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tv   Headline News  RT  May 6, 2013 4:00pm-4:31pm EDT

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coming up on our t.v. the guantanamo bay hunger strike reaches its third three month mark home much longer will this last and how did we get to this point we'll dive into the topic just ahead. the syria war might have turned to a serious corner after reports surface of the use of chemical weapons but who was behind the sarin gas that question might not have a straightforward answer a deeper look at the latest developments coming up. and say bye bye to in person visitation is the travis county prison system in texas has launched a program to replace face time with video chat more on this growing disconnect later in the show. it's monday may sixth four pm in washington d.c.
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i'm megan lopez and you are watching our t.v. starting off this hour out of the shadows of military limbo and into the spotlight of american political debate for years the government has ignored cries to close guantanamo bay and end the indefinite detention as well as the torture at that facility but u.s. officials and american public are now paying attention so what did it take a massive drawn out hunger strike involving over sixty percent of the detainee's twenty three of whom are now being force fed through a nasal tube the guantanamo bay hunger strike is entering its third month and still no end in sight negotiation attempts up to this point have failed and the situation is becoming a life or death decision for many of these detainees so what will it take for the standoff to be a result joining me now is colonel morris davis a professor of law at howard university thank you so much for joining us so we've been hearing about this hunger strike for three months now and first there were
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very few reports coming out and then it grew and grew and grew what is going to take to end this hunger strike well actually right now the administration has two bad choices either force feed people which is in violation of medical ethics or just stand there and let them die i think the solution is is to honor their word and close guantanamo is as you know a majority demand had good move been cleared to be transferred out eighty six of the one sixty six so they could be landed a plane but the fifty six humanities that have been cleared you many government want to back send them home and i think that would in the hunger strike if they saw some positive steps forward and not just being forgotten for years. and let's talk about the short term demands of these of these detainees as i understand it at first started off with them just wanting their cells not be searched and for proper or proper handling of their holy text the koran is there anything else that's coming out of this well i think part of it is as well has been the just being forgotten they spent you know in some cases more than a decade sitting there in many cases cleared for years in big hell because of their
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citizenship and i think it was a sense of frustration so it started over the searching of the qur'an and i think it spread beyond that to an opportunity to get some attention called to their plight and it's unfortunate the sad commentary on america that it takes putting your life in jeopardy to get anyone to pay attention at the same time we have seen so many people we've heard of cases of detainees dying while in their custody at guantanamo bay and that didn't change policy so if one or two or several of these inmates and these detainees actually die will it change anything well i hope it doesn't come to that i mean you're right more people have died at guantanamo they've been convicted at guantanamo so i mean that's not the way to find out the population is by attrition but you know the president brought this up last week at his press conference that he still wants to close it said all the right things laid out all the right reasons for why it's a bad idea we started the petition will be
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a week tomorrow and we've had almost one hundred fifty thousand people that changed or backslash close g.t.e. yum-o. that have come on board and said it's time to close guantanamo so there there's no good reason to keep it open to be fiscally policy was legal was there is no good reason to keep kuantan him open now you brought up two good points one thing i do want to ask you is why do you think it is that president obama keeps reiterating this promise to close it and yet no action has been done what could he or the american people possibly gain from those reiterated promises well just the words are going to do anything it's going to take some action and he's to the right word since two thousand. that you know he wants to close guantanamo there's some abomination to discredit to the country it does a lot a horror as a recruiting tool for extremists so he said the right thing for a number of years and who perhaps maybe was happened critically maybe as he said of president bush's library dedication where people discuss the bush legacy maybe it made him stop and think about the obama legacy does he want to be remembered as the
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a president that condemned guantanamo and then for eight years kept it open now i do want to bring up a chart kind of showing the number of inmates that are currently residing in the guantanamo bay detention facility so as we can see from the two thousand and two to two thousand and thirteen the numbers have gone down there are still people there but the numbers are going down is this possibly a forward movement in your opinion are is it the fact that it's still open a black mark. what more can the u.s. i mean if you look recently china issued a human rights report criticize the u.s. for going tom of president putin in russia you know when the u.s. blocked diplomats from coming here he said it was the u.s. to criticize us when they have guantanamo. so there's no real upside to keeping it open and we have prisons here that can handle the detainees that need to be confined we have federal courts that have successfully prosecuted hundreds of terrorism cases all the military commissions have floundered for eleven years we've
