tv Consider This Al Jazeera September 30, 2014 1:00am-2:01am EDT
president obama blames our intelligence agencies for underestimating i.s.i.l., as despite air strikes the terrorists advance this syria and fears of another massacre . crisis in hong kong as they defy the chinese. i'm antonio mora, welcome to "consider this". those stories and more ahead. >> coalition air strikes failed to stop i.s.i.l.'s advances. >> the head of the intelligence community acknowledged that they underestimated - had been taking place in syria. >> we predicted and watched it. >> thousands of demonstrators on
the streets of hong kong defying calls to disperse. >> police are trying to break up the demonstrators. >> i.s.i.s. and hamas are year. >> israeli prime minister binyamin netanyahu said... ..that the greatest threat to world peace would be a nuclear iran. >> toxic gas and ash forcing rescue efforts in japan to halt. >> the c.d.c. is investigating whether a rare virus affecting chin is connected to paralysis showing polio-like symptoms. >> i was scared. i could feel myself not being able to stay away. we begin with president obama conceding the u.s. did not see i.s.i.l. coming. >> i think our head of the intelligence community, jim clapper, acknowledged that they underestimated what had been taking place in syria.
>> but intelligence officials warned of the danger for more than a year, and i.s.i.l. controlled a large part of syria before moving into iraq. >> this idea that somehow we didn't know that that was happening. happening. >> the president admitted the u.s. had overestimated the ability of the iraqi armed force, but said he's not ready to count them out. >> i am not going to speculate on failure at the moment, we are getting started. let's see how they are doing. >> air strikes intensified and the iraqi army said it had taken 16 cities from i.s.i.l. they are again within striking distance of baghdad and closed in on kobani, where air strikes hit too far from the front lines to send i.s.i.l. into retreat. across the border in turkey,
tanks closed in on the border overlooking kobani, a sign that turkey may be willing to join the coalition, after a stampede of refugees from syria and allies. >> translation: where will we stand as turkey. we'll give our support. we cannot remain out of this. >> for more we are joined by jessic allowize, a former army intelligence officer in roij and syria, and -- iraq and syria, and serves as a lead analyst on i.s.i.l. good to see you, thank you for being on the show. quite the backlash that we are seeing here. the president told '60 minutes", that the u.s. underestimated the rise of i.s.i.l., but he blamed the intelligence community. now that the "the daily beast" is quoting a former official saying:
the reality is i.s.i.l. took fallujah, a major city near baghdad and the white house referred to them as a jvt. what do you think happened? they didn't want to see what was in front of them? >> there are a few things happening. it was clear from the outset, within the administration and the administration community, that i.s.i.l. was a threat because they were taking city, but there were surprise, particularly that the iraqi security forces were not able to hold cities like mosul against i.s.i.l., it was a surprise, and it was a surprise, perhaps, how rapidly i.s.i.s. was able to expand while the syrian war continued to unfold. all of these things together meant there were things that i.s.i.l. did, surprise, to bring as a surprise, but i would agree
with you that the fact that i.s.i.s. was a growing threat and an imminent threat to iraq should not have been one. >> one of the points is the incompetence of the iraqi army, and the president acknowledged that in the '60 minutes" interview. does overestimating remain an issue, that they'll should be able to take the fight to i.s.i.l. >> there should be an estimated potential of security forces on the ground in iraq. the forc forces, moderate syrian opposition, and we should take inventory of the fighting capability, but i would agree with you that since we can see what a force i.s.i.s. can bring on the ground and on the offensive in both countries, that it's a high bar that the ground forces in iraq and syria have to meet. >> talking about being on the offensive, the news reports that
i.s.i.l. is within a mile of baghdad. how does that happen. now that the iraqis are getting coalition air support? i think i.s.i.s. has been in close vicinity since breaking people out of the prison in july 2013. i think that that threat to the capital and baghdad is innocent. i.s.i.s. has been there for a long time, and one of the places where i.s.i.s. has tremendous ground strength that we have not seen brought to bear is close to baghdad. this comes off as an iraqi army base in anbar province, overrun by i.s.i.l., hundreds are feared dead, reports indicate that calls for help by iraqi troops went unanswered the the you iraqi troop launched a campaign to would you back fighters, how concerned are you, but how concerned are you that the iraqi
army, the sectarian tension, and all sorts of other things, putting aside the peshmerga, the iraqi army, that it will become an aggressive and effective fighting force. >> we need to take this as a war with many battles, and there are some battles where the i.s.f. is doing well. in the east, on the eastern area, the iraqi security forces made gains against i.s.i.s. in this terrain, they have succeeded in keeping i.s.i.s. out of haditha and other areas, and then we see i.s.i.s. through the terrain, such as military bases north through fallujah, attacking near baghdad, near the syria-turkish border, a complex battlefield, and it's not clearly going to one side or the other. we need to understand that both
forces need to consider how to match i.s.i. >> john john boehner said the mission will not be successful. let's listen to what he said. >> i think it will take more than air strikes, at some point someone's boots have to be on the ground. >> he said you cannot rule out american combat troops. you co-authored a study arguing that significant forces that we need combat troops in iraq and syria, and ordered to get rid of i.s.i.l., do you think given the political environment, that happen. >> interestingly, discussions about what it would take are holding true to the administration statement that, to disproi and com -- destroy and complete - i agree it may not happen from the air.
