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tv   America Tonight  Al Jazeera  November 20, 2014 4:00am-5:01am EST

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in washington, i am ray suarez. ♪ >> on "america tonight": ferguson waits with the nation for the grand jury's answer. will anyone be prosecuted for the death of michael brown? and will a new commission help the community find a way to move forward? >> i represent the folks that are out there in ferguson. i am the folks that have been out there, i am mike brown so i don't want to make it seem like i'm aligning myself with the governor. >> and the echoes of ferguson from a crime from another time. new orleans, the blue shield of
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silence and a very long road to justice. >> also tonight sure it's buffalo but it's not even winter yet. and have you seen this? it's how the first big snow arrived this year in buffalo. and topping it off: the nation's most expensive fixer-upper and why this is one project both republicans and democrats agree is worth the price. >> good evening thanks for joining us, i'm joie chen. the plans are in place, schools will close and the missouri national guard is on stand by already but it's still unclear when the grand jury will decide whether anyone will stand trial for the death of michael brown. back in august, as you recall,
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part of the effort to move ferguson forward the governing has just named -- governor has just named a panel to address racial tensions and there's doubt that will be enough. "america tonight"'s lori jane gliha spoke with the youngest member of the new panel. >> i started to get excited on how maybe we really can get something out of this. maybe some real systematic change and the youth voices really will be heard and not always the older folks, i mean older, older than 20. >> reporter: at 20 years old, rasheen aldridge is on the front lines of the ferguson protest and taking on a new responsibility of changing a system and helping to repair a racial divide, one that's existed in his home state longer than he can remember. >> this isn't a game, this isn't a joke. like we really want to seek the change.
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>> rasheen is a youngest member of the governor's commission, that will tap into resources to help address the racial unrest in the area. >> i hope as a young person can provide the concerns and issues that young people have and waking up and feeling like your life don't matter, walking outside and feeling like you're getting targeted just because you were black. >> what went through your mind when you were selected? >> i was scary, i didn't expect to make it. i represent the folks that are out there in ferguson. i am the folks that have been out there in shaw, i am mike brown, i don't want to make it seem like i'm aligning myself with the governor. >> at first, rasheen wasn't sure he would apply. he and his fellow protesters weren't sure that could solve the problem and make a lasting impact. >> protesting got us to a ferguson commission, protesting
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got us to a response by the governor, response by the mayor. it is important for us to be in different positions. we need to be on board, we need to be on commission, we need to be protesting, we need to be in the streets, we need to be in the offices, we need to be everywhere they are to make our voices heard and need them to know we need change. >> what is the reaction to your peers? >> they haven't worked, commissions haven't worked and why is it going to work now? like the youth really want to see the change. we're tired of waking up and seeing our brothers and sisters killed. like we are tired. ired. we lived this. we don't want to live part 2. >> rasheen is a member of young united. as one of the the new commissioners he plans to bring that youthful experience to the table. but there are many like him that say the commission is just a
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band-aid that won't effect real change. >> quite frankly, the ferguson commission started august 9th. those are the people you needed to be talking to. those and the demands and the ideas are clear. so if you are not making an active attempt to address what people have already put out in front of you then you just put together a commission of people, to sit in and act like they're doing stuff, i don't think that -- i don't think that's the most effective route. >> activist damon davis has been on the front license too, working towards same goal, bridging the divide but seeing the solution differently. >> i think i used the most thinking. >> he uses his artwork to bring awareness to the racial tensions. personally. there are others who need to be in board rooms, on city councils, need to be on specific government roles. and i understand that's a part
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of it too. there's this thing in st. louis called the sloop. >> the 29-year-old designed this wall called the del mar divide. >> that's south side, historically where the white people live, the rich people live, the more educated people live. and it's also, it's a place where poor people are taught, you shouldn't be over there. the same with them. if they -- they taught that this is dangerous, this is evil. >> reporter: he erected it to bring people together and it's working . >> piece of paper. you got the elements of, you just write what you think. >> reporter: could you show me where the letters are? >> i can see some right here.
