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tv   News  Al Jazeera  December 19, 2013 2:00am-2:31am EST

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-- the big game. >> welcome to al jazeera america, i'm stephanie sy. the n.s.a. has been under fire for months following edward snowden's disclosure of a massive collection of phone records in the u.s. and around the world. as al jazeera's john siegenthaler reports a presidential panel is calling for changes in the way the n.s.a. does business. >> the 46 recommendations spelt out in the 300-page report are surprising and sweeping. the panel, chosen by president obama, is urging that the n.s.a. stop collecting and mining phone calls from americans. advisors say that surveillance program creates risks to public trust, personal privacy and civil liberty. they urge that spying on foreign citizens, and world leaders must be carried out by a duly enactive law or special order. >> we need to ensure
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intelligence sources are supporting foreign policies, that we are weighing the risks of rewards and activities, to ensure that we are focus the on the threat to american people. the president has been cleared, as we review efforts and make changes in how we do things, we will not harm our ability to do those things. >> this after the tactics may be unconstitutional. this fuelled by massive leaks of classified documents, coming from edward snowden, a contractor for the n.s.a. edward snowden's conduit was glenn greenwald, a journalist who published the documents for the world to see in the guardian newspaper.
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some prays snowden, calling the actions justified, giving the truth. others condemned them as traitors and worse. edward snowden fled to hong kong and then moscow. edward snowden was defiant saying, "i shared with the world evidence: >> al jazeera's john siegenthaler reporting. >> the report says metadata that is currently collected should be held by service providers for third party s with government access granted only following a court order. >> for the first time in three years congress passed a bipartisan budget deal. the deal cleared the senate with 64 votes, despite opposition from conservative republicans and tea party members. it will go to pam re, who
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promised to sign it into law. ittees it eases spending cuts and abaits a risk to a shut down for two years. >> health insurance customers are giving customers extra days to pay their premiums. the first premium payment is due on january 10th. consumers must select a plan by next monday for coverage on the first of the new year. a day after russia offered to bail out the ukraine, there is word the european union is willing to fork over more money. the former republic was given a loan. ukraine could have received $26 billion if they sign a trade agreement with the e.u. protesters have been pushing the country to strengthen its relationship with the u.s. ukraine needs the money to pay
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off debts. >> hundreds are feared dead after days of violence. the african party's army has been split between those in favour of the president and those loyal to the vice president. clashes have escalated. as stefanie dekker reports, there's fears a civil war could break out. >> in the world's newest country many people are finding themselves without a home. the u.n. says up to 20,000 people are seeking shelter at its camps in the capital. >> we have been able to get medical assistance. we are able to provide with emergency medical assistance. >> fighting broke out over the weekend after what the government says was an attempted coup by the vice president. but riek machar denies there was a coup. that disagreement is being fought out on the ground. soldiers of the south sudanese army are loyal to the president salva kiir, and are fighting
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forces of the former vice president. the spla is dinka. riek machar's supporters are nuer. the conflict may have an ethnic dimension, those close to the event say it's about fire. fighting spread to the oil rich states. there's conflicting report over who is in charge. there's fears it could descend into a civil war. >> this is it a crisis and needs to be dealt with through political dialogue. there's a risk of violence spreading to other states as we have already seen signs of this. >> president salva kiir offered to sit down to talk with riek machar, whom he dismissed in july. he has gone underground. a warned is out for his arrest. none of the people here want to see a return to violence.
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there's little they can do to stop it. >> on tuesday the u.s. state department ordered non-merge vi personnel to leave south sudan and suspended normal embassy operations in juba. plans to get rid of syria's chemical weapons is on track. the watchdog says the arsenal will be transported to a port in syria. the dangerous weapons will be destroyed at sea on an american ship. we have this report from beirut. >> it's been a challenging task. it may get more complicated. the job is to dismantle and eliminate a chemical weapons program contrary to the middle of a raging civil war. so far it's been a relatively swift operation. chemical weapons experts were able to destroy the facilities or declare them unoperational within a few months. now it's time for hundreds
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of tonnes of chemicals to be removed from 12 sites. the stockpile, 500 tonnes of sarin, nerve agents and mustard gas will be taken across country in russian armoured trucks guarded by troops. they'll be trapped to the port on the mediterranean ghost. the weapons would be loaded to danish and norwegian cargo ships. china and finland are offering emergency response teams. the ships are to sail to an undisclosed port. where they'll be transferred to a u.s. vessel. it would be equipped with two chemical reactor chambers to neutralize them at see. a plan is in place. is it feasible. parts of the roads that the trucks will travel on have been changing hands between government forces and opposition fighters on a weekly basis.
