NEW YORK CITY, New York – In August, Al Jazeera America joined the cadre of cable and dish news networks in the United States. Its weekly program, ‘Fault Lines,’ attempts to answer many difficult questions in socio-economic politics. It airs on Sundays at 7 pm ET and runs a second time on Fridays at 9:30 pm ET.
According to the website, the show’s theme takes the viewer “beyond headlines and holds the powerful to account as we examine the U.S. ‘role in the world’.” A quick look at recent show summaries concludes that the journalists take that goal to heart.
The titles of recent ‘Fault Lines’ shows include: ‘Children at Work,’ an account of children farm workers in the U.S., ‘Egypt and the U.S.,’ a tracking of the two countries’ relationship since the coup in July, ‘Haiti in a Time of Cholera,’ a story on the cholera outbreak in the island nation and ‘Made in Bangladesh,’ an investigation on Bangladeshi garment factories’ safety standards and connections to U.S. clothing companies.
Only certain cable and satellite dish companies provide Al Jazeera America as an option in their packages. Unfortunately, this writer does not have access to the channel. Before the television channel went live in 2013, ‘Fault Lines’ was available on the Al Jazeera English website.
One of the previous episodes, titled ‘The U.S. and Honduras,’ follows the investigation of an alleged U.S.-backed shooting with four victims in the Moskitio region of Honduras. During a mission led by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), four innocent people were killed. In two other events following the mission gone wrong, a DEA agent shot and killed alleged drug traffickers on Honduran soil.
The United States is using Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spending in Honduras, as well. According to the DHS budget for FY2014, Honduras is one of four countries to receive special allocations for a Transnational Criminal Investigative Unit (TCIU) under the auspice of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The TCIUs are also found in Mexico, Colombia, and Afghanistan. ICE tasks them with investigating and coordinating actions from other U.S. Departments in these countries.
Al Jazeera asks, “What should be the role of the U.S. in Honduras?” In rankings of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, Honduras regularly ranks near the top of the list (among Haiti and Nicaragua). Al Jazeera is doing a great job to bring these issues to the fore of American news coverage and debate.
‘Fault Lines’ raises the questions and provides the answers in its objective, fact-based coverage. This program is suggested viewing for people wanting to know more about worldwide poverty and the possible roles of the United States.
– Jacob Huju