tv News Al Jazeera August 28, 2015 8:00pm-9:01pm EDT
>> i'm john siegenthaler. katrina's legacy. george w. bush returns to new orleans ten years after the storm. >> we are the resilience of a great american city whose levees gave out but whose people never gave up. >> tonight we look at the rebirth of the big easy and how far it has to go. plus our special report often the 10th anniversary of
the big storm, katrina ten years after the storm. thousands are dying to reach europe. the escalating refugee crisis and the faltering response. hard sell. president obama pitches the iran nuclear deal to groups undecided in congress. former president george w. bush returns to new orleans today to deliver a message. he declared that the city is back and better than ever ten years after katrina. >> it is a story that goes like this one and others that we see the determination to rebuild better than before and it's a spirit much stronger than any storm. it's a spirit that's lifted communities, laid low by tornadoes or terrorist attacks.
it's a spirit that has saw new orleans ten years ago. that is very evident today. >> the former president's speech painted a rose colored picture of the recovery but it's what he did not say about the failures of his administration's initial response that may speak the loudest. jonathan martin has reaction from new orleans tonight. jonathan. >> reporter: hey, good evening to you john and outside of a few protesters, the president received a pretty warm welcome at least the school he visited, that charter school. he was really there to hig hight the changes that have taken place since katrina. he took a few photographs, danced a little, and point out the changes. it was a moment that left an indelible mark on george w. bush's presidency.
patting someone on the back while new orleans suffered some of the worst times in history. >> carnage destruction. >> people trapped and drowning in their homes, hungry and abandoned in the superdome, beg begging for home. >> we have been sleeping in the streets five days and nights. somebody has to come out here and do something. >> reporter: this is what many americans saw, a president flying safely high above the tragedy, removed, detached. >> i'm satisfied with the response. i'm not satisfied with all the results. they start pulling people off roofs immediately. >> now locals say they don't want the former president at ten year remembrance. >> he shouldn't even show in the space. when he waited all those -- all those days. he came and just flew over when we needed him? why come back now, ten years later? to see the progress that has been made?
he doesn't need to come. >> i don't know how the man could talk to -- could look me in the face and talk to me when my father was out here for two weeks after the storm with nothing. living on crackers and stolen cokes from the convenience store. >> reporter: >> reporter: but many say this doesn't paint an accurate picture of what happened. karen carpenter says president bush was unfairly judged on his katrina performance. >> he failed in some ways but also helped the city in some ways when i talk about helping to initially fund, right? >> kathleen blanco painted a different picture. >> my experience with this president was that he personally wanted to see everything done properly and he 00 was disappointed in the fact that
fema did not perform adequately in the face of such great needs. >> the former governor said president bush pushed $120 billion into rebuilding the gulf despite members of his own party. >> there were forces in his own administration and in the congress who fought against us. but my experience my directly experience was that president bush tried very hard to do what was needed for louisiana. >> reporter: and although more than 1800 people died federal and state officials were able to rescue more than 30,000 people from the flooded areas. after the storm of finger-pointing that followed the hurricane louisiana leaders sesay now what's important is to understand what happened and never let it happen again. >> no president no governor -- >> so president's have it in new orleans was pretty brief, he stayed not a long time, to that
one school, when the band played today he danced along, took some photographs and really participated in a round table discussion. yesterday president obama visited, today former president bush visited and tomorrow former president clinton will visit as part of the city's ten year remembrance ceremony, that will be the main ceremony tomorrow he'll be delivering the keynote address president clinton will. >> jonathan martin, thank you. coming back at the half hour, we'll head to new orleans to see what should be done, in our special report, katrina after the storm, 8:30, pacific, 5:30, pacific. tropical storm erica suspected t -- expected to make landfall, 12 people died on the eastern caribbean island of dominica, more than 20 people still missing.
