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tv   News  Al Jazeera  September 18, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm EDT

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confront the real possibility it might be worse without him. i'm ray suarez and that's the "inside story."
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>> four fighter jets and attack helicopters were dispatched today. also the announcement of direct military talks between the u.s. and russia. jamie mcintyre is live at the pentagon with all these new developments. jamie? >> well, adam, the pentagon has been watching closely over recent weeks as russia has been pouring troops and equipment. >> syria. and moscow has offered crucial support to the syrian regime since the beginning of the syrian civil war. the pentagon has been trying to figure out where it's all
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headed. >> with fighter jets deployed like these, they have little choice but to have military-to-military talks with moscow. secretary of state john kerry tried to put the best face on it. >> it will help to define some of the different options that are available to us as we consider next steps in serie-a. >> u.s. defense secretary ash carter has not spoken to his russian counterpart since he took office. in fact, all so-called mill to mill talks from put on hold until march of last year in reaction to russia's actions in ukraine. but in a 50-minute phone call just hours after moscow ai moss moscow air landed in syria.
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it includes four planes comparable to f-15s. some versions are not only ai air-to-air combat but ai air-to-ground bombs. four mi 25 gunships attack helicopters, which also carry up to eight ground troops and are armed with guns, rockets and sometimes even bombs. the state department said that the u.s.-russia talks are limited to what it calls deacon friction. translation, the usa wants to know what russia is up to so neither side mistakenly attacks the other. >> you know, we want to see it
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move in a much more operational level in that space. >> it would seem to validate a pentagon assessment earlier this week, that russian president vladimir putin is more interested in helping bashar al-assad instead of fighting isil. >> i think assad's regime has been under greater threat in the last several months. >> chairman john mccain said it's another example of putin outmaneuvering the u.s. >> this vacuum steps out vladimir putin as he is seen weakness and he's taking advantage. >> the big question is how will russia flex this military muscle? will it conduct airstrikes against anti-assad forces in
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syria, will it get involved in direct ground combat. and as the u.s. has learned in ukraine when it comes to russia it is more prudent to pay attention to what it does rather than what it says. >> jamie mcintyre, thank you. now to our special coverage of the refugee crisis. stretching from the middle east to europe. people making the desperate journey to europe are now finding fewer places to go. >> frustrations turn to go violence a at a train station. this is near the border of hungary. closing seven border crossings after 14,000 refugees entered the country in 24 hours. croatia's prime minister said that his country has reached its limit. he will now redirect people to hungary and slovenia. we're on croatia's border with
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serbia. they're along side the refugees making their desperate journey to europe. >> it's all relative and no doubt this miserable line of people waiting for someone to take them further looks absolutely desperate. but in relative terms it is better than being tear gassed by the hungarians. as the day wore on the buses came regularly shipping them north towards the capital. to the untrained eye the idea of this three-year-old thinking that this could be anything but a nightmare seems impossible, but her iraqi family have told her that it's a great big game, even if the game has lasted for weeks, it is exhausting and seems to have no end. >> these european countries that say they don't want you, what do you say to them? >> i don't want them also. >> which countries do you want? >> i don't care. i just told you i want in a
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peace place, and i hope to find this place. >> croatia has said that the borders might close from first light. they continued in from serbia. but just one road border remained open. the pointless exercise when no refugees were there any way. they were all sheltering from 40-degree heat and dreaming, hoping. >> i was going in two times before. the third time i reached safety. >> as he was talking, everybody got up and ran to the railway line. a train was coming. could this be salvation? but no, it wasn't. and they went back deflated. then an indication of how vulnerable they are to exploitation, a man suddenly lying on the ground in pain surrounded by riot police. what has happened here the man who was crying on the ground turned out to be taking money from some of the refugees and promising them that they would go to hungary.
