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tv   The Stream 2017 Ep 201  Al Jazeera  December 19, 2017 5:32pm-6:00pm +03

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nothing but more missiles meanwhile iran has condemned the u.s. accusation that teheran supplied another missile fired from yemen at saudi arabia last month the government summoned the swiss ambassador who represents u.s. interests in iran to pass on the message it called a statement by the u.n. the u.s. ambassador to the u.n. irresponsible and provocative the palestinian leadership has condemned the u.s. veto of a u.n. draft resolution on jerusalem it would have required president on trying to rescind his recognition of jerusalem as israel's capital all of the other fourteen security council members voted in favor of the resolution china russia criticize the u.s. for calling them strategic rivals president donald trump single them out as major straits in his new national security strategy the kremlin says washington's plan has an imperialist character and beijing called on trump to accept its growing influence japan's government has approved the use of a u.s.
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military land based missile interceptor system it is in response to north korean threats and follows pyongyang's launch of two missiles over japan this year the government says the new weapon system will take years to become operational as the headlines and news continues on al-jazeera after the stream. if you change a serious debate up front at this time of al-jazeera. hi i'm femi oke a annual industry and i'm really could be today u.n. investigation on human rights in the united states. millions of americans from exercising that political and civil rights.
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for some might have to come from the united nations this figure out of a solution to a problem that the united states should be have is really it really is say to me i mean because there won't this and they want to make america great again this is not making america great again. how is it that such dire poverty exists in the world's largest economy a u.n. special reference you're just finished crisscrossing the united states in an attempt to answer that very question according to the u.s. census bureau forty one million americans are living in poverty but it's more people than the entire population of sudan and los angeles alone some to five thousand people are homeless one homeless enclave skid row has just nine toilets for roughly eighteen hundred people and in the southern state of alabama an intestinal parasites once thought to have been eradicated in the u.s.
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this thriving because of course imitation joining us to talk about this via skype from new york philip alston he's the un special rapporteur on poverty and human rights who just finished his fact finding tour of the united states in los angeles steve richardson also known as gen dog and he's an activist and community organizer with the los angeles community action network and right here in our studio kathryn coleman flowers she's a social justice advocate who founded the alabama center for rural enterprise community development corporation and that's an organization working to address the lack of sewage disposal infrastructure in alabama's rural black belt it's good to have you here everybody catherine when you heard the u.n. was going to be heading around the u.s. looking at extreme poverty you did what. i do with a partner of ours the human rights law clinic columbia university we wrote the letter and we sent it to dr austin's system yet to invite him to come to alabama
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it could be many people even inside of us who can be say extreme poverty what does that even mean or you know i grew up in poverty in growing up in poverty i know what it's like and i think that a lot of people just assume when you look at poverty it's mostly rule communities they don't understand it they look at poverty generally through an urban leans in living in an area where you know. we had outhouses that one point people didn't have enough food you know we didn't get people used to going shopping you know we were i wore not a whole outfit for the whole school year you know we had then one pair of shoes a year that's the way some people still living like that but when you were hanging around the u.s. what were you looking for what was meant extreme poverty for you well there are special u.s. government definition. someone dipping below a certain number of dollars per year but that doesn't capture the sort of situation
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a lot of people are in. those being employed cool living on two dollars a day which documents the extent to which a pretty large number of people actually have about two dollars in cash each day available to them and if you don't have access to toilets if you don't have access to clean water. then you're likely to be living in poverty you know but we got this tweet from actually several people when we tweeted out the report which includes the line the u.s. is one of the world's richest countries but neither its wealth nor its power is being harnessed to address the situation in which forty million people continue to live in poverty sam on twitter says i thought only developing countries had such challenges he's not alone there philip what do you think is the most surprising thing that came out of your reporting. well this is a very dramatic moment in american history in fact. in most developed