i think we have to keep the eye on the ball. we need to establish how ground forces will retake control, and the ground forces, fighting back against i.s.i.s., iraq and syria, are not necessarily prepared. what are the how is that brings about control of mosul and raqqa re-established, we really need to set our sights. >> if we are prepared to take on the issue, are we talking about american forces, or do we think sunni governments which have become allies against i.s.i.l. with the united states could provide the fighting necessary to do what needs to be done to get rid of the terrorists? >> all coalition partners need to take inwentry of what -- inventory of what ground forces are available. talking about iraqi and syrian force, the mission is robust and
urgent. i expect those missions and troops going forward need advisors going forward too. >> advisors is one thing. 25,000 combat troops is another. >> combat troops engaged in a train and assist mission, or against the sunnis and people in syria behind i.s.i.s. lines, add up to numbers that size quickly. >> jessica lewis, good to see you to get your insight. a complicated situation. i know you are studying. we look forward to having you thanks. >> thank you so much. >> for more that it will play a bigger role, we are joined from istanbul by a former turkish diplomat, chairman of the economic and foreign policy study center. and visiting in brussels.
turkey, until now, seemed reluctant to get involved, now we are hearing and seeing signs that it is ready to join the coalition. turkey's government it is hoped will order cross-border and matters in iraq. move? >> there's definitely a change, and there's fundamentally three reasons for the train. the first, of course, the fact that the hostage crisis has been resolved. until recently, a week ago, i.s.i.s. had 49 turkish hostages. they had captured them in mosul. those hostages were released and are back home safe and sound. the second reason that there has been immense pressure on turkey politically from its allies, particularly washington. to take a more active part in
the campaign. finally, i.s.i.s. is really a big threat to turkey itself. perhaps more so than the u.s. so there was every reason for turkish policy makers to want to become part of the campaign against i.s.i.s. we knew that i.s.i.l. posed a threat to turkey, but there hadn't been a movement. one of the things you point out is the pressure on turkey. there's reports that the turkish president recep tayyip erdogan was stung by some criticism and sounded different over the weekend to 10 days ago. let's listen to what he said. >> translation: it cannot be limited to iraq or syria, because we have to wage a common fight against terrorism. if we cannot do that, the measures you take against terrorists would vary and would be limited to a region. operations. so is he signalling that
troops. >> what he is signalling, is that there is a willingness on the turkey side to make a broader campaign, really addressing the problems of syria, particularly, and also iraq. so what the now president recep tayyip erdogan is saying is na turkmenistan would be willing to contribute to the campaign militarily, but the big question is whether turkey is ready to do this unilaterally. i don't think that is the thinking in ankara, they want to pressure their partners to be part of this campaign. it is providing a no-fly zone that would protect the troops border. >> that is difficult. the border, your border is a long border with syria, because it's about the distances the
crow flies from new york to detroit. that's an issue that the west has had, what turkey has been doing or not, is that too much oil and fighters are going back and forth between turkey and syria. how can turkey control the border and stop i.s.i.l. making money and getting fighters from your side of the border? >> well, that's certainly a tall order. i think the previous situation was that turkey was turning a blind eye to the - at least the fact that the fighters were crossing the border, believing that these many elements of the syrian opposition including this one, would help with ankara's agenda to do - to accelerate regime changes in syria. now that the policy ended, that policy shifted and we see this clearly with the strength and border control.
