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tv   America Tonight  Al Jazeera  December 25, 2013 12:00am-1:01am EST

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christmas day in bethlehem. the headlines straight ahead. ♪ this is al jazeera america live from new york city. i'm tony harris with a look at tonight's top stories. 150 u.s. marines are on stand by near south sudan. today the security council voted to increase the size of the peace-keeping force to over 12,000, nearly doubling the current level. a message of love and forgiveness from pope francis tonight. he celebrated his first christmas eve mass. he told church catholics to choose light over darkness. astronauts will have a day off tomorrow after fixing their
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cooling system today. it was a space walk that lasted more than seven hours. holiday sales are on the decline for retail outlets. retailers usually make about 40% of their annual revenue between november and christmas. six months after leaking more than a million documents to the media, edward snowden says accomplished what he wanted to do. he said he wanted the public to have a say in how they are governed, and those are the headlines. merry christmas. good evening, thanks for being with us. i'm joie chen.
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any measure he has become one of the most interesting people this career, pope francis. the head of the catholic church has become somewhat of a spiritual rock star. he has also been described as a revolutionary. sheila macvicar begins our coverage on the pope and his impact on the world's catholics. >> reporter: this father is a jesuit and professor at georgetown university. he has spent his adult life s studies issues of social and economic justice. he also lived in argentina when pope francis was the local archbishop. how has his life there formed
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his view? >> coming from argentina, he grew up being exposed to high degrees oequality. >> reporter: his own family is a family of privilege? >> no, no, working class family. and he talks about the values his grandmother taught him, especially. that work has dignity. that people should be treated with respect. >> reporter: as a boy he saw inequity. as a young man he lived a secular life. before he became a priest he worked as a chemical technician and even as a nightclub bouncer. as he rose through the ranks of the church he continues to visit his neighborhoods. >> he
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is grounded and rooted in the stories of people's lives, and that is built in his experience. i think he is asking us to question what we understand about the world around us, and specialsly around the economic system around us. rather than discussing the stock market, he would like to ask about the person that is suffering cold today because warm. >> reporter: and he addressed the stock market. >> exactly. and he says it is scan dellous. >> reporter: he is not afraid of making a pointed gesture. three days ago he chose to spend his birthday with three homeless romance and their dog. his calls for social and economic justice, his condemnation of what he called
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unfetters capitolism, prompted some to accuse pope francis of being a closet marksist. >> somebody has either written this for him or gotten to him, this is just pure marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope. there is no such unfettered capitalism anywhere. >> reporter: in response the pope said, quote . . . >> he is not talking about a new economic's textbook that is going to orient the economy, he is saying individuals and groups and companies need to act differently. national governments need to act differently, but he is pushing us to see at the first level the few man cost of the infrastructure we live under. >> reporter:
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it's not just his message but his actions that have capturedmaginations. he has repeatedly signaled his intent to be with his people. easter week he made headlines when he washed the feet of inmates. the washing of feet being a tradition at gesture of humility, but this time he included muslims and women. no other pope has ever washed the feet of women. in doing so he ignored the church's own rules. and this image of him blessing a disfigured man moved many around the globe. >> somewhere along the way he learned what it means to be one with people, he understood what it means to look into people's live, he understood what it means to take their hand and give them 100%
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attention. his eye is also on the crowd, not on the big statements. what he says when he speaks is usually incredibly brief. he likes to boil it down to three words of phrases. but then he'll spend hours in the pope mobile and stopping over and over again so he can meet the individuals. >> reporter: what is the most surprising thing that this pope has said or done? >> it's a tremendously difficult question. the most surprising thing -- so many things have struck me and touched me. i think the most striking thing he has done is his embrace of margins. >> reporter: but francis has made his biggest news addressing the issue of gay rights. on a flight back from his first visit overseas a trip to brazil
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he was asked about gay clergy to which he replied who am i to judge? how important is that that he said that? >> profoundly important. in one of his interviews he says we must always think first of the person. this is about the person who in their wholeness is doing their best, rather than focusing on a particular action or particular event that might be sinful, let's focus on the individual and bring them in. >> reporter: those words were enough for the lgbt publication to name them their person of the year to the outrage of many of their readers who argue . . . >> in the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit . . . >> reporter: on other questions of catholic teaches, divorce, remarriage, contraception, this
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pope has started by asking members of the church their surveys. what kind of questions are they asking? this >> what is it like to be a divorced and remarried catholic? what is it like to live according to the church's teachings on birth control? >> reporter: do you think the church is really interested in hearing those answers? the >> i think he is. i think the church doesn't know how to interpret them, but he has told us he should be willing to listen and engage. what is the most revolutionary thing to me? it is precisely that. when you look at it that way, then you end up saying things like whom am i to judge? then you end up saying things like i want to engage with divorced and remarried catholics belong.
