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tv   News  Al Jazeera  January 27, 2015 8:00pm-9:01pm EST

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i'm ali velshi thank you for joining us. velshi, thank you for joining us. this is al jazeera in america in inny over blown the science of poll tigs of forecasting and the economic impact of missing the mark. child soldiers thousands soon to be free facing an uncertain future after war. women in the nfl, a superbowl ad on domestic violence should the league do more? and living to tell he helped free a concentration camp a world war ii veteran shares his story on the 70th anniversary of
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the liberation of auschwitz. ♪ predicting the weather is imperfect science and we know that after last night's warning of a historic blizzard across the northeast, in new york subways were shut down and schools closed and drivers stay off the road and it created more of a nuisance and that state of emergency and it was a glancing blow for the big apple and new england took a direct hit and power out to 33,000 homes. the cost of preparing the damage expected to add up to between 500 million and a billion dollars. tom ackerman has more from boston. >>boston streets and a city scape in swirling white sustained winds of up to 70 miles per hour and steady snowfall qualified winter storm
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juno as a full pledged blizzard in new york and long island and communities in massachusetts and rhode island were particularly hard hit by wave surges. along a 250 mile east coast corridor schools, workplaces and government offices were shut down. but the storm failed to live up to the worst expectations by midday new york and new jersey had reopened most public transit systems which had been closed overnight. >>i didn't think it was that bad at all, i was expecting two feet and it's only a couple of inches so they are making a big deal out of nothing. >> reporter: officials had no apologies for shut down orders including mandatory bans on road travel and helped to account for a few storm-related casualties. >>we obviously missed the worst of this storm which is a blessing for new york city. we have an old saying that we live by around here prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
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>> reporter: power outages were minor though a massachusetts utility shut down a generator for safety concerns. had the snow been heavier and wetter it might have been a different story but it's dry powdery consistency allowed most power lines to escape damage. and across the area skiers dog walkers and snow borders turned those conditions to their advantage, tom in boston. a metrologist from the national weather service offered this an apology to the public and government leaders in this tweet he said you made a lot of tough decisions, expecting us to get it right and we didn't. nicole mitchell is here with more. so what went wrong? >> you know i have to defend my own a little bit today because it's not like they said snowstorm and it was sunny skies. there was a snowstorm. it was just a little further off the coast than expected so some places further to the west didn't get as much but if you were in massachusetts you still
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got hammers with it in some cases close to 3 feet of snow and it is still coming down and the blizzard conditions did occur just not everywhere, even new york at laguardia on the east of the city got almost a foot of snow. >>where i live about 6" in connecticut but just up the coast, you know 20", so let's just talk a little bit about this we expect so much from you and we expect so much from forecasters but why was this one a tough one to forecast? >> part of the reason is this system was off the coastline so it was out there turning, welding the water up but as you get off the coastline you are looking at systems where we don't have a lot of data. over land. all these different observation points and funneling in temperatures and pressures and you will talk about modeling coming up, in a couple minutes so i will not go in that and data in computer models and the models put out forecast that help us with our job.