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one just looked on his phone on the gps and realized they were not in hungary aall, they were in croatia, and somebody punched him in the face. the croatian government said that they could not put up with this much more, but they will allow people through who don't want to stay here. that is basically everybody. but the problem is the other countries won't allow that. welcome to europe. now go away. laurence lee, al jazeera in croatia. >> well, as lawrence mentioned, the refugees are being taken to the croatian capital. we are there as they try to figure out their next steps. >> we are free now. >> in croatia the taxis were waiting, but obstacles still remain. for the refugees taken to zagreb by train, confusion was compounded.
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>> every question has a thousand different answers. there are no right answers on what we are to do. >> on an extremely hot day optimism was apparent, but the waiting seemed endless. >> we're sure there will be a solution, but we don't know how long it will take, there are a lot of people without food or money, and a lot of babies without milk to drink. >> even as they boarded buses they weren't sure where they were headed. >> we heard that they were opening borders for refugees. >> the refugees i just spoke to said that they're expecting to be taken to slovenia. they said they had no information that the border to slow see slovenia has been closed. this man tells me he won't stop until he reaches his mother in germany. >> we have to be patient.
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after this distance we've traveled away can't go back. >> on croatia's border another makeshift camp has sprouted. volunteers hand out food, and clothes are donated. kindness helps to temper desperation. but still the journey is nowhere near over. the refugees are within walking distance to another country. but they've been stopped in their tracks once more. al jazeera. on croatia's border with slovenia. >> so many problems, but the vatican is starting to make good on pope francis' pledge of taking in refugees. he has taken in one of two families that he promised to accept. that family is now applying for asylum in italy. on sunday be sure to join us on al jazeera america support
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"desperate journeys: a global crisis." it. president obama has chosen an openly gay man as the next army secretary. if confirmed eric fanning will be the openly gay person to lead a branch of u.s. military. he is currently the acting under secretary of the army. he has been a pentagon and congressional defense specialist for more than 25 years. up next, trump in trouble. the g.o.p. frontrunner getting a lot of criticism for something he did not say. and money talks. the presidential election still more a year away, but the cash is really flowing. the unbelievable amount of money that candidates are expected to spend. >> business man bill browder. >> if my grandfather was the biggest communist in america, i'm gonna go become the biggest capitalist in eastern europe. >> from communist origins to capitalist tycoon. see why he's now set on taking down vladimir putin. >> the russian government remains determined to ruin me in
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any way they can, including killing me if they can get away with it. the only way to get better is to challenge yourself,
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and that's what we're doing at xfinity. we are challenging ourselves to improve every aspect of your experience. and this includes our commitment to being on time. every time. that's why if we're ever late for an appointment, we'll credit your account $20. it's our promise to you. we're doing everything we can to give you the best experience possible. because we should fit into your life. not the other way around.
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>> welcome back. the united states today announced new rules that could have a tremendous impact on cube's economy. the regulations allow for more money and more goods to flow between the u.s. and cuba. we're live from havana. david, what could this mean for both countries? >> you know, you can't under state the efforts of the impact of these new regulations. of course, we had the beginnings of normalization between these two countries back on december 17, 2014.
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that was the macro-perspective. this is the micro perspective. american business saying this is what we need to do to do business in cuba. and the obama administration has delivered on banking, travel, and business between cuba and the united states and how it moves forward. cuba is open for business. there is a sense once there is an embassy there creates a sense of permanence. now with these new regulations you can get a sense of how u.s. businesses can essentially do business here. but there are going to be obstacles here. the infrastructure in this country is, well, many say it's not up to the task. oftentimes cubans or foreign companies have to partner with the cuban government. that creates all kinds of problems in terms of efficiency. obviously this is a government that nationalized private part
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back in the 1960s, which spawned the embargo in the first place. this is a huge step forward when we talk about this relationship between these two countries. >> it does make you wonder what the economic development will be like. does this kind of put the ball in cuba's court, per se, to make some changes now? >> i don't think you could put it better than that. what we see with all of these changes over the course of the last ten months is the obama administration is essentially making it more and more easy to do business here. obviously you can't lift the embargo without an act of congress. but how that is interpreted, how that is implied there is leeway there. for years foreign companies doing business here, particularly american companies, there have been some. they needed the approval of the treasury department had to get th.
