Skip to main content

tv   News  Al Jazeera  March 23, 2015 8:00pm-9:01pm EDT

8:00 pm
hello, everybody, this is al jazeera america. i'm david shuster in new york. coming up this hour . . . crucial meeting, the president of afghanistan comes to the united states and now more american troops could be staying in the afghan fight. [ gunfire ] europe's financial threat leaders of greece and germany are toning down their rhetoric but can they find a way to ease the dangerous greek debt crisis. philadelphia under fire weekly shootings, poor training and a secretive review process.
8:01 pm
the justice department issues a scathing report on philadelphia police. plus eyewitness -- >> it became a complex humanitarian emergency quite quickly. >> reporter: capturing the human tragedy of the ebola crisis. ♪ we begin tonight in washington where a man who spent decades in the united states teaching anthropology at johns hopkins university and later working at the world bank is now leading the lobbying effort for afghanistan. ashraf ghani is that country's new president. he has been in office for five months, and he is urging the obama administration face-to-face to keep american trooping in his country. mike viqueira has the latest from washington. mike? >> reporter: david in addition to all of that ashraf ghani has one big advantage, and that is
8:02 pm
he is not his predecessor who had a notoriously poor relationship with george bush and then barack obama. but it's a new set of leaders visiting washington now, and many are hoping on both sides that it opens a new era. it's designed at a show of unity and commitment from both sides. three days in washington for afghanistan's leaders, as american forces prepare to leave their country. after a day of high-level meetings defense secretary ash carter made a new commitment american funding of an afghan force of 352,000. >> by pinning one thing down which is the overall number in 2017, that's a way of providing some stability to the afghan security forces and a perspective into the future. >> reporter: that money, an estimated $4 billion annually must be approved by congress.
8:03 pm
but it is the number of american troops that is now in question. afghan president ashraf ghani is asking for a slower drawndown of u.s. forces keeping the current level around 10,000 into next year. the current plan is to cut that number in half. ghani is expected to get his answer from president obama at the white house on tuesday. >> what are we doing not be a burden? first of all is to take control of our destiny. last -- two years ago, there were 130,000 u.s. and international troops in afghanistan. now there are around 12,000. >> reporter: but there is one part of the plan be obama says he will not change. u.s. troops will be out by early 2017. critics call that an arbitrary deadline. john mccain and lindsay graham warn without a u.s. troop presence they risk becoming on
8:04 pm
iraq: monday the white house stood firm. >> and what the president is mindful of is that making a substantial commitment of u.s. troops to afghanistan again is not in our national security interest. that drawing the united states into another land war in asia is not in our best interests. >> reporter: ghani sounded an alarm, isil has its sights set on afghanistan. >> fortunately we have prevented them from acting but there's sufficient evidence that they were targeting us because to their narrative, to their story line. but the principle faux remains the taliban and afghan leaders plan to open talks with the group soon. overall, says ghani, the goal
8:05 pm
for afghanistan is to stand on its own two feet. >> i'm confident that we're pursuing the right strategy. we have plans for 5,000 years. the last 12 years were a rare exception within our history with the advice with the training advise and support mission, we'll confident that we'll be able to fulfill the goals that the constitution specifies, and the desires that our people expect from us. >> reporter: today those meetings were at camp david, but the white house is where ashraf ghani, and dr. abdullah abdullah what is the chief executive officer now in afghanistan, they will be meeting with president obama. there will be a press conference in the white house and on wednesday a speech by ghani by a joint meeting of congress. >> mike thank you very much. the war in afghanistan is
8:06 pm
now the longest overseas conflict in american history. it began in the wake of the attacks on september 11th, 2001 it has lasted more than 15 years. the total cost of the u.s. war in afghanistan depends on your accounting methods. some economists say it has cost as much as $4 trillion. the human tally is staggering as well. we're joined by a former foreign correspondent reporting from both afghanistan and iraq he is live tonight in boston. charles how much does it help that mr. ghani has this american background. he taught for many years in the united states. his daughter lives here in new york. those ties to america, how important are they to this relationship? >> i think they are really important. i think there's a whole new tone that has been set between kabul