meteorologist kevin corriveau is here with us on that. kevin corriveau. >> the storm is now making landfall here in haiti, about 25 miles to the southeast of port-au-prince. and most of the activity is to the east. the actual storm is right here. i want to show you what we expect to see as we go into the next day and next several days. we do think it's going to weaken slightly as it interacts with the land. then it is going ogo across the keys, and landfall up to the north of tampa. but take a look at the spaghetti models. these are all the forecast models. we have two separate groups. one of group of forecast models is taking it out here towards the western end of cuba as well as into the gulf of mexico and then of course the other one takes it up further. we'll have a lot to see of this
storm. >> thank you kevi kevin. then to the refugee problem of europe. discovered dozens of refugees dead in a truck. we learned several children were among the 71 people who were believed to have suffocated. likely syrians try the escape civil war and reach the european union. in north africa, bodies washed up on beaches today. so far this year more than 300,000 people have tried to cross the mediterranean, more than 2,000 have died. many are fleeing war of persecution in africa and the middle east. over 200,000 of those refugees have arrived in greece this year. the country's reall country's ag with a severe debt crisis now struggling with the flood of people happening daily. jonah hull has the story. >> this is a letter to alexis
tsipras asking saying we are dealing with a major humanitarian office. >> in the mayor's office the chief of staff says lesbos island is sinking under the weight of refugees. >> they promised help. how much help have you actually received? >> actually, to be honest, we haven't received yet a single euro. >> reporter: with what appear to be the best of intentions the municipality is doing what i can with minimal resources and expertise to house and proces ps refugee numbers that are now a third of rivals anywhere in all of europe. >> are you phoning his family? >> he is talking that his family is safe and no problems until now. >> dirk out food in the camp is constantineos polly gropolis
feeding the recently stateless. >> translator: it's not just the greek governmen government. it is is also the greek parliament. where are the ngos? >> do you think whether you played the right decision to leave syria? >> it's very hard to leave our country, syria, great syria. but no -- no other choice is toward here and here we are safe. >> reporter: there is another camp, harder to find. it's run by the police and we don't get inside but we're told the conditions are much worse. they refer to it as the detention center. that's what it was originally designed to be. a detention center. for illegal migrants who have been arriving on lesbos for years. hiding away in the hills like a dirty secret. what's happening now is quite
different. these are refugees and their numbers are growing rapidly. an estimated 3,000 crossed the water from turkey in just the last 24 hours. and there's no hiding them. not in the port, in the public parts where they wait for ferries off the island. not in the local cemetery. where they lie in anonymous numbered graves. jonah hull, al jazeera, lesbos island greece. >> in vancouver tonight. james, welcome. is this the result of a lack of cohesive policy when it comes to refugees in europe? >> well, i mean the real villain is bashar al-assad, obviously. and the second villain are the developed states that proclaim a responsibility to protect and then do nothing about syria. but yes you're absolutely right. if the u.n. refugee agency had done its job of actually coming up with plans in advance of
crises then i think a lot of the suffering we're seeing now wouldn't be happening. >> i talked to some folks last night who suggested that look, the policy is in place. the european union has a plan. it's just not being carried out. why? >> that is absolutely not true. the european union has a rule that says everybody who arrives in europe gets dumped in the first country of arrival and that's why we are seeing countries like greece and italy being grotesquely overburden. but fairly distributed among the 27 states of the european union so that's a huge difficulty and if you move beyond this quite frankly we're talking about 300,000 or so refugees coming to refugees versus the three million plus syrians being housed in states neighbor to syria. and the other states in the middle east, although what we
see in europe is heart-rending it's not remotely close to what's happening close to the place of origin. >> should that worry europeans there are a lot more on the way? >> i doubt it. people will continue to flee. people will always flee when their lives are at risk. the story you just ran the refugee that said despite the horror of the reception conditions he was living he was still glad he was out of the hell hole of syria. if things are as bad as that people will continue to flee. the only way we can rationally deal with that is providing protection in the way that is fair to the states that are receiving them. not dumping them in places like greece or left adrift in three countries of the middle east with no global response at all of any meaningful scale. that's what we've been saying for months now. >> you say angela merkel and germany is really standing up to some foams in her country that simply don't want immigrants.
