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tv   America Tonight  ALJAZAM  December 7, 2013 9:00pm-10:01pm EST

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we'll keep you updated. this is al jazeera america, live from new york. i'm jonathan betz with the headlines. the american war veteran who has been detained by north korea is home. he landed in san francisco and reunited with his wife and son. >> u.s. secretary of defense chuck hagel was in afghanistan and was told by his counterpart that the stalled security deal ll be signed in a timely fashion. it could keep intergs -- international forces in afghanistan. >> a controversial prison
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sentences against 21 women and girls has been reduced. they were reduced and released. >> a cold snap across much of the country is paralyzing countries. several deaths have been linked to the weather, which is bringing snow to the midwest, out the way down to texas. one person was killed when his car hit an icy patch of road and ran off a bridge. i'll be back later. "america tonight" is up next.
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>> hello, you are watching "america tonight", the weekend edition. our focus on the health care debate led us to wonder about those that had little to say in health care they received and no recourse to demand better. states turned over health care to private for-profit companis, promising taxpayers greater savings. as the companies cut costs the than we expect. "america tonight"s adam may investigates. >> violet is a healthy and hungry 5-month-old baby girl. she lives with her grandmother jody and the rest of her family
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here in arizona. it's a 4-hour drive and a world away from where she was born - at the state prison complex in good year arizona. her mother regan is still there. >> this is my beautiful girl. we are close. we took a picture together. >> two years ago when regan was 18, she was arrested for having prescription pain-killers illegally and charged with possessing a narcotic to sale. the court september her to drug rehab where she started dating the baby's father. she found out she was pregnant two days after a judge issued her 2.5 year sentence behind bars. >> how did regan react when she was sentenced and found that she
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was pregnant? >> she holds her emotions well, but once alone, it's come pleat devastation. >> that was the beginning. regan was transferred to perriville state prison where jody says her daughter was denied prenatal care. and the baby was born install? >> yes. and it infuriates me. >> after 48 hours in labour regan had to have a c section. the medical staff did not stitch the wound shut. they dressed it with butterfly bandages. >> they sent her back to the prison. by day three she's noticed it's oozes, not liking right. it's looking infected. >> jody said doctors refused to say regan. it got worse. >> she would cry because it
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scared her to look inside her body. it freaked her out. she would sit and cry saying, "please take me to the hospital, i need them to stick it up. it needs to be closed." they said, "if you come back we'll give you tickets." >> that is a bad behaviour notification. >> i believe i could have lost my daughter had they not given her antibiotics. >> jody says two weeks later they brought her to the hospital her daughter's ordeal was not over. >> they decided she had been there long enough, she could go back to the yard. it was still open a little bit. they decided the best thing to do would be to pack it with kitchen sugar. >> sugar? >> from mcdonald's, burger king.
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they are filling the wound, packing it in with what is left. >> with sugar from a fast-food restaurant? >> yes. >> sugar was used to treat wounds before the advent of antibiotics in the 1900s. it's no longer accepted medical practice. america tonight asked the arizona department of corrections to comment on regan's care: they declined. >> in the middle of a conversation with jody regan called home. >> i'm adam may, i'm going to ask you questions. >> after you had the c section what happened to you. >> i took a shower in the morning, i looked down and it was coming open. i knew i needed to be seen. >> back up for a second. how big was the wound?
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>> big enough for me to put my fist in. >> regan confirmed the details of what her mother told us about her care in prison. >> they packed it with kitchen sugar -- >> did you see them opening up the sugar packets from mcdonald's and pouring in the sugar to the wound. >> yes. i was scared. >> what do you think needs to be done here? >> i don't know. no one believes us. >> regan is not the only inmate alleging mistreatment. the acou filed a class access
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lawsuit against the arizona department of corrections, stating that: it states examples of prisoners told to pray to be cured or drink energy shakes to help symptoms. symptoms. it is cruel punishment and the attitude of maybe is who cares. >> dan says in his 40 years career he has never seen a worse prison health care system. a year and a half ago the state handed over prison health care to a private company. the arizona legislature in the last few years, their goal has been to reduce costs attributable to the prison
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function. people have had sentences turning into death sentences because of the absence of minimum care. >> in the second part of this investigation america tonight's adam may meant with family members, and they told him in an effort to save money, privatized care sentenced some pruchers to death. >> it's a growing trend for state's looking for ways to trim budgets. to date 28 states privatized prison health care and private companies are rewarded for keeping costs down. a report this month from the american friend's services committee in arizona shows that since states privatized health care medical spending dropped by 30 million, and found a spike in the number of inmate deaths. 50 people died in arizona
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department of corrections custody in the first eight months of this year, omwared to 37 for the previous two years. >> some believe the government is the only one that somehow care for the people. >> john cavanagh wrote the election privatizing prison health care. we asked whether he thought it would put prisoners in gaol. >> people die in gaol. i receive emails and letter from prisoners and families, with you call the prison people up, and they usually have an explanation for it. i spoke to a woman day. she gave birth, had a c sections, the wound opened up and the doctor took sugar and poured it inside the wheel. does that sound like adequate health care?
