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tv   Consider This  Al Jazeera  May 16, 2014 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT

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>> weekday mornings on al jazeera america >> start your day with in depth coverage from across the country and around the world. >> the future looks uncertain... >> real news keeping you up to date. >> an informed look on the night's events, a smarter start to your day. mornings on al jazeera america >> the common core education plan getting bashed by some on the left and the right. the president of the american federation of teachers joins us. also, flawed dna to false confessions. are countless americans spending unneeded years in prison. ceo pay. and a man whose traumatic brain injury somehow made him a math
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which. i'm antonio mora, welcome to "consider this." here's more on what's ahead. >> evacuation orders are being lifted in southern california even though some wild fires continue to burn. >> we thought we had the sucker beat then jeepers, three big black columns of smoke took off like crazy. >> the scary thing is, it isn't fire season yet. >> barbara walters has hung up her hat. >> how will her departure change the face of tv news. >> a mystery scientists are still trying to unravel. >> giving him a profound concussion. he went from an average joe to a mathematical genius. >> they say people get knocked out and see a flash of light. it was just like that. >> we begin with a series of dangerous wind whipped are
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wildfires, causing tens of millions in damage. firefighters started to gain some ground in some areas attacking the flames from the air. but blazes from early in the year are unprecedented and there are serious concerns that the long term drought in california will make this season a nightmare. joining us from san marcos, california, al jazeera correspondent brian rooney. the fire there grew from 1200 acres to now around 3,000. they are having some success containing it. >> they are. the weather is not quite as hot, not quite as windy. these things tend to blow up and then kind of mysteriously kind of damp down. the actual damage to houses has not been that bad. we're standing in front of a housing that burned to the ground. but only seven or eight houses in a i have widespread area of
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the san diego area have burned. which is surprising considering the number of acres that have burned. but this morning a big fire blew up on camp pendleton and you can 23 see that back in the horizon, a big black plume. they're calling it 8,000 acres in the morning but considerably more than that as the day goes on. that's a considerable area that's burning but camp pendleton is generally a wild reservation, they're evacuating the remote camps they have on the base but so far we're not getting of damage to any structures on the base. >> brian, you said there were smaller fires set by teenagers, now it's reported that a man is charged with arson after adding brush onto a small fire. there are reports that construction may be behind the
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larger fires and investigators now say that eight of the fires are suspicious in nature because they erupted about an hour apart from each other? >> yeah, suspicious in nature only means all these fires, most of them are set accidentally or on punch. three have to investigate what the exact purpose was. all these when you get a cluster happening in a close proximity, that's suspicious and investigators feel they have a firebug out there. >> weather is expected to get better over the next couple of days. >> yes, it's 95 today, it was 100 yesterday, it's headed to the 70s by tution. fairly cool weather and moisture which makes a big difference in these fires. the humentd -- the humidity
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makes the brush less likely to burn. >> the wind off the land is much drier. >> yes, the ocean wind is not as dry but wind of any sort is a bad thing. >> including the firenados, wind in general is bad. brian rooney let's hope things calm down out there. glad to have you with us. thanks. >> thank you. >> ceo pay in america has soared in recent decades, widely deepening the gap between the ceo and his workers. now two california state senators are trying to do something about the growing wage gap. sponsoring a bill in the state senate that would penalize at a
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companies that pay their ceo more than 100 times as much as their workers. >> lonnie hancock, state senator. this is a unique approach to income and equality. what do you hope to achieve? >> we lope to achieve a positive incentive for corporate responsibility, for lessening income inequality in this country. starting right here in california. where soment things begin. >> -- where so many things begin. >> you would reward companies that pay their ceos less than 100 times the median worker's salary and you would lessen on asliding scale those that pay their ceo less than 100 times their workers? >> as you know, the average ceo makes 280 times the amount of the median worker and that's
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three 80 dimes for a standard & poor'standard &poor's fortune 5. >> what we've subpoena and it's of increasing -- what we've seen and it's of increasing concern, the great american middle class slipping away. and it not only is a social problem because the middle class is the bedrock of our democracy, but it's also an economic problem. the average worker canned afford to buy the goods and -- can't afford to buy the goods and services the american economy can produce. that's why we're having such a weak economy right now and such slow job growth. >> progressive economist dean baker says he's trublgd by trying to slash income inequality through the tax code. it's hard to get full equality