>> well, angela merkel i would say she's the best player on a bad team. i mean you know again, europe, 28 countries, dealing with 300,000 refugees, three desperately poor states, next to syria dealing with ten times that number, three million. so i mean we can't really compare the two. but at least angela merkel has the courage to stand up to people and say there's an ethical responsibility whether people's lives are ton line to ensure that they're safe whether they can reach us. that's what a convention that nearly 150 countries have signed required us to do and what we're implementing really badly. the rules of the game are correct. but what the u.n. refugee agency has completely failed to do is come up with a strategy oimplement that treaty in a way that's dependable manageable and avoids the kind of chaos we see nowp. >> james hathaway, thank you very much. surveillance state. the new ruling that lifts the ban on nsa data collection.
advocates in their fight against nsa collection of data. the ruling did not address the legality of the program which was revealed by edward snowden in 2013. the obama administration says it agrees with the ruling. >> i think the ruling of the court is actually consistent with what this administration has said for some time, which is that we did believe that these capabilities were constitutional. >> white house press secretary josh earnest also says the president believes in reforms to better protect americans' privacy while still keeping them safe. now the debate over the iran nuclear deal. president obama held a live webcast today, the president made the pitch even though it looks like he that is volts to prevent congress from rejecting the deal. mike viqueria is in washington with more, mike.
>> reporter: john, you're right, the momentum is clearly with the president. if it comes to a veto of the vote of disapproval in a few weeks in congress. notwithstanding, the number 2 democrat denny hoyer may not vote with the president. the president really had two goals in mind when he sat down with jewish groups for a webcast today, remember it was about three weeks ago when benjamin netanyahu the israeli prime minister did so on a israeli webcast. the president wanted to assure the jews of israel and citizens of israel that the decision is sacrosanct and nonpartisan. the president had another vision on his mind, the divisive nature not only between united states and israel but between american jews themselves. the president spoke earlier from the white house today. >> the commitment to israel is
sacrosanct and it is nonpartisan. it always has been. and it always will be. and i would suggest that, in terms of the tone of this debate, everybody keep in mind that we're all pro-israel. we're all pro-u.s.-israel. >> reporter: and john, the president made familiar arguments in favor of the pac, the snap back sanctions, if iran was to break, the international community would snap back the sanctions. all these arguments are familiar but again it was this theme of division, between the united states and israel, and between american jews themselves, those who oppose the group, oppose the deal and those who support the deal. and he cited jerald na nadler, o
the president says has suffered all kinds of abuse since he decided to vote with the president along with the deal john. >> we're going to talk about that next. opponents of the deal, talk about that. >> well you know this is part of the rhetorical campaign of the white house. they want to identify some of the more radical in their view elements of the republican party, conservative party as opponents of this deal notwithstanding chuck schumer and bob mend disez, who are meng to oppose it. something the president's spokesman josh earnest characterized as a pro-war rally, everyone who poappe oppos deal as war proponents.
john. >> mike viqueria, thank you very much. rob eshman is the editor in chief of the los angeles jewish journal. is he a staunch supporter of the iran nuclear deal. rob talk to me about since you've come out in support of this deal the reaction you've gotten. >> well, you know, most jews, we did a national poll, back when the deal was announced we did a national poll that the majority of the jews were in favor of the deal. so i think that the jewish groups, the mainstream jewish groups that have come out against it, they haven't really reflected what's kind of the rank and file american jews have thought all along. so when i came out for it, i found that myself meeting with a lot of support and some very angry criticism. >> the antidefamation league has
expressed serious concern about the hateful messages coming from that part of the jewish community that has called congressman jerald nadler of new york a democrat compared him to an american jew who had relationships with nat dysd natg world war two. what do you think of this? >> there is a very small minority that sees it as life and death hitler 1939 terms, would call representative nadler in those terms, he spent his whole life working for state of
israel. when all is said and done, we're going to have other fights beyond this, we're going to have other fights we need to work together on and i think we can come together out of the community. >> have there been other people like you that have been working together to sell that part of story to suggest that the united states and israel really need to get back together, or is it just we're hearing more from those who are divisive and hateful? >> you're hearing from the squeaky wheels. i mean when somebody rolls a bus up in front of jerald nadler's office with a picture of khamenei, an on the bus and compares nadler with khamenei, there are many people who, i'm not saying love it, i can't say i love the deal, but i think president has worked awfully hard to get us here.