8:07 pm
and washington. and you could really hear that. it was interesting that ghani turned the kennedy phrase on its side afghanistan won't ask america what they can do for it but they will ask what afghanistan can do for themselves. i think he was really telegraphing an appreciation for the u.s. troop presence there. thanking the troops. this is a remarkedly different tone than we would have had with hamid karzai. >> how much easier does it make it for the obama administration to yes to so what ashraf ghani is asking for? >> i think it is really going to help. and i think we'll so this request for 352,000 troops for funding for that to be sustained and maintained. it's expected that secretary of defense ash carter has
8:08 pm
introduced that, the president would be the one to approve it and i think it will happen. the request from ashraf ghani to not go forward with the troop drawndown that was expected this year, from 10,000 down to 5,000, i think we'll see that also delayed. these things really matter. the delaying of the closing of the military bases, hugely important. kandahar for the afghan air force, jalalabad because that is the base that goes up against the taliban. this is profoundly important to the future of afghanistan. i think we're seeing a different footing, and there's a recognition that things aren't over in afghanistan. that isis has emerged as a threat. the taliban is a powerful and
8:09 pm
resilient insurgency. and the obama administration is being cautious and as a much better partner it can trust in the ghani government. >> and that's a coalition government in which you have people that are essentially power sharing. how is that working for afghanistan? >> that's a great question, and the answer is not too well. the unity government hasn't really taken hold. still a lot of challenges ahead for the afghan government in terms of control and corruption in terms of trying to find a way to work together to get things done. i don't think things are great right now in afghanistan by any stretch of the imagination. even though this tone is better diplomatically. you still have a year last year where the casualties for police and army were higher than they had ever been. there's a rel threat to the institutions of afghanistan. and part of that threat is the
8:10 pm
unity government hasn't actually come together. good spirit, good mood good tone in washington but not much really productive work together on the ground. >> charles thanks for coming on. now to yemen where there is some fear from a lot of analysts that that country is edging closer to the brink of civil war. shia houthi rebels have called for an offensive against the country's embattled president who is based in the southern city of aden and has asked for gulf country help against the rebels. nigerians are supposed to go to the polls for elections this weekend, but the group boko haram has repeatedly staged attacks to fighten voters in the past. a new nighian offensive has boko haram on the run, still the
8:11 pm
battle is far from over. >> reporter: preparing for an attack on boko haram. the troops are upbeat about this assignment after recent successes against the group. but as their commander was about to lead them out, the mission was aborted. a large number of boko haram fighters were seen heading their way. every soldier is sold to go to the trenches. from attack mode to defense. a posture they know too well after six years of insurgency. and our crew was ordered to get out of town. attacks by the military and counterattacks are all too familiar. the last two months have been particularly tough for boko haram. >> the soldiers [ inaudible ]
8:12 pm
injected into the operation, but we have new equipment. between our february [ inaudible ] we have taken the liberty of so many [ inaudible ] that are now helping us change the tide of the battle. >> reporter: battles have been won in many areas, but the war isn't over yet. the military may have chased out boko haram out of many towns and villages, but holding these same areas presents a difficult l cha engineer. the fighters now return to attack the same villages. but some of simply tired of running. >> translator: we don't put our hopes in the military. so far i am encouraged by what we see. every day it's like living your last day. that's not a good feeling. >> reporter: and all around the northeast are signs of
8:13 pm
devastation. of sabotage and unprovoked violence. but this deserted village we are told is a notorious ambush point for boko haram. many have died here. territories may have been reclaimed, but the human and material costs of this violence are irreplaceable. israeli prime minister, benjamin netenyahu was apologizing for comments he made about palestinian israelis. he met with representatives of israel's minority community today. last week he complained that arabs were flooding to the polls. the remark was seen as offensive and racist. >> translator: i know that my comments offended some israeli citizens and members of the israeli arab community.