however, it would be false to say in this provides an absolute level of security and certainty. the border is long, difficult to patrol, geographically complicated as well. there's no guarantee that this flow will stop. the only thing that authorities can do really is to strengthen to the maximum their border security. but - but, really, the traffic of jihadists may still continue, albeit on an abated scale. >> one of the things you mentioned is it the threat turkey faces from i.s.i.l., and now there are tanks taking up position on the syrian border, near the city of kobani, where there's intense fighting and a lot of shells falling on to the turkish side of the border. you have a million and a half
syrian refugees, including 150,000 that came from the area where the fighting is, just in recent days. it has gotten intense from a security standpoint for turkey. >> absolutely, it's a changing and complicated issue for turkey, which is why they are willing to establish a safe haven across the border. they have a double function. first, they provide refuge to the internal displaced persons of syria, because of the fighting, but they provide an area where the syrian opposition could safely be trained and equipped so they have a more effective campaign against bashar al-assad. that's the reason turkey is pushing the agenda forward. >> right, turkey has no love loss with bashar al-assad, and believes he needs to be dealt with was part of whatever gets done in that region.
i want to end asking you about something that you said. turkey is a nato member. the american air base in turkey, inser lick has not been allowed to be used to attack i.s.i.l., iraq and syria. you believe that may change and, in fact, it may have already public? >> i think so. now that the turkish government has shifted the position for the first time since the beginning of the crisis, president recep tayyip erdogan said they'd be ready to contribute militarily, i think ankara would give a green light for the u.s. if they asked to use the interlick air base. there were report that some of the fighter planes against some of the i.s.i.s. targets in syria came across the turkish borders.
the turkish government refused the claims. nonetheless, i think the turkish government would be ready to give a green light if it comes to that. >> that would be an important change for the coalition. pleasure to have you with us. thank you very much. >> now for more stories from around the world. we begin in afghanistan. after months of turmoil, ashraf president. both sides claimed fraud in the hotly contested election. ashraf ghani swore in his political rival abdullah abdullah as a chief executive. after the deal was done, abdullah abdullah threatened a boycott because of a dispute over office speak and whether he could speak. an agreement was reached and the two appeared united at the ceremony.
on tuesday president ashraf ghani is expected to sign the bilateral agreement, allowing 10,000 troops to remain in afghanistan, to train and advise afghan security forces. former and president hamid karzai refused to sign that agreement. next we head to new york, where israeli prime minister binyamin netanyahu addressed the united nations. he mocked what he called iran christopher gibson's crocodile tears over -- iran's crocodile tears over i.s.i.l. comparing them and hamas to the narzies. >> the narzies believed in a better race. they disagreed who would be the master of the master faith. three days ago palestinian authority mahmoud abbas accused israel of genocide, war crimes in a 50 day conflict leaving palestinians and dead.
>> binyamin netanyahu said they did everything, and hamas did everything to maximise them. >> we end in japan, where a massive and surprise volcanic eruption killed three dozen people. mt ontake is a popular hiking destination. at least 250 were on the mountain. smaller eruptions occurred seven years ago, the last major eruption was in 1979. that is some of what is happening around the world. coming up, the mysterious respiratory virus sickening kid, paralyzed. first, thousands of the protesters packed hong kong's financial center to protest against what is supposed to be a
democratic solution. and harmeli aregawi tradition the weeing. >> protesters are becoming a palpable force on social media. while you watch. let us there's more to financial news than the ups and downs of the dow. for instance, can fracking change what you pay for water each month? have you thought about how climate change can affect your grocery bill? can rare minerals in china affect your cell phone bill? or how a hospital in texas could drive up your healthcare premium? i'll make the connections from the news to your money real.
could run for the elections in 2017. police officers were hurt on sunday when they accused tear gas and pepper spray against the protesters. >> i was here. we are using umbrellas to protect ourselves. >> for more, i'm joined in new york by gordon tan, contributor to "the daily beast" and others. the story you published in "the daily beast" is entitled "fear marrial law is coming. the issue is beijing can't afford too much democracy in hong kong, because they compare it to a virus. >> if people in hong kong can vote in meaningful elections, people in shanghai will want to do the same.
