tv America Tonight Al Jazeera December 4, 2013 4:00am-5:01am EST
hello, welcome to al jazeera america, i'm thomas drayton. here are the top stories we are following this hour: the motor city is bankrupt. detroit once the nation's fourth largest city can begin to shed its $20 billion debt. it could mean cutting the pensions of thousands of retired city workers. >> the engineer in control of the train was nodding off shortly before the train lost control in new york. the federal agencies investigating the crash removed the rail union from the investigation saying there was a breach in confidentiality. >> vice president joe biden is on a week-long trip to asia to ease tensions.
the plane arrived in china and plans to bring up the island controversy in beijing. while in japan he voiced support. >> the president is defending the health care website. t the white house will campaign for the site. the deadline is 23rd december to register register: you can get the latest online with aljazeera.com. need manpower. also tonight. lessons learned? the latest read on how u.s. students stack up and what it really says about american i hadcation. hadcation -- education. >> and fashion build.
what role you play in one of the world's most polluted places. we take you inside of hell on earth. >> if you want to see what hell looks like. you come to the tannery and have a look at the tannery that should tell you how the hell looks like. ♪ >> good evening and thank you thanks for being with us. i'm joie chen. >> it was not much of a surprise detroit's financial concerns are well known and it produced every indication that something dramatic had to be done. >> as the city manager pointed
out today now it's real bankruptcy court judge ruled that the city's chapter 9 filing can go forward and critically the pension of city workers are not protected. the detroit leaders now face new pressures in working out a deal. but the real weight may be on the ordinary people that have to live with it. >> spinning it as a opportunity for a fresh start. the man behind detroit's bid for bankruptcy emergency manager kevin orr says it offers a clean slate for the city ac's model of urban decay. >> the city can go forward and pay it's bills as they come due under due course. >> an inability to deliver the most consistent basic services including police and fire protection. detroit filed for chapter nine in
july $18 billion in debilities aldebt allright orr says nobody is off the table. the zoo and it's assets could be sold off and thear galler the ay too. under the debate center is the pension debts. >> i hope that they leave us alone. retirees are in the cross hairs. now 71 she spent her career working for the city. her pension $885 a month is now in jeopardy. it's like the city is trying to kill us all off. all of the people that are retired because they are not going to take care of us like they should. >> she has good reason for concern the bankruptcy judge ruled that city pensions are not protected under the state's constitution. a reversal afte of a
o long held view. the impact is personal. she suffers from heart disease and has lost his eye sight and and binny is his primary caregiverrer. >> i might as well have one foot in the grave because that is where i'm heading. if i can't take care of myself anymore or him. and they cut him off, it's just like cutting my life. it's like a sigh silent killerr something. not just for me but for everyone who is trying to retire. it would be very devastating. >> the city faces a march first deadline to come up with a restructuring plan. one that will be tough decisions. it's balancing the demands of crowecreditors against the needf
the city's retirees. >> there is a pain that goes around. we have to figure out how we can mediate the least amount of pain for anyone individual. >> individuals like grady who clings to the memories of a different stronger detroit. and some how keeps the faith that things will get better. don't give up. abandon ship? no. there is no aban don abandon ship here. that is life itself. >> joining us now is the law professor from michigan and also edward mcneil. and professor i want to begin with you. i think we under stood fro undea legal stand point that there would be negotiations when detroit wakes up tomorrow is
there going to be something different or tangible that you can see. >> i don't think the residents will see a difference. the garbage will be collected and they'll have the same number of street lights. but yo what you will see that is different is this is a bit of a set back for the unions. i think judge rhodes decided that the michigan constitution does provide them the protection they were hoping for. that puts them in a position of negotiations where they no longer have the silver bullet that they were hoping for. and that may lead to a different dynamic for the discussions for the unions and bond holders and mr. orr. >> ed you are involved in the negotiations and there is a limitation as to what you can talk about. this is a blow for you an your membership is it not? that you don't have the complete protection, there should be constitutional protection for these pensions. >> that is correct. i think the people need to
understand that the state constitution as voted on in 1963 by the voters in the state of michigan the language was put there that you could not diminish pensions and that was the thought of the si citizens f the state of michigan at the time and that is still thought of today. i think the interpretation has to interpret what the voters voted for at that time. and what they voted for at that time is hands off our pension. that is why it was placed in the constitution for the state of michigan. >> theappeals go forward and negotiations go fort. orward. and you are talking about the future. is there some part of the pension that will be left. you may not get 100% on the dollar. would the pensioners get a significant amount.