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countries the discussion that i have is do you as a government have enough money to be able to provide even basically decent. living standards your people and the government will say no we don't we can't afford that cetera the united states government is just about to pull one and a half trillion dollars into funds for the extremely wealthy at the same time it's announced that it's going to be cutting back on welfare and health care so it's just stunning that the money is there but the priority is given to those who absolutely don't need it and the situation of those who absolutely do need it is going to get much worse don i want to bring you into the conversation because you know an area really well in los angeles called splinter row the guardian newspaper went on the trip with phillip and took pictures and spoke to people i want to show some of those pictures and you'll see some more as we continue from
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this conversation where would you take people to tell them what it's like to live in school fred what would you show them. so so most definitely first i would take you to over here where early live is a way to lakers is that where you see these five million dollars condo losses being built there you see people slipping sid not on the streets drinking a lot. of the chairs you see the manicured dogs walking down the street and then just throw stones the way you see it in village you know you see the complete sidewalks that. does have rolls and rolls of tinted for this you could see you see the streets that are filled with people pushing shopping carts you see people you know if you see poverty in other words you don't have to go to rule alabama you don't stand me you can come right here in sunny california wanted to
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riches cities in america and you see poverty you see extreme poverty because just like on to send the political will just. so americans know about school pride this is not a shock to that one i was shocked about poverty. in the states. so i mean just like alabama you know it's going to be talking about how people sand that you know it's old a shock to see poverty in certain parts of america well i'm here to tell you that as long as you poor you treat it the same no matter where us whether you have rule alabama because they deal with the hookworm down there or you in sunny california we deal with the hepatitis over here so people are treated the same you know you you poor you have nothing you know united states lead the nation you know in almost every category when it comes to depriving the poor you know and so you see we walk
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down skid row in austin while down a street you don't have to go you know it's going to be two two are you think some third world country you know right here in los angeles you know you have conditions that are worse there where we don't have basic things like trash cans and bathroom and stuff like that you know so you know poverty you know is right here in africa you know i hear what you're saying there out there someone who i think might appreciate this is stephanie lantus i cannot make and justice writer and she says that poverty may not be what people expect it to be or to look like here's what she told the stream. there are many different shades to poverty i mean there's extreme poverty which you know is important to point out because the living conditions are absolutely her hand. there are some families who are at different levels of employment when i was a single mother who worked full time i still needed food stamps medicaid childcare
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assistance you know several things just to help me get through the month you know mark doesn't save you you work only gets you so far so catherine i saw you nodding there good can you explain for people because that might be a surprising thing that you could be working and still be in poverty and a lot of people that are working is still in power. a lot of these factories are not paying people living wages the utility bills are extremely high what i want to learn when i returned. to work is that the poor people we're paying the highest amount of money for utilities there are some people there's one family that recently who lives in a mobile home and they said that on a regular basis their light meal for their whole for power is eight hundred dollars a month that's a lot of money for poor families so four families are living off seven hundred dollars a month or eight hundred dollars and. the fact that anything most of us in this
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country at least where we live or one step away or one paycheck away from poverty you know if i miss a chair i mean i could end up in the same situation i could end up homeless people that they're choosing between buying medication eating because they don't have enough money you know they're children go with well we're costly doing things for students in the high school in the uniforms the things that people take for granted other places you know most people when their children play football or basketball will have to worry about whether they're going about a year or four for that but if you're in a poor school less or do. situation so the years there are different shades of poverty and i admit people even alabama when when dr austin was there people that are working for companies that. one month they qualify for food stamps because of the they don't get enough hours where they could you know not have to worry about
