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tv   America Tonight  Al Jazeera  September 21, 2013 9:00pm-10:01pm EDT

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>> welcome to aljazeera. here are tonight's stop stairs. >> and attack on the mall in nairobi, at this hour, the siege continues at security forces search for armed gunmen. five hostages have been released but it's unclear how many remain. american citizens are among the wounded. >> the most powerful tie phone of the year swept through the luzanne strait. two of dead and two missing in the rain soaked region. by the time it makes landfall in hong kong monday morning, it is expected to downgrade to a
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category one hurricane. >> with nine days until the government runs out of funding, the government shutdown seems increasingly likely. president obama blamed republicans for threatening "economic pain on millions of americans." >> those of your headlines. america tonight is coming up next. for the latest news on line, just go to aljazeera.com. ♪ theme
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>> hello, i'm joey chen. welcome to the weekend edition of america tonight. we begin with the fight for chicago, tensions running high this week on the south side of the city, where a gunman opened fire at a you. basketball game. it happened thursday night. chicago police say the shooter used an assault style rifle with a high capacity magazine and strayed the basketball court with more than a dozen bullets. 13 people were wounded, include i go a 3-year-old boy shot in the jaw. the park is located in a high gang conflict area. it stemmed from an ongoing dispute. last year, gun violence claimed more than 500 lives in chicago.
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so far this year, there have been at least 297 murders. >> it is not just the children of chicago. a high level of gun violence has ricocheted from baltimore to l.a. and far too off a february, the victims are the very young, babies and toddlers like that 3-year-old in chicago. on the pain of parenting when you can't protect your own children, here is america tonight correspondent, sarah hoye. >> god, we ask that you allow this movement to be unstoppable so that we can teach our young men that they are great, that they can be great, there is a vision for their live and purpose for each one of them. allow somebody to get in their a year, god, to let them know they are loved, cared for. we even pray for the perpetrators oh tonight. we ask you to allow them to know that there is a place called peace they can get to. god, allow somebody, somewhere, to be raised up, god with help
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them in the way you see fit. >> the girl diedness argument of her babysitter and an 11-year-old girl's death have 11 the city of new orleans in mourning. >> why would they want to hurt a 1-year-old baby? >> her name was london. for her young mother and father, the grief overwhelming. >> i cry every time i see a picture of her. every time somebody hug me, i cry. >> police launched a search for the killer. they say that he found their man. >> the men and women of this democratic are dedicated to our community, believe in our community. when a baby is killed, we all have to step extra hard. we all have to push hard. our team did that. >> over in the lower ninth ward and across this city, the shooting deaths of children are opening you would wounds. >> each time that you hear of the death of a child, it brings
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you back to yours. this is the last of his possessions that was in his pocket when he was killed. $30.85. >> amen. >> my son, jared was murdered on september 15 of 2012. >> her son was shot multiple times outside their suburban home. >> i started out i'm going to say it was numb. >> a year after his death, she is now a regular at a weekly support group for mothers who have lost children to gun violence. >> i have peace with it approximate in know he's in a better place. >> just five miles from the street where london was killed. >> initially, i was supposed to be assisting, helping out to help other mothers. in turn, i wind up being one of
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the mothers that needed help being healed. >> these young people, it's all about revenge. they don't want to hear i'm sorry. the person who killed my son, a day someone killed him before i buried my son. >> they don't fight anymore, they substitute. that's a badge of honor for him. they don't understand it's a sign of your weakness, because you don't know how to handle conflict. >> i pray for this person, because i'm telling you, i was totally angry. >> ok, oary, but i'm not going to go get revenge. >> right. >> i'm frustrated, because it's not that i can understand, ok, my 18-year-old was murdered, but a 1-year-old, an 11-year-old? it just really shows how reckless and how these kids don't have any hope. they don't have any guidance, and it's time. it's beyond time for a change.
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>> despite the break in the case, new orleans remains one of the nation's deadliest cities with a poverty rate double the national average. the loss of young life along the mississippi delta is a stark reminder of grim statistics. a child dies or is injured by a gun every 30 minutes in america. victims advocate says the issue of gun rye lens is greater than the latest headlines. >> it's beyond just a toddler. it's a community that has embraced crime that has succumbed to the criminal elements that exist in their city, and they're comfortable with vigilante justice, which means as a city, we have a problem. a lot of these young men are engaging in activities that are not the safest choices in their lives but helps them sustain financially to take care of their families.