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and there is more need between the two and how they come together, and this country is quite cash strapped. since the oil prices have plunged, those countries that cuba has relied upon has dried up. they need those tourism cash and the micro finance. >> thanks so much. pilgrims from around the world gather in mecca. they're preparing fo. the hjj begins on tuesday. fall out from a campaign event last night, the republican presidential frontrunner declined to interrupt a member of the audience who made racist
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remarks and insisted that president obama was muslim. randall pinkston reports. >> we're going to have some fun now. instead of making a speech that i've been doing over and over, i want to take questions. >> donald trump was taking questions from the audience at a rally in new hampshire. >> okay, this man. >> the problem in this country is called muslim. we know our current president is one. you know he's not even an american. >> trump tried to deflect the question by chuckling, but the unidentified man wearing a trump t-shirt continued. >> we have training camps really where they want to kill us. that's my question. when can we get rid of them. >> we're going to be looking at a lot of different things. a lot of people are saying that. a lot of people are saying bad things are happening out there. we'll look at that and other things. >> trump did not interrupt the
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man. he responded with an answer that was somewhat vague. hillary clinton criticized trump for not stepping in. >> i was appalled. as you may know quickly put out a tweet expressing the great disappointment with that kind of rhetoric, and calling on him and anybody else who is seeking the highest office of the land to start behaving like a president. >> republican senator john mccain encountered a similar incident but handle it a different way. >> i can't trust obama. i have read about him, and he's not, he's not--he's an arab. he is not-- >> he is not. >> no? >> no ma'am. he is a decent family man citizen who i happen to have
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disagreements with on fundamental issues. that's what my campaign is about. thank you, he's not. >> it brings back memories o of 2011 when trump questioned president obama's citizenship. he demanded that he release his birth certificate to prove that he was born in the united states. president obama eventually did, but trump continued to dispute its authenticity. >> well, trump's campaign spokesman said that the candidate didn't hear the question and released a statement that is attributed to mr. trump. it reads: >> for reaction to that let's bring in jason johnson, professor at hyrum college and political contributor joining us live from washington, d.c. jason, always good to have you with us.
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what do you make of trump's response to this controversial so far? >> so, is he hard of hearing? this is the second time in two weeks where he said, i really didn't hear the question. apparently he didn't hear the question about iran. he didn't really hear what this gentleman said at his own presser or what the follow-up question was. there are only so many times that donald trump can claim that he doesn't hear what people are saying when they're speaking to him. >> let's not forget that years ago he was out there offering money in order for president obama to produce a birth certificate. has he ever in your opinion clearly said that the president is not an american, and does he need to say that right now? >> no he doesn't need to say that at all. it's perfectly fine for donald trump to have whatever ridiculous, racist believes that he has. what is problematic is that you
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have a party that has consistently fostered and given a wink and nod in this kind of ignorance in hopes of garnering votes instead of doing what john mccain who said, this is an argument on policy. for those who want to praise what mccain did, how many degrading are the politicians for no following a bigot. >> many did honor mccain for standing up. they have been chiming in on donald trump. >> this is a cynical strategy that too many republican politicians had dabbled in because for some of them it's proved to be successful. but there are consequences for it. there are consequences for their ability to governor the country
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and there are consequences at the ballot box, too. i'm confident that the voters are paying attention. >> what do you think? what will the consequence of this be with the larger electorate? >> well, the consequences are that you can't win a general election. and in a micro level the whole birthism idea is like scooby doo logic. the idea that you and your friends have figured out that obama is not a citizen, and no one else could but this group of birthers. it does not make sense to anybody. the degree that donald trump or any other republican pretended that this is reasonable, the vast majority of americans, white, black, asian, hispanic, jewish, christian, they think that these are silly questions. and the party that plays in this type of mud is seen as less legitimate to other voters. >> but it's as if you need something to move forward in this primary process.