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>> that doesn't sound like a true allegation, it sounds ridiculous. prisoners have 24/7 to think up allegations and right evidence. i'm not saying some you don't take with a grain of salt or a grain of the sugar. >> how can the woman that gave birth, how can she prove that allegation. she's in prison. who will listen to her? >> there's no shortage of people who would file a lawsuit. a class action lawsuit is the biggest scam to the public. i think most people who get into them wind up with nothing and the lawyers walk away with their drunks full of cash. >> we are planning a wedding reception. >> we spoke to a family suing
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company. jamie and genae brown are the daughter and widow of tony brown, an inmate who died. >> he was a good guy and a gentleman. >> he was nice, funny, we laughed and laughed. >> brown was serving a 10-year sentence for aggravated assault and due to be released this year. genae was looking forward to having her dad back. >> they were going to come. he never got to meet my husband. he wasn't there when i got married. >> brown was diagnosed while in prison. he was predescribed morphine for pain, and it was described as being in remission. in 2012 the prison ran out of the morphine. he was switched to a weak ever
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pain-killer. "america tonight" obtained video shot by prison guards showing tony brown after being put on the new medication. >> brown's medical records said was worsening. >> pull yourself up on to the bed. >> but there's no record of medical staff examining him. >> brown, did you call your wife. >> the prison chaplain sees him the next day after jamie asked him to talk to him. "i'd like to talk to your wife later, is there something i can tell him."
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>> two days after antonio brown complained of pain, medical staff had not examined him. >> medical staff enter brown's cell. 40 minutes passed before they realised no one called an ambulance. >> when the ambulance arrives... ..brown is taken to hospital. a day later he suffers a heart attack and dies. the county medical officer said brown died of compliations from cancer. >> he may have been a prison inmate, but he has no different to the governor or you or me. he had a family, he had a wife,
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he had plans. >> two days after tony's death jamie finally received a call back from the private health care provider. my husband passed away monday. i got a call from lex ford so they could make sure he's seen. i was upset. i said, "what are you talking about? he's dead." >> lex ford's attorneys said its employees acting appropriately and investigation will prove there's no wrongdoing. there are signs the company was aware there was problems with the care it was providing. america tonight obtained a copy of a powerpoint presentation written by extifs for a meeting in the arizona governor's office warning that the care is not compliant with constitutional requirements and current
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lawsuits are accurate. recommending an operational clean up. staffing reassessment and the appointment of a government office liaison. four months later arizona severed ties with lex ford, and the state awarded the contract to corizon, the largest health care company. >> corizon understand the balance between resources and resourcefulness. >> they have faced allegations of wrongdoing. the company has been sued for malpractice 660 times, according to the "miami herald." >> arizona democratic house minority leader chad campbell says the legislature did not properly vet the company before signing the contract. >> did it not raise red flags
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that you'd need to look at the company. >> you would think it would have. the currently company that got the contract didn't go through a public process. >> no bed. >> it was deemed an emergency situation by the department of corrections. they didn't have to go through the normal process. more interesting, the company that got the contract hired a former head of department of corrections, who was the mentor of the current head of det of the corrections. >> campbell says it's not the only tie that members of arizona has to prisons. a former strategist, charles kaufman running high ground public affairs consultants, representing one of the largest private prison companies. high ground donating $5,000 to jam pack. the governor's office decline
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add request for an interview and referred us to john cavanagh. >> there are allegations that governor jan breuer accepted the bids because of personal relationships. what do you say to that? >> they are baseless. people say i have private campaigns from prison people. the lobbiest represents them and 40 other clients. it's smoke and mirrors, it's a facade. >> multiple people and corporations are profiting on it, on tax-payer dollars. if i hand out money to a private pent wisely.nt to make sure it's >> corizon declined an on-camera interview but told america