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well over the ocean we don't have those data points like you do over land. >> reporter: the buoy in the water. >>and hurricane hunters are flying in the storm and you don't have the data to go in the models so coastal storms and hurricanes can be much harder to forecast because you done have as much data out there. >> reporter: do you think forecasting will change after this big storm and it being a little off or a lot off? >> forecasters are demanded by the government and we need a firm number to decide to shut down and if you miss it the other direction, you don't shut down when you need to that is a big problem. >> reporter: that is a bigger problem? >> yes, so people would rather be cautious than have people stuck in atlanta like last year stuck for hours and hours. >> reporter: thank you very
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much the weather is fickle the science behind it often just as unpredictable, let's go to jake ward in san francisco to talk more about the science of forecasting, jay? >> john the united states does have something of a forecasting problem and it's not like we don't have enough people looking at the sky, we don't really have the computers powerful enough to accurately simulate the weather. that is how weather forecasting work and super computers the size of a room try to factor this and they had a super computer capable of two-tenths of a petiflop and europe has the largest computer capable of several of this. why does speed matter? it usually determines accuracy. remember hurricane sandy in 2012? european forecast models got it right and american models got it wrong. here is sandy's actual path the
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line here is the european prediction and you can see how close the european prediction lines up with the path that was a week before landfall but took the u.s. model several days to catch up. sandy went on to kill nearly 150 people in the u.s. and cost the country $70 billion. here is the thing no one is right all the time. the national weather service relied heavily on the european forecast in predicting that a blizzard would stall over long island and hammer new york with snow this week and that didn't happen. officials in new york shut almost everything down on monday and found out the blizzard prediction was wrong and issued a qualified apology. the science of forecasting storms it said while continually improving still can be subject to error especially if we are on the edge of the heavy precipitation shield. and new york governor andrew mentioned a plan to create new york's own weather service. >>we are in the process of
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installing a weather system in the state of new york exclusively that will be the most sophisticated weather system in the country. why? because we make big decisions based on these weather forecasts. >> reporter: he would have to spend quite a bit to compete with the national system. this month the national weather service announced it would spend at least $44 million for 2.5 petiflops by october of this year and that is nothing like the uk who plans to build $1128 million, 16 petiflops super computer by 2017. john perhaps the greatest failure of the current u.s. system is false confidence. there was it turns out an equal chance that either 5" or 30" of snow could have hit new york city this week but the national weather service doesn't talk that way and did not communicate that uncertainty and just made a prediction which is what they do
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and they long argued every forecast should come with some sort of probability rating to gauge that uncertainty which would give politicians, mayors a better idea of whether to shut down their cities entirely or to just put on some boots. >> reporter: still a bit of an imperfect science and thanks very much and we go to libya where armed fighters attacked a city in tripoli and they stormed in a hotel and set off bombs and outside the building and inside the building. at least eight people were killed including one american the hotel is often used by diplomates and government officials. a group linked to isil claimed responsibility but al jazeera has not verified that claim. president obama held his first formal meeting as to with the new saudi arabia king the president was in saudi arabia to express his condolence over the king abdullah last week and the correspondent is at the white house with more mike? >> well john the president cut short the visit to india a day
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and going to hyhad with michelle obama to pay respects with the late king abdullah and met king salman and meeting them on the tarmac and ryhad bringing a large american delegations and including past national security figures from administration and condoleezza rice and baker as well as officials from the obama administration all there to pay their respects later president obama had dinner with king salman and met for about an hour a senior administration official tells reporters flying aboard airforce one they quote hit all the wave tops on the key issues of course include the fight against isil where saudi arabia war planes are flying in the american led coalition hitting isil targets in syria and iraq and talked about the situation in syria as well. iraqi unity and set by sectarian violence and of course the
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situation in yemen on saudi arabia border said to be a major concern of the saudis and the tys that the rebels have with i ran came out as well. on the key question of human and civil rights within saudi arabia through were pressed by reporters and top officials as the president himself what would he say, would he bring that up meeting with king salman and president obama talked about a balance to nudge saudi arabia in the direction of a more open society while maintaining a security relationship on the war on terrorism as president obama put it and had an interview with saudi arabia where he addressed the issue. >>what i found effective is the apply steady consistent pressure even as we are getting business done that needs to get done and often times that makes some of our allies uncomfortable and frustrated and sometimes we have to balance our need to
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speak to them about human rights issues with immediate concerns that we have in terms of countering terrorism or dealing with regional stability. >> reporter: and, john, the keyword that firms are using is continuity the purpose of the trip to maintain a key relationship with the key ally in the region john. >>mike at the white house thank you, obama administration is ready to open up the eastern sea board to drilling and announced a new proposal to allow off shore oil and gas drilling from virginia to georgia and democrats say it poses a risk to tourism and they are banning drilling in arctic off the coast of alaska congress does not need to approve that plan. meanwhile praising a move by democrats on iran lawmakers say they will hold off on new sanctions and legislation for
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now. it comes as house and senate committees begin new hearings on iran and u.s. negotiators breathing room to cut a deal over the country's nuclear program. >>many of my democratic colleagues and i sent a letter to the president telling him that we will not support passage of the bill on the senate floor until after march 24. >>i think we have been clear and this is not going to change that as there are ongoing negotiations there is no benefit,, in fact, it's harmful to have legislation on sanctions. >> reporter: members of congress pushing for more in the nuclear talks and negotiators have june 30 to reach a deal with iran a convicted killer executed in georgia and said he had the mind of a child and the ad the nfl is running during the superbowl.
