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tv   America Tonight  Al Jazeera  January 1, 2014 4:00am-5:01am EST

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>> >> welcome to al jazeera. i'm stephanie sy, here are the top stories. >> [ countdown ] >> and with that the new year begins. supreme court justice and bronx nati native led the count down. >> a new year's promise from russian president vladimir putin, vowing to fight those he labelled as terrorists until their destruction. three dozen people were killed in two suicide bombings in volgograd. security has tightened across
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russia. >> colorado's new marijuana laws go in effect in the new year allowing anyone over 21 to smoke pot. of course, buying, selling and smoking weed are illegal under federal law. wall street had a better year in 2013, the dow rising more than 26%. the s&p 500 rising. the best year since 1997. the nasdaq up. a reason - the federal reserve's promise to keep interest rates low. >> "america tonight" is up next, and the latest news online at aljazeera.com.
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>> the nation east best known disaster agency, the red cross, springed to the aid of victims armed with hundreds of millions of dollars donate bed ashocked and sympathetic public. to help them recover from the disaster, but it turns out that many of those survivors have been left wanting, our exclusive investigation from america tonight correspondent sheila. one year on. this is breezy port. one of the new york communities most devastated when hurricane sandy churned up the east coast.
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waves crashed into homes and then more than 100 houghses burns. >> people in new york beach touches like this one, at least those that have been able to run home, some homes are so badly damaged they will never be inhabitable again, you will hear story after city about the struggle of getting the financial aid desperately needed to completely recover from the storm. sandy across the state of new york about $42 billion. and for many families the personal costs will be a burden to bare for many years. up and down the low lying coast, the debris has been cleaned up. construction crews are everywhere. but for many, the long night marry is not yet over.
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and the serj for help is frustrating, so frustrating. >> it was just a betrayal. >> rose lean is a high school spanish teacher. >> do you remember the name of them? >> with her three children she is now living in a tiny apartment, it was all she could afort after sandy. >> i had lost everything, lost my car, all the furniture, the kids clothes. >> a block from jamaica bay, she lived on the second floor of this building. a year later, still not repaired. the first floor was completely washed out. there was mold, water. >> bay water met sea water met sewage. and then there was the fully stocked deli. >> we lived above the deli, there was the food that went bad. it was pretty bad. >> fema told you to get out. >> yeah, they just looked tat outside and were like why are you still here. for months fernandez and
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her children, forced to live in a motel. and then the red cross says they could help. i spoke to the caseworker. >> he would be eligible for money to be in a new place, and that all my household items would be replaced. >> the red crossed raised more money than any other agency to help the victims, 308. dollars. they created the move in assistance program to help people get back into their storm damaged homes or to find new ones. so far they have spent $15 million helping 2800 households on that program alone. >> the red cross says they can give you how much? >> they said $10,000. they said the max for the household was about 6,000. the other would be for brokers fees, for deposits and fur the first months remember.
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>> find a place. submit a w 9. and the application. and that was all i needed. >> you are get this money as far as you find the place? >> yes. >> but that's not what happened. not for what current said what happened for an estimated 1,000 other sandy devastated households. family whose were denied badly needed assistance, say they have been promised when the red cross suddenly changed the interpretation of its eligibility criteria. before is a former red cross volunteer, he works hurricane katrina. he is the founder of the disaster accountability project. a nonprofit aiming to improve transparency in relief organizations. there are hundreds of people across new york, that are eligible for assistance, and did home work for the red cross. jump through highway patrols.
