30 episodes

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

Fault Lines Al Jazeera English

    • News

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

    • video
    Virus on the Poultry Line | Fault Lines

    Virus on the Poultry Line | Fault Lines

    In the early months of the pandemic, meatpacking plants emerged as deadly hot spots for COVID-19.

    In the poultry industry, workers describe conditions that make physical distancing impossible inside plants - above all, the fast line speeds.

    Chicken companies have reduced calls to slow the line speeds and space workers further apart. Federal regulators responsible for safety at the plants have issued optional guidance during the pandemic, not enforceable rules.

    Fault Lines follows meatpacking workers and families who lost loved ones to the virus and asks what sacrifices have been made to keep poultry plants open.

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    • 25 min
    • video
    Moment of Reckoning: Racism and Police in America | Fault Lines

    Moment of Reckoning: Racism and Police in America | Fault Lines

    Do police reforms work?

    Under the banner of Black Lives Matter, 2020 has seen what is likely the largest wave of protests in United States history: all centred on the crisis of police killing Black people.

    For years, officials have introduced police reforms. But reforms have failed to stop police from killing Black people in astonishingly high numbers, people like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Marqueese Alston - shot in Washington, DC in 2018.

    The failure of reforms has driven protesters to a more radical demand: defund the police.

    Fault Lines follows the US's moment of reckoning with racism and the police.

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    • 25 min
    • video
    America's Pandemic Workers | Fault Lines

    America's Pandemic Workers | Fault Lines

    As COVID-19 surged in the United States and only those deemed “essential workers” were asked to go to work, the pandemic made clear that the workers most critical to American life are disproportionately people of color, and among the country’s lowest paid.

    Through video diaries and interviews shared over the course of several months, four of these workers shared their experiences of the pandemic in a country that offers little in the way of a safety net for its most vulnerable workers.

    Two gig economy workers struggle to protect themselves from the virus and earn enough to sustain their families. An Amazon worker organizes in his workplace to demand more from the company, and a first responder fights to save lives amid wrenching death tolls.

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    • 25 min
    • video
    Conspiracy to Massacre: Anti-Semitism In America | Fault Lines

    Conspiracy to Massacre: Anti-Semitism In America | Fault Lines

    Fault Lines examines rising levels of violence and threats against Jewish Americans and the anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that often animate these attacks.

    Anti-Semitic hate crimes reached a five-year high in 2016. The next year, anti-Semitic incidents saw an unprecedented surge, and white supremacists marched through Charlottesville, Virginia chanting "Jews will not replace us."

    In 2018, the US witnessed the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in its history when a white supremacist opened fire at Pittsburgh's Tree of Life synagogue. Then, in 2019, according to the Anti-Defamation League, anti-Semitic incidents reached an all-time high, eclipsing every previous year on record.

    Anti-Semitism plays a unique role in the dangerous worldview of white supremacists. It is often coded into terms like "white genocide" and "replacement," which stem from the conspiracy theory that Jews are trying to change the demographics of the US.

    Fault Lines decodes anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and speaks with Jewish families and community leaders struggling to move forward from tragedy against the backdrop of accelerating attacks.

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    • 25 min
    • video
    Afghanistan: Civilian Loss in the US Air War | Fault Lines

    Afghanistan: Civilian Loss in the US Air War | Fault Lines

    As the United States has increased its use of airstrikes in the war in Afghanistan, it’s come with a heavy price as civilian casualties from airstrikes have reached record numbers.

    In “Afghanistan: Civilian Loss in the US Air War,” Fault Lines reports on what justice looks like for civilians who lost loved ones to airstrikes.

    The US military has a poor record of investigating civilian casualty allegations from airstrikes, leaving few options for civilians looking for justice when they lose family members and leading to a lack of accountability for these deaths.

    As the US prepares for the possibility of leaving Afghanistan after nearly 20 years, Fault Lines asks how civilian loss is investigated and remembered.

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    • 26 min
    • video
    Houston's Cancer Cluster | Fault Lines

    Houston's Cancer Cluster | Fault Lines

    In Houston, Texas, residents of two historically African-American neighbourhoods with high rates of certain cancers are seeking answers after toxic waste from a nearby railroad yard contaminated their environment. Some suspect the pollution is the cause of a cancer cluster discovered in their area in 2019.

    The groundwater beneath more than 100 properties is contaminated with creosote, a chemical mixture classified as a probable carcinogen that was used for nearly 75 years at the railroad yard. But railroad giant Union Pacific, which owns the yard, says local residents could not have been exposed to the contaminant, and claims the creosote has nothing to do with the cancers. The Texas public health agency hasn’t yet decided if they will investigate what could be causing the illnesses.

    How do communities living alongside polluting industries and toxic waste look for answers and accountability when they get sick? Fault Lines investigates the cancer cluster in east Houston and follows a community’s search for justice.

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    • 25 min

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