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only on al jazeera america
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just minutes ago a georgia death row inmate was executed despite serious questions about his intellectual ability and warren hill convicted in two separate murders and tonight the u.s. supreme court refused to stop his death by lethal injection and robert ray is live in atlanta with more robert? >> john good evening, indeed within the past hour warren hill executed by lethal injection and came to the last second 30 minutes before the scheduled execution they would not put a stay on his death. he is accused as you said of killing his girlfriend shooting her about ten times and then killing another individual in prison. now his lawyers have argued he
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is intellectually disabled that means an iq of 70 or below. and by the state law here in georgia, it is said that there must be an undeniable burden of proof that this person has a mental retardation. the state has said that his lawyers could not prove that even though several courts and doctors have stated that warren hill did have an iq of 70 or below. earlier today or tonight rather on the steps here at the capitol in atlanta just 90 miles from where warren hill was executed and jackson there were many people that gathered. we spoke to one woman, her name murphy davis and spent the last few days with the former warren hill and his family. let's listen to what she had to say. >> it's a bizarre situation. we've sat for two days with his family and with warren. there is a tremendous ritual of
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death around the prison. the tactical squads all dressed in their para trooper things and warren has some equinimity he is anxious and of course his family had a very tearful good-bye. >> reporter: john as murphy davis was speaking we got confirmation that the actual pronunciation of death for warren lee hill 7:55 p.m. this evening. we also have confirmation from his attorney that indeed warren hill has been put to death via lethal injection tonight, tuesday the 27th of january. john? >> reporter: ray thank you very much a jury in nashville convicted two vanderbilt players of rape and they were charged with attacking an unconscious woman in a dorm room in 2013 and they claimed they were too drunk
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to know what they were doing and blamed a college culture of binge drinking and promiscuous sex and the jury disagreed and the men will be sentenced march 6, two other men have also been charged in that case. at the superbowl this sunday the nfl will take on an issue that has plagued it all season long the league is working to fix its public image after a string of domestic abuse cases. this public service ad is being seen as part of that ever. [phone ringing] 911 operator 911 where is the emergency? >> 127. >> what is going on there? >> i would like to order a pizza for delivery. >> ma'am, you reached 911 this is an emergency line. >> large with peparoni. >> you called 911. >> do you know how long it will be? is everything okay over there do
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you have an emergency or not. >> yes. >> you are unable to talk? >> right. >> is someone in the room with you? just say "yes" or "no"? >> yes. >> okay it looks like i have an officer about a mile from your location are there any weapons in your house? >> no. >> can you stay on the phone with me? >> no thank you. >> that ad is based on an actual 911 call. it's part of the nfl's no more campaign against domestic violence. and we have the founder of truth and reality and abuse activist and in the studio and good to see you. >> good to see you. >> reporter: what do you think of this there is. >> the survivor in me cried when i saw that video. it really is incredibly powerful. the activist in me of course is looking at this through a very different and more measured lens. >> reporter: which is?
