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tv   Headline News  RT  June 25, 2014 8:00pm-8:30pm EDT

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just to wrap. up. coming out five hundred c. water water everywhere but not a drop to drink in detroit water services have been cut off to thousands of people who haven't been able to pay their bills and now the traders are reaching out to the u.n. for help a report from michigan just ahead. and the supreme court has spoken today the high court handed down two important decisions and that includes a ruling against the warrantless search of the rest of person's phone an in-depth look at that coming up. and drones on the farm a new initiative and to get aerial footage that exposes some of the criminal treatment of then a moles on factory farms we'll talk to the man behind the project later in the show
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. it's wednesday june twenty fifth pm in washington d.c. and the mere idea of it and you're watching r t america we begin tonight with the young going battle over water in detroit earlier this year the detroit water and sewage company announced it would begin shutting off water service for fifteen hundred to three thousand customers every week if the bills were not paid and just last week the city approved an increase in the price residents would have to pay for water now a coalition of activists are pushing back by appealing to the u.n. high commission for human rights to intervene on behalf of the bankrupt city's most vulnerable citizens to break down all the details in the fight over water earlier i spoke to our g.'s meghan lopez who's on the ground in detroit and i first asked her how residents are coping without water. you know in there i think the answer to
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that is the best as they possibly can a lot of people are trying to scrounge up just enough money in order to be able to pay those delinquent water bills those are the people that have either been sent notices saying that their water is going to be shut off or have had their water shut off now the detroit water and sewer board says that is planning on shutting off about three thousand people's water each week in order to kind of make up for the deficit of people that are simply not paying their bills so the answer is the best they can now they're getting help from a lot of different organizations one of them is the way fund which is trying to help people as best as they can kind of make up the deficit also the detroit water and sewer department is offering payment plans things like that and also things like the detroit water brigade is handing out water bottles they're handing else filtration systems and things like that they're taking in donations they're filling up jugs of water and really just trying to help people get by because if you think about it you know it's not just drinking water that's important it's being able to flush the toilet it's being able to wash your hands it's being able to take
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a shower which really gets into the health concerns so you know and we really haven't seen much attention focused on this at all until the dishwater gate and other kind of activist organizations filed that report with the un special rapporteur for asking for help and only now we're really really seeing the attention being paid to this issue and the urgency of the matter with people losing their water in their homes and they can believe it or not nearly one hundred fifty thousand customers in detroit are delinquent on their water payments why are residents having such a tough time paying their bills. absolutely ameerah so that one hundred fifty thousand people is about half if you can imagine that it's quite a bit of people and the reason behind it really depends on who you ask if you ask the folks in the building behind me this is the troy water and sewer department they'll tell you that really people are kind of putting their bills on the backburner in terms of paying paying it because they really haven't. seen their
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water shut off in the past this is the first time they're really seeing this massive water shut off for people that are delinquent on their bills so they might have been putting off this payment in lieu of choosing to pay their electricity choosing to pay their rising bill choosing things like that that's the reason in the detroit water and sewer department will give you if you ask activists they will say that people simply cannot afford to pay these water bills in this tough economic times tough economic point filed for bankruptcy as first city in the us to file for bankruptcy you've got a forty percent poverty rate here an eight percent unemployment rate here and people are really just struggling to rub two pennies together to be able to pay for things that everyone else would consider standard on top of that the water bills here are much higher than the national average national average is about forty dollars per month per water bill right here in detroit it's about sixty five dollars and it's going up on july first by eight point seven percent so another five dollars is actually being added on to their water bills so it's just really
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hard to make up that difference and as i understand it a number of residents were struggling to pay their water bills are actually reluctant to come forward speed out ask for help as you got any sense as to why that is. you know the activists that i've spoken to i've really tried to find those people that are hard hit trying to pay their water bills and were suddenly just not having any luck and the reason that is is because if there is a teacher if there is a show show worker who happens to know of a child living in a house full of without water they will report them to social services and the children will be removed from their homes so the first thing is that it is going to possibly breaking families apart if these families come forward and either go to the media or go to the detroit water and sewer deferment and say hey we can't pay our water bills because they're afraid of the negative consequences that it could have on their families also if as you can imagine it could really affect negatively