in shanghai there was a demonstration of people in support of hong kong protesters, and asked for a free vote in shanghai. the other thing is xi jinping, the ruler of china, from 2007 to 2013, they are his policies, so no one wan crit same them -- no one can criticise them. creating inflexibility. >> china tried to control the internets and the media - not all of this gets out. people in shanghai were talking about it, and out in the streets. there's no way they can control the vir u the democratic -- virus, the democratic containent. >> people around hong kong know what is happening in the city. people in gone dong province know about it.
they have this problem that the leaders are concerned about. this is an existential issue. >> like tena men square -- tyna men square was. how brutally do you think the down? >> they'll probably do what they did in 1989. xi jinping is a tough guy. state media discussed sending in the police, which is military, restoring order if hong kong authorities can't. there are rumours, some are about putting the p l.a., the people's liberation army on a higher state of readiness. i think beijing is ready to do something. we will not know. it is not in beijing's long-term view to allow hong kong to be a
self-governing place. >> each though that is what they agreed to - let's listen to josh ernst at the white house and what he had to say. >> the united states reports universal coverage, and supports the people. >> the basic law would allow for a level of democracy and the people electing officials by themselves. it's a thing called one country, two systems. completely fantasy, really. >> it is fantasy. the beijing authorities called tibet autonomous, saying the same thing about shin jong. where the uyghurs are. you have the brutal policies. china is tough on internal dissidents. their mind-set is 1989 they stopped democracy across the country. they spilt blood, but taught the
chinese people a lesson, and foreign countries didn't do anything about it. >> do you think this was inevitable. hong kong was a financial center, it had freedoms for decades before the chinese took over, and then you tried to meld that with a system where there is no freedom. it's like a - it's too irresistible. you can't possibly make those two positions work. >> yes, it was irreconcilable and had to happen. people in hong kong are educated, cosmo poll tap and will not be treated like infants. they are saying "this is my city, this is my future." that is something where, you know, essentially both sides are digging in, and neither can make a compromise. >> listening to the white house, what will that mean for u.s.-china relations? >> they are on a difficult path.
words. at the end of the day, so many other problems. this will be a minor one. the one thing that can do is shake china. that will shake things. and shake the economy which is slowing down. it's an important financial center. so many different issues. we'll see what this holds. >> now, for more on how the protests are playing out, let's check in with harmeli aregawi. >> the chinese government ramped up online censorship to keep a lid on the protest. it's the biggest ever crackdown on social media. beijing blocked photo sharing app instagram. china's version of twitter, weibo, has seen an unprecedented of posts deleted. the government blocked news about the protest, phrases such
as hong kong police - they are blocked online. the protests have been dubbed the umbrella revolution. that term has been blocked. there has been no sign of the uprising on chinese state media, one tv station claiming thousands gathered in hong kong were there to celebrate national day, which is wednesday. people shared screen grabs of that on twitter. social media appears to be unrestricted in hong kong. contained. >> switching to a growing health threat in the u.s. monday colorado said the centers for disease control began to investigate cases where children developed limb weakness or paralysis. four tested positive for a virus from the same family as polio. it has been confirmed to have sickened 277 people in 40
states, and the district of columbia. most kids, and by friday. symptoms resembled a common cold, and can cause respiratory infections, leading to paralysis and breathing districts. i'm joined by dr anthi falchy, director of the institute of allergies and infectious diseases. c.d.c. swirls 277 -- confirms 2 # 7 cases -- 277 cases, more are expected. there's a concern about the virus in a way it has not spread before. and now a link to paralysis. what do you think is going on? it's a mystery. it's a substantial outbreak. we have had outbreaks much entero virus d68 is a
particularly nasty virus. what it is is associated with significant respiratory distress and illness, particularly in children with a propence itty to getting asthmatic responses, what we call hyper active airways or asthmatic responses when exposed with viral diseases. it's problematic for them, and caused problems in children. the outbreak is coming at the time of the year when you expect an entero virus outbreak, late summer, early fall, which is where we are now. the issue with the paralysis is perplexing. there has been, out of eight children that were studied with it, there has been entero virus associated with four out of the eight. that doesn't necessarily mean cause and effect. but it is
circumstance cum substantially suggested that there is a link, and that is what they are trying to study what the association is between the virus and muscle weakness, seeing. >> some of the children have the entero virus, and some of the not. >> correct. that's the big puzzle - why you are not seeing it. if it is cause and effect, why are we not seeing it in all of the children afflicted with this paralysis syndrome. >> eight of the colorado kids that experienced muscle weakness have - are up to date on the polio vaccines. i know that the entero virus is in the polio family, but the polio vaccine would not protect against it. a polio vaccine would not
protect against this particular virus. it's the broad family, when you look at the entero viruses, there's a broad family. within that, there's polio virus, echo, katachi and the general viruses of which d68 is one. they are related, but have different characteristics. >> in denver, it's the only cluster of patient with the worst symptoms of paralysis. what does that suggest? >> you know, it's a puzzle. it's tough to say what it is. that's the reason why there are no definedive statements that it is the entero virus 68 causing this. as you mentioned correctly, there are over 270 reported cases of the entero virus, yet you have a cluster of children in colorado, who have the paralysis syndrome.