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>> which is obviously i still cannot take the image of ray rice punching his vent fiancee in the elevator and the fact that it took everyone seeing that for the nfl to actually take a stand. it's good that they are taking a stand. this video is an incredible move this that direction but you can consider the fact you are giving up basically $8 million worth of ad time during the superbowl. >> reporter: in some ways though this is directed at the audience shouldn't they be directing their comments toward the league and the players and the coaches? >> i think, well there is an opportunity for both. one, this video actually sends a message internally as well as externally. >> reporter: does it? >> absolutely. the fact of the matter is they have they are giving up ad time and donating it and the message is quite powerful. by airing this spot they are, in
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fact sending a message to the nfl to all their employees, to all the employers listen we are taking this issue very seriously. >> reporter: this group called ultra violet also had an ad and it says that goodell must go the head of the nfl. what else can roger goodell do when it comes to this issue? >> okay what else can roger goodell do? what he is currently doing is the step in the direction but the fact remains is it was a huge fumble. it never should have gotten to where it went. so there are going to be people where it does not matter what is being done today. the fact remains is that he screwed up and needs to be held accountable so the ad that ultra violent is airing i think is a good juxt position against the
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marketing and promotional efforts nfl are taking to let the world know, in fact, they are taking a stand but what i'm very curious to see is how the internal culture shift. >> reporter: that is really what i was talking about earlier. i mean how do you -- it's one thing to do a promotional ad and one thing to send a message both to the public and to your football players but isn't there something that could be done isn't there something more that could be done? >> there is and are things that are being done. i know people who are conducting trainings, i know people that are, in fact a part of the new policy and procedures team. now, it's going to take a long time to dismantle this culture that allowed the domestic violence to go unchallenged for many, many decades. >> reporter: does it stop now? >> it could not stop within the last several years. >> reporter: i get the impression you think there has been a big turn that there has
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been a big change? >> there has been a move in a direction to start to create that change but any large into institutional change will take a long time before it sets in and it's not going to happen overnight. >> reporter: does the nfl have i mean in some ways they are a monopoly, does it have a responsibility makes a lot of money and roger goodell makes a lot of money, nothing wrong with that but should the nfl do more? is there more they could do? >> there have been financial contributions made and again going ahead and taking this stand from a marketing and promotional standpoint from a messaging standpoint is good but what i really want to see is what happens when ray rice comes up and we want i want to see how the league and the actual teams react to reinstating him.
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>> reporter: you're not sure if the nfl gets it? >> what i'm saying is that for all intents and purposes based on what we have seen they are taking a proactive stance it's going to take time before we are going to really see if they really get it or not. >> reporter: that ad is chilling and it's very powerful. it's interesting. it is going to run one time, is that it? >> that i'm not aware of and i know it's part of a much larger campaign. >> reporter: it's interesting and it's good to see you again, thanks very much. utah big announcement from the mormon church for the first time mormon leaders say they support legislation to protect gays and lesbians from discrimination. that includes an area such as housing and employment. but they say combinations must also be made to protect the views of religious people leaders say no changes to the doctrine. overreaction or better safe than sorry, the politics of storm preparation.
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and children forced to fight, now thousands of child soldiers will finally be free.
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>> aljazeera america presents a break through television event borderland... >> are you tellin' me it's ok to just open the border, and let em' all run in? >> the teams live through the hardships that forced mira, omar and claudette into the desert. >> running away is not the answer... >> is a chance at a better life worth leaving loved ones behind? >> did omar get a chance to tell you goodbye before he left? >> which side of the fence are you on? >> sometimes immigration is the only alternative people have. borderland only on al jazeera america real reporting that brings you the world. >> this is a pretty dangerous trip. >> security in beirut is tight.
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>> more reporters. >> they don't have the resources to take the fight to al shabaab. >> more bureaus, more stories. >> this is where the typhoon came ashore. giving you a real global perspective like no other can. >> al jazeera, nairobi. >> on the turkey-syria border. >> venezuela. >> beijing. >> kabul. >> hong kong. >> ukraine. >> the artic. real reporting from around the world. this is what we do. al jazeera america. this is al jazeera america, i'm john. bullseye heavy snow power knocked out and flooding. for new england it was a direct hit. off target preparing for the worst and not getting it.
