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tv   Ali Velshi on Target  Al Jazeera  October 28, 2015 10:00pm-10:31pm EDT

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bond wouldn't be given a job today because he doesn't have the emotional intelligence for modern spy craft. >> that does it for us tonight. thank you for watching. stay right here, america tonight starts now. starts now. [ ♪ ] everything you are looking at at some point were covered with water. a lot of people want to move away, they can't afford to sell their house, throw another well. >> how did we get to this point. >> assuming that water would never run out.
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good evening, i'm michael oku, welcome to a special edition of "america tonight", and welcome to california, which feels a little like a disaster movie waiting to happen. this state is in a fourth year of stream drought. some experts are worried it could continue for generations. we decided the best way to cover the scory is to take a roadtrip. we travelled through countries, what we saw was stunning. images that may come from a town near you, nearly half of america is living in a drought condition. water is flowing in california, not everywhere. the central valley is pop u later by a string of small communities, dominated by agricultural business. 25% of vegetables grow here. of
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what happens to the people, when the company towns run dry. five hours north of l.a. we enter the town to find out. we run into resident thelma williams. after the dogs settled down, we ask about the drought. >> in the 7 or 8 years. things you have to go through, like water on the stove, make sure the water crosses. there's a lot of things you have to do. you don't get up - you jumped to us. they have no water. when did you know that was happening. did you get a warning. >> open the tracking. that was it. as the drought got worse. the well water started shrimping. the almond orchard sucked up what was left. the reason that is green, and
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this is browning and decaying, the farmers were able to drill further into the ground than she was. another almond farm is across the street. >> they are drilling to get the groundwater that you were dry. >> right. >> do you feel these guysers using your water. >> yes, they literally took it right away. i would be breaking over there if i hoped someone and took a glass for coffee. >> reporter: for decades groundwater is unregulated. it's a game of finders keepers. the finders are those with the biggest drills. they can take water out. that's how they lost the water. here, they are far from alone. >> we had the coopers, my uncle. bobby lee williams, aunt caroline, and a couple of people on my mum's block. it's a lot of people.
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>> would you say it's the majority of the town. >> water is the talk of the town. how to pay for it, how to keep it. thelma buys water by the jug. >> how often do you do this? >> twice a day. there are five gallon bottles. those are the ones... >> i can see your car is filled with them. >> yes. >> you are doing this, every day, twice a day, so not only are you suffering by not having the water, you are forced to have a serious workout. >> yes. >> it's not just the welling that have gone dry, we drove out to the reservoir, and were stunned by what we saw, and what we didn't see. >> it's amazing this used to be a launch. everything that you look at that is its brown that used to be blue. it was covered with water. people tell me they should come to swim. it's amazing, this is a way in
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which the small town is changed by the drought. people hang out here, and it tried up four years ago. >> in nearby town, we spot a farmer herding his coys. he tells us he had 60 more cows, but sold them when the water on his farm ran dry. >> for five months you didn't have water or money to trial a hole in the ground. >> he's been a farmer for more than 25 years. maybe not for much longer. if the doubt doesn't break, he'll have to find another bay to make a living. we finished the day driving through another down. we stop at the retro market, out. >> we moved to north carolina, because there's no work out there. >> there's no work, because there's no water.
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>> there's no water. >> he didn't know what he would be stepping in, he said it has to be better than california because there's no water. >> not everyone can move, money people spent trying to survive. they are stuck, stuck in this parched valley. some are turning to catholic territories. here workers can hardly keep thele shells stocked. filled with enough food to feed a family of four. >> i see more individuals not making ends need. >> more and more families are asking for help. it's turning farmers into beggars. >> are you seeing people coming boxes. >> i received 555 boxes this month. it was out of those boxes, i got 200 more. >> less water means fewer jobs.
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fields are fallow, farms put up for sale. people losing their homes. >> 25% of homeless population was affected by the draught. >> it's a rolling disaster, threatening town after down. we meet a long-time resident bank. >> i do not believe a year from now, that this street will be any cars at all driving down it. >> reporter: yes or no - do you ape tribute that to the drought? >> absolutely, we are have farm town, we got to have water. that's what people do, we are farm workers, everything is related to the farms, if the not. >> kathy gives us a tour. >> this land had corn. this has not been rented for about six years. that building just went out of business.
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>> reporter: it was hurting before the drought hard times are in overdrive. >> reporter: for every store closed. >> yes. every block has a boarded up house or business. >> there has been buildings within 100 yards of me, boarded up or distrid. destroyed. it's desolate. >> when it seems it can't get worse. kathy takes us west to mendoza. it's a long struggle with poverty, and now is running out of water. >> drinking water has to be trucked in. at one time they had water here. there's places where they don't have water. >> at this farm labour camp, a couple tells us a family of 7 lives on two gallons a day. that's all they can afford since fields.
