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tv   Viewpoint  Al Jazeera  April 4, 2016 8:00pm-9:01pm EDT

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hi, everyone, i'm john siegenthaler. welcome to our program we begin with the republican primary in wisconsin. donald trump is the front runner, but after a week of controversy, the pressure on him is mounting, and not just from ted cruz.
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michael shure is in milwaukee this evening. >> reporter: good evening, john. this is about a third full here right now. as they await donald trump to arrive here. donald trump and ted cruz making their way through wisconsin. both are confident. ted cruz has been up in the polls recently. he had this to say about his chances here tomorrow in wisconsin. >> i hope and believe tomorrow night is going to be a very, very good night here in wisconsin, and that in turn is going to have impact on races all across the country. the momentum we have had over and over and over again, we are winning delegates when the people vote. and i believe we'll continue doing that. >> reporter: donald trump is also putting a good face on what are bad poll numbers. here is donald trump today in wisconsin. >> i think a lot of big things are going to happen tomorrow.
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i think a lot of -- i'm seeing people that are professionals. and, you know, the polls are pretty even. right now the polls are pretty even, but -- but i have a feeling we're going to have a very big day tomorrow folks. [ cheers and applause ] >> i think so. >> reporter: trump is banking on one good poll, his first in ten days, but that is significantly the outlier from what we have seen in the past few days. >> what could a loss in wisconsin for donald trump mean? >> it's a narrative changer. he has tried to make wisconsin seem a lot like iowa, a state that the lost by very little to ted cruz. he spent his first night away from new york for the first time in a long time. it puts him a lot of pressure to get to that 1237 in other ways. he is going to have to look to maybe may 3rd, and indiana,
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another state where he has to prove his metal. he wants to make it as easy to get to 347. >> it seems like it is more likely that republicans are headed to a brokered convention. is there any way that can be avoided at this point? >> if you see donald trump win in wisconsin tomorrow, and win big in indiana, yes, he could roll through these primaries. you don't get the sense that that is happening. one interesting dynamic that has played out in the last few days -- as you see trump coming to the stage over my shoulder right now, john. but i'll just leave you and say in order to avoid that brokered convention, they are going to have to push aside john kasich, both cruz and trump have been working hard to do that. >> michael thank you very much. david haines is editor for
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the milwaukee senator. he is in milwaukee tonight. give me a sense of how significant tomorrow's primary is for republicans in your opinion. >> well, i think it's quite significant in the sense that the republican establishment here in wisconsin lead by governor scott walker and the legislative leadership, not to mention conservative media, lead by talk radio has tried to put up a firewall to stop trump. the last poll that we saw last week had cruz up by 10 points. trump was still at about 30%, which is where he had been stuck for the last couple of polls. so all of the support that would have gone to marco rubio apparently went to ted cruz. >> those supporting cruz, are they really supporting cruz, or is he just the anti-trump candidate? >> i think it's a marriage of
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convenience, john. i have heard some of the talk radio folks here say that ted cruz is maybe not even their second choice, maybe their third choice. of course governor walker would have been their first choice for many here in wisconsin. but cruz is not particularly well liked as we know in political circles, and his down-home religion style doesn't play as well in a state like wisconsin. but i think conservatives see him as a good conservative choice, and ideologically they do not think trump is conservative. >> what is it about wisconsin that doesn't seem to mesh with the voters, and donald trump? >> well, there is a certain segment of voters that he does connect with. i was at a rally last week. and we have lost thousands of manufacturing jobs in wisconsin. there is an economic angst here.