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>> reporter: so you take these letters home with you? >> i just check them out. some, what do we got? is this a typed -- oh, this is a typed letter. you have the makings of a great man. my husband saw the article about your wailing wall of the great delmar divide. >> describe how this fits into what's happening in ferguson. >> nothing else just conversation. bet it out in the open. start talking about the differences that we have. because if we keep ignoring it the subdivide stays there. the wall stays there. if we get out here we start talking about it, start thinking about it you know what i mean that's where real change can start, real systemic change. >> damon's artwork has already started some conversation. >> get to know people from different walks of life different classes different races, and start actually
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working together, to work on this. >> reporter: damon says he hopes more people will acknowledge their differences and celebrate them together. in a way these two activists have done just that as they both push for change. >> i think it's cool, you got adifferent way. it's a big problem with a lot of arms. some people want to teach. some people want to get out on the street and protest. some people want to be community leaders. but we're going to need all of those people to fix the problem. >> we're all attacking them at different angles and we're all attacking them at different sides and we are all seeking change differently but at the end of the day it is all going to come back to one thing and that's justice. >> reporter: there's a reeffort to bring people together, even as rasheen, damon and others wait anxiously for the grand jury to are bring out a
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decision. >> lori jane, about this commission, how did they make sure it wasn't a whole lot of talk? >> we had a whole lot more clarity, a specific deadline and a path they actually have to do, they have to come up with a report in which they make policy recommendations and their deadline is september 2015. specific things they have to address in the report, for example, citizen police participation, race and ethnic divide, disparities in education health care an childcare, then they have to put these into this policy report. of course the governor has said if they can make policy recommendations before that, that those would be welcomed. at least they have a concrete plan in place and a deadline in which they have to meet. >> also the choice of members of this panel is really important as you noted. also i recall over the weekend
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we talked to you and you had talked almost exclusively with the mayor of ferguson about his interest in taking part in this panel. was he chosen? >> actually he was not chosen. i think he kind of had an inkling that that was going to happen, because he heard people in advance had been getting phone calls. he wasn't the only leader who had not been accepted onto this commission. there was a mayor that was not selected for the commission. the mayor tells us he feels a little bit left out with this commission but he has his own plans for moving his city forward and he heard in the piece a variety of ways that people are coming to a collective goal. hopefully they can help come up with a plan that can help move this region forward. >> "america tonight's" lori jane gliha in ferguson, missouri, thanks. mike brown's death expose ed
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fissures all over, sometimes corruption behind it. we wouldn't have to go back that far to make a point. but the death of a young mother 20 years ago in new orleans is a potent reminder of the worst of the worst and the power of a daughter's determination to find justice. "america tonight's" sarah hoye brings us an in-depth look at her story. >> dear mom: this memorial is hard. my insides feel dead. i just want to go back to alabo, be young again and look you in your beautiful face. >> reporter: this is the only picture jasmine groves has of her late mother. all the others destroyed by hurricane katrina. kim groves was shot to death by a hit man 20 years ago a day before jasmine's 13th birthday. >> a friend of hers, kim just got shot, i think she's dead.
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i was like hmm? >> her mother lay on the ground with a gunshot to the head. >> i didn't react like most 12-year-olds react but the thing that was amazing a bullet hole had knocked her brains out but within her eyes you could see the sorrow, i'm sorry i have to leave you guys. >> she spoke to you through her eyes? >> yes. >> the past two decades passed slowly for jasmine. now with three children. last month was jasmine's 32nd birthday. the same year that her mother was gunned down. each year she holds a service for her mother. >> it was 911 i called to come and help save you they know it was the own kind who killed you. >> new orleans had 424 murders that year. according to fbi statistics .
