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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  November 30, 2021 12:00am-1:00am PST

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>> scientists join the biden administration in sharing the truth about omicron. >> this variant is a cause for concern, not a cause for panic. as the pro covid right jim's up conspiracy theories. >> new variant. >> count on a variant about every october. >> then, why congresswoman ilhan omar says she hung up after an apology gone wrong. >> whether big media should join forces to combat misinformation and extraordinary measures to stop immigration at all costs. >> they are shooting again. [inaudible] >> the unbelievable story of a reporter captured and held at a black site for reporting on immigration. when all in, starts right now. >> good evening everyone, from
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new york i'm emit in for chris hayes. there is a new coronavirus variant raising questions and concerns around the globe. while scientists and public health experts are helping to answer questions and ease those concerns, the pro curled white in this country is meeting this challenge with the same old mix of misinformation and conspiracy theories. world health organization naming the new covid variant omicron. last week the south african government warned that the world should be aware of this variant. it was first detected there earlier this month. of course, this is far from the first variant we have seen emerge. quite honestly, it is not unexpected. this is what viruses do. they mutate. we have already cycled through the alpha variant that came out of the united kingdom late last year. beta first detected in south africa. gamma emerging from brazil. and of course delta, first documented in india. which has become the dominant strain worldwide.
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now we do not know yet how much omicron could be dame. jurors the south african doctor described the as extremely mild. it seems to be more transmissible than earlier strains. according to south african scientists. many are issuing new travel bans. country like japan, morocco, barring all foreigners from entering their countries. united states imposed a ban on travelers from eight south african nations. president biden urged americans to remain calm and all. this >> this variant is a cause for concern, not a cause for. panic we have the best vaccine in the, world the best medicines, the best scientists. and we are learning more every single day. we will fight this variant with scientific and knowledgeable actions. not chaos and confusion.
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>> some on the right are losing their minds. not worrying about the variant, but claiming that the existence of a variant is a big global conspiracy. they think that this is some sort of worldwide coordinated plot to help democrats win elections. >> always a new variant. >> count on a variant about every october. >> yeah. you're probably right. it could speed up. the variants could come more quickly. then you have this >> disgraced former -- republican congress from texas, echoed that conspiracy theory and we can tweet. here comes the emmy v. the midterm election variant. they need a reason to push unsolicited thank you nationwide ballots. democrats will do anything but we're not going to let them.
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another medical doctor, republican senator jon vassal of wyoming is trying to turn the whole thing back on democrats. watch. >> as a doctor, i am pro vaccine and i'm anti-the mandate. vaccines work, we have a new variant. there's going to continue to be new variants in the future. medicines are better now than they have been. i think the president was wrong with his mandate. i think it was a monumental overreach. it's hard and people against the vaccine. and the president is because of the mandate. now you have a couple of governors saying that two shots is an enough. now you have to have three. >> so today, the centers for disease control and prevention strengthen their guidance on booster shots. they now say that everybody age 18 and older should receive a booster when they are six months after their initial pfizer or moderna series. two months after their initial j&j vaccine. michelle walensky added that the emergence of the omicron
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variant farther emphasizes the importance of vaccinations, boosters and prevention efforts. partisan divide in this country and vaccination status just keeps growing and growing. the latest data from the kaiser family foundation shows that the unvaccinated population is now disproportionately made up of those who identify as republican. or republican-leaning. with six in ten, that is 60%, identifying as republican or republican-leaning. just one in six calling themselves democrats. or democratic-leaning. now of course, none of the arguments coming from the right about covid actually make any sense if you pay attention to what they are alleging. railing against vaccines has just left their voters far more vulnerable to the virus. the idea that democrats would somehow make up a new variant for their own benefit is just flat out crazy. we've only been hearing about omicron for a few days now and we've already seen negative affects. the dow dropped 900 points on friday in response to concerns