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>> joining us now to continue our discussion is cardinal theodore mccaric, the retired archbishop of washington, d.c. so many people have been talking about pope francis. in your perspective, though, has the pope's greatest impact been on doctriner or perhaps the image of the papacy? >> i think you could probably make a case for both. there is nothing that he has taught or preached that does not fit into catholic doctrine. obviously he is the propagate for of the doctrine. he is the voice of the church throughout the world. but i think maybe the most important thing is his style. he is obviously a very humble man. he is obviously a very nice man. and he is obviously someone who
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believes what he says. what you see is what you get. and i think that that has touched the people of the world, men, women, children, old people, they all seem to smile when he comes on the tv screen or when he comes into a room. >> has he changed the faith and understanding of the faith for priests, for you in particular? >> well, i hope not. i hope i have always had the same principles that the holy father preaches so eloquently today not just by what he says but by how he says it. i think we have -- we have sort of become closed in sometimes and he wants to open us up to the reality of the world, open us up to all of the difficulties of the world, to the dangers that come if we make ourselves the judge of -- of all of the
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world. our job is to love each other, and to talk to each other and to try to persuade other people to be -- not try to persuade ourselves first, that's the first, as he has done -- but try to persuade other people also to -- to make sacrifices for others. when we lent to lampedusa, i'm sure there were people that were very upset by his adopting these poor muslim casualties and the young people that couldn't be killed, because the boat sank. i'm sure they said why don't you worry about other people. he worries about everybody. but he wants to make sure he is worrying about people that nobody is worrying about. so there is the secret of this man. he is going to the periphery of society, and that's where he wants to see the church go.
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he doesn't want to see the church just with the comfortable. he wants to see us with the uncomfortable, and try to make them uncomfortable as time goes by. it's a big -- he's taken out a big bite out of this -- the difficulties of the world, and he has proclaimed that church should be like this. that catholic communities should be like this. we should worry about the poor. we should want to help them. we should worry about the people who are stranded. we should worry about people who are not welcome in other coup tries. we should worry about these things. and not worry so that we become a mess, but worry so that we do something to help them. it is not a complicated lesson. he is a very complicated man at the same time. >> thank you very much for being here with us.
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>> thank you for giving me the opportunity. god bless you. tonight." >> i'm looking out my window and see nothing but a beautiful morning in chattanooga. >> more than 70 years on the job, and he still has got it. consider this: the news of the day plus so much more. >> we begin with the government shutdown. >> answers to the questions no one else will ask. >> it seems like they can't agree to anything in washington no matter what. >> antonio mora, award winning and hard hitting. >> we've heard you talk about the history of suicide in your family. >> there's no status quo, just the bottom line. >> but, what about buying shares
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in a professional athlete?