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ultimately, the result is incarceration or death, but this is the choice they choose to survive. >> it's not the only choice. the vast majority of young people in new orleans reject rye lens and walk the path of beat. >> it doesn't make you a man or gangster or something like that. it's just to me, it just makes you look stupid, like you're doing all this for no reason. you get scared walking on the street. you stay on guard like a lot. like i know i don't wear any shoes that i can't run in just in case. >> cat arena is rising above her grief. >> she's royalty. a queen among the red hawk hunter indians. her son was the wildman d. >> this is the suit wildman d. was supposed to wear in 2010.
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this suit had to hit the streets of new orleans. >> wildman d. may be gone from this world, but he's always with his mother as she marches on. >> we have to continue to fight, and we have to continue to get out here and say it's not ok. it's not acceptable. we're not going to continue losing children, sons to the streets. >> the children at risk from our correspondent sarah hoye. >> here in the nation's capitol, the pain came at the washington navy yard. there are 13 people, including the lone gunman died and the city which boasts strong gun control laws was left reeling. there is another community that understands all too well the royaling emotions of the victim's families. the tragedy nine months ago
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bonded newtown connecticut and led many to become activists against gun violence. >> we continue to follow breaking news that is coming out of washington, d.c. >> on monday morning, as the news from the washington navy yard broke, the sadness reached newtown connecticut all over again. monty heard it as he came into his house. >> what went through your mind when you heard the news? >> i'm not sure much went through my mind. i felt like someone kicked me in the gut. i had just come back from the bike ride, and, you know, i -- living in sandy hook, you ride by the school, you ride by homes of families that lost kids. it's a reminder every day, so to come home and hear the news that there's another shooting. >> and it's in washington. >> it's in washington.
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>> where you're headed. >> correct. >> it's the newtown action alliance launching a series of demonstrations since september, all in an effort to get lawmakers to finally act on gun control. this visit was planned around the nine month anniversary the shootings at sandy hook elementary in which 26 school children were gunned down in their classrooms. the newtown alliance wasn't alone this time. survivors from the aurora colorado school shiiteing, from the victims when gap rehe will giffords was shot. >> we're all part of the same horrible club nobody wants to be in. unless we make changes to reduce the risks, there are going to be more that join this horrible club. >> it is the nine month anniversary this past weekend, nine month anniversary, here you
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are in washington again, as your group has been so many times. is it going to be different? >> i don't think it's going to be different tomorrow. it probably won't be different three weeks from now, but i think over time, it will change, it has to change. i think americans are saying enough, already. you know, we need to make the changes, because the current situation is not tolerable. >> so you believe that there's a ground swell, something is going to move it forward, is this navy yard event be enough to break the impasse? will people be compelled foot steps away from the capitol, will that make a difference a way that the lives that those children did not? >> i hope so. it's another significant event in a series of events. keep in mind that gabby giffords
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was shot and she is now very active in the movement, and, you know with, even though one of congress's own got shot, they didn't enact gun safety laws, but, you know, a couple of things haven't changed twins 12-14. one is the background checks. american overwhelmingly support background checks to a level they don't support anything else. since the votes went down in the senate, the senators who voted for it have seen their approval ratings skyrocket, those against it have seen theirs plummet. that tells me when the time is right, efforts to bring the bills back, maybe we'll see a change. >> frank was especially moved by
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the trauma center doctor, who veered off the medical update script to deliver an i am passed plea to stop the violence that had once again brought too many victims to her emergency room. >> there's something wrong here, when we have these multiple shootings, these multiple injuries. there's something wrong. >> she was quite passionate about it, quite passionate, quite concerned, quite deceasive in saying it's time for americans to act. she's not a political person. she's a physician, but she spoke out, and she said this is something that we have to deal with. how much does it take? >> you know, she said please but me out of business. same token, i'm willing to bet that nine months ago, you would have never heard of sandy hook, connecticut. there's not a person in the world who hasn't heard of sandy
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hook because of the shooting. >> inspired by the doctor's plea and hope that united voices can make a difference, frank and other members of the alliance returned to capitol hill, pigeon holing lawmakers, pressing for action and reminding leaders that the pain only grows with every new incident that tears apart a community. >> i would love not to be here and have to talk to the legislators and tell them that they need to do something. unfortunately, i think it's going to take some time. in the interim, more americans are going to die. it's a stark reality, but until we reach that point where we earth make the changes that are necessary, or we change congress and certain members of congress, we're just going to keep talking about these events. it's horrible. it's horrible for me to think that other communities are going
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to go through what my community went through, and what the families from yesterday's event are going to go through. >> when america tonight returns, detroit's dilemma, how art could help save a city that is digging its way out of debt.
