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tv   News  Al Jazeera  January 15, 2016 8:00pm-9:01pm EST

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jefferson parish, louisiana. >> that's all of our time. thanks for being with us. i am tony harris. john seeingigenthaler is back w more of the day's news. >> another big sell-off on wall street. the do you fell more than 390 points. all three major indexes were down more than two%. the main culprits for today's drop, falling oil prices. crude oil closes blow $30 per barely, lowest since 2003. here is that story. john. >> john, good evening, stocks sold off across the board on friday because wall street is worried too many commodity companies will go belly up now that oil is in the bargain basement. at the timat the new york stock, global economic recovery.
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>> terrible start to the year. selling is university but today, stocks got hit more than the average stock. >> the problem is the world has too much oil, it's a glut, that's why it's so cheap. while that helps consumers, it devastates countries trying oproduce it. saudi arabia has opened the spigot in an effort to hobble iranian oil which will flow soon once sanctions are lowered. and while the economy can take low prices for a couple of years, not true for nigeria where the economy is being hurt by cheap oil and wants an emergency session of opec to try to negotiate a price like. and china's economy, far too much companies are at risk of going under. >> money was so easy by central banks for so long that countries were able to borrow money that shouldn't have been able to
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borrow money, and they may not be able to pay that money back. >> reporter: so is there a perfect price point for oil that will keep motorists happy but not risk global recession william. >> nobody knows what exact optimum price is but supply and demand, most people think that a price between 50 and 75 per barrel could help everybody. >> martin luther king day on monday of course and that the one of the reasons for selling. investors very keen to avoid holding potentially worthless pieces of paper when they go back to work. in case something untword happens in asiauntowardhappens h happens around 8:00 in the evening. >> ann, thanks for joining us good to see you again. >> good to see you. >> so we talked about whether or not china is responsible. now today oil is responsible.
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in your opinion who or what is responsible for this? >> i think speculators, commodity traders are responsible for these wild market gyrations. because they make up the are moojts of thmajority of the mare end users. 80% of all the trading that's going on. who knows what reasons they use to drive these markets up and down. it doesn't necessarily have to be based on fundamentals. >> so what about the fundamentals? does this reflect an extreme weakness in the u.s. economy and is the u.s. economy headed for recession? >> well, i would have said that the u.s. economy has been weak all along. we've never had really strong growth after the financial crisis. but this is not new news. it's not new news that the rest of the world has been struggling lately. and so for these prices to suddenly move the way they are,
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i think it's much more about financial players having various strategies they're working on, or other reasons, other than what we already know, that has been in the news for some time now. >> right. but more people have jobs in this country. prices are relatively low especially gasoline prices in this country. there's a sense that many of the corporations that do business in the united states are doing pretty well. >> they generally are. >> not great, not huge growth, so where is the weakness you're talking about? >> well, i'm saying the weakness is really in the labor market. not necessarily the fortune 500 countries. most of those companies actually get most of their revenue and profits overseas, not in the u.s. anymore. i'm talking about the labor market that never totally recovered. yes the employment numbers have been falling -- >> not making more money.
