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tv   France 24 News  PBS  August 28, 2013 5:00pm-5:31pm PDT

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watches to see if the u.s. will launch a military reich against syria. u.s. allies insist syria has used chemical weapons on its own people. a new case of racial profiling with tsa airport security. a man was detained for hours without food or water. he was interrogated, and much more. a look at flying while muslim. >> all men are created equal. >> today is the 50th anniversary of the 1963 march on washington,
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a day when many americans learned of the dream. 50 years later, is the dream realized? an in-depth look at today's events ahead. it is wednesday, august 28. you are watching rt. we begin with the united states on the verge of military action in syria. today, president obama gave a speech at the lincoln memorial to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the march on washington, but more pressing on his mind is how the united states and allies will react to an alleged chemical strike in war-torn syria. the special envoy to syria acknowledged special -- some kind of chemical substance was used outside damascus, claiming the lives of more than 1000 people. nato called the attack a clear breach of norms -- international norms. planning for a round of military
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strikes against selected targets of the assad. the white house stressed that the goal is not to remove assad from power, but to punish his government for the attacks. president obama is unlikely to find support in the arab world for military strikes against syria. the arab league, though it blames the syrian government and has blamed president assad, will not endorse military retaliation. the u.s. congress wants a say before military action is taken. 22 members of the house of representatives have written a letter demanding congress approval of any attack -- strike. a congresswoman from california said that while and the use of chemical weapons is deeply troubling, i believe there is no military solution to the complex syrian crisis. the harshest words came from former u.s. congressman dennis kucinich, who said "so we are about to become al qaeda's air
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force now? this is a serious matter that has broad implications internationally, and to try to minimize it by saying we will have a targeted strike is an act of war, not anything to be trifled with." the un security council received a draft from british prime minister david cameron off the rising would he calls necessary measures to be taken in syria. but such a resolution cannot get approval on the security council, given that both russia and china have a veto and are both critical of military strikes in syria. for more on this, from new york. welcome. what exactly did david cameron's resolution call for? >> the text of the u.k.'s draft resolution reportedly condemns the august 21 alleged chemical weapons attack on the rebel-held areas in syria. it faults the syrian government for the alleged attack. the resolution also seeks
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authorization, as you mentioned, for all necessary measures to be used to protect syrian civilians from chemical weapons. >> is it fair to assume that by necessary measures he means targeted military strikes? >> it is very fair to assume that. all necessary measures under chapter seven the love the -- allow for the military force to be used. the same wording was used in the military council resolution that paves the way for the u.s., u.k., and france to launch a military intervention in libya. it is fair to assume that if the security council were to adopt a resolution that allows for all necessary measures to be used in the case of syria, we would see military intervention and perhaps a stamp of approval from the interventional -- international community. >> they bring this draft -- what happens? >> the five permanent members of the security council failed to reach an agreement. we have the u.s., the u.k.,
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france, russia, and china. the u.s. and france support the u.k.'s draft resolution. russia and china are not certain this -- the syrian government has used chemical weapons, and warned about jumping to conclusions. russia publicly stated the council should wait for the report from weapons inspectors in damascus right now before discussing any resolution on syria. the u.s. is claiming to have evidence that it promises to share in the coming days. it is important to note that the u.n. secretary-general has also said the u.n. team needed to be given more time to establish the fact that the alleged chemical weapons attack. also at a press conference in geneva, the joint special envoy to syria also said that any military strike in response to the use of chemical weapons in syria needed security council approval. >> it does not look like they're going to get that security council approval, so does the u.s. go it alone on this?
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a u.s. representative said we are past the point of no return. that seems to suggest that an attack is imminent, if anything. >> absolutely. it seems as though the u.s. has made up its mind. the u.s. and its european partners of france and britain. they have a plan in place. this may have just been a protocol to make an attempt to go through the legal norms. if they act outside the united nations and act unilaterally it is a violation of international law falls up i do not -- international law. if they do strike militarily without approval from the security council it is a violation of the u n charter, though it seems that is the path they are choosing to go with. but you mentioned there are weapons inspectors in syria now investigating the alleged attack near the mask is. what is the timeframe? do they still have work to do? is it feasible they could begin launching strikes while weapons inspectors are on the ground?
