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tv   America Tonight  Al Jazeera  December 3, 2015 12:30am-1:01am EST

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one note at a time. >> proudest moment in my life.
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worked hard to prepare these field and plant them with corn, but nothing could prepare them for the effects of elnino. it is being blamed for a drought that has gripped guatemala. the farmer says his family's entire harvest was ruined.
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elnino has disrupted the weather pattern on which the farmers depend. it is supposed to be dry when it is supposed to be wet and vice versa. this is a third year he has been hit and he is worried how his family will survive. poverty in guatemala is widespread with millions of people surviving off the land. changing weather is cause for alarm. the world food programs mike vargus has been visiting farmers across guatemala. some had told him they had gone
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a month and a half without rain in the critical growing season. a 60% of corn and 80% of bean crops may be lost. the united nations is says hundreds of thousands of family will need food assistance. this is the worst dry season we have had since 35 years ago. it is affecting not only guatemala but from nicuargua as well. a million people affected by this inside their tiny mud shack his wife preparing corn tortias for their children which is what they eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. today she had to borrow a few pounds of corn meal for the dish. working to buy food isn't much of an option either.
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jobs here pay as little as $5 a day, if you're lucky enough to find one. >> translation: no translation >> reporter: in guatemala when food is scarce the youngest suffer the most. inside this hospital an hour from the main community, children are treated for malnutrition. this five month old is nearing the end of her stay. she suffers from a disease of
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mall nutrition caused by protein deficiency. she was so swollen with fluids she could hardly open her eyes. multiply her case thousands of times and it is clear why the consequencess for guatemala are far-reaching. health care workers worries that the food reserves continue to disappear and child malnutrition will rise. people working in draught ravisheked areas.
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they have to make smaller portions to give their children and that they eat them selves. they are trying to get the rotten corn in the fields to eat and that is not a good corn for that. >> reporter: some small farmers have turned to other work to try and ride out the crisis. this man is focused on his sewing after losing three months of food to the draught. in the past years he would use money from selling crops to buy shoes and on other necessities for his children. he sells to sew enough suits to make up the difference. next-door neighbour issing to sell their supplies. she dreams of life for her
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future. >> translation: no translation >> reporter: the majority the guatemalans are subsistence farmers. experts say that the elnino could drive people northment while that may appear to be a solution, it could deal another blow to the communities hit by draught. >> translation: no translation
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video the current draught and cream weather are likely here to stay. quoth is one of the ten countries most vulnerable to climate change. without the proper resources to study things like elnino and global warming, scientists are concerned. you have heard that are information is power. if we don't have information in this case, we are powerless. to predict how this conditions will be in the near future. i'm not talking five years but next year. >> reporter: ngos and guatemala's government are turning their attention to climate adaptation. in this community it means applying new techniques like kerr season and draught-resistant variety of corn an beans. these are kvelling this farmer
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hope. >> translation:-- giving this farmer hope. >> translation: no translation. >> reporter: elnino is expected to continue until march bringing more wild weather. guatemala subsistence formers hope these predictions are wrong. their families' few times depend on it. david mercer next we move to the california coast with the best indication of how big this elnino may be could come from the tiniest creatures live. also the kissing bug and its
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dangerous embrace. hot on the website tonight, starving in the city. the hunger and l.a.'s recipe for combatting it. at al tonight. top investigative reporting, uncovering new perspectives. >> everything that's happening here is illegal. >> then at 10:00 - it's "reports from around the world". >> let's take a closer look. >> antonio mora gives you a global view. >> this is a human rights crisis. >> and at 11:00 - "news wrap-up". clear... concise... complete.
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dried up. what we saw on the last segment in guatemala a sip of how severe this season's monster elnino
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will be. on the coast the impact will be very different. more mega storms said to saturate much of the west. already the first signs of trouble have emerged, sometimes from the smallest messengers. >> reporter: this little guy is the biggest indicator of a giant elnino at work. a huge die off of the red crab near san diego this summer was a surprise to scientists. so unusual, the aquarium needed permission to examine the crab because it has never been native to this coast. it moves through the entire food chain because everything is so intimately inter connected.
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>> reporter: gym vavell has led groups in the aquarium for 28 years. he tells me monterey bay has seen some visitors who have ridden north along in the waters. there is also blue fin tuna swimming around here. we have hammerhead sharks. >> reporter: he wouldn't normally this close?
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has been occurring repeatedly back as far as we can find records. what we don't know know is how climate change will affect elnino. >> reporter: the ocean plays host to an enormous range of creatures great and small. those tiny grabs to the predators who follow them north to eat them. we should try to understand these waters as a sort of blue serengetty like the great african desert and elnino is like mogadishu all the lines from one side of the continent to the other, except that the big predators here are even less predictable. a frenzy. a great white. my god >> reporter: great white sharks have been discovered in the san
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francisco bay before, but the attack on a sea lion in full view of tourists made waves because a video of it went viral on youtube sparking fears that elnino could be for blame in the increase of sightings. this is the first time it has been documented. >> reporter: this man runs the research foundation. his group is one of several in the area that is dedicated to monitoring and researching sharks off the california coast. great whites are not new here, but the warmer waters have made an impact on the shark population. what is new is the assembling of sharks. the population is moving north. >> reporter: on the water researchers are tracking the changes it is bringing up the coast. the animals are telling us that we're going to get a relative big elnino.