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took days off from work, and only to find out they were ineligible in the first place. >> people like car part salesman. >> how high was the water here? >> around where my neck is. right arched here. >> wow. >> clements home in free port new york backs on to a canal. sandy's title surge buckled his dock and september water flowing through the windows into his first floor. a year later water rotted walls are still half gone. and papers are still drying out. >> three feet, that's when i knew this would be a problem. anything that i had propped up down here was not high enough. things floated that i wouldn't have managed. >> clements also applied for red cross assistance. >> i was a victim of super storm sandy, i suffer add financial loss, i suffered damage
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to my place of resident. i can not have adequate resources. i have not been reimbursed or exhausted by insurance government programs and those are all the things they asked you. >> that's it. >> how much do you think it will cost you to fix this? >> the way it works is you go around in circles. >> he found a contractor that prepared a detailed estimate, all at the request of the red cross, then he says he got two phone calls telling him his application was denied. >> i haven't heard from him since. >> probably my application is in the garbage pail. >> exclusive investigation continues tonight with a whistle blower who shares what happened when the relief agency changed it's interpretation of guidance. that left hundreds of families without the help they believe they had been promised and that they desperately needed. we should add that we asked the american red cross for an on camera interview. that request was denied. >>
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. >> we are protecting this man's identity and he changed his voice because he still worked with the red cross, he has direct knowledge of the move in assistance program. >> why have you decided to talk with us? [clients were promised assistance, of money that was donated to the red cross by the public. >> why are there so many cases there were people in the pipeline and all of a sudden they are not being processed. >> the eligibility change so drastically.
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>> most of the red cross has said about this period of time, is they conduct add review, is a review an accurate word? >> no. >> in seems to date from may. >> we showed an intermured cross document we were told was intended for caseworkers to use at talking points with now disqualified victims. it reads -- we are committed to being good stewards of donated dollars and regularly evaluate our work. we conduct add review, and to ensure that open cases are following program guidance. >> is that accurate? >> no, it is a nice statement, and i believe in general that the red cross attempts to be good stewards. however, the decision that was implemented didn't seem to have anything to do with that. there were clients who had receive admitment for money to assist them in recovering from the storm, but then were deemed ineligible. that's not assisting clients that's directing the dollar where it should be, that's lying
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to victims of the storm and survivors. two red cross insists that they were consistently applied from february on wards but that's not what the red cross workers tell us, we spoke to two former and one current red cross worker. they say that after may 6th, there was so much confusion, they were ordered to not speak to their clients. >> case work effectively stopped for other a week, almost two weeks, caseworkers and case managers were told not to speak with clients. we were told not to speak with clients they didn't know how to communicate the changes. they weren't sure. >> some were so upset by having to vengely tell hundreds of clients they were no longer eligible for assistance. none of the current or former workers we spoke to could tell us why an change in interpretation was made.
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one describes them as "arbitrary." at the same time add the red cross was disqualifying hundreds of families who believe they were eligible for help, the red cross publicized this story. a 95-year-old woman able to return to her symptom damaged home, in part because of red cross money, two caseworkers told us that under the changed criteria, she and many others who had already been given assistance would have been deemed ineligible, and denied funding. i have never seen the organization, an organization that is supposed to be helping people, that has a track record, having this meeds up and inconsistency. it's so blatant that numerous staff as many as ten coming forward with sensitive information about what happens.
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some were told they would get a certain amount of money in the mail, and that it was coming in two dades. >> so the check has been cut, you are fined this is what you get? >> yeah. and the check never came. >> there were hundreds of others that were in the pipeline, where the caseworker was working with the client, had probably given a positive indication that the case was going to be moving forward, that everything looked like it was good, and then it was frozen. this is not a small hiccup, these were not small headaches these we enormous migraines. >> asking for an explanation of changes to the program, the red cross told congressional staff members they would review and make good on cases where. pros were made. if clients believe they were promised assistance by a red cross caseworker, and documentation supports this we will honor their
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request, even if they do not fully meet program criteria. >> two red cross will continue to work with us. >> last month at a news conference held on one of the most damaged streets on long island, new york's attorney general said that after investigation of complaints, including from the disaster accountability project, the red cross would now contribute more money to helping sandy victims. >> they are working to correct some problems and go back and review cases where people might have been denied relief. >> but america tonight on taped this internal red cross email. we are blurring all names. it's dated september 20th, and reveals further changes to the implementation of the program denies more assistance to a storm victim where previously and believed she was eligible for more.
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>> they never came back. >> laura is one of those who has had her case reviewed and denied a second time. and then it sad to leak -- i am hoping that it will hold out. i used the credit cards again. >> she was not eligible now. because she did not stay in a hotel. this has been one of the exceptions. those criteria al failed to consider those who stays with family and friends and those who stays in the damage homes to protect them. one of the way ways in whih former workers described the program as arbitrary. >> after a year of uncertainty, after losing her home, and almost everything else, rose lean is trying to move forward.