which i think the other two presidents before him didn't do, and we need to buttress the parts of the deal that are weak and w rework the parts of the dl that are not good. >> thank you for your time. a you jury found a recent jw not guilty of rape. cowrnlt hacourtney kealy has th. >> the jury convicted him of lesser crimes that be rape. his defense lawyer tried to comfort him. lebree was fm on the way to
college last year when he was charged with rape. he was found guilty of three counts of misdemeanor sexual assault, using a computer to lure a minor. he could be sentenced to years in prison and have to register as a sex offender for rest of his life. >> it is a testament to the courage and stamina and endurance of a young woman who was sexually violated and managed her way through the criminal adjustments system to maintain some level of justice and accountability. >> lebree hix was the onl himsey witness his attorney called. >> you wanted to have sex with her. >> i don't know what you mean. >> he said he liked the accuser
and she liked him. lebree's accuser said she froze. graduating seniors competed to have sex with younger students. after the verdict lebree's lawyer said the convictions would be like a brand his client will bear the rest of his life while a spokes woman for the victim's family made a statement. >> they fostered a toxic culture. we trusted the school to protect her and it failed us. >> courtney kealy, al jazeera. >> still ahead, our special report, katrina after the storm. how parts of new orleans have recovered and the city still recovering ten years later. what went wrong and are we really prepared for the next one? one?
>> from the first warnings to the final toll, it was the costliest hurricanes in history and one of the deadliest. the images unforgettable. the suffering unimaginable. >> rich people, poor people, it's about people. >> the government response, unacceptable. >> brownie you're doing a heck of a job. >> tonight we return to new orleans, the lower 9th ward, the levees, hospitals and classrooms. to see how the city has changed over the last decade and whether all those promises to the people have been kept. our special report: katrina, after the storm. hi everyone, i'm john siegenthaler. new orleans tonight is a changed
city ten years after katrina. katrina. construction is booming downtown. the recovery like the response has been uneven. we begin in the lower ninth ward. an area devastated when the levees broke. jonathan betz there. jonathan. >> john, new orleans remains a work in progress. here in the lower ninth ward empty lots outnumber the new homes you've seen behind me. this area has come a long way but it has a long way to go. >> that's what i want. >> reporter: over the last ten years, harry sims has gotten pretty good at fighting. katrina took his home, his neighbors, and nearly his life. >> we have to have another floor. >> but he rebuilt, even putting a makeshift boxing ring in his yard to inspire kids in a neighborhood with little else. >> it was ofight to come back
and wishing everybody else come back too. >> reporter: when it comes to rebuilding he says too many others haven't jumped in the ring. ♪ ♪ >> reporter: much of new orleans is thriving but across the lower 9th ward progress has been painfully slow. ten years ago, a 12-foot wall of water tore through here. many were too poor to leave before the storm or to rebuild after. today once bustling neighborhoods are filled with street after street of empty lots. only tower out of every ten homes here have been -- only four out of every ten homes here have been rebuilt. in place nature is swallowing the past. this is a good example of what people faced ten years after katrina. overgrown lots that are not just growing over sidewalks but over what used to be a fairly busy street. this is not an abandoned lot. there is still a home back there. dozens of homes have never
healed, abandoned and forgotten. this is what henrietta felt. >> they feel they can leave us like this and that's not fair not right. >> the remains of a private school, long ago, its owners decide to build elsewhere. >> we still have things like this empty lots. >> it's terrible. and all i can say is: we're now on the move. i don't quite understand why we haven't made more progress over the ten-year period. i don't quite understand why we haven't made more progress over
