposition conference on saturday new him personally. but they didn't come to mourn, they came to plan for the future.
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>> translator: we don't aim at choosing a leader and uniting around him. if you have one leader you can be easily defeated. we must become a wide scale movement for democratic reforms. we must learn to do something that the opposition never could do. go to people. talk to them. get a huge number of activists to help. only will this bring the chance of victory. >> parliamentary elections in 2016 and a strategic union has just been formed to fight them. nemtsov's party, rpr parnasse and the party of progress led by anticorruption campaigner alexi navalny. opposition is wise to propose a different model to russia's traditional authoritarianism. >> the three leaders of yeltsin
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or putin style. the key persons do incline to understand that if we do implement the parliamentary model,. >> belkofski is not optimistic of success. russia's opposition facing east hostile largely state controlled media, a system that has top down authority, and convicted in trials that he says are politically motivated. losing nemtsov was a huge blow for russia's opposition. we are starting to see how they are going to oppose, by forsaking big politics in favor of smaller local campaign issues.
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rory challands, al jazeera moscow. >> it is said often that u.s. won the cold war but didn't win the peace. lawrence korb is a fellow at the american council for politics. lawrence, thank you so much for being with us. let's look at the trouble from russia in the last year alone in crimea, in the ukraine, and on so many other levels. we don't seem to seem to be having much influence over russia despite the sanctions we imposed. >> i think we do. russia has worked with us on iran, getting equipment in and out of afghanistan, in terms of their near abroad, we're making them pay a tremendous price for what they've done in crimea and in ukraine, because of the
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sanctions we were able to get europeans to level on. >> you know i came back from the spring meetings at the word bank and the imf in washington, there was an undercurrent about there being a lack of influence on the global economic stage. some of it was just blamed on the economic situation around the world. some of it was blamed specifically on a level of dysfunction in washington. you've been watching disfunction in washington for decades. is the current dysfunction we've seen over the last six years or so so much greater irthat it's affecting the influence of the u.s. on the world stage? >> it's impacting us more at home rather than on the world stage. look how strong the dollar is. we just concluded a trade agreement with a lot of the countries in the pacific. our budget deficit is down. we're having problems over things like confirming people
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political offices, getting budgets passed on time. but overall our position in the world if anything has been getting stronger over the last decade. >> arguably though not as strong in the middle east. we're seeing greater influence being exercised by russia particularly with respect to syria with respect to iran, sure helping us with these deals but is influence waning there? >> no, again, we were able to put together a group of six countries, the p-5 plus one, to put sanctions on iran which got them to come to the bargaining table. and if you look at the agreement that we made, that we're going to work out the final details, they have made concessions that nobody ever thought they would make. and that's because we were able to get -- we were able to multiply our influence to get other people to work with us. >> what do you make of the situation developing in
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congress, where folks like chuck schumer going ahead with the idea that congress has to ratify whatever agreement comes out before july 30th. does that weaken the u.s? >> well, i think it doesn't help. but if you look at the bill as originally proposed by senator corker and mcconnell to the one that came out, it has a much more leeway for the executive branch to do what it needs to do. because remember even if congress doesn't like the deal the president can veto it under this legislation and that means he only needs to get 34 of the you know, over 40 democrats to support him which i think that he will. >> over in pakistan, we've got things developing there with russia. russia has lifted its long standing embargo on weapons sales to pakistan. they've agreed to joint military exercises with pakistan. this is a country where the u.s. has long had remarkable influence, largely because of the amount of financial aid we
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give pakistan. now they're chumming up with russia. is this something for america to be worried about? >> no. again i think if you take a look as you just pointed out, that we just sold them a billion dollars worth of helicopters and we've given them over $50 billion of military assistance. the pakistanis have always had relations with the other countries in the region and again our main goal is to make sure the pakistanis don't destabilize the situation in afghanistan or do something with nuclear weapons with india. >> good place for us to stop lawrence korb. china giving 46 billion to build a superhighway, as china steps forward with its deep pockets to the middle east. we'll examine that situation in two minutes.