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over this new variant. when the economy suffers, that is actually bad news for the people in power. who happened to be joe biden and the democrats. and of course, it's a new variant turns out to be serious, if it is more dangerous in some way god forbid. that would obviously be bad news, not just for democrats, but for everyone on this planet. we'll take a few weeks to get more data about omicron, to answer those unknown's and much more. like whether the current vaccines and treatments will actually work well against this variant. joining me now is somebody who will be watching this data closely and analyzing as it comes in. doctor francis collins director of the national. it's let's just start off with the basics here. what do we know so far about omicron and what do you think are the most critical questions that we need to answer in the next couple of weeks? >> well those are the right questions, and i know everybody wants answers and it's going to take a little longer. we do know that this is a variant that has the largest
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number of mutations of any of the serious threats that we have seen so far. more than 50 different spellings in its instruction book. that differentiated from the original virus. and that alone wouldn't be a cause for concern except it also seems to be pretty contagious. at least in south africa were in just the speeds of 2 to 3 weeks, it seems to have dominated most of the isolates of the virus, and as you know has found its way to other countries as well. we don't know however whether it is actually more serious. whether it can cause more serious illness than its predecessors. and you quoted a minute ago a physician in south africa saying most of the patients seem to have mild disease. i would be careful not to jump to that conclusion since so far most of them have been younger people and they tend to have mild disease anyway. let's just say we aren't sure about that. the big question though, i think for most of us here in the u.s., is will this particular virus evade the
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protection from the vaccines that have already been given out and have been administered to about 70% of americans. because it is sufficiently different in terms of its spelling of it spike protein. well that spike protein no longer will be recognized by your antibodies. i brought along my little show-and-tell here. remember this virus? and those things sticking out there, those spike proteins, are what the vaccine is designed to get your immune system to recognize. and your immune system is very good at that. especially that of a booster. the concern would be the spike shape shifted just enough in omicron that no longer, with the vaccine antibodies, be sufficient to recognize it. now, before anybody gets to worried about that. let me say, in every other instance, with other variants, alpha, beta, gamma, delta, the vaccines are working really well. and especially people who get a booster,. there is something about that that both boost the level of antibodies but also the breath
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of their protection against other spikes that they haven't even seen before. so one of the big messages tonight is, if you've been vaccinated, if it's been six months or more since you got pfizer or moderna or two months into got j&j and you're 18 years older. get your booster. get it tomorrow. get your system revved up because omicron is probably coming here. and the best hope we have for being able to fight it off is to have as many of our citizens fully immunized and ready to take it on. so those are the questions that we're trying to wrestle with. we won't have answers in terms of the immune situation probably in a couple of weeks-- >> right. >>--both in terms of studying what's happening in the real world in south africa and doing the search in the lab. >> so you've giving us a very kind of clear assessment of what to be looking as to what we can do as individuals. let's talk a little bit about what we are doing right now collectively as a country. and obviously the question is about the travel ban that has
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been imposed on a self african countries what is the purpose of the travel ban? when we know that there are already cases of omicron around the world in europe, in israel and other countries. which do not have a travel ban people in those countries can still travel there with the omicron variant. >> so keep in mind any international travelers coming to the united states have to be vaccinated and they have to undergo a test, 1 to 3 days before they get on the plane so it's not as if everywhere else is just fine and it's just these 8 countries we've stopped the transfer. everywhere, we're checking. and that's a good thing. i think the concern was that with this outbreak in some of these southern african countries. we need to buy a little time here to try and figure out exactly how serious is this. we joined there for the uk, the eu, many countries to say let's just put at least a temporary pause on this. now let me say i know that this
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has been hurtful to the south african leadership let me also say that the south african public health experts and scientists have been absolutely remarkable in their transparency, their openness there telling of the world of what they have found as soon as they know about it. we owe them a big debt of gratitude for waking us up to what was coming. that always hasn't happened before and in this instance they were wonderful citizens of the world. >> yes, absolutely and that's how it should work, we do want these countries that when they discover variant to share that with the world and other parts of the country or other parts of the globe in other countries then others can be prepared for what is coming, doctor francis collins, thank you for coming in. greatly appreciate it. i want to bring in olivia troye, who formerly served as an aide to vice president mike prints and was lead staff on the corona task force. director of the accountability project. olivia, thank you so much for joining us. let's start with the second part of this equation. we just got the assessment