8:14 pm
this was never my intent. i apologize for this. my actions as prime minister proves the exact opposite. before the election netenyahu also said there would never be a palestinian state while he is prime. he backtracked on that statement as well. in europe tonight nearly everybody who is worried about the continents ailing economy is paying close attention to talks in germany. greece east new prime minister is there negotiating his country's fortunes with angela merkel. the first step for greece involves mending fences. >> reporter: a first official visit to germany for the greek prime minister. some media outlets here had called this a potential showdown. but alix tsipras was received with the usual and i pomp and circumstance. once inside he spoke of the need
8:15 pm
to reach agreement. however, there was also a strong message for his own people. >> translator: the differences between our two countries brings shadows over us. the reparations are not just the material things it's a an ethical issue. it's not just about greece it's for the greek and german people who spilled a lot of blood in order to deal with naziism during that period of time. angela merkel repeated the message she has given greece for many many months. >> translator: we want greece to be a strong country economically. we want them to have growth. we also want greece to come out of this high unemployment and we certainly want to make sure that this very high youth unemployment can be overcome and structural reforms are necessary for this a solid budget is necessary, and a functioning administration is necessary. i think that's clear for both countries. >> reporter: but behind all of this, is the reality the german
8:16 pm
economic strength is helping to keep greece afloat. potentially costing its taxpayers many billions, and now a growing number of people say they have had enough. >> translator: we can help to solve their problems but the greeks must want this too. to give them more billions makes greece woes worse in the long run. you buy time that is right. but no one can seriously expect that we will ever see that money again. >> reporter: but buying time can only go so far. because alexis tsipras has indicated that greece could default on its debts in weeks. which would help explain why he came to the german capitol. but on the face of it there has been no tangible progress. dominic kane, al jazeera, berlin.
8:17 pm
mr. merck, how crucial it is that these negotiation between germany and greece come to a resolution. >> it's very crucial to greece. whether it is crucial for the rest of europe is up for debate. i happen to be in the camp that says because the financial institutions no longer hold the greek debt but now it's the imf, and the european union, that if greece were to default, it isn't such a big deal. clearly there would be ripple affects, but the attitude in northern europe says we can stomach a greek default, and the obligation, of course, is that weakens greece's negotiating hand, because greece is still of the position that it would be a disaster for europe and the rest of the world. >> what does it say about the greek position being hey, nazi germany took a lot of our
8:18 pm
people and therefore they should pay reparations and other things that greece seems to be talking about. >> well the greek prime minister today back pedalled from that and then said no we don't want reparation payments. angela merkel made it clear that legally and politically these issues are resolved. but there were many testy questions here. and clearly it doesn't help the spirit of the discussions, but there hasn't been any talk about the substance. that needs to happen in order to provide any sort of aid, which means that greece is pretty much on its own. i would think that greece is walking with open arms into its default here but it doesn't know what it wants to do when it does default. so all of this talk is not ultimately helpful. >> and the fact that there hasn't been progress or substance does that have to do
8:19 pm
with the fact that the greek prime minister really doesn't have the backing of his people to make the cuts that germany is asking for? >> not really. the greek population would like to stay in the euro and there were agreements in place obviously with the previous governments. at the very least a sincere effort should be taken, where at this stage they are only talking on large pictures not made any concrete proposals that are even worth negotiating. so it's all about process and what not. time has been lost important time to greece and again, it's greece's loss not a loss for the rest of the world, because this is going to be very, very painful for greece. >> thank you for joining us. a u.s. military base in japan is once again surrounded by controversy. okinawa's government ordered all work to stop at an marine corps airfield being built on the island. the government says it is
8:20 pm