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through ceo income, wouldn't it be a necessitat nightmare do seh actual ceo compensation is? >> actually it's going to be quite easy. our allocation tease off dodd frank federal legislation that requires the reporting of ceo income in relationship to the average worker's salary. and we think that we're just going to use those dodd-frank figures. they also take executive bonuses and stock options and factor those in. >> the problem though is the disnew england side. and california -- disincentive side. the vice president for policy gina rodriguez, says california is already the anti-business
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state, isn't there a danger that adding those disincentives that california will be contrary to big corporations? >> not at all. california is one of the nation's biggest markets. companies want to be here, and we have a very high quality of life in california. this is really an incentive program. it's voluntary. right now, the corporate tax rate is are 8.8%. our bill would say, if you voluntarily have a ceo pay ratio that is reasonable, 100 times more than the average worker, you can lower your tax rate to 8%. if -- and we have some corporations in california that actually have a 25-to-1 tax differential. their tax rates can go down to
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7%. >> but california's unemployment rate is 7.8%. that's a point and a half above the national average. couldn't this make the state lose more jobs? if i were a ceo and i got to tell you i love california. but let me put myself in the hands of a ceo that's making a ton of money, it would be easy for me to move my corporate headquarters to nevada, which couldn't even have a corporate income tax. california has a very high one. in fact we've seen rick perry in texas he's been working to lure companies away from california, with some success, including toyota, who agreed to move their businesses from california to his state. >> many of those companies have already moved, from bermuda to rhode island, to some place they can claim a headquarters and pay less taxes.
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corporate income tax is based on what you sell. and we think sales will go up in california if people can afford to buy the products that they're making. so ceos don't create jobs, you know. consumers create jobs. customers create jobs. they create jobs by buying the things the economy produces. this is an incentive bill. corporation can keep going just as they are. and not very much will change. >> all right we'll stay on top of that story, see where the bill goes. california state senator lonnie hancock, appreciate your time, thank you. >> you're very welcome. >> 60th anniversary of brown versus board of education. segregation by race and class are still rampant in america, especially here in new york newk state, the implementation of
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common core, students k-12, adopted by 44 states, that are meant to better prepare students for college, career and real life. my next guest says she supports common core standards but not the way they're being put into effect. i'm joined by randy winegarden, president of the aft, more than a million members nationwide. randy, glad to see you. you said you supported common core, that the standards had the potential to create deeper learning, that students need othrive as adults. but you also called for a moratorium on the consequence for failing oadhere to those standards. what exactly do you want to see? >> so we need to decouple these new tests from the implementation of the common core. which is essentially what montana's doing and california is doing.
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and you're seeing the implementation going far better than in new york, where you had tremendous agitta, anxiety over the botched implementation. you have to give people the time to really look at english differently, look at mathematics differently, and then adjust their lessons that way. and at the same time, you have to do that for kids. if kids are used to in mathematics learning to memorize the multiplications table and then we say to them, how you get to what's nine time nine, 81, the different ways you ask get to nine times nine that's a different methodology. so we're saying let's figure out how to do that first before you test on it. >> but once that is figured out and that settles in, is testing
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okay? are the consequence of accountability for teachers and schools acceptable? because it certainly seems like some of your local schools don't like it and don't want it. >> what is acceptable is that obviously we have to ensure that kids are getting what they need to be college and career-ready. so are that -- are once a year standardized tests the be all and end all to do that? no. antonio, we have basically gone from a system with multiple measures of student learning to now one test on one day. and it doesn't -- we don't even know if it measures what kids need to know and be able to do. so what we're saying is let's have multiple measures. let's do things like project based instruction. don't throw standardized tests but don't make them the be all