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got eighty six people that have been cleared for transfer we need to send them home the ones that can't leave like the chinese leaders for muta took in some detainees the u.s. has never taken a line and we're supposed to be the home of the brave way to be at least as brave as bermuda and finally i want to ask you about your petition very quickly you said that you have one hundred fifty five thousand signatures is that we're approaching one hundred fifty and i looked and saw that it was one hundred forty seven thousand and change but we're approaching one hundred fifty thousand after less than a week that's quite impressive and after one hundred thousand signatures if i'm correct the president has to respond right well this is on changed or are you going to move it to a place of the president you start fund i don't know i mean hopefully this will make make him pay attention this is just. you know the liberal left and we've been a lot of people that have come on board and signed retired admirals retired judge advocate general's of the service retired state department intelligence community folks nick kristoff from the new york times a lot of folks have come on board and sign this petition urging him to keep his
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word and close guantanamo once and for all well if there's one thing that we are learning is that this is just the beginning of a very long process in order to close it we're going to have to see how it develops but obviously these men and these detainees that are on the hunger strike are not backing down colonel morris davis he is a professor of law at howard university thank you for joining us. well in the fog of war there was always a lot of confusion about right and wrong and who is responsible for what atrocities the line between good and bad heroes invision villains is often blurred the civil war in syria is no exception the united nations' independent commission of inquiry on syria has compiled evidence suggesting that rebel forces and not president assad's army might actually be the ones using chemical weapons in the country the investigators interviewed doctors and victims as well as witnesses about the use of the nerve agent sarin gas in the country and investigator carla de ponce actually told the b.b.c.
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that there is quote strong concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertibly proof that rebels were using the gas instead of the assad forces since then the un commission of inquiry on syria has stated that they have not yet confirmed this to talk more about these developments are to correspondent on a stasi a on a stasi a can you tell us the latest what this commission is first of all and what the latest developments are. well let me get these developments are certainly very significant when it comes to the whole syrian crisis this commission in particular it was established back in august two thousand and eleven it's geneva based and comprises really experts are veterans of human rights and the goal of this commission is to follow the human rights allegedly human rights violations taking place in syria and particularly with this latest revelation we are in fact hearing from the commission saying that they have gathered enough testimony from casualties and local doctors on the ground treating the injured in syria basically showing
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enough proof enough suspicions as they say to claim that the rebel groups the opposition groups are using sarin gas a chemical weapon considered a weapon of mass destruction on the ground this is of course against international law and they did themselves say that they are kind of flabbergasted by discovering this and in fact they're not saying that it's the syrian government as the u.s. has been claiming that's using chemical weapons but in fact the opposition groups so honest also when can we expect those findings to come out the final decision from this inquiry group. well let me get this is a work in process of course as we've both mentioned this is not been firmed up yet and they're working on finding more evidence at this point and their next report is expected to come out next month which should should more light on exactly what because we still they haven't said anything on when these instances took place and how they took place so this is yet to come but you know it's important to note that all of this comes at a time when just days after the west started really beating its chest saying that
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the syrian government the assad regime has been using chemical weapons with you know so-called as they called it varying degrees of confidence so that this is definitely a big game changer and if this position the claim from this international commission is supported by facts and if they do this is definitely a good big game changer when it comes to the syrian crisis now want to talk to you on one hand we had president obama come out last week and say the same exact thing that you just said that there are varying degrees of confidence that he's not willing to put all of his eggs in one basket and say concretely that this is being used by the all assad regime but in the press conference today white house press secretary jay carney was skeptical of this report's findings so why is the u.s. outwardly rejecting this report without possibly looking into it further. megan no that's a good question in fact yes the white house statement was that they're highly skeptical about this latest reports but you know the answer to this question is simple the