the two-year period i've been here but government moves so, so slow. >> inspector kevin's warnings to cut the grass just seem to be ignored. owners are hard to find and the work is expensive. why isn't the grass being cut on these lots? >> they have to go through progress. >> reporter: looks like the progress isn't working. >> it's working. >> you see the lots out here -- >> the city is trying hard to come up with it. we can't put them in jail to make them cut it. >> there is progress. millions of dollars have been poured in here. a community center, soon to be followed by a new high school. and the smallest starts can make the biggest difference. bernell opened the only market here critical in a place where many don't have cars. >> we didn't have the store we wouldn't have nothing. we have to walk at least 15
blocks for his kids. >> he bet his entire savings, $80,000, yet in ten months still no profits. >> you have to try make a change. i found out that somebody was me. >> each homecoming makes a difference. sims doesn't look at what katrina took but rather, what it gave. >> you see the difference? churchill's is back. coming out better than it was before. >> better and stronger he hopes for a neighborhood very much still fighting. a lot of people here felt the deck was stacked against them. some rebuilding dollars were handed out based on a home's value not on the damage. it's an example some feel on how those who have the least generally can lose the most. john. >> jonathan betz. jonathan thank you. new orleans got the bulk of the media attention after katrina but the entire region
felt the effects of the storm. some parts of the gulf coast are still feeling them. allen schauffler is in bay st. louis mississippi with that story. allen. >> and john if you are looking for sort of the meteorological bull's eye where katrina hit and hilt hardest, this is it, the gulf coast, bay st. louis, pass christian, it's been a difficult ten years. new orleans bouncing back okay but waveland mississippi where people are still struggling. >> the water was over that telephone post. that's without the wave action. >> they thought they were ready but they weren't. katrina was too big too strong. veering east as it hilt land it pounded the mississippi gulf coast. >> where the middle of the eye came across here in waveland.
>> tommy was the mayor of the town that vanished. >> there were 42 businesses on that street before katrina. and there wasn't a stick left. >> reporter: the main street coleman avenue is a quiet place a full decade after the storm we find just six businesses operating here. maybe five now according to the sign outside wild bill's cafe. >> we had no economy. we had nowhere for anybody to go to work. so families were having to leave just so they could go to work. >> pictures taken in the days after the storm tell a story of a slow, uneven recovery where the post-katrina quonset hut stlawl stood, there's a city hall once stood, now a beautiful civic center is. >> they had been here for 40 years. >> out of business now?
>> kathy penn meets us where her odds and ends store used to stand. but whether we ask her for a virtual walk tour -- >> i'm not ready. >> she still couldn't do it. what it did to most of wave left-hand for her and many others rebuilding on this street and this spot just didn't make sense. >> who's going to be there to buy your stuff? people weren't coming back to waveland, 8500 to 3500 people, a lot of people who came back were people who couldn't go anywhere else, economically they were distressed. >> reporter: a few miles up the coast and about 20 feet higher in elevation more businesses had sprung up on bay st. louis's waterfront. there's a new seawall and a $23 million marina built with state and federal funds. >> we are not back yet but we are close. a lot has been done.
>> former mayor eddie favre recalls, the towns and weekend get aways were suffering. >> this was ground zero. but all we heard about was new orleans on one side and gulfport and biloxi on the other side. >> redevelopment has been slowed by new flood zone building requirements and sky high insurance rates. >> insurance is more than your mortgage. >> even with a town full of driveways to nowhere and for sale signs full of houses on stilts and stilts where houses used to be, longo calls the rebuilding effort so far a miracle. >> actually pretty amazing remember, 95% of the residential structures were uninhabitable or gone. all municipal buildings, all infrastructure. >> the town that vanished moving ahead ten years later, but still with nowhere to go but up.
