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tv   Ronan Farrow Daily  MSNBC  September 4, 2014 10:00am-11:01am PDT

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think we'll weaken in the face of their threats they could not be more wrong. countries like britain and america will not be cowed by barbaric killers. it was published on the first day of the nato meeting in wales. david cameron opened the session an a dire note. >> we meet in a crucial time in the history of our alliance. the world faces many dangerous and evolving threats, and it is absolutely clear that nato is as vital to our future as it has been in our past. >> just a couple minutes, we'll take a closer look at the resources sustaining isis. and talk to one senator who has a plan to cut off those resources. here at home, we've just received words of eight new charges filed, including murder in the grand jury indictment against that georgia father whose toddler died after being left alone in a hot car. justin ross harris told police he was supposed to take his son to day care but forgot cooper was in the car.
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he drove to work instead leaving the 22-month-old in the back seat for seven hours. authorities say he'd been sex dls ting several women the day his son died wanting a, quote, child-free life. police say he'd also researched hot car deaths an the internet along with his wife who hasn't been charged at this point. and investigators looking into the botched execution earlier this year in oklahoma have just released their findings this morning. in april it took clayton lockett 43 minutes to die after being injected with a three-drug cocktail. he clenched his teeth, writhed and suffered an evident distress before finally dying. condemned inmates are usually rendered unconscious minutes after injection. the report found an improperly monitored i.v. line was the major issue and likely caused his prolonged death. executions had been postponed for six months. they are expected to resume in november. and fast food workers in 150 cities nationwide walked off the job this morning to protest low
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wages. there were arrests here in new york city as protesters hit the streets. they want their pay doubled to $15 and the right to form a union. >> people are getting arrested behind you. >> yes, i understand. that's a show of bravery that regardless of the fact that they are willing to do whatever it takes in an obedient way to show that they want more pay wage. >> there were also arrests during demonstrations in detroit. mcdonald's issues this statement. mcdonald's does not determine the wages set by our more than 3,000 u.s. franchisees. and wendy's, we're proud to give thousands of those who come to us for an entry level job the opportunity to learn and develop important skills so they can grow with us or move on to something else. let's drill don on the isis threat the president will be discussing today at the nato summit. as the president weighs military
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options, two senators here at home want the white house to take on the terror group another way. they are calling on the administration to hit the extremist group where it could hurt them the most. in their bank accounts. senator bob casey and marco rubio want isis declared a transnational criminal organization. some analysts call isis the best funded terror group in history. profiting from crime, hostages, black market oil and donations. and the senators say that giving isis that special designation could help cut off that funding. joining me now is pennsylvania senator bob casey. senator, it's good to have you on the program. first, i want to talk about this nato summit. isis is on the agenda. the president and secretary of state there are. we've had an official white house photo of the two of them. we'll bring it when we can. what do you hope to see out of this summit? >> well, i think certainly when it comes to having a broader based effort against the islamic state or isil as some will call them, that's is one goal, i
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think, of -- we can't do this alone. the united states military has already had significant success in their efforts to push back against the islamic state. but you are dealing here with a terrorist organization that has an army and thirdly is a criminal organization. so it's important that we have a broad and comprehensive strategy that goes beyond the united states. i do think, though, that this question of cutting off their funding is a significant one whereby one estimate they could just fund from oil sales alone could have some more than $700 million in one year in terms of resources. not to mention other pipelines of support they are getting. so i think they have to -- that has to be cut off, and i think we need a strategy to do that. >> let's talk about that. hezbollah has already labled a transnational criminal organization. why wouldn't isis be, and why isn't it, in fact, yet?
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>> it's a good question. i think -- i believe they should be. that's why, in our letter to secretary kerry, both senator rubio and i indicate that they should so label the islamic state. but in addition to that, it's -- you can't simply label them. you have to put the muscle and the diplomacy behind it. make it very clear to nations that will do business with them and make it very painful by way of sanctioning and other pressure to make sure that there's a price to be paid if they do business. it's about stopping smuggling, stopping financing of isis directly. it's also about making sure that we're pushing governments in the region, not only to join us in a coalition against the islamic state but to make best efforts to make sure that they don't have jihadists going through their country. we know that the turks have a problem with that.