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>> we obviously missed the worst of the storm. >> reporter: the politics and the economic impact. children of war, thousands of child soldiers about to be released in south sudan. and never forget the liberation of auschwitz 70 years later a world war ii veteran shares his story. ♪ the snowstorm may have fizzled out in new york but new england cleaning up from a blizzard just as forceful as predicted and pour knocked out for thousands for 30,000 homes, in many places snow totals being recorded in feet and not inches and includes spots in connecticut and standing by in new london connecticut with more, paul? >> well that is right, john and it's definitely feet not inches in eastern connecticut, as you mentioned it skirted new york
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and new jersey and western and central connecticut but here on the cost in new london and towns like water ford here just got hampered 2-3 feet of snow on the ground. it is still coming down. it's about 16 degrees. the only up side to that cold is that the snow is very light and fluffy and not the stuff to collect and bring down the power lines and not too much problems with power but a lot of cleanup in the days ahead. >> reporter: connecticut is used to big snows, how do they handle this one? >> well so one issue for towns like new london it's about 27,000 people people is just limited resources. i spoke to the deputy police chief here and one of his biggest problems john is all of his cruisers are rear-we'll drive crown victorias which don't do well in the snow even with chains on so what they are doing is piling officers in the
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few 4 x 4 two and three at a time using the vehicles around the clock and from bridge port further to the west bridge port sent four snowplows to new london and returning the favor they did for bridge port a few years ago with a storm and they are helping each other out. >> reporter: bridge port not hit as hard this time how is this impacting small business. not good? >> no no this kinds of thing is terrible for small business and operate on a much tighter margin than big businesses and do not have those reserves and one day lost is a big problem and yesterday they closed early, closed all day today, it's going to be a late start tomorrow and they are still going to be a parking ban in place at least until noon is what the major is saying and walking around new london we found a guy shovelling the walk in front of a skate
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shop turns out it was charlie king the owner and this is what he had to say and says this kinds of thing is the last thing he needs. what does this do to a small business like yours? >> definitely hurts small businesses and no arguing that and the winter is a bad time for us and we are pretty much seasonal and days like this with some sales it's not worth it to open the doors. >> reporter: charlie says that during the wintertime he tries to run the place as an art gallery to bring this customers and do demonstrations and birthday parties and all that thing cancelled john when the weather is like this and hoping people start coming back around to downtown tomorrow. >> all right, paul thank you. several cities in the northeast at a stand still during the storm this week and now some are wondering if that wasn't overreaction and politicians are feeling the heat jonathan betz is here with that. >> it's difficult and botching
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a snow response cost politicians their jobs and many are proactive and can also strike against them and some are calling what happened this week snow-purbole. the storm glanced new york city but it was still a knock out, america's largest city shut down for historic blizzard that wasn't. and now politicians are feeling the heat. >> you can't be a monday morning quarterback on something like the weather. >> reporter: the mayor tried to brush off he and others over reacted by ordering everybody off the roads and shutting down the subway something never done before because of snow. >> would would be ahead or behind the action. >> reporter: one study found new york loses nearly $700 million every snow day. massachusetts looses $265 million. other studies say much of that lost business is quickly made up. it hits hourly workers especially hard.