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>> this week, detroit residents and retirees delivered a heavy dose of objections to the city's bankruptcy plans, warning
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detroit may have no choice but to abandon pension obligations. there are no sacred cows in detroit, and no artistic vision that immediate escape being sold for i can't cash. america tonight sketched out the landscape of detroit's future. >> the city of detroit entered unchartered territory. small businesses wiped out, tens of thousands of vacant buildings, and a dwindling tax base leave detroit without enough money to pay its bills, including billions owed for the pensions of city workers binie and her husband are both 71 and retired. >> it's like the cities trying a kill us all off, all the people, you know, that's retired, because they're not going to take care of us like they should. >> she spent her career working
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for the city, a more stable option for her future than the auto industry, or so she shot, for retirement. it turns out it is anything but stable. >> now my world is being turned upside down, because if they cut anything away from me, i don't know how i'm going to survive. >> she receives an $885 a month pension, and that could be in jeopardy. detroit's bankruptcy means the city, now $18 billion in debt, must make the painful choices it put off for so many years. the pensions of tens of thousands of city workers and retirees are on the line. >> i pray that something happens, you know. they just leave us alone. >> that something could be found here among the treasures of an earlier, more prosperous city, at the detroit institute of art, where an auction house is now trying to put a price on what many here consider priceless.
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among the 60,000 pieces here are the first van gogh ever acquired by an american museum. this famous monet and this huge mural picturing detroit as the cradle of american industry. >> why is it important to save this? >> it's the crown jewel of michigan culture. detroit is going to recover. >> the director of the institute of art is fighting to keep this collection from the auction block. >> it's injury disturbing to think that the history, really that we have been approximate put in this position, and although i firmly believe that the chances of anything ever being sold are very, very column, you can never tell. it's a deep concern. >> a the a diner, just down the street from the museum, we met with ed mcneil. he negotiates contracts for 33
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unions representing current and retired city workers. >> you don't say to people that have worked so hard, you don't say hey, i don't have anything for you. >> as far as he's concerned, the van goes must go if that's what it takes to pay the pensions. >> that's just a tragedy for anybody to even kind of think that you would put a piece of art over somebody's lives. >> for bine and her husband, they are more concerned with medical bills than monet. >> it's hard now, so i can't imagine it being any harder. >> since her husband retired in 1997, he suffered serious health problems. he undergoes dialysis twice a week and a couple of years ago, lost his eyesight. >> i don't know how i would survive. i might as well just have one foot in the graye, because that's about where i would be headed. you know, if i couldn't take
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care of myself anymore, or him. if they cut him off, it's just like cutting my life. i mean, it's like a silent killer or something. i mean, not just for me, but for everyone who's trying to retire. it would be very devastating. >> almost everything the city owns is also on the line, as an asset to be sold off, including the tunnel from detroit to windsor, ontario, the entire parking meter franchise. >> and even detroit's zoo, home to more than 3300 animals, including 280 species, a tempting target, because it could all add up. a healthy breeding giraffe can fetch $80,000, nothing the city owns is too precious to be sold. >> the emergency manager is
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evaluating the value of everything that detroit owns. >> law professor laura bartell tells us the city must show all its cards in a bankruptcy case. >> does the emergency manager have to demonstrate that there are no sacred cows in this process? >> he has a demonstrate that he has examined everything in developing his plan of adjustment. >> that includes more cuts for the city's police force a the a time when it takes them an average of an hour to respond to a 911 call. the fire department budget could also get trimmed. it's a new low for what was once the heart and soul of america's automobile industry. the detroit grady remembers so fondly before he lost his eyesight. still, he's convinced detroit can come back. >> don't give up. you see, they always say abandon ship. no, there ain't no abandon ship here. we're not going to give up. we're going to keep pushing.
