>> welcome to al jazeera america. i'm richelle carey. here are the stories we're following for you. in south sudan troops come under fire. a someberg memorial for those killed in acts of terrorism 25 years ago. and critical repairs under way at international space station. >> i li violence in south sudan continue. four u.s. service members were shot during a mission to evacuate american citizens citie
pentagon said their aircraft came under fire when they were trying to land in the city of bor. the service members are being treated for their wounds. the pentagon has not released the names of the wounded nor how severe their injuries are. >> reporter: people say this is why the plane was shot done. bor is controlled by the rebels. they say they thinking it was the enemy they started shooting at it. the plane had to turn around and go back to uganda. there was pandemonium on the ground with people trying to get away when the shooting started. the problem is those who were meant to be evacuated have not been evacuated, and they're worried what will happen to them.
the president said to give them one week to meet about machar. no one knows where machar is. thpeople are worried about the situation on the ground. many say they will work to overthrow the government. in other places there is still fighting and bombing going on. so people are concerned what is going to happen next in south sudan. >> secretary of state john kerry has sent an envoy to join talks to head off a full blown civil war in south sudan. united nations is leading the effort to resolve this crisis peacefully. people urging it's president to meet with its vice president.
>> it's crisis within the leadership. but as i've said you have the crisis, and the power, so the political crisis could lead to a civil war if we don't involv soy quickly the security crisis with dialogue. >> there is a new violence in central african republic. 30 people were killed in bangui overnight after days of relative calm. a peacekeeping soldier were among those killed. the human rights groups say around 1,000 people have been killed this month. president obama is home for the holidays. he and the first family have touched down in hawai'i. today o in his weekly address sd he's looking forward to 2014,
and a spirit of bipartisanship. before leaving washington the president faced a string of tough questions about the nsa surveillance program. the same day there were new revelations of the target of eavesdropping. it showed that it spied on more than a thousand people between 2008 and 201137 among them israeli prime minister, administration directors of other nations. that information leaked from edward snowden. a diplomat at the center of a diplomatic dispute between the u.s. and india. meanwhile there are those holding signs.
one group has decided to take action, lisa bernard has that story. >> is that still working? >> reporter: 88-year-old jenny anderson gets through her day with the help of a caregiver. >> i look forward to somebody coming to say good morning, how are you. >> reporter: she makes sure that anderson takes her medicine. gets a cup of coffee and has someone to pass the time with. she earns above minimum wage for her work here. [ protesting ] >> reporter: but this week in san francisco a rally is held to publicize that some caregivers were grossly underpaid by their employers and they are part of a substantial settlement the san francisco city attorney went after seven residential care facilities for age theft.
amy louis explains she was expected to work long hours without extra pay. >> 60 sometimes 70, and there are days and nights that i really didn't have sleep. >> reporter: a labor standards compliance officer. she investigated reports of abuse at the residential homes when the 25 caregivers, all filipino, alerted her office to the injustice. >> for home workers, it takes them bravery from them to come forward and file a claim. this is not only their place of employment, but it is also where they're living. >> reporter: with baby boomers aging there will an greater demand than ever before for caregivers. new state and national laws aimed to ensure they will be paid fairly. this fall the labor department announced rule changes that extend minimum wage and over time protections to domestic workers. california passed a bill that offered similar protection in
the state. and this week the labor department sent representatives to san francisco to discuss ways to revoke a license if a facility is not complying with fair labor standards. >> it's kind of amazing, really. >> reporter: shawn charles who owns beacon home care which places caregivers with clients, is following the rules. he points out that over worked and underpaid caregivers are dangerous. >> that's what the families entrust us with, the safe protection of their loved one, making sure that the caregivers are on their a-game. >> reporter: and jenny anderson feels she's in good hands with a well-rested caregiver who is fairly paid. lisa bernard, al jazeera, san ramón, california. >> today marks a somber anniversary. we have that story. >> reporter: the image of the
lockerbie bombings stand out in the history of terror bombing attacks still 25 years later. and what still lingers is the pain. dr. jim swire lost his daughter. >> in undoing what happened, and nothing we can do can undo that terrible evil. >> reporter: but for some questions over who committed that terrible evil still remain. the only man convicted spent eight years in prison before his controversial release on compassionate grounds after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. he died in 20132021. the american government blamed the libyan leader muammar qaddafi. but many feel the libyans were