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the average new yorker earns $400 a day. >> disappointed and want more and i'm off from work today and feels like there is no reason for me to be off. >> reporter: history is full of warnings for politicians who under estimated storms. atlanta last year 2" of snow and ice paralyzed the city. >> what could we do to have avoided that? we can't control mother nature. >> reporter: new york 2010 two people died because paramedics couldn't get through the snow and mayor was criticized over snow removal efforts. and in buffalo, new york last month a monster storm caught everyone by surprise dumping 7 feet of snow and stranding hundreds. many blamed governor andrew cuomo. >> we did not close roads because we did not anticipate 7 feet of snow and i made a comment that the weather forecast was not 100% accurate and offended weather forecasters
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around the country and i was berated for days. >> reporter: after this storm new york quickly restarted and say the impact was small and better safe than sorry. >> better in a situation saying we got lucky than saying we didn't get lucky and somebody died. >> reporter: and certainly parts of the northeast have been hit hard by this blizzard but the only history that storms make in new york city was shutting down the subways. >> reporter: despite what the mayor said i think they will be monday or tuesday morning quarterbacks. >> a lot of people talking about this. >> reporter: in south sudan nearly 300 child soldiers laid down their arms and the u.n. calls the largest ever demobilization of child soldiers and we have more. >> rebel force called the cobra action called them to fight and will release 3,000 of them to
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u.n. and some of them as young as 11 years old. [chanting] these children are the same age as middle school students some not yet even teenagers, many have been fighting for up to four years. >> this really means that childhood has stopped. they are now at the forefront some of them likely to face the risk of severe disability or death. >> reporter: rebel death cobra faction recruited them against south sudan government and now they don't have to fight any more. on tuesday in the state in eastern south sudan the group handed nearly 300 child soldiers over to unicef. the first of what will be 3,000 kids freed by a peace deal with the government. this 13 year old said he joined voluntarily. our enemies killed my sister and uncle and family members so i joined the faction and killed one of the enemy, if i had
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children i never would let them be soldiers. this 12-year-old said he is looking forward to going to school for the first time. the u.n. now has to try to reunite the boys with their families and a daunting task in a country with more than one million children displaced by civil war. and even with this peace deal unicef says 9,000 children are still fighting some with government forces others with rebel groups. >> they are subjected or they are witness to horrible stories. but mostly they are separated from their families from the communities. >> reporter: while they look for their families the u.s., the u.n. is working to get the boys into school and get them counseling and healthcare. and john all the children released today were boys but the u.n. says girls are also being used as child soldiers in south sudan. >> thank you and we have a south sudan policy analyst for the enough project and she is in our studio tonight, welcome. >> thank you.
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>> reporter: what do you think of the move? how significant is it? >> the real significance of the move is the opportunity that these young men are going to have to pursue an education, hopefully reunify with their families from whom they have been separated and in some cases for three or four years. and maybe reintegrate with their own community. >> reporter: how does unicef for governments be sure this is going to happen? >> it's hard to place an assurance on something like this. but what we do know is that the first step to getting kids out of fighting forces and helping them put down their arms is giving them alternate opportunities and the education piece to this is going to be crucial, letting these kids go back to school as they said some never had a chance to go to school and to learn something and envision an all nipt reality for themselves. >> reporter: you point to the real problem and south sudan is not a rich country, south sudan has many problems.
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you know if you don't take care of these kids you may, they may end up in trouble again, right? >> that is very true especially because the country is still embroiled in a brutal civil war that is tearing it apart and you know this small demobilization of these soldiers is a part of a small geographically limited peace deal but war continues to rage in other parts of the country. >> reporter: the interesting part of this it seems to me is there are still thousands that are soldiers and how do you get those kids out? >> that's the big challenge. what we do know is the u.n. estimates that 9,000 kids are still soldiers and schools are being targeted so both the government and rebel factions can recruit and capture more kids so this really requires forcing them those two armed factions to stop using kids like that. >> reporter: how big of a problem is this worldwide? >> not just a problem in central