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the family in terms of how they pay their homes off and the reason that is is because these water bills are being transferred to property taxes so missing your water bills for so many months in a row lisa higher property taxes which could lead to somebody losing their houses and finally some of the reasons that we've been given is that simply it's embarrassing to not be able to afford something as simple and as essential as water as you can imagine and the u.n. special rubbers were received of three from activists asking for help and addressing what they've called a human rights crisis has a special repertoire responded at this point. she has in fact responded to her in this kind of training dell albuquerque and choose a un special repertoire to drinking water and santa tory right now as you had mentioned they're calling this a possible human rights violation what the special repertoire is saying is that if the city is in fact shutting off the water to people who simply cannot afford to
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pay for their water at the moment then yes it is a human rights violation however she did go on to say this statement and i want to read it to you really quickly disconnection due to nonpayment is only permissible if it can be shown that the householder is able to pay but is not paying in other words that is a tariff that the tariff is affordable however what she's saying is really hard to prove because the detroit water board simply since the bills to the address of the person they don't necessarily know who is living in that household so it's hard to determine if they actually are able to make those bills but choosing to spend their money elsewhere so again this is a very urgent situation that's going on here a lot of people are going through dire straits a lot of people have received those water notices and they're simply trying to figure out at this point how they can pay their bills and if they can't pay their bills how they can get clean sanitary water for their families all right are these mega lopez in detroit thanks for that reporting. two major rulings came down from
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the supreme court today in a historic unanimous ruling the country's highest court said that cell phones and smartphones generally cannot be served by a police officer without a warrant during arrests ruling on two cases from california and massachusetts the justices noted vote a right to privacy and i need to investigate crimes but the ultimately ruled on the side of privacy in the court opinion issued today it said modern cell phones are not just another technological convenience with all they contain and all they may reveal they hold for many americans the privacy is of life and another separate ruling the supreme court handed down a decision on the constitutionality of aereo a t.v. streaming service and a six to three ruling the court found that areas service violates the copyright act by capturing broadcasters t.v. shows through dime sized and charging subscribers this is
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a livery even though it legally captures those shows over the air i was joined earlier to discuss the implications of the two decisions that came down today criminal defense attorney john cabs and attorney david lynch fan excuse me i first asked john for his reaction to the ruling on the cell phone searches i'm ecstatic and also this means that the supreme court is still protecting the fourth amendment the united states constitution which prohibits on reasonable searches and seizures with the supreme court the that even if in arrestee has a canister in his pocket a film canister the police can open that up and find drugs in it in the person can be prosecuted for it if the same person who's arrested is found with a camera in his sorry a cell phone in his pocket the police now need to get a search warrant from a judicial officer to be able to search that camera and say that cell phone generally and david how big of a win do you think this is for privacy advocates. well it's certainly
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a big win in terms of the criminal aspect of. the issues i think the bigger long term issue is whether private companies can continue to mine people's dot is and what what use is that private companies can put to them so this does address one small problem the warrantless searches. for example you know with the n.s.a. spying situation those are searches that are done with warrants in a secret court so there's still a lot of work to do for privacy advocates absolutely all it's incredible to think about cell phones i mean they're so into roles where life ninety percent of american adults own a cell phone the court opinion poll did one poll that says nearly three quarters of smartphone users report being within five feet of their phones most of the time some of them even use the phones in their shower which is was crazy to think about so considering how you know how near and close we hold these phones was what could
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a cell phone potentially reveal about someone. well i think you know people use their cell phones now as the remote control of their lives and i think it's you know basically a digital imprint of everything going on in your life and so it is a very big deal you know to protect the privacy of those communications the way we used to protect certain phone calls and and in person conversations i have many clients that prefer to simply send e-mails or. rather than talk on the phone now so it's it's also a question you know for lawyers or protecting attorney client privilege as well absolutely that's a really good point and john a big question that's now lingering is what does this latest ruling really mean for the many people who have been convicted based on that information that was
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alternately you know taken by a police officer does it does it change their fate whatsoever. what the supreme court usually does is to say that if this is a new change in the law the people already convicted under the old law maybe can't get something some sort of relief so the defendants should go ahead and challenge their convictions have it was because of related to warrantless searches of their cell phones but they're not guaranteed to get really now as i understand the police can still examine the physical aspects of the fallen as just to make sure that it's not a weapon for example if they got pulled over are there was an altercation in your mind does it does that leave any will go room for any invasion of privacy whatsoever if they can do that or is that a bare minimum expectation for officers to have well sure police officers can look at the outside of the cell phone as long as they don't open it up as long as they don't operate electronics the u.s. supreme court for decades has gone down an area where there are many areas where