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and what hurts most is the refuse call of the red cross to help. >> what does she think when she got that phone call when they said you were not going to get that money. >> it was wrong. i thought it was wrong. i said this is unfair. it was never that idea, that i was not going to be eligible. i was never that conversation. you have met all of the requirements. all of a sudden the requires change and now you are no longer eligible. >> the new york attorney general's office is continuing to watch the red cross and specifically keeping an eye on this program. coming up next here, it is the summer of the gun,
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vicious nights in baltimore, one photo journalist tries to understand we will take you inside his amazing work, that's coming up. new lights use low wattage led rights, neither harmful for the trees nor dangerous for the kids that may touch them. >> many play-off spots in the n.f.l. are still to be decided. mark morgan is here to explain it all. >> hey, a lot of anxiety in dallas, wondering what the
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dallas cowboys would do. tony romeo underwent back surgery. kyle ortman will start quarterback in the eagles game. sher een williams of the fort worth star telegram weighs in. >> that lees this game in the hands of kyle orten, he made 69 starts. he's 35 and 34. but has not thrown a pass as a starter and only thrown 15 passes over the last two years. it takes the pressure off the cowboys. no doubt about that. they can go in, play loose and >> this sunday... >> scholars and writers, policy makers and cultural icons >> don't miss the best of "talk to al jazeera" revealing... >> he said he was gonna fight for the public option, he didn't do it... >> personal.... >> from the time i was about nine, i knew i was different in ways other than just my face... >> shocking... >> being babtist...they always talk about don't judge other people.. but they judge everybody... >> the conversations people are talking about
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>> forget the democrat party and forget the reublican party, they're all one party... >> talk to al jazeea on al jazeera america already adding to be a promising one for trance gender students. public schools there will be allowed or required to allow students to use sex segregated facilities. and participate in gender specific activities of their choice. it is the first of its kind in the nation, it's controversial, and it's vulnerable. as a growing number of children, we look at the importance of that one school 178 that is meeting their needs. she is 11 years old and loves women for games and
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jamming on the drums. >> so you might think about her that you might get off your guard a little bit, because she says i can take care of myself? >> about five years ago, she revealed something she could no longer keep to herself, she was born a boy, but felt like a girl. three years ago she changed her name from ian to zoe. >> everybody was really great at making the switch. nobody really like surprisingly even a little better than you i think. >> zoes friends positive reaction is part of the changing tide, says gender specialist. >> this is a new step for our society. >> aidan trains teachers on how to address the needs of transgender students. he was once a she. 20 years ago he transitioned from female to male. key wants to change the
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way we think about gender roles. >> how do we refrain gender? how do we create a gender inclusive environment that works for all kids? when none of us grew up experiencing that. >> the seattle district approve add set of guidance on how to meet the needs. around the same time, garfield high school experienced an influx ol' schools. five in one year. it now has the largest group in the state that identify as lesbian, gay, transgender, and those questioning their sexuality. >> they won't be able to be ready to learn, and have barriers to learning if they aren't excepted for who they are. >> experts tell us transgender students around the country, still feel marginalized, a recent survey found that 78% of transgender students report being
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harassed in school. i think it is inyesterdayble that more families are asking for support, and more schools are asking for support. but that doesn't negate the issue that youth are still struggling. >> megan kennedy is pushing for schools to integrate issues into the curriculum. zoe's mom feels good about the way things are now. >> the teen years, zoe feeling like she isn't quite in step with her peers. really -- >> and not being, right no being quite in step with them, and i think that will be the biggest challenge. >> they haven't decided how may will deal with it all, instead focusing on the now. carolyn is incredibly proud. >> you have allowed yourself to fully be who
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you are. and that take as lot of courage. >> a growth in adolescent for zoe, and schools across the nation as they figure out how to meet the needs of trance gender students. >> al jazeera reporting. well, now turning your attention to baltimore, it's nickname is charmed city, and baltimore certainly has plenty of history on every corner. but this year, the city is suffering a less positive image. closing out this year with 234 homicide. focusing a lenes on that violence, is photo journalist, he captured the outcries and the after math in a special series for the baltimore city paper.
