Skip to main content

tv   News  Al Jazeera  May 30, 2014 11:00am-11:31am EDT

11:00 am
cancers. >> tech know, every saturday go where science meets humanity. >> this is some of the best driving i've every done, even though i can't see. >> tech know. >> we're here in the vortex. >> tomorrow, 7:30 eastern. only on al jazeera america.
11:01 am
>> it is picture-perfect, and like many places in the united states, the working class here in bristol, rhode island, and finding is harder and harder to make ends meet. i'm crystal with the tale of two towns. >> we begin with the apology from eric sherecci, and he said he's sorry for his agency's lack of internet. and he's still on the job. >> this situation began months and months ago. and i believe that it's systemic. >> this morning, shinseki called for another meeting with president obama.
11:02 am
and it's set to begin an hour ago. it's in washington d.c. and with the question that everybody is asking, is eric shinseki staying? >> well, indeed del, the meeting began at 10:15. we saw shinseki arriving at the white house with his aids, and we don't know the outcome of that meeting, but we expect that it will be soon. and this morning, in a speech that he gave to the homeless veteran's association, he gave no indication at all of being ready to resign. he did appear somber and apologetic and determined and candidly acknowledged that he was mistaken when he was told that the problems were limited. >> i can't explain the integrity of some of the lead, of our healthcare facilities. this is something that i rarely
11:03 am
encountered during the 38 years in uniform. and so i will not defend it, because it's indifferencible. but i can take responsibilitier for it. and i do. >> shinseki then announced a series of decisive actions aimed at top managers at the phoenix center. >> i've initiated the process of the removal of the senior leaders at the medical center for 2014, i directed the pressure website be deleted for their successful. >> and we should also point out that at that speech, secretary shinseki received a round of applause from people at the compass, who have congratulated him and credited him with doing a lot for homeless veterans. and of course the problem now is
11:04 am
medical care. in an interview early year, president obama said that he would have a frank and candid discussion, a serious conversation with shinseki about whether he should be the person to continue to run the va. and we'll see what happens. >> washington is divided on this, not just among politicians but veteran's groups. >> but most veterans groups are still supportive of shinseki, and one is saying, let's give him a little bit more time. here's the problem, del. if in fact he resigns or president obama fires him, the question is who takes over? and what about the confirmation process? and someone has to fix those problems. if shinseki is on the job, who will they get next? that's the question. >> thank you very much. arizona said it's
11:05 am
overhauling it's whiled welfare agency, following reports that thousands of contexts of abuse and neglect waiting ford. jan brewerring signing bills that she said will transform the agency. the if you child safety would replace the old whiled protective services, they're trying to fix the backlog and improve accountability. if. >> >> the future of the los angeles clippers. steve ballmer, one of the richest men in the country, offering $2 billion for the team. microsoft in february, it's worth an estimated $20 billion. and he happens to be a huge fan of professional basketball. donald's wife, shelly, agreed to the sale thursday afternoon, days before a plan of the nba hearing, kicking her family out of the league. sports insiders say there was no way around t.
11:06 am
>> i don't think there's any way they can convince him to let him keep the team. >> his racist rant to his girlfriend, and they were released online and they quickly banned sterling for life and eventually forced him to sell. despite turning over ownership to his wife to facilitate the cell, it's ultimately up to his wife. >> donald is appreciative of her, and he's sceptical that it could produce a resolution for the problem. >> sterling's records to viviano were obtained illegally, and if it moves forward, so will sterling's legal battle. >> he's not going to -- he doesn't want it written on his tombstone, donald sterling racist. >> and he did. >> apart from not having the
11:07 am
legal case, there's a moral case, and there's something really wrong. the privacy of the home, and then winds up losing it's life and his property because someone was making an illegal tape recording that gets published. meanwhile, usa today, sterling has been ruled mentally unfit to make decision busy the family trust. >> >> reporter:. >> a 23-year-old has been charged with making an obstruction into the boston marathon bombing. he's said to be a friend of the accused bombers, tamerlan and dzhokar tsarnaev. he is accused of falsifying records and accused of making a false statement involving a terrorist investigation. he moved to the u.s. years ago.