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africa. in fact, they are an issue in latin america and southeast asia as well. too many places see children as the easiest way to fatten up their ranks and maybe be able to leverage the little power that they do have. >> has there been an uptick in resent years, stayed the same? >> well you know we've heard that conflicts in general civil wars have gone down and child soldiers are usually incorporated in conflicts like this, civil wars between rebel factions and government factions but this war what is unique is the government and the rebels have both been implicated in recruiting and in capturing children to become with them. >> reporter: what do you think brought about this change? >> the change? >> reporter: the move by the government and unicef and everyone to come together and say we are going to do this? >> in this case the small rebel faction, the cobra faction put
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down their arms because the government gave them a little autonomy over their local area so the leader basically negotiated a deal for himself and his community and a part of that deal was that all of their soldiers would put down their arms and stop fighting the government, the government did this because they were facing a lot of challenges on other fronts. they were suddenly in a civil war where they would be attacked on the other flank as well and had a motivation to strike a deal with this man and that is why the kids were finally able to escape the situation they are in the soldiers. >> reporter: it's an interesting story and thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> you're welcome and thanks for having me. >> reporter: scrutiny on immigration and allows foreigners who invest in america to get preferential treatment on citizen applications but say citizenship should not be for sale and adam may has that story. >> if you agree that economic growth is good for the people
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then this is a good program. >> reporter: yes, those vontraps is one of the last surviving children of family that inspired the movie the sound of music. ♪ the hills are alive with the sound of music ♪ the famous immigrant family is part of a little known controversial government program that puts wealthy, foreign investors on a fast track to u.s. citizenship. the program is called eb-5 a whopping 58% of eb-5 investors are from china. here is how it works. foreign investors and their families get green cards. and eventually full u.s. citizenship by writing a half a million dollar check to fund an american economic development project. that project has to create ten full time american jobs per investor. but for the vontrap family it's
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a god send and they enrolled in the eb-5 program almost two years ago so they could expand this small brewery operating in the basement of an old barn on their resort. >> when you typically borrow money from a bank the bank wants to start getting paid interest right away well the brewery is not having cash for a few years and more imaginative financing had to be found and the eb-5 program was ideal for this. >> reporter: thanks to millions of eb-5 dollars from chinese investors. it's already employed dozens of construction workers and once complete it will be staffed with more than a dozen full-time workers. but not every eb-5 program is a winner. in south dakota the f.b.i. investigated a failed beef plant that left eb-5 investors broke. in missouri a 0-calorie sweetener factory that promised
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600 jobs went belly up. >> we have an obligation as a country to take on refugees. these are real kinds of obligations and i don't think that bringing in somebody with half a million dollars is an equal obligation. >> reporter: what do you think your grandparents would say about eb-5? >> i think my grandparents would think it is great and they would like something that provided the opportunity for people who earned their money honestly to be able to move to a country with this much potential. >> reporter: potential, the vontraps are still trying to tap into. adam may, al jazeera, vermont. you can watch the full report on america tonight at the top of the hour after this broadcast but up next never again, auschwitz survivors gather to mark 70 years since the death camp was liberated. and bearing witness to the holocaust an american world war ii vet tells his story.
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a marking of time in poland
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today holocaust survivors gathered to mark 70 years since the liberation from the auschwitz death camp this is the last time a gathering like this is expected to take place and simon mc-greger wood has the story. ♪ 70 years on 300 elderly survivors gathered before auschwitz gate of death where a million were killed and vast majority jews and roman and homosexuals and soviet prisoners of war and this is the last anniversary with so many living witnesses, outside the rail way sightings where selection took place to worker slaves or to be gassed. wreaths laid on the wall where prisoners shot and those that could paid tribute to families and friends wiped out.
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this anniversary will be the last one in which a significant number of survivors will be present and there is a concern that without living witnesses keeping the memories alive of what happened here and the lessons it teaches us and future generations will be much harder. all this just weeks after the shootings in paris with an increase in anti-semitism on one hand and attacks against muslims and mosques on the other and the spectrum of tolerance is rising. >> translator: you who are french jews your place is here your home france is your country. you have given it your talent your walk your courage and sometimes your blood. >> reporter: also at auschwitz the german grandson of nazi who ran the camp atoning for his family crimes.