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i just want to give people a look into the city that they don't normally get to see. >> i met joy trying to bring the pictures to show the viewers and the readers this thing is real. >> what did you hear. >> that's all i heard. >> how many you hear? >> a lot. >> we rah in the stretches of a war. baltimore is the place to be killed if you want to die. >> where does she live? >> in that house. >> i said you know i want to do an old school photo journalism record of this violence problem. i want to get the street side, i wayn't to get the victim's family side, i want to get the gang side.
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>> i wanted to pull them out of their environment, and confronted one on one with the victim of the crime. i wanted to get back into the reason that i got into photography, was to expose people to things they wouldn't normally be exposed to. >> it looks like we have a triple shooting. the police are following the vehicle. >> i followed the police on a 5-0 scanner from my i-phone, so as soon as they put it up i hear about it. there was quite a spike in shootings. one of my objectives was to figure out why. >> there's rise in heroine use, to possible gang violence. it is one of those buzz hers that nobody is getting hair handle on. >> it is a wonderful city. it is my home.
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but it is infected with something that needs to be eradicated. >> reverend williams i met at a shooting ablock away from his clinic. he has a methadone clinic. he was appalled at the violence, he lost a daughter, and a nephew to gun violence. >> approximately 12 years ago, my daughter lisa was shot and killed in a drug deal gone bad. it nearly destroyed -- me. it was my only daughter. justice can incarcerate, justice can take a life away, but who is it that can give you your child back? justice can't do that. and my only daughter i will never see again, until i see her in heaven. >> some people are fortunate enough to get justice, some people are not. >> paul is a member of a gang.
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his tattooed indicate that. he specialized in hard core hip-hop. i wanted to see what the music community thought of the violence in the city. how they view it through their prison. >> basically what we are saying. everything way have been through. this past year, i have lost -- i have been to a hand full of funerals. it always effects you. it effects the city every day. it's nothing to do but gang bang, so they have nothing to look forward to. the old baltimore, we used to fight and shake hands we don't use guns. order. >> she is the cousin of
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dayvon who was gunned down in july. had an interest after the shooting which a lot of media places don't. they come out, take footage, the cross street, the flapping. quick on site, and then they leave, and then these victims and the families they are forgotten by the media. let's talk about the after math of gun violence. >> i hope people look at those pictures and think we need to stop the violence. i want folks to be achery, i want them to be mad. i want them to demand of our elected officials to help us stop the senseless killings on the streets of baltimore. >> i think one of the
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worst things i have seen. there's a body 20 feet from them, and there's no emotion, just blank. that's the hardest part. seeing how that will grow up. descenttize the violence. >> when someone is gunned down. just ream innocence of the life, bloody shoes, blood pressuredy hat, and then at the very end, the emts and the fire department come in, and then they hose down and clean the area with bleach. >> that's someone's dna. the moments they touched the lives then they understand, hey, there's a part of baltimore i am missing.
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that's for the visitors. what about the rest of us, that live in baltimore. and subject to these acts of violence, each and every day. we want to be safe too. >> anything can happen to anybody. >> here is the guy that got shot in the chest. >> an hour ago there was someone there. who woke up in the morning had breakfast. on the cell phone. this spike in gun violence continues i will
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go all year. i want to tend it tomorrow. >> trying to make it a safer place, they certainly have many challenges. coming up here, a come back from the cradle of civilizations. after a straining history, see what plan is working to recite liz the marshes. >> every sunday night, al jazeera america presents... award winning films telling stories... >> she doesn't wanna come as someone who was manipulative. >> revealing secrets... >> information became our most powerful weapon... >> taking chances... >> everyone that was involved in the clandestant movement, had a code name. >> each week, a new eye opening experience. >> now they're going to go to jail... >> al jazeera america presents... remarkable documentaries
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welcome back, everyone. time to travel upstreet to the southern marshes of iraq.