>> do you have fate that it will work for your membership that way? >> i have faith that we have to have faith in not only ourselves but a higher power. and that goes to say that the people and the citizens and the citizens of detroit have to understand that the retirees went out faced with when they left that they understood that they would have this picture for the rest of their life. people understand that was a promise to them. people said you leave you need to understand how much money you have to live on for the rest of your life. and they said don't cash your check before you do that. that was that understanding and that contract that was held between the city and the retirees. and that contract should not be broken. and that is what needs to be the focus of what is happening. in addition to that what has gone afar is everybody is not paying their fair share. and when it i say that, even te
governor snyder and kevin orr the emergency manager says everyone has to feel the pain nobody felt the pain but detroit employees and retirees. you don't have the d te or any of those folks that should be clearing their fair share paying their fair share to the city of detroit. >> they are ready to build a 450 million-dollar stadium in tried and we ar detroit and we g to take the money from the taxpayers. the city assets could be sold off in a way that will benefit the longterm for detroit. i understand that mr. orr said today look that art collection is not going to get you enough money to make up the pension shortfall there has to be push me pull me through all of this, right. >> that is right. judge
rhodes talked about that in his opinion today and said that will not som solve it whate said in his remarkable comments he said look we can fix the debt and bankruptcy but if these pensions get impaired that is a terrible out come for the social safety net and he basically opened up a call, i believe to the political leadership in the state and maybe in the country that says someone has to take care of these people because i can't do that as a bankruptcy judge and if the pensions do get impaired someone has to step up to the plate and that stoned sounds like a political ini have invit. that may be what ed is talking about. >> he does have control on the legal level that is to say whatever plan is worked out, if it's too severe for the penk pensioners does he have authority to stop that going through. >> ultimately the bankruptcy plan has to be approved by the judge an.
and he said just because i say you have a power to impair the pensions doesn't mean you have a cart placarte blanche. he basically said i'm watching you. >> ed final thought to you, are you hopeful? whatever the outcome is not statsatisfying to you. are you hopeful that some good resolution can come from your membership and from the people of detroit? >> well i think as always you can sit down and workout things that if people are willing to sit down and work at it across the table. and i think that has been shown by the unions. even though he made the comment that the unions have to come to the table the people have to understand that the unions were already at the table. we were the first ones that came fort prioforth prior to mr. orrg in. the state stopped that contract from being put in place and i
think people need to understand that the unions have always been if the forefront to help the city of detroit not just in this year but in prior years in the last 20 years we have always been coming to the table. >> gentlemen thank you for comincome talking to us. >> ahead on our program we'll head to detroit and tell the story of engine company 44. >> we are ow so under budget we hardly get anything. >> a lot is missing but there is no shortage of courage. a day and a night with the city's firefighters. >> and coming up next. a grim hideous existence a half a world away how the choices we make play a role in creating the most polluted place on earth. ♪
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out . mohammad's job involves processing hides in a giant drum. he says is 14 but he looks older. >> i'm in pain a lot. there are all scars on my hands and legs and these injuries are never ending. >> he earns about $2 a day. the water they're wading in is laced with argue a arsenic. this makes the leather soft and supple. >> the doctors say they cause cancer. >> lung cancer and cancer of the nose and bladder cancer. >> there are more than 200 tanner ies
britis employing 30,000 people leather sales were a billion dollars last year the leather is exported in the u.s. and europe where it will be fashioned in to coats, shoes and hand bags. he is the head of the workers' union. this is a product that is used wor worldwide for luxury items. >> a survey done by a bang will bangladesh environmental group say 30% die before the age of 50 for years the government has made promises saying they'll move the tanneries out of this densely populated slum into a modern facility but so far those promises have gone unfilled. of ththe government's latest pls