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once a title murder capital of the world. >> welcomed the verdicts which could -- >> kim groves was reporting new orleans police officer len davis for brutalizing a neighborhood kid. davis, a well-known corrupt cop and two co-defendants triggerman ball cool hardy and get away driver damon kazzi, was found guilty in 1986, davis was sentenced to death. >> this was a man who had no compassion for human beings, the language in the tapes clearly evidence that. >> davis had been recorded on a federal wiretap ordering groafs murder and celebrating when he learned she was dead. >> they were gangsters in blue, it. >> new orleans criminologist peter sharps, says the police department has a long history of construction and excessive use
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of force. >> how bad was it in 1994? >> it was the worst police department i had ever seen or heard of. not saying it was ubiquitous. it was there. people thought it was a lone wolf, an aberrant cop. but it wasn't. >> new orleans councilman at large. >> what evokes the feeling when you hear len davis? >> bad guy, boogie man, that was what len davis was. this is somebody who has the power of law behind him. >> len davis is alive on death row. his case tied up with appeals for nearly two decades. meanwhile the family of kim groves is still waiting for justice. they filed a federal civil
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rights lawsuit against the city in 1995. when jasmine was just 14. but a judge stalled that suit until davis' appeals are exhausted leaving the family in limbo. >> his injustice is injustice of a family who have to live every day. len davis is still on that row. i mean he can go back and forth to court whenever he wants but no one considered a family, we have to go through this. over and over and over again. >> new orleans city officials declined "america tonight's" interview request saying the city does not comment on pending litigation. however, kotchman williams met with davis to present her with a proclamation with the city. >> she has worked very hard to keep that story, that incident alive to make sure her mother's courage isn't forgotten so we gave her a proclamation from the
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city of new orleans honoring her mother's commitment to public safety, to fairness, to doing the right thing, to really being a hero. >> what is it like to hearing somebody from the city acknowledge your loss. >> amazing, i can't even express the feeling because it never happened. i mean we never was told sorry, we never was told you know, someone come out and just check on us. how y'all living, how y'all doing? and for someone to come and apologize and actually sit the whole time, it just was amazing. >> new orleans police abuses and subsequent coverups prompted not one but two federal consent decrees. the second one still in place. >> we patched things up but they were literally patched up. a couple of guys were dealt with, taken off the force, prosecuted. but there was never an addressing of the culture of
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that type of policing. >> reporter: a culture of policing both williams and sharps says echo across the country, including ferguson, missouri, where the shooting death of michael brown at the hands of police sparked public outrage. >> are there any parallels between new orleans and ferguson, missouri? >> any time a large group of people are ostracized and not a main part of mainstream society and the policing is draconian, that can be a problem. when you're poor and draconian policing of just your neighborhoods that's going to create unrest. >> the killing of grove was capital murder, premeditated vicious retaliatory murder. i don't think anybody is saying that's true of ferguson. but the racial divide in terms of perception of police is very similar. >> still haunts the city and in many ways hinders reform making
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recruiting difficult for a police department under a dark cloud. the more scandal seems to follow the force. >> these revelations suggest an indifference to our citizens. >> five detectives in the special victims unit may have ignored sex crimes. including the case of a two-year-old brought to the hospital with a sexually transmitted disease. >> cultures change glacially. they change so slow and to expect otherwise is probably naive. so when you look at the len davis murder of kim grove which is about as horrific as it gets there is this context of disorder. >> as the city wrestles with that legacy, jasmine groves, who is working to become a juveniles operation officer, she is working to keep the story of her mother alive. >> kim groves is alive. i am kim groves, we all are kim
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groves. and i want it to be that kim groves voice and memory be heard everywhere. so others could believe they are kim groves. and i hope the families that are going through this can also be a jasmine groves and stand up for your loved ones. i'm going to let the world remember kim groves. she will live on. >> "america tonight" sarah hoye joins us. i'm struck by this strength of this young woman who has grown up her entire life in the memory of her mother's death fre age of 12 to lose her like this, it must be really tough for her. >> reporter: absolutely not only jasmine but her two older siblings, they were all there when their mother took her last breath, lying on the ground dead. that's their last memory of their mother.