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jamesville had 19,000 in 1993, there is 9,000 manufacturing jobs there now. but there is something about trump who has given only a passing glance to the issues that i think of fengds voters. voters in wisconsin pay attention to the issues. >> well, and he has said now that he is going to bring his wife out on the campaign trail, and there is donald trump with his wife who is introducing him tonight. he is campaigning hard in wisconsin. so why, and -- and is he different than he was last week? >> well, i don't think so. i think donald trump is sort of like the kid who hasn't studied all semester, and now is cramming for the final exam. i'm just not sure he is going to get there, but we'll see tomorrow. >> and what about the democratic side, would it be over if bernie
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wins or if clinton wins wisconsin, is it over for bernie? >> i -- i don't think it is over for bernie. bernie has 40 some million dollars in the bank. bernie is doing very well here at the home of the badgers. but he is doing surprisingly well in the city of milwaukee, where you would think that would be hillary clinton's home turf. so he is up in the last poll i saw by two or three points. if he wins he'll keep soldering on. but the delegates here in this state are awarded proportionally, and even if he would win big, he would not get that more delegates than secretary clinton. >> what is going on with voting registration in your state? some people are saying it's almost impossible to register to vote in this primary.
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>> it has become harder because of rules put in place by the republican legislature in the last year. early voting hours are shorter than they once were, so it's a bit harder, but i think the turn out is going to be very high. the government accountability board which monitors elections in our state expects a turnout of perhaps 40% or more. our record was in 1960 when john kennedy won. and that was about 50%. so i think we'll have a good turnout. >> wisconsin is one of those states that has almost seen a political revolt in recent days. what has changed in the last couple of years about states like wisconsin? >> well, if you are talking about the -- the uprising over governor walker's proposals regarding unions, that goes back a couple of years. we saw gubernatorial elections
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in four years in our state after governor walker pushed through the legislation that cut the rights of public employees to bargain. and what that did was two things. it created a infrastructure for the republicans to fight that recall and reelect governor walker, but it also created quite a ground swell of support on the other side of the aisle. so we have gotten used to political battles here. >> and you would be surprised if donald trump won this primary? >> i would be very surprised. at the last poll i saw, it had trump closing that gap to about 6 percentage points, but he has not been in other states a good closer. late-deciding voters have typically not gone for him. that could change. he is doing a lot of campaigning here. >> he is campaigning tonight,
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and these are live pictures from his event. david it's good to see you. thank you very much. thank you. the governors of two of the most populous states in the country signed law raising minimum rage to $15 an hour. ines ferre reports on what could become a national trend. [ cheers and applause ] >> reporter: cheers and chants as california's governor signs into law, a state-wide minimum wage of $15 an hour. >> so this is about economic justice. it's about people. it's about creating a little tiny balance in a system that every day becomes more unbalanced. >> reporter: advocates of the increase say it will effect 43% of the state's work force who now earn less than $15 an hour. >> reporter: nobo--
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>> nobody wants to talk about how hard it is. >> reporter: even with her $10 an hour wage at mcdonalds and her husband working two jobs, she says it is not enough. >> they say can you take me to this place? and it breaks my heart to say no. >> reporter: the wage increase will be gradual going up to $10.50 for large businesses next year, and the following year for smaller ones. it will keep increasing until it reaches $15 an hour by the year 2020. >> we have basically handed out pink slips to a lot of california workers. they will know it as soon as that implementation starts to take effect. >> overall we find the positive
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impacts on worker's earnings far outweighs any negative impacts that you might have from raising the minimum wage. >> reporter: she says more money will allow her to give back to the economy and hopefully get off of government assistance. >> with $15 i'm not going to live rich, but at least it will be a decent life. new york state is also increasing its minimum wage to $15 an hour. hillary clinton has joined in the celebrating, but some say she is late to the partive and that bernie sanders has lead the way. david shuster has more. >> hello! hello new york! >> reporter: in manhattan monday just after new york governor signed a bill to raise the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour, hillary clinton joined him for the labor celebration. >> we need to build on what has been accomplished here in new york, and go all the way to