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>> the labor participation is actually lower, more people out of a job than before the recession that's why there's so much slack in the labor prices and labor wages. >> right and the u.s. raising interest rates a little, but now there's talk of whether or not that might be reversed as a result of what's happenings right now. do you think so? could the fed turn around and go back? >> the fed can do whatever they want frankly. it's just a matter of how they want to be perceived and whether their credibility is going to be there. but of course, it's not surprising that janet yellen might turn around. she was never a truly markets person she was an academic. she is listening to the markets and they could be influencing her decision. >> for someone who is not an academic and not experienced in this, it might appear that the
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united states woke up yesterday, the day before, the last couple of weeks and decided the economy has gone to hell in a hand basket. it's hard to understand. what has changed so dramatically in the last two or three weeks? >> what's changed dramatically frankly is a lot of the fund managers wanted to get paid large bonuses for having a great year. and so they kept the prices high at the year-end. and once they were able to collect their bonuses because that's when a lot of their bonuses are based on, then they could sell off their positions and start all over again. and so sometimes, these market moves have nothing to do with fundamentals like i said, can be, you know, based on these kind of reasons that people will not talk about because it's politically incorrect. >> that's really disturbing. it is. because to hear that, it makes many people feel they have less control. >> well most people don't have
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control. when you talk about the markets it is in control of people that have a lot of access to capital. who are those people? they are the people in the big banks, the people that are running very large funds. and the rest of the people really have no control over this. >> that's good to see. thank you for sharing your expertise. secretary of state john kerry will be in vienna tomorrow talking about the iranian nuclear deal, this as iran could soon reach a milestone in the implementing of a landmark agreement. the u.s. and five world powers are waiting for the u.n. watchdog to certify that iran removed the core from a heavy water nuclear reactor. under the deal many sanctions would be suspended and iran would receive more than $100 billion in frozen assets. now to syria where two more people have died in the town of madaya. relief workers say starvation have claimed at least 32 people
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in the last month. euunicef says it has confirmed case he of severe mal malnutrit. the government there has allowed the red crescent to send in a mobile team. responsibility for an attack in burkina faso, attack still under way in the town of ouagadougo. local media reports say many people were killed. or injured.the u.s. army has found serious problems at a federal lab that shipped live anthrax spores to other labs. the extremely dangerous practice
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has been going on for years. courtney kealy has the story. >> going back to at least 2004, after a six-month investigation into how live anthrax was shipped out from the army biodefense lab in utah, the army's biotask force found no single cause. >> no single event, no single individual or groups of individuals are directly responsible for the the inadvertent shipment of a small amount of active anthrax. >> a culture of complacent skim workers whcy, andworkers, brigao led the lab at dougway from 2009 to 2011 be held accountable. the secretary of the army will
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ultimately decide if anyone will lose their jobs. last summer the pentagon said the lab failed to irradiate the spores properly. and the lab didn't detect the presence of anthrax, only in a liquid form that can't be inhaled. the samples were so small that even if someone were exposed they wouldn't get sick and no one did. but the report calls for more standardized and scientifically standardized samples to help keep it from ever happening again. >> consisting of prominent scientists from both within and outside of the department of defense and that review panel will review and validate procedures for working with agents and toxins. >> and john as we know there were 575 shipments of live toxins according to the centers
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for disease control, and according to one scientist who testified before congress, essentially to put that in perspective it was still seed stostock for biological weapons even though it wasn't harmful to people in the environment. john. >> oregon, hard time to figure out an exit strategy. and accusing donald trump of having new york values.
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the only way to get better is to challenge yourself, 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. >> search and rescue efforts
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underway tonight off the coast of hawaii. two helicopters carrying 12 marines collided during an overnight training mission. coast guard choppers are looking for survivors off the coast of oahu. no one has been spotted, also no word on what caused the crash. a group taking over a wildlife refuge in oregon, a spokesman wants to talk about the reason for their take over and possibly an exit strategy. allen schauffler is in princeton tonight, allen. >> john there were plans afoot here this week. the folks who were occupying the malheur wildlife refuge, had a time, 7:00 p.m. local, but couldn't find a place. those plans have fallen apart.
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two weeks after the occupation of a wildlife refuge in harney county oregon, friction grows between protestors and local officials. craig la follett is the mayor of the area. if. >> it is time to go home. we would like you to leave our community so we can get our lives back to normal. we are ready for you to go and please do that. >> we have all become used to the almost daily theater of protest. the defiant come and get us stance. the blowing of the biblical horn, the horseback flag-waving. but week, the group led by ammon bundy, said, the site of last week's emotional community gathering. chris briles is part of a
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self-appointed group trying to act as a liaison between the refuge and the town. >> what was wrong with that decision not to allow us to have a public meeting? it infringed upon my constitutional rights of free speech and my right of assembly and my feeling. i don't think that that was an honest and fair thing to do. >> reporter: briles quit his job as county fire chief after the judge's refusal to grant meeting space. another split in an already fractured community as it tries to find ways to communicate with the protesters. >> i go to the meetings that are here, that's 100% okay? in the meetings there i heard there was a third that said you guys need to get out of dodge and a third says we like what you're doing, not liking your method, we appreciate it we want you to go, and a third that say, don't go, stay. but lest talk about a republic. it's the right of the individual that we're looking at. not the right of the collective.