11:08 am
police in santa barbara are making an investigation about the mass murder there. aware that he posted disturbing videos on youtube, he didn't admit that they watched them. those visits happened the weeks before he went on a killing spree, and they didn't know about the video of his day of retribution or the rambling 140 page manifesto after the rampage. he killed six people on friday before taking his own life. chris costner wants to make the labs in missouri. and he said that would make it more transparent. several states, including missouri, scrambling to find alternatives and some have considered bringing backfiring squads, the gas chamber and the chair. in a reversal of policy, the texas prison system said that it
11:09 am
doesn't need toilful the drugs. they said that it's supplier would be in danger if it was identified. they need more information about the drugs to verify their potency for their cruel and unusual punishment. some states try to figure out how to carry out their executions, there are a growing number of criminals, some of them serving long sentences, that are being set free. in new york city, taking another look at 90 case that's may have led to convictions. they're not alone. >> the motion for the people is being granted. >> there are words repeated that should never be said. >> the defendant's motion is granted. >> judges giving sentences. >> sir, you are free to go. >> time and time again after the district attorney launched dozens of investigations into
11:10 am
questionable convexes going back decades, one to a detective, lewis carsella. >> reports revealed that years later, he repeatedly ride on the same witness to finger suspects. including in a murder case against robert hill and his two brothers. a judge this month overturned their convictions. >> i'm going home with my family and taking a bath. >> this is overwhelming. >> accused of killing a rabbi in 1991, he too was set free after prosecutors learned that scarcella coached witnesses. >> i had nothing to do with this case. >> the d.a. has exonerated 300 inmates across the country in the last 25 years, but not every release brings happiness and answers. >> where is the killer? who is the killer? who botched the case and who is going to be responsible in the end? >> aljazeera, new york.
11:11 am
>> and we have this programming note for you. be sure to join aljazeera sunday night. the system airs at 9 p.m. eastern time. the government saying that russia is pulling it's troops back from the ukraine as the military is not backing down. they're pushing ahead with armed separatists in the east. some of their fighters are russian, and they held funerals for those killed in recent fighting in ukraine. they will be sent back to russia. nigerian state media now reporting that governments expected to belong to boko haram killed a leader yesterday. yesterday they shot at a village, killing people. the african community of african states is meeting in
11:12 am
ghana to stabilize boko haram. according to the spokesman, yesterday the nigerian president said a full-scale operation has ordered against that group. if. >> the car eva dam is locate odd the zambiesy river. and erosion could lead to its collapse. tanya page went to the dam and found that the problem would be devastating for millions. >> kariba dam's huge size, one of the world's biggest, on the zambiesy river, it's age is showing. the gates are worn and below the surface, and the wall is cracked and needs to be fixed urgently to avoid who would be a catastrophic collapse. chief jack is among the 3 and a half million people who live down river. his people believe that a river
11:13 am
spirit is to blame. >> it's true that they are responsible for the cracks in the dam. when the zambizi is blocked, it's spirit becomes angry and makes problems for all of us. >> he doesn't believe that. his business is one of the thousands that depend on the zambizi's constant flow of tourists. >> we're on the receiving end, and we believe that the government is responsible to do t. >> they need to raise $250 million before the complex repair work can begin. to get a sense of scale, look at lake car eva over there. it's held back by the dam, which is 24 and a half meters. you get a sense of the water
11:14 am
held back by the dam and how catastrophic it would be if anything went wrong. he gets a sense of how it is and pushing it through quickly. >> we have the concerns. >> tens of thousands of people have still not been connected to the electricity that it generates, the zambizi provides in other ways. if you believe that the cracks are blamed on ancient river spirit or age alone. >> we're following a live event. we're waiting for president obama to speak on a situation involving the secretary of veteran affairs, eric chin
11:15 am
shecky. he met with the president at the white house this morning, and randall pinkston is at the white house now. bring us up-to-date on what the meeting is about. and where they stand on whether eric shin shecky stays or whether he goes. >> so the initial purpose of the meeting, del, for the president is to report on all of the many problems with the veteran's administration's healthcare system. and specifically that huge problem out in phoenix, where reportedly 40 veterans have died. and they are waiting on appointments to see a va doctor, they died. and that's one of the issues, and the other is that there were booking kept, two separate books to conceal the long wait times, so the uproar about that has prompted secretary shen seki for
11:16 am
his own. and the review of the entire system, the question is will the president ask him to step aside? he says that he has costs in secretary shinseki, and he has accomplished many goals, including with vets, blue whether that will allow him to stay, we'll have to see. >> randall in washington, and we have our white house correspondent, mike viqueira in washington as well. and mike, there have been many scandals in washington. obamacare, and benghazi and this one has legs. >> you're right. it has not been seen as a partisan principal like benghazi. or obama obama. >> i have to cut you off.