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they've got to do more. and we need the nations have a significant sunni relation to help us in this coalition. >> so with this being such an urgent cause, why not bring congress back early? >> we're going to be back next week. and when we're back, these issues will be debated. i don't know where that will go in terms of a broader debate about the military aspects of this. but this is a challenge for both the administration and for congress. >> well, we'll be watching closely to see what happens when congress gets back to work. senator bob casey, appreciate it. >> thanks, ronan. an unknown number of americans have jouned or want to join the isis ranks. there's news of that today and that is part of the resource flow into isis right now that we've been talking about. those are americaned like don morgan. 44 years old. catholic born. from north carolina. he talked exclusively to nbc news. >> someone has to defend islam.
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and somebody has to defend innocent muslims. >> nbc news interviewed morgan in beirut through a freelance journalist. he didn't hide his intention to join isis which calls itself the i islamic state. >> i purchased a ticket with the intent of entering syria, either joining up with medical and food aid convoys or directly with the islamic state. >> those western fighters are being recruited partly through isis' robust social media campaign. it's a cam pawn that shows isis at its most brutal, executing americans like steven sotloff. most recently isis fighters posing with jars of nutella. peter newman, professor from the department of war studies and director of the study of radicalization. thank you professor newman for being here. first of all, what do we know about how isis recruits through social media? >> well, they have a very
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extensive campaign on social media. there's the stuff they themselves produce, magazines, videos. the foreign fighters in fact, the woeftern foreign fighters who aren't syria are often involved with the production and the editing of that output. but what's really important, what often gets forgotten is there are literally hundreds if not thousands of sympathizers who are not formally associated with isis, who are disseminating that stuff through twitter, facebook, instagram, all these mannstream platforms that people like you and i would be using every day, too. >> i want to look at what works in combath that social media effort. the u.s. government through its center for strategic counterterrorism communications has been trying to fight back online. they've used a lot of means, a lot of satire to undermine militants. there's one facebook page they started. think again, trn away. they've been doing a lot of tweeting and facebook posting in arabic. does that work?
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>> i think it is easy to make fun of that. it is perhaps effective an the margins, but i believe it is important to contest that space. up until recently, there was no one who was really countering the narrative, who was even contradicting some of these extremists online. interstate department now goes out there and does things, i think on the whole that's a good thing. and especially for those who are if you want on the fence who are sympathizing, who are exposed to these messages, it is important for them to see there's counternarrative out there. i wouldn't be completely against it, but it has to be said it is a drop in the ocean. it is no more than that. >> a lot of this content we're talking about thrives on platforms provided by big u.s. tech companies. we've been doing a lot of reporting ab this. what i've heard from a lot of insight from those companies is they are afraid of policing this content for a whole splew of reasons. free speech concerns, concerns of incurring liability. do you see that changing in the
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wake of these latest beheading videos? >> i think i understand those companies because they are very nervous about government telling them to take down content. they don't want to be seen to be essentially censoring the internet according to the government's wishes. at the same time, they are quite prepared to listen to people and quite prepared to say, okay, there are people openly inciting violence on our platforms. it is not only bad. it is even against our community guidelines. so i think in the case of big platforms, it's a case of educating them about who these extremist organizations are. who to look out for and i think they are quite cooperative if you do not push them too hard and if government isn't doing the pushing too hard. >> and since we started looking at this facet of the isis threat we've soon the response and the tone of the response change, even twitter. now coming out and saying explicitly, we're taking down
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content of this type. we'll be watching this conversation closely. peter newman, appreciate it. >> thank you ronan. we're awaiting a justice department announce about the investigation that the country has been waiting for. unrest in ferguson has quieted. and with that investigation, it's just getting started. we've got everything you need to know about what comes next right after this break. what if there was a credit card where the reward was that new car smell and the freedom of the open road? a card that gave you that "i'm 16 and just got my first car" feeling. presenting the buypower card from capital one. redeem earnings toward part or even all of a new chevrolet, buick, gmc or cadillac - with no limits. so every time you use it, you're not just shopping for goods. you're shopping for something great. learn more at buypowercard.com
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this is a pretty significant thing the justice department did. they don't take these things lightly. do you think it's warranted, piling on, do you think it's -- what's your thoughts? >> i take no personal offense to it at all. in the end, the justice