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>> al jazeera's investigative unit has tonight's exclusive report. >> from coast to coast. >> people selling fresh water for fracking. >> stories that have impact. >> we lost lives. >> that make a difference. >> senator, we were hoping that we could ask you some questions about your legal problems. >> that open your world. >> it could be very dangerous. >> i hear gunshots. >> a bullet came right there through the window. >> it absolutely is a crisis. >> real reporting. >> this is what we do. >> america tonight. tuesday through friday. 10:00 eastern. only on al jazeera america. >> america is watching with concern as china flexes its economic, military and geopolitical muscles all over the world. satellite and aerial photos released in the last several
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days show that china is building a runway on artificial islands that it's building in the south china sea. defense analysts say the runway is big enough for fighter jets transport planes and surveillance aircraft. as the philippines and the united states begin their largest joint military exercises in 15 years. the exrts exercises evolve 11,000 soldiers and actions in the south china sea have created territorial disputes with countries including the philippines and vietnam. and in pakistan chinese leader xi jinping met with nawaz sharif. china will make tens of billions of lars of
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dollars of investments in pakistan. nicole johnston has that story. >> high in the mountains close to pakistan china is expanding the world's highest international paved road, the karakorum highway the china- china-pakistan corridor, all the way south through pakistan to the port city of guada. >> when the china-pakistan corridor becomes operational china would be directly connected to the middle east of the gulf states and to africa. and this would be a big dividend accruing directly to the corridor directly from the corridor. >> cutting the time it takes from goods and oil to reach china from the middle east from 12 days to 36 hours.
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and there are all sorts of deals linked to it. coal, solar and wind power. oil and gas pipelines. highways and railways. impressive buildings in islamabad, a cultural center paid for by china. a long tested relationship one based on cultural, economic and strong military ties. china is pakistan's biggest supplier of weapons. it helped develop the latest jet fighter, the jf 17 thunder. >> pakistan is a one that has been plagued with problems all around, we cannot depend on others. china has been far more truss worthy, is -- trust worthy, is a much more reliable friend of pakistan and i think that's known universally.
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>> revives the old silk road tradeers used centuries ago. a note to the past, while developing new industries for the future. nicole johnston al jazeera islamabad. >> well china's back to the future moves in pakistan and its other expansionary moves have bik cha chinese strategy means for america, patricia. >> ali, china's multibillion dollar infrastructure in pakistan is the centerpiece of a much broaders geopreliminary vision, that may replace united states as the dominant power in the corridor, down to the deep water of pakistan just a little over an hour's drive from the iranian border.
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in terms of strategic foot holes it does not duet much better than guada, home of 20% of the middle east traffic. china especially assumed control of the port, raising concerns it could be used by the chinese navy. beijing's investment plan for pakistan far outstrips u.s. aid which totaled $5 billion between 2012 and 2014, but when you think of the blood and treasure the united states has poured into the region, china is buying influence by strategically deploying its vast foreign exchange reserves through vehicles like the newly created china led, asian infrastructure investment bank which many became founding members of
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despite washington's objections. pakistan is one of the areas where china is forming an ambitious network known as one belt one road, if realized, the belten road, could serve to extend beijing's political influence, other nation's human rights affairs. beijing has also expressed a desire for new regional security structures in asia that shift away from u.s. led alliances. ali. >> let's bring lawrence korb, he joins us again from washington. let's pick up where we left off with respect to pakistan but this time with china as a consequence. you know people may not always think about this but china has a pretty good-sized border with
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pakistan and it's got some muslim separatists in that border. is that dominating -- is that motivating china to take a bigger role in pakistan, the premier of china is there now. >> there's no doubt about the fact that china because they have a border is concerned what happens in pakistan. if they want to improve a lot of the people there i think that's great. but china and we have the same interest, we don't want the nuclear weapons to be used indiscriminately. we have trained the military people in pakistan over the years but i think it's important, they want a stable area there too. we have improved our relationship with india which is a much bigger counterweight to china. >> that's complicating because one of the things that china is domg with pakistan they are selling them a number of nuclear powered submarines. are we fueling two sides of a war? these are two countries that are