11:17 am
>> shinseki has presented me with the review of the facilities nationwide. and what they found was that the misconduct has not been limited to a few va facilities, but many across the country. it's totally unacceptable. our veterans deserve the best. they have earned it. and last week, i said if we found misconduct, it would be punished and i meant it. secretary shinseki has begun the process of firing many of the people responsible, including the senior leaders at the phoenix va. he has canceled any bonuses this year for senior executives, and he has ordered the va personally contact every veteran in phoenix waiting for appointments, to get them the care it they need and deserve. this morning, i think that some
11:18 am
of you also heard rick take a truly remarkable action. in public remarks, he took responsibility for the conduct of those facilities and apologized to his federal veterans and people. and he offered me his own resignation. with considerable regret, i accept it. rich shinseki has served his country with honor for nearly 50 years. he did two tours of duty in vietnam and he was himself on the battlefield. he rose to command in the first calvary division, served as army chief of staff and has never been afraid to speak truth to power. as secretary of the va, he presided over record investments in veterans, in healthcare, and
11:19 am
those exposed to agent orange, making it easier for veterans with mental stress and traumatic brain injury, treatment, and improving care for our women veterans, and he developed veteran homelessness and helped 1 million veterans serving and their families with post-secondary education under the request gi bill. so rick's commitment to our veterans is unquestionable. his service to our country is exemplary. i am grateful for his service, as are many veterans across the country. he has worked hard to investigate and identify the problems with access to care, but as he told me this morning, the va needs new leadership to address it. he does not want to be a distraction because his priority is to fix the problem and make sure that the vets are getting
11:20 am
the care they need. that was rick's judgment on behalf of his fellow veterans. and i agree, we don't have time for distracts. we need to fix the problem. for now, the leader that will help move us farm is sloane gibson, who will take reins as acting secretary. he served veterans, and his grandfather fought on the front lines of world war i, his father was a gunner in world war i. he graduated from west point and earned his ranger qualifications and served in the infantry. and recently he was the president of the ceo serving our wounded warriors and families of the fallen. so all told, sloane has 40 years
11:21 am
of experience of non-profit experience to work on the 20th century va. and i'm grateful that he is willing to take over this task. i met with sloane after i met with rick this morning, and i made it clear that reforms should not wait. they need to happen immediately. and i asked him to stay with us to complete the review and in the meantime, we're going to look diligently for a new permanent secretary and we hope to fill that post as soon as possible. we're going to do right by our veterans across the board, as long as it takes. we're not going to stop working to make sure that they get the care and the benefit and the opportunities that they earn and deserve. i said we won't tolerate misconduct, and we will not, we have to do better, and we will. there are too many veterans receiving care right now who deserve all of our best efforts. and an honest assessment if
11:22 am
something is not working. this week, i visited some of our men and women in uniform at various stages of their service. our army officers who graduated from west point, our troops serving in afghanistan and our veterans and military families at arlington. what i saw is what i've seen in every single service member and veteran military spouse that i've had the chance to meet. a selfless commitment to serving the country the best way that they know how. they're the best that the country has to offer. they expect us to do ours. so today i want every man and woman who serves under the flag to note that whether your tour has been over for decades or just about to end, we will never stop working to do right by you and your families. let me take a couple of questions.