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>> plans for a public meeting hostby the occupiers is on hold, saturday marks the beginning of the third week of the takeover at the refuge. another development and possible complication, we've had our first arrest in this incident. some of the people from the occupied headquarters here went into town today to get supplies. but they went into town to get supplies in two government vehicles. those vehicles have been reported stolen some time ago by fish and wildlife and there was one person arrested at the scene. he's now being held in a county jail at a neighboring dechutes county. if that meeting comes together possibly planned for monday, although we don't know of that for sure, if it does come together they will have plenty to talk about. >> allen schauffler, thank you. talk with mexican officials about bringing joaquin el chapo
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guzman to america under extradition. meanwhile actor sean penn has spoken about his controversial interview with guzman. penn says the debate is overshadowing the message behind his article. >> i have no regret that the entire discussion about this article ignores its purpose, which was to try to contribute to this discussion about the policy on the war on drugs. >> penn goes on to say that el chapo's consumers are americans. now, to the presidential race and an endorsement for jeb bush. south carolina senator says bush would be the best candidate to lead a war against terrorism. he says bush has a comprehensive and well thought out plan to defeat i.s.i.l. bush has been polling in the
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single digits. ted cruz on the other hand has been surging by all counts a strong showing in last night's debate except for one moment when he took on donald trump by taking on new york city. politicians on both sides of the aisle demanded an apology. david schuster has more. >> new york city, a population of 8.5 million people. the controversy ted cruz generated. drop dead ted, the statue of liberty giving him the finger and democratic governor andrew quomo. >> i think his remarks were highly offensive to new yorkers and to all americans. >> the issue erupted in thursday night's republican presidential debate. >> i think most people know exactly what new york values are. >> the texas senator had been asked to explain what he meant when he said donald trump embodies new york values. >> there are many, many
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wonderful wonderful working men and women in the state of new york. but everyone understands that the values in new york city are socially liberal, pro-abortion or pro-gay marriage, focus around money and the media. >> donald trump pounced. >> new york is a great place it's got great people it's got loving people wonderful people. when the world trade center came down, i saw something that no place on earth could have handled more beautifully, more humanely than new york. you're two, 100 -- >> while cruz's applause may have intended to blunt, it did not stop him. >> downtown manhattan, everybody in the world watched and everybody in the world loved new york and loved new yorkers and i have to tell you that was a very insulting statement that ted
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made. >> democrats agreed with trump. >> ted cruz insulted the people of new york and blatantly hypocritical. he has come here many times to gain money in his campaign from people in new york. >> top new york republicans were also infuriated. >> new yorkers are tough, patriotic, strong, not panicking when there's a crisis and helping people out. >> the question is what impact will this have in iowa? the lates latest polls showed tp and cruz running evening. but midwest reputation for modesty and politeness delivering an abrasive insult is generally a bad idea. in previous iowa caucuses for example, candidates who have run harsh attack adds in iowa have often seen their own support drop. along with other states in iowa, a certain civility is expected.
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then again this year may be different. >> you have some unbelievable scum, you really do, u unimaginable bad people. >> in the end insulting new yorkers may not matter very much. still it's an issue ted cruz has now injected into this campaign two weeks before the iowa caucuses. david schuster, al jazeera. >> the next president will set the nation's course in a number of new ways but one of the most powerful acts will be appointing new supreme court use o justice. libby casey has more from washington. >> nine justices appointed for life, their influence affect long after a president's term. >> so that means we're talking about potentially two decades of what is possible in this country
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being decided by one vote in november of 2016. >> reporter: and presidential candidates are talking about that potential power and influence. >> there are few if any issues that matter more in this presidential election than the supreme court. and what i can tell you is i have spent my entire life fighting judicial cavism and there is no decision i will take more seriously than appointing a supreme court justice. >> reporter: the next president's timing could be especially significant. >> we need to recognize something that has received almost no attention in this election which is that in all probability the next president of the united states will make between one and three appointments to the united states supreme court. >> former president bill clinton appointed two justices both during his first term. two decades later ruth bader ginsberg has risen to become this court's most powerful voi voice. ginsberg is now over 80.
