welcome to al jazeera america. i'm del walters. these are the stories we're following for you. >> put politics aside for one minute, come together, and address the needs of our military families. >> the budget battle wrapping up on capitol hill right now. the strong message president obama is sending russia. sending billy gene king to the winter olympics. on amazing story of survival. we'll tell you how a blind man's
guide dog could have saved his life when both fell in front of this moving subway train. ♪ that bipartisan budget deal on the brink of passing the senate any moment now. after sailing through the house last week, the bill passing a key hurdleavoided any threat of a filibuster. libby casey is on capitol hill. and libby what is defense side half in non-mesic programs. but it also reduces the deficit by $23 billion, and watching
for passage this afternoon in the senate is. >> libby as we watch this particular bill, what does it include for realize somebody has to pay. the one getting the most attention right now is the reduction in the benefits for military retirees of working age. this would be a just draws down the amount by which their benefits increase if you are flying you will ben
dell. >> mike thank you very much. in russia parliament passing an amnesty bill there that could free some of those who have been very critical of the government. >> it was this punk prayer by pussy riot in 2012 judged obscene by the courts that left members of the group serving prison sentences of up to two years. now they will see the last two-- riot prisoners released. in all up to 25,000 people will be freed. including about 6,000 people who would see charges against them dropped. those convicted of violence against police would not be included, but those charged with hooliganism would be freed. and that would include the green
peace activists. protesting environmental damage in the arctic. the 28 activists and two journalists were arrested, charged with pry piracy, and later reduced to hooliganism. the team were imprisoned and later transferred to st. petersburg before being released on bail after green peace posted a $60 million bond. on wednesday the news they had been waiting for over the last three months. >> we were illegally arrested. if this is a way for russia to start celebrating more human
righting then like everybody i would be overjoyed, but i'm not prepared to say i see thatment cog at th-- that coming at this point. >> the psychological terror of being actually 23 hours inside this cell, and not -- not knowing what was going on outside. >> it's believed the amnesty decree will become law on thursday and the activists will be hoping they will be able to leave russia and be home in time for christmas. the anger following the arrest of an indian diplomat in new york showing no signs of easing today. she was also given full immunity. kat turner has more on the case. >> reporter: outside of the u.s.
embassy in new delhi, police oversee the removal of concrete barricades. another sign diplomatic relations with washington are quickly deteriorating. indian authorities have reportedly asked officers to return their identity cards that have stopped them from flying out of the country. it has become one of the top stories in the indian media. tension between the two countries has been steadily escalating. she was handcuffed as she dropped her daughter off at school, she was later strip searched and placed in jail with drug addicts.
>> there are no indications that anything but appropriate measures were followed, but we do know this is sensitive. we are looking into it. for exactly that reason. to see exactly what transpired. >> reporter: this is the document at the heart of the dispute filed here at the manhattan federal court on the 11th of december. she allegedly promised a housekeeper the minimum wage of $9.75 an hour, but over a period of seven months the employee only was paid $3.31. it also claims that she submitted false documents in order to bring the housekeeper to america. neither the u.s. nor india is showing any sign of backing
down. coming up next on al jazeera america, we are just a couple of hours away from a decision by the fed that could have a significant impact on the economy and your wallet. plus political exiles forced to flee from their homeland. it is a grim reality to some now forced to live here in the us. >> al jazeera's investigative unit has tonight's exclusive report. >> stories that have impact... that make a difference... that open your world... >> this is what we do... >> america tonight weeknights 9et / 6pt only on al jazeera america
>> al jazeera america is a straight-forward news channel. >> its the most exciting thing to happen to american journalism in decades. >> we believe in digging deep. >> its unbiased, fact-based, in-depth journalism. >> you give them the facts, dispense with the fluff and get straight to the point. >> i'm on the ground every day finding stories that matter to you. >> in new orleans... >> seattle bureau... >> washington... >> detroit...