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united states has a specific kind of line of interest in this in this crisis and of course remind our viewers there has been a major kind of standoff between russia china versus the u.s. and the west in particular at the united nations where they were trying to kind of find some kind of solution to the syrian crisis because russia has been blocking any attempts from the u.s. and the west to try to put in place a regime change in syria and so you know it's not in america's interest to support this lying to to say that it's actually the rebels and not the syrian government as they have been claiming that is now said to have been used chemical weapons and of course also importantly this week u.s. secretary of state is going to be in moscow trying to. weapons are used by the syrian government in moscow to convince more to try to convince moscow to change its position something that's going to be very hard to do with especially these latest statements and honest aasia we heard over the weekend of republican senators
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actually come out we've heard lindsey graham and john mccain and mike rogers all saying that the red line has been crossed in that u.s. needs to take decisive action they all are very hesitant to say that boots need to be on the ground but that yes decisive action needs to happen and considering the fact that this information is still coming out a lot of critics are comparing this to the weapons of mass destruction claims in iraq can you talk a little bit more about that right me and that's an interesting comparison definitely one that comes to mind because the iraq war was started under false pretenses claiming the existence of weapons of mass destruction that were never to be found later and in this particular case again we're hearing the w m d cheers used as a pretense to kind of you know rally the public opinion when it comes to the syrian crisis and certainly the comparison is legitimate and it is quite dangerous according to many analysts to try to take any further steps without establishing exactly who it was and how and what kind of chemical weapons if any were used so
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definitely you know while the republicans are cheering the usual today certainly many people are asking for cautious and cautiousness and that's certainly something that hopefully the officials will consider. specifically here in the united nations for one that was r.t. correspondent ana stasia know with that report. and this independent u.n. commission report isn't the only development coming out of syria over the weekend israel launched an airstrike on a military compound complex just outside of the syrian capital of damascus. at least forty two soldiers were killed in the attacks according to information from military hospitals but the exact number has yet to be released but this is the third air strike israel has conducted on this country this year although the government has yet to formally confirm its involvement in the strikes in the past israeli officials have said that they will use force to prevent the transfer of
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advanced iranian weapons into the hands of hezbollah militia for more our senior national correspondent paula reports. the israeli military is still refusing to confirm or deny reports that it was responsible for the strike inside syria in the early hours of sunday morning but if you asked just about any israeli theah almost all of them will tell you that they do believe that the israelis were responsible for that operation while it's still not clear exactly how many people were killed it is expected that more than one hundred died on sunday morning now syria has said that it will not accept a breach of its sovereignty or its security and they have turned the ball to be to face towards israel the syrian deputy foreign minister pfizer dad says that the attack is a declaration of war and as such syria will respond in its own time and its own way we are being told that syria says that options on the table although no details have been given as to what exactly this means iran which has
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a defense agreement with syria has also said that it will respond and it is urging neighboring countries to stand up to what of course israeli aggression now the syrian president bashar assad has reportedly given the clear orders to all missile operators as well as anti aircraft weapons offices to react to what he says on any unknown objects regardless of the type or they source immediately and without any reference to a high administration as that is also reported to have said that he will allow any palestinian organizations operating in his country to wage attacks against israel from the golan heights so that is why you have some saying that israel seems to have shot itself in the foot essentially because now the northern israeli border is there a vulnerable certainly much more vulnerable than of was just a few days ago but the israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu has not commented on the issue the only comments he's made since sunday is that israel israeli
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security is paramount now israel insists that it was targeting a military convoy that the israelis say was making its way from iran. through syria to his villa in lebanon the syrians say something quite different they say that one of the targets was a military research same time on the outskirts of damascus damascus on monday evening two mortars fell from syria and landed on the israeli side of the golan heights now these radio army has lodged a complaint with the united nations although they say that they don't believe that these shells were purposely directed at israel but would rather stray israel has opened the no fly zone that it imposed in the north of the country or the live in these media is reporting right now that israeli air force planes are operating in the lebanese airspace the lebanese army has significantly fortified itself along the lebanese israeli border and you need for the united nations interim force in lebanon it has heightened the lives of its troops in the area paula see our team