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>> i do not think that is the ideal plan. there are report secretary- general ban ki-moon has asked the united states to please wait until we get investigators out of the area. i do not know what has been decided behind closed doors. i know this investigation is ongoing because u.n. officials asked for the u.s. to be cautious and not make any moves into late inclusion has been reached by people that are on the ground, taking samples from the soil, gathering testimony from the syrians. it is not clear if the u.s. and european allies are going to dismiss what everyone is saying and write whenever they want to. there has been reports the strike could happen within 24 hours. we do not know. the tone being put forward by the u.s. and europeans, it seems the strike is imminent. >> moving on, earlier this month
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we learned that the extreme actions taken by the british government toward david maranda, the partner of glenn creel -- gran cleaned -- greenwald. he was detained and questioned for nine hours before eventually being released. they say he was stopped out of suspicion he was carrying sensitive documents. he responded by filing suit against the u.k. home office. these airport detentions are not air -- exclusive to the u.k. and are not exclusive to those accued of carrying sensitive documents. they are rampant in the united states, and those who faced them the most are individuals targeted simply based on how they look, strictly because they look muslim. it is an experience far too many of us who are not muslim know nothing about. i was joined earlier by l.a. regional director at the muslim legal fund of america. she started by explaining the story of a man.
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>> he is a new york-based scientist who opted out of the screening at the airport and decided to undergo a patdown instead. during that procedure, for unknown reasons the swab taken of his hand made the machines go off. that spurred various incidents, which included hours of interrogation without food or water. various interviews from law- enforcement agencies. eventually tsa cleared him, as well did the nypd. but jetblue under the assumption he was muslim would not allow him to board the flight. >> how frequently does stuff like this happen? what do non-muslim people need to know about the difficulty of flying while muslim or hindu, which people have mistaken for being muslim? >> unfortunately, this is a frequent occurrence. from personal experiences, being
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so-called randomly selected at the airport, as well as various incidents in the media of people being targeted because perhaps the name sounds foreign or they speak another language. it happens quite often and makes traveling for a lot of americans a complete nightmare. they are forced to undergo prolonged security measures and extensive invasive interviews merely because of a religion they identify with. so i would say it is pretty often. >> when it comes to doing something about this, is this something that needs to be addressed legislatively with new laws to protect muslims? or by repealing laws that allow them to be targeted to begin with? where do we go to tackle this? >> alternately i do not think the focus should be on muslims. this is an issue that affects all americans. we need to see legislative measures that will ensure that no american citizen is going to be ethnically, religiously targeted at the airport, or any other area for that matter.
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i think legislative measures and new laws are beneficial to all americans, not specifically muslims or hindus. >> there is news that the nypd designated mosques as terrorist organizations so they could spy on religious leaders and use informants. what do you make of this news? >> this is, i mean, it completely blows my mind. designating a mosque as a terrorist organization is basically saying any individual who attends service at that mosque can be subject to the terrorism investigation. they are unofficially indicting millions of americans as possible terrorists. it is a violation of our freedom of religion and infringes on our rights and is unconstitutional, disable east. >> -- to say the least. >> similar organizations are calling for a doj probe into the nypd. do you think that will be effective?
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>> i guess only time will tell. i know they had other hearings where the nypd themselves have admitted that years of spying on the muslim community and muslim neighborhoods did not generate any leads, nor did it lead to any terrorism investigation. they have admitted it is quite pointless, a waste of our tax dollars, as well is extremely unconstitutional. hopefully it will be effective, but only time will tell. >> this suspicion of muslims and increase rates of islam a phobia -- islamophobia really became institutionalized because of september 11. is there any sign of this abating? what keeps fueling this? >> at the current moment i would say that i hope eventually it will. people are just kind of, like, the laws we have are focusing on muslims as being terrorists or
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individuals, profiling them as individuals who would carry out terrorist acts. terrorism has no religion, no ethnicity. we have seen terrorist acts committed by various individuals, and focusing on a single group is very harmful and does not protect us. it allows individuals who are actually terrorist go by freely because they might not think that -- might not fit that so-called profile of what they believe a terrorist should look like i'm a anyone who was muslim or middle eastern, they might assume is muslim, that is who they are targeting. an example is richard reid, also known as the shoe bomber. he was able to go through easily. law enforcement agencies profiled weird behavior or anything -- he probably would not have been successful boarding the plane. he bought a one-way ticket using cash. he had no luggage. those are all red flags. but he did not fit the profile in terms of image, so they did not target him. that is an example of why profiling does not work and does
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not keep us safe. >> l.a. regional director at the muslim legal fund of america. thank you. 50 years ago today, dr. martin luther king jr. stood before the lincoln memorial and told a quarter million people sprawled out on the national mall that he had a dream. today in commemoration of that speech, president barack obama returned to the site of his speech to give his own speech. megan lopez was there and has this report. >> one of the greatest demonstrations of freedom in the history of the united dates. 50 years ago, standing at this very spot in front of a memorial of a man who signed the first- ever emancipation proclamation, martin luther king, junior, and civil rights leaders through over 200,000 people to demand equality for all. in his famous "i have a dream" speech, martin luther king jr. told his followers he was here to cash in a check, a check for
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the black community that promised justice and equality and freedom above all. he said that was written into the words of the declaration of independence, as well as the constitution. this week, to mark the anniversary of that great speech, thousands once again dissented on d.c. to remember the legacy of the march on washington. on the lincoln memorial steps, five decades to the day after dr. king spoke those famous words, america's first black president told the crowd there was still more work to be done. >> we now have a choice. we can continue down our current path in which the gears of this great democracy grind to a halt and our children and set a life of lower expectations. where politics is a zero-sum game. where few do very well while in the struggling families of every race fight over a shrieking economic pie. that is one path. or we can have the courage to change.