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that's life itself. >> even though he may not be able to see the cracks in the sidewalk or his neighbor's boarded up house, he and his wife, like many retirees know detroit is a different city now, no longer the industrial mecca that diego rivera painted so beautifully 80 years ago, but a city so financially troubled that even it's most precious family jewels could be auctioned off amongst so many hard choices needed to pay the bills that have been too long neglected. >> >> donors have marked billions of dollars for haiti, but looking at the effort to build, we wonder where did all the money go? we appreciate you spending time with us tonight. up next is the golden age of
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hollywood going golden but elsewhere. why l.a.'s mayor has declared a state of emergency for the entertainment industry there. next.
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>> when haiti was struck by the devastating earthquake, the international community rallied, pledgion billions of dollars in aid. victims sprawled in refugee
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camps, that meant rebuilding a new haiti. so far, that has not happened. sole dad o'brien tonight with a look at what went wrong. >> in port-au-prince is a camp site. the pass tell houses and trees are deceptive. from a distance, it looks very solid, but it's just plywood. >> it's some kind of plywood, but they painted over it and it looks better than it really is. >> jimmy rafael and his family were among the first to come here three months after the earthquake. their home collapsed. aid agencies encouraged haitians to abandon their tent cities for
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safer and permanent housing. this is what they ended up with. >> so this is your mother's house. tell me about it. >> yes, this is mom's house. when you come in, you see it's very small. you look up and see the roof is metal, the sun is hot. the house is boiling hot. you come here and you see her bedroom where she sleeps, and when it rains, the water comes rushing from the mountains and culls in and we have huge flooding. it's not good. >> it's no the good for the 40,000 makes who have been living here for more than three years and not good for the estimated 100,000 squatterses who found ref final in the neighboring hills, all lured by the promise of a new haiti that would spring from the 9 billion tons of rubble. when the earthquake hit, jimmy
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was working as a bet boy as one of haiti's most exclusive hotels, the montana. more than 200 people were killed there. he barely escaped. jimmy eventually ended up here. hurts got here, what was it like? >> it was like a desert, nothing, no water, no food. >> this was tents, right? no houses, there were tents. >> there were no houses. there were tiny tents and one felt very isolated. >> it was chosen as the site for this model camp in part because it was slated to be the location of a new industrial park, a place where sorely-needed manufacturing jobs could be created. three and a half years later, that project remains nothing more than a dream.
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the 40,000 people who live in the camps send the tens of thousands more living in the shanties dotting the hills find themselves in a desert-like landscape with no jobs and a two hour commute in traffic to get to the city. >> there was no economic foundation to the camp settlement, so the people who moved there had no means of earning a living. they were 23 kilometers outside of the town. >> which charged poole of the american refugee committee was the camp's first manager, arriving on site in april of 2010. >> it was seen as an alternative, an exciting prospect of building a new haiti, but as you know, as you're aware, it didn't actually work out that way. >> it is just one example of a larger failure to help haiti. alexander maine is with the the center for economic and policy research. >> when you hear the number
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that's thrown around that billions of dollars have gone to haiti, that tends not to be true, i think it's probably not much more than a billion dollars that's actually effectively been spent. so yes, i think in people's minds there's been a lot more money that's gone to haiti than actually has so far. >> in his report called breaking open the black box. he found of the money allocated to haiti by the agency or international development, only .7% has gone directly to haitian businesses, or organizations. the rest has gone to n.g.o.'s and u.s. contractors. >> if we are partnering with n.g.o.'s and we are partnering with contractors that we have brought in that are responding to our request for service providers, then they had better be held to the same accountability standards that we would hold anyone to in the
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united states. >> congresswoman he vet clark, a democratic from new york has some of the largest haitian communities in the u.s. within her brooklyn district. she's planning a congressional hearing. >> we're going to have to go wherever it leads. we have to find out, you know, who was responsible, and hold them accountable. if this is indicative of our missions overseas, it's setting a very poor precedent. >> about 30 kilometers away is a settlement that's supposed to be part of the solution to the housing crisis here, one of several settlements built with main from u.s.i.a.d. bright house us and paved roads. the 156 homes are uninhabited. there are plans to move people in in the fall. this town is the tip of the iceberg for what's gone wrong in haiti and a microcosm which what's happened to the money. launched in april of 2010 by
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usaid, the idea behind the program was to build 15,000 permanent houses that would benefit between 75,000 and 90,000 displaced refugees. the total price tag at the time, $59 million. by 2012, the cost had spiraled to $95 million. usaid had to drop the number of houses to be built by more than 80%. instead of 15,000 houses, they'd only build around 2600. how did this happen? a report from the government accountability office blamed inaccurate cost estimates and requests from the haitian government. they wanted bigger rooms, electricity, water, and flush toilets. then, there were the foreign contractors and their high overhead costs. >> there's no real control of costs built into this system, and so, the money would go to
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the contractors. they will, you know, skim some of that money away, and then often, they will then turn around and find subcontractors and sometimes, you can have, you know, several levels of contracting before you actually have implementation, so of course, this becomes enormously costly. >> usaid denied repeated requests for interview. the agency claims some progress in haiti on its website, 65,000 households helped with repairs. land tenure rights for 10,000 plots ofland in order to get victims back in their homes. that's a drop in the bucket for haiti's homeless. today, approximately 300,000 people in port-au-prince still live in deplorable conditions and camps, families crammed into tiny shelters made out of scraps and wood.