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the cnn poll just released, more than 40% of republicans believe that president obama is a muslim. what is the backlash to that? >> well, the backlash is that again it's the party. i believe it's a pew poll that showed 66% of trump supporters actually believe that barack obama is first a muslim, as if that would disqualify him from being a president, and that he was born somewhere else than the united states. here's the problem. at some point they're going to have to recognize that with the growth of latinos, the growth of the african-american population, asian americans, lgbt community, this type of politics does not work. you can win as many mid terms as you want, but you can't win the white house as long as you're willing to say that some are not natural americans. whether that is called building a wall between hispanics and
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canadians, or saying that just because he's black, it does not help you to become president of the country. >> volkswagen intentionally installed software to get around smog standards. it's a so-called defeat deface, and it turns on the fuel emission system only when it's undergoing those smog tests that you might do at the dmv. otherwise it's turned off, and the car poll lawsuits more than it might allow. the defects are in audi sinc since 2009. stopping the flow of central america. and the greek drama of voters gets set for another election, but this time it's not just about the economy.
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>> for the past year now the u.s. has been putting more pressure on mexico to curb the influx of central american migrants arriving at the u.s.-mexican border. in response mexico is tightens
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it's southern border and it's partially paid for by the u.s. government. paul beben joining us live from the guatemala-mexican border. they have been able to reduce the number of border crossings. explain how this is happening. >> well, good evening. what happened last summer as you recall that surge of migrants from central america that was washing up on the u.s.-mexico border, president obama met with the mexican president ernesto pena nieto and discussed how they might improve security. and now both countries denied that it was the direct result of this meeting, but the net effect has been to tighten up on security in southern mexico, and make it difficult for migrants to make it to this part of the country through the border. the people have not stopped coming. activists say this is a case of the u.s. pressuring and paying
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mexico to do its dirty work. >> the ferries start running at dawn on the river. officially in mexico and guatemala have ten border crossings, but you don't need a passport to pass here. julio has been working on the river for two years, and he said he has not seen a drop off in the number of people going north. >> they come from everywhere. >> they're still coming. >> they're still come nothing matter what. >> on the guatemalan side a group of migrants heads for the river bank. angel tells us why he's leaving guatemala. >> you work and work and don't get anywhere. in the u.s. there are good and bad things. you're always working but you get dollars. >> he pays the fare, and he's on his way. >> it's easy to get across the river, but it is not about
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building a wall here at the mexican-guatemala border. the plan kicks in much further down the road. >> first stop after the river is the city of tapachula. from there most migrants aim for 150 miles north. for dec decades it's where they catch the freight train and ride it to the u.s. border. the plan has made it much more difficult for migrants to move through southern mexico. the highway is now lined with check points. authorities have also gun raiding the train, and pulling people off. the crackdown on the roads and rails is forcing people to make the journey on foot. sticking to back roads, taking trails through the brush. migrants passing through are routinely robbed, beaten, sexually assaulted, kidnapped or killed by criminal gangs and the
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drug cartels. that's why carman and her family are not going any further than tapachula. >> so much fear. we're so afraid that someone is going to be kidnapped. we hear that they take your kids to one place and you to another. that's why we're scared to go much further. >> carman and her husband and children fled honduras in june after gangs targeted the family. >> we were threatened with death. so we truly believed if we had stayed they would have killed us. we're on the run for our lives and the lives of our kids. >> they never let their daughters backpack out of their sight. it's where they keep their passports and legal documents. they want security and a better life, but they decided the journey to the u.s. is just too long and dangerous. the crime and poverty ravaging central have not gotten better, yet this year the number of people from central america trying to cross the u.s. border
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has dropped almost as sharply as it soared last year. from october 2013 to april 2014, the overwhelming number heading north were caught at the u.s. border. but a year later they're still coming just being stopped further south with mexico taking the lead and doubling the number of central americans caught there. the desperation that drives people to leave central america is on terrible display as this shelter at tapachula. it was set up specifically for those who had lost limbs. people like adela who decided to leave honduras after her husband was murdered, and the gang who killed him tried to force her and her children to sell drugs. if may she made it to mexico. despite it, she made it on to the train. >> someone said hey, come see immigration. we need to jump.