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and end all. we have started to learn what common sense would have suggested. was that these evaluations of teachers based on standardized tests have no correlation with good teaching. and in fact what we're seeing in places like houston, is that teachers that opt to teach with our most challenged kids are doing worse on these standardized based evaluations, so what's the option in them keeping on teaching the kids they love? yes, we need to evaluate teachers and yes teachers need to be evaluated on both questions, did i teach it and did kids learn it, but we need to learn more about how to accurately teach it but not do the quick fix of one standardized test. >> you say the common core should be a guide and not the straight jacket. their opposition as stated by
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common core because they will be mistakes that apply all over the country. >> look, i think that george will is wrong and i think that tea party folks are really wrong. i respect george but i think he is wrong. this is why. this is why i say a guide not a straight jacket. number 1, what was brown versus board of education, it was to provide access to kids all around america. we are in a global economy. we need to make sure that kids whether they are in birmingham, alabama or bayshore, new england, that kids are in a area
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that prepares them for working lives. whit becomes lock step where you can actually think you can have a textbook to read one page and another page and another page and that textbook is going to be exactly the same if all states and all cities throughout america, that's standardization. that's wrong. but thinking about that should all kids become critical thinkers and problem-solvers? do all kids need to know fact -- you know factors and multiplication tables and how to do division and multiplication and addition and subtraction and basic algebra? yes. and so there's something in the middle between what are the knowledge and skills that all kids need and total and complete standardization. and that's why i say it should
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be a guide not a straight jacket. >> i know administrators are concerned, whether the zoe started 20, however long it has been, 45 years ago, has coincided with the decline in how our students do compared to students elsewhere. but ironically conservatives are the first to complain about how our system is failing kids. but if national education standards get watered down won't that damage the future of many public school students around the country? >> that's why i think -- so let me be really clear. the common core, even though there was a lot of work done nationally on it, our standards that were adopted by 44 states. personally, i believe in national standards. but these are not national standards. thee these are standards that are consistent in these states. i mean these are standardsen
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that are exactly the same -- sthanders that are exactly the same but states adopted them. to your point what was the nation's role in the '60s and '70s, what did johnson try to do? it was to say our poor kids our kids with disability, there is going to be national legislation to make sure they have a ladder of opportunity. that is what the conservatives are deriding, right? that's not standardization. that's trying to create equity. >> and so many years after brown v board of education we're still deein -- dealing with segregatin in our schools. so many issues of education now. randy i hope we'll be able to see you soon and talk to you, randy winegarden, pleasure to see you. >> thank you.
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>> kids end up spending decades behind bars and why that's tearing families apart. >> and ukraine struggles to are keep together. our social media producer, hermela aregawi. what's trending. >> a lot of the middle east, what makes its money from say nutmeg or tobacco? i'll tell you more coming up. and what do you think? join the conversation @ajconsiderthis and on our facebook and google plus pages. >> on techknow... >> so, this is the smart home... >> saving the environment >> the start point for energy efficiency, is to work with the sun... >> saving you money >> we harvest a lot of free energy >> and so we're completely off grid here >> how many of the appliances were almost a little too smart for us? >> techknow every saturday, go where science, meets humanity. >> this is some of the best driving i've ever done,
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even though i can't see. >>techknow >> we're here in the vortex... only on al jazeera america >> i'm joie chen, i'm the host of america tonight, we're revolutionary because we're going back to doing best of storytelling. we have an ouportunity to really reach out and really talk to voices that we haven't heard before... i think al jazeera america is a watershed moment for american journalism
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>> turning now to ukraine, where steel workers, employed by one of ukraine's richest men, joined to stop violence on the streets there. billion air renat akmatov, helped to bring convenientity to the area. for perspective and serious issues with the ukrainian army, i spoke recently with lariened, good to have you here. let's start with what happened in crimea. as we talk about the ukrainian
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military. there are all these stories about how people laid down their arms and when they were faced by the russian forces and the pro-russian separatists. what does that tell you about the state of the ukrainian military? >> there's no question for me personally. because i few that at the end of the presidency of this criminal dictator yanukovych, the ukraine was reduced to fragmentary piece of pieces, when inherited of dignity. government was just coming into offices, many positions in security structures were just vacant. and at this very moment, russians started deployment of their green people. service men without insignia.