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this one called camp 54 sits in a middle class suburb. there are 5,000 people on the streets here. the the camp is run by a teacher. >> good morning! >> one, two. >> with help from his mother, mckenzie managed to build a school here for 700 children. his school survived the earthquake, but not the aftermath. >> we were forced to leave in order to turn the school yard into a parking lot. >> a u.n. agency rented the property from mckenzie's landlord and his school became a parking lot. he now teaches dozens of children in a tiny makeshift classroom. what makes it more painful is that it's virtually across the street from his old school. >> how does it feel to look at
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your school? >> each time i look at it, each time, well, actually, i try to avoid coming by here, because it hurts. it hurts. it hurts deeply. >> i know what you're saying, even though i don't speak your language. i feel terrible. >> it makes me pain in my heart. >> it's hurtful. >> yeah. he needs just $9,000 u.s. to build a new school for his kids, just $9,000 of the billions pledged to non-governmental organizations. the international aid has brought small pockets of development. the clinton bush haiti fund invested to build to five star hotel, the oasis. the fund created 200 jobs.
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jimmy tried unsuccessfully for two years to get a job at a hotel. today, he says he makes $6 a day on a good day driving a motorcycle tax see in port-au-prince. he's given up on the home he was promised. >> can i go inside the house? >> and is trying to rebuild his family home, destroyed in the earthquake. >> what kind of work are you doing on it? >> i'm working on the windows and installing cinder blocks to build a second floor. >> so everything. >> for jimmy, there's no sign of a new haiti emerging. like so many haitians, he's building back on his own. coming up here on america tonight, the heated debate over climate change. one man says it all boils down
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to three numbers. we'll meet this dynamic leader coming up next. the most important money stories of the day might affect yourries savings, your job, or your retirement. whether it's bailouts or bond rates, this stuff gets 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.
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>> every sunday night al jazeera america presents gripping films, from the worlds top documentary directors >> this is just the beginning of somthing much bigger... >> tomorrow, the premier of "do the math" >> these companies are
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a rogue force... >> one environmentalist says fossil fuels equal disaster... will his movement add up add up to change? >> we will fight it together... al jazeera america presents - "do the math" premiers tomorrow night, 9 eastern. >> the challenge to stop climate change has begun to heat you on college campuses across the country with the added plus of an intriguing equation. it begins with a simple plea, do the math. a documentary about a message from environmentalist is fueling a lot of the debate. >> so let's get to work, we're calling this do the math and
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we're going to do some math. just three numbers. i wrote about them in a piece last summer for rolling stone, a piece that went oddly viral. it was the issue with justin bieber on the cover. ok? [ cheers and applause ] >> but here's the trainin stran. the next day, i got a call saying your piece got 10 times more likes than justin bieber. some of that is doubtless the result of my sort of soulful stair, you know, but mostly, it's because we managed to layout this math in a very straight forward way that people needed to understand as we were going through what turned out to be the hottest year that america has ever experienced. before we get to those three numbers, here's where we are. we've burned enough coal, gas and oil to raise the temperature of the either one degree. there was a day last september when the headline in the paper
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was half the pole ice cap is missing. if kneel armstrong were up on the moon today, he would see half as much area of ice in the arctic. we've taken one of the largest physical features on earth and we have broken it. there are three numbers. the first is two degrees. that's how much the world has said it would be safe to let the planet warm. in political terms, it's the only thing anybody has agreed to. some of you may remember that in copen hagen, there was only one number in the final two page voluntary acard that people signed. only one numberren it, two degrees. every significant in a atory pledged to make sure it wouldn't rise above that, companies that make money selling oil.