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>> justices scalia and kennedy are 78 and 79, some of the justices are to their mid to late 60s. >> allen morrison says, it could give them added incentive to stay on the bench. >> i can't see scalia retiring if a conservative president is elected to the post. but ginsberg. >> upholding president obama's signature health care law to striking down limits on federal campaign donations. republican presidential candidates are promising to nominate conservative justices with an eye towards gun control and abortion. and democrats sense an opportunity too. >> so they're going to want the voting rights act back, get rid
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of citizens united so we don't have all this money coming in. >> ian millheiser says, unwilling to confirm the president's nominations to the bench. >> the seat could just sit open indefinitely until you have a unity between the party that controls the white house and a party that controls the senate. >> reporter: a reminder that the 2016 election is more about who wins the presidency, it's also about who wins seats in the senate. libby casey, al jazeera, washington. >> coming up on this broadcast, disaster declaration, what michigan is asking fema for, to help flint, michigan with its contaminated water problem. spreading advisor, what you need to know with the mosquito zika virus.
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>> welcome back, everyone. the white house says pownl presidenpresidentobama will expy consider michigan's request for a declaration of emergency. john hendren has more. >> reporter: this city of 100,000 in one of the richest nations in the world has no potable water. >> the fact that we have to live like this it's unfortunate. >> michigan's governor deployed the national guard this week to deliver water, filters and water testing kits to residents of flint where tests have shown high levels of lead. >> this is a crisis and this is something i apologize for in terms of the state's role in all of this. the real issue before us is how do we address it and how do we
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take care of the people in flint? >> an unending stream of residents file in for their daily supply. >> i think we have enough for those in here now for lead testing kits. >> a total of 32 volunteers were tasked with handing out till terse and bottled water. >> citizens of flint had smiles on their faces. obviously this is not a good situation but you know resilient. >> reporter: problems were first reported after the city switched from detroit's water system in 2014. >> but i've never, very rarely even used the city's water. >> so you don't drink it? >> no, not at all. >> lien turner told al jazeera in september the water had left her with a rash. >> itch, scratch, i'll show you
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see all that right there? >> now she wants to know what took the city so long to act? >> they didn't decide to do anything until the hospital find lead in babies. now a lot being pregnant and babies be affected. i have a problem with that issue. >> reporter: are you happy they're doing something now? >> yes, i am. >> reporter: after months of complaints 150 flint residents and supporters descended on the capital in protest. this is where it all began. environmentalists believe corrosive water from the flint river ate away at the time city's pipes releasing lead into the system. the damage to the pipes have been done. according to documents obtained by virginia tech university the federal environmental protection agency knew about the problem and wrote a memo in june. john hendren, al jazeera, detroit. >> kurt guyette is an
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investigative reporter for the american civil liberties union in detroit. kurt, how is your organization and other organization he really going to find out what happened here and how it happened? >> well, we've already found out quite a bit through filing freedom of information act requests. we have more outstanding, but beyond that now, we have an investigation by the u.s. justice department and we have the michigan attorney general just today announced an investigation. so this is being approached from a lot of different angles. and i am absolutely convinced that the whole truth is eventually going to come out. >> and curt are they looking at the governor and the emergency manager? >> well, the emergency manager certain is -- had a role in this. it was under emergency
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management which, for the -- your viewers who are not in michigan, when the state comes in and takes control of financially struggling cities and school districts they put in place an emergency manager who has a complete an unfettered power, locally elected officials have no power, except what the emergency manager chooses to give them. they can vote, and the emergency manager can overturn that. at one point, the flint city council did vote to try the go back to the detroit system and the emergency manager said too bad, you're going to keep drinking flint river water whether you like it or not. the only question really at this point is what role, if any, the governor's office had in deciding whether to use the river or not. the former director of public works, in flint, told us that the decision did come out of the governor's office. and to this point, the governor has refused to give a direct
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answer to a direct question. was his office involved in making this decision? and that is one thing that is eventually going to be -- he's going to have to answer that question sooner or later. but it should be sooner, not later. he talks about the need for openness. well he can start that by being open and answering that question right now. >> have you found proof that no one even looked at the water quality in flint? >> no. that's another open question. and it's a crucial one. i'm glad you raise it. but none of the foia documents that i've obtained so far does the corrosion ever show up. and so -- but it is a very important question. were they grossly negligent? and did no study of the river before deciding to make the switch? or did they do study that they should have done, and not acted on it, and decided to use the river anyhow?