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. >> people that went in there unidentified. >> and their president went on tv saying they're not russian soldiers. >> he changed his mind and admitted later that they were. you've talked about how ukrainian military officers have been trained to see the russians as friends. is that going to be a problem moving forward? >> it was a case at the beginning, where they saw sometimes the same offices that were hosting during the common exercises. but it quickly ended because russians themselves put themselves in the position of an enreply. >> we're talking about morale. on thursday, the new york times reported that there was this popular uprising in mariopol in the east, where there has been strong fightings but the steel workers started to come out. they all work for a big
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billionaire who reportedly told his workers to go out, they overwhelmed the russian separatists in that town. has the fact that this very powerful man now clearly come out for ukrainian unity, is that going to help? >> to put it short, he probably recognized that sooner or later central authorities of ukraine will be able to put situation in order in that region, without compromising with local authorities, authoritative businessmen, criminals, tycoons, all those people who in that specific region, who, for 20 years of independence, still remain rather post-soaf jetsovit ukrainian one, if it so happened
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that the corey kluberian man, offered his services, sort of what ukrainian people did before, like kharkiv other places, it's okay, it took longer time for him to cooperate for to decide to cooperate, maybe he thought which side will take upper hand. but i see this development as a positive one. >> and all the polls of course show that the majority of people in eastern ukraine do not want a separation. so leonid polikov, pleasure to have you join us. >> you're welcome. >> based on human error and in some case he malice, the new eight part series, the system looks at that system to highlight major flaws in the
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judicial process, mandatory sentence mistaken eyewitness testimony and more. >> keeping watch over us, who is watching the system? i'm joe berlinger. we're going inside the u.s. criminal justice system from law enforcement, elected officials, the court system to corrections to find out if justice is being served. >> joe berlinger is the executive producer and director of the series, oscar nominated film maker, the system. appears here on al jazeera america. good to have you here. >> good for you to have me. >> as we just heard, you don't think justice is being served. >> yes. >> how big a problem do you see it being?
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>> well, you know, the system sometimes works, i don't want to say it's completely broken but there are increasing number of problems. the united states has 5% of the world's population yet 25% of the world's prison population. there's extreme racial bias. one in three black men can expect to go to prison in their lifetime, it's not that one in three americans are bad, obviously, it's the system dis-- >> discriminates. >> discriminates, thank you. besides the bias, dna technology has demonstrated that wrongful convictions happen. this series looked at all the ways that people can be wrongfully convicted and it's shocking how many people fall into that trap through false confessions, faulty eyewitness identification. it's a terrible problem.
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>> we are obsessed with these criminal tv shows and we have come to believe that dna evidence is infallible. but you have raised the fact had dna might have its issues. >> dna is good when it's used for the right reasons but too often it's manipulated for the wrong reasons. science is only as good as the humans behind it. we demonstrated in one episode that the fbi forensic lab had a problem with hair analysis for decades and didn't do anything bit and it affected 21,000 cases, 27 of which are people on death row so it's mind boggling. >> another thing you said, is that trials are not about seeking the truth but who presents the best narrative. do you think that's the case in the majority of trials? >> there's a lot of great
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prosecutors, people in law enforcement who clearly believe in the oath that they've taken and do a good job, but there are too many prosecutors out there. the mentality is to win, to win at all costs. and a lot of people are elected officials. and then the other thing that i think, of course they have to do what's right to get elected. the other thing that i think needs to change is, there is a thing called prosecutorial immunity. if a prosecutor makes a mistake, puts somebody in prison for 15, 18 years and then it's discovered that it was based on a wrongful conviction scenario, whatever the reason, and exculpatory evidence was, you know, hidden, these guys have immunity. and i think the simplest fix to the system would be to hold prosecutors accountable for misdeeds. and again, most prosecutors, i've met lots of prosecutors. most of them are good guys. most of them care about the
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truth. but i think if they were held to a standard where they were responsible for their mistakes, i think a lot of these problems would be diminished. >> running down a list of the problems, you're talking about false convictions, prosecutorial integrity, which we've just talked about and of course the human error that we've discussed. the numbers that jumped out at me as i was reading through this is that 75% of the cases that have been overturned by dna evidence were because of false identifications. >> absolutely. and the problem you know, the other thing about dna evidence is, most cases don't involve dna. so when we hear these lawrnlg statistics that we learn about through dna evidence there's a whole bunch of other cases where we just don't know because there is no dna behind it. >> what do you think the biggest issue is if you had to pinpoint one? >> you know, the thick i want people to walk away from this
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series, is just how easy it is to convict people incorrectly. and therefore, to me, even though the series is not directly about the death penalty, to me it is just clear that we cannot have a death penalty in this country because it's so -- you know, 27 of the exonerations from dna have been off of death row, i myself made these paradise lost series, damien ekles has proved he's not guilty. you have t -- can't have a death penalty in a system that's so flawed. >> joe berlinger is herge thankr coming in.