to relocate them by the end of next year. the government officials did not respond to al jazeera's repeated request for an interview. it's not only the workers that are at risk. the tannery waste goes into the streams and neighborhood of these people a study estimate the that nearly 6 million gal licencgallons of liquid waste are emeete emitted everyday. the plaqu black smith institute recently named the area one. five most places on earth. if
ar. >> if you want to know what hell looks like you don't have to wait to go to hell. if you come to tannery that will tell you what hell looks like. the filth flows into the river. it's essentially a dead scene. -- zone. a human rights group found no intent to crack done. they call it a free zone. >> the government wants to buy the argument of foreign export. i would say this is a case of total absence of government. mohammad has lived here for 50 years. the government doesn't understand if they di did we wouldn't be living in this
filth. >> he blames the toxic waste of his daughter's death. >> i couldn't do anything. it's from this place. >> despite the filth and the dangers and the sting stink mohammad is resigned to life in the tannery. >> i have no education, nothing. >> i have to to do it, there is no other way. the cheap labor lowers the cost of leather goods sold in wealthy countries but there i there is e paid in human misery. >> rob reynolds reporting. >> to talk more about this is jack from the environmental watchdog group, the black smith institute and joining us tonight and we britis appreciate you, w. >> your organization identified five places in the world that
are the most polluted is this a result of the industrial pollution. yes this is 200 some -odd tanneries and we put it on the 2007 list and very little has been done to clean up . is this tannery work going to be dangerous. >> even if the site is removed in a few years there is so much organic loading in the river it will take decades before it's pur. purged out. >> for us on the purchasing end of things. are we talking about products for one particular company or one retailer?
or these products could be anywhere in our purchasing system? >> they are world wide. a very large amount do stay locally in southeast asia they go to china and large manufacturers that are purchases them but it's a worldwide market. and puts pressure on bangladesh through buying choices may help to speed up their changes changes. buyers? is there away we can choose products more carefully so we are not contributing to this. >> there are labouring requirements where a product organizoriginates. and we saw from the collapse of buildings and fire in bangs la disbangladeshit's motivated theo move forward with safety ha
hazards. if we would boycott the letter t leather good it would stimulate the process. >> that is a difficult thing. and there are a number of processors and we don' don't knw which one is it behaving irresponsibly. and we are looking at a country that is clearly challenged. it's tough to decide how much pressure to put on. it's a tough balance. we don't want to put these manufacturers out of business. >> 000 he is are female' peoples that we are talking about and this is their income. everyone is making money. some people just a few dollars and the manufacturer a higher amount. we want to move the industry to a more advanced level. not necessarily shut it down and stop the contamination. that won't help the country of bangladesh.
>> is there a a growing sense of awareness for consumers and all kinds of environments looking at these products and the warnings you are offering here. >> i think so. >> whether it's using mercury a amau amalgus. amalgum. >> ing an bang wil bangladesh de regulations but they are not enforced as they should be. >> it's not just bangladesh there are other countries. that is a good point one reason we close bang wil bangladesh iss typical to what is happening in
pakistan and india and ca cambodia. it's not unique to ban banglade. >> coming up next here getting schooled. weigheweighing the students ande who is not making the grade. on techknow, our scientists bring you a sneak-peak of the future, and take you behind the scenes at our evolving world. techknow - ideas, invention, life.
>> now a snapshot of stories making headlines on america tonight of the. >> the investigation of the fatal new york train derailment is centering on the engineer. the officials say william rockefeller caught himself nodding off before the derailment. the train was moving 50 miles-per-hour over the speeding limit. four people died. >> startling investigation over the death of yasser air
arafat. french scientists contradict that arafat was poisoned by polonium. >> four students are sick with men gat meningitis. and one student is disabled as a result. >> salt ar resultresults of a ie education survey shows that the united states is falling behind other countries when it comes to math around science. they released data from the international students assessment every three years teens take the test. tonight we have how the united states faired. more than half a million 15 and 16-year-old's tested their skills on the 2012 program for international student assessment.