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department is going to try to improve the quality of policing nationwide. that's their job. part of their job. this section. so i welcome that. anything that we can do here to improve what we're doing is good. >> that was nbc's ron allen interviewing ferguson police chief earlier today. we're awaiting major announcement at 2:30 eastern time from attorney general eric holder and the department of justice which is set to launch a sweeping investigation into the entire ferguson police department. that probe will be conducted by the doj civil rights division. and it will examine the police department's conduct over several years. looking for patterns of discrimination and excessive force. this investigation is also expected to look into hiring practices in the city's police force. this is all in addition to the separate probe already under way in the shooting death of michael brown. joining me is nbc news justice correspondent pete williams who has been following this story. what exactly is the legal basis
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for this civil rights investigation? >> it's a federal law. it's passed by congress in 1994 and it gives the justice department authority to investigate what is known as a pattern or practice of civil rights investigations. so people who are familiar with these cases call them pattern or practice cases and that's what they'll be doing here. >> what kind of charges could result? >> this is not the kind of investigation -- this is not a criminal investigation. not the kind of investigation that leads to charges against people. what happens here is the justice department does this investigation. and then it proposes to the department that it's investigating changes. and it may go to court and seek to have a monitor appointed to make sure that the department follows these changes. sometimes these recommendations are agreed to by the police department. sometimes they're not. and if the police department says, as some have in the past, we don't want these to make these changes.
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we don't think this is necessary. this is an unfair burden, then they go to court. and sometimes the court will order the police department or the sheriff's office or whatever the law enforcement organization is to make these changes. so it's a range of outcomes, but we shouldn't think of this in terms of people in handcu dhand. >> what does the actual investigation on the ground look like? what comes next? >> it looks like to some extent an accounting or actuarial exercise. what is the rate at which black people are stopped for traffic violations as opposed to white people per capita. what kind of lawsuits have been filed? what are the incidents of complaints, internal affairs investigations? so part of it is a look at past data. but also part of it is looking at how the department operates. now i'm not speaking of ferguson here. i'm talking in general about how these work. they'll look at how people are recruited, how they are trained,
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what kind of experience they have before they are allowed to go out on the street. what kind of firearms training they have, the use of nonlethal force, to try to look at introducing best practices. the goal of these investigations is not to say, ah-ha, look at the bad things you've done. it's to try to make recommendations for improvements but, of course, it's against the background of where there are problems. >> those policy changes certainly seem to be what this community is calling out for. what, pete, is the historical precedent for this kind of investigation and how unusual for there to be these two doj investigations happening in such a small community? >> well, i'd say that is unusual, too in a small community. a community of 20,000. but these so-called pattern and practice investigations have been done against big city police departments. new orleans is a notable example. albuquerque, chicago, l.a. but also smaller ones, too. so and they are probably about three dozen as a matter of fact under way right now. >> still a lot of questions as
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to whether this will answer those calls for accountability that have been so loud in that community and around the country. nbc's pete williams. appreciate your breaking that down for us. >> and the attorney for the family of michael brown, benjamin crump, just released a statement saying the family is encouraged by this doj investigation and that, quote, we believe that transparency in law enforcement is the only way to build trust in the community, not just in the killing of michael brown. but for others who have suffered as well. this investigation will be looking into a police force in ferguson that's come under scrutiny for who they target and why. just look at some of the numbers. ferguson has a population of 21,000 people. in 2013, its police issued almost 33,000 warrants. mostly for nonviolent offenses like driving violations. and of those drivers stopped by police, 86% are black. this in a community that's just 67% black.
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and this policing is a moneymaker for the city of ferguson. this is interesting here. the city is expected to collect $2.6 million in court fines and fees for the last fiscal year. that's their second biggest source of revenue. all a troubling set of incentives. joining me is a member of the naacp national board ever directors and st. louis county naacp executive committee. good to have you back, john. i want to get to the kinds of arrests being made in ferguson in a moment. we're awaiting this investigation. take a listen to this. >> bottom line, in terms of a civil rights investigation, by the justice department of the police, does that concern you? do you think that's warranted? >> well, i mean, an investigation is just looking into the facts. and so i'm open to anyone looking into the facts and examining whether or not there's been an issue here. am i concerned? i am absolutely interested in knowing -- wanting to know the truth of what's been going on.