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there from one of the leading scientists in this country about what people should be doing. but then you have the other part of this equation, let's talk about that. what do you think about the damage that the far-right is doing by spreading these messages about conspiracy theories around covid and politicizing it. is there any way to undo that, given what we are seeing play out? >> hi, thanks for having me. this ongoing grave damage by some of these people that continue to spread misinformation and disinformation on covid and this ongoing pandemic. has been going on for two years now, almost two years. it's incredibly dangerous. the divisiveness remains in our country. stemmed from day one on this pandemic. it continues today. these conspiracy theories especially are spread by people in office, like political leaders, elected officials. those with doctor before their name. that lands extra credibility and it undermines the public health committee. it undermines the health care
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workers right now across the u.s.. and these committees that are fighting this virus head on. when they do this, their supporters believe them. they take this information and instead of taking measures to protect themselves from this deadly virus, they listen to them. and it puts them at risk. my question is this, how many people have to die in your community, for you to all learn a lesson that covid is here and it is not going away. the last people continue to protect themselves, less people get vaccinated and the more you spread conspiracy theories about the vaccine and all these other things about mask mandates, the more you are hurting the people that elected you to protect them. >> you are seeing this play out. unfortunately, among party lines. as we showed earlier, you have 60% of republicans who are unvaccinated. there is a real life consequences to the information that is being spread by the right-wing. i know that you've been on the inside of this. you have been at the white house on the covid task force.
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talk to us about the challenges that the current administration has to face right now. they have to try and send a message of calm. they have to make policy decisions. based off the science like we were just hearing there from dr. collins. at the same time, they have to contend with a large part of this country that sees this politicized and are getting their information from people like fox news. where there are politicizing this. >> right. it comes down to transparency and communication. i think was critical today with president biden speaking to americans and say remain calm. but protect yourselves. take the measures necessary. get vaccinated. it is very hard to face this challenge when you have republican leaders that are constantly working against you. they're basically public enemy number one. protecting the lives and well-being of american citizens. it's hard. it's an obstacle that shouldn't be there.
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they are politicizing something that is a public health crisis. something that should not be politicized. it was politicized from day one. and i think that they've decided that this is their platform. and putting the lives of people and risk doesn't matter to them. i yeah i was going to say to stay at that point, the example of marjorie taylor greene, to exactly what you are saying. this is a woman a member of congress, who has racked up at least $63,000 in fines. for not wearing a mask on the house floor, more than a third of her yearly salary. and you have to wonder about the message this is sending out to her constituents. is this really what republicans want to see from their representative. they are wearing this anti-science, anti-mandate mask mandate in the inside, or indoors, as a badge of honor. >> it is undermining the public confidence because statements like marjorie taylor greene, when she continues to define
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order she is saying to her constituents, and other americans to follow the lead. she is a member of congress, defying the rules, i don't care about other people who are working in my environment. i don't care about their well-being. and by the fact, out they follow their lead. so these people, in their communities are behaving this way. she is an enabler of the situation that can be honestly prevented. it is a shame that we are in the united states of america and we continue to base this political dynamic on a virus, the virus is the enemy it shouldn't be each other. it shouldn't be republican legislators who are doing this to undermine a democratic administration just because out of spite. and because of the fact that they have decided that this is an issue that plays to their benefit by spreading lies about it. once again, they do this constantly. whether it's covid, whether it's disinformation on elections, whether it's january six. but all of that, it seriously
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undermines. honestly just the safety of americans across our countries, have all of these issues. >> you are absolutely right, it's incredibly selfish of her to tell constituents the rules of protecting your neighbors and others don't apply when it comes to her. olivia troye, thank you so much, very appreciate it. >> next, how colorado congresswoman boebert turned her openly examined phobia into a plea for the mega base. what happened on today so call apology call between boebert and congresswoman, and what's the inaction from minority leader, kevin mccarthy reveals about the state of the republican party. after this. after this ♪♪ dad, why didn't you answer your phone? ♪♪ your mother loved this park. ♪♪ she did.