the survey doesn't measure whether students know their facts. it tests whether teens are able to apply the reading, math and science skills to scenarios in the rile world. the tests say the united states is average when it comes too reading and sciential an sciencw average when it comes to math. they scored 481 in math and shanghai china scored of 18. 618 the sha shanghai students are ahead of u.s. students by two years. we have a loc a long way to go. the only way to improve is to invest is a in education. and these things coupled together are going to move us in the right direction. >> most participating countries
improved their performage perfoe united states fell flat. it's confusing to 19-year-old jenny jung. >> i don't get how like the americans can score solo in a national test. >> the high school senior attended six years in the united states and most of her education occurred in korea. a country that ranked in the top six. many students in korea used special t tutors outside of school. >> i learned better here not in korea because they expect you to know everything if you don't have a tutor you don't have the idea but here because you don't have that it's a starting point. >> what do you think should
changes in the united states if you could improve if test scores. >> if we could raise the competitiveness and the high confidence we have it would be a great sinne sinne sin effect. >> we want to work through the tough issues and not give up. >> the confidence is it high in the united states the key to success fault falls with the eds themselves . >> take a look at how society respects and an how it chooses the teachers. >> i have been public we should pay teachers a hec a more money. i'm not accepting the status quo. >> following up on the report we
got from lori. we are now joined by a columbia university professor an. when we hear this it's inevitable that all of this is awful the united states is doing so badly here. do you think that is what this report shows us? >> well with tests like the psa. one has to understand the national and cultural context. and that includes the education systems and what children of particular ages are exposed to in terms of lern learning opportunities i. it also means that we need to take into account the composition of students sand and their back backgrounds. >> as an american parent should i look at a result like this and
say holy cow my child is not doing well and our education system se is that much worse thn the other countries. >> the intercountry comparisons don't make much sense. it's much better to look at each nation individually and interpret the results in the context of those national education systems. and what chi children of that particular age are exposed to in school and overtime. >> is there away to use these results the psa results in an effective wa way? is it there away to use them to help i i ha education in any c. >> i think if the results are examined within national contexts they do pr provide benchmarks that carbo can be uso formulate national policies on reforms.
one has to look at the core values that we embrace in america and american schools. >> yeah. >> which includes being ak-ak assess access and compulsory education for all. >> it struck me that this young women that was interviewe inters educated in south korea and the united states she herself couldn't understand why the united states would rank solo. is it in some sense it is what we want in the united states we as parents and he had canadian educators and communities what we want kids to bget out of education they will be better based on what we are trying to teach? >> you have to think of the psa as a survey. and a small percentage of the american public
education a small percentage of students in the public schools are taking the p st. sa when it's administ. and you have to think of that. it's cross sectional data. you can't make cause and effect conclusions about whether we succeed or fail or this is what we should do in terms of reforms. the studies are not doug designn that way. the tests are rigorously designed and they do provide longterm trend date da. data. data.. >> if we look at the flaw it's not in the test itself but in the interpretation of what it means. >> that is right. it does not indicate there is a serious decline.
when you look at some of the numbers when there there is a shift at some point on average from one psa testing to the next, i don't know if that is a major decline. story. >> we have to wait and see. >> we have to leave it there. professor. thank you the very much. >> thank you. >> tens of thousands of kidney patients a transplant can provide a new less on life. but it comes with other potential health risk and the lifetime of expensive medication. at least up until now the researchers in chicago are hoping to change that. >> when 40-year-old craig was diagnosed with polic poll polycystic kidney disease he knew he would need a transplant.
