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Fault Lines

Updated about 1 month ago

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A weekly programme examining the US and its role in the world by asking tough questions and holding the powerful to account.

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A weekly programme examining the US and its role in the world by asking tough questions and holding the powerful to account.

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6 Ratings
Average Ratings
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iTunes Ratings

6 Ratings
Average Ratings
6
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0

Best weekly hand curated episodes for learning

Cover image of Fault Lines

Fault Lines

Latest release on Nov 18, 2020

Best weekly hand curated episodes for learning

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail about 1 month ago

Rank #1: Church of Trump | Fault Lines

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The US has just gone through its most contentious Supreme Court nomination in decades.

America watched as Brett Kavanaugh ascended to the highest court in the country, despite a serious allegation of sexual assault from his high school days.

As the Senate reviewed his nomination, protesters took to the streets, and the events once again broke open the country's political and cultural divides.

One group had backed Kavanaugh's nomination from the beginning: The religious right in the US, which is a strategic, highly organised minority that has found itself more powerful than ever under President Donald Trump.

In his first two years of office, Trump has electrified this segment of the Republican base by advancing the movement's opposition to abortion and LGBTQ rights.

President Trump has appointed more judges on federal appeals courts than any of his recent predecessors.

In the wake of the Supreme Court confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh, America's so-called "values voters" are heading to the midterm election polls with the wind in their sails - and a sophisticated legislative and judicial ground-game to build on their momentum.

Fault Lines goes inside the US religious right to explore the grassroots strategy and the powerful institutions fuelling its resurgence.

The investigation reveals the movement's secretive state-level legislative strategy, known as Project Blitz, as well as the Republican party's plan to stack the federal judiciary with conservative judges.

Ultimately, Fault Lines explores what's driving this movement's support for President Trump and what their success could mean for the future of the country.

Oct 31 2018

25mins

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Rank #2: The Viral Threat: Measles and Misinformation | Fault Lines

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The United States is in the midst of containing the largest number of measles cases in 25 years. Measles, a vaccine-preventable disease, was eliminated from the US in 2000, but the spread of online misinformation about vaccines has led to a public health crisis that has resulted in more than 800 cases in at least 20 states.

Vaccine sceptics represent only a tiny minority of the population, but their digital advocacy has evolved into the "anti-vaccine" movement - a well-organised online network with significant offline implications for public health and politics. These groups promote medically inaccurate information about vaccines and their viral content has dominated US's most powerful online platforms, including Facebook, Google, Amazon and YouTube.

Ill-equipped to respond to the social media savvy anti-vax movement, the US medical community must now confront both the contagion of online misinformation and the real-world viral spread of vaccine-preventable diseases.

In this episode, Fault Lines travelled to Washington state, as it was in the midst of containing an outbreak, to speak with public health officials and community members battling on the front lines of the measles crises while waging online "info-wars" against the anti-vaccine movement's misinformation.

Fault Lines then went inside the US's anti-vaccine movement, interviewing key leaders about their online strategy and offline political goals, as well as the threat that fear and misinformation can pose to public health in the US.

May 22 2019

25mins

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Rank #3: The Search: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women | Fault Lines

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Indigenous women in the United States experience some of the highest rates of violence and murder in the country, according to federal data.

Tribes and advocates attribute this to a confluence of factors - institutional racism, a lack of resources for tribes, and complicated jurisdictions that undermine tribal sovereignty. All of this has led to what tribal and federal officials have called a crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women in the US.

So why are indigenous women going missing in the US and what more could be done to address the problem? Fault Lines travelled across the western US to Washington, Montana and New Mexico to find out.

- Subscribe to our channel: http://aje.io/AJSubscribe
- Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJEnglish
- Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera
- Check our website: https://www.aljazeera.com/

May 08 2019

26mins

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Rank #4: The Cost of Living: What's behind high prescription drug prices in the US? | Fault Lines

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In the United States, many people have to choose between financial insecurity or saving their own lives.
The cost of nearly every major brand name drug is on the rise and as a result, millions of Americans are having trouble paying for their prescription medication.