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that marsh land almost disappeared 20 years ago, and diminished by dams in neighboring countries. but one man has been instrumental in rehydrating the marshes the iraqi government recently created the central marshes nation parable. one of the world's most unique national parks. >> a few feet of water created this, the world's first civilization. >> these days it is unlikely eden, but an iraqi american engineer, knew these marshes as a boy, and he is determined to restore them. >> what is unique about these marshes is that they are along the edges of these marshes is where the first civilizations started. this is where it was invented. this is where agriculture was first started. this is where abraham was born. and so in a sense it
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doesn't belong to iraq. >> in the 1990's, sudan hughes san changed the landscape by draining these and driving out the people who lived here. huge damns in neighbors turkey stopped the seasonal floods that had created an ecosystem thousands of years old. he had built a career in california, but in 2003, he came back, and started nature iraq, he and his colleague used their engineering skills to help breakup bankments build by sudan along the river, and bring the water flooding back. >> this is the you freightties. in one of the biggest engineer projects of the past century, he had built dirt barriers to hold back the water. this one was the first embankment. when
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sudan hussein in 003, the natural iraq organization, to open this. >> along with the water he would like to see people flowing back here as well. >> imagine you have a life -- we can build this it's a nice bird watching center. you can see a spot on the horizon, look at this. >> the channels as they reopened have reflooded more than half the martials. along the remaining embankments there's dry land. but just across the road where the water has returned communities are coming back to life. kareem came back a few months ago. he tells them he moved back when he heard the water had returned. is the frame of a reed guest house.
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he says it is a weather holds it could be built in just a day. the guest house will be used and to host visitors from other provinces. he same he kade back because he missed the lifestyle. his wife didn't. here she struggles to take care of the chin. they don't go to school because it is too far away. >> it was better in the town, we had everything, she says. as the water level rideses, and becomes less salty, plants like team risk are replaced by the reeds as well as shelter for the people who live here. this family moved here from the town a year ago. when the water came back. like most people here, the family also sells the milk. people here live lightly on the land, almost all the houghses are made of reeds the very islands they are built on are made of reeds and dirt.
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the reeds also provide fuel for the fire. one of his two wifes spents a lot of the day trying to keep the children fed. >> these are just the youngest of his 11 children. lunge is bread and fired fish, the same thing they eat every day. around the water he asks the fisherman about the day's catch. it is pain staking but a few pounds of these fish will bring enough to live on for the day. these people want the marshes restored not because of the beauty, and the ecology, and nature. in fact, this is about economic restoration. this is -- these people want the marshes restored because it is a way of life, it is a way to make a living without having an education. without having to live in the city. they can go out to the marsh, harvest enough reeds come back here and
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sell it and make a couple of bucks. it is about making a living from nature. and drankly, that's the best kind of restoration. >> now that there's enough water marshes are again a stop on the migratory bird path. >> that's like the beginning of migration. in about a month, if you come here, you will see in the thousands if nothing the 10,000s. >> the ducks started coming back four years ago. >> oh my goodness, like what is this. and it was the black clouds in the sky. it was incredible. >> in the town, on the edge of the marshes nature has built a reed guest house, as the beginning of what he hopes will be eco tourism here, the same design is enclave tablets from ancient times. it's relatively cool in the summer, and warm in the winter. >> it's 3,000 years. >> part of the target, foreign workers and surrounding oil fields who might come for a weekend of fishing or
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bird hunting. >> i wanted the people, the locals to understand that the -- that they are regular methods of building. is actually more suited the r the environment. that was goal one, goal two, was basically to create a place for tourists to come and stay enjoy the culture. have a mixture of modernity with tradition. >> the chant says they are recall brothers willing to help each other, after just an hour, the bundles of reeds are tied and raised providing the tension for perfect arch. it will be covered with more awaiting the guests and providing a link to thousands of years of civilization. well, it is with a heavy heart that we here at america tonight, must share the passing of the
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talented photographer who worked on this story. he was killed by al quaida linked foreign fighters in northern syria earlier this month. he was stopped a at check point while on assignment working for another media outlet. al jazeera's remembers her colleague as a fearless and passionate talent, his trained eye uncovered some of the most important stories in the most volatile regions of iraq. he covers the brutal conflict there for ten years often from his home scene of some of the fiercest fighting that's where he lived with his wife and three children. we sent his family our heart felt sympathies. america tonight will be right back in a moment. plan
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2013 was a big year before the smart phone and all those mobile accessories. what trends matters most this year.
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our digital producer, it is hard to even figure out what ans to put on your phone. okay, i haven't used this one, delete, but then i will download this, what for. >> right, soy think the 2013 was rally the year of the smart phone. one of biggest friend is what i call photo shop on the fly. you take your phone, maybe a photo, and you can alter it. so there are several different apps for this, i think the moist popular is perfect 365. it was a free download, and it has r many than 20 million downloads. so a lot of people are taking it and going to extreme lengths. part of which is because there's been so many great advancements in facial recognition. you can do everything from clearing blemishes to even elongating your face. our digital film did this. >> wonderful.