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the final words she did say with her mom is her mother talking about the birthday the next day, i think her mother sang a little birthday song before she left the house. they're trapped in memory, the final chapter, have to go through life with just that final memory. >> you think about the final chapter, is there a final chapter with new orleans with all this, does that black mark still hang over the city and over the police department? assemble well, with the people we spoke with, that black mark around. with the recent news of these five detectives being called out properly mishandling caseloads, there are still issues there. and even though 20 years ago seems a long time, joie it is not a long time ago. when you think of it this is a single career police force. there were the people that were still there during the time of len davis and those bad habits are still present. >> "america tonight's" sarah hoye,
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thanks. when we return, even in a place where you might expect winter to come on with a vengeance, the unbelievable wall of snow that fell like a curtain over buffalo. >> i've never seen anything like it in my life. the bay is actually are crazy. >> i've been shoveling for a day and a half. >> a word from those trapped inside, after a break. also the president's big decision, what it could mean to america's immigration crisis and to some of those living on the front line of immigration. whose answer to the challenge might surprise you. >> at the height of the cold war >> we're spies... intercepting messages from embassies, military bases... >> one of the america's closest allies... >> we were not targeting israelis... >> suddenly attacked >> bullet holes... ...just red with blood... >> 34 killed... we had no way to defend
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ourselves >> high level coverups... never before heard audio... a shocking investigation >> a conscience decision was made to sweep it under the rug... >> the day israel attacked america only on al jazeera america
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>> november 27th. >> we're following stories of people who have died in the desert. >> the borderland thanksgiving day marathon. >> no one's prepared for this journey. >> experience al jazeera america's critically acclaimed, original series from the begining. >> experiencing it has changed me completely. >> follow the journey as six americans face the immigration debate up close and personal. >> it's heartbreaking. >> i'm the enemy. >> i'm really pissed off. >> all these people shouldn't be dead. >> it's insane. >> the borderland thanksgiving day marathon starts november 27th, 9:00 eastern. on al jazeera america. >> now available, the new al jazeea america mobile news app. get our exclusive in depth, reporting when you want it. a global perspective wherever you are. the major headlines in context. mashable says... you'll never miss the latest
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news >> they will continue looking for survivors... >> the potential for energy production is huge... >> no noise, no clutter, just real reporting. the new al jazeera america mobile app, available for your apple and android mobile device. download it now o. >> another night of cold, painful, potentially deadly cold, in the great lakes. the early and extreme start to winter has started in many communities, seven deaths tied to the wet in the nation already. as you might expect some of the most extreme conditions, buffalo new york in some spots, five feet of snow already. >> i haven't seen anything like that my entire life. four or five feet and the bay is just crazy. >> you can't describe it any other way. walls of snow trapped people in their homes, in their cars. >> as you can see it's white everywhere.
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cars are stuck. we aren't going anywhere. >> the players on niagra university's women's basketball team tweeted photos of themselves, tuesday on the through way for nearly 30 hours before they were rescued. white out conditions shut down a 100-mile stretch of i-90. kaitlin bataglia was stranded for hours. >> we don't know when we're going to get out of here. we don't have food we don't have water, we have maybe half a tank of gas. the snow is coming down so much right now, i don't see us getting out of here for another day. it's bad, maybe even two days. >> sure they're used to snow in buffalo but nothing like this in recent memory. >> they said a couple feet we're expecting not a big deal, we didn't even go to the store to get anything. but at the end four feet is a a big deal.
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>> a big enough deal to bring in the national guard to help people shovel out of their homes and cars. time lapse video shows the wall of snow sweeping over lake erie headed into buffalo. it's breathtaking though on the ground it's anything but. >> horrible. just backbreaking. the snow blower doesn't even do anything. >> neither does a shovel. it's too much coming down too fast. >> worry about it too much, i kind of let it keep coming and as i looked out my window i saw i was a little bit trouble. i've been basically shoveling now for a day and a half. >> what is lake effect snow william al jazeera meteorologist kevin corriveau explains what it is and why it hit parts of buffalo so hard. >> this is colder air moving over warmer water. when that happens you also pick up that moisture off the lake and then the snow forms and dumps it on the down wind side of the lakes.