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>> do you think this doj investigation will lead to real change? >> absolutely. i think that this puts many people within st. louis county and especially in the city of ferguson on notice that this is serious. that the attorney general and the department of justice are not messing around about this particular matter. but i was just speak with the president of the st. louis county naacp right before this interview. this is long overdue. this is something that we have been out crying about for decades now. not just in the ferguson police department, but within surrounding municipal police departments there in north st. louis county. so this is certainly long overdue. >> all right. let's get back to those jarring numbers and another symptom of, as you say, a community overdue for change some of kind. 33,000 arrest warrants for nonviolent offenses in a town of just 21,000. it's hard to believe. how do members of the community deal with working to pay af those fines with the possibility
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of arrests hanging over their heads? >> it's a revolving door. you know, i've spoken with friends and people within that community so often. you get a warrant. you have to pay the fee to get the ticket off your back. pay the fee for a lawyer, et cetera, et cetera. and it racks up so much that it's almost to the point where people just give up. you know, you get pulled over. it's not just in the city of ferguson. within st. louis county you have almost 94 different municipal police departments. so say you may have a warrant in neighboring jennings and in ferguson. you get pulled over in jennings. they take you in. mess you around there and they take you back to the city of ferguson. so if you have numerous traffic tickets within st. louis county, you could be going to eight different police departments for these warrants before you are taken to clayton or back to the original place where the original warrant is. it's a revolving door. people within that community are sick and they are tired of it.
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and we at the naacp have been out crying about this for decade. this problem, you've taken a look at the numbers. the statistics don't lie. there's evidently a problem there. >> it's such a striking issue. members of the msnbc team in ferguson, including our own producer sarah boxer went down there n found that to be a prominent threat in this story. that people were suffering under the onus of this financial burden and constant threat of arrest. how does being swapped with those arrest warrants and from a predominantly white force in such a black community affect the tensions this community has with their police? >> it makes many people it builds an that level of untrust, that level of confidence and the local law enforcement. many people within the area feel as though the police departments are just there to make money. just there to increase revenue so they can pay their salaries and build a new city hall or a new police department as you have seen in the city of ferguson. and so people look at it as
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though it is a money making mechanism. and not as though a way to ensure that you obey the traffic laws. or a way to ensure that we keep public safety. that's not how people in the community feel the laws there. >> we'll be watching to see if change comes. john gaskin, appreciate your insights. >> thank you for having me again. just ahead, why is this college student carrying a mattress around columbia university? the answer that has everybody talking about a very serious issue. right after this break. so what we're looking for is a way to "plus" our accounting firm's mobile plan. and "minus" our expenses. perfect timing. we're offering our best-ever pricing on mobile plans for business. run the numbers on that. well, unlimited talk and text, and ten gigs of data for the five of you would be... one-seventy-five a month. good calculating kyle. good job kyle. you just made partner.
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v valparaiso university law school. they joined students from dozens of other schools who filed complaints. like emma sulkowitz whom we spoke with last week. take a look at that mattress. she anonced she was going to carry that mattress as her senior project on this very program. and it's now kicked up a firestorm. visual arts major tells us she's carrying that mattress around as a symbol as long as her alleged rapist is allowed to remain on campus. >> so campus is unsafe because of the way they've handled our serial rapist. so the administration can technically end my piece any day by simply expelling my rapist or our rapist, but until then, i will be enduring a lot. >> emma will bring the mattress all the way to graduation if she has to. we'll be staying in touch with
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her and let you know what happens with her story. here's a few other stories spiking an social media that caught our eye today. take a look.