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washington and raise the minimum wage for everybody in america. >> reporter: but clinton's presidential campaign platform calls for raising the federal minimum wage to just $12 an hour. it's her rival senator bernie sanders who has steadfastly endorsed lifting it across the nation to the level new york has now made law. >> i believe that the minimum wage has got to be raised to a living wage, 15 bucks an hour! [ cheers and applause ] >> reporter: in recent months while clinton did not oppose the new york efforts, she did say at $15 an hour in general would put too much of a burden on rural areas and small cities. does that include rural areas in up state new york? on this day the clinton campaign would not respond. instead the candidate seemed to take a shot at sanders, saying new york success demonstrates
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lofty rhetoric is not as important as building political coalitions. >> some people get bored by that kind of talk. don't bother me with the details. let's just make it sound good. let's just feel good. well, i think we would still be sounding and feeling good if it hadn't been for the hard work. >> reporter: still clinton critics say it was hard work that she chose not to join, and they say her association at the end smacks of political opportunism, and this isn't the first time. clinton has been accused of flip flopping in this campaign, by joining progressive opposition to the keystone pipeline, and the trans-pacific partnership trade deal. >> i don't think it is in the best interests of what we need to do to combat climate change. >> reporter: polls suggest that clinton's biggest vulnerability is the perception, fair or not,
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that she has few core policy values. her success on new york primary could rest on the shoulders of governor cuomo and the rest of the establishment, nearly all of whom have pledged to help clinton win. so at every rally with them, clinton has been efusive. >> thank you, and god bless you! >> reporter: david shuster, al jazeera. in a unanimous decision today, the u.s. supreme court ruled states can draw up legislative districts based on a total population. the high court rejected al cha engineer brought by a conservative group in texas. the court said drawing up districts based on general population satisfies the 1-person-1-vote precedent set in 1962. an unprecedented document
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leak is sending shock waves arpgd the world today. 11.5 million pages that show some of the world's wealthiest and most powerful people have been hiding their money offshore to avoid tappaying taxes. >> reporter: panama city has long been a booming financial hub. it also has a reputation of money laundering for the world's rich. an image only to be encouraged from the release of millions of documents from a law firm that specializes in setting up off-shore companies. hundreds of journalists have analyzed the documents. they appear to show links to 143 politicians, among them, the president of argentin iceland's prime minister, and ukraine's president. an unprecedented leak of documents shows how vladimir
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putin's inner circle became very wealthy. his best friend is at the center of a scheme in which money from russia state banks is hidden offshores. all relatives and associates include the son of malaysia's prime minister. >> i think it raises sort of further questions for the political class as a whole, because european countries, the u.s., have been talking about greater transparency, switzerland has kind of cleaned up its act in terms of banking. but it turns out that off-shore companies are still very popular. >> reporter: investigators believe one of the companies supplied fuel for war planes that the syrian government used to bomb and kill tens of thousands of its own citizens. >> reporter: also revealed in the documents was a shell company in panama owned by leonel messi and his father.
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spanish investigators are currently investigating messi for tax evasion. here in latin america several countries have been linked to that firm in panama, including mexico, argentina, and brazil, and a mexico man who received hundreds of millions of dollars in state contracts instructed his aids to offshore much of his fortune. and the president of argentina failed to disclose the fact that he is a director of a company based in the bahamas. and in brazil billions of dollars paid in brides. adam raney, al jazeera, mexico city. the revelations in the panama papers sparked protests in iceland and plenty of outrage everywhere, but the people named in the documents are unlikely to face criminal charges, because off-shore banking is legal. >> reporter: an unremarkable
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office block in the capitol of a small country in central america. headquarters of a company that traded on secrecy and confidentiality, but which is suddenly under scrutiny. it helps the rich and powerful hide their wealth. it denies any wrongdoing. the millions of leaked documents suggest some clients were money laundering and avoiding sanctions. many were not breaking the law. the documents say leaders or former leaders of ten countries used tax havens. but relatives or friends of leaders from many more countries also hid their wealth according to the documents. tax avoidance is a global industry. >> they are paying effectively zero tax in many cases, and certainly much less than
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ordinary people, which is simply unacceptable. it's depriving governments around the world of vital revenue that they need to invest in helping ordinary people. >> reporter: about half of the companies mentioned were incorporated in british overseas territories. so in london, i asked one expert why britain isn't doing more. >> reporter: the prime minister has forced u.k. companies to open up and say who owns them. and in a month's time there is a anti-corruption summit. and it's a golden opportunity that shouldn't be missed. >> reporter: although for david cameron there is some embarrassment. the documents say his late father set up an account to avoid paying taxes in the u.k.