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the most conservative countries on earth, even the united states. if the world officially believes anything about climate change, it's the two degrees is too much. second number scientists have calculated how much carbon we can pour into the atmosphere and have a reasonable chance of staying below two degrees. they say about 565 more giga tons, that is a billion tons. that's worse odds than russian roulette. >> it is a lot. 565 billion tons of c.o.2. the problem is we poured in a billion tons a year and now it goes up a billion tons a year and it's 15 years before we go past that threshold. that's sobering news. the scary number is the third number. the third number was the
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important one and the new one and it came from a team of financial analysts in the united kingdom. they sat down with the reports and s.e.c. filings to figure out how much carbon the world's fossil fuel industry, how much they had already in their reserves. that number turned out to be 2795, five times as much as the most conservative governments on earth think would be safe to pour into the atmosphere. it's not even close. it's, you know, five times more. and once you know that number, then you understand the essence of this problem. >> activist bill mckibbon visited us. explain this notion of doing the math. >> sure. climate change in general is
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just a big arithmetic problem. we're digging up hundreds of millions of years' worth of biology, dead dine source and plank to know and things and tossing all that carbon in the air at once over the span of a few decades. now we know the problem well enough to put real numbers on it. >> when you deliver this program, this particular film, it's to simplify it. >> i wrote the first book about climate change 25 years ago, first book for a general audience. even i was surprised to learn these numbers, to realize that unless we changed things very dramatically, the end of this story is written. there's no longer once you know how much carbon these guys are planning to dig up and burn, there's no longer room for doubt about how it all comes out. the sickest part of this story
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is even though we already have far too much carbon, they spend lots of money, upon boasts about spending $100 million every day looking for more of this stuff around the world. >> do you have a sense that you've gotten past the notion of climate change deniers, people who just aren't buying it. >> depends where you ask. around the country, 80% of u.s. counties have had a federally declared disaster in the last two years. the polling data shows a huge spike of americans worried about climate change. in the halls of congress, not so much. the oil industry owns one of our two political parties and it pretty much terrifies the other one. >> so one other thought here, and that is after all this, you're going to motivate people by seeing this movie, but after everything is said and done, what do you want individuals and organizations to do? >> put pressure on institutions
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to sell their stock in fossil fuel companies, divest, do what we did a quarter century ago when the question was apartheid in south africa. when nelson mandela got out of jail, the first trip he took was to the u.s. he went to california to say thank you to the students in the u.c. system who forced the divestment of $3 billion worth of stock. he said we thought to liberate ourselves but couldn't have done it without this help from the outside world. we need that same kind of pressure on these rogue companies. >> is this the biggest problem we as a society face today? >> this is the problem that we as a species have come across yet. we've so far raised temperature one degree and that's been enough to melt 80% of the ice in the arctic. the ocean is about all oceans about 30% more acidic than 40
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years, aband because warm air holds more water vapor than cold, the atmosphere is 5% wetter than it's been during the human story. that loads the dice for drought and for flood. you saw what happened last week in colorado. that's what global warming looks like. if you move one mountain range further west to the sierra, where the largest wildfire in their history is still burping and it's the dryest year that colorado's of experienced, that's what global warming looks like, too. >> that's why you got to do the math. >> and that's why we have to do it fast. >> terrific. bill, thanks very much. >> thank you very much. >> it airs sunday at 9:00 p.m. eastern, 6:00 pacific. coming up next, a new york church takes center stage. where the theater district goes to find peace and answers, after the curtain call.
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>> we leave you this hour with a higher calling. if you happen to be in times square on a saturday night,
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chances are you might find a few actors bolting from theaters on a religious mission. some are heading to the actor's chapel, likely the only church in the world where a stuntman changes the lights. we set a new stage and now let's cue the lights on new york city. >> dear father, it's hard for me to put in words what technology has meant to me. it's my church, my place to go, where i first took my children to mass, where i would meet fellow actors. i cannot imagine broadway without the church. my spirit will always be a part of the church.