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>> to put it in context mayor byron brown says 220 truckloads of snow have been removed, removed from south buffalo. >> it's slow going still in south buffalo. we are making progress but there's a long way to go. >> and watch out buffalo! the storm's not over yet. another two to three feet could be coming in on thursday. incredible, thousands remain snowed in even at this hour, one is s.j. velasquez, a digital producer who can't get out of her house but with us on skype. paint this picture s.j. what does it look around you? >> sure i can tell you a little bit. first i can show you, maybe you can see something. i can pan over here. this is my street. >> where is the street? >> this -- exactly. it's about five feet underneath
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snow. this is my intersection here in south buffalo where there's been just tons of snow. it's one of the hardest hit parts of the buffalo area. south buffalo and some of the surrounding south towns and eastern towns and villages have been hit. here i am stuck in south buffalo. >> s.j. those lumps are vehicles? >> some of them are vehicles. some of the other lumps over here those are where some of the plows tried the get through and gave up and turned around. so that's what you're seeing. and vehicles, sometimes you can't even see the vehicles. they're not even under lumps. my car is completely covered. you wouldn't even know it's there. >> you did try to get out i understand you did try oget out go visit, get to the store if anything's open. how far did you get? what happened? >> last night i tried get out, that was a miserable failure, i
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tried to get to my sister's house and i got a third of the way to turn around. >> you tried to cross the street and you only got a third of the way there? >> three houses down, i didn't make it, she was laughing at me in the window the whole way. but today i was successful going to my sister's house because some brave soul marked out a path, a foot path, there is a little trail, i made to it my sister's house trudged through snow and she and i ventured out to the main street, considered a snow route in buffalo. >> was that open, could you go anywhere, are there any stores open or anything? >> yes, we got to a supermarket down the street by walking. there are no cars, it's completely vehicles are banned except if they are emergency vehicles so we walked on foot to topps markets down the road. >> you do have you're supplied you're okay you and others around you your family
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you have enough supplies to make it through a few days? >> yes, we are fine. i'm lucky enough that i have family in the area and we can all help each other out. we have been helping with shoveling, things like that. but some people aren't so lucky. there are quite a few people who don't have the ability to walk out and shovel and get through five feet of snow just to get to the grocery store. we are one of the fortunate ones, i consider myself lucky to be in the situation i've been in. >> it's remarkable you still have the internet and phone lines and whatever, you still have power. has this been a problem at all? >> only very minorly. monday night when it started to snow i was with my irish dance troop and we were practicing. the lights flickered, but that's it. i've had connectivity to the
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intrrnt i've hainternet, we've , electric. i'm okay. they are pretty used to this in buffalo. if it that yous and freezes that's when it will bring down power lines. we are hoping that doesn't happen when we get big thaw. >> we hope you will stay safe and warm, s.j. velasquez. digital editor for the buffalo news. thank you for being with us. >> thank you very much. >> ahead, the freezing night and the burning anger that launched ukraine's revolution a year ago. "america tonight's" sheila macvicar on generation maidan and what lies ahead. looking forward tomorrow on "america tonight," shooting straight and right past the nra, "america tonight's" adam may on washington state taking a look at gun laws. >> the nra is not invisible. enough people agree this is common sense and this needs to
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be done. just get together and do it because we did it here in washington. we succeeded. we got the nra to run away scared. you can do too. >> how it could be a model for states. "america tonight's" adam may with that story on maint. "america >> music doesn't change change the world, but it does influence that way people think >> rock icon peter gabriel believes we can all make a difference >> get technology to people... to empower them... to become more effective >> giving a global stage to important issues >> climate change... we've gotta take action >> every saturday, join us for exclusive... revealing... and surprising talks with the most interesting people of our time... talk to al jazeera only on al jazeera america
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>> fault lines brings you an eye opening look at what life is really like under the taliban. >> i'm actually quite nervous >> from girls attending school, to enforcing sharia law. >> they rely on the local population, and so they need to win the hearts and minds of locals to be able to fight. >> fault lines, al jazeera america's hard hitting... >> today they will be arrested... >> ground breaking... they're firing canisters of gas
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at us... emmy award winning investigative series... special episode this is taliban country only on al jazeera america >> now a snapshot of stories making headlines on america tonight. jason collins who made basketball history, by coming out, has announced his retirement. some positive news in the fight against ebola, officials say the government's worst case scenario forecast for the ebola outbreak in west africa won't happen in september. the cdc mentioned the people with ebola could reach as many as 1.4 million by the begins of 2015. there have been 14,000 ebola cases and more than 5100 deaths, since spring.