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more documents will be released in the coming days. barnaby phillips, al jazeera, london. coming up next, sending them back, mass deportations of refugees from the e.u. to turkey now underway. and they call it friendship park. the only place along the u.s. mexico border where separated families can come together.
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in europe today a new deal has taken effect to return asylum seekers to turkey. in that country is now accepting
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refugees who entered the european union illegally. harry fawcett reports. >> reporter: the arrival of this first boat from greece this vast experiment in european border control began in earnest. 68 people, the first of 202 arriving on monday who authorities say had not claimed asylum in greece and had agreed to be returned to turkey. turkey says the majority of pakistanis and afghans, unless they claim asylum here will be sent to their home countries. the provincial governor said no syrians were coming ashore on this first day, and no permanent refugee camp would be set up here. >> reporter: but as the arrivals were processed another group was being brought to another dock, these men had set off in the
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early hours of the morning just up the coast to make the journey to greece. they called police when their boat began to sink. >> we are happy. we are saved now. >> reporter: you were trying to get to greece? >> yes. reporter: for the e.u. the key question about this deal is will it work? certainly the numbers trying to leave the turkish coast for greece have declined in recent days, but the motivation remains for many, and some say the deal could spark further motivation among those returned. syrian returnees will be put to the end of the line of possible re-entry into europe. >> what are their chances to make it? even if they know they are at the end of the line? it is -- maybe it was close to zero. but now they know it is zero. no. so in that case, what is your next best option? try it again.
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>> reporter: thousands of kilometers away, germany did begin accepting the first syrian refugees sent legally from turkish camps. but it seems something like an advance, but no syrians were among the first group of arrives from greece on monday. if this was the first test of the system, it was designed to be as trouble-free as possible. there will be sterner tests as the voyages become more regular, and the efficiency and fairness to those being brought back. now to the immigration debate in this country. while the battle plays out in washington, some of the people caught in the middle are meeting face-to-face. these encounters occur at a place called friendship park. jennifer london reports. >> reporter: behind these steal gates unlocked for a few short
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hours this weekend, you'll kind the only place where families torn apart by immigration can do this. see, talk, and even touch each other. it's called friendship park. to get there, we travelled to the southern-most tip of california, borders by tijuana, mexico, on the other side. but the only road into the park is sometimes closed for six months out of the year, because of possible flooding, which means the only other way into the park is to hike a mile and a half down this dirt road. >> reporter: when the rain comes it casts a dark shadow, but does nothing to dampen the spirits of those who have traveled so far to get as close as they can. this tiny finger reaching through the fence on the u.s. side is searching for the hand of her father. he was deported from san diego, leaving behind his wife and two daughters, all u.s. citizens.
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they haven't seen each other in more than a year. >> translator: i'm so happy, i was able to see them. the little one as grown a lot, and now she is walking. and i'm very happy to be able to see them. >> reporter: his wife alice isn't want her face shown but talked to me through the fence. her daughters wet and muddy from the rain. the ability for the girls to reach through and actually kind of connect with their dad in a way that they haven't been able to, what -- what does that mean for you? >> it is nice. you know, he is here. so that way they can see each other. and touch and talk. i mean they talk over the phone, but it's not the same as seeing him. we're going to come back next week and see him again. and at least for a month. they are happy they know who he is. and they don't forget him. that is the main point; that they don't forget him.