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the stream is uniquely interactive television. we depend on you, >> you are one of the voices of this show. >> so join the conversation and make it your own. >> the stream. weeknights 7:30 et / 4:30 pt on al jazeera america and join the conversation online @ajamstream. ♪ and welcome back. now we're going to introduce you to a man who with just one little sentence stopped traffic in tennessee. he is the voice of chattanooga and has been on the air since
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before slinkies wer incent -- invented in the 40s. here is his story. >> this is wdef, radio chattanooga, 5:30 after 9:00. >> reporter: he is unlike anybody else. he is chattanooga. >> i'm looking out my hotel window and see nothing but a beautiful morning in chattanooga. >> reporter: at 91 he is the oldest broadcaster in this the united states. his career spans more than seven decades, and he still types his scripts on a royal typewriter. long-time coworker and friend doris ellis. >> i think luther will probably die behind the microphone. it's something he loves. and i think he will
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do this until the last breath he takes. >> reporter: his story begins at the dawn of world war ii. when he was working at a gas station. the owner of a local baseball team was starting a radio station. he pulled in looking for gas, but found much more. >> he said you have a pretty good voice, you interested in radio? and i said, yeah, i guess so. we're having auditions tonight, come down. i said i'll be there. so i attended. he said go on in and read this for us. i read it. and came back out. and he said you did all right. would you like to be our apprentice or club announcer? i'll take it. >> reporter: at that point he launched a career that kept going. >> loui jordan with "it's been said." >> reporter: and going as vinyl became tape.
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and still going to this day as tape become digital. >> found a jack russell terrier area. >> reporter: did you think you would still be sitting in a radio booth today? >> this many years later? no, i did not. i didn't get in it, thinking i want to make a lifetime of this. it was pleasant work, good pay, not too much in the beginning, but no, it was all right. >> what is the most interesting animal you have ever found? >> i found an alligator that escaped, somebody brought it up here from florida, and it'scaped, just scared the daylights out of the neighbors. >> reporter: thousands of grief sticken
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chat gu -- chat knew gansz have called at all however hours of the day. >> i can't remember a time when luther wasn't in our home. seriously ever since i was in diaper he has been on the radio. >> cloudy skies all day today -- >> reporter: james howard has been luthers co-host for 20 years. he was born at the height of luther's influence. and like most here james has his own story. >> i was nine years old, and it was my responsibility to feed my dog, andy. and one day i went to go feed andy, and he wasn't there. my mom looked at me and she said james i'm going to call luther
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when we get home. and he'll help us find andy. back? >> yes, three days later, we were sitting at the breakfast table. and my mom answers the phone, and she goes hey -- yeah, shhhhh, it's luther. yes, luther? and luther had found andy less than a mile away from our home. >> reporter: james wrote a book called "my life with luther." >> luther almost caused a gas shortage during the carter administration. what happened? >> yeah, exactly. what luther says people believe. luther went on the radio and said we have this gas shortage and be ware, we need to go fill up. well, everybody did that. and by the end of the day, we
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were -- there wasn't a drop of fuel in or around chattanooga. >> reporter: in the tennessee luther [ technical difficulties ] >> i don't listen to the radio. i'm sorry. >> reporter: she doesn't listen to your show. everyone in chattanooga listens to your show except your wife. >> yeah. >> reporter: they got married in 1957 and still live in the same house they loved into almost 60 years ago. >> we met in church. i knew his mother way before i knew him. >> reporter: when you knew he
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was a radio personality, did you have second thoughts? >> maybe i should have. no, i didn't change my mind. he was just always so nice and sweet and calming. >> reporter: two kids later, two grandkids later, still in love? >> still in love. anything. >> i wouldn't trade you for anything either. >> oh, come on. >> honey. >> reporter: luther's long-term loyalty goes beyond his marriage, every tuesday he has lunch with the same group of friends going back decades. >> the man knows radio. he loves his work, he should keep going. >> reporter: yeah. >> i think it's great. >> and some of the people actually love you. >> i guess so i don't know. >> reporter: he is said to be the only person in the world who