worried about construction ruining the corral reefs. the pentagon is taking no chances after an isil hit list of u.s. military personnel appeared online. the lists contains the names addresses and phone numbers of a hundred u.s. soldiers and personnel. >> reporter: at this point the pentagon says it is not even certain that this group is even directly connected to isil in iraq or syria. the group calls it's a the islamic state hacking division but officials here in washington say the information they posted is not from any hack but rather it appears they simply harvested personal information, a wealth of it from publicly available social media and oversights. here is white house press secretary, josh earnest. >> we obviously take the safety and security of our military
8:21 pm
personnel very seriously. at this point there's no indication that there was a data breach involved here. it appears that the information that was distributed by isil was information that was freely available through social media on the internet. >> reporter: right now officials at the fy are trying to investigate, see if they can run down exactly where these postings came from and trace it back to the source. at one point today, i heard someone refer to this as a propaganda ploy. it's not really propaganda but more of what the pentagon would call psychological operations. these mind games are aimed at unnerving the enemy. and i have to say that the pentagon says it takes this threat seriously, even though it doesn't see any specific threat against any specific individual. david. >> jamie macintyre reporting from the pentagon. still to come inadequate training, too quick on the trigger, the damning just
8:22 pm
disdepartment report on the philadelphia police department. plus a photographer's striking images of suffering and loss on the front lines of the ebola crisis. >> the new al jazeera america primetime. get the real news you've been looking for. at 7:00, a thorough wrapup of the day's events. then at 8:00, john seigenthaler digs deeper into the stories of the day. and at 9:00, get a global perspective on the news. weeknights, on al jazeera america .
8:23 pm
8:24 pm
texas senator ted cruz formally launched his presidential campaign today, becoming the first official candidate in the 2016 race. the freshman senator is known for clashing with establishment republicans, and generating controversy, and there was controversy again today. libby casey is live in washington. libby? >> reporter: david, like barack obama, ted cruz would like to make the leap from freshman senator all the way to the white house. and his announcement today gets him out ahead of an expected crowd of announcements from the likes of fellow senators rand paul, and marco rubio, and others that are much loved by the conservatives. we'll find out how he does in battleground states like iowa and on the fund-raising circuit, but for today it was all about taking center stage for
8:25 pm
presidential candidate, ted cruz. >> it is a time to reclaim the constitution of the united states. [ cheers ] >> reporter: staged at the nation's biggest christian school. the conservative liberty university, the speech took advantage of the optics of thousands of students at the mandatory campus event. >> i believe in the power of millions of conservatives rising up to reignite the promise of america. and that is why today i am announcing that i'm running for president of the united states. [ cheers and applause ] >> reporter: the speech spun a narrative of the 44 year old son of a cuban immigrant, who got through principal and harvard by taking jobs and student loans. he called to religious conservatives, and basic g.o.p. values. >> they are hurting everybody -- >> reporter: in his two years in the senate, cruz has ruffled feathers including in the g.o.p. when he has bucked conventional
8:26 pm
wisdom. >> i do not like them sam i am. >> his 24 hour fill buster in 2013 lead to a government shutdown. and others in his own party have criticized criticized him. and now some republicans are already dismissing his bid. like new york congressman who wrote on facebook that: but cruz hopes to capitalize on his outsider status the kind rarely found in washington just like he did when he beat an establishment republican for his senate seat. cruz paired his in person announcement with twitter video. >> it's going to take a new generation of courageous conservatives to help make america great again.
8:27 pm
>> reporter: and now the race is on. one of the first stops ted cruz is make after liberty university is manhattan's upper west side where he's doing a mega fund raiser, david. we'll see over the coming months if he has the staying power he'll need to raise the money, gain the attention. he certainly got attention today, the question is can he last a long campaign. >> the students were essentially forced to attend the announcement. if they don't go they would be fined $10, and i understand some students decided to make matters into their own hands in terms of protests. explain that. >> reporter: complication is a regular occurrence here. it is true if students don't show up they are fined $10. this was a convocation, so they needed to attend. if you scan the crowd though
8:28 pm
you might see red t-shirts and a lot of them say stand with rand. >> photo bomb at senator ted cruz's announcement today. libby casey thanks very much. still ahead the police findings about an alledged rape at a fraternity reported by rolling stone magazine. plus disappearing beaches and flooded roads, florida state employees say they were banned from talking about climate change.