it those up on the mri and where the cyst formses that' forms tht renders that port of thpart of the kidney us. when it came time to final a donor for craig older brother shane indiana father and sniper stepped up. we have always had a close relationship but i don't think it was a consideration not to do it. >> but in the midst of the medical miser misfour misforfortune they found an incredible opportunity it was to take part in in program. for the last few years he has studied using stem cells from
donors to stave chistov o of off rejection. the holy grail has been to achieve donor tolerance. that is being tested by infusing the patient with stem cells from the done or. gondone donor. >> you have chemo and rai radian that will kill your immune system and create room for the infusion of the stem cells from mmy brother. >> so you are going to be lying on your left side. >> the chemo and radiation are part of the strategy used to reset the immune system. if successful it could avoid the
handful of anti-injection pills that increase the risk for diabetes and organ failure. >> the or rejection drugs are poison for the immune system. >> taking the drugs for the rest of her life has been something that lend city ha lindsey was a. she came to a point where her enlarged kidneys had to be removed. >> my kidneys weighed 8 pounds a middlpiece and they were about*6 fund 16 pounds and i'm a short person and it took up a lot of room and my organs were crushed together. >> she was able to wean 0 off the anti- rejection drugs. i'm
amazed i don't take anything anymore. i started to take high blood pressure meds when i was 32 and now i'm almost 50 and i take nothing. it's amazing. >> it's a significant financial savings as well. the average transplant patient will spend $2,500 a month on post of operative medication. if we can get people off a medicine in a year the economics of transplant will be tremendously helped. so far the results are promising. 90% are responding extremely well to the therapy. for craig and 100,000 people in the u.s. on the kidney donation waiting list it means a chance at a better quality of life at a greatly reduced cost. >> when we return on "america tonight" brave but broke. detroit
's fire power left on the back burner. we spent a day and a night with the team. >> start with one issue education... gun control... the gap between rich and poor... job creation... climate change... tax policy... the economy... iran... healthcare... ad guests on all sides of the debate. >> this is a right we should all have... >> it's just the way it is... >> there's something seriously wrong... >> there's been acrimony... >> the conservative ideal... >> it's an urgent need... and a host willing to ask the tough questions >> how do you explain it to yourself? and you'll get... the inside story ray suarez hosts inside story weekdays at 5 eastern only on al jazeera america determining using some sort of subjective interpretation of their policy as to whether or not your particular report was actually abusive, because if it doesn't contain language that specifically threatens you directly or is targeted towards you specifically, they may not
consider it abuse. they may consider it offensive. and in that case they just recommend that you block that person. >> i don't want to minimise this, because i mean, there's some really horrible things that are on line, and it's not - it's not just twitter, what has happened through social media and the anonymity of the net is that you see websites, hate-filled websites targetting all sorts of groups, popping up. there has been a huge number of those that exist as well. >> fault lines investigates... fracking >> shale gas development could actually double the economic growth rates in the province. >> this is our land for thousands of years... >> do you drink money? you must have a lot of money to drink... >> as tensions rise, and protests turn violent, where will the debate lead? >> the situation was no longer
peaceful or safe... >> they were bashing my head with their boots... they had their guns on me and everything.... >> how much more real can this get? >> fault lines only on al jazeera america >> you walk into a convenience store you should expect to be recorded by aut a security came camera. but the fbi have revealed that people at at one market have been preyed on for years one person was searched and jailed for six times for tresspassing on the
property. >> this is the first arrest of earl sampson caught on video by his boss. it was the summer of 2012. the 28 gerald wa 28-year-old wag soda. you can see a police officer come inside and arrest sampson at the store. politthe police call it a hot s. they don't buy that sampson was an employee. he was charged with trespassing and spent that night in jail. he does have a small rap sheet but has never committed a felony miami police officers have stopped him 258 times for petty crimes such as trespassing and loitering and arrested him 52 times doing often times what he says is his job. it's crazy. i'm no human no more i'm an animal of sampson's boss is fed up.
he alleges the police department is engaged in racial profiling of sampson and his customers he says his store was subject to unlawful searches. he has installed cameras to view the police. the way the police were acting is sad. >> the police chief won't say much about sampson's case. of ththe department has been conducting their own investigation since last year since the complaint was filed. the department uses data not profiling to fight crime. >> you have a plaqu plaque blacd african american chief and african-american mayor an senator. around and
senator. he initially agreed to participate in the zero tolerance pro graham program bee crime in the area. it's an aggressive approach that targets small crimes like trespassing to prevent bigger ones. the police chief says the zero tolerance program is effective. six years ago this wrast the moswas themost violent communite country and last year they dropped to fourth. >> thinthey warned they must tae racial profiling seriously or they lose the tryst. -- trust. by abusing their rights you alien ate communities. disenchanted they dropped out 6f the zero tol tolerance program.
>> he looks at the lis police as a jailer not a protector. we look to detroit now. detroit averages 14 cases of a are soarson a day. it cost $200 million in losses alone. today the fire commission is charged with turning the department around announced his resignation. that has not stopped the firefighters from going out and giving it their all. they accident we spent a day anh engine company 44. >> fire you can't predict what is really going to happen next. my name is michael jefferson. i'm a captain of engine company no. 44 in detroit. i have been at this firehouse moist of my caree -- most of my.