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>> reporter: a few hours later, we met this woman. she and her two daughters traveled some 1500 miles. through the fence she blows kisses to her grandson dillon. she is meeting him for the first time. >> translator: i don't have words to explain what i felt, just that -- all of the emotion of seeing my family and my children, well ten years is -- for me it sounds easy, but for me it is a long, long, long time. >> reporter: do you know when you will see your son and your sdauth -- daughter-in-law, and grandson again? >> reporter: i have no idea. the truth is, i can't imagine it. >> reporter: so for now, the few hours spent here will have to carry the family through the next few months or even years. both families say they hope
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immigration reform will happen this year, so moments like this won't have to be shared through a rusty metal fence. jennifer london, al jazeera, friendship park, along the u.s.-mexico border. coming up next, chicago in turmoil. the dramatic rise in murders, and the police department searching for answers.
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>> this is one of the most important sites in the century. >> this linked the mafia and the church. >> why do you think you didn't get the medal of honor? >> i can't allow you not to go into that because that is your job. >> we gonna bring this city back one note at a time. >> proudest moment in my life. >> "inside story" takes you beyond the headlines, beyond the quick cuts, beyond the soundbites. we're giving you a deeper dive into the stories that are making our world what it is.
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wisconsin voters go to the polls tomorrow in the state's primary election. hillary clinton appears to be trailing vermont senator, bernie sanders. a key contrast as emerged on trade deals. clinton has gone back and forth on free trade agreements like nafta. sanders says it has cost wisconsin thousands of skrobs. diane eastabrook is in milwaukee where bernie sanders is holding a rally right now. diane? >> reporter: that's right, john. bernie sanders took the stage about 15 minutes ago to a very enthusiastic crowd here at milwaukee. he is talking about opportunity. he is talking about jobs, and
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that is a very important issue here in milwaukee. this is state that has lost a lot of manufacturing jobs over the last 10 or 20 years. many of those jobs have gone to mexico. so sander's stance on trade is resinating with a lot of the union workers here in milwaukee. in blue collar milwaukee, where lucrative union jobs have been disappearing, senator sander's stance on free trade strikes a chord with this worker. >> bernie is fed up with the trade deals the united states has negotiated, and what it has done to workers and workers rights. >> reporter: in a law school poll released last week, 46% of wisconsin voters surveyed said free trade agreements were bad for the country, while 37% said they were good. in that could be a big problem for hillary clinton in milwaukee. she has flip flopped on the
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north american free trade agreement in the 20 years since her husband signed the deal. and she was late to oppose any trans-pacific partnership deal endorsed by president obama. the primary is now coming down to a matter of who to trust, clinton or sanders. >> it is just seemingly now, to me, anyway, that hilary is speaking more to the worker benefit because of where it is, because there is an election going on. >> reporter: clinton spent monday campaigning in new york, but she and sanders have been criss crossing wisconsin in the past week. at a rally friday, clinton vowed to bring back union jobs. >> so i want us to change our tax code. instead of providing incentives to export jobs, we're going to penalize people who export jobs. >> reporter: sanders didn't specific take on clinton, but
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reiterated his support of unions. >> it was the trade union in this country that gave us a middle class. [ cheers and applause ] >> and in a sense what this campaign is about is building on what the union movement has done. >> reporter: kevin says both clinton and sanders are good candidates. he is still deciding who will get his vote. >> i got a stack of mail with fliers from them. so i'm going to go through those tonight and vote tomorrow morning. >> reporter: united steal workers hasn't endorsed a candidate yet. all of the steelworkers that we talked to today, who said they supported bernie sanders, said they would have no problem supporting hillary clinton if she becomes the nominee. violence is on the rise in chicago. the city has not seen rise in