>> chicago... >> nashville... >> los angeles... >> san francisco... >> al jazeera america, take a new look at news. welcome back to al jazeera america. i'm del walters. hundreds in south sudan have been killed after a failed coup there and the violence is spreading. the head saying it was only a misunderstanding. >> reporter: fleeing for their lives. these people are looking for a safe place to hide from the fighting. the united nations base, the message from their a leaders was to go home. >> translator: when you came here, you were looking for
peace. now there is no fighting. now we are telling you that everyone should go back to their house. listen to me, listen to me, listen to me >> reporter: but the crowd is far from reassured. >> translator: someone can be in his house and other people come in and ask him to speak a certain language, and if he couldn't speak they can take him out of his house and they can kill him. >> reporter: the situation on the ground is dire. thousands are waiting outside. at least three women are given birth at this base, and officials say they are running out of food. sanitation is becoming an issue. if the crisis goes on much longer, they may be unable to cope. >> thousands of thousands of civilians have taken refuge in the two bases, which actually is quite trying for -- for the means of them in terms of
medical, food, and -- medical support, food, water, and protection. >> reporter: soldiers of the south sudan army is fighting mainly along ethnic lines. the government says the vice president's forces have been defeated. >> ten of his followers have been arrested. so there is nobody there to undermine the security of the capitol of south sudan. >> reporter: an unknown number of civilians, women and children are among the dead. while world leaders are asking for the newest nation to show constraint, the situation on the ground remains in flux and the people remain caught in the middle. ♪
taking a look at today's top business headlines, in less than two hours we'll know if the fed is going to start putting the breaks on the bond buying program. a pull back could send the interest rate soaring. all of it fuelled by the federal reserve easy money policy. >> they worry about the stimulus program speeding future financial instability, and creating future inflation, they worry that the fed's balance sheet is going to be very difficult to shrink back down. >> we'll bring you full coverage right here on al jazeera america. and ali velshi will add his invites into what the fed's actions mean for you and your pocket at 7:00 eastern time. the dow right now is up about 27 points on positive
reports concerning home construction. that report showing housing starts soaring almost 23% in december. that's the largest increase since january of 1990. the u.s. has long been a safe haven for political exiles around the world. militia chan has the story. >> reporter: this man moved to the united states three months ago and settled in a small .a apartment in a working class neighborhood of new york city. he fled, an outspoken critic of putin's russia. >> if you did not stop your activities, you will be arrested and you will be put in jail until the end of your life. >> reporter: his wife then pregnant later joined him, and
their newborn son michael was born here. with no income they rely on the charity of friends and have filed for political asylum. >> we have nowhere to go. the united states is our last hope. other than that, i don't know what we could do. >> reporter: people from around the world move to new york city every year, but a small number of them come unwillingly, not as immigrants but as political asylum seekers. they often show up ill equipped after years of trauma under authoritarian governments. some are overwhelmed by american culture and society. this man felt that way when he landed in 2006. >> beginning from zero, and what has happened was exactly that. you know, in iran we didn't have any hope -- i didn't have any
hope, actually. >> reporter: a journalist and blogger, he says he was imprisoned, tortured and forced to sign a fake confession. >> because of the internet and social media, and every technology we have right now in the world, i'm -- i kept my network. i kept my connection with the country. >> reporter: this student leader during china's protests, did not know whether his stay would be temporary or permanent. he says without any hesitation he would return to china if he could. >> i was and i am a political exile. i cannot return to my homeland as i wish for years i was stateless. >> reporter: his is a rare success story. he launched a software company eventually earning millions. he now spends his free time working with the occupy movement.
he has clearly found a new outlet for his political passions, and that's the challenge for vlad. after years of fighting for social justice and human righting in russia, he must now find a new calling in a new country. last year as many as 180,000 people imma grated legally to new york city. some tense moments in canada caught on tape. plus another amay story of survival. find out how a blind man's guide dog may have saved his life. interactive television. we depend on you, >> you are one of the voices of this show. >> so join the conversation and make it your own. >> the stream. next on al jazeera america and join the conversation online @ajamstream.
american airlines agreeing to pie to the financial services, when 68 of their employees died when the airliner hit the world trade center. some scary moments in canada. operator of this construction crane stranded after a massive fire broke out below. the military rescue helicopter plucked the man from the top of the crane. and another amazing story. this one being called a miracle as well. a blind man and a seeing eye dog falling on to the tracks of an in coming subway train. >> reporter: blind at 61 years old, cecil williams was too close to the edge when he fainted. >> i saw a man a little wobbly. the furry friend is his
trusty guard dog, orlando. the ten year old black lab was darking frantically. while the dog is trained to protect his owner from going over the edge, this time it was too much for him. >> the dog was pulling him to come forward, but it was too late he wobbled forward and then went backwards into the tracks. >> reporter: the dog tumbled on to the tracks as well. when cecil came too, he heard people yelling at him do not climb up the platform. >> the train was coming. >> the conductor saw them and slammed on the emergency break. but it was too late. by the time it came to a stop about one and a half cars had passed over cecil and orlando.
>> he fell, struck his head and probably rolled into the middle. >> firefighters quickly rescued them and treated cecil's head injury. >> he asked us ho his dog was doing? and he said he was fine. >> reporter: within the hour the dog was back at cecil's side. well, more like in his lap on the tiny hospital bed. >> definitely a miracle. ♪ i'm meteorologist dave warren this is a look at april. 8 to 10 inches of rain has fallen there, so that's about the only way to get around there. the sat like picture shows a little break from the rain, but moisture streaming in to the same area. snowfall going over the same area is the story here over the northeast. the like-effect snow setting up again, the storm has cleared out
which dumped snow across the mid-atlantic states and new england, but now we just have bitter cold air. the snow will clear out and the heat comes back, if you want to call it heat. temperatures could be near record highs this weekend. the warm air coming up from the southeast, temperatures climbing into the 50s and 60s, but farther south it could lead to severe storms. saturday and sunday there is a risk for thunderstorms, severe storms with damaging wind and hail across the southeast. dell? >> dave warren thank you very much. thank each of you for watching al jazeera america. i'm del walters. "the stream" is next. for updates throughout the day go to aljazeera.com. and a reminder, the two winner
lottery tickets sold in california and georgia. i was not among them. ♪ >> hi, i'm lisa fletcher, and you're in "the stream." detroit is not alone. chicago's public pensions are short $28 billion and the city that works is in trouble. our digital producer, ra raj is here, and most people are familiar with detroit's crisis, but chicago's is whooshes. >> people have been