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tonight that their care meets constitutional requirements and since taking over it increased staff, doubling infirmary beds, saving taxpayers money. allegations of wrongdoing mount, according to the a.f.s. c report an inmate at the wedstone unit tested positive for tuberculosis in august. test other prisoners, even those in the community doing community as for regan, she has six months left in prison. >> ready, ready, ready. >> the separation has been tough on the family. what is worse is the fear that for regan. prison healthcare could be a death sentence. >> i'm going to lose you. i love you honey. >> are you coming out saturday. >> i'm coming on saturday. i love you, honey. bye-bye. it's so frustrating when you
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can't finish talking. >> got be tough when you hang up? >> yes. it's tougher leaving. the first visit with ryland. my husband helder up. she started running and grabbed her and held her as tight as she could. it's been very hard. we miss her very much. >> our investigation from correspondent adam may. when we return, brave but broke. detroit clear to move forward on bankruptcy. what happens to its fire power. a day in the night of engine 44
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>> after four months of wrangling over bankruptc a court ruled that the motor city can go forward, leaving a critical population of city
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workers what happenedering about the future of their pensions. and the pressure is mounting on detroit leadsers. one moved on, the fire commissioner. it was a serious blow for arson city. last year's cases costing for than $2.5 million. a day in the night of engine company 44 reveals that firefighters are still going out giving it their all. >> fire is - you can't predict what is going to happen next. my name is michael jefferson. i'm captain of engine company 44 in detroit. i have been at the firehouse most of my career. >> this fire house - morale is good. it probably is in most of the fire houses. it's the uncertainty going through the change of the bankruptcy and not knowing, you know, what will happen six months from now. will they come in and get rid of
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our jobs? we have fires, fires, fires all the time, every week. we need everything. we need rigs, we need fire trucks right now. we need mann power. we are low on mann power. the average age is 45 years old. we have not hired in five years. our stuff is used all the time. all the time. we are caught behind the eight ball. they may run out of size 10 boots. they may not have size 46 firecoats. when we have a budgets of so many millions and our leaders are told to cut $10 million or the city is told that. where do they look. they look at the fire department. we generate few dollars for the city. that's one reason why we haven't
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gotten new equipment since 2007. this is 2013. a lot of it has to do with the situation that the city is in with the - we are in bankruptcy. that is correct. i love detroit. i was born and raised in the city. every day. we put our lives on the line every day. some of guys i work with are heroes. . >> everything in the firehouse - you put on your hat - it's type to go to work. i'm derek foxhall. i'm a 15-year veteran of the victoria fire department. you leave thinking i want to be safe and everyone surrounding me to be safe. you do your job and assure to keep each other safe so it's not
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just you inside of a vehicle. we got to thinking about other vehicles and their families. >> when we come back, the comraderie and the relationships that we have at the firehouse are so great that as long as there's not a death involved. >> what time did this happen? >> a lady here originally, it's traumatic to have a fire and lose all their stuff. >> be thankful you are here and your kids are here. >> we try to keep a straight mind about it. >> the fire house is like your own house except in your living room you have two big trucks. >> it's like this is your family for 24 hours. i'm here for 24 hours, i go home to my family and come back here with my family. i'm closer to these guys actually than some of my family
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members. we buy food every day. everyone gives them ex amount of dollars. couches, tables chairs, we get that ourselves. all the sundry type items that we need, we have to go out and buy it it ourselves. >> an alarm goes off, my heart races 50% more than it is now. then my second thought is what do we have, where are we going, and i try to get my mind-set. we are old school. we send a couple of guys on the roof with an axe. let the heat out, let the smoke
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there's a method to the madness. people work to live comfortable the rest of their lives. you put in 25-30, 35 years. you put the time in you expect to be taken care off. >> for t. >> we have been told if you retire before a certain age you will not have medical coverage. what kind of message is that. they've stripped retirees of dental and vision. this is the time when you need those things most. you came on the job knowing it was a career and at the end of the tonunnel there was a light. well, they just turned the light off and said find your way out.
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>> after the break here on amca tonight, the price of a plea. a new report about mandatory minimum sentences for drug defendants. america tonight's correspondent investigates.