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thanksgiving break republican congresswoman colorado, held an event where she told a wildly offensive islamophobic story about democratic congresswoman ilhan omar of minnesota. she recounted an interaction with omar, which by the way didn't happen, saying quote it was not my first jihad squad moment. like i said, this is offensive and quite frankly racist. i'm going to play a little portion for you, so you get a sense of what actually happened. >> i look to my left and there she is. ilhan omar. i said well, she doesn't have a backpack, we should be fine. >> boebert essentially suggested that omar is a terrorist. you can hear from the crowd, they laughed along with that. well today, the fallout from
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that continues. boebert called omar in what was supposed to be an apology, but it was actually far from that. congresswoman omar said that in her statement, but boebert refused to publicly acknowledge her hurtful and dangerous comments. and doubled down on her rhetoric. this comes on the heels of another non apology bobert issued yes week. she apologized to quote anyone in the muslim community she offended. as bad as laura boebert's words are, she's just one piece of a larger problem in the republican party. congresswoman omar summed it up perfectly saying, today the republican party leadership has done nothing to condemn and hold their own members accountable for repeated instances of anti-muslim hate and harassment. this is not about one hateful statement, or one politician, it is about a party that has mainstream bigotry and hatred. quite frankly, she is right. the video started making the rounds on thursday. . and so far, house republican
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leader kevin mccarthy has done nothing. close to nothing to condemn it. he issued a statement that did not actually condemn boebert's remarks, but it is not just boebert or mccarthy. the normalization of islamophobia by the republican party has been going on for 20 years. donald trump may have campaigned on banning muslims from this country, but did not invent islamophobia. in fact, he just brought it out into the open. now it is an actual part of the platform of republican politicians. they embrace and run on these bigoted positions, without any consequences whatsoever. david jolly is a former republican congressman from florida, he is now the executive chair of the serve america movement, which is working to build a new political party. good to see you. let's talk about kevin mccarthy, how much should be read into kevin mccarthy's lack of a condemnation as a larger indictment of the republican party that he wants to lead going forward. >> look, i think it suggests
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kevin mccarthy and the republican party have foregone any claim to moral clarity. to moral leadership. in the united states, islamophobia is not just anti-muslim, it's anti-american. to american values. that does not seem to matter to mccarthy and leading republicans. we know what is informing kevin mccarthy's behavior every single day. it is about retaking the house and elevating himself to be speaker. i do believe that kevin mccarthy's team probably said to boebert's team. look, either you issued a statement, or we will. because leadership typically will do that behind the scenes. but i don't think we should expect anything more of kevin mccarthy in this moment. it reflects more broadly on the failures of the republican party at large. >> it's not just the leadership and it's not just the people who are vying for power. we are not hearing from moderate members. why don't we hear from moderate members of the republican party, speaking up against this
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bigotry? >> because that's not where the heartbeat of today's republican party is. again, i go back to the fact that the failure to call islamophobia, failure to condemn this type of discrimination is ultimately anti-american. it is against the very values of which our nation was founded. and at least those upon which we should be embracing in contemporary america. i would also suggest this, not to be too smart about this amen. but it's factually incorrect what's boebert said as well. this year alone, if you look at the events of january 6th. i would suggest that the greater threat to the u.s. capital as boebert wants to describe it, came from suburban white women largely of christian faith affiliation. and from the likes of boebert herself, who claimed i'm going to take my glock to congress. the real threat as identified by our domestic intelligence agencies, come from those with white national tendencies that pervades a perverted doctrine of the christian faith. not those who practiced islam