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violent crime like this in years. 35 shootings this weekend alone. and it shows little signs of slowing. >> reporter: for a lot of chicagoans this pretty much sums up the city's violence right now. a man doing a walk and talk video selfie is suddenly shot in brood daylight. [ gunfire ] >> reporter: chicago police say the video, posted to social media is most likely legitimate, and that the victim now in critical condition may have been a gang member himself. >> i have never seen nothing like this before. >> reporter: people living in the highest crime neighborhoods on the city's poor mostly black, south and west sides already know what the latest numbers confirm. the first three months of the year saw 141 murders in the city. that's a 71% jump from last year, and the highest the murder rate has been since the mid-1990s. i puts chicago on pace to reach
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500 murders in one year. much of it is happening within gangs. >> gangs in chicago have never been so fractious. >> reporter: criminal psychologist says the old order of just a couple of big gangs actually had an economic interest in minimizing murders, but no more. >> they have very little to hold on to, and they are holding on as passionately as they possibly can. >> reporter: always there was the video of police shooting and killing of laquan mcdonald. top officials have been concerned that the mcdonald case has lead to a police work slowdown. >> the ability to do your job underneath a fish bowl of what is happening right now is incredibly detrimental to policing. >> reporter: also in the fallout from the mcdonald case officers
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have had to fill out more paperwork on ever street stop they make. the number of street stops plunged from the start of this year, there over 61,000 to just around 9,000 in january of this year. >> it's as if the police have retracted and left a power vacuum, and the gang members are filling it. >> reporter: the police department is trying to put the best spin on the numbers. the major picked a veteran to lead the department. >> countless incidents of courage and professionalism far outweigh the few examples of excessive force. nevertheless, these incidents no matter how isolated undermine our entire department and our relationship with the community. we have to own it. and we have to end it. >> reporter: and at the very least the department says the murder rate for march rose at a
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closer pace. but some things are not changing, like the availability of illegal guns, and the poverty in these long-neglected neighborhoods. >> the best way to stop a bullet is with a job. >> reporter: and then there is the use of social media as a fuel for escalating violence. police call it social gra feety. women are now the fastest growing inmate population in both state and federal prisons, and confusion seems to be growing over how to handle inmates who are pregnant. some report being handcuffed, shackled, even chained on their way to the hospital during labor. roxana saberi spoke to two former inmates. >> john 28 states have no laws limiting the shackling of pregnant prisoners. even in those that do, studies show the rules are often
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ignored. >> my daughter -- there's no words for her. my daughter means the world. she's my joy. she's my pride. she's my light. >> reporter: her journey into the world began six years ago when her mother in a new york prison for selling drugs was awoken and told she was taking a trip. >> i had no idea where i was going. i just knew i had to go with the officer. they shackled me in my hands, my belly, and my feet. >> reporter: she was past her due date and brought to a nearby hospital to be induced. her wrists she says stay chained to the bed for the entire delivery. >> when you are cuffed to a bed you can't really lift your body up to push -- push a child out. you really can't lift yourself up. so the doctors are telling the
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officers to uncuff my hand, and they are telling the doctors no. >> reporter: according to federal statistics, the number of women in prisons is growing nearly twice as fast as men. the number rose by nearly 650%, with the vast majority serving time for non-violent drug offenses. but the system has been slow to adjust. the american medical association calls shackling during pregnancy, delivery, and recovery: >> the practice has been to shackle women one wrist and one ankle to their bed during labor. >> reporter: gail smith runs the women in prison project in new york. in 1999, she helped pass the first state law against shackling during pregnancy in illinois. >> we had a situation in cook
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county before our law passed where the woman's ankles were shackled together when it was time for the baby to come, the officer had gone down the hall on break. and she was really within a couple of minutes of her baby suffering permanent brain damage. >> reporter: 22 states now have laws limiting or banning the practice, but they are not always followed. in new york an anti shackling law was passed in 2009, which means this alleged treatment the next year was illegal. >> i hate that memory. i hate that everything was ruined. >> reporter: tina had her son blake in 2011, while held in new york for a drug conviction. she says she was handcuffed on the way to the hospital and shackled right after giving birth. >> it's like when am i going to see my baby? and they took me -- i think about 6:30 at night.