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was on air for both pearl harbor and 9/11. the 91-year-old has appeared daily on addition. >> luther welcome to the hall of fame. and that'syours. . . >> reporter: luther was welcomed into the radio hall of fame last year. what is it like when you drive by this sign every day on your way to work? >> it's a good feeling because they spelled the name right. [ laughter ] >> reporter: you are the oldest d.j. in the u.s. right now. >> that's what they say, yeah. >> reporter: what do you think of that title? >> people kid me about it, and say when are you going to retire luther? and i say i have no plans. if my voice starts failing as it
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does in an older person, and i'm at that old age now, at 91, but if it begins to quiver then i'll step down. morning. >> thank you, sir. >> reporter: i think it's incredible when you go around this town and the way people react to him. i can only imagine what it is going to be like when he is gone. have you thought about that? >> yeah. um . . . [ laughter ] loss? >> yeah, absolutely. absolutely. i don't like to think about life without luther, because the book is called "my life with luther," and i don't like to think about that. but i know -- i know that that day will come, it will be -- it will be a sad day. >> reporter: the love for luther
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has spread well beyond chattanooga, leading to many job offers over the years from philadelphia. >> that never really seriously entered my mind to move out of chattanooga and take a job that was so much more lucrative than what i had. rich. >> yeah, i could have been rich, and you people would have been . . . [ technical difficulties ] >> our correspondent adam may getting some good lessons from luther. coming up on "america tonight," in the other america we'll meet a young woman who is playing by the rules but still struggling >> every morning from 5 to 9am al jazeera america brings you
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more us and global news than any other american news channel. find out what happened and what to expect. >> start every morning, every day, 5am to 9 eastern with al jazeera america. was -- prince william was dating kate middleton. >> ross shimabuku is here with sport. >> dennis rodman is in north korea to train basketball players for an upcoming player. he wants everyone to know he's not a joke. this is the same guy who dressed up in a wedding gown and will rite a book with his bff, kim jong un. the 52-year-old rodman, who never shies away from the spotlight arrived in north korea ñ
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the holidays are of course the season of giving, and all of us are asked to think of those who are less fortunate. at some point in your lives, more than 50% of all americans will spend a year in or near poverty. and most of these people are worked extensively, but they just can't seem to get ahead. as part of our series the other america, we'll introduce you to stacy, mother of three who spends four hours each day just trying to get to work because she can't afford to live close to her job. . >> get up baby, now please. that's it you did. come on. come on, baby. get up child. >> i call myself master of disguises. did you hear me? all right. have a good day.
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>> i say that because most days i'm in tears by the time i get to work, because i'm frustrated, but then i think about it, and somebody is worse than me. so i end up smiling because if i don't, i'll cry. are you up? i have three kids and i work with today -- toddlers. my oldest is 12 he is in middle school, my daughter is nine. my youngest is six, and he is definitely the baby. 6:00 i make my two youngest up. i make their lunches the night before, breakfast are made the night before and just warmed up in the morning.
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we're normally out the door about 6:30, 6:35 if all goes well. most mornings prayer is essential. not having reliable transportation because i don't have a car is a hinderance. because in order for me to go to their school, i have to catch a jab from my job to their school which is $30. for me to go to award ceremonies or pick up a sick child, it's not in my budget. i love ya. behave. be a good little boy. other than that, i normally still get the kids out to their bus on time. it's just a matter of if i make my bus. this is the first bus and then i take two trains and another bus. i like to get out here early, because i normally catch their
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bus as they are passing buy. i catch the bus in front of my apartment. if i miss that bus, i run about a block and a half up the street to try to catch the express bus so i still catch my 7:09 train. and then i get to the train station about 7:08. next we're going to the train westbound to five points. and then i get to five points about 7:25. the next train comes at 7:28, about two minutes to get downstairs and get to that train if that's on time. and then i'm normally to brook haven about 7:45. rain or shine i'm like the mailman i still deliver. this is my same routine even in the cold.