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and challenges yet unmet, new friendships to forge, and old ones to renew. it's more than a job. and they're more than just our students. so welcome back, to the students, and to the educators. ready to teach. and ready to learn. a vaccine to prevent ebola is being tested on humans as we speak. the national institute for health in maryland. this is the first such test and the very first participant was a 39-year-old woman. and a 27-year-old woman yesterday became the second participant to receive that vaccine. the w.h.o. anonnounced the deat toll has reached 1900. they are convening in geneva for an urgent look at experimental look at ebola treatments and the
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complicated ethical questions they raise. >> clinical trials do take some time. i think everybody is trying as hard as furiously as possible to move those trials forward as rapidly as possible within the regulatory scientific and ethical constraints because many of these vaccines are first in human studies. so just because we have the drugs, we haven't shown anything about their effectiveness so we have to do these initial studies before it would be appropriate to release them into any kind of broader scale. >> so it's appropriate to talk today to dr. anthony fauci, director of the national institute of infectious diseases, part of the nih and which is intimately involved in these trials. dr. fauci, what's the latest an the progress of these vaccinations? how many participants are you working with, and when do we expect to see results? >> the soetotal amount in the pe
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one trial will be twnt people. it's always classically a small number like 20 is because the paramount issue that you're dealing with when you first put something into a human is safety. to make sure there's no unexpected, untorrid, adverse reaction that you are getting from the vaccine. and you do that and observe people for a considerable amount of time and it means you also want to look and see if the vaccine induces the kind of response you'd predict would ultimately be protective in an environment where you'd be trying to protect them against ebola. the 20 people will be in a study that will get date to determine the preliminary safety data some time towards the end of this calendar year, probably the end of november, early december. at that point, we'll regroup, take a look and if things look good we'll move on to the next stage of the testing. >> there are tough ethical questions raised by this trial and vaccination as a whole. any experimental treatment really. if it's successful, who would go first? who gets access?
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the people who need it in west africa, western aid workers? >> you asked a question, if it's -- if it works. you're not going to know if it works until you do a clinical trial. so you don't take the leap from saying, well, it looks like it's safe and, therefore, now we're going to widely distribute it. you have to do a clinical trial to grm it works and if it doesn't have a paradoxical effect of actually enhancing the ability to get inficted of a person. and you try to do that as quickly as possible and in a setting where you don't delay access to something that might ultimately help, but you don't know it's helped. it really is a delicate balance between getting the scientifically and ethically scientific answer that is, a it works and, b, it doesn't hurt people. at the same time you're getting it out if it does work as quickly as you can.
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and the people who would probably be the first line people to get it would be the health care workers and those who are putting themselves in harm's way by taking care of these people who are affected and who are suspected of being infected. as we know from the reports, doctors, nurses and health care providers are at a much higher risk than the general population. >> this is never going to be an easy decision. another tough ethical facet of this is, you've partnered with a british pharmaceutical company, glaxosmithkline to undertake these trials. if this trial is successful, do they own the patent? what's their ability going to be to control distribution of this vaccine? >> it's actually a dual development. we developed it in partnership with it. so there really is a dual ownership if you want to call it that. it isn't strictly, technically speaking that. but the rights of these and the ability to control it is a collaboration that's a full collaboration between the national institutes of health,
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ie, the federal government and the company glaxosmithkline. they've been very cooperative in working with us toward the goals of doing this correctly, scientifically and ethically sound. >> dr. anthony fauci, appreciate it. >> good to be with you. up next, the u.s. just launched an air strike against a brutal terrorist organization and it is not isis. i was an the scene in africa after their last most notorious and most devastating attack. we take you there after the break. when it comes to good nutrition...i'm no expert. that would be my daughter -- hi dad. she's a dietitian. and back when i wasn't eating right, she got me drinking boost. it's got a great taste, and it helps give me the nutrition i was missing. helping me stay more like me. [ female announcer ] boost complete nutritional drink has 26 essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin d to support strong bones and 10 grams of protein to help maintain muscle. all with a delicious taste.