This includes Type 1 diabetics, for whom insulin is a life-saving drug.

"For somebody like me it's like the oxygen you breathe. It is like the oxygen you and I breathe, except for me, I have to pay $340 a vial for that oxygen," says Quinn Nystrom, from T1International, a global advocacy organisation for diabetics. Nystrom is one of at least 1.2 million Americans with Type 1 diabetes, an auto-immune disease that has no cure.

Between 2012 and 2016 alone, the price of insulin nearly doubled, forcing many Americans to search for other routes to access it.

We follow a caravan of Type 1 diabetics as they cross the border into Canada, where insulin is about one-tenth of the cost of the drug in the US.

"It's not just a bunch of people whining and crying about the price of insulin. There is a true impact," says Nicole Smith-Holt, whose son died less than a month after ageing off her health insurance, because, she believes, he couldn't afford to pay for his insulin and started rationing the drug. "My family was destroyed by this. I lost my child. I will never have my son back ... Ultimately, the system failed Alec."

We made multiple interview requests to the top three insulin manufacturers, but none of them agreed to an interview. Sanofi sent a statement and included a congressional testimony by its External Affairs Executive Vice president.

We also meet Jackie Trapp who has a rare form of blood cancer called Multiple Myeloma, which doesn't respond to traditional cancer treatments. Instead, she has to take a speciality drug to keep her cancer stable. Despite having insurance and taking advantage of multiple assistance programmes this vital drug costs her between $15,000 and $22,000 a year.

"Drugs don't work if we can't afford to take them," Trapp says.

Fault Lines investigates what's behind the skyrocketing costs of prescription medication, and how the hefty price tag is costing lives.

- Subscribe to our channel: http://aje.io/AJSubscribe
- Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJEnglish
- Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera
- Check our website: https://www.aljazeera.com/

Oct 30 2019

25mins

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Rank #5: Donald Trump: All the President's Profits | Fault Lines

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As a candidate, Donald Trump railed against corruption on the campaign trail. And he used the perception of many Americans that their political system is rigged against them to win the White House.

But as president, Trump has mixed private business and public duties in unprecedented ways.

Previous US presidents put their financial assets into a blind trust and sold their businesses before inauguration, to avoid the possibility of conflicts of interest.

But Trump refused to divest from the more than 500 companies he owns under the umbrella of the Trump Organization. Instead, he put them into a trust and handed over day-to-day management to his sons.

"When Donald Trump said he was giving up running the businesses and putting it into a trust, I literally erupted in laughter. Donald Trump doesn't run any businesses, he is not a competent businessman. He leaves it up to other people. And furthermore, the trust that Donald set up, the sons have said they tell dad what's going on in the business," says David Cay Johnston, editor of DC Report and author of The Making of Donald Trump and It's Even Worse Than You Think.

"He can reach in and withdraw money at any time. Whether or not he has done so, we don't know. But this is not anything at all like a blind trust. This is like what you expect to see in a family business posing as a country," he adds.

The overlap between Trump's business activities and his role as president has given rise to allegations that he is leveraging his office for personal gain.

These charges are laid out in a series of lawsuits, which allege that Trump is violating the Emoluments Clauses of the US Constitution, by accepting payments or benefits from foreign states as well as federal and state governments.

The attorney general for the District of Columbia, Karl Racine, calls the Emoluments Clauses the United States' "oldest anti-corruption law."

With the attorney general of Maryland, Racine has brought a lawsuit (known as D.C. and Maryland v. Trump) focused on the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, and the payments or benefits from foreign and domestic governments the president may be receiving there.

Fault Lines examines how the president's business dealings may have put him in conflict with the US constitution. And in a fractious mid-term election season, we ask constitutional law scholars and international corruption experts why it matters for democracy in the US.