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and now i had wrists ankles, everything shackled. and i -- i was shuffled to the chair, and i was giving him his bottle and i couldn't -- i couldn't look at him. i felt so uncomfortable. [ laughter ] >> it didn't feel like my child was mine. my child never felt like he was mine. >> reporter: that impact may be a lasting one. according to the american psychological association: >> there are some dangerous people, some dangerous females who are pregnant. >> reporter: mark has run correctional facilities for become three decades. what is needed, he says is a culture shift, so allow for more flexible decision making. >> corrections general is a poll
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pollty -- policy-driven environment. i let my staff know, you know, it's okay -- you don't have to make a decision right away. there has to be a very high-level decision process, and sometimes it's real quick. sometimes it's of the essence, and getting shift commanders involved and wardens and other people involved right off of the bat with the medical directors the way to go. >> reporter: and the importance of reform can't be overstated, he says, because the better the start to the mother-child relationship, the better the chances for a healthy future. >> they are getting out, and if you want them to get out, connect to the community, be successful, or do well, and not come back, these are all part of the things you have to do. [ laughter ] >> reporter: new york amended its anti-shackling law in december. there are now requirements to train prison staff and teach inmates about their rights.
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and john, we reached out to the new york state department of correctionses to ask about the claims made by these two former inmates, but we did not get a response. >> an important story. and hard to believe this has happened all of these years. >> it's very surprising. coming up next, removing symbols of the confederate past.
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>> [chanting] yes we can! >> an historic election. >> you and i, we're going to change this county, and we will change the world. >> monumental decisions. >> mr. president, there's a one and three chance of a second great depression. >> first-hand accounts from the people who were there. >> their opinion was shocking. >> the challenges. >> he said, "i am president of the united states and i can't make anything happen." >> the realities. >> he stood up and said,
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"that's it, i'm finished." princeton university has decided to keep woodrow wilson's name on his public policy school. it follows protests last year, and a 32-hour sit in by a black student group. wilson was once the school's president, and the university says it wants to honor his legacy, while not endorsing all of his views. in new orleans, the battle over moving confederate monuments is heading to court. the city has been fighting for months to relocate the statute, but the effort has been stalled by legal challenges and threats against the contractor hired to move those monuments. jonathan martin reports. >> reporter: the plan to move four monuments from public state spaces in new orleans has been
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increasingly device i, now a federal court could decide. >> these monuments were put up as a symbol of defie&about the idea that all people would be treated equally in this city. >> making down the monuments is not the answer. >> reporter: during an explosive city council meeting in december, leaders voted to remove the statutes, which include statutes of general robert e lee, and jefferson davis. >> i believe we can do better. we deserve better, and we must do it now. >> reporter: but there's been swift opposition, with lawrence lee lawmakers sponsoring bills aimed at blocking local governments from moving monuments. pierre mcgraw's group is a plaintiff. >> i think you make a monument, and take it out of its original
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context, you take a lot from it. >> reporter: while a district court sided with the city. an appeals court ruled last month the statutes must stay up while the case is in litigation. mcgraw supports creating new monuments. >> it would be a new hero, or heros that have been forgotten. >> reporter: city councilman james grey says that is not good enough. confederate symbolism is especially offensive in new orleans. >> kids need to walk down the street and see symbols of themselves. symbols of their fathers, grandfathers, in places of honor. and not symbols of people who were their oppress ors. >> reporter: finding someone to move the monuments may be the
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next hurdle. the first contractor picked by the city backed out after death threats. and coming up next, john hawken berry on his career in journalism, the fight for disability rights and more after this.
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>> pushing the boundaries of science. >> we are on the tipping point. >> we can save species. >> it's the biggest question out there. >> it's a revolutionary approach. >> we are pushing the boundaries. >> techknow is going to blow your mind. >> our experts go inside the innovations, impacting you. >> this is the first time anybody's done this. >> i really feel my life changing. >> techknow, where technology meets humanity. only on al jazeera america. >> al jazeera america brings you independent reporting without spin. >> not everybody is asking the questions you're asking me today. >> we give you more perspectives >> the separatists took control a few days ago.
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>> and a global view. >> now everybody in this country can hear them. >> getting the story first-hand. >> they have travelled for weeks, sometimes months. >> what's your message then? >> we need help now. >> you're watching al jazeera america. in our conversation tonight, john hockenberry, an emmy award winning correspondent and best-selling author. and host of public radio's "the take away". he joined me recently. >> public radio has become a little bit self satisfied in its success, and its association with its audience, and i think there's a sense of conformity among the way people sound. and i defy that. i don't sound like the other public radio hosts.