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like ilham omar does. >> i appreciate you making that point, that is something the fbi and others have said in congressional testimonies. they peddled, the republicans continue to pedal antisemitism and the rhetoric has been a mainstay. unfortunately republican politics for 20 years. is there any reason to think that it is ineffectiveness is wearing off. i only bring that point, because omar's original point was that she thought boebert's comments would give her credit with the crowd that she was speaking to. the truth of the matter is, it does earn her credit. because they laughed at it. that's what they want. it seems that she is pandering to her crowd with this islamophobia commentary. >> yeah. laura boebert's part of what you would call a troll caucus. those who have elevated themselves to congress by simply trolling others. i think that is begun to infect the entire congress. we also know that today's republican party is a largely public of grievance culture war
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shoes. that includes issues embedded deeply in race and discrimination. i think aymen would has pivoted in the last few years among republicans and largely through the rise of donald trump and this is very important. where parties used to fight over the fairness or the equity of policies from marginal taxes to education, to labor, which constituencies one, which ones lost. two parties represented their own. now the republican party is a party that says, something is being taken from you, your privilege, your way of life, your culture is being ripped from me. and that gives license to people like boebert to say, look it is all the muslim's fault, it is all the black lives matters fault. it is all about critical race theory. because now, if you were telling a constituency that your way of life has been taken from you, now you have license to both make jokes that are racially insensitive and also to stoke violence. because if something is being taken from me, now you are a
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allowed, if there is a cultural permission to engage in the events of january 6th, or other events ultimately incur violence here domestically. >> i was going to see stephen king, paul gosar, lauren boebert all come from the same cloth. david jolly always good to see you. coming up next, the murky waters of america's information crisis and whether big medias doing enough to combat it, or going to far. that is coming up next at is coming up next frequent heartburn? not anymore. the prilosec otc two-week challenge is helping people love what they love again. just one pill a day. 24 hours. zero heartburn. because life starts when heartburn stops. take the challenge at prilosecotc dot com.
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that is what's world troubling about what we are seeing right now right-wing politicians are promoting things that they know are false and inaccurate. there is an anti-right-wing propaganda network on fox news that is intentionally spreading disinformation. lies that serve to fundamentally undermine our democracy. that is fundamentally dangerous. keeps people on the sidelines and undermines how our democracy works. the consequences of disinformation, at least i think, are much more agree just on the overall functioning of our democracy. ben smith is the new york times media columnist, he joins us now, his latest piece explains how academics and journalists are navigating the murkiness of this disinformation war. as i mentioned he joins us. you talk to harvard readers that study this information, tell us what they are advising media companies like ours, and
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others, on how to fight the harm of disinformation. if they should even be engaged in that fight at all. yeah >> i think you are having me on as the pro-misinformation perspective. just in that i think folks like you and me throw that word around way too much. there are a lot of false claims. news corp, who's building you showed their. all around the world says misleading things. some of which presumably the rioters think are true. sometimes there falls. but i think journalist sometimes get caught up, very caught up, in who is saying this. the crazy white ringers on fox are saying this it must be false. i guess my own view is that journalists should mostly stick to trying to figure out what things are in fact true or false. rather than getting distracted by what is sometimes the very
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interesting questions of who was saying it, how is it being said, and how is it traveling around social media. which is what folks at harvard studied. a great story and interesting. complicated bit of academic research. but i think there is also -- it's worth trying to figure out what's true and what's false. i think that sometimes gets lost. >> so i'm genuinely asking here and we showed this earlier in the show, we have a big segment of the society that identifies as republicans and consumes right-wing media channel like fox and other sources of information, they are not getting vaccinated because they believe the vaccine is harmful, or that the vaccine as fox was saying there is part of a global conspiracy to help democrats. as ronny jackson said, is part of a midterm election variant. to stoke those fears. what are you saying the role of the media should be in that situation? should they call out that misinformation, should they not call it out? even i was saying, impacting our democracy.