there's a lot of unanswered questions there, whether there's something else going on, besides the infection. now. >> those 277 are the ones that have been confirmed. because there are all these reports of hospitals being swamped with kids having these breathing problems. in this case, kids that suffered the paralysis, m.r.i.s showed a legs on the spinal court. do you think they'll -- spinal cord. recover. >> it's tough to say. position. >> i know you haven't reviewed their cases. >> right. >> is there anything? what should parents do. apparently this is a virus that moves fairly quickly, that causes breathing problems quickly, what should parents do. well, you have to really revert back to the standard recommendation that we give of
any respiratory transmitted. an important issue, washing hands as often as you can. avoid touching your face, nose, mouth, eyes. that's how you can get infected. you touch your hand, rub your eyes, nose, hand. to avoid that as much as possible. that is typical respiratory hygiene. then there's an issue, if you are a parent, and have a child with a propensity to develop asthmatic attacks spontaneously through environmental exposure, or they are infected with a virus. if you control the baseline as matting situation as best as you can, if the child is infected, you are starting right away on a much firmer ground. if you have asthma, that's already a little out of control, and then you get in effected
with this, that is when you get problem. >> important to get the kids to the hospital quickly. >> yes, indeed. if you see a child with a respiratory distress, get the child to the proper care facility. >> dr anthony, thank you for joining us to bring some light to this entero virus. >> good to be with you. >> straight ahead. tensions continue in ferguson. an african-american community controlled by a majority white city council christopher gibson is not just a missouri problem. >> the one thing almost everyone does that could be shrinking your brain. later - why does the u.s. need a >> protestors are gathering... >> there's an air of tension right now... >> the crowd chanting for democracy...
>> i don't really know what's going to happen to me... >> of oscar winner alex gibney's hard hitting series... edge of eighteen >> i'm never going to appoligize for the type of person that i am >> facing tough challenges... >> we do feel cheeted, by the american university process >> taking a stand...