11:23 am
>> mr. president, over the last days, shinseki, you said that you had confidence in him. and you said it's time to resign and what made the difference? >> rick's judgment. i think his belief that he would be a distraction from the task at hand, which is to make sure that what gets broken is fixed so his fellow veterans are getting the services that they need. i want to reiterate, he is a very good man. i don't just mean that he's an accomplished man, and he has been an outstanding soldier. he's a good person. person who has done exemplary work on our behalf. and under his leadership, we
11:24 am
have seen more progress on more fronts at the va and a bigger investment in the va than just about any other va secretary. cut by almost 24%. brought in folks who have been exposed to agent orange, who have been waiting for decades to get the services and benefits that they had earned. making sure that post-traumatic stress disorder and post-traumatic brain injury was dealt with in the right way and making sure that the women in the military were receiving the specialized services that they need. so he has been a champion of our veterans, and where there are problems, he has been ready and willing to get in there and fix them. so with the disability backlog that has shot up as a
11:25 am
consequence of the admission of agent orange veterans, as well as making it easier to apply for post-traumatic stress disorder disability claims, when it spiked, he went at it in a systematic way, and we have now cut it by 50% over the course of the last year or so. he's not adverse to admitting where there's a problem and going after t but we occupy not just a environment that calls for management, but we have to deal with congress, and you guys, and i think that rick's judgment that he con carry out the next staples of reform without being a distraction himself. so my assessment was unfortunately that he was right.
11:26 am
i regret that he has to resign under these circumstances, but i also have confidence in sloan, and i share rick shinseki's assessment that the number-one priority is making sure that problems get fixed, so if there's a veteran out there that needs help, they're getting a schedule and they need to come in and see a doctor, and if there are facilities that don't have enough doctors or nurses or don't have enough space, that that information immediately gets in the hands of decision makers all the way up to me, and all the way to congress, so we can get more resources in there to help folks. and that seems to be the biggest problem, and i think that's the problem that offended secretary shinseki the most during this process. he described to me the fact that when he was in theater, he might have to order an attack just
11:27 am
based on a phonecall from this 20-year-old corporal. and he has to make a decision that's life and death. and i think he's deeply disappointed that bad news did not get to him. and that the structures weren't in place for him to identify this problem quickly and fix it. his priority now is to make sure that it happens, and he felt like new leadership would serve our veterans best, and i agree with him. >> >> reporter: mr. president, based on the audit, the early stage audit that the secretary presented to you, is there a sense that there was critical wrongdoing, and more broadly, how much responsibility do you personally bear with the administration now that we're at this point. >> i will leave it up to the justice department to determine whether there has been criminal
11:28 am
wrongdoing, in terms of responsibility, as i said before, this is my add mix, and it predates my presidency. when i was in the senate, the services and benefits that they earned. and as commander in chief, as president, that we would nix it. the va is a big organization that has had problems for a very long time. in some cases, management problems, and in some cases, funding problems, so what we have tried to do is systematically go after the problems that we were aware of and fix them. and where we have seen our veterans not being properly served. whether it was too many homeless veterans, or a disability claims process that was taking too
11:29 am
long, we would go at it. when it came to funding, we have increased funding for va services in an unprecedented fashion, because we understood that it's not enough just to give lip service to our veterans, but not being willing to put our money where our mouth is. so what i can say confidently is that this has been a priority. and it has been a priority reflected in my budget. and in terms of managing the va, where we have seen a problem, where we have been aware of a problem, we have gone after it and fixed it, and we have been able to make significant progress. but what is absolutely clear, this one, this issue of scheduling is one that the reporting systems inside of the vha did not surface to the level
11:30 am
that rick was aware of it, or we were able to see it. this was not something that we were hearing. when i was traveling around the country, the particular issue of scheduling, and what we're going to do with the rue is make sure that we get information about systems that aren't working. i was just talking to rob neighbors, and he described to me, for example, in very specific detail, how in some of thighs facilities, you have computer systems for scheduling that date back to the 90s. situations in which one scheduler where there's a slot and a doctor available.