Oct 17 2018

26mins

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Rank #6: Adoption Inc: The Baby Business | Fault Lines

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The only place Florence and Jennifer see their children now is in photos. Five years ago, they sent them to stay with their sister Mariam. But when they returned to collect them their children had disappeared.

Mariam claimed she had put them in a boarding school after she had been approached by an agent who promised the children a free education.

But that promise turned out to be a conduit for international adoption - and by the time the sisters even suspected something was wrong, their children were no longer theirs.

The children had been taken to the United States - legally adopted without their mothers' knowledge.

Jennifer and Florence are among numerous families in Uganda whose children have been lost to international adoption - an industry that isn't being driven by a supply of orphans in need of homes but by demand from the US.

[They said] "Barbara, we need more children, we need children, we have families waiting here, we need children," recalls Barbara Ndibalakera, who worked for an American adoption agency. Her job was to find children to be adopted.

"I used to tell them 'these children are not in a market, they are not for sale'."

More than 1,600 Ugandan children have been adopted to the US since 1999. But how many of them were actually orphans and how many had parents who wanted them? And who is responsible?

Fault Lines teamed up with the Investigative Fund to explore the market in Uganda's children and how the spike in US families seeking to adopt from abroad has paved the way for exploitation and fraud.

- Subscribe to our channel: http://aje.io/AJSubscribe
- Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJEnglish
- Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera
- Check our website: https://www.aljazeera.com/

Oct 10 2018

25mins

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Rank #7: The Gang Within: A Baltimore Police Scandal | Fault Lines

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It's been three years since Baltimore erupted in a series of protests over police violence, exposing deep divisions between the city's police department and the community.

The protests captured national attention - prompting a federal investigation - and several high-profile efforts at reform.

Now a new scandal is threatening to undermine those efforts, raising questions about the depth of police corruption in Baltimore, and the institutional forces that allow corrupt officers to remain on the street.

Fault Lines returns to Baltimore as new details emerge about an elite plain-clothes police unit that, for years, doubled as a criminal gang - robbing residents, planting evidence, and sending countless innocent people to jail.

The unit operated with impunity in part because of the way police complaints are investigated.

In Baltimore - like many other cities - if a police officer is accused of wrongdoing, the complaint is investigated behind closed doors by the police department's own Internal Affairs Division.

Fault Lines investigates how this latest police scandal once again places Baltimore at the centre of a national debate over how and whether police departments can be held accountable to the communities they police.

Oct 03 2018

24mins

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Rank #8: Between War and Trump's Ban: An Update | Fault Lines

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In March 2018, as the US Supreme Court was preparing to rule on Donald Trump’s travel ban, Fault Lines traveled to Djibouti, to meet some of the Yemeni families finding themselves stuck between a war and the ban. Many had applied for visas to the US, and traveled there in hopes of being cleared to join their families -- only to be told their applications had been rejected.

Even Yemenis whose parents or spouses were US citizens -- who should have qualified for waivers under new State Department rules, were told they’d been rejected without reason or explanation.

Among them was an American citizen named Najeeb, who’d spent months in Djibouti trying to secure visas for his family, including his eldest daughter Shaima, who was born with cerebral palsy. After we interviewed him, the case was cited in Supreme Court arguments against the travel ban -- but that wasn’t enough to overturn it.

In June 2018, the court upheld the ban in a 5-4 decision, closing the door to countless Yemenis trying to reunite with family in the United States.

Fault Lines reports on how Najeeb and others are coping, as the war in Yemen continues to get worse.

More from Fault Lines on:

YouTube - http://aje.io/faultlinesYT
Facebook - https://facebook.com/AJFaultLines
Twitter - https://twitter.com/AJFaultLines
Website - http://aljazeera.com/faultlines/

- Subscribe to our channel: http://aje.io/AJSubscribe
- Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJEnglish
- Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera
- Check our website: https://www.aljazeera.com/

Oct 24 2018

25mins

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Rank #9: American Sheriff: When Power Goes Unchecked | Fault Lines

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In large parts of the US, sheriffs are the only form of law enforcement and do everything from running the jails to patrolling the streets.