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police can go ahead and search people and search their information without getting search warrants what happened today with the supreme court's decision is going to hopefully make police think twice about getting a search warrant or not for instance in an adjoining county in virginia it appears the police will routinely see them search warrants for cell phones even before this ruling came down for the supreme court just in case a ruling like this came down and they protect themselves that way and chief justice roberts said the following of the court's ruling he said we cannot deny that our decision today will have an impact on the ability of law enforcement to combat crime privacy comes at a cost so he makes a really interesting point i mean should we be concerned at all about the effect this will have on law enforcement ability to do their investigations the bill of rights to the united states constitution does not provide protection to the police and the police function it provides protection to individuals and supreme court
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chief justice roberts is by no means a liberal and if he came down on this ruling this way that requires warrants that salimi. considering police functions as well all right and david i'm moving on to the second ruling that i mentioned earlier aereo it's a streaming service what was the areas are argument and their defense and why exactly do you think it didn't stick well their argument was that you know if they used all these tens of thousands of tiny antenna is that they could evade the copyright law because they were essentially doing no more than somebody who puts rabbit ears on their t.v. to get a local television signal they were just doing the job as an equipment manufacturer for for the consumer the supreme court didn't buy that argument and consistent with their past approach to say you can't use technology just to evade the copyright laws and because the area was making
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a second transmission in other words they were taking the transmission and then making the transmission to the users that the transmission fell under the public performance right under the copyright. and david this is one of the biggest rulings seen by the television industry since the one nine hundred eighty s. one thousand nine hundred four i think what kind of the implications does this have on how americans interact with television. well i think it has very little because most of the services that consumers use like a netflix or hulu or other streaming services that the networks themselves are putting out are legally licensed aereo and a few other companies like aereo who copied what aereo was doing were really trying to evade the copyright law and not pay for the content so i think at the end of the day this result will you know will cause very little change whereas
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had aereo prevailed it would of really been an issue for whether or not a lot of companies could afford to put content out there that was just going to be used for free right do you do you think there's any concern that this could have you know stifled some perhaps healthy competition to a largely powerful industry. but all this area was not really used by the many many people and the service that it was providing was really not that useful so i don't think there's any issue with respect to technological innovation there can be lots of technological innovations in the entertainment industries where services that develop great technology can take licenses under the copyright law to to do what they want to do and to content to consumers copyright is a permission based legal regime it's not you know you take first and then ask for
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permission later you have to ask for permission first an area wouldn't do that all right criminal defense attorney john katz here in d.c. and also attorney david lightman in new york thank you so much thank you thank you a former employee at an idaho dairy farm has been sentenced to one hundred eighty days in jail and two years of probation after an undercover video shot by animal rights groups showed workers stomping dragging and beating cows inside a milking barn a man convicted his forty year old javier victor rojas the ways he pleaded guilty in made to misdemeanor animal abuse following a vents recorded in a hidden camera by a member of mercy for animals the video shows rojas the laser striking and jabbing at cows with a cane in the face and head and two other workers in the video are also charged with animal abuse and one of them was sentenced in february the video prompted idaho lawmakers to pass a law criminalizing surreptitious reporting at agriculture facilities they almost
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rights groups and environmental groups are suing the state to overturn that law and its agag law earlier i was joined by author and animal rights activist well potter one of the plaintiffs on that lawsuit to further discuss the investigation i first asked him about a new method being tested including the use of drones to monitor and ultimately prevent animal cruelty. well as you're just saying there is this attempt across the country to criminalize news gathering to make it illegal to take photographs or video of factory farm abuses i think in response to the if these industries are trying to shut down the only windows we have and what they're actually doing reporters just have to get more creative and that's why i wanted to invest in this aerial photography and drone technology to take aerial photos of what's actually happening in terms of environmental pollution in particular now a lot of states have already adopted these ag gag laws which would make it illegal to issue any kind of secret recordings cameras videos etc in those states do drones