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mark edwards the virginia tech professor who has played a pivotal role in uncovering this crisis says that anybody with even basic knowledge could have looked at the river and its contents and in five minutes told you that if you used it, the disaster that you are seeing now would certainly have happened. so this is a completely avoidable man made disaster. so we need to find out what research was done before the river was decided to be used by the state. >> curt, do you get a sense of how people are getting through this now? how they've gotten through learning that their water's contaminated with lead? >> it's incredibly traumatic. it's traumatic in a lot of ways. one is to see something like this happen to your child, is horrible. no parent should ever have to go
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through that. and i think that there's a certain amount of guilt that's not justified on the part of parents, for having this happen to their children, but part of the reason it's happened is because every step along the way, no matter what evidence was presented to the contrary, the state continued to insist that the water was safe to use. and that there wasn't a problem. and it was only because of the effort of citizens who were relentless who refused to believe the lies that their government was telling them, and then reaching out and finding allies like virginia tech and the aclu of michigan to help expose the truth about what was going on. >> curt it's good to have you on the program, thank you very much. state reergt reergtsstate rt attempts to stop a gas leak is
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make it worse. health officials are calling often the federal government to shut down the gas storage facility. stephanie stanton has more. >> it's a rally cry that was loud and clear. environmental activists angry about the massive natural gas leak in porter ranch california have taken their cause straight to washington, d.c. dozens rallied outside the environmental protection agency demanding the federal government step in and shut down the well permanently. >> we want the epa to demonstrate the protection by mandating that this facility be shut down. >> socal reported the leak on december 23rd, since then he it has been spilling out methane gas every day. enough gas to equal the carbon footprint of 300,000 cars on the
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road in one year. >> this is the largest environmental disaster we've seep in the united states, certainly in my lifetime. much worse than the bp oil spill. this is on land in a populated community. >> reporter: now new fears by state regulators, pushing heavy mud into the broken pipe have made the damaged well even more vulnerable. experts fear a total blowout. >> you have messed around with it so much after 80 days that now whole system has been weakened, and they're not doing anything to stop it. >> tom williams is an oil industry expert who has been a consultant to the public utilities commission on gas wells and their leaks. >> the whole area should have a concrete platform around the leaking well so that they have some stability. because frankly it's a personal safety issue with anyone going on that bloody site. >> the well is said to now be sitting exposed in a massive
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crater held in place by cables. after a brief visit a week ago, governor jerry brown made a declaration of emergency at porter ranch, something the city ant county of los angeles did earlier, socal gas dogger have not been answered. but dogger did release a statement today announcing new pending regulations on natural gas storage facilities. they include a daily inspection of storage well heads and regular testing of all safety valves used in wells, a safety valve the porter ranch well did not have. >> when you lose the well head structure itself then it's pure uncontrolled gas coming up through a seven inch or larger diameter pipe, without any valve on it at all. >> meanwhile, socal guess says igas says itwill continue to tre
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leak but they say it's possibly early march before it will problem is corrected. residents say that's far too long. >> i won't be satisfied until it is taken care of. >> the residents of porter ranch will never be secure in their homes again. >> white house war on cancer, his moon shot initiative was announced during his state of the union address. the vice president toured a center where he outlined his hopes for the project. >> and the goal is whatever break throughs we can make in ten years my goal is to make sure we can do it in five years. my goal is that we find absolute cures. but for some cancers, we get to
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the point where we can manage them, they become chronic diseases. >> mr. biden says president obama will soon announce an executive order putting federal agencies at the vice president's disposal for this fight against cancer. >> six people are critically ill in france after a failed drug experiment. one person is brain dead. 90 people have taken part in a clinical trial which has now been suspended. nadim baba reports. >> one declared brain dead and five others in hospital, the french government has ordered an investigation. >> translator: the families are devastate peched we'll make sure they are given all the answer he as particularly right now i'm not aware of any comparable case. what has happened is unprecedented and requires the greatest possible vigilance in the coming investigation. >> the drug was being trialed at
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this private clinic in rennes in france, meant to act on the enendo k canabbanal system. >> one person did not have any symptoms and is clearly under surveillance. >> such an accident could still happen. at this moment i have unfortunately no idea. has there been a human error? i can't believe in a coincidence in circumstances. >> dozens more people got smaller doses of the substance then are being asked to undergo a brain scan to make sure they haven't been harmed. nadim baba, al jazeera. >> public health specialty, spen