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that so years in this country i think the travesty is is that we're always putting on a shill there doesn't show the reality what a lot of people are dealing with every day. after picture of you here this is when you went to alabama and you're sitting and listening to people's stories have a look at my laptop you can see philip there in situ what people telling. i just want to come in and i'll answer them on second but just to come in and reinforce what catherine was saying. i spoke to a number of people who are women who work for wal-mart and they told exactly the same story of course of being unable to subsist adequately on a full time will sound very and so they were getting food stamps even while working full time their representatives estimate that wal-mart employees get
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something like six billion dollars worth of food stamps each year which is effectively a subsidy from the government to wal-mart but the bigger point is that what we're seeing in this economy is the growing precariousness of many jobs not just boerma we when the government talks about the need to get people off welfare and into jobs that's great and i'm all in favor of that but we have to acknowledge that many of those jobs will not pay a living wage because the conditions are not there the medical insurance doesn't exist the was not set and it's the geek economy which is going to generate ever more jobs that need to be supplemented by some form of social welfare and we share one gets when this is our info on the shooting at the beginning of asho he was talking about how lives this is the outside of his house and that he
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showed you his plumbing system i'm going to say system him in sort of a quote because it wasn't much of a plumbing system and this is one of the biggest issues with people who suffer from extreme poverty in the u.s. have a have a look at how iran's plumbing system kind of works. the small white pipe here is your main water line coming from the highway and the low its way pipes are running from ross was great pipes from the house so they were all still have to have some with go from here and there seem to be as a when i see it and once. you've got some a water here and it might have a hole in. some of these bacteria and i mean everybody gets sick all the war how is that possible twenty seven told to states of america how is that possible that well it's very interesting contrast there's
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a very big campaign going on these days in a place called india and that is a campaign to encourage people to use toilets and in order to do that the government is systematically installing or assisting with the installation of toilets across the country major national campaign when i was in alabama when i was in west virginia i asked the leading health authorities how many people in your state don't have access to proper so rich facilities and they looked at me and said . and i said well what's your plan how are you going to make sure that you cover the whole state. sorry no plan people can do that for themselves if they want to you know but you know a place like alabama can cost up to thirty thousand to install the septic system.
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so they're going to keep living as they are i guess that's right and there are very real dire consequences of course to not having a good septic system this is mia monique on twitter she says ok let's fix the whole problem and loudoun county this is a first world country she goes on to say i'm more than sure that more situations are occurring within the state as a whole septic systems are extremely expensive especially in that area of the state u.s.d.a. or the government offers loans for the process to get a loan an income loan is long and tedious too many hurdles to jump through catherine can you relate to what this person is say actually we've had situations i had a u.s. senator tell me that you is the money back to washington from alabama so a lot of this is surplus and so what they are that they won't use they're not spending the money to address the problems the other problem that we found that phil didn't get a chance to see is that people have paid their pay for the septic system they feel
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that it was back into the home so we've had to come back and to be pulls back into things it floods their homes those are failing septic systems and what happens what we've seen is that the inequality is so dire that the government would give money to businesses to provide. the type of treatment is needed but they won't do that for homeowners they leave it up to the homeowners themselves who can't afford it because there are environmental issues that they're factor into whether or not the zone say systems work and they know that the technology doesn't work and we're trying to find solutions that are going to bring you back. to harry oh right you're we had somebody saying. problem here and i said clearly. because we have three thousand homes people those live in directly. that have to share but i've told you. so the will is not there by the politicians do
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come in and build basic infrastructure for people to live on on a daily basis. so we face communicable diseases now and i have to tell it it's pretty much some diseases there's a coming up in other parts of the country like the who were. general so this can i think little people well because you brought this up a little bit earlier in the conversation i want people to just poor us and take this in this is what a hookworm looks like under a microscope this is what it looks like when it's in your intestine and this. is how it all happens let's start with the eggs in the thesis they mature in the soil and then those little. end up getting back into your body because as you saw from plumbing situation the sewage is right out there in the open and it goes back into your body and then and so on and so on the circle continues and this.