and it wasn't that they didn't get federal help. they did, lots of it. figure about $300 million spent in that area. new streets. new electrical infrastructure. new utilities of all kinds. they had to start from scratch. the people in waveland say considering it took us nearly 30 years to recover from hurricane camille, it could be another ten or 20 years before they get back to where they would like their city to be in august 2005. john. >> amazing photos ten years later. allen, thank you very much. the federal response to katrina was widely criticized as too little, too late. during his visit yesterday, president obama said the nation should have done better. >> and this was something that was supposed to never happen here. maybe someplace else but not here. not in america. and we came to realize that what started out as a natural
disaster became a man made disaster. a failure of government to look out for its own citizens. >> the leaders of fema, the federal emergency management association, has learned from its mistakes lisa stark has the story. >> joe mangino remembers. >> when i opened it for first time there was sea grass coming out. >> mangino's garage was filled, four feet of water, destroying his livelihood. as for his house -- >> i remember what it smelled like. that smell of the bay is something i won't forget. >> reporter: the first floor flooded. mangino knew they would have to move out. >> the first thing i worried
about, where am i going to put the family. >> reporter: sorry i know it's still really tough hmm? >> yeah. >> reporter: unlike katrina fema was ready for sandy. the agency put people and places in service early. >> we're moving. hurricanes you can see coming. we have people deployed into the states, moving resources based on the likelihood of impact. >> frank fugate has run fema for six years, a different resume than the man in charge during katrina. michael brown, an attorney who had been with an arabian horse association. president bush praised him. but within ten days, brown
resigned. seattle's eric haldeman says the man at the top of fema makes a huge difference. >> you can't overestimate having someone come in who's not a political hack, not just an appointee that doesn't know anything about disasters but someone who comes with a vision and a mission, for how the federal government can best support state and local jurisdictions, before, during and after disasters. >> reporter: there's widespread agreement that fema is on the ball these days when it comes to preparing for and responding to a disaster. but the agency's role doesn't end whether the waters recede and that's the critics say is where fema should still improve. >> he pleaded for an advance on his federal flood insurance money so he could start rebuilding. >> they started with oh we didn't know you wanted an advance. i told the guy i was here, i
issued an advance, then they lost the advance. >> ultimately, he paid $69,000 for his damaged house, far less than his $250,000 policy maximum. fema has reopened the claims process for those who feel short changed, as many as 144,000 homeowners. >> fema admitted they screwed people, plain and simple. >> on the day we were there, the system tagged properties still not up to code. >> more than a thousand days. >> that's tough. >> mangino who is surrounded by homes still being rebuilt says that fema needs to streamline its processes, so those who need insurance compan money and othep can get it.
quickly and uncomplicated. lisa stark, al jazeera. >> an evacuation plan or lack ever one. since then, the city has made some changes to help people get out of danger. jonathan martin is in new orleans with that, jonathan. >> from city leaders to those who live in the lower ninth ward, the plan involves shuttling by bus some 30,000 people out of the city if there is another major hurricane. this plan is focused on people who are poor elderly and those who lack transportation. these giant silver sculptures across nowrnlacross new orleanse this doesn't happen again. >> they are landmarks, creating a higher level of awareness that people understand that this is a significant place. >> the 17 so-called evacu -- spots are part of the city's
plan to more quickly respond to a crisis. >> i think at that time, they did not have an evacuation plan in place to move people who didn't have access to automobiles out of the city. >> reporter: that was especially vital in a city where a third of the population relied on public transportation. there was confusion about whether and where to catch buses. and once the levees broke many buses were underwater. the superdome became a shelter of last resort for thousands who didn't have a way out. >> the city didn't have a plan, the state didn't have a plan. >> he said his mother and granddaughter died because of the no plans. >> they started flooding up the street we lost my granddaughter, we lost my mother joyce. >> aaron miller is in charge of
making sure there are no other joyce or sinae greens. >> making sure there is no gaps in anybody's plans. >> the city has identified a fleet of 700 buses to use and pinpointed their routes. evacuees will be bussed to a main passengers terminal and then state and federal shelters throughout the region. the plan was first tested in 2008 during hurricane gustav. the city bussed 20,000 residents out of the city without any problems. it's important that the city call for evacuation he sooner. >> we have a phased evacuation for every citizen and that starts at approximately 50 hours out. >> just in case for some reason i can't go i know where to go and stand just in case i can't go out on my own for some reason i know where to call. so it is now a great plan. >> a separate state plan targets the elderly and those with
special needs. with paramedic units and special buses on stand by. the city has a database with names of 4,000 residents who request help getting out of the city. >> we lost so many people during katrina. if that city assisted evacuation was available during katrina, that number would have been minuscule compared to the number lost. >> he says the city's plan is solid but given the incredible lessons learned during katrina, it is unfortunate that so many citiecities do not have evacuatn processes. >> new york and boston, they are the only cities that have it. we haven't learned much since hurricane katrina. >> this biggest plan, i felt the mayor and other city officials
waited too late to issue the evacuation orders ten years ago. so instead of waiting 20 or 30 hours before expected landfall john they will now activate these plans 50 or 55 hours before expected landfall for a storm here. john. >> all right jonathan martin, thank you. still ahead, voice of reasons. >> weapons down, weapons down, damn it. put your weapons down. >> we talked to the army general who took charge and helped save the city after the storm. plus we showed you how new orleans has changed. next, the photographer capturing parts of the city that have not. not.