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our studio. let's start with france. this was a cannabis based painkiller, obviously tear going to be looking at what went wrong. how often does this happen in tests like this? >> this clinical trial is a phase 1 trial, initial study we do in humans after it's passed the animal testing phase. essentially people who participate in a phase one trial are human guinea pigs. it is not marijuana itself, does not contain marijuana, it acts on the brain as marijuana, same parts of the brain but they are not the same drug. >> what could go wrong that could kill someone or cause them to be brain dead? >> clearly the effects in animals and the effects of drug on humans is not the same. we know this drug has an impact on the brain which is probably how it caused brain damage. precisely what they're
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targeting. in order to attack brain disorders it does need to have some sort of impact on the brain. unfortunately there are unforeseen impacts as well. >> let's switch gears and talk about ebola. we were hearing initially that ebola has been wiped out but now there's evidence that it's back. why is it so hard to get rid of ebola? >> we used to think if you would go six weeks without a new case that meant you would get rid of transmission of ebola, that the epidemic is over. what we're realizing is the virus can hang out in different parts of the body much longer. ice, brain, semen. 20% of men will still have the virus in their semen. all of these locations are
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possible flareups. >> will this be with them for the rest of their lives? >> we don't have a good answer for that. it seems beyond nine months it does eventually clear from the semen. but how long it clears from the brain no one has a good answer. >> there is another concern about a mosquito born virus called the zika virus. what does it do to you? >> it infects different parts of the body. in the mild case you're only going to have fever and joint pain and rash and you get over it pretty quickly. but if a mother contracts the virus during pregnancy, the baby can have a condition called
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microcephaly, underdeveloped brain. number of cases in brazil we think right now we think are linked to the zika virus. >> the concern is that it would move north right? >> pregnant women are probably not the right time to travel obrazil. a lot of pregnant women in brazil. >> thank you doctor. allergic actions as levels continue to rise in the u.s.
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>> food allergies have riz been to alarming levels in the united states. over 1500 people suffer from the latest science behind food allergies it will phil torres reports. >> for me it's been a lifetime. ever since i was a kid, peanuts
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were always something i avoided but for this assignment we needed to put real science behind my allergic reactions so i made an appointment to get tested. so it's been about 20 years since my last allergy test. my guess is blood pressure is going to be a little high. little nervous to find the results. >> what brings you here today? >> well i'd like to find out more with my allergies. this is something i've had all my life and i just kind of want some answers. >> dr. maria garcia yorette is director of allergy research at university of california medical center. >> tell me what was the worst reaction you can remember? >> i was in brazil, having some empanadas. >> i'm 75% sure you have a peanut allergy. >> it's time to find out for sure. if that's not bad enough --
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>> okay phil i'm going to do some allergy skin testing with you. >> all right. >> that means being stuck with needles, needles containing nut extract. >> i see number 50 peanuts. that's my -- >> the potential culprit here. >> should we start the pricking? >> peanut number 50 here. the walnut. >> it's been about five or ten minutes at this point, definitely feel something itchy back there so i have a feeling it's probably going to be that number 50. >> the size of my reaction determines whether i get a confirmed diagnosis. >> the peanut is a 24. >> whoa, that's big. so what's my prognosis here? and john, if you're wondering, if i do have a peanut allergy
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today is an example. on my way into the studio accidentally ate a peanut, got really sick, apologize if i seem a little out of it. >> the doctor didn't believe you had a peanut allergy is that right? >> i can tell her stories but a lot of people tell her stories. this eraf foo era of food aller, gluten allergy and peanut allergies, allergic to peanuts i sure am. >> does the test show you had this allergy or did you get negative results first? >> it showed i had a peanut allergy, and when it comes to other nuts, they seem kind of
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peanuty, they smell more. and since then i've incorporated almond butter, it was definitely delicious, and i was missing out. >> you do have an allergy to peanuts right? >> millions like me and many more severe reaction. i'm pretty lucky in terms of my allergy but doctors call this a food allergy epidemic. there are so many more than a decade ago. it dates back to when doctors were telling people not to feed their children peanuts until the age of three. one doctor we spoke to said, feed the children a variety of foods, and let them in the dirt and let them get dirty. >> on the science of food allergies, tune in to "techknow" tomorrow at 5:30 eastern time.