8:29 pm
8:30 pm
hello, everybody, this is al jazeera america. i'm david shuster. coming up in this half hour -- >> deadly force, another scathing report from the justice center. tracking gunfire. the new technology revealing how dangerous some communities
8:31 pm
really are. climate change how leaders in some of the most vulnerable states appear to be shutting down debate. and we talk to the photographer who is putting a face on africa's outbreak of ebola. ♪ the u.s. justice department today released a high-profile report on the philadelphia police department. the investigation was requested by the city's police commissioner long before the nation at outcry of police shootings of unarmed black men. but it came after a shootings in philadelphia. paul beban has more. paul? >> reporter: good evening, david. that's right. there has been a long-standing problem here in the city of philadelphia, but as you mentioned this was requested by the police commissioner charles ramsey before ferguson before the eric garner case back in
8:32 pm
may 2013. that's when crime was falling, but there was a spike in officer-involved shootings. the police commissioner asking for this review. and now 48 official findings, 91 official recommendations. maybe not as scathing as the one in ferguson but it does not paint a pretty picture. pushing, shoving, throwing chairs. the chaotic scene at a town hal meeting last week in philadelphia. this was supposed to be a chance for city officials to explain why criminal charges had not been filed against an officer who shot a young black man in the back of the head in december. instead it devolved in shouts and scuffling, and years of mistrust boiled over yet again. in the wake of the deaths of unarmed black men in ferguson
8:33 pm
and new york city charles ramsey has emerged as a leading force. leading a special white house task force. >> he had a great opportunity coming out of some great conflict and tragedy to really transform how we think about community law enforcement relations, so that everybody feels safer. >> reporter: and monday in philadelphia, ramsey responded to the justice department review he asked for of his own department. >> we have nothing to fear. i mean listen we contacted doj. i knew it wasn't going to be a report to come out, you know, talking about how great the philadelphia police department is in every aspect of its operation. but i have never pretended to have all of the answers, and i don't think i was selected because the president thought that we had the perfect police department. >> reporter: the report says
8:34 pm
during the past seven years philadelphia police have shot at people nearly once a week. the report did not allege racial violence. 80% of shooting victims were african-americans. but whites shot by police were more likely than blacks to be unarmed. >> about 85% of our homicide victims are african-americans. and about 85% of the people who do the homicides are african-americans. in case you hadn't noticed i'm i -- black myself. so i'm not real proud of the fact that we have a disproportionate amount of crimes happening in african american communities. >> reporter: stark evidence where even in a city where the mayor, police chief, district attorney, and u.s. attorney are all black, repairing relations with those communities will not be easy. this is not the first time
8:35 pm
commissioner ramsey has undertaken this kind of reform inspect back when he was running the washington, d.c. police department, he requested the same kind of review. and he said as a result shootings dropped 80%. so he is hoping for the same kind of reports here david. >> paul thank you very much. john shane is a retired captain with the newark new jersey police department. first of all thanks for coming. what does this signify? >> i think ramsy must have seen some things internally he wanted to look at and didn't have the trust or confidence of people inside, so he went outside to get that done. >> should he go forward with their recommendations given that it was the department of justice? >> i think what he needs to do is also consult his internal
8:36 pm