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problem with what once was thought tipping eradicated around about the 1980's like gordon from the united states but because of extreme poverty some cases of it again so general please continue. yes so you have to make their point about you know it doesn't matter. you know rule of. law senator you know it's going to. be basically saying. who. i want to share one other example from from someone online this is in china who is not from the u.s. but travels to the country occasionally he says he recently came back and was noticing how he sees the country getting poorer he says i met a lot of college aged people who clearly never had proper dental or orthodontic care growing up it must have been too expensive after their parents lost jobs in the late two thousand economic crash i've never seen teeth like that on americans
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before he goes on to say it's sad because bad teeth are sort of the class of art in america the idea that decent dental care is out of reach is shocking so i actually want to share a picture and this might be hard to see for some members of our audience this is the guardian and their photo essay where they followed you philip and this is a man who couldn't afford dental care there this isn't the guardian article patient who came into the clinic needing all thirty of his teeth to have root canal surgery to look can you explain to our audience you don't understand how this could happen . i must say i like the comment from the guy in china who says the tape class mocked not just in the u.s. but in the west generally in other words if you have good taste your classy if you have bad taste you're bad. and the fact that there is no dental care that is provided for for example by medicaid once you are an adult you're not entitled
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to any dental care courtesy of the government you have to go to an emergency room it's the only option that's available and what happens of course is that people turn up for jobs and they open their mouth at which point the employer says you've got bad breath or i see you've got two front teeth missing are identical we can have people like you working in a in this job sorry and so the cycle of poverty just gets worse because you can't afford any dental care you start to suffer headaches and illness that we all get with dental pain eventually it shows and your unemployable meanwhile governments provide no assistance even for the poorest. this is all fixable or none of these issues that we talked about so far in the last twenty minutes or so none of them do not have a solution some of the work that you're doing catherine is directly aiming at how
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do we fix this for instance not having a septic tank that is an effect in alabama stopping law enforcement from arresting people because they can't afford to pay the fines and they get to impress and then it gets even worse what else are you doing well one of the things they were doing we've had different organizations from around the country to try a. technology that works who want to shift the paradigm actually what we're looking at is not trying to create the technology where one can go to a hardware store and buy like you buy an h. back system and get a technician to install that in one's home so we're working with duke university we're working with the columbia university human rights law clinic we're also working with their school of engineering work with engineers without borders here in the united states and we're working with american standard who has come to partner with us to try to find technology that works that's affordable and that
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works in our stores and i think that they can eliminate some of the inequality that the people who are communities are dealing with that have to develop septic systems we've got this question here from the station of one of our gas they write in can you ask the panelists what they believe in the violence the cycle of violence and poverty in the u.s. and there could be an answer here we just got this on you tube henry says this is all very embarrassing to the so-called world superpower so philip i wonder in answering that earlier tweet is part of this shaming public officials and governments. that's one more of thought but the text count combined with the welfare cuts seem to suggest that there is no shame so i'm not sure what the solution is hopefully one has to start educating the american people to let them know exactly what the situation is we're talking about
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forty million people living in poverty as you mentioned earlier that's a huge amount and it's very far from the sort of stereotype that the average government official talks about when they talk about a lazy black family somewhere who's ripping off the welfare system well i'm sorry the welfare system is all colors all people and forty million of them and they're all living in degrees of misery and that could be changed overnight as the congress has shown with tax reform. one of the things that phillip says general is that it is possible to eradicate poverty in the united states that very few where people say that with great confidence what you'll take online you can actually get rid of poverty if america wanted to. so my take is my take is that. america continues to parade around you know status as being
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a nation of equality no standing and being a nation you don't stand a good well we already know gates one of the biggest human rights violators you know it's near me only global planet and i don't see no real commitment at this point. from america to end poverty because i just see that the regular day oh kick the can down the road type mentality what all of politics is you know exactly what's going on a lot of the politicians that's been in office like merry go a steady you know it has been in office almost sixty years u.k. did not have you understand what's going on here but you know i tried to pass it every day you got to drive past the million kids to get the city all you can eat and now that the conditions are living on the block you know it's going to help the parties talking about it you know it's so easy to just keep a journal you know you don't really you don't believe it's possible that you. know i don't i don't i don't believe they have right ok i don't i don't i don't really
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they have the political will right now to you know they're going to cook well general doug and thank you for the post and thank you so much i kept on calling phallus really appreciate your input today talk about extreme poverty in the united states we will continue our conversation always online thank you talking to frank profit as well. see something that's watching the boat . the south pole the bank the research to be right printed.
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so i. think. something still. kids. this is a boon for point people right now and technology there is so much going to help people it's phenomenal thanks for calling i read this is there and what are you looking like today we get to the blind with their day to day tasks and give them more independence and freedom this feels like it's a little is it to me to explore asian process. we have that technology available to us know this story on all jazeera one of the really special things about working for al-jazeera is that even as a camera woman i get to have so much and put in contribution to a story i feel we cover this region better than anyone else would be what it is you know it's that he turns to leave but in the butt to be heard because you have a lot of people that you buy you did on political issues. people believe to tell the real stories just men didn't used to do we were individualism we don't feel
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inferior to the audiences across the. country.


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