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when you have a right-wing echo chamber that was saying the election was stolen, that is pretty serious. that's not just saying that -- it's not just about misinformation, i would argue it's disinformation. they are deliberately putting it out there so that their viewers can consume and become more angry and more mobilized towards that information. >> i think those are great examples of things that are obviously not true. and that are kind of political propaganda that our lives. very old kinds of falsehoods. i think there is a big spectrum of stuff that is not that clear and that we would like to apply this simple framework of misinformation too. through the trump years, progressives believed a lot of things that were not determined to be true about trump and russia for instance. was that misinformation? was it deliberate misinformation? i'm not trying to look inside peoples hearts. but i think it is easy to believe things that are not
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true and have them amplified on social media. and i think the job of journalism, when we can, is not -- spend a little less time analyzing tweets and more reporting out the details of stories. public health has a great example of a place where often you can say, this is not true take the vaccine. >> i'm not in disagreement with you. i think you bring up a very good point. i immediately think of 2003 when the government certainly the, push administration manipulated the media by leaking claims that there were weapons of mass destruction, which we need to be false. only then to turn around and sight the actual media reports. as evidence that there are other sources out there. that iraq has weapons of mass destruction. i agree there is always been this symbiotic relationship unfortunately, where government tries to manipulate the media, but is it different this time when you have the added layer of social media and a 24-hour information streams, as opposed to what has happened for decades. where government tries to leak
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information to shape public discourse on information. >> i think the best academics -- right there is this incredible new machine for amplifying all sorts of things. social movements you think are really important. social movements you think are horrible. true information, false information. this new ecosystem of which things can travel at light speed and get amplified massively. really is new and interesting. at the same time, there is a lot that is not new. i think it's sometimes easy to blame everything you don't like on this crazy new technical contest of misinformation being spread on social media. when for a lot of instances, trump supporters, the further he goes the more outrageous thing he said, who knows if they believed it or they didn't believe it. but they like that he was saying it. it did not turn out that a journalist who said hey, you know this isn't true and it would change their minds. political, social, racial context that is happening.
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sometimes gets kind of collapsed in these ideas. willfully people were getting kind of a more factual stream. >> all right, then. i have to say, another very thought-provoking article. i encourage everybody to read it. ben smith, always a pleasure. good to see you my friend. don't go anywhere, harrowing new reporting that reveals the deadly links that you will go to stop migrants from reaching its shores with the reporter who was kidnapped and beaten while investigating a report on the story. you do not want to miss that coming up next. coming up next clerk: hello, how can i? sore throat pain? ♪honey lemon♪ try vicks vapocool drops. in honey lemon chill. for fast-acting sore throat relief. wooo vaporize sore throat pain with vicks vapocool drops.
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align. fast acting biotic gummies helps soothes occasional abdominal discomfort, gas, and bloating and it works fast. in as little as 7 days try fast acting biotic gummies from align. the #1 doctor recommended probiotic brand. in southwest eee, the capital of libya there is an enormous secret prison. it sits next to an abandoned tobacco factory and houses migrants trying to get to europe. for more than half a decade, europe has been grappling with the refugee crisis. hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers from the middle east and africa fleeing violence and repression. looking for safe harbor in the
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european union. in recent years, facing political pressure, many european countries have crackdown on this migration. thanks to an excellent pair of articles but journalists in are bina, we now know the lengths that the eu has gone to make sure refugees do not reach its shores. reena reports that contacts that the border patrol with the libyan coast guard, which is an official decentralized group of local patrols, which the united nations says has ties to militia groups, human trafficking. according to reports in documents, the e spends hundreds of millions of dollars to funds this so-called libyan coast guard. which in turn, captures migrant boats in the mediterranean sea. far from libya's shores. often, openly shooting at those boats. and knocking them over into the water. >> please keep more distance. don't shoot at the people.