command staff. and find out if those things they are recommending are concurrent with what is going on inside the agency. that they didn't their facts wrong, and make sure it is consistent with best practice. >> if it is consistent what is wrong with it? >> evidently they have some problems on how they are using force. and evidently it deals with rage of things that lead up to the use of force, including less lethal force, and things like managing the use of force, crowds that may be nearby those things that all precipitate the use of force in an officer. >> we have seen so many high-profile cases. is this a cultural shift in america today in policing, or is it just matter of people paying fore attention because of youtube and body cameras. >> first of all words like
8:37 pm
wide-spread and epidemic are being thrown around. nothing could be further than the truth. we're talking about a few scattered case throughout the united states. there's a million police officers. the last count i had seen there's probably 45.5 million interactions with citizens in the united states. >> we still have a dozen major police departments across this country who are now under essentially a justice department order to change how they interact in their cities. >> that's true but that does not amount to a widespread or epidemic use of force problems. the people should not feel they are the next target of a police officer. or that if you are an inner city resident that you are somehow going to be at a higher risk of being shot or killed. in the overwhelming number of
8:38 pm
incidents there was an escalating situation, to the point where force is used. >> john thanks for coming in. >> always a pleasure. >> we are joined by the executive director of empower. bishop you heard it there, this is not an epidemic do you agree? >> absolutely not. i think we're beginning to see as a result of social media and other tools that are available to common citizens now that the reality of what every day existence in is communities across this country, in particular with people of color, and marginalized and poor people with police departments around the country are coming to fruition. the doj report on ferguson and philadelphia, what we have seen happen in new york city cleveland, and other municipalities, clearly indicate there's a problem with policing
8:39 pm
there's a problem with the attitude behind policing, the bias that exists in policing in particular the way they treat people of color. >> but what about the point that the officer was just making you have more than a million police officers in this country, of course there will be some police who are kt-- acting out, but that is the exception and not the rule. >> i'm sure that's the way he feels. but let's go talk to the mother father, or family of somebody who is killed by a police officer, and tell them statistically this is all good. any one death is problematic in and of itself especially when people are unarmed, which a good percentage of those in philadelphia were. and the other tools of deescalation could have been used to prevent an officer from killing someone. >> suppose there was some sort of disturbance in your home
8:40 pm
could you still call the philadelphia police department and feel they will protect you? >> i hope they will. i had to use the police department for a variety of things. >> what are the steps then that can taken to restore confidence so that when people need the police to protect them, that is going to be their mission, but at the same time that police follow the right protocols and show some sensitivity to the community they work? >> i think the department of justice report laid out some very clear tools that the philadelphia police department can use, including using non-lethal means. i also believe there's a need to increase community policing options. we need police in the community, walking beats, having conversations with folk in the
8:41 pm
community, working with young people at a very early age. and we also need the police department to be transparent. brandon brown was killed by police in december of 2014. we still don't know the names of the police officers that killed brandon brown. recently the police showed his mother the video of what occurred, and just gave the police advisory committee the information. there is a lack of working with the community. just last week when seth williams was confronted and police commissioner ramsey was the question what is the name of the police officer that killed brandon brown. the information about the people who shot that officer was on the air within hours. their background all of their information. all of their rap sheets.