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how safe are the highways. >> not yet, not completely, not 100%. >> u.s., russia and the u.n. will have to talk to regional countries with influence, about the insurgent groups to ensure there are no attacks. some of the opposition groups are out of control. >> it's sensitive, dangerous if the weapons are on the hands of insurgents. it would be catastrophic. >> adding to the difficulties, bad weather. only last week one of the worst snow storms cut off major roads. >> international scenes seems confident. it expects the cooperation it received so far to continue, and allow its members to accomplish their mission. >> a deadline has been set to move the most toxic material out of syria by the end of the year.
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. we are still looking at late-effect snow across new york and peninsula, we tink it will end over the next 12-24 hours. the big problem is severe weather is starting to take place here and it's a big problem as we go towards the weekend. notice the rain down here to the south-west. that's really going to develop as we get towards the center part of the country. we are talking about severe wetherby the time we get to saturday. before that let's go to the north-west. we are looking at rain and mixed precipitation and snow. in the cascades we'll see a little snow over the next day. for seattle it will be rain as we go towards friday and saturday. it will be heavy. not until sunday will we break out. >> there has been a lot of
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problems in california dealing with droughts and the big fire. there's a lil the help under way in terms of humidity is going um. we are picking up rain showers in the area. we'll get showers tomorrow, down to the south. you can see los angeles and sand. that will be for thursday and friday. so looking at the forecast. los angeles 59 degrees, getting better as we go towards the weekend. sunday you'll see about 70 degrees there. no rain in texas yet. but by the time we get to friday we think we'll see rain. a nice day in dallas, high of 30 degrees, san antonio better, 72. this is where the weather takes shape. we are looking at saturday, a lot of rain, a lot of thunder storms, with a texture of 61. when the front goes through we are looking at the temperatures dropping down to 50 degrees.
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>> senator max bochus, a position he's tapped to fill overseas. outrage in india. the arrest of an indian diplomat straining relations between the two countries. putting a price tag on detroit adds art collection - how much it's worth and whether it can help the city get out of bankruptcy.
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>> the white house intends to
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nominate senator max baucus as the u.s. ambassador to china. the montana democrat announced he did not plan to run for a 7th term. if confirmed by the senate, the chair of the senate finance committee would replace gary lock. the arrest of an indian diplomat in new york city is straining the relationship between the u.s. and a long-time ally. standard arrest procedures were followed. the secretary of state john kerry is trying to smooth things over after the incident sparked outrage in india. we have this report. >> the international incident centres on this woman, devyani khobragade. india's deputy council general. the high level diplomat was arrested, charged with fraud. she was accused of paying a housekeeper from india less than
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promised, about $3 an hour, below the minimum wage, allegations denied by her attorney. >> she was paying her employee what they should have been paying her. indian officials allege the diplomat was taken into custody and handcuffed after dropping her daughter at school. she was strip searched in the gaol sell and locked up by drug atickets before posting $250,000 bail. all proper procedures were followed. >> we know this is sensitive. we are looking into it to see what transpired. >> reaction to her arrest and treatment set off protests outside the american embassy in new delhi. indian authorities asked u.s. consular officials to return identity cards. the controversy has straned relations between the allies and secretary of state john kerry
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publicly addressed the situation, calling the indian national security advisor. he released this message: >> in addition to new restrictions already imposed on u.s. documents in india because of the incident, some indian politicians are considering penalizing same-sex companians of american diplomats. homosexuality was recently made ilin india. >> a former bp engineer has been convicted of obstructing justice in the first criminal trial over the massive gulf oil spill.
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kurt mix was connected of deleting text message about how much oil was gushing from the well. he is one of four current and former bp employees facing charges in the 2010 disaster. he will be sentenced in march. >> astro gnats on board the internation international space station is preparing for space walks as they try to repair a critical part of the space station. >> two astronauts will suit up for a space walk to prevent the mechanical equipment from overheating. one of the valves shut last week after detecting abnormal temperatures. the failure did not pose a throat to six crew members, but they have turned off unnecessary equip. the station has two cooling loops, but with one down, there's no backup. nasa set up two space walks and
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a third to fix the problems. >> i look add around the room and said, "what are people worried about. there was not much to be said. i think we are ready to go out the door. >> missions like these are not without risk. u.s.-led space walks came it a halt when one of the astronauts helmets filled with liquid. nasa has not found the cause, but are confident in the repairs that they'll give to another astronaut. >> this is a helmet absorption pad. it's a modified absorbant pad, installed on the back of the helmet. >> the astronauts will have their work cut out. they'll need to remove and replace a pump. the two will attempt to complete the mission on saturday and on monday. if necessary a third is scheduled for christmas day.
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>> this is not the first time the cooling system has failed on the space station. in 2010 astra nouts had to perform a series of space walks to fix the same problem. >> it's the ultimate bargain, a million dollar pablo picasso for $1 million bucks. it belongs to an american. he purchased a ticket and the money raised by the tickets will be used to preserve the ancient city of tyre in lebanon. >> detroit is considering selling its art collection. it is worth a fortune. as bisi onile-ere reports, not everyone is willing to part with the artwork. >> the detroit institute of arts is considered one of the top museums in the country.