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>> they are shooting again. >> stop shooting in the water. >> if the migrants survive those initial encounters with the libyan coast guard, many are brought to brutal prisons, where survivors describe horrible living conditions, abuse and torture. the worst of these is the secret prison called alamo banning, as ariana reports, migrants in were beaten for whispering to one another, speaking in their native tongues, or even laughing. troublemakers were held four days in the isolation room in an abandoned gas station. isolation room had no bathroom. prisoners had to deprecation a corner. the smell was so bad that guards wore masks when they visited. and guards tied the hands of detainees to ropes suspended from a steel ceiling beam and beat them now these detention centers operate without any oversight or accountability. because libya has largely been
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a failed state governed by worn militias, since president was disposed and killed during that arabs in uprising a decade ago. while the european union the cleanse the conditions in these camps, and denies funding them critics argue that they will not be able to operate without the support from the european union. the eu funds, sometimes funneled through, a group. to pay for the boats, and trucks that capture migrants. the buses that bring them to the detention center. and the showers and blankets that are waiting for them when they arrive. as ravina puts it, quote, some of those efforts make the prisons more humane. but they also help sustain a brutal system which exist largely because of eu policies that send migrants back to libya. ian or been a traveled to libya to report on that brutal system. he was captured and beaten for trying to expose it. and his incredible story is next. don't go anywhere. don't go anywhere.
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little over a week in libya, investigating prisons funded by the european union, where migrants have been reportedly held, tortured, and even killed. the reporter working on the story, a man name ian urbina, was himself captured by armed men claiming to be from the libyan intelligence service. he was detained for six days during which he was beaten, interrogated, and placed in an isolation cell. in a new yorker piece he writes that one arm and burst into his hotel room, quote, they placed a hood over my head, kicked and punched me, and stepped on my face, leaving the wood two broken ribs, blood in my urine, and damaged to my kidneys. then they drag me from the room. after lobbying from the state department in the dutch foreign service, he and his reporting team, were ultimately and thankfully, released. that reporter, joins me now. ian urbina is investigative journalist, and detective of the outlaw ocean product. a nonprofit junalism organisation based in washington d.c. that focuses on environmental and human rights concerned at sea globally.
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he just published that groundbreaking new piece that i was telling you about, with the new yorker, and nbc news. ian, it's good to see you. i'm glad that you made it out of there safely. you and your team. what a harrowing experience that must have been. just tell us a little bit about that. what was your experience being captured by these armed guards, describe what you went through during your detention? were you told what crimes you were being detained for? >> yes, as you say it was a harrowing experience, not one we expected to occur. in some ways it gave us a distinct inside to migrants experience on a much more intense level. the crime that we were charged with was essentially practicing journalism in libya. the libyan intelligence service said that they thought that we were spies for the cia and also, even if we were reporters, we shouldn't be trying to embarrass libya by focusing on how the country is dealing with migrants.
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>> i know that you, in the story, tell the account of ali --, a migrant who unfortunately was killed in that albanian prison. tell us about him and the conditions he suffered in this facility. how did to uncover what happened to him? >> yes, ali --, was in some ways a traditional, typical, climate migrant, 28 year old farmer from guinea-bissau, west african country. who wanted to try to provide for his family by making his way to europe. he began a long trip through the sahara desert. and of getting in a migrant raft. trying to cross the mediterranean sent back to shore, captured by the libyan coast guard. put in this prison where ultimately after two months there is a fight between migrants and the guards at the prison opened fire on the migrants through a window. and ali -- was shot in the neck and killed.