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the newly crowned miss honduras and her sister have been found dead. authorities have questioned founder people. one year ago, the ukrainian central square the maidan, wanted their top official out. the maidan revolution, in the end, a new political era for ukraine. today, though, the country is gripped by civil war, facing an uncertain future. on the first anniversary of the uprising "america tonight" correspondent sheila macvicar looks back on the changes through the eyes of three members of the maidan generation. [ bells ] >> a new day dawns in kiev. ukraine's 1500-year-old capital.
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in her apartment, civil activist hannah hopco prepares for the battles of her day. >> every day when i'm reading the piebl bible i ask god to send me special sentences. this sentence is very inspiring, with hard work everything will be achieved with love. >> for 15 years she has been fighting for an end to corruption and to bring real democracy to ukraine. last year when that fight turned bloody she was with tens of thousands of others, standing defiantly on kiev's central square, the maidan. people were dying and even when her mother begged she refused to leave. >> mother was crying, asking that you'll be killed, no, please, say no. this is the fight of our generation. so i have to be here because if everybody will be controlled by
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the fear, we will lose the chance to change the system. >> reporter: the protest began when ukraine's now ex-president refused to sign an agreement bringing ukraine closer to europe bringing the country closer to russia's president putin instead. the president was gone forced to flee, the people claimed victory but victory came with a terrible price. there were more than 100 dead. on this hillside this is where almost all of those who died during the maidan protest were killed. this is artifacts. there's everything here from ski goggles and swimming goggles and motorcycle gloves and tear gas
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canisters dating from some other age, back packs, things they carried when they were killed. it is because of the people who died here, who gave their lives, so that ukraine would have a new chance, that those who are fighting for reform now say they can't give up. >> their life, it's our opportunities. and actually we have to double our efforts. we owe them. this is our revolution. mission to work for ukraine. >> reporter: for last eight months hopco has led a team of now 200 experts, most of them like her volunteers, urgently trying the revamp ukraine's bureaucratic and corrupt system, is a creeing holdover of soift sowft soviet past. >> we didn't criticize for six months.
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we were afraid to be provocative but we have to remind them. >> this is the man ukraine's new president chose to lead the are effort. head of a several successful startups. >> we natured inherited a lot of processes, kill bureaucracy to streamline. >> now he sits behind a massive soviet style desk. >> they are called super-secure. >> i'm hearing frustration from those who share your commitment that in six months, very little has happened. >> sometimes i wish we could do faster. but can you move faster when half of the apparatus structure
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or bureaucrats are the same? we need more generation, more new movement and it's not happened like this. everybody's expecting okay miracles. they will not have miracles. >> before deciding to help ukraine by joining the new president's team shimka was one of those pushing for change in the maidan. foregoing his microsoft salary to push for change on the streets. >> you worked for a multinational why did you do that? >> it all started when police started beating kids at night. it's been one of the most difficult moments. when you see what was happening . it's been a very stressful moment. and you can't sit home and watch all that. so we stood up and fight because
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if they can do that at night, to the innocent kids, they can do it to anybody. >> reporter: even here on the battlefield fighting for sovereignty and unity, the old head banging and bureaucracy are playing a familiar role, a ukrainian doctor heads an organization designed to help the battlefield conditions. >> it's saved 15% of lives in iraq and afghanistan. it's been tested over years. >> but to get the this humanitarian aid to soldiers she's had to climb a bureaucratic mountain. >> some people have talked to us about what they see in the >> uh-huh. >> are you having trouble with that? >> they put in old style ex
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soviet kind of kit probably because it's being registered by a business who knows somebody in the ministry who wants the ministry of defense to buy 100,000 kits. it's smaller than you would have in your home and your car. inside are two band-aids, a condom, a little comb, one package of gauze, and i think two alcohol swabs. but it's this little kit that even kids in kindergarten probably have better kits. >> reporter: publicly, the government says it can't afford to buy 100,000 nato approved kits. training soldiers to use them despite bureaucratic resistance. among the trainers, not military but veterans of the maidan. >> what lessons to you take forward from the maidan?