>> it's gonna be on my terms, on how i want it to be >> boldly pursuing their dreams >> what did i do? >> the lives of american teenagers... on the edge of eighteen only on al jazeera america a we turn now to where eight protesters were arrested as police stepped up a search for a man that shot a police officer in the arm on saturday. continuing protests and violence since the shooting of michael brown highlighted how in communities across the nation african-americans are under represented in local elected positions. the numbers are dramatic. blacks represent about 12% of the overall population, they make up 4.3% of city councils, and 2% of mayors. for more, we are
joined from san diego by a political science lecturer. he is the author of america's "island democracy." zoltans, good to have you with us. let's start with why african-americans are poorly represented in so many positions. numbers are stark. in ferguson's case, the issue is absolutely abyss mall turn out to the polls. >> there's a complex story to the representation of blacks. one the biggest is a low turn out. ferguson is not a typical, but a great example. in the last municipal election 6% of blacks turned out to vote, versus 17% of whites. whites were three times more
likely to vote, giving them a bigger say, and they can elect representatives of their choice, and that is what is happening in ferguson, and around the country. to give you the overall numbers, blacks were 4.3%, but represent 12% of the population, it's a broad phenomenon. >> let's talk about the other causes in a minute. when it comes to turn out. you think there's something that can be done to make it better. there's an easy solution. one of the things that cities do is they old off elections. on any given day that's not related to a national statewide election, they have a small election and low turn out. maybe sa quarter of the adult population, typical, local owned. with the low turn out elections, you tend to have skewed turn
out. racially skewed, class skewed turn out, and the simple solution is moving the date of local election to coincide with presidential or national election, that almost invariably doubles turn out, making it more representative. minorities - so they have more of a say. >> it's cheaper for localities, moving the election, making it simultaneous with elections is cost effective. the city of concord california, stand alone elections cost around 58,000 more than twice as much as running a local cycle election - off-cycle election. >> absolutely. rather than doing everything themselves, cities can pay off part of it to the state-wide authorities and save money. it's easy to do. most cities only have to pass a local law, and they could shift
to these kinds of elections. >> now, the issues out there - there are not... >> there's, again, a number of factors. if you switch to these concurrent elections with presidential or state-wide elections, blacks would turn out in lower rates. they typically, because they are socially economically disvenged. turn out is lower. blacks, even with a change, would turn out less, and you have fewer african american candidates, part is due to socioeconomic status. >> a lot of the positions, city council position, things like that are not well paid. they are part-time positions. they are disproportionately filled with white collar workers who can afford to do the jobs.
>> exactly. >> there's a flow issue. typically you move up the ladder from the smallest position up to city council, up to mayor, and state legislature. if you are poor or struggling, working class, you don't have the time, so you don't start the ladder. >> you wish it would not be an issue, necessary for blacks to represent blacks, or whites represent whites. obviously we are seeing the problems that the lack of representation causes these situations, because it has all sorts of economic consequences that are too long to get into now. this is also as you referred to. this is not just african-americans, it's asians. >> all these minority groups are underrejected. i wouldn't say you have to have minority representation.
there are white officials that pursue policies that minorities favour, and it's the no the case that whites are all descrim gnatry. but they may not know the local community, the black community, and may not know it's needs and have a different set of preferences. this is a latino problem, and an asian american problem as well, in terms of having candidates run for office in terms of turn out, and in terms of having office. democracy. thanks. >> thank you. >> coming up, construction is about to begin on a massive 1.3 billion telescope. some stars of the celestial kind. better be ready for the close up. a first for many of us. the only way to survive the work day - it could do bad things to the brain.
>> on techknow. we're heading to cutting edge cal tech campus >> here's a look at just a few of the students shaping the future of science >> see the latest research, discoveries and breakthroughs inside some of the worlds most advanced labs. >> how do you scale somethig you learned from a jelly fish? >> techknow every saturday go where science meets humanity. this is some of the best driving i've ever done, even though i can't see. techknow. we're here in the vortex. only on al jazeera america.
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only on al jazeera america next. today's data dive assumes the risk of multitasking. if you are among millions of people that use several electronic devices at once, you may want to stop. british researchers found we may be splitting our focus and shrinking parts of our brain. scientists at the university of sussex found second streaming - watching the tv, using the ipad, can shrink the brain matter in the singular cortex. it is a section controlling emotion, reasoning, empathy and impulse control. part of this is which comes first, the chicken or the egg. people with smaller acgs are likely to use multiple devices.
the work shows the downside of second screaming, including a link to regression. millions of americans use multiple forms of media at once - i do it all day. half of smartphone owners and tablet devices use them whilst watching tv, all the time. more than two shirts of people admit they do it multiple times a week. users go to the computer or smartphone for web searches or email. half the people will enhance their viewing experience by looking up information on plot line, actors or athletes they are watching. that is encouraged by television executives. second screen experiences have become routine marketing tools for tv networks looking to get more online traffic from the viewers, that activity keeps people tuned in longer, women that tweeted during this year's oscars broadcast watched the
award show for 39% longer than those that didn't tweet. it could make the experience enjoyable but could hurt you in the long run. >> coming up, what can you see with a $1.3 billion telescope? >> now available, the new al jazeea america mobile news app. get our exclusive in depth, reporting when you want it. a global perspective wherever you are. the major headlines in context. mashable says... you'll never miss the latest news >> they will continue looking for survivors... >> the potential for energy production is huge... >> no noise, no clutter, just real reporting. the new al jazeera america mobile app, available for your apple and android mobile device. download it now so many money stories sound complicated. but don't worry. i'm here to take the fear out of finance. every night on my show i break down confusing financial speak and make it real.