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>> when i walk around here, it remind me of photographs of the dust bowl. >> yes, it does. i lived there as a teenager, there was literally no water. we are on the verge of becoming what i saw as a child. i think that's what frightens me so much. no one is understanding that we are in the middle of a desperate situation. how will the people move. they don't have the money, where will they go. >> last year california pledged 600 million to drought-stricken communities throughout the state. driving through a dozen communities, you realise help can't come fast enough. >> these towns are not dying, some are sinking into the earth. the unregulated and unsustainable drilling of groundwater made the land collapse. we leave the central valley,
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with a feeling people are waiting. waiting for help from above next stop, where the tries are tying and the lakes are sandpits. apocalyptic images from "america tonight"s
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our drive takes us through the sierra nevada. we find a community that could go up in flames. only problem, they are running out of water. we are off-roading it, from a mountain climb to 4400 feet. and what a 4-year drought does to a forest. it is not pretty. >> i'm standing at an epicentre. this is the geographic center of the state. this is a major disaster.
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nowhere is it worse than right here. this is the scorn sierra nevada. prone to fires, and home to 10 million dead trees and counting. >> the drought caused a lot of trees to die from drought. we countered that with some of the beetles that are attacking the pine. would you consider this a natural disaster. we are looking at losing 50% of our trees and certain species, it's a slow motion disaster. this boundary is pure gasoline for fires. the assistant chief has never seen anything like this before. >> what we are experiencing now is not normal, they are well outside the normal. this is the new normal. the day we meet him.
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he's having 14 trees on the property cut down. my wife and i figured out in the last four years. there are 80 trees on the property. half were cut down. marshall is lucky. they had a grant to pay for the clinics. they can cost home fire, dropping a tree, thousands of dead trees are standing, like colossal match sticks. there is a local irony, residents for the trees, those that can't or won't sell are hanging on. >> where do we go from here. if this gets worse. this is going on all over the sierras. defending your home is one thing. a town running out of water. it's another. this pond is dry.
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the ones next to it is empty. crippling the response time. what shocked it is what we found an hour away. it was quite a site. >> i'm standing on the bottom of lake mcclure, what is left of it. what is left of it is dust. mud, debris that was long forgotten, and plant life that was making a home between cracks at the bottom. it's a moonscape extending for miles and miles. four years ago. the lake was filled to the rim. all the way to the treeline. it dries up. eliminating a source of water for the firefighters. 30 minutes away, this is what greets you when you arrive at lake don paid roe. low and dropping by the day. friday.
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>> how much would you say? >> at least about a foot. jimmy thought it was a foot and a half. >> looks like it to my. >> i was born and raised here. never seen it like this before. >> at nearby la grange. we stopped for a game of pool, and learnt that residents can only count on about two weeks of water before the taps run dry. the resident is worried about how they'll take care of her family and defend her home from fire. >> you actually discussed the possibility of moving. >> yes. >> it's that bad. >> it's pretty bad, yes. >> others discuss it. >> if you drive around the neighbourhood. there's a bunch of for sale signs. >> jessica could drill a well. >> they don't promise that you'll find water. you dig the first hole. you have to go deeper. >> are you at that point where
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you have to dig a well? >> we are getting close to it. >> driving through the old gold rush country we are startled by how dry everything is. by the fields, mountains and into the towns. you can't help but fear that if the drought doesn't destroy this, a wildfire will. a lot of people that moved up now want to move away. they can't afford to drill the house or drill a well. changed. >> the route back is 40 miles en route 49. one of the first cold rush towns. folks know they are up against mother nature. you get the sense they will not go down without a fight. they admit they have never seen a drought like this.
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when we come back, a strange forgotten place that might is.
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aftermath of the battle in boulder. >> 75% of the american people think that the federal government is corrupt. i agree with them. >> the republicans running for president just faced off in front of america. >> he said, oh, i'm never going to attack. his poll numbers tanked and he's on the end and got nasty. >> the candidates spoke on the economic issues affecting middle class families. >> the middle class has $2300 less in their pockets than the day barack obama got elected president. >> on target tonight we break down what they say and what it can mean for you and your bottom line. >> how about talking about the substantive issues people care about? good evening. welcome to boulder, colorado in a special edition of "on target."