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time to see what's trending online. hermella. >> this colorful map shows each country's highest valued export. capital goods, tran cystors and telecommunications equipment. canada relies on motor parts. and credit mexico, shoes and clothing. middle east runs mostly on oil an petroleum products, but in afghanistan, opium is what brings home the bacon. africa exports a lot of oil too but it's really rich in gold and diamonds. coffee is also big there. central america brings in income from a lot of products, coffee and rum, and for the rest of the
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continent, soy beans, oil and copper are important. and in southeast area, a lot of precious stones coming out of india. here are some of the surprising once. in swasiland, soft drink concentrates. and a lot of beef comes out of uruguay. and for the tiny island of grenada, it's all about nutmeg. let us know what you're most surprised about, tweet us @ajconsiderthis. fun facts. >> thanks hermella. straight ahead, an american icon. we'll have a look at the remarkable career of barbara walters. why. >> the brain injury that somehow turned this man into a genius.
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>> i'm joe berlinger this is the system people want to believe that the justice system works. people wanna believe that prosecutors and police do the right thing. i think every american needs to be concerned about that. we do have the best justice system in the world, in theory... the problem is, it's run by human beings... human beings make mistakes... i'd like to think of this show as a watch dog about the system... to make sure justice is being served. wrongful convictions happen, we need to be vigilant. with our personal liberties taken away from us, it better be done the right way. is justice really for all?
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>> we have to move out of here right now >> i think we have a problem...
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>> we have to get out of here... >> they're telling that they they don't wanna show what's really going on... >> mr. drumfield, i'd like to speak to you for a minute... >> this is where columbia's war continues... >> ...still occupied... >> police have arrived... you see the blast scars from a bomb that went off... >> after five decades in television, barbara walters, officially retired. interviews with countless world leaders. fidel castro. >> your newspapers, your television, everything is controlled. judge. >> translator: yes, barbara, it's very difficult to persuade
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you. >> the vladimir putin. >> i'm going to ask you a terrible question. did you ever order anyone killed? >> niet. >> to every celebrity to get on her annual celebrity list. to the worst question barbara ever remembered asking. >> what kind of a tree would you be? >> i hope i'm not a dutch elm. >> almost always the first to make the call and land the huge interview, in television parlance, the big get. the motte can astonishing interview are ever. >> monica, you've been described
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as a bimbo, a talker, a seductress. identify yourself. >> even with one foot out the door on friday she couldn't help herself. >> i wanted to say are you going to run? >> i am running around the park. >> but for more, we are joined from phoenix, arizona by al jazeera culture critic and former arts editor bill wyman. people are skeptical that she'll be able to stop herself from picking up the phone. transitioning from television to television news. what is your biggest contribution? >> she did contribute a lot, she is an irreare pressable person. letterman asked her a question, and first dave she said, i'm sure you're wondering what my
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legacy is. hugely controversy, every step she took forward and a couple of them were very, very big ones for time. let's not forget that. she also was the celebrity interviewer you described in the intro, there are good parts of that where you are fearless and you get the world leaders and you get to ask them, and the schmaltz, not really news journalism as we talk about them. >> about everyone imaginable showed up for barbara's sendoff on friday. bill o'reilly interviewed her this week, and in that interview o'reilly back talking about how ambitious barbara was and she started out just trying to support her family and that was her motivation but then bill