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god bless, florence henderson. >> i'm pastor of got actor's chapel. we're in the midst of the broadway community. >> when the development of the theater district in manhattan finally arrived here, it had settled around here where a church had already been established. once it had come here, the priest automatically responded to the new need and started servicing the theatrical community. >> i would call it the entertainment chapel, because it involves crew and everybody involved in the industry. >> times square in 1977 was a disaster. when father george arrived in 1977, he realized he couldn't keep the church open if the neighborhood didn't change. he would talk to the drug dealers, prostitutes, porn shop owners, he would talk to everybody. he helped organization the
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theater owners. the catholic church saved times square. >> you may find certain points of the week, the bells play a tune you may recognize. ♪ >> well, i moved into the neighborhood back in 1982, and i got an apartment down the street here. one summer night, i heard these bells playing there's no business like show business. i said to the land lady i heard the bells. i said which theater is doing this. she said it's the chapel down the street. >> we're a catholic church. a catholic church truly if it is catholic will be a place where the doors are wide open and everyone no matter what faith would feel comfortable to walk into. >> a lot of actors are famous
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for coming here, chris farley used to come here all the time. >> jimmy duranty, douglas fairbanks. >> i've been in a couple of broadway shows, i was in mary poppins, elf, the musical, done t.v. >> i'm a stunt performer. >> you might know me from being ed on disney's the lion king. >> i've been in priscilla king of the dessert and matilda, the musical on broadway. >> we're the only church in new york, probably in the world that has 11:00 p.m. mass on saturday night that caters to the theater world specifically. >> they accommodate performers in the theater and stage hands. it was late enough that it still satisfied your sunday obligation to attend mass. >> i think it's important that the 11:00 p.m. mass exists, because i don't want to get up on sunday morning.
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no, no. [ laughter ] >> did you get a lot of laughs? >> on a saturday night, trying to get to the chapel is very stressful. >> i finished the show. i've done this great show. >> are you getting autographs? >> made a lot of people hopefully very happy in their experience. >> everybody's talking about the show that they saw and they're all like this person is amazing and the show is amazing. >> people are out having a good time, some of them may be had one too many drinks. >> clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right. >> yeah, we get that the show was amazing, but you should get to where your destination is and then talk about it. >> just don't get run over. >> crowds everywhere, you're just trying to get to church, your scurrying. >> visitors are like. >> go, we got a break. >> and that's what i find interesting. it's the trying, it's the trying to get there. it's my spiritual struggle.
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>> my wife is currently in her second battle with cancer, so it's really -- it's amazing. it's amazing what something like this can bring to your life. it's the sort of thing where you don't -- you're not aware of it until these times, but i'm keenly aware of it now. >> i pray that everybody who's sick and homeless, that they get what they need and everybody who wants to try to be in this showbiz and you know, everything that they try their hardest and even if they don't get something that that doesn't mean they're not good. it just means that they have to keep working. >> i think the actor will pray
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for success in their craft. they're willing to sacrifice so much, and i've seen it, the struggle that an actor will be engaged in, trying to keep life normal, just to be able to pursue this craft is incredible, the dedication. it's impressive. >> there's a lot of people that would say that there is a conflict between the values of the catholic church, and what is traditionally perceived that hedonistic life style. most actors in my experience are just real good, honest, hard-working, a lot of them are very spiritual, very religious. i think to understand, an actor is involved in a profession, the
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actor and artist are those who best emulate god in his activity of creation, where god took nothing and made it something, so to an actor or artist, they seem to create out of nothing, something that seems to be their own work. therefore, it is quite appropriate that the actor would come to a place of worship. >> so the actor's chapel. that's it for us here on america tonight. please remember if you'd like to comment on any stories here tonight, aljazeera.com, you can meet our team to tell us what you would like to see in our nightly current affairs program. you can join the conversation with us on twitter or at our facebook page. have a good night.
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>> welcome. here are tonight's top stories. an attack in kenya's capitol city nairobi. 39 are dead and 150 wounded. at this hour, the siege continues as security forces search for armed gunman. five hostages have been released, but it's unclear how many remain. >> the most powerful typhoon of the year swept through the luzanne strait, battling taiwan. two people are dead, two missing. it's beginning to slow down. by the time it makes landfall in honk con, it is

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