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>> looking very serious. >> yes, the serious picture. >> okay, they took it and they elongated your face, gave you a deeper smile, it does a little comic, i won't lie to you, they also played with a photo of me, and they changed my eye color, they elongated my face, took up my cheekbones. all these things got rid of undereye bags. >> not fun for me. >> that's the one everybody was used a few years ago to enhance these, here you can have fun with the pictures. >> yeah, it is fun but also raises these questions about how far is too far, and photo shop is going main stream. a lot of people are doing it on social magazine. immatures that really interest me, i feel like everybody i know on social media is doing collages. is that really exploded this year as well? >> yeah, it has become more -- they have been more main stream.
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i think one of the more interesting trends has been that people are realizing that you have this digital foot print that follows you. so they are trying to get out of that by making photos more transient. and out of that desire, lies the rise of snap chats. >> an app that allows you to photo with a message to someone you know, and it emerges most predominately, as something to send risque photos with and that's because the picture disappears. >> and people are using it now for fun with friends? >> yes, it is ironic, funny, but what made it really unique is because you could add text you wouldn't think that's so innovative, but the fact you send a photo with a message, is something that everyone has been trying to replicate. both incity gram and vine, so really led the charge in the rise of messages apps.
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what are the other hot apps? >> there are a lot of hot productivity apps. a wristband that lets you count how much you walk, and exercise, and how much you sleep, and how you sleep, and integrate this into your lifestyle, in a way that makes you make better choices. >> yeah, i have one that sets up fireworks when i move around enough, there is something about the motivation, when you get that message, and -- oh, okay i did it today. >> feels good. a little pep up in your day. a lot of other productivity apps. there's budgets ans. basically allows you to settle debts with your friends. you can remind me over this app. >> hey, you forgot to pay me back for this pizza. >> this is ben mo. >> okay.
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>> and really quickly, category. >> yeah, we also have this proliferation of dating ans. but some of them are more interesting. lulu is in an an in which women can rate men. the men have -- they can opt to be taken off, but the women making the ratings are anonymous. so people have this question is this fish, another great app, it's called avocado, and it is mainly for long distance relationships. so let's say you can send a hug, the other person that you are in a relationship with receives your hug. >> you hug you phone? >> you dug and kiss your phone. >> it is a real thing. >> and it is so much more interesting they have so much going on with them. they do -- they are able to track things like for example, if your partner's phone is running out of battery. you might need to call them and tell them, hey,
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listen, charge your phone. >> i would like to make an nsa joke, if you are hugging the kissing your phone. >> fair point. >> well, there are certainly a lot of different things happening, do you have any prediction where this is headed. >> i think we will see maybe some smarter video editing. i had crowd sourced this question, to twitter and to facebook, and a lot of people weighed in telling me that they had struggled with some of the video edits platforms. clearer and beautiful, in the way that final cut may be. but on their phones so i think we will see more advancement there. yeah, we will have to see what is in store. >> my last question for you, what is the one an you have on your phone that you can't live without? >> you canner. >> it isn't even very exciting. >> when you are trapped
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somewhere and you need to make a quick it. >> all right, speaking of a quick exit, thank you for joining us. >> digital producer, thank you so much. ahead on our final segment, it is a bummer for v.w. junkies a driving force now taking its final ride, we will take you on that road trip up next. >> an exclusive "america tonight" investigative series >> we traveled here to japan to find out what's really happening at fukushima daiich >> three years after the nucular disaster, the hidden truth about the ongoing cleanup efforts and how the fallout could effect the safety of americans >> are dangerous amounts of radioactive water, leaking into the pacific eververyday? >> join america tonight's michael okwu for an exclusive four part series, as we return to fukushima
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only on al jazeera america consider this: the news of the day plus so much more. >> we begin with the government shutdown. >> answers to the questions no one else will ask. >> it seems like they can't agree to anything in washington no matter what. >> antonio mora, award winning and hard hitting. >> we've heard you talk about the history of suicide in your family. >> there's no status quo, just the bottom line. >> but, what about buying shares in a professional athlete?