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>> i think people start to ignore the past and that bears for me it's dangerous. very dangerous and when you see how many right wing parties now in the european parliament it's frightening and it scares me. >> reporter: never again became the rallying cry for those who survived and as they pass away they fear the warning of what can happen will pass with them. simon mc-greger wood al jazeera, auschwitz poland. >> the rabbi leads the congregation in los angeles california where he is tonight and rabbi welcome. >> thank you. >> reporter: can you -- do you share the same feeling we just heard that the world will begin to ignore the past? >> well i would say instead that the world has already begun to ignore the past and what you heard in the report itself of antisemantic attacks and bomb ings of synagogues and threats
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inkates that a europe and for that matter a world that systematically destroyed a third of the jewish people is if not on the same path at least not deterred by that unimaginable catastrophe. >> reporter: talk about the significance of the 70-year anniversary. >> as was also noted, the survivors are few and aged and 70 years after auschwitz we have very few who managed to survive that hell on earth. and so their testimony is precious and we know from that experience that the only thing that is necessary for evil to triumph is to sit back and do nothing and if their voice does not resonate through history the
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world will pay to the jewish people a terrible price. >> reporter: they felt to keep the voice alive with a show of foundation. how else the that be done? >> well you do it in part through art and through testimony and through literature and through responsible journalism. but also through the leaders of communities standing up the leaders of every community and saying as the president of france did, when antisemantic attacks occur, that this is outrageous and unacceptable and have to protest the existence of this viral hatred that has done so much damage whether it's in europe on the middle east or even in certain into stances in the united states. >> reporter: let me bring up a couple of those examples like
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boka-haran and why does genicide exist? >> interestingly and painful enough almost always includes an addition hatred of the jew and they have made themselves enemies of the world and that is true of the communist and it was true of the nazis and it's now true of the islamic radical fundamentalists. and so in boka-har a rshgsr am they want to kill jews and isil targets jews and have to be honest about what the hatred is and hatred of western life and what gave birth to christianity and islam. >> reporter: when you watch the president of france speak and talk about antisemitism and
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keeping jews in france what are your thoughts? >> i think and i hope he is strong much to make that a reality. i really do believe that screw -- jewish communities should be able to stay and contribute to and enjoy the culture they have done so much to create. i fear that that won't happen over time but i hope that it will. >> reporter: give me your final thoughts on this 70th anniversary and do you think that anniversaries in the future because they are so few survivors who are of a certain age will be the same? >> john i think that the key issue for human beings is to learn to respect and ultimately to love the other. the person who is not like you and will not be like you. we know what the world has done to the other. it has tried to silence and destroy them. and if auschwitz stands as a
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monument to the catastrophe that hatred of the other has done throughout history then perhaps all of those souls that perished will not entirely perish in vain. >> thank you for being on the program, the horrors of the nazi concentration camps reach far beyond auschwitz and leon bass is a world war ii veteran and helped liberate a camp a few months later and shares his impressions from that life changing day. >> my name is leon bass i was a soldier in world war ii and served my country of the united states of america. i was going with this officer. i got on the truck and i said where are we going? he says you are going to a concentration camp. i didn't know what it was. nobody ever told me what a concentration camp was all
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about. but i was told to go. and that was an order. and as i got close i realized it was an enclosure that kept somebody inside. and other people outside. >> most dreadful of the camps was here of the quarter of the prison population left alive when rescued by americans thousands were beyond human aid. >> people are thin their body had not been washed. i could see it. i could smell it. yes. others had sores and you could see that they were not, they were mall treated. i was trying to grasp this situation and say to myself leon can you handle this? can you understand what you're trying to do here? and i wasn't quite sure. i knew they were not being
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treated properly. especially the little ones. the children. you can look at the children and see how much they were losing. ♪ when i entered the concentration camp i was an angry young black soldier. i was angry at my country for what it was doing to me and my race. but now i can see a bit more clearly and i now understood that human suffering was not relegated to just me. pain and suffering is universal. i also knew on this spring day in april at the concentration camp that i had seen the face of
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evil. to this day i think about it. >> reporter: we will be right back.
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coming up, at the broadcast at 11:00 eastern time a georgia inmate put to death and the protesters trying to save his life and the failed attempt to get the supreme court involved and breakthrough heart procedure that saved the life of a two-year-old girl involving a 3d printer and stories coming up at 11:00 eastern and now to the picture of the day, this is massachusetts along the coast. flooding freezing ice, snow rising seas. a winter storm that took a major toll on that part of the state.
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taking a heavy toll in new england tonight. that is our broadcast and thanks for watching m john and see you back at 11:00 eastern time and america tonight with joey coming up, next. joie chen on "america tonight" - buying in. the little known immigration programme that is giving wealthy foreigners an opportunity to purchase a piece of the american dream. >> i don't think we should be selling visas to people whose claim to fame is they have money adam may on a steady flow of new investment or is america selling out on citizenship also hundreds of millions spent on the fight for ebola