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>> reporter: hannah hopka's life is changing too. she's now an elected official after deciding to run in last month's parliamentary elections. something she says people begged her to do. >> hannah, why you not running for parliament? you know in the transition period in the country if such people like you will not run, whom shall we trust? >> reporter: for generation maidan, the 23 years since independence from the old soviet union has been squandered. it might not come again. >> there's nobody else, when you turn who's that? it's us. what method is that you belong to this country. this is your country. this is your future, this is your independence.
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>> sheila macvicar, al jazeera, kiev. >> when we return, the president's move to end the immigration crisis and what some on the front lines see as the real source of the problem. >> along the border we have more to fear from the border patrol than we do from border-crossers. >> checkpoints and the communities that live with them, a report from on the border, right after the break.
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white man, says she's often mistaken as a pursuit. unfortunately, washington has allowed the problem to fester for too long. so what i'm going to be laying out is the things i can do with my lawful authority as president to make the system work better even as i continue to work with congress and encourage them to get a bipartisan comprehensive bill that can solve the entire problem. >> that's president obama on facebook saying that he's going to unveil his plans for immigration reform in a prime time address on thursday. the president is expected to are save 5 million undocumented immigrants giving them legal status. on the front lines, some consider that focus to be
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misplaced. reporting from arizona, al jazeera's rob reynolds. >> reporter: it's early morning at the border patrol checkpoint near aravaca arizona. 40 kilometers of the line separating the u.s. from mexico. agents with sniffer dogs check each vehicle as i.t. passes along the two lane road. but at this border checkpoint there is something unusual. >> this is a newer model sedan. >> a group of americans monitoring the monitors. fed up with the disruption caused in their daily life with the checkpoint and the heavy handed presence of the border patrol in the area. >> possibly one male one female, white. >> lisa jacobson helped organized the checkpoint monitoring. >> many people in this community have believed that our community has been treated as if we live
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in a war zone. >> the customs and border patrol al jazeer proposal agents tell al jazeera. >> i have to go through two border patrol checks every day of my life which gets old every day or two. >> stacy hatton works more than 50 kilometers away, she believe the checkpoint infringes her constitutional rights. >> i don't have any rights. i don't think this is what any of our american soldiers fought for. this is not freedom. this is not right to move around freely. >> the well armed agents don't make maicon keller feel any safer. >> around the border we have more to fear from border patrol than border crossers. >> carlotta says the border
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patrol traumatizes her grandchildren. >> they don't quite understand what's going on, why we have all these military people here with guns and stuff. >> there's not much to see in aravaca itself although the town of 600 people is surrounded by a majestic desert landscape. but towns folk are fiercely independent and used to doing things their own way. people here in aravaca are not only monitoring what's going on at the border patrol checkpoint, they're finding ways to help desperate migrants without breaking the law. >> it's illegal to drive migrants anywhere or to shelter them but it's not illegal to help them survive. >> this is a short term murnlg food pack. >> volunteers provide food packets to held out to hungry migrants and they keep a cabinet full of basic medical supplies. >> blisters are always a factor.