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said this. >> you are the most successful woman television journalist of all time. >> well -- >> stop stop stop. it's not even close, all right? the most successful woman journalist of all time. >> that struck me, didn't o'reilly understate it? couldn't it be said she's the most some television journalist male or female? >> she is the producer of the view, once you are producer you start raking in the dough -- >> i'm talking about beyond money. i'm talking about everything she did. if you look at the years she's been in the business, i mean five decades of work from morning shows to being the first co-anchor of the evening news, she was the anchor of 20/20 that became a phenomenal success, the view, on and on, the celebrity interviews and the most
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fascinating people, she really did everything for an incredibly long time and had crucial interviews that were significant international news. >> that's fair.i mean she -- maybe not quite spluches mike wallace but certainly up in the realm of mike wallace at her absolute best. maybe there's oprah on that side, bod woodward last had an extraordinary journalististic career, definitely on the top there. and on tv you're right, she may be nonpareil. >> there is an argument that she fused tv news and her interview techniques were at times questionable, she focused on trying to make people cry, and there was criticism where occasionally she would be too solve like with fidel castro. >> she was pretty brave in almost all her world leader
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interviews and we have do give her credit for that. the sleb reiterate interview -- the celebrity, interview, why neil diamond, where you dweeled of being a frog that dweemed of being a king, but 20/20, and the view has been an innovator, has been very successful. >> those big gets, those prime time ovens interviews, don't generate the interest they used to be. will there be another barbara walters, and the way we get news be just too much? >> that's interesting, we don't know what beast is trudging
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torts jerusalem. the obamas everyone trying like crazy to get michelle obama, but with the bifurcation of the news business and the spread of these shows from chelsea handler to that crazy guy on bravo, you don't have the two or three going for it and the captive audiences that the are broadcast networks have always had. >> i was lucky enough to work with her dozens of time on gooding morning america and i was test for the view, not to be maudlin, i remember the big hugs i got from her, whether i left abc over a decade ago. bill wyman, great to have you. >> antonio, thank you. >> a man who got hit in the head in a violent assault and somehow became a math genius.
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our data dive is next. next. >> every saturday, al jazeera america brings you controversial... >> both parties are owned by the corporations. >> ..entertaining >> it's fun to play with ideas. >> ...thought provoking >> get your damn education. >> ...surprising >> oh, absolutely! >> ...exclusive one-on-one interviews with the most interesting people of our time. >> you're listening because you want to see what's going to happen. >> i want to know what works what do you know works? >> conversations you won't find anywhere else. >> talk to al jazeera. >> only on al jazeera america. >> oh my!
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>> today's data dive tackles student debt. more than 1.6 million college
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seniors will receive their degrees for the class of 2014. many students leave school doomed to fail at least at first. adding to the problem college tuition has shot up over the past three decades far exceeding the rate of inflation. that's made a student loans a growing necessary evil for many. the pew research center just found that two in five households has student debt. and those paying off student tuition, may hold a load of other debt, including credit card and are car loans. the median salary for 25 to 34-year-olds has gone down. and yes, these are numbers adjusted for inflation. it's not just hurting those in debt. it could actually be stunting the country's economic recovery. the just found
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american student debt has more than tripled in the past decade to $1.1 billion. that's closing the wallets of those in 20s and 30s. many moved back in with their parents instead of applying for their own mortgages. that is felt to hurt the american economy. only 22% after it. still, college graduates on average make 50% more than those who only have a high school diploma. coming up. a man who says a brain injury made him much smarter. . >> coming up right after "consider this" at the top of the hour. paying the amaximum. general motors hit with a multimillion dollar fine for its
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recall delay. why this could change the culture of the emball led car maker. an albuquerque credit sheriff will now be charged with bringing about change. coming up right after "consider this." this."