8:42 pm
everything else that went on with that. when brown was killed there was no information released and it was only after the district attorney decided not to move forward with the case that there was a real investigation going on. that lack of transparency does not breed a welcome environment for community and policing. >> bishop thanks for being on. we appreciate it. >> thank you. brooklyn new york is rolling out a new gunfire detection system this week called shot spotter. it's purpose is to improve police efficiency. but as jake ward reports, in other cities it has also revealed shocking new information about the sheer volume of gunfire in america. >> reporter: in many ways oakland, california is the perfect place to live. but like so many american cities, this city is plagued by
8:43 pm
the sound of gunfire. it's not only incredibly dangerous, it's also incredibly loud. and that has allowed police to detect the noise. shot spotting is one of several companies that sell this kind of system. the technology is born out of earthquake detection systems, which have also been adapted by the u.s. military to spot snipers. they install microphones, they can record conversations, but they are designed to detect gunshots, and when they do this system can triangulate the location and notify police. 80 cities are mic'd in this way, and new york a pilot program detected the sounds of gunfire in the december shootings of two police officers. the system may also reveal just how inaccurate our understanding of gun violence is in this country. official estimates are based on
8:44 pm
911 calls, but gunfire may go unreported when it doesn't hit anyone. >> unfortunately when somebody fires a gun, people call 911 only 20% of the time. so the first challenge is that four out of five times nobody nobodies it happened except the person who pulled the trigger. >> reporter: 414,000 incidents of non-fatal firearm crime in 2011 that is based on 911 calls. >> i think if the american population knew just how many shooting incidents there are, in which bullets are flying through the air, and little kids are listening to gunfire five ten 15 times a night. i think he reaction about the gun debate would be a little different. >> reporter: with 300 sensors in
8:45 pm
place, the system may be the beginning of a new understanding of the effect that the soundsover violence are having on public health there. receivers say it can have a lifelong impact on a child's health. >> children are especially sensitive to this repeated stress activation because their brains and bodies are just developing. high doses of adversity not only affect brain structure and function they affect the developing immune system. developing hormonal systems, and even the way our dna is read and transcribed. >> reporter: whether or not ak cust tick detection helps police catch criminals in the city the most important effect may simply be revealing once and for all how many sguns are being fired and how that is effecting everyone in earshot. [ gunfire ] >> reporter: jake ward al
8:46 pm
jazeera. a police investigation into the alleged gang rape of a university of virginia student has found dmoevens a rape occurred. the investigation is the result of a controversial article in rolling stone magazine last year. the police chief said his department could not substantiate the claim, but he said the lack of evidence does not necessarily mean there was no attack only that there was insufficient evidence on what if anything may have occurred. in florida rising seas now tlent a third of that state's beaches. most scientists agree humans are partly to blame for global warming. but combatting climate change is particularly difficult in their state, some state employees say. >> reporter: from south florida shores christina has watched the seas change. on the surface the oceans are
8:47 pm
rising and beneath, nature is dying. >> i could not believe that everything is gone. >> reporter: you are surprised by what you see today? >> yes, absolutely. >> warmer water is killing florida corral reefs. where color and life once bloomed, now gray emptiness exists. when people say climate change is not real you have so i what? >> i say it is absolutely real. >> reporter: yet she says in florida state government the worlds climate change are not to be spoken. they said to you point blank, do not use these terms? >> yes, that was said. that we were not to say those terms. we will portray the message the governor wants to extend.
8:48 pm
>> and some point it was mentioned that sea level rise was to be referred to as nuisance flooding. which i thought was utterly laughable. >> reporter: christopher byrd was an attorney for the state. >> they said if you know what is good for you, you will not use the terms climate change global warming, sea-level rise or sustainability. >> reporter: the florida center for investigative reporting first wrote about the ban, and now fema has stepped in. issues new guidelines demanding states consider climate change when planning for disasters. but governor scott has repeatedly insisted there is no policy against mentioning climate change. >> that's not true. look there's lots of conversations about this issue. from my standpoint, like every issue, my goal is instead of talking about it.
8:49 pm
let's do something about it. >> reporter: like spending millions protecting the environment and defending florida from storms. >> considering that these terms are such hot topics for so many people is it really that unreasonable for this policy to exist? >> i tend to disagree it would seem disingenuous fore florida to be at the table if we can't even use the weird -- words that the rest of the world was using. >> reporter: byrd lost his jobs. >> many people think i'm a disgruntled employee with an david axelrodaxe to grind. but that was two years ago. >> north carolina tennessee, have passed laws.