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if you get severe blisters which walk. behind. if you get left behind in this desert you die. >> more than 2,000 migrants have died crossing the desert in this area since 2001 according to local officials. aravaca resident alex says it's only human to help people in need. >> when they come to your door and they do hear and they haven't had water for a long time and dehydrated, some are crying, some have fallen and hurt themselves badly they haven't had anything to eat. it's just i think a person's responsibility to do something to help somebody. >> about a third of the people in aravaca have signed a petition asking the government to dismantle the checkpoint but the border patrol told al jazeera that as far as it's concerned, the checkpoint isn't going anywhere.
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rob reynolds, al jazeera, aravaca, arizona. >> we'll see what happens as the president announces his plans night. al jazeera's live coverage will begin at 8:00 p.m. eastern. and ahead here in our final segment, a monumental mayover, fixing the crack at the top of our government. we'll explain, after the break. >> friday, legendary photographer annie leibovitz. >> of course it wasn't as easy as you think to take that picture. >> the world renowned artist joins al jazeera america for an exclusive interview. >> i look back at my work, i can't pick a favorite picture. >> primetime news. friday. 8:00 and 11:00 eastern. only on al jazeera america.
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al jazeera america gives you the total news experience anytime, anywhere. more on every screen. digital, mobile, social. visit follow @ajam on twitter.
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and like aljazeera america on facebook for more stories, more access, more conversations. so you don't just stay on top of the news, go deeper and get more perspectives on every issue. al jazeera america. >> finally for us this hour, from the capital, a view of the biggest renovation project. if you have visited washington recently you might have noticed this construction project on our landscape. it's a long way up but we finally got a peek.
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>> to get the best view of me air lenfant's masterpiece, you have to go to the top, 288 feet to the very top of the u.s. capitol building. it's fair to say though that the guys up here do not spend a lot of time looking down or out across the capital city. high above the hot air of the left and the right, 150 years of sheltering lawmakers has left contraction in the capitol's cast iron dome. yes, cast iron. because building a stone topper would have been even more prohibitively heavy and this thing is nearly 9 million pounds as it is. that's about the weight of 20 statues of liberty. castine cracks? as it turned out, 1300 serious ones already identified, with enough bits knocked off already that in a rare show of
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bipartisan unity, congress nearly unanimously signed off on a $60 million ren owe project taking until the middle of next year. although renovation projects always take twice as long and cost twice as much as you think. and this is no small project. it has taken months just to get the million plus pound scaffolding up. there's enough decking up there to build a five foot wide sidewalk from the capital to the lincoln memorial. but the workers will need it. they'll have to strip and repaint three coats the top layer called what else but dome white and patch up 13,000 inches of cracks, think about all those mother's backs, the work isn't cheap but they don't do this often. the last time was more than 50 years ago. and this fix-up, is supposed to
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last 100 years. although none of us will be around to see if that really happens. but even an enduring symbol of america needs work from time to time and in many ways even this re-do is representative of the struggles that go on inside, for all the cracks and fish sure ure fiduciary fissures of government. to uphold a nation. that's our show tonight on "america tonight." the work is supposed to be complete by the fall of 2015. that is plairnt. remember if you would like to comment on any of the stories, you can log on
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to good night, we'll have more of "america tonight," tomorrow. >> it's a chilling and draconian sentence... it simply cannot stand. >> this trial was a sham... >> they are truth seekers... >> all they really wanna do is find out what's happening, so they can tell people... >> governments around the world all united to condemn this... >> as you can see, it's still a very much volatile situation... >> the government is prepared to carry out mass array...
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>> if you want free press in the new democracy, let the journalists live. ? ? announcer: this is al jazeera. hello, welcome to the newshour, we are live from our hours in doha. coming up in the next 60 minutes - myanmar's army launches an offensive against ethnic rebels, killing more than 20 people. rounded up then locked up - an exclusive report on the plight of malaysia's unwanted refugees also this hour - israeli police fire tear gas at palestinian protesters