scapegoated. and there were things that could have prevented the attack or as political expert james boyd points out the punitive action by british or american governments. >> you think about what the reaction is however geopolitically to this event, and one is watching their head thinking did this plane really get taken out and did these people really die and generate so little response from the british or americans government. >> reporter: many point to and criticize detant with muammar qaddafi in later years which brought in lucrative oil deals. scottish authorities say they do intend to reopen the case. the split between those who believe the libyan narrative,
and that justice was not served, today is the day for healing. >> my search for my daughter's murder may have made life less easy than it could have otherwise have been for those who believe they already know that truth. we have to be kindly to the community of those who suffer still as a result of this monstrosity. >> reporter: with many in america and britain looking at the years following the attack and reflecting the victims of the atrocity mourn today. but many more look at the events following where it should lie in the history of terrorism and where it brought the world today 25 years later. >> meteorologist: good morning. it's the first official day of winter, and we have a severe weather outbreak unfolding
across the south central plains into the southeast. we're looking at the chance for damaging winds, hail, and even a chance for isolated tornadoes across eastern portions of texas into louisiana, arkansas, mississippi, into tennessee and across west virginia. the cities we're concerned with, nashville, lexington, and we cannot exclude houston, louisville, kentucky, and new orleans. we're looking at threat for damaging winds particularly across this area through the course of the day. we're also going to continue to monitor the radar. right now the storms are turning severe in south texas. as we see these individual cells and lines that means we're going to see damaging winds out of these particular lines. when you see an individual cell they are capable of producing tornadoes as well. we'll continue to monitor it. right now we do have tornado
watch out across eastern portions of texas into louisiana. this will continue to spread towards the east as we track on into the later portion of the day. right now we have a tornado watch that is in effect all the way from portions of houston into texas. back into shreveport towards lake charles, and also into new orleans. that's i-10 territory, i-15,525 as well if you're headed north pound. right now they're going to continue to flourish and pack intensity as this very cold air continues to make way into some cooler air across the area. this tornado watch goes out until 6:00 p.m. tonight and we're going to continue to deal with damage an damaging winds, l keep you updated as we continue to watch these storms unfold. >> it's cool and breezy in chicago right now. but that is not stopping the
shoppers on what could be one of the busiest retail weekends. so stores will offer extended hours and deeper discounts to last minute buyers. for more let's talk to our correspondents at the magnificent mile shopping in chicago. i don't know if you volunteered for this because you have shopping to do, i don't know. let's assume that you have reporting to do. so tell me about the crowd. >> reporter: yes, big crowd today, richelle. and we talked to retail analysts who said today will be the busiest shopping day of the year bigger than black friday, which diluted a little bit because of the shopping on thanksgiving. but take a look at all the people at the nike store. everyone waiting to get in for the air jordan retro 11 shoes.
michael jordan shoes still hugely popular here in chicago. and it's not just the shoppers who are getting desperate but stores. stores that are doing well like nordstrom, coach, apple, they don't need these long extended hours. they weren't open on thanksgiving day but stores that are not doing quite as well this holiday season like abercrombie and fitch, they're offering 50% off in everything in the store, holes department store and toys "r" us say they'll keep their doors open nonstop until christmas. the question is that a good strategy? >> if the market is not growing fast you're trying to take more share than your competition. if that means being open more hours that's what they're trying to do, they have to balance that against making their employees happy. burning out their people. so it is a balancing act, but generally the dollars are going to win, and if i can get more
dollars i'll keep my stores open. >> when it's all said and done he thinks the shopping center will amount to 3% to 4% increase over last year. nationwide that would an modest increase this year. >> andy, how do internet sales figure in all this? >> retail sails are growing three times as fast a rate as store brick and mortar shopping. so it's still on the rise, and internet sales can go on 24/7, which is why a lot of stores feel the pressure to keep their doors open 24/7. >> now you can sneak off and do what is on your list. still ahead, real life robots battle it out. an urgent mission for the crew of the international space station.
on techknow, our scientists bring you a sneak-peak of the future, and take you behind the scenes at our evolving world. techknow - ideas, invention, life. >> from our headquarters in new york, here are the headlines this hour. >> al jazeera america is the only news channel that brings you live news at the top of every hour. >> a deal in the senate may be at hand and just in the nick of time. >> thousands of new yorkers are marching in solidarity. >> we're following multiple developments on syria at this hour. >> every hour from reporters stationed around the world and across the country.