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it's a cultural gem in an any gone bankrupt. pieces held in trust now face an uncertainly future. christie's estimate of city-owned artwork, amounting to 5% of the museum's total collection is $450 to $870 million. $18 billion in the red, a federal bankruptcy judge ruled nothing is off the table. >> pensions and retiree health care could be taught and art sold to the highest bidder. >> the art is not a bag of money sitting on the wall. >> todd levin, born and raised in detroit, thinks selling the artwork is unethical. he says art is sold to buy more art. >> it is the government's job to make sure the artwork was held
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in a way where it would de off limits. they did not do their job. they assumed they'd be a non-starter. >> 3,000 pieces are up for sale. including works by von go and bruegel. it's going be cautious on the part of the court and on the part of the mediator appointed by judge rhodes to ensure that the dis is not unfairly disadvantaged. >> in a city that endured so much loss, the reality that detroit may have to sell off its heritage is painful. >> it has to be for the public domain. it's not rite to take it away from the people. >> it's for the stit and people to enjoy. that's what i feel like, the art was created for for people to
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enjoy and learn from it. >> or is expected to have his restructuring plan into the federal judge in the coming weeks. it's then that we'll learn what, if anything, the dia stands to lose. >> christie's says an alternative to selling the art could be using it as collateral to secure loans or lines of credit. >> stimulus surge. the markets crime to new highs on the frrfe's latest policy decision. new steps that the central bank will be taking. >> paying more to avoid traffic. >> a system put into place to relieve congestion. what the n.f.l. plans to do if nature interferes with the big game.
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>> it was a record day on wall street, the dow up 300 points. traders were reacting to the frrfe's decision to begin to wind down a stimulus program. outgoing chairman said the fed are reduce monthly bond bying by $70 million. >> like many big city, dallas has a texas sized problem. the city is charging a fee to drive on a less-crowded road.
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>> this is the second-most congested highway in texas. 270,000 use the 13-mile stretch. a 5-year 2.7 billion project is underway to relieve congestion. how, by allowing driver to pay more to drive. how does it work. next to the 3 highway lanes there are toll lanes. between noon and three on tuesday traffic was moderate. the price $0.35 to drive here. at five, during rush hour it cost $0.45. by 6:30 the highway is more congestive. the cost in the toll lane $0.65. a cost benefit on the time it saves us versus what it's going to cost. it's about making sure that
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traffic moves - there's no congestion, economic development grows. >> john marks is a salesman on the road constantly and thinks the new toll lanes are great. >> i have experienced driving in a situation like that in seattle. it seemed to work well to control the traffic. >> depending on where i needed to be, i'd take advantage of it. i think the concept is good. >> critics call the lanes lexus lanes, suggesting it's a way for rich people to avoid sitting in traffic. there's as many free lanes as before. if hundreds want to move that means fewer cars in the free lane. >> if it works like the transportation planners design it to, it will spread traffic out and keep it moving more. the money is keeping the pay and drive lanes open. >> the first dollars go into operations and maintenance. >> then it will go to paying off
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construction loans. if traffic slows to 35 miles per hour, they'll get the money back. the hope is to get trafficking zipping along, speed some commuters find worth the price, whatever it is at the time. mark shmidder. >> the first phase of the text-press lain opens on saturday. this year the country's most-watched sporting event, the super bowl is at the mercy of mother nature. the biggest fear is a nasty winter snow storm and an stadium without a roof. >> officials say they are ahead of the game. >> i hate to mention this, super bowl fans, we get a lot of white stuff in the winter. february is keen for snow dumps, large ones. here is the problem. met life stadium, home to super
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bowl 48 has no roof. there's a chance 85,000 high-paying fans could be freezing in the stands or the game postponed. this is new york or new jersey, the first time two states played together. they are made of stern stuff. >> a storm can hit at any time. it does not mean football cannot be played. the key is to have resources in place and clear the snow efficiently. >> this is what they are worried about, a giant pile of snow atop the 30 yard line. it's not just here. it's the many roads around. this will be known as the first ever mass tran it super bowl. 820 vehicles like these will be on standby to clear the road within a 30 mile radius of the stadium. they'll have access to 60,000 tonnes of salt.
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no sooner was the news conference over, than the metlife stadium transformed to being outside the hot springs of iceland. meet the secret weapon. mother nature stands no chance. 600 tonnes of snow can be dispatched every hour. the man who runs the stadium never missed a match yet, and doesn't intend to start now. >> we are ready for anything. if you have ticket we'll greet you with smiles and make you comfortable. >> and hand warmers. hats, gloves, tissues. my nose has been dripping in the cold. >> too much information from brad, probably. but you get the idea. every effort is made to keep the super bowl from becoming a snow bowl. >> that will do it for this
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edition of al jazeera news. i'm stephanie sy, thank you for watching.

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