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>> she injured her leg, and the next day the injury led to disaster. >> when it came to getting on again i didn't have the strength. that's when i lost my leg. all i could think of was my daughter who was already on board. i couldn't leave her by herself. >> she's being fitted for a prosthetic leg and despite her injuries she is still determined to head north. now more than ever. >> i asked god to get me to the united states. i want a better prosthesis. i simply ask that god touch the heart of the american president to give us a chance to be allowed in so i can work. nothing more. >> one of the biggest problems with transplants is from the beginning there has been an multi agency effort, but it's never been clear who is really in charge, who is coordinating the program and who is responsible for strategy and tactics and who will be held accountable with some of the problems that have been pointed out that have been happening
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over the last year. recently there have been changes in the structure of the program, yet the crackdowns and security in the area have continued unabated. >> you can't help but notice the parallels to the refugee crisis there in europe. paul, can you describe exactly where you're reporting from tonight? >> well, tonight, adam, we're in the sort of court yard of our hotel in tapachula, the closest city, the jumping off point, about an hour drive between here and the border. there is no place safe we can set up a live location and be standing for an hour. this is an area that is controlled by the drug cartels and gangs. that's why people are so fearful. they're incredible vulnerable. and they say they're making a bad situation worse.
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>> incredibly dangerous. paul beben live for us there on the southern mexico border. on the other side world, more children on the run. boko haram attacks have forced 500,000, yes, half a million kids in west africa to flee their homes in just the last five months. the startling numbers are according to a new report from the u.n. children's agency. in total unicef said that 1.5 million children are homeless because of boko haram. many of them are suffering from malnutrition and cholera. the pakistani taliban has claimed responsibility for a deadly attack at an air force base. at least 43 people were killed, including some who were praying inside of a mosque. nicole johnston is in northwest pakistan with the details. >> it's the type of attacks that the pakistani taliban is known for, but it has not carried out one like this all year.
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early in the morning fighters attacked a guard post outside of an air force base on the outside skirts. some wore suicide vests. they forced their way in, entered the mosque, and started shooting. many people were killed. most of them were the air force who lived inside the base. >> they were trying to attack the children, attack the mosque. >> the fighting between the military and the pakistani taliban continued all day. it was the first major assault since there was a rapid response force designed to respond to attacks likes this. >> the good news is that they're honoring it. the moment they try to enter into the area, security forces were very much alerted. they engaged them. they did not allow them to move from their location. >> this is a significant attack on the military. the fact that the pakistani taliban was able to get inside
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the base behind me and into a mosque at a time when the group is under pressure shows that it still has the ability and resources to strike. the last time the taliban attack was in december of last year. it's fighters killed 150 students and teachers at an public school. the military launched a wide-scale operation against the group. since then people people in peshewar has enjoyed a period of calm. but the fight something not far away. the army has been battling fighters in north waziristan.
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this is what he fears. the flee owe nazi golden dawn who have gathered just a few blocks away. foreigners out of greece they chant. golden dawn have no chance of winning this election. but according to opinion polls they're now the third most popular party in greece. for them, the refugee crisis is
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an opportunity. he says it's a disgrace, thousands cross the sea into greece whilst all our plosion he politicians do is talk. this minister of grease until greece gets a new government, he should say nobody should use the situation in greece to get more votes. >> translator: it could be used in this political battle because that's a mistake, it's a refugee crisis not greece's problems, greece's problems are defined by international law. we have to accept these refugees. >> reporter: the harsh truth is greeks have plenty to worry about poosht fro apart from thee
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crisis, somehow to address the country's economic problems. volunteers sort through donated clothes, for refugees and poor greeks alike. most greeks feel sympathy for all the destitute people in their replied. themidst. whatever happens this will be a challenge for their country for years to come. barnaby phillips, al jazeera, athens. >> check that out. scuffles in japan's parliament. over a controversial military bill. while disruptionist fight, that law did pass, it will allow japanese troops to fight abroad for the very first time since world war ii. of course there have been protests across the country, against that move. up next, some call it a penalty on the poor.