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>> let's take a look at the major issues african-americans faced in 1963 and see where they stand today. as a result of his "i have a dream" each and his leadership throughout the entire civil rights movement, martin luther king has had streets named after him. he has said schools and post offices named after him. he has had libraries across the country named after him. and he is the first african american to ever have a memorial on the national mall to commemorate him. but where does the u.s. stand today in terms of equal rights? >> what i see in the government now is a lot of stalemate. because, truthfully, i believe because of president obama. i think there is a racial aspect put into this. >> a new interactive map created by the university of virginia research associate gives us a visual manifestation of lingering racial divides in the u.s. blue dots represent white
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people, green dots represent black people, and so on. the divide is especially clear in cities like chicago, where streets and neighborhoods are split up into one color or the other. what about income inequality and poverty? >> the number one issue is our economic disparities and the fact that we are now challenged in many states on our voting rights. >> today 28% of african- americans live below the poverty line, compared to 10% of whites. unemployment for black americans is double that of white americans, standing at 12.6%. something modern civil rights leaders say must be addressed. >> there are a few who do very well. first class students in second- class schools. 2.5 million americans in prison. over half are african-americans.
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>> one of the most important things they fought for was the right to vote. today there are 44 black men and women serving in congress, showing the voting rights barrier is trampled. but with the supreme court's recent repeal of the voting rights act, civil rights advocates are worried the u.s. could be moving backward.% >> i do not want to cs lose any of the gains we made. we still have a long ways to go. if we want people to be part of a process, we do not want roadblocks. >> finally, perhaps the most famous aspect of dr. king posturing, the dream that his -- dr. king's dream, the dream that his children might have the same educational opportunities as everyone else are you doing -- everyone else. the dream of attending school has been realized. but graduation rates still fall behind white students. for those who do not graduate high school, they are more likely to go to jail than to find a job. the one recurring theme throughout the rally was that
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dr. king's speech from 50 years ago was an important landmark in american history. but more needs to be done to keep the wheels of progress turning. in washington on the steps were dr. king spoke those famous words, megan lopez, rt. >> when it comes to the future of oil production, we should not just be looking toward the middle east. we should also be looking toward africa. over the next 10 years, about 12 nations in the east and west africa, including kenya, ethiopia, and ghana, will become major oil exporters thanks to new technology. that means huge amounts of money will flow into very poor countries. in fact, all 12 of these african nations are projected to the major oil fires -- players, currently in the bottom half of the u.n.'s human development index. these new exports could inject $3 trillion into their economies. they had a combined gdp in 2011
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of just $181 billion. what effect might then have? history tells us it could mean bad news for the people of those countries. that is because when countries suddenly discover a viable resource and receive an influx of cash, they succumb to what is known as the resource curse, wealth inequality surging, corruption running rampant, and democratic institutions and quality of life breaking down. perhaps it is worth noting that of all the developing nations that are now receiving a majority of their earnings from oil and gas, not a single one has a functioning democracy. why does this happen? to answer that question, i was joined earlier by an adjunct professor at georgetown university and the founder of the democracy and conflict research institute. i started by asking richard if
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he specked these oil-rich african nations to fall victim to the resource curse. >> africa has a problem with weak management. the resource curse is a misnomer. it is really a weak management curse. we know how to fix that. we know how to create institutions and programs that will dramatically and consistently improve the quality of management. if that happens, and it can happen, the resources available will be put to good use. history would not repeat in that case. >> this is a pretty eye-opening fact if it is true. i presume it is. of all the developing nations that have a bulk of their export revenue coming from oil and gas, none of them have a functioning democracy. why do you think that is? >> it is a startling fact. it is a fact. the reason it happens, you need to look at the history before discovering oil. the majority were governed from outside, they were colonial
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entities. nothing is more undemocratic and colonialism. colonies never develop democracy. so they leave these countries without -- they have stunted all the institutions of democracy. then when oil or any other resource becomes available, it becomes a scramble for elites to get the wealth. we also have to look at the international angle. the oil companies are coming to exploit these resources, they are all international. a lot of them exacerbate the corruption. they corrupt local leaders. richard is right. i agree with him. it is a curse of lack of democracy and civil societies in those countries have to work very hard to make sure they bring democracy. the resource itself is not the curse. the absence of management, the absence of democracy is what the curse is. that can be fixed.