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(vo) al jazeera america we understand that every news story begins and ends with people. >> the efforts are focused on rescuing stranded residents. (vo) we pursue that story beyond the headline, past the spokesperson, to the streets. >> thousands of riot police deployed across the capitol. (vo) we put all of our global resources behind every story. >> it is a scene of utter devastation. (vo) and follow it no matter where it leads, all the way to you. al jazeera america. take a new look at news. long road trip for thee beloved volkswagen bus is
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finally coming to an end. brazil and volkswagen will stop producing the iconic vehicle. the company says it cannot change production to meet brazil's 2014 safety regulations which mandate air bags and antilock braking systems. 63 years ago there are now more than 10 million volkswagen vans. it may be the end of an era for the bus, there are fanatics that can not let go of the wheel. america tonight takes you to missoula montana. >> this is the bus i pulled out of my neighbor's yard. it is a passenger bus. >> i am a documentary film producer living in pizula montana. i direct add film called "the bus." i had a personal connection with the bus,
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and so it was for me it was sort of reconciling my own feelings and trying to figure out why do i care so much about this car. and the history of the vehicle is pretty remarkable. >> it was the people's car. the bus was conceptual used by a man -- and he came to the factory in germany one day after the war, and saw that factory, workerrers had rigged up these truck looking vehicles with they took a voaks waggen beetle frame, and just made a flat bed out of it. so he drew this sketch, and two years later they were in production. the idea of creating this minibus, this cargo mover, people mover.
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bussed were imports and by the time the 60's came around, and this count culture movement has started -- this were already hundreds of thousands of buss in the country, and that you could get them cheap, you could load up your friends and so they were really in the right place at the right time. >> you know, there's no shortage of material when you are looking for characters for a volkswagen film. one of the people that i was really fortunate in meeting and hooking up with was dave manning who in a nutshell embodies the vw bus culture. >> he lived in his bus half the year. >> yeah. >> i'll do this as long
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asky get away with it. so i did work out a normal job for ten months and have two months off in the summer. what i realized was the two months i was traveling every year, were like the best part of my year these campers have a con nonnation of the hippy lifestyle, that represents stripping away what was the really square sort of stuff that everybody is getting fed in the 50's. it was a reaction to that. and saying we are not going to wear the same suit and tie and get on the train and go to work every morning. we are going to go hit the road, man. >> the other part of it that is important, is they are very utilitarian, and they are designed in a very very simple way. it gives you the freedom to go places.
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i can get on one of these great highways and go somewhere, and whenever i get tired, i can stop. >> i'm independent. because i can maintain my own rig, there's not a computer in it. the flip side of that, of course, is that i have to work on this every week. >> the bus is called a vincent, i was writing a song vincent rolls and it is about that. what it is like to drive around. ♪ . >> at the end of the year, they are stopping production of the v.w. bus in brazil. and it has -- they stopped producing it elsewhere, in germany, and mexico, south africa, they have all stopped producing because of the same reason, they are pretty much an unsafe
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vehicle. there's no crumple zone, the engine is in the back, there's no room for air balls. your knees are sort of the first line of defense in a front impact. it is a sad thing to me, it is definitely a nos tajik sort of event, but at the same time, safety standards need to be in place. >> some little part of my heart that is sad that they are finally going to shut the last factory down. now we are anticar collectors. and they are just like getting crazy valuable. is it is sad because hippies can't buy hippy cars any more. >> vincent rides. >> no, i don't ever plan on selling it. if anything i would give it away. it isn't about selling it for money, it is about
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giving it a good home. i just saw a few of those going down the road, a lot of fun has been had in those vans oevery the years. well, happy new year, that's it here for america tonight, if you would like to comment on any of the stories tonight, just log on to our website aljazeera.com/america tonight. you can meet our team, get sneak previews of stories we are working on and also tell us what you would like to see in a nightly current affairs program. also make sure to join the conversation on twitter or our fair book page, have a good night, and a happy new year. >>
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> hello, welcome to the newshour, here with the top stories. >> south sudan's warring factions prepare for talks, but government troops are on the way for a new showdown with rebels. >> ships turn back from syria. the deadline to move chemical weapons out is missed. >> north korean leader boasts about an

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