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i'm recognizable, but i'm not as measured and -- you know -- people see that there's somebody there. it's not like there is somebody behind the curtain. the curtain is off. i am the guy behind the curtain. and that's something the public radio is hungry for. >> there's plenty of criticism of public radio, as you know -- >> yeah. >> -- that it's too liberal. what do you say to that? >> well, i mean, i disclose my political orientation. i'm basically a democrat, although i'm in more of the sanders camp sometimes, but i can definitely be in the rand paul libertarian camp sometimes as well, and i certainly have a strain of snoweden's sense of insurgency, in that we need to really be questioning the institutions around us. >> is that whole business of
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objectivity gone in that journalists don't have opinions? or they don't express them? >> i think it's absurd. you want to listen to somebody who is engaged in politics. brian williams used to say he didn't vote and that made him more credible and objective. it made him absurd, as far as i'm concerned. i think your engagement in politics is the extent to which one should listen to you. now you have to be fair. you have to be curious. you have to be honest and authentic. i'm very interested in what republicans are doing, and very curious as to what is going on with republicans. i might not necessarily vote for them, but that doesn't mean i'm unobjective in the way i view or report politics. >> you are engaged also through social media. talk about that. >> this is a mechanism of the
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audience asserting itself. and we wanted the audience to be a character. we didn't want the audience to be a character like on talk radio, where they call up and give their opinions. we wanted people to tell stories that we believed were relevant to the issues that we were talking about on the show. today we are talking about shortages of drugs and how doctors don't have any guidance on how they ration drugs, where one kid has to get a certain amount of drug, but there's not enough, so they have to decide between the two kids, and the doctors are saying there is no guidance here. and we said to our audience, tell us a situation where a shortage of medication has had an impact on your life. we got hundreds of stories. >> let me switch gears a bit. you are a ground-breaking journalist, a pioneer in many
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ways, and there are not a lot of people who looked like you on television when you got into television, and -- the added bonus that you were terrific at it. but the 25th anniversary of the ada, americans with disabilities act, how far has this country come? >> in terms of the media not very far. i'm still the only person you see in a wheelchair, regularly on the air. jim at nbc is disabled individual who has been very, very successful as a television reporter, although you would never know it, because he doesn't sort of visually identify that way. you know, i think there have been a lot of changes. i think america has changed in terms of its tolerance for all kinds of people who are different, who are other, whether they are immigrants or people with disabilities. i think america is also coming to a realization that it can't -- it can't program and
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design to a -- a normal average and be successful that way. and if you aren't willing to expect that the next person that comes through the door is different in ways you should be curious about, you are not going to make a difference. the act ung skoered that we don't do cultural changes really well. we're still struggling with race because the civil rights act was only a legal change in our racial problems in the united states. the cultural act, the cultural change of bringing the races together has yet to happen. >> but you can put the lifts in and the ramps in, but you have to change the mind set. >> the story i always sell is you can be outside of a lovely
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restaurant in manhattan, and there's steps there, and there's people walking by, and you say can you help me get into the restaurant here? and they will say isn't there some sort of law that is supposed to allow you to get in there? yeah, but it's just steps. can you just help me. or i can be in jordan and a place like kenya, and if there are steps into a restaurant, a crowd will form to help me into the restaurant. there is a sense of cultural we will help each other in a lot of places that the united states doesn't have, and i think sometimes that is a cultural tool that makes for a greater inclusion that sometimes, you know, we should do well to emulate. >> john, it is great to see you. >> it is great to see you, john. >> that's our program. thank you for watching. i'm john siegenthaler. ali velshi is next. ♪
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>> i'm ali velshi. stoorg"on target," tonight, iran beyond the deal. iran iiranians, the feeling is mutual. what a look on the inside reveals on iran beyond the deal. all week long al jazeera america is showcasing a selection of your


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