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i'm at the coors event center at the university of colorado. ten republicans vying for the presidential nomination spent the last two hours debating issues affecting the u.s. economy. an $18 trillion economy whose recovery from the great recession has not benefitted -- has not benefitted the middle class and poor nearly as much as it has rich. i want to ignore all the noise about who scored political points tonight and instead focus on which candidates offered meaningful solutions to what many consider the biggest economic issues facing america today. income equality and stagnant wages for the middle class. joining me tonight is our team of analysts, al jazeera's david shoe ster and mary snow is with me from new york. our guests are frank sezno and bob ingles is joining me from new york. i want to talk about the time taken tonight to discuss income
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equality. we led into this discussion in the show we had before the debate hoping that would be one of the key areas of discussion and, in fact, it was. let me give you a sample of what happened tonight. here's governor huckabee speaking with income inequality. >> corporations ought to exercise responsibility. when ceo income has risen 90% above the average worker, when the bottom 90% of this country's economy had stagnant wages for the past 40 years somebody is taking it in the teeth and it's not the folks on wall street. >> david shuster is in new york. we have spent a lot of time discussing income inequality. i was not expecting candidate after candidate to line up and try to do better than the last one in terms of articulating what the problems are with income inequality. the solutions they offer are different but the topic was
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treated to a lot of time tonight. >> mike huckabee is one of the few on the stages that defends social security as a safety net for the poor and middle class. it was so interesting to hear governor chris christie who says way a second. for the good of entire economy we need to cut social security benefits because the program is insolvent in seven or six years. to everybody waiting on social security checks it might frightening. it's not insolvent for 20 years, and even then it could pay out partial benefits. that gets to some of the rhetoric tonight, and then you have certain people trying to -- like mike huckabee and donald trump saying, wait a second, some help with income inequality and other republicans say for the good of the entire economy, we need to take a hard look at this stuff. >> then you had an interests enter jekz by ted cruz who says he's 44 years old and cited the insolvency of social security
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within seven to eight years. he suggested something else. let's listen to him. >> the top 1% earn a higher share of our income than any year since 1928. if you look at working men and women, if you look at a single mom buying groceries, she sees hamburger prices go up nearly 40%. she sees her costs of electricity going up. she sees her health insurance going up and loose money is one of the major problems. we need sound money, and i think the fed should get out of the business of trying to juice our economy and simply be focused on sound money and monetary stability ideally tied to gold. >> of course, that was an opportunity, david shuster to file on the attack of the fed by rand paul, the idea of loose money benefitting the rich. the idea that low interest rates are useful if you have the ability to gain credit or you already had assets and you could grow them in the stock market or in the housing market.
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how it didn't affect middle or lower income americans. this has been a big topic that came up tonight. a little bit short on solutions, but very, very strong on the attack, david. >> it did seem like the fed was the boogie man. back to the issue of social security, chris christie said the social security program created a bunch of ious. the fact of the matter is those ious are federally backed treasuries, securities, bonds that are backed by the full faith and credit of the u.s. government. there's no safer investment in the world than u.s. federal government bonds, but again, the rhetoric tonight is one certainly for certain republicans of trying to frighten people in order to try to get the policy changes to gain traction. >> let's bring in frank. he's the director of the school of media and public affairs at george washington university. he was also the bureau chief for cnn in washington. frank, you have heard discussions about social security and income inequality
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for decades. cnbc decided they wanted to try to get these candidates largely to focus on economic issues. they didn't do a bad job of getting the candidates to focus. not a lot of solutions, but like the fed, like the democrats, like the debt, they had a lot of boogie men they were talking about. >> it was mostly boogie men, and i was disappointed in the debate. it could have been done better where the candidates were set up to go at one another and the issues. the income inequality thing is huge. i come from george washington students. i hang out with students that have $80,000 worth of debt. the economy is a difficult economy to get started with where they're wages have stagnated. i would have like to have heard these candidates engage in this more. there were some tangible solutions, and actually some pretty brave statements. comments about how the retirement age needs to go up by the demographics drive this. i thought that was a
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constructive part of the conversation, but you're quite right. the debate is become identifying problems and wagging fingers at the bogey man out there, whether it was the federal reserve or mainstream media but not about digging in and looking at what it would take to address the income inequality which hobbled the middle class in the united states of america. >> frank, tell me what stood out for you in terms of potential solutions to things. that's what i was looking out for. the idea that wages are stagnant for the middle class, the idea that job growth is high in terms of numbers and unemployment is low in terms of percentage rates, but we don't have the same quality of job coming up. did you hear something that made you think, this is the person who knows how to get it done versus this is the best solution? >> well, i heard a lot of people saying, trust me, i'm the person who knows how to get it done. donald trump was back saying we're going to bring jobs back. one of the most interesting things in the trump campaign is his insistence to bring jobs
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back from china and mexico and jobs back from all the places, but he doesn't say how. some of those jobs are come back from some places because of very low cost of natural gas and other things in the country. the petro chemical company brought jobs back to louisiana and elsewhere. i was listening for really the defining difference between the republicans and the democrats. the democrats want to be the redistributionist party. we're going to pass this out and flatten the economy. the republicans are supposed to be the grow the pie party. i was listening for how do you grow the pie? i heard a lot about getting government out of the way, turning business loose. that's rhetoric i've heard for 30, 40 years. i'm not sure that there was anything very new there. i'm still listening for that ali. you're onto the right question. i think those candidates could have and should have been pressed much harder about how this will actually get done. >> let's talk about the


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