honoree. stephanie sy talked to him. >> weapons down, weapons down damn it. put your weapons down. >> with those words general russell honore, became the answer of reason. new orleans's collective answer for help. >> i worried about all those people, all those weapons were loaded. you can't save people by pointing guns at them. >> looking back on the hurricane, honore calls it the disaster before the disaster. >> nornl had a human disaster. occurring -- new orleans had a human disaster occurring before the storm hit. it had the largest concentration of poor people in the south. >> the honore center for student
achievement is trying to close those opportunity gaps. >> i will be ready. >> i will be ready. >> willing. >> willing. >> and able. >> giving those students opportunities they aren't economically able for. he has formed a new army, a green army. all of this has led to a very obviously question. >> do you have political aspirations? >> no. i've just made an announcement that i wouldn't run for governor after some speculation. but i think my idea to contribute is to help people solve problems in their community through civil engagement. >> new orleans is a home to a large vietnamese population. many lost their homes after the war and felt that loss again after katrina. joie chen is in new orleans with their story.
joie. >> good evening john. actually the genesis for our doing the story for "america tonight" actually began a decade ago when i was here as a reporter for another network in the days after katrina hit this community. we're in the lower ninth ward and east of us new orleans east includes a community known as versailles which has been known to vietnamese around the world. >> everybody hear about this, going vietnam, they know right away this is the community. >> versailles, new orleans east. >> versailles, new orleans east. >> this community built around a church, mary queen of are vietnam church became the most concentrated people of vietnamese outside of vietnam. i heard there were a small community of vietnamese, and a
decade later they have regrouped, they are trying to grow again. they have done quite a bit in their community and we're going to take a look tonight at the story of their lives how they came to be in new orleans east and what they're doing next john. >> joie thank you. you can see that on "america tonight," 10:00 eastern 7:00 pacific. photographer seth lawless has captured pictures in a haunting collection of photos. we hear from him in tonight's first person report. >> i photographed new orleans ten years after katrina. focusing on hardest hit areas. the lasting destruction and new orleans did surprise me. the lower ninth ward was definitely the hardest hit area. you still see houses with holes in the sides of them and roofs gone and just overgrown and
fields where house he once were there, platforms leading to nowhere. that one in particular was so bizarre you know because there were lifal gators i live algate. any time i go judge somewhere broken like this psychologically it can be draining. i was photographing what i thought was an abandoned home because it had this huge hole in the side of it. it was five by five feet. i see this guy walking i just think maybe he's walking past or something. he has a fishing pole he's coming home and that's his house and that was just crazy to see. i myself saw a huge increase in the homeless. the last i heard, i think it was 70 to 80% higher since hurricane
katrina. so you had this rift between black and white that was even deeper and more profound than before. it got worse after katrina. if i walked up to someone a white american there, they were very positive and said you know we're moving in the right direction and you know, you talk to an african american or a minority and they were -- didn't share that same belief. sometimes words aren't enough. so that's why i started taking pictures. i hope more people look at katrina, look at new orleans, look at what's still there, and say we got a long ways to go. >> that's our broadcast. thank you for watching. i'm john siegenthaler. the news continues next with antonio mora. sthoats ♪ ♪ ♪ tbl
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