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fall under that illegality in some cases they do in idaho which is we have a lawsuit right now challenging the ag gag as unconstitutional there is a new edition which makes it illegal to take aerial photos of factory farms as well so i think this is kind of the next expansion of this ag gag trend and that's part of what really motivates me is regarded as source i you know why are they so afraid of aerial photos of what's going on in their farms. and do you plan to stay away from from those states that have those strict laws with the drone laws in particular i think that's going to be really sensitive this issue because the result of this legislation and these new laws is that it makes people like me think twice about whether or not i can actually report on what's taking place do i have the resources to face potential criminal prosecution and i think that's going to be really tough call it's a sad reality that you have to think about that you know this is no doubt going to
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be a very in-depth investigation there's no guarantee about what you're going to find but are there indications that these criminalities are happening on a more frequent basis than we think absolutely in the entire response from this industry is to shut down this media footage and to pretend like it's just a few bad apples but what we're seeing is that it's not just one worker here or another worker there this is an industry that truly fraught with these system. abuses for instance there's a photographer named mischka an order to where you satellite imagery to expose factory farm pollution and this is just industry standard and i think those are the types of things that we'll be able to see with this investigation and most people think of agag laws immediately categorize them and just into you know animal rights abuses but i've heard you say before that it it's about so much more than that what do you mean by that these laws at their core about keeping consumers in the dark the idea was in direct response to that video footage of workers punching and
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kicking cows in the head in the criminal are in the legal case right now the industry has said it was needed to combat media persecution this is a media war it's about shutting down journalism so it's about consumers it's about workers having the right to expose what their employers are doing and not fear for their jobs and it's also about journalists i mean i'm really proud to say we have sixteen different professional journalism associations who have signed on in this idaho lawsuit challenging aguilar's as unconstitutional as a freshman a threat to journalism and a lot of people don't know this about you but this topic is very personal because i know that in two thousand and two you ran into an issue that really sort of sparked your your journey into into this field can you talk about what happened in two thousand and two you should get into this so my background as a newspaper reporter in those working at the chicago tribune. it was philly really dark and depressed i mean sure a lot of people in this building know what it's like reporting on the horrible news
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right in and day out and i wanted to just do something positive so i went out leaflet in with a group of activists against animal testing and of course absolutely horrible luck and we were all arrested and the reason we have a graduate then you would be you know i thought i was it is the safe thing to do i mean i wasn't go to a protest turn into when. the charges were thrown out but the important part is that some f.b.i. agents knocked on my door a few weeks later and then knew all about my journalism. career the in the talk to my editors and the fulbright program i had a journalism. and all kinds of things the domestic terrorist list illicit help so it has been a really personal issue it has been personal and see my sources being criminalized i mean what i experienced is nothing compared to under these agag laws you can face a year in jail where the workers who did the abuse got one hundred eighty days that's incredible and you're actually raising money right now on kickstarter for this drone project and a lot of people are really responsive to it i know you set the goal originally at
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thirty thousand dollars it's already up to forty five i know you're trying to go for ninety five that's a lot of money and there's a lot of big donors in particular you know what do you think that says about sort of this thirst to see this kind of journalism done a bit earlier overwhelmed by it it's not just people who are already informed about these issues or activist or anything like i think across the board people want to see what's going on and people want to make informed decisions and on top of that i think people are really outraged by attempts to say that we don't have a right to that information and i think this investigation in particular has tapped into that and the more support we've got and we can expand it we're already expanding it to multiple other states getting better equipment getting a second drone has the industry in some farmers are threatening to shoot them down if we bring them in so is the investigation is just getting better and better all right investigative journalist will potter thank you and best of luck thank you. while recycling tycoon known for his bizarre publicity stunts is hoping this show
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the caring side of chinese billionaires by throwing a one million dollar charity luncheon in central park for cash strapped americans that luncheon took place this afternoon and artie's honest i see a church going to has the story. a charity event sending the media into a frenzy as if the king of pop himself had come back to life becomes. he is to call on. him melissa calm the issue on a new york landmark the central park boathouse stormed by t.v. crews but you just he's backed up i'm sure you don't doubt all this to witness chinese billionaire chen one known for his outlandish behavior holding a one million dollar lunch for the city's homeless as you say their group has entertainment chinese songs and volunteers and communist worker outfits and magic tricks by the self described most influential person of china as you can see.