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six militants. that group may have included the leader of al shabaab, abd abdi godan. >> if he was killed, this is a very significant blow to their network, to their organization, and we believe to their ability to continue to conduct terrorist attacks. >> government officials are waiting on dna results from the scene. godan's death would be devastating to al shabaab. he's responsible for building that group into an international terror threat. and is the suspected mastermund behind the brutal westgate mall attack in kenya last september. shortly after that attack, i travelled to westgate mall in nairobi and spoke to some of those who escaped the devastation. bullet holes still riddle the side of the westgate mall and shells litter the grond nearby. not long ago this was a living hell with the terrorist group al
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shabaab waging a war. >> do you feel this attack could have been previcinitied or safeguarded against if early warnings and threats from al shabaab had been heeded. >> we can't live in fear all the tomb. no one would be functioning. the whole country would be in dysfunction if we always kept indoors. so we did hear rumors about these -- that they would want to attack any mall, any public area. but this was definitely a shock. >> so we cannot consider them as normal humans. all we can say is they are mentally ill. >> what would you say to people outside of kenya about the need to prevent this kind of tragedy? >> well, you see, it's -- the only thing i would say, they have to be secure, but it is something that you or i will not know. if it befalls, like most of the things, these thing happen is
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the -- >> so are the governments of the worldy in glec y ineglecting th terrorism out of africa? joining me is the director of the african center at a washington think thank. how significant is this least u.s. air strike against al shabaab, and how big a threat does this group remain if their leader is dead? >> well, first, ronan it is a significant for a number of reasons. we have now acquired operational intelligence that can actually be used, actionably to target the leadership of al shabaab and specifically, godani, the amir of the group. that represents a sig enough kant uncrease in our capabilities, and that's to be saluted. if the group's leader has, indeed, been killed and we're awaiting the dna tests for it. he left the group more vulnerable because of his totalitarian style.
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this is a guy who not only attacked people outside his group. he also attacked and killed brutally a number of jihadists who disgraed wiagreed with him. there's no succession ready to step in. this is a tremendous window of opportunity. however, one should not overestimate what's happened. shabaab is a symptom of state failure in somalia, not the cause of state failure. >> and certainly, the destabilizing effect his death could have could also backfire and cause more instability in the region. it's a troubling set of circumstances even with this development. back in october, the pentagon deployed military advisers to mogadishu to confront this threat. coordinate with african union troops fighting al shabaab. u.s. interventions in somalia have backfired in the past, correct? in 2006 they back eed one that paved the way for al shabaab's rise. what lessons should the u.s.
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learn as they engage now? >> it's the same lesson we keep having to learn time and time again. the key to fight anything terrorist group, any insurgency is having an alternative for people. an alternative that includes economic, social and political inclusion. a government that's legitimate. and for the longest time, we were trying to pick winners in somalia and other places, and the previous government in somalia was found by one international audit to have embezzled somewhere on the order of 95% to 96% of the aid it received. that's not a legitimate government. it's highway robbery an a grand scale. so an entity like that is not going to have support from the people. and then shabaab gets to take on the narrative that it somehow is the protector, which it isn't, of course, of the oppressed. >> the somali government offered amnesty this week to al shabaab fighters. they are giving them 45 days to decide. is that a helpful move? >> possibly because now that the
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leadership, the radical leadership has been hopefully decapitated, many of the fighters in shabaab are not interested. they never were interested in godani's transnational regional terrorism. they were fighting for something in somalia. if a pathway is open to them if they are offered not only an amnesty but real reintegration. jobs, economic opportunity. i think we can peel away. and the remaining hard core elements to want to carry out terrorist attacks not just in somalia but elsewhere, we, obviously, clearly have the means to deal with them. >> you mentioned threats elsewhere, of course. boko haram has been on the radar. a lot of people who survived the westgate killing saw boko haram-like tactics seeping into what al shabaab was doing. as a continentwide incubator for terrorism, do these african terror cells receive enough resources in the global treror effort? >> these groups communicate with each other.
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boko haram is alive and kicking because it got help from al qaeda and shabaab at one point. and we talk about isis and the islamic state and the caliphate they've created. boko haram in the last year has carved out an area roughly the size of maryland. just this week they seized a town bama in northeastern nigeria that is a population of roughly 250,000 people. so we're talking about significant populations that are now under the yoke of this extremist organization. the nigerian army last week, several hundred soldiers, fled into cameroon rather than fight boko haram. we're seeing the same thing. a terrorist group turning itself into a quasi entity from which it's going to be hard to dislodge it. >> it's become a significant front in the global war on terror. appreciate it. >> thank you. up next -- why are these
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protesters getting arrested en masse today? we are live from the scene of the wage rage movement. that's up next.