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ward, two nuclear armed countries at war and we are on both sides of this. >> basically what we are trying to do is to prevent them from going to war and we have been able to keep our relations with both countries open to try and bring stability. our main goal to have stability in the area, india, pakistan, china russia and iran are all going to play a role in stabilizing afghanistan. i think we have to recognize that you know we are powerful but we can't do everything ourselves. that's where we make a mistake. we don't use other countries and work with them when we have a shared interest. >> the chinese has started up the asian infrastructure investment bank, the aiib. larry summers, the former president of the fed, do you share that view? >> no i don't. i think it would be good if we god involved with the bank but
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this transpacific partnership, this trade deal is much more important as well as the rebalance of our force he through pacific. i mean we've got ships home ported in singapore and in japan for example, we have marines in awful, we have doing exercises now with the filipinos and the vietnamese, that to me is much more important to maintain our influence and make china realize they can't be an expansionist power. >> tell me, compared this to the time when you were the deputy defense secretary where the u.s. was undisputed as terms the strongest military power although there was still a cold war underway. undisputed. do you think it's true? is the u.s. less of an economic power in the world than it was when you were in washington? >> well, we were a tremendous economic power until 2001. remember that we have projected that over the first decade of
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this century we would eliminate our federal deficit. we had a budget surplus. and then we got involved in the wars, cut taxes rather than raise taxes to pay for them, then you had the financial melt down. but if you look at who has recovered there, we have done much better than most of the world. >> sure. >> even china's growth is beginning to slow. when you talk about japan in the '80s and '90s they were going to overcome us. i think at some point they can't continue to grow unless they change politically. >> this conversation will repeat itself throughout the presidential campaign, it will be truncated, if we have lost influence or let it slip it's because of the obama administration. is it the circumstance of the way the world has unfolded? >> again i think china by the things they have done they have got the rest of the countries in the pacific to come with the united states against them.
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you know filipinos kicked us out of bases about 20 years ago. they want us back in. look at vietnam, remember that war, now we are working with the japanese. now, given their history they should be concerned about that. overall i think we are in a much better position in asia than we were certainly five or six years ago. >> that was grim leaving the imf and spring meetings. you've cheered me up lawrence, lawrence korb, center for american progress and the former assistant secretary of defense under ronald reagan. coming up, the ultimate dropped phone calls, i'll tell you that the government has the ultimate
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>> a legal battle is underway to limit a power that the u.s. government has that very few people even know about. right now, all cell phone service in america can be shut down with the flip of a switch. some say it's necessary in case of a critical emergency like a terror attack.
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but as lisa stark explains critics say the program is too secretive. >> reporter: cell phones connect us to family and friends, to the internet, to the world. but what if suddenly the government cut off service? it's called the internet kill >> right. >> what is that? >> it's basically the ability to turn off cell phones and turn off the networks for anyone using a cell phone. >> reporter: the department of homeland security calls it standard operating procedure 303. >> these are the rules that the department of homeland security decide to use when shut down a network. >> after a judge ordered david schuster dhs toturn it off, all they got was
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pages after pages all redacted. >> what is critical here is the rules of when the government can and cannot shut down these networks should be public. >> reporter: the federal rules were developed in 2006 after an uproar when new york city officials temporarily shut down cell service in the city's tunnels. the officials were worried terrorists who had bombed london's subways might use cell phones to detonate explosives in manhattan. no one thought much about the rules until 2011. that's when the bay area rapid transit shut off cell service at san francisco stations just before a protest over the killing of an unarmed man by a bart police officer. davey cook is an activist in the bay area. >> most of the communication and much of the organizing was taking plagues through social
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media through twitter, and on the spot, people were communicating through text messaging. so that then of course became we can cut the protest by cutting off the way in which they communicate. >> bart said it shut off the service because it said quote a civil disturbance during commute times could lead to platform overcrowding and unsafe conditions. but critics said the action violated free speech. >> funnelly whether fundamentally whether i agree with you in principle you can't stop the way i communicate. >> but david howar disagrees. >> there hab toss has to be a defensible way to support it. >> a defense department
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official said we are not going to comment on that. i'm lisa stark in washington. >> and i'm ali velshi. that's our program for tonight. thank you for joining us. five years ago today a cascading series of cut corners, mistakes and accidents brought death and disaster to the deep water horizon water rig in the gulf of mexico. before they capped the well it was the biggest spill history. what did the water do to mexico, bp and deep water drilling. did the company keep its promise to restore the gulf?