>> only on al jazeera america. >> big job for nasa astronauts is underway at this hour. they're conducting a spacewalk to fix a damaged coolant pump. this is a pretty big task. >> reporter: richelle, it certainly is. this happened after the crew experienced a failure. it started after 7:00 a.m. eastern and it's expected to last six and a half hours. you're looking at a live video feed provided by nasa tv of the actual spacewalk and mission control. two nasa astronauts are taking on the task of a series of three spacewalks. this being the first. they're outside of the international space station trying to fix the pump with a faulty valve. the broken cool be pumling pumpe
size of a refrigerator. >> i'm on my way out. >> this is on the sharp edge of the circular hand rail. >> i see the wire tie. copy. >> you're hearing the voices of nasa astronauts at the international space station. nasa is trying to find the cause of the failure and whether it's a software or hardware issue. they suspect the flow control valve inside the pump failed. it cut the station's cooling capabilities in half. nasa has said that this would not pose a danger to the crew and just in case you're wondering, the nasa astronauts are outfitted for the first time in their helmets to keep them from drowning. after today the three part
repair will continue monday and wednesday of next week. ry she wilrichelle, quite a dayf them. >> thank you so much. we're used to seeing robots doing amazing things. but these robots right here behind me, these are not digital models from a transformers movie. these are for reel. and some day they may actually save your life. they're competing in the defense department's robot challenge. which robot is winning the competition so far, jacob? >> the thing about this competition is it's really a well-rounded test for robots. climbing ladders, even having to drive a truck. it was going to be anybody's game. but the shaft robot out of japan is the runaway winner, the
runaway fifth, not the official winner yet but almost. a couple of themes have evolved here. the big one is that google's name is on every's mind. they recently bought shaft and another company boston dynamics, they're the name on everyone's lips today. >> what role does the pentagon play in all this, jacob? >> reporter: well, this is a multi million dollar competition. each of the top eight teams that win this competition gets another $1 million on top of an already $3 million investment per team from the defense department. this agency that runs this competition is called defense advance research project agency, darpa. years ago they made a bet on a nuclear strike and that became the internet. one thing i'll note the spacewalk you cut away from is the kind of thing that these robots are trying to do. the idea is to keep humans out
of harm's way. there are two designs to open valves and do the tasks that they're trying to solve right now. this competition is about solving that problem. >> how far is this technology that you're witnessing? how far is this technology from actually helping in real life disasters. >> reporter: this is the thing that makes the shaft robot so impressive. there are robots who can do specific tasks, pick and place, that's repetitive stuff is what a purposed built robot can do really well. the challenge is trying to do all these different task in one robot that is strong enough and safe enough to work along humans in a human environment. that's very hard to do. many of these roberts are failing outright at the task. driving a truck is a cartoonish thing to do, that's really hard. but the idea of being able to do all these things at once is
really hard. this japanese company that has been recently acquired by google, the company called shaft is the runaway winner. it literally has been able, too,ed every task without human intervention. >> a robot driving a truck, that's scary. what else is on the agenda today? >> well, the two-day competition is split into eight tasks, they're walking through each of them. the thing is it's a slow and arduous process doing these tasks. the competitors are given a foul 30 minutes to pull off a simple walking forward and turning a wheel. that said, whoever wins today, in fact, the top eight finishers get to go on and compete in the final finalcompete in the finalr from now, and they'll be asked to do the same tasks in five minutes. some very short amount of time.
that's when you'll see the primitive ancestors take form of the kinds of robots that you and i will depend on not just for rescue operations, going to space, but held b helping eldery parents up the stairs. >> this is fascinating and a little scary. jacob, thank you so much. all right, the word is nine letters long, starts with a c and it's been around for a century. coming up the answer and sift of a popular american pastime. ray suarez hosts inside story next only on al jazeera america
area. before smart phones and social media there was another way to pass the time, cross word puzzles. today marks it's 100th birthday. and it's not about to fall away into history. >> reporter: languages may differ but these little black and white boxes you know what they mean. >> what is that? >> it's a cross word. >> reporter: keeping us from work. confusing us over coffee. the cross word has been causing headaches for exactly 100 years. this is the first ever. it was published in the u.s. but it's author did not copy write it, which for him was a 15 across or major fail in today's language. phil does his with a cup of tea every day. less problem solving and more problem creator. he is an editor, and when it comes to tough clues he wrote
the book. this one, in fact. >> the penny drop moment is the absolutely of any cryptic cross word clue. the moment when you actually get it and you say yes, that's brilliant. >> reporter: here's one clue that has had many a fan flommoxez over the years. 51 letters. see how you fare. have a think. the answer is coming in just a moment. here's a hint. it's a place. speaking of places. this place has its own unique relationship with the cross word. it's an hour north of london and during world war ii, behind those windows, behind those doors some of britain's biggest brains were cracking german codes, but fighting people suitable for the job was a task in itself. candidates were given a copy of the daily telegraph newspaper.
the goal was to complete the cross word puzzle under 12 minutes. >> people were quite good recognizing that five of these letters formed part of the word and the rest of the letters in the group formed the rest of the word. >> reporter: mark would have been snatched up. he can get through not one, not two, you could get threw three cross word puzzles in a half hour. >> if you look at the devices used with key words that may come into the clue you can play with the word in the clue to figure it out. >> reporter: and speaking of figuring things out here's the answer to the earlier tough one. guessing if is one thing. pronouncing it, quite another. again, not that it matters after all its just for money and it has been for a hundred years. phil lavelle, al jazeera with a massive headache. >> great story. and thank you for watching
al jazeera. i'm richelle carey. for news updates check out our website www.aljazeera.com. >> after the chaos of the post selsoviet 90s, russia and president putin wants everyone to know that they're pack. a resurgent russia is the inside story. >> hello, i'm ray suarez. when the soviet union died russia was a mess. it's economy was a mess. the