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everywhere olin display for the name of the good mint all the person i knew all the help get a full page ad in the new york times this week to ramp up attention to this event has clearly served its purpose a lot of homes we didn't come because of the fact that they don't want to see them they don't want me in promotional ads broadcast on stage chen is touted as the most beloved chinese role model among almost a dozen other titles the ads have advertised one thousand people giving away three hundred dollars to each person i think anybody would show up in central park for three hundred dollars in this day and age about two hundred homeless people were brought to the event on buses paid for by the magnate is saying they take. a fall you know to come and do this but at the same time hey somebody's got to do chen talked of weeks of sleepless nights to prepare for what he dubbed the love and gratitude charity tour there so many people who are in need of help the goal to
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show that rich chinese people don't just throw away money on luxury the extravagant charity event is set to become a tradition with the eccentric chinese millionaire promising to return to the u.s. every year to do what he can to help those in need to help those in. he'd make a name for himself in the street the promise of three hundred dollars per person was fulfilled for a lucky few in front of cameras instead of giving them three hundred dollars each he's donating ninety thousand dollars to the new york city rescue mission a disappointment for those attending each and every one of the homeless having counted on the cash that was promised you might. want to chan told his guests to pick up their money at the city mission he would like instead. so go to the mission and she people are good these were this word was not kept the mission got the cash but it never reached the pockets of the homeless oh my god tad so nice stuff you. especially if you're going to r.t.
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new york. now does it for now i'm in marin david have a great night i'm out in martin the stories we cover here we're not going to hear in iraq or for star of the past or that while santorum has a reason they don't want him to now have our want to tell friends that we should all be completely outraged now let's break the set. one hundred twenty two seven states guys together and the colorado river compact with four and under which the hoover dam was built the contract was meant to allocate water rights between the states to get the damned bill when the contract
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was written as to meant for how much water would be flowing into the dam were way too high and that might not have been such a big deal except for the fact that we now have massive amounts of overconsumption and climate change to deal with in the last fifty years the population serviced by the colorado river went from twelve million to thirty million meanwhile the average flow on the river has drastically fallen and the colorado river is in a state of long term decline if a new report by the l.a. times is to be believed the situation is now poised to cause a major water war between the states in the not too distant future the rules set forth in the compact are rich it and don't provide much detail about how states might work together in times of shortages which most experts agree are only set to get worse one possible solution would be to drain lake powell another reservoir formed at another dam on the colorado river but utah wyoming colorado and new
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mexico could then get screwed as then california arizona and nevada would have rights to most of the water another possible solution would be to buy out farmers claim on the water under the compact farmers get first dibs on the water and they are using huge amounts of the water for crops and. i'll afford that largely good shift to china so x. troops are now considering trying to buy water rights back from farmers but that presents a whole other gate is. the only thing experts seem to agree on is that the solution to this growing massive problem is going to be complicated and more contentious than it already is as an example they point to the last major effort to rewrite water allocation rules called the quantification settlement agreement it was reached back in two thousand and three but eleven years later it's still under lip .


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