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>> for decades the united states has grappled with how to combat drug crimes. mandatory minimums were established in the 1980s as a way of increasing uniformity amongst sentences. it was designed to send a message that the united states was serious about its war on drugs. but since then many activists, politicians and academics came together to criticise the guidelines limiting judges' discretion. an unintended result is prosecutors can strong-arm defenders into plea deals. >> we explore the case of a
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music producer whose life came to a halt. a man who received a sentence that a judge called cruel. >> 10 years ago 23-year-old weldon angelos had a lot going for him. he was the father of two boys and had a budding career as a music producer, with his own record label working with big-name talent like snoop dogg. >> lisa is weldon's older sister. >> he's really into music. that was his world. >> but weldon angelos was a small-time dealer of marijuana in his home town. transactions that led him down to road to this place. where he's been incars rated for almost a decade. >> weldon angelos called and
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talked about what led him to prison. >> i was young, dumb. i needed guidance. it was a mistake. >> a mistake he's paying dearly for, and some argue way too dearly. >> one of my childhood acquaintance was arrested facing a substantial prison sentence. he worked as an informant, arranging for the sale of marijuana. >> weldon angelos sold his friend pot recorded by the fbi. a total value of over $1,000. the informant claimed he saw a gun in two of the transactions. a search of weldon's house turned up firearms - all legally owned. the law says possession of a gun during the drug crime adds to the offence. >> lawyer jerry mooney defended weldon angelos. >> it's a progressive statute. the first gets you five years. >> to be clear, did he ever use
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the gun, pull the gun, threaten someone with the gun? allegations of that. >> the prosecutor offered weldon angelos a deal - plead guilty to gun charges and drug dealing and >> we faced 100 years if we didn't accept the deal. >> the prosecutor said if you don't take the plea offer you face 100 years in prison. >> over 100 years. >> weldon angelos had no prior criminal record. >> first of all i thought it was outrageous. outrageous amount of time for what was involved. the presence of the guns were incidental. there was violence surrounding anything, just guns. >> if the prosecutor is threatening you with 100 years, why wouldn't you take the plea. 100 years. i refused to believe it was
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possible in america. especially when you consider rapists or murderers do 10-15 years. it didn't seem possible. i refused to believe it could happen. >> going to trial is not a crime. your sentence should not reflect the fact that you went to trial. >> jamie is an advisor with humans rights watch and published a report into how mandatory minimums are used to force some to accept guilty replies. cop a plea or pay the price. that's exactly what is going on. if you don't plead, you will pay a price for not pleading. it's not about the crime you did. it's about your failure to plead. >> i think that the prosecution - they feel like what they've offered so what you should take. if you don't take it, that they'll make an example out of you. >> it gals them, i think, when
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someone does not accept a plea. >> at the heart of the issue are mandatory minimums. sentencing requirements laid out by congress in the 1980s, at the height of the war on drugs. prosecutors often threatened defendants with introducing additional charges or convictions - upping the ante. if you looked at a mandatory minimum and you have two priors, at the prosecutor's discretion he files a notice with the court saying you have two priors and you are looking at life without parole. >> of 2,000 prisoners in federal custody 40 were subject to mandatory penalties. last year 61% of drug offenders received a mandatory minimum. federal judges have no
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discretion. they have spoken out. draconian, cruel. bad law enforcement - stunningly arbitrary. >> senate judiciary committee leader held a debate into minimums and rand paul an unlikely ally. >> mandatory minimum sentencing, i think, has done little to address the problem of drug abuse, and doing a great deal of damage by destroying so many lives. >> in 2004 when weldon angelos went to trial after turning down the plea barringon, he faced more than 100 years in prison. he was convicted on three gun counts and one drug charge. federal judge paul cassal, a conservative republican was obliged to sentence weldon
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angelos to 55 years in federal prison without the possibility of parole. paul cassal called it unjust, cruel and irrational adding that weldon angelos faced a longer term than criminals who commit three aircraft hijackings, three second degree murders, three kidnappings or rapes. >> in his sentencing document he called on george w. bush to commute of the sentence. >> there's no question weldon angelos committed a crime and should be punished. but 55 years. he'll be in prison until he's 80. we will spend $1,500,000 in locking him up angelos's eldest son antony, then seven. >> 55 years is more than you lived so far. have you been able to grasp what
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that means for your dad? >> i sit thinking, fining out whether he'll get out and if oi see him before he's 18. >> that's okay. that's all right. that's okay. >> okay. >> it's okay. i know. it's okay. it's hard. >> all the appeals have been exhausted. weldon angelos's only hope of leaving prison before his 80th birthday is presidential clemmensy, a cause championed by his sister, u.s. attorneys and judges. good people make mistakes and do things. his mistake cost his life. that no carrierringringconnect 0
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... in that moment they transcended
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the city of manchester and were loved by most of the country. they were a huge club and they transcend the sport. >> the rebuilding took place until a new group of players became the faces of mann u. >> why the class of 92. why that name? >> well, 1992 was when of players in question. there's six of them, won the fa youth cup. the biggest tournament in the country. a tournament that manchester united has not won since the "50, and '60s. they came through and won the cup. it was the same players going through and in 1999 - i won't tell you what happened. essentially they came through together, the class of "92 referring to the six that came together in and we focus on the characters, and the youth team
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follows through to when they are adult. >> were the players as individual aas great as they were together. would they have been identified as singular stars on their own? >> yes, and know. ryan giggs and paul scholes are considered two of the greatest footballers. the real thing about that, and they would say this is the unbelievable success they achieved is because they were a team, they played as a group. when you meet them it's unbelievable how down to earth they are, how little ego there is and how they genuinely are great friends who had been together since childhood , and they are humble and play as a team. it's the key to their phenomenal success. >> there is the sixth star, beckham. >> it's great to do a film where he was one of six. >> it was clear that he didn't want to be that way.