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coming up next, oscar nominated. we'll talk to the director of a film you may not have heard about but you won't want to miss.
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>> agent orange is still having a major impact on vietnam. generations of vietnamese children are still being born deformed and gis figured, even though it's been four decades since the u.s. army used the herbicide. nominated for an oscar, take a look at chow beyond the lines.
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courtney marsh, welcome and it's good to have you on the program. >> thank you very much for having me. >> you were going to do another documentary but you discovered this subject. how? >> well, about eight years ago, i was an undergraduate student at ucla film school and i went over to vietnam with the intention of actually making a feature film about the street kids of vietnam. keep in mind i had never really made a film so i was just kind of very young and ambitious. and when i went over there, basically, we had to get permission from the government to shoot. and while this was happening, you know, people had heard about us and one day a television producer from vietnam came to our hotel and was like okay i understand you want to make a movie about this but why don't you come with me to this peace camp. so we went to this maternity hospital and tucked away in the back was a small camp for kids
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that had been affected by agent orange. it was a care center. i said maybe we should drop the cameras, let's look into this, i looked into what agent orange was. i started volunteering for two weeks, i was during that time only about 21, i was very close to the protagonist in my story and we just hit it off and they were just kids and i wanted to tell that story, a story i felt hadn't been told. >> explain to us how it's possible decades after the vietnam war has ended young children are still being affected by agent orange? >> 20,000 gallons were dropped of agent orange and dioxin doesn't just disappear, its potency remains in the soil. this can get passed down.
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for example, chow's mother drank water from the river, that was ingested and passed down. this is an issue as long as dioxin is still in the soil and food supply. >> what is more remarkable about this film is it's inspiring, it's not depressing. chow and these children refuse to be victims. talk about that. >> well, that is the thing that really drew me to make this movie. i mean we would play -- i would volunteer and we would play soccer every day at 3:00 p.m, like a real deal. it was like a religion to them, they cared so much about them. they were amazing soccer players. i consider myself a very competitive person. maybe i'll take it easy. it was like a full-on real soccer game. the kids never saw themselves as different. it is us that thought of them as different. it was like candy to kids.
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>> and talk about chow how he fights off the negativity and continues to pursue his dreams. >> he stood out so much. a lot of kids at 15 aren't really sure what they want to do. he says this is what i want to do, i want to be an artist. he's not a perfect superhero. he has many flaws just like anybody else but what i realized was anything that stood in his way he would give a moment to, but he kind of -- he would kind of negate anything that didn't help him. he looked at what he had rather than what he didn't have. that's what i think brought him to achieve what he has achieved. >> so given fact that this has had a huge impact on the children of vietnam, what is the u.s. government doing? what is the vietnamese government doing to try to clean up agent orange? >> the american government and the vietnamese government are cleaning up agent orange in vietnam. there is one major air base to get cleaned up.
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danang is one that's getting is cleaned up and another one, and because of these benefits we are planning to be agent orange free in about a decade. >> you spent years making this film. it's just been nominated for an academy award. them me what it means to you that this film has been nominated. >> i can't tell you, i've been on cloud 9 since yesterday, what it's going to do for chow and for people to understand agent orange is still an issue. for me it's been eight years and if you ask me gee even last year i would never imagine to be here. but this has been such a life-changing experience for me and i say that in all honesty. i mean from when i was 21 to now 29, such an important year of growth for me. so it just feels absolutely amazing. and i'm just -- i'm ecstatic.
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>> congratulations, it's called chow beyond the lines. courtney marsh directed the film. it's an os oscar short subject nomination. we'll profile the other oscar nominated films in the coming weeks. ali "on target" is next. >> i'm ali velshi. "on target" tonight, a firsthand look at the harsh reality of the american dream. presidential candidates are making lots of promises designed to appeal to middle class voters. that's no surprise. one obvious reason is that more than half of americans still, still identify themselves as middle class. that's after a great