8:50 pm
but critics say they are avoiding words and reality. dangerous in a state like florida particularly vulnerable to rising oceans. >> they can't talk honestly about climate change, so it makes it very difficult for them to think and write documents and write proposals and plan. >> reporter: have you felt the effects of this taboo subject? >> oh absolutely. they said if we're going to sell this package, we better choose better language. >> reporter: frustrated trota left his job in december. >> we couldn't talk about why he water was getting hotter or what you could do to make the situation better. bob boar is a senior bollty director at the natural resources defense council. he is in boston.
8:51 pm
bob, is this is true how serious is it? >> well it's critical that people be fully informed about the impact of climate change. and public officials be fully informed. if you don't acknowledge it and address it there's no way you are going to be able to put public infrastructure plans tonight, make informed decisions about where people should live what we should build and what measures we should take to keep our families and homes safe. >> but what is wrong with putting a focus on action as opposed on putting a focus on debate with words that may or may not be so loaded now as to lose their meaning? >> well it's entirely appropriate to put a focus on action, but if what governor scott is alleged to have done is true it's more than just a war on words. it's -- it would amount to a
8:52 pm
suppression of scientific fact and it would alter the conclusions that his agencies might draw in both analyzing the impacts of climate change and determining the best strategies for dealing with the inevitable impacts of climate change as well. >> how unusual it is for that kind of political pressure to seep down at the state level across the nation? >> unfortunately climate change is an issue that is increasingly politicized. and that extends to every corner, but it's increasingly as we see in florida and other states like north carolina and other states across the country, it's creeping into discussions about what should we do to acknowledgely acknowledge the growing risks associated with climate change be it see level rise, the increasing prevalence of droughts but also what
8:53 pm
should we do to prepare our communities for those problems. >> rob, we have to leave it there, because we are running out of time. thanks for coming on. now to a story coming up in our next hour a cross country caravan in the united states is shining a light on mexico. >> yeah david this thursday marks six months since 43 college students disappeared in the mexican state guerrero. some of their families are now on a trip across the u.s. so bring attention to their issue. authorities say the students were all murdered and their remains burned by drug gangs. the case has sparked outrage and protest against government corruption in mexico. so we catch up with the caravan to find out about it.
8:54 pm
up next eyewitness to the deadly ebola crisis a photographer describes what he saw. ♪
8:55 pm
it has been one year since officials in west africa declared there was an ebola outbreak, since then the virus has killed more than 10,000 people. peter muller was there to document it. >> my name is pete muller i'm a
8:56 pm
photo journalist based in nairobi kenya. i was asked to go around the time the emergency was declared. i didn't know a tremendous amount about ebola, so i spent a couple of days really researching, and i thought it was important. it seemed to be a growing health crisis. so i thought it was really an important story to get in and provide some firsthand reporting. this was a photo i made during my initial trip. in the very rural areas near the border with guinea. you can sense a lot in the body language of these women who are observing this bury team from the red cross. they are leaning away. they are covering their bodies. they have this look of great
8:57 pm
suspicion. and confusion. i think initially it was quite unnerving. i was trying to make as compelling and accurate pictures as i could. this was a photograph that was taken just next to a sierra leonian military check point that has been established outside of a city which at the time was a real epicenter of the outbreak. these are all people who don't have official permission from the government to be able to pass the check points. i and a lot of other journal lists have reservations about raising a camera in a tragic moment. but over and over and over again, i sensed that people had an understanding of why we were there. this was a scene that i encountered in a district and i came across these people who had gathered around the river side.
8:58 pm
it was a really nice moment. it was completely divorced from the reality of the ebola outbreak that was transpiring around during the days. i hope that people would feel that i did a suitable job conveying what seemed to be the reality as far as i was concerned about this epidemic. >> that is our news for this hour. i'm david shuster. thanks for watching.
8:59 pm
9:00 pm
>> we building an alliance. >> the tragedy of 911 now we've created an enduring frame of relationship. >> ashraf ghani praises the u.s. for its commitment to afghanistan. on the brink of civil war. fighting spirals out of control in yemen and the u.s. evacuation vearkz