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>> it made me think of -- there is a story that when people win the lottery in the united aids their life ends that going into shambles. they do not know how to manage it. you are saying it is not necessarily resources causing these problems -- problems. as long as they know how to handle them appropriately. let's get to how they can go about doing that. a lot of these 12 african nations that will be players in the oil market, they do not really collect taxes from their citizens. not a huge percentage of government revenue. now that they start exporting oil, they will need more money, not from taxes but from selling the soils. -- selling this oil. does that tax structure affect the way these countries prosper or are damaged? >> it certainly does. it has in the past. but the future, the present and the future is not wedded to the past. number one, you have democracy.
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you have civil society stronger, using social media. they see what is going on. my country, ghana, is a perfect example. we are neighbors to nigeria. a lot of the civil society in ghana is insisting we have to see what nigeria did wrong and avoid doing that. there is something called publish what you pay. when the citizens find out what the government is getting from the oil revenue, if it is not kept the great it gives them help in trying to say, where does the money go? i think they're going to make efforts to make sure that they do not do the bad things others have done. >> richard, do you agree? james davies has written a lot about revolution. he says that populations do not start demanding more things, demanding new rights, intellect vacations are no longer being met. it is not when things are so
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bad, it is when suddenly their expectations go up and they start the mending new rights. could seeing what other countries have done and seeing this influx of cash be something to motivate them to demand changes? >> this is a value chain issue. oil discoveries and natural gas will increase exports, but much more refining and processing and value-added can and, i hope, will occur in africa. back to technology and good management, taking those resources and converting them into intermediate and final products in africa is the job of managers and investors. if the institutions, business goals and engineering schools, are strong enough, and we are working to make that happen, then this will be the outcome. these natural resources and others, copper, iron ore, steel, all the major natural resources,
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will be -- value will be added in africa. the manufacturing sector is the key, improving the manufacturing sector in africa will be the difference maker. >> many of these countries rely on foreign aid. how might that -- foreign aid often comes with a lot of strings attached. how might that dynamic change when they become oil exporters? >> i will say it always comes. there is no foreign aid without strings. if i might make a sort of general -- tenuous link. you would think aid that comes from the united states, there is a growing community of activists in this country who are looking at what ties the u.s. has with its aid to africa, nigeria or ghana or others. one way in which we can get the aid to help with transparency and democracy in those countries is to make sure that there is an insistence that it is tied to democracy.
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we want real democracy to take root. i think if it is properly linked, aid can be a helpful factor. >> whoever these outside investors are, major multinationals, to the extent they practice csr as a point of development, they can affect the outcome for better. we are working to make that happen. the key is good business goals in africa. the faster they develop, the better everything will be. >> transparency and more democratic control. an edging professor at georgetown university and the founder and director of the democracy and conflict research institute. a setback for first lady michelle obama's plans to get young americans to eat healthier. more and more schools are dropping out of the $11 billion
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national school lunch program that incentivizes schools to serve healthier meals to students. the reason why? students just do not want to eat healthier. the program works by reimbursing schools for some of the costs of buying healthier foods like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. but some schools are noticing they are losing money when students refuse to eat the healthier options and instead bring their own food from home or skip lunch altogether. a school system in synecdoche -- schenectady, new york, they say their lunchrooms lost over $100,000 last year. according to a survey, one percent of schools participating the programs planned to drop out during the upcoming school year. another 3% are considering dropping out. as marie antoinette might have said in their younger years, let the kids eat cake. you know of abercrombie & fitch is a clothing line appealing to teenagers.
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do you know of abercrombie & fitch the hospital? after giving more than $10 million in donations to ohio state university medical center, the school plans to name its new emergency department after the clothing retailer. already one other columbus, ohio hospital named its emergency center after abercrombie & fitch. ohio state university has expressed their thanks to the clothing brand's generosity by creating a faculty position called the abercrombie & fitch chair in inflammatory bowel disease. because i suppose the chair in urinary tract infection already had a sponsor. given abercrombie & fitch's recent foray into the field of medicine, get ready for the new fall line of medical scrubs, acid washed, phil. , and freda the bottom. more on the stories we cover -- go to
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check out our website, you can follow me on twitter. see you right back here at 8:00. thanks for watching. captioned by the national captioning institute hello there. welcome to "newsline." it's thursday, august 29dth. i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. u.s. president barack obama said u.s. officials have concluded that syrian forces used chemical weapons on civilians. in an interview on public television, he said members of his administration do not believe the opposition could have carried out such a attacks. handy said there needs to be


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