this firehouse the morale is good but it's the uncertainty of going through the bankruptcy and not nothin knowing what is goino happen six months from now are they going to come in and get rid of our jobs? we have certain streets here we go to all the time every week we have fires, fires, fires we need everything. we need rigs we need fire trucks right now. we need manpower. we are very low of manpower. >> the average age of a detroit fireman is it 45 years old. we haven't hired in five years our stuff is it used all the time w. we are always caught behind the eight ball they may run out of size se 10 10 boots and we havea budget of $40 million our lead
erleaders are told to cut $10 million from our budget where do they look? they look at the fire department we generate few dollars for the city. >> and that is one reach we have not gotten any new equipment a lot of this situation has to do withow the city is doing. i love detroit. i went to school in the city and we put our lives on the line everyday. some of these guys are heros to me. everything inside of the fire hall ceased. you put on your hat and it's time to go to work. my name is derek foxhall. i have been a 15 year veteran in the detroit fire department.
we got here thinking i want to be safe and i want everyone around us to be safe. you do your job and you assure to keep each other safe. it's not just you inside of a vehicle. i got to think about these other three individuals and their families. when we come back the schoo camaraderie and the relationship that we have at this fire hall is so great, as long as it's not any kind of death that was involved. >> like the lady that was here earlier it was traumatic for a person to have a fire and lose their stuff. it's very interest traumatic. >> be thankful that you are still here and your kids are still here. we try to keep a straight mind about it. your fire house is like your own house comment i except in the livingroom
you have two big trucks in the livinlivelylivingroom. >> this is my family. i go home for 12 hours and them i come back to my family. i'm closer to these guys than some of my family members. >> we buy our own food everyday. that is part of the fire house tradition. we have our own cook and he goes out and he goes out shopping and cooking. >> coaches, tables, chairs we get that all ou ourselves. all of our sundre type of items we need for the fire house we have to go out and buy that for ourselves. we coming. come on. >> come on kids. >> the alarm goes off my heart races 50% more than it is right now. and then my second thought is what do we have? where are we going? and i got to get my mind-set. my mind
framed. >> we are old school. we send a couple of guys on the roof with a an axe and chop a he in the roof and let the smoke out. there is a meted met odd methos people work for their life you put in 25 yearsnd yo years and t to be taken taken care of what u retire. your pension will be 4 $4,800 a year. >> are you serious? >> beforif you retire before a certain age you won't have any medical coverage. it kind of messes with you. you have already stripped us with our dental and vision. this is a time when you need these most. you came on this job knowing at the end of the tunnel there was
a light and they just turned the light off and said hey find your way out. they 4re6 4re69 o left us in the dark. >> that is a day in the night with detroit's engine company 44. ahead in our final segment. a rare sight of wildlife. we visit a baghdad zoo for a bengal come back. it's back o after the break.
the bengal tiger are living on borrowed time and there are only 20200 left. >> of the beforbefore the war in were baghdad zoo. >> and then they were gone. this is one. rare over the animals in the world and one of the newest residents of the baghdad zoo. he as is a bite whyt is a white. >> zoo officials have been keeping a eye on this white tiger. because of the again at th genen and inbreeding they have
. the story of this tiger starts with a shooting. >> we started to wake and see what that is of . .and we went outside we found a cub. >> in 2003 an american soldier drinking in the zoo put his fingers in the tiger's cage. when it bit him one of his buddies shot the animal. a wildlife sanctuary in north care lin carolina donated two tigers. one of them was riley. >> and five years later and many litters later they have 20. >> there are five siberian tigers. the zoo would like to avoid inpreedininbreeding and does noe
enough space to separating the tigers. >> 12 is a large number of one city sees ispecies in a zoo perhaps if this was zoos in other countries we could exchange the animals. they say they won't mate the white dyinger. tiger. they are hoping he will grow up to be as strok strong as the ref the breed. >> glad to see them coming back. >> that is it for us on america tonight. if you would like to comment on kniany stories you have seen tonight legend to our website al aljazeera.com /americatonight. and please join the conversation with us on twitter or on our facebook page. good night we'll have more of "america tonight" tomorrow.
... check check > hello, welcome to the newshour, live from doha. >> the top stories: a temporary truce in thailand. anti-government protesters back off, but only to celebrate the kings birthday. a top hezbollah commander who fought in syria is shot dead outside his home. >> also this hour - the u.s. vice president flies to china hours after accusing it of upsetting s