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>> is there hidden potential within our our brains just waiting to be unlocked? jason padgett went from a college dropout to a mathematical genius, after suffering a major concussion when he was attacked outside a bar in 2002. but was it because of something special within his brain or does everyone have these hidden abilities just waiting to be unleashed, jason padgett is the manager of three furniture stores but he also studies mathematics and string theory, diagnosed with savant syndrome, his new book, struck by genius how a brain injury made me a
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mathematical marvel is on sale now. jason, you got attacked outside a bar, you suffer a major concussion, you go to the hospital, go back home and suddenly the next day you were seeing everything in a completely different way. >> yeah, and instead of things looking smooth, when things look smooth or clouds like they spiral, everything look discrete, whole images, imagine hitting pause on your tv, you can see frame by frame only in real time. it's just this jittery motion so the smoothness is gone from everything. and overtime i've learned to overlay a grid structure over everything i am looking at. as long as i make the grid sufficiently fine, i can make everything i'm looking at line up with a vertex point. bottom line, that's 0 calculus
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does -- how calculus does. >> the change in the way you perceive everything. you had only gotten through prealgebra. how did you figure out that this went beyond how you were seeing things and you had become a math savant? >> i started drawing what i was seeing because i didn't have the vocabulary to say it. there is a way i draw the number pi at different values. you can draw pi and show how it's becoming smoother and it's describing a shape that is forever approaching a circle. but when you try to describe it without a drawing, it just -- my explanation falls short. and at the time i had no technical mathematical skills. i started drawing it and showing it to people so i could better explain it. i found out without any technical learning or any technical math courses i was able to explain it to people and they all understood it. eventually went back to school to learn traditional math to
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draw the lines. >> you had some negative effects. >> 300 or 400 times day my muscles move themselves. i went through all types of test for als and ms. they said you had neurological condition that made your muscles move. we don't know what it is. but o crfortd came with it -- ocd came with it. it was a robbery, peep were watching, nobody helped it was pretty dark when it happened. >> and in the past before, you had been a partyer, somebody whose main interest was in goofing off. you had carefully maintained mullet, you chased women in bars. you just completely and dramatically changed. not only these math conciliation but your personality too. >> it is weird. it seems like two different
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lives. some parts of me still feel the same. but i'll be sitting alone, by myself and i'll turn back to what i felt, get embarrassed, when are you going to use math and how does that apply in the real world and just the fact that i didn't even think about everything going on around me. how absolutely awesome it is when you start getting into it. so life was, you know, in a way i guess you could say good but very shallow. >> now you're only as i said, one of a few dozen people in the world who have this acquired savant syndrome, gaining these prodigious talents following a head injury. not always math, other talents too. you are the only person who thas that and has sin sines sinesthe.
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you wax poetic about the beauty of pouring cream into coffee. is there any way you can explain? >> for one, i've got drawings on fine art, credit online, so you can see what pi looks like. instead of saying that, a squared plus b squared equals c, it creates a new triangle, and b always equals 1 or it varies and it makes the spiral shape change. instead of looking like a perfectly smooth spiral it makes it looks like it's very geomet district and trianglated. smaller and smaller triejs that are rotating. >> absolutely fantastic to have that perception. i'm sure people who are watching this are asking, does everyone
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have this kind of potential locked away in their brains or did something that happened in that attack change your brain in a way that made you able to do all this? are. >> i've thought a lot about it. and it might be a mixture of both but i know we're doing a lot of this ourselves, when somebody throws you a ball and you catch it, you have to calculate the acceleration of the ball due to gravity and the four dimensional coordinates of your hand in space time to be at the proper place and close on that ball. if you crunch that as a math equation, it would be a serious equation yet you catch the ball instantly. we're doing hard core calculus at the same time, on this level. >> how to then apply it. you have said you would not now change what happened to you. that it's been a blessing. the book again is struck by genius, jason padgett, good do
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have you. the show may be over but the conversation continues you can also find us on twitter @ajconsiderthis. we'll see you next time. >> hi everyone. this is al jazeera america. i'm john siegenthaler in new york. scorched earth. no relief in the war against california's wildfires, doubling in size taking a deadly toll in tonight's arson charges. the punishment. first the safety questions then the recall. washington's $35 million fine against general motors. is justice being served? albuquerque's police facing a justice department why charge for fatal shootings, a command