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tv   America Tonight  Al Jazeera  March 11, 2016 9:30pm-10:01pm EST

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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> thanks for joining us on "america tonight," i'm joie chen. this week we marked international women's day, when we commemorate the lives of women. all too often gender based violence. we focus this hour on young women in india, who have suffered unspeakable attacks but will not be silenced. the story of these sheros.
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>> it takes courage to do this, to talk to all these people.
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♪ happy birthday, happy birthday to you ♪
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>> the strength of sheroes. flex we meet a woman on the long road to making a difference.
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>> this is one of the most important sites in the century. >> this linked the mafia and the church. >> why do you think you didn't get the medal of honor? >> i can't allow you not to go into that because that is your job. >> we gonna bring this city back one note at a time. >> proudest moment in my life. >> these people have decided that today they will be arrested. >> i know that i'm being surveilled. >> people are not getting the care that they need. >> this is a crime against humanity. >> hands up... >> don't shoot. >> hands up... >> don't shoot. >> what do we want? >> justice.
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>> when do we want it? >> now. >> explosions going on... we're not quite sure - >> is that an i.e.d.? >> it's a challenge facing many of america's biggest cities and it turns out some communities far off the beaten path. homelessness. so often it is seen as an almost unfixable problem, but "america
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tonight"'s producer ryan lockland traveled route 66 to find a woman whose strength was in creating home. >> one night it was march 12th, 2014, i woke up with a strong voice in my head, that said, you need to take over older motels and make them into transitional housing. whoa, what's that? i wasn't looking to doing that. that morning i woke up started to make phone calls. i wrote the business plan, found motel and a year later we opened up. my name is laurie lowe and i'm the founder and executive director of a new living. i think we have a solution. you know we have our emergency system room. we took over the motel, the whole entire property, and we've turned it into a transitional
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housing facility. >> the motel 66. route 66. you can't get it better than that. >> i know that. >> it's for homeless individuals who are working or have a fixed income. our goal for all of them is to figure out what they need to then transition into permanent housing and stay there. the mix of residents that we have here is very diverse. >> so you do you want to get together today then? >> from veterans to single moms to married couples to younger adults in their 20s that are recovering from a substance or alcohol abuse. there's not just one group of people that are experiencing this issue. we accept them all to come here. >> we've been here for a little over a year. the rent is a little bit -- it's cheaper than what you would find. nowhere in town that we would be able to stay at this price. it allows me to still go to school and have a job and pay that and you know continue to
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move rt is $600 for a single room. and that's compared to if you were staying in a motel room in the area, the cheapest is over $1,000. where $600 may seem high that's all utilities included. it may be higher than they'd like but if they can't afford the $600 a month they're probably never going to be able to afford permanent housing even on a subsidized level. >> my name is dawn, i'm living here for several months with my two children, i have a teenage are and a five-year-old son. it is difficult, very difficult. we've changed our standard of living for a little bit. try make him boundaries for a teenage are. kind of hard for a teenager, it's hard with a small brother
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around, your grateful for what you do have. we have tried cook in the microwave and sort of a stove and we go down to sunshine rescue mission, they've been great down there. they provide family meals at night. and my husband had left me, we're separated, he left me in the hospital when the baby was born, never came back to pick us up. six weeks later i was laid off from teaching. this is how we ended up the way we are. we have fallen through the cracks completely. i miss my home, our space. my children had beautiful rooms, their own rooms. ha. >> the biggest challenge especially when we first took over is create a safe environment for everyone. we're right on route 66 and there's a lot of foot traffic and this motel before we took over had a lot of drug and alcohol activity here. one of the families that was living here they had a
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six-year-old daughter and they were in this room actually that we're in now. and one night a gentleman came to this back window and just crawled in through window looking for his drug dealer, and stepped on their six-year-old's bed and they chased him out and that was scary for them. >> hahamburgers are complimentsf the organization. >> that is why building community was important. >> we don't have two sinks to do them in so i do them in the bathtub, with a couple of tubs. >> if it wasn't for laurie and this new living, this program we'd probably be out in the streets. we wouldn't have a roof over our heads. i'm bipolar. i got ptsd. i had to go out and panhandle.