>> i'm joie chen, i'm the host of america tonight, we're revolutionary because we're going back to doing best of storytelling. we have an ouportunity to really reach out and really talk to voices that we haven't heard before... i think al jazeera america is a watershed moment for american journalism
is it a bird, a plane, a space drone - the x 37 b is a mini space shuttle, but no one is telling us what it does. the pentagon says it's classified and when asked about it the commander of the air force space command william shelton said: "eva bee's jamboree" contributor -- al jazeera america america's chief contributor dr derrick fitz from the franklin institute science museum. there has been theories about what it does, some say it's an orbital bomber, some say it carries and repairs spy satellite or could be a spy satellite. the military says it will only be used to "conduct experiments
on new technologies", what do you think it is being used for? >> for one thing it's proving out the concept of a small space plane that could be used for interesting missions. it is the smaller version of what the space shuttle used to be like, and it's working very well, but as you point to, what is it doing? we don't know what it's doing. what i think it's doing for sure, i believe that it's being used for surface reconnaissance, political hot spots on the planet. it's the perfect side to be used as a platform from which you could mount a camera, and if you wanted to put a satellite on board to launch into space and retrieve, it would be the perfect vehicle. i think it is used to keep tabs on what is going on in the hot spots around the planet. >> why be hush, hush. we assume the pentagon has
satellites it can use to spy and look at what is going on around the world. it started at n.a.s.a., the military took it over and classified it in 2009. so far we know it's flown three missions. it's been on a long mission, 657 days and counting - but that is about as much as we really know. >> i think what makes it - why they keep it secretive is because of its capability, i think it has the ability to change its position in orbit, because it dan do that -- it can o that it makes it valuable, interesting, and the technology about what this thing can do, what its capabilities are is valuable information that they don't want to disclose. i think they would prefer it not be copied by other space-faring countries. and i think the idea is if we can keep it under wraps, not say
anything about it, the less known about it, the more of a secret we could keep it. >> i would love to know what it's doing. let's change topics. an exciting project on earth. it's not classified but expensive - $1.3 billion. the ground-breaking ceremony is next week, a telescope in hawaii, one of the largest in the world. why is this so important, derek? >> the reason why a 30 meter telescope is important is there's only so far out into space you can reach with the telescope, and astronomical researchers find we need a better reach to the cosmos, and better clarity, refinement and resolution. 30 meter telescope will be the largest and most powerful on the planet. it's three times bigger than the largest telescope, and if you compare it to the hubble space telescope, that's only 2.4 meters.
this is 10 meters, up 30 meters in size. so it has incredible capability to speak about the form and evolution of the earliest galaxies in the universe and help us to understand the formation of planets and stars, particularly planets orbiting. instrument. >> why hubble and the james webb telescope, why spend all that money on telescopes in space or going into space if we can do so much from the earth? >> hubble space telescope was the technology of a time, 20, 25, 30 years ago when it was designed to work within the engineering that we knew at the time. nowadays the telescopes have a greater advantage, in that we figured out a way to make the atmosphere's turbulence a nonissue.
that's one of the major hallmarks about the telescope. it will use an adaptive optative system, to monitor the turbulence. to remove the turbulence from the observe vasion. it's essentially like a telescope, but on the surface, and we eliminate launch costs, maintenance and all those things that come with a telescope being in earth orbit. it will work in conjunction with james web telescope, and others, coming online when the 30 meter telescope comes into operation. >> we'll see some great pictures in the not too distant future. that's all for now. coming up tuesday, the mayor of atlanta will join me to discuss the role immigrations and race relations will play in the upcoming elections.
the conversation continues on the website aljazeera.com/considerthis we are on facebook and twitter ♪ >> demonstrators flood the streets of hong kong in what could be china's biggest political challenge. you are looking at live pictures behind me, i'll look at how we got here and what is at stake. also america's trillion dollars student debt burden is weighing on a whole other sector, the housing market. plus the highway project that is going nowhere fast. i'll tell you what brought it to