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dechts sent tdefendants sent tor what is called excessive court fines.
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>> this afternoon, president obama called for criminal justice reform. after screening a documentary on the subject, the president met with criminal justice activists, elected officials and some community leaders. he reminded them that the u.s.
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has 5% of the world's population but 25% of the world's prison inmates. he says the system must work to stop making incarceration a way of life for some segments of our population. >> the bottom line is that we got to make sure our criminal justice system doesn't perpetuate a system, but lifts people up. >> advocating for more education in prison, that's not being weak on crime. instead he says it's making an investment in the future. in louisiana a new lawsuit is accusing orleans parish of running a system that is nothing more than a modern debtor's prison. a number of inmates launched a federal lawsuit claiming some sheriffs routinely broke the law
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by not giving them an opportunity to plead poverty. the money goes into the court's judicial expense fund. lauren brooke eisen, wow, what do you make of this lawsuit first of all? how widespread is this? what is happening in louisiana? >> what we're seeing in louisiana is a microcosm of what's happening across the country. the criminal justice system has grown exponentially over the last 30 or 40 years. in 1942 the criminal justice system which makes up the courts, police and correction is, cost the country about -- the country was in the 30 billions of dollars. >> billion, whoa. >> and then in 2012, the cost rose to about $265 billion. so we're talking about a criminal justice infrastructure itself that has grown over 650%.
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and what we're seeing is that jurisdictions are just balking at the extra taxes and paying for this entire judicial system. >> and this somehow falls, the expense of this, falls on people sometimes facing minor criminal charges. >> exactly. so those who use the system, the defendants themselves who are in court and the inmates who are in our jails and prisons are the ones that are funding the criminal justice systems. the systems are not adequately funding the courts or the system overall. what we are seeing in louisiana that this lawsuit has shed a light on is similar to what we see in ferguson and a whole other jurisdictions in the country. >> you bring up ferguson, this issue got play when media outlets started looking into this and the justice department started looking into this. it turns out there's a money
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making machine that's put into place. what do they do in ferguson and elsewhere to change and is it working. >> putting caps on the revenue that municipalities can collect from traffic fines and fees. they are starting to put some reforms in place, there has recently been amnesty situations. >> amnesty, that is where you get into the criticism of these systems. if you find someone who put graffiti on a building, you should lock them up. but is there a balance? >> there is a balance. putting a cap on the amount of criminal justice debt that defendants can find themselves with. amnesty days, they can come into court and pay their fees and fines or show up and have it
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waived. we are seeing some reforms however the larger problem here is that our criminal justice infrastructure is so vast, we have dna fees and victim assistance fees and you know, fees for using diversion programs such as drug treatment. >> and it all adds up. >> and it all adds up through the defendants paying these fees. >> lauren brook eisen. thank you for talking about this. for what's coming up at the top of the hour here is john siegenthaler. john. >> hi adam. top level talks between u.s. and russia. the military help russia is providing bashar al-assad. plus. >> they left home in the summer, they have no shoes, no hats, no mittens, no winter coats. >> how the photo of a dead
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refugee child prompted more people to give to the relief effort. we're going to talk about the best way to help out in this refugee crisis. volkswagen, is this an isolated case, or does it represent a bigger problem? the fight to save tall grass prairies across the midwest, once they covered millions of acres now they are nearly extinct. adam. >> ing thank you john. these amazing new pictures from plutzpluto horizon spacecraft, w hang haze suggesting that weather on this dwarf planet changes. just like it does on earth. some mountain ranges rise 11,000 feet and on the east, pretty
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rough terrain they think may have been taken by glaciers. the photographs were taken in july when pluto was at its closes to earth.
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>> hi everyone this is al jazeera america, i'm john siegenthaler. heads to head. mowfnmowfngmoscow props up assa. can the u.s. and russia come together to ease the civil war? hopes for economic reform in havana and the challenges.

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