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>> reporter: in under water explorer can chronical temperature changes but the dna of these waters. each organism leaves a trail for the scientists to check what is happening beneath the waves. these pieces tell us the environmental conditions and others like these tell us what is swimming around >> reporter: they can see yes. they can see and count them and survey them. >> reporter: the tantalising question for scientists, is what is happening with this elnino a one season event or indication of long-term change underway along our coast lines. they're telling you things. you're the doctor doolittle of the sea. in some ways, yes >> reporter: is it clear that there's something to worry about?
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elnino being a destructive thing. in california has been asking for it. that is the two faces, the winners and losers. it depends on which side of the coin you are to decide if it's a good or bad thing next, a dangerous kiss. headed north into communities across the southern states a small creature that carrys a huge and potentially deadly threat.
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we talked about the enormous changes coming north with this year's monitor elnino, but another dangerous travel letter, the tropical disease transmitted by the so-called
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kissing bug has now been reported in two dozen states. it is one of many health threats even doctors need to learn more about. a startling look at the diseases among us. >> reporter: martin redder is on the move crying to coral killers roaming around houston. we will be there in 15 minutes. >> reporter: this is what he is looking for. mosquitoes, culprits behind a growing public health crisis. they're testing positive for tropical diseases. these men are on the front line fighting back we're trying to keep them alive until we get back to the lab >> reporter: houston is now one of the world's top ten hot zones for tropical diseases. that is why he is out every day checking some of the county's 268 mosquitoes traps.
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>> reporter: why are they enemy number one for you? reporter: near seriousness yes. >> reporter: ilnesses you're more likely to associate with africa. hook worm elephant diti,s, i can say faster than anybody. >> reporter: these are names most people could barely pronounce let alone has any knowledge about what they do that's right. they're the most important diseases you've never heard of. the billion people in the world that have no money has at least one of these diseases. >> reporter: including 12 million americans nearly all undiagno undiagnose-- diagnosed. they're neglected because there is so little research being done on them and no fda approved
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medicines or vaccines. i thought when we started finding these here. i thought people are really going to care about this issue. it was just the opposite. nobody cared. >> reporter: why? because most victims are poor. not exactly the ideal demographic for big pharma. he showed us why some impefrished areas-- impoverished areas are breeding grounds. on the right-hand side is piles of discarded tyres. >> reporter: stray dogs, run-down homes, broken windows, heaven for disease-carrying bugs. on either side you will see these big draining ditches that fill up with water. these provide perfect breeding grounds >> reporter: while they're considered diseases of poverty, they're also perceived as an immigrant problem and that needs to change says the doctor. we've got to get over this
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mentality that these are not diseases that are coming across our southern border. they're for the most port diseases for transmission here in the united states >> reporter: case in point this woman, born and raised in texas i did not live in a mud hut. i lived here in texas, grew up in a brick matrimonial home. i don't live in poverty. i've never been on a cruise. i've never left and went to another country. >> reporter: yet? reporter: in causes heart disease and go undetected for decades. two years ago she happened to learn she had it after donating blood. >> reporter: what did the doctors tell you?
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i went to an infectious disease doctor for my medication. he had never treated anybody were the disease. >> reporter: never treated anybody with this condition? reporter: she doesn't know when she got it, but she knows how. >> reporter: you know that you must have come into contact with some kind of so-called kissing bug that's right. >> reporter: sometimes a kiss isn't just a kiss no. it's not. in was a deadly kiss. >> reporter: typically found in most of latin america, kissing bugs are now popping up in the u.s. abdomen spreading this disease. the cdc estimates 300,000 people in america have the disease. a number consider to be grossly underestimated by this team. they are studding this disease. it's huge. imagine that being on your face. >> reporter: is that where it is trying to get to your lip?
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reporter: the bug carries parasites, fast twitching objects you see which enter the bloodstream and eat the cells surrounding the heart. a third of its victims will develop heart disease. this is a mass heart with the disease. see how it is dilated. the point is this is not a rare disease. 9.4 people living in poverty have this disease >> reporter: frustrated by the lack of attention these diseases are getting, he helped establish the nation school of tropical medicine, the only one of its kind in north america. with financial backing from nonprofits, including the gates foundation, the doctor and his team are doing what big fharm aisn't. >> reporter: what happens in here?
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it is still a fight to get the word out about these chronic and debilitating diseases. >> reporter: most of these people have no idea that they're living on the front lines of this yeah. the level of awareness of the neglected tropical disease is not only among people but physicians and health care providers is close to zero. >> reporter: the effects of these go beyond the physical. there's a social cost they cost poverty because they make people too sick to go to work >> reporter: then there is this they shave iq points off of kids. reduce intelligence and cognitive abilities among kids >> reporter: no-one, not parents or teachers are the wiser. most doctors don't screen for neglected tropical diseases. many patients will die never knowing why. you could say this woman is among the lucky ones if it is going to affect my heart, i want to know.
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i don't want it just to sneak up on me and i die from a heart attack and not have plans for my children. i've already increased my life insurance because i don't know when it's going to happen. >> reporter: for her, having annex on theic disease hasn't done overwell in other small south texas town. were you afraid of telling heme? reporter: there's a social stigma to have this there is it's one of the classic features of all of the neglected tropical diseases, that they cause social stigma. particularly for girls and women. it is not transmitted person to person. >> reporter: that is something
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she hopes her neighbors here when they see this story it is time that my town and everybody else knows about it >> reporter: why?
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>> we want to go bark and set the stage for what has better than a very difficult day in san bernardino, california. two suspects are dead after a gun fight with police t with the world news. britain has launched its first air strikes on syria hours after getting the green light from the u.k. parliament. turkey's president hits back as russia says it has proof he and his family are involved in smuggling oil with i.s.i.l. brazil has impeachment proceedings over