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you know, i had heard about this killing which happened a couple of weeks prior to my arrival. and i just thought that it would be worth investigating how he killed and in what ways if any he was typical of the migrants to end up in this prison. >> i know that a friend of ali -- describe to the isolation room which was punishment for prisoners who, where, quote, guards tied the hands of the detainees to a rope suspended from a steel ceiling beam and beat them. it's not so bad seeing a friend or a man yelling as he's being tortured. soumahoro said. but seeing a six foot tall man beating a woman with a whip. your piece documents reports of beating, sexual assaults, killings, has there been any kind of formal investigation particularly on the part of the eu? >> you know, in the last five years alone there have been a half dozen reports and we've seen the international human
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rights watch the un about the brutality in this gulag. this sort of eu funded prison system that exists in libya. so it is not new to point out just the extent of violence and extortion and rape and occasionally murder. but the eu hasn't done a whole lot to actually reckon with their role in funding the spending so many migrants to the prison. and often complain. the eu complains about this is really the libyan government responsibility to clean up behaviour in the prison. and sort of shrugs. but the eu is the one sending most of the migrants to the prisons. >> yes and i know that in your piece you also described that cemeeary where -- is now buried and you have this incredible drone footage of the cemetery where many of libya's dead migrants are unfortunately buried in unmarked graves and yet as these images go around
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the world as your reporting is shared migrants will continue to make this journey. has this brutal system of imprisonment had any impact on the numberof migrants attempting this danderous crossing? >> yes, i mean in some ways, the system that the eu has imposed has been affective at the goal of stopping migrants from arriving to europe. so it's a success in that way it's a dire failure from human rights perspective. you know, the death rate of migrants attempting to cross has gone up. and what happens to the migrants that have returned to libya has only gotten worse. so if you measure by those metrics it's an abject failure. and on a larger level if you think about the fact that 150 million climate migrants are expected to sort of shift position over the next two decades. the notion that the eu is going to outsource its migration
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problems to a failed statement in lybia and that is something that can survive the test of law and ethics over the next decade is a really foolish one. >> yes and i also wanted to note that you write about europe's commitment to anti migrant program and libya remains unshaken. last year, italy renewed it's memorandum of understanding with libya. since this past me with support from the eu, it has spent at least $3.9 million on the libyan coast guard. what kind of pressure would it take for the eu to scale back this operation of theirs, does it seem likely to you in the future, is there concerted international effort by the human rights organization or perhaps elsewhere by the united nation to try and get the eu them to reverse course than what it's doing now? >> there is and there's a lot of pressure from within the eu even within parliamentarians as well as only two weeks ago
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there was a coalition of lawyers in europe, that filed papers for the international criminal court, seeking to get the icc to investigate the detention system which the human itself has described as engaged in crimes against humanity. so there are strong voices from within europe and elsewhere trying to pressure the eu to rethink its role in the sort of abusive system, at the same time they are strong forces, xenophobic forces, largely, that are attempting to sort of continue with this path. and sort of build this invisible wall across the mediterranean to block migrants from arriving to europe. so, the jury is up to what is to happen, but we will resist resistance. so let me ask you about the situation. since you were on the ground there in libya, and as we mentioned it is a failed state with a lot of challenges. do you get any sense whatsoever that with the elections coming, up that there's any desire within libya itself to try and address the situation in a more
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humane way? >> i don't get the sense that there is a lot of pressure within libya to reform the system. i think that there is several reasons that it's a chaotic place, a divided police. a poor place. and so the amount of money flowing into libya simply to prop up this proxy role as a sort of immigration enforcement for europe, sort of the last stage of that has entrenched interests. and so a lot of government militias are eager for the migration in terms to remain the same. >> all right you could find it urban, those incredible reporting in the new yorker and you can find a companion piece and further on nbc news, inner bina. thank you for that incredible piece of journalism. >> that is all in for this evening, you can catch me again on the weekend, saturday's at 8 pm eastern sunday at nine. the rachel maddow show starts
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right now. good evening rachel. >> good evening aim, and it's good to see you there my, friends thank you so much, much appreciated. >> thank you. >> and thanks to at-home for joining us this hour, really happy to have you here, hope you had a good holiday weekend. out as of tonight, midnight tonight on the eastern the caribbean this older woman who you might recognize will no longer be the head of state. as of the stroke of midnight tonight, queen elizabeth will no longer be, among her other titles, the queen of barbados. as of tonight there will no longer be a queen of barbados. there will be a president. dame sandra mason. she's currently the governor general of barbados. that technically means she's been the top representative of the queen there, but tonight that job goes away. barbados will cease to have a queen or king for that matter.
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