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just to survive. >> the past motel rooms we didn't have no soap. >> i served my country. my son gave his life for his country and guess it was embarrassing for me to go out there and ask for help. i was working a part time job but with my health and stuff i'm not able to do that now. you know, around here i do a little painting here and there to help with the rent and stuff. my girlfriend she works real hard. she works five days a week at denny's as a server. >> oh i see it, i found it. >> we scrape by but we get by now, it's a lot better now. i have my good days and my bad days. but just knowing that we have a place over our heads now, and we don't have to worry about being homeless and we got food in the refrigerator, it's a big relief, for me.
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to a normal person it might not look like much. but it's home for us. >> they all have a different story. they all have a commonality where they were homeless, work homeless. they all have different reasons why they got there and what their background is. and they all are just looking for just some little bit better life. >> from a strong woman. leading the way on route 66. we head next to meet a young woman who's learned to travel her own quite distinctive path.
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>> our look at women leading the way and cutting their own path
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takes us now to southeastern wisconsin, where "america tonight's" lisa fletcher met a woman who is defying the limits on her body to become the most popular girl at school. >> ari is a celebrity, that's who ari is. >> she's a real smart girl. >> ariana martin is in the first grade. but as her dad helps her get ready for school, things are noticeably different. >> are you ready? >> i'm so pumped up. >> here we go. ari has what is called sma, spinal muscular atrophy. it's a disease that's linked in with muscular dystrophy. basically her muscles will get weaker as time goes on. >> time's up. >> oshe unfortunately can't sit
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up, she can't walk she can't crawl. even breathing problems she has a hard time breathing. >> log in. >> reporter: despite her rare health condition ari is still able to go to school with her peers. >> ari what did you write? >> dream. >> this is how she sees her teacher. >> do those have long a sounds? >> reporter: this is how her teacher sees her. >> ari how do you make that? hold it up. >> the unit is an ipad securely mounted to the top of the device similar to a segway, and ari controls it remotely through a wifi connection. >> i think cat is going to eat the mouse. very good you are correct. >> reporter: its manufacturer, double robotics, originally came
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up with the idea for telecommuting professionals that is, until a couple of schools approached them with a few students who could only attend class from home. >> how did you change stay to play ari what did you do? >> this gave ceo david khan and idea. >> id sounds like a good solution, relatively low cost solution compared to other things they have been looking at. now we have over 350 robots deployed in the u.s. >> did you name your robot? >> robotica. >> now ari is able to speak to her classmates via her robotica. >> if they are working or writing she will sign in the robot and navigate the room and they'll look up and wave, so they don't think any
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differently, everybody does their jobs and goes along with the routine of the day. >> reporter: i can go and ride around school with you today but you'll have to teach me. there i was in the first grade with my pal ari and my very own robotica. >> reporter: ari you're better at driving than i am. >> today ari let me spend a day with her in the classroom. >> can you say hi to lisa? >> we are in art class. >> you can pick your favorite one and paint it nice and big. >> reporter: while students work on their projects in class. which one are you going to draw? ari draws simultaneously at home. and when she's all done she can show off her work. >> which one did you do?
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wow! >> before robotica we used an ipad, we would carry it on a stand, she had no control so sometimes she might be left at a table and the group would move on and she would still be at the table. so with robotica, it gives her the opportunity to control her learning, she has the ability do whatever the other students do. >> we head back to home room after art class. ari leads the way. red tape on the floor guides her to where she needs to go. she has no problem finding her way around. >> before she was an ipad. now she's somebody. she's got that presence there. she's free to room. she's free to look where she needs to look. if she can't see the board right she'll move and she'll maneuver that robot where she needs to look and she can get the teacher's attention rather than an ipad sitting on a desk
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somewhere, she's now hey mrs. taylor i need help. >> it gives her more of a voice in the classroom and when she interacts with the children, when she talks about her day, when we ask her how did school go today she's free to experience what she did during the day. >> i think what this did was signaled for our teaching staff as well as the community and our parents, we'll do whatever it takings to make sure your child has the opportunities they need to be successful. their teachers and their willingness to do those things it's a blessing. that's why i'm proud. proud of them. >> i hope, you know, other school districts look at and say hey look, the impossible is -- it's not impossible. >> reporter: that's fun going to school with you. >> i wish you could do it again one day.
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>> reporter: okay. lisa fletcher, al jazeera, west bend, wisconsin. >> that's "america tonight." please come back for more of "america tonight." >> out of control. >> tonight's rammy will be postponed until another day. >> thousands of protesters against organizers of a donald trump rally. horrific invitations. >> crimes against humanity and war crimes have continued into 2015 and predominantly been perpetrated by the government. >> from children burned alive