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tell of well it was meant to be a child's toy now it's all marketed for muslim children is out the front of the controversy with a greeting card company called noble works here is a dollar her original packaging it's called a mina and it's made by the dessie doll company she teaches children religious sayings in arabic such as peace be upon you here's what the greeting card company headed by publisher ron confit did with it as you can see at raves pole the strings if you're a force or message if you dare excuse me shill love you to death and she'll blow your brains out now on the inside of the car greaves hope your birthday was a blowout. and noble works is not the only one that is actually using this dall here's what the act for america group did with the doll the group posted the exposure of it with the words that on its board plus a brawl blog that said the latest toy has hit the shops
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a talking muslim doll nobody knows what the hell it says but no one has the guts to pull the cord so innocent humor or flaming anti muslim stereotypes to discuss this i'm joined by off the executive director of care chicago thank you so much for joining me so what was your initial reaction to seeing this greeting card that it was. no sense of humor and some critics of your complaint about discord are going on the usual two that muslims don't have a sense of humor which of course is a statement of generalization that it is that so but you know our position is this court is problematic because it lacks any sense of humor and instead is nothing but a blatant show of stereotypes and bigotry now the greeting card company noble work says this on its website political humor religion and current events are among the themes to which no works gives a sick provocative and sometimes controversial spin in fact our other slogan is
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a dare to laugh i can only imagine folks and friends who receive to read our cards can't help but wonder as to whether a laughing is appropriate thing to do but as our motto goes f. them if they can't take a joke so is this enough of an explanation i mean to be fair noble works make fun of other religions and groups of people and the company actually put out a card of jesus mocking the jewish faith what is your response. well again i mean you look at the ball and it looks like any normal dollar than any normal little girl would play with the only difference is that she has this pink jolly looking thing around her head which is a headscarf and as a result of that only difference they thought fit to suggest that this dall and anybody you know where something like this on their head is a terrorist who would blow you up and so if that's the pond that's the punchline that's a sense of humor a sense of humor i'm all for making fun of us please do but do it with some
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intelligence even a minimal degree of intelligence that's what humor ought to have but what's funny about saying this person is gay is going to give you aids. or this person is jewish is going to take you know a pound of flesh off your body if you don't pay him back ha ha ha i mean what point is something like that funny there ought to be something beyond the age old you know stereotypes and bigoted type of statements that is cause for humor and this is something that's very primitive grotesque and backward in its presentation so where do we draw the line between free speech and hate space between humor and taking a joke too far. you don't they have every right to do this but i have every right to think it's pathetic and stupid and to call out attention to it stupidity we're not planning on suing them anytime soon i'm not planning on picketing their store anytime soon i will not forcefully stop them from doing what they want to do all i'm doing here is engaging in my own freedom of speech to suggest that something
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like this is not unrelated to the types of incidents that we see just in massachusetts two weeks ago a woman who for no other reason but wearing a hijab on her head was attacked by the same went to punch her in the shoulder front of her children and yelled at her terrorist that individual made the same punchline the same logic as the people who made this card so my question to them is do you think that attack is funny because it's the exact same punchline on that we only have one minute left but i've heard critics say that anti muslim sentiment does not exist in this country and more quickly your reactions well you know in my day job receiving complaints of hate crimes just a lawyer where we live and work there were multiple incidents most vandalization and even shooting at a mosque instances of women who were for example at a mcdonald's were sitting with their children will be attacked in their hijab ripped off and yelled terrorist at these type of incidents we don't need to wait for some kind of massacre or some kind of you know major fatal incident to suggest
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that islamophobia exists and exist it also is very troubling on the psychological realm children who are bullied called terrorists or bin ladden or things like that very much using the same logic that the idiots who made this card are using and if they think it's funny they're entitled to that and if i think it's grotesque i'm entitled to say that it is well spoken off matter i have the executive director of care chicago thank you for joining us the pleasure thank you. well life certainly isn't supposed to be easy in prison but the travis county jail system in texas is taking that one step further and is removing the one thing that inmates look forward to each week in person of visitations that's right there will be no more face to face visits allowed inmates will communicate using video chat from now on but on the up side visitors will be able to see and speak to the inmates from the comfort of their own homes law enforcement officials say that this decision was motivated by crowded jails as well as the need for more safety precautions the