Sheriffs and their deputies account for one-quarter of all sworn law enforcement officers in the US.

But unlike police or the FBI who have clear oversight and a chain of command holding them accountable, sheriffs are elected in often highly partisan elections.

Many sheriffs don't have term limits and once they are elected, there are very few checks on their power. They can only be removed when the public votes against them.

"They have this huge amount of autonomy, huge amount of independence, huge amount of authority. They make decisions that really dramatically affect people's lives, including life and death questions. That always breeds problems when you have a lot of authority and not a lot of accountability," says Mirya Holman, professor of political science at Tulane University.

Sheriff Thomas Hodgson is the longest serving sheriff in Massachusetts and is known for his tough-on-crime approach. But in recent years he has made news for the high suicide rate in his jails.

"Jail should never be a country club. And anyone who has spent time at our facilities will tell you that they are the furthest thing from a country club. And we know our approach is working," says Hodgson.

Fault Lines travelled to two very different places, Bristol County, Massachusetts and New Iberia Louisiana, to investigate what can happen when the power of a sheriff goes unchecked.

- Subscribe to our channel: http://aje.io/AJSubscribe
- Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJEnglish
- Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera
- Check our website: https://www.aljazeera.com/

May 09 2018

26mins

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Rank #10: In Bad Faith: Child Sex Abuse and the Catholic Church | Fault Lines

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In a series of exclusive interviews with Fault Lines, several men across New York City come forward with painful memories of abuse by a Catholic priest.

They say that Father John Paddack - who was ordained in 1984 and had been ministering in New York until he was suspended in July - molested them during confession and counselling sessions in different Catholic schools across the city.

The men allege years of abuse by Paddack, sparking the latest revelations in a decades-old scandal that has shaken the Catholic Church to its foundation.

And they say that, in the intervening decades, Paddack remained in ministry - working in close proximity to children.

The church should "stop hiding", says Joseph Caramanno, one of the men who says he was abused by Paddack while in high school, and one of the first to open a public case against the priest.

"They are allowing these predator priests to frolic around aimlessly on the streets of New York, with open access, under the shield of a collar," he says.

Another victim, Gabriel* - now a father of two - says he was molested by Paddack as a 12-year-old Catholic school student.

"That destroyed my youth," he says about the abuse. "That could have killed me, honestly."

For many years, these men shared their stories privately, among close confidants. But when New York's restrictive statute of limitations law for victims of child sex abuse was amended in 2019, they went public with their claims.

The men are suing the Catholic Church, and calling on the city's most powerful cleric - Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York - to remove Father Paddack from ministry.

"The archdiocese has known about the allegations against Monsignor Paddack for years, more than six years. Those allegations have been kept quiet by the archdiocese," says Mike Reck, one of the lawyers for the victims.

Cardinal Dolan, meanwhile, has told the 2.5 million Catholics under his watch to rest assured, claiming there are no active priests facing credible abuse allegations in his archdiocese. Clergy abuse, he said, was largely a problem of the past.

However, our investigation into Father Paddack revealed a different story, one that raises questions about New York's Catholic hierarchy, and whether its leader has put the prestige of the church above the survival of its victims.

For this investigation, Fault Lines spoke to five of the men who accuse Father Paddack of abuse; allegations that form a pattern starting from the early 1980s until the early 2000s, the victims' lawyers say.

*Not his real name

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More from Fault Lines on:

YouTube - http://aje.io/faultlinesYT
Facebook - https://facebook.com/AJFaultLines
Twitter - https://twitter.com/AJFaultLines
Website - http://aljazeera.com/faultlines/

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- Subscribe to our channel: http://aje.io/AJSubscribe
- Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJEnglish
- Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera
- Check our website: https://www.aljazeera.com/

Oct 23 2019

26mins

Play