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he wanted to be part of the guys. how often do you see david beckham as one of a group. the ethos behind the prove. becks and co-are all about the communal goal, it was not about individual themes, it was about doing it as a team. that's what we show in the film that if you come together as a group of eyes, it's not possible. >> a film is not about the team or individuals, also about the community. it was a particular time, a golden age for manchester. >> yes, it was an incredible time for johnny manziel, obviously the beetles were coming through. they were the centre of british culture in in the "90s manchester took over. this is a story we felt was
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important. >> if you feel, when you make a shorts movie, you have to find a way in which it tran screned the story, you can't get more despiting than watching a game and the uncertainty of how it would end. the moment of watching them in action, you can't recreate them in the film. if you making is about them, you tran screneds that moment. >> the brothers dave and ben turner were directors of the "class of 92", looking ahead - typhoon haiyan's one month anniversary in the philippines. and o homecoming. >> going into a situation like this, we don't realise it until we get home. we are so focused on the
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mission. we slept three, four hour a night. wake up, what's going to happen the next day, what is going to happen the next day, always focused on the mission. >> we reflect on the tragedy with the team that led the charge after disaster. that is coming up next weeks. >> and ahead a legend departs. a tribute to nelson mandela's full and inspiring life - next.ñ
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>> finally this hour we pay tribute to an extraordinary figure of the 20th century. nelson mandela died on thursday at at the age of 95. he was given the name rolihlahla dalibhunga, translated as trouble maker. to his clan he was madeba.
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to his country he was tata. the world will remember nelson mandela as the father of his nation, whose resolve and leadership, through decades of oppression and 27 years in prison for south africa to finally end the cruelty of apartheid. his dignity inspired the people of his own homeland and those that worked for freedom and civil rights across the world. many offer tribe utes that somehow seem to full short of describing nelson mandela, so we began with the great man's own words, the ones we will all remember of him. "dif", he once wrote to his wife, "break some men, but make others. real leaders must be willing to sacrifices all for the freedom
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of their people. i can rest only for a moment for with freedom come responsibilities, and i dare not linger for my long walk is not yet ended." >> but that long walk came to an end. tribeauts been pouring in. those who knew him or who are inspired by his struggle: >> our correspondent had a story from new orleans, a restaurant that offered an unforgettable meal. >> this is a flag. >> of all the meals prepared the a simple dish. >> i'm speechless thinking about it. >> markets were mauritious
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worked in the cape town hotel. >> i was there at the right time. i had the privilege to cook mr nelson mandela's first meal out of imprisonment. they were there to discuss negotiations for his relief. >> 3 o'clock in the afternoon there was a lot of strange characters with weapons, checking you out, making sure that the food that your people taste the food. >> the meal itself was simple. the south african version with mixed berries. >> what's it like for you to create this? >> this is the most important meal i have cooked in my life.
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it shows freedom, it shows forgiveness and for me it's an emotional and special meal and day for me. >> once the food had gone out marquets said he was able to sneak a peak. >> i had a chance to get out and look and show him. he looks very relaxed. same demeanour, same beautiful smile that he had and forgiving. that is the picture that i saw and the forgiveness in his eyes. >> simply but special. >> simply meal, permanent inference. >> so it was just, you know, an unbelievable experience. once every century you'll see a man like nelson mandela who can change the world.
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it was a beautiful experience to be there during that moment. >> we leave you this hour with scenes of a memorial from madeba restaurant in brooklyn new york as south africans pay tribute to the light of their life. [ singing ] . >> he was our life. i am more humble. more forgiving because of him.
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>> he is my hallmark. he is my father. we call him ta ta, father of the nation. ta ta has been sick for a long time. we didn't want to let him go, but it's time for him to be at peace and enjoy the afterlife. it's time for us, the young south africans, to take over.
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