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right now, thousands of fast food workers are taking to the streets in more than 100 cities throughout the nation. their goal today, get chains like mcdonald's and burger king to raise their wages to $15 an hour. police have arrested dozens in new york, chicago, detroit and beyond. here's what some demonstrators are saying about why they are out there. >> because i'm a mother. i have a family and i have to support them and be with them and i don't have no time. actually, i have two jobs. >> i have a 16-year-old daughter and i'm taking care of her myself, you know, and so that's very difficult in this economy.
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>> we're trying to stand together united for a good cause. >> our own craig melvin has been following this story live now from the streets outside of our studios here in new york. craig, we're hearing that there are more arrests that have just happened, maybe moments ago. what's the latest? >> reporter: yeah. in fact, we saw them. i'd say maybe about an hour ago, less than an hour. i think we have video of those arrests. there were two protests here in new york city at two different mcdonald's. the first one at times square. this one here on the corner of 56th and 8th. this morning, 19 arrests. 15 guys, four women arrested largely for not getting out of the street, refusal to disperse. i can tell you that i saw at least 20 people get arrested this afternoon but part of this is the new strategy. i talked to organizers this morning in an attempt to raise awareness, they have decided to
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employ civil disobedience. that's one of the reasons we've seen so many arrests here in detroit reportedly, some 42 arrests. in chicago, reportedly more than two dozen arrests there. the idea today using this civil disobedience to raise awareness and it appears at this point that it's working. you mentioned raising the minimum wage to $15 for fast food workers primarily. the other part of this is, these workers want to be able to unionize as well. we've seen a number of union organizers this morning have the opportunity to talk with them as well. and we should note here, one of the chief criticisms, ronan, has been that some of the folks who show up here, that they are paid to protest or paid to be here. i asked that question. i asked one of the organizers whether they were paying people to be here and she confirmed that, yes, there is a strike fund and that a number of the protesters who show up are compensated out of that strike
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fund so that they can be here because otherwise they'd be missing work and they wouldn't be compensated. >> right. of course, the question coming out of this is how much leverage, if any, do they have from these companies? here's what wendy's has to say. "we're proud to give thousands of people who come to us for an entry-level job, the opportunity to learn and develop important skills so they can grow with us or move on to something else." we've seen these kinds of things before and they haven't had much impact. >> reporter: that is a statement from wendy's and i can tell you, after speaking with a number of the fast food workers, yes, for some folks it's an entry-level job and for some folks, it's a way of life. this is how a lot of people earn their wages. i spoke to a woman who said she has to work two jobs. she works for mcdonald's in the afternoon and in the morning she works another low-wage job to
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try to support her three children. the other side is that they are not unrealistic in their expectations. they do not expect that this is all of a sudden going to be there and then tomorrow members of congress are taking this up but they do think this is civil disobedience, that this is the kind of thing that gives life to their movement. president obama in his annual labor day address on monday spoke some time name calling, despite this group. they are hoping this is all part of a momentum building effort. >> craig melvin, thank you. and that wraps things up for today's "r.f. daily." coming up next, joy reid in "the reid report." don't go away. you, my friend are a master of diversification.
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right now on "the reid report," major developments to three big stories. minutes from now, attorney general eric holder will announce he's launching a federal investigation of the ferguson, missouri, police department to see if they have exhibited a pattern of violating people's civil rights. meanwhile, overseas president obama is in wales where he and british prime minister are asking nato allies to take on the group isis. also, thousands of fast food workers take to the streets to demand a $15 an hour wage. first, breaking news out of washington. less than half an hour from now, eric holder will hold a news conference to announce that he's launching a federal civil rights investigation of the ferguson police department. it comes nearly a month after the shooting of unarmed michael
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brown by police officer darren wilson. the shooting sparked off weeks of protest and national unrest and conversation about black and brown citizens in community of color. ron allen spoke with james knowles and police chief ron jackson a short time ago. >> bottom too many line, in terms of the civil rights investigation, does that concern you? do you think that's warranted? >> well, an investigation is just looking into the facts and so i'm open to anyone looking into the facts and examining whether or not there's been an issue here. am i concerned? i am absolutely interested in knowing -- wanting to know the truth of what's been going on. >> i take no personal offense to it at all. in the end, the justice department is going to try to improve the quality of policing nationwide and that's their job. part of their job. so i welcome that. anything

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