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on a bad day when it is raining, i leave a little before time, but i still catch a cab. i'm not sure how many miles it is. normally it takes me roughly an hour and a half to two hours on average day. if i were to drive to work it takes me maybe ten or 15 minutes. started off our routine about 6:45, finally here 8:30. i looked into moving closer to my job, but if i go to apply for something, i feel like i'm prejudged before i even get there. everybody wants the same thing, they want at least three times the rent. the fact that i haven't been my job for several years is not enough credit for me. when i moved in here, my food stamps were considered part of my income. so that gave me three times the
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rent. it's okay to live here, but if i want a better quality of life and move somewhere else that's not acceptable. so it feels like i'm just stuck in this zone. after taxes are deducted i bring home for the month a little less than 1200. i do a math blackout in my house, so there's nothing on until about 5:00. i don't turn on my air, normally we'll use the fan but only if it is super hot. my rent is $800 a month. my phone bill is $50. my martyr transit is $55. so normally i spent out like $1,180, so i end up with $20 left for the month. this is the renewal letter. perfect example of if one thing
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goes wrong in my chain of command as my food stamps did today. how do i feed my children? i received a letter saying i needed to send my paperwork because there was an error. and there may be a delay or they may be terminated. which means i may have to put off a bill or just pay a portion of it just to make sure i can get something in here. so what gave us 24? >> 12. >> just two times 12. and then what? i feel defeated. i go to work every day. i'm on time every day. i have been on the same job for eight years, never had any problems but i can't afford to move to a better environment for my children, so it kind of makes me feel like a failure. the track you start out on will feel like the one, you might
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take a few more before you are done. i'm up every day whether it's sick or tired and i'm out the door and off to work. i do that, because i have to take care of my children. >> just trust in yourself, you'll climb every hill, say i think i can, and guess what, you will. the end. so you made it through today. they are in one piece. they are in their beds. they are resting. my kids are my world. everything i do is for them. knight baby. it makes it fun. it gives me what i need to do to get up in the morning and do it again. >> great to see her doing that. still to come on "america tonight," how to make it in the art world. >> if he would have been white and living in new york he would have been a celebrity long ago in my opinion.
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>> it is as much about your work as your social position? why consider this: the news of the day plus so much more. >> we begin with the government shutdown. >> answers to the questions no one else will ask. >> it seems like they can't agree to anything in washington no matter what. >> antonio mora, award winning and hard hitting. >> we've heard you talk about the history of suicide in your family. >> there's no status quo, just the bottom line. >> but, what about buying shares in a professional athlete?
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>> every sunday night al jazeera america brings you conversations you won't find anywhere else. >> you're listening because you want to see what's going to happen. >> get your damn education. >> talk to al jazeera. >> only on al jazeera america. >> oh my!
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>> start with one issue education...
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finally tonight a view from the holy land. it is one of the most sacred places on earth and for some of its residents also the most dangerous. there are more than a million land mines thought to be scattered across the middle east. here is nick shiprin with the story. ♪ jesus walked
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♪ >> reporter: -- children are now free to sing. this village is just four miles from bethlehem. but until recently this holy soil was decided reungodly. mine. the mine exploded in my face. he spent his whole life fearing this field when he was seven as they played, his best friend stepped on a mine. he was torn to pieces he says. i don't want my children to suffer like that. across the holy land there are a million and a half mines and unexploded detonates. the groups roots of peace set
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out to make this soil pure. >> how can there be mines in the holy land? let me spend my time and energy to demine this precious area. >> reporter: it was created by californian heidi, and inspired by princess diana, heidi decided to replace mines with vines. it dug up mines and planted grapevines. in iraq it planted wheat. and helped cleanse one of the most mine filled land of all, afghanistan. she was touched by a young israeli boy. when he met heidi, he asked her to create a mine-free world. the first field to be cleared
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was the deadliest. eight children died here. clearing it took half a million dollars all raised privately. today kids play freely. this man doesn't have any fear. he says the next generation won't have to suffer the way he did. our children can live their childhood without fear or tragedy. he hopes to turn the field into a park and clinic. >> the clinic is very necessary for us, and to be a sign of peace in our land. >> reporter: and that's why this effort is about more than mines. this field and the one across the highway once marked the 1948 green line. >> in christmas time we say let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.
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so one mine at a time we take from the ground, we break up the borders and allow the people to see each other. [ singing ] >> reporter: so today's singing is more than a christmas carol, it's a call for peace and a thank you for making a field once soiled with mines holy ground once again. and that is it for us here on "america tonight." please remember that if you would like to comment on any stories that you have seen here tonight, you can log on to our website, aljazeera.com/americatonight. we'll also see you on twitter or our facebook page. thanks. we'll have more of "america tonight" tomorrow. ♪
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he. >> welcome to al jazeera america. i'm david shuster. , life support, allowing her family a time for appeal. the teenager was declared brain dead after she suffered complications from a tonsillectomy earlier this month. her family is hoping for a christmas miracle. pope francis performed his first ever christmas eve ceremony.

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