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travis county jail system is not the first place to do this nor will it be the last but we want to take this opportunity to question the practice as well as the rights of people behind bars what should they reasonably expect to have to help me do that dr susan phillips says a researcher and an analyst at the sense and saying project thank you so much for joining me so first of all it cost twenty dollars for twenty minutes of video chat time which is less than a four dollars a minute phone call that is currently the system in a lot of places around the country as about the average phone call so it saves the inmates and their families money and it saves the jail money as well is this a good thing in my opinion it's a mixed bag. my concern in this case is with children whose parents are in prison or there's two point six million children today with a parent who's either in jail or prison somewhere. and they need opportunities to
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visit with their families and so on the one hand if you visitation opens up the possibility that more children may be able to speak with their parents more often but nothing replaces face to face contact and i think. correctional facilities. what we know from research is that. this is haitian. good behavior management program inmates who see family members sort of have fractions while they're in. while they're in custody so you can see from the correctional officials position it saves the costs of guard to monitor people coming in and out of the facility and it's a good behavior management tool sure now as you had more mentioned it two thousand and ten report actually estimated that fifty three percent of people in prison are
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parents and as you had mentioned also that's two point one million children so right is it risen and that's a prison it's prison there's also jails and many more people are in jail prisons so what does this as we're talking about what does this do to the children psyche i mean obviously we're not only punishing the parents who are present at this point or jail at this point we're also punishing the children are we not i mean we often forget that we pass sentences on adults that their families are being punished along with them their families who have not committed a crime and so for people. in prison in the past they would have to travel great distances maybe a hundred miles to go visit somebody only to find out that visitation was cancelled for the day they'd have to go through searches the things so yes to be able to visit from home from the local community center could be a plus. but for children particularly young children there's nothing that
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replaces contact with their parent and so on the one hand we see correctional facilities that have taken steps to create visitation areas that are less frightening and disturbing to children by play areas and they can interact with their parents rather than having to sit very still in one chair while they're here it's another or worse yet is that their parents are of the last year so we've got this one movement going on at the same time there's this trend towards video visitation which cuts out the possibility of the contact now obviously this this money is going somewhere most of the twenty dollars goes back to secularize technologies as a company that actually runs the video chat system and it actually paid for its installation as well so can you talk about obviously the prison inmates are the ones that are losing out who's gaining well that does seem that. there's
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the potential for profit to be made here and that there are companies that merging into to capitalize on that. so supposedly those fees are for managing the scheduling of the video calls and security i just wonder myself i have a great carrier for everything is sixty dollars a month which means i can pick up my cell phone and skype away. as much as i want all month long for sixty dollars so i'm not sure where all these fees are going except that there was a share that claimed that their jail system had made two million dollars off of the visitation. two million dollars coming out of the pockets of people that don't have . don't have the money right it's an extraordinary amount of money and obviously someone is gaining from it still to be determined who it is talk about advertising on the video. ok well there you go you have it dr susan phillips she is a senior research analyst at the sentencing project and that's going to do it for
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me for now be sure to tune in at five pm i'm mega lopez see you right back here in half an hour. technology innovation. developments around. the future avar. the for.
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me is leave you to its. feet. to the. british. to the tireless for. the markets why not. find out what's really happening to the global economy with mike stronger for
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a no holds barred look at the global financial headlines tune in to the report. good afternoon i want to welcome the prime interests i'm carrying on boring here and in washington d.c. and here's the headlines that we're tracking today. when it comes to currency devaluation the word of a special banker or gold it or tungsten rather. this morning the head of the european central bank mario draghi said there are things historic rate cut a half a percent was just the beginning the euro fell sharply and speaking of market plunges today is the three year anniversary of the flash crash the day of and for me when high frequency trading algorithms gummed up the works up in new york stock exchange and a single day the dow crashed into the red by one thousand points we'll talk about the reading of social security later with roy. also jamie diamond to stay.

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