welcome to al jazeera america. i'm del walters. these are the stories we are following for you. a former lebanese minister and ambassador to the u.s. is killed in beirut. a court ruling that favors the nsa spying program. and a punk rock band that says it won't be quiet about russian politics. ♪ we continue to follow the developments stemming from the assassination today in beirut. a car bomb killing a former
defense minister and five others. the united states and un security council already condemning the attack. >> reporter: a daring attack in the heart of the posh downtown area. the car bomb killed former finance minister, mohamad chatah, his bodyguard, and four others. he was a close aide and top advisor to former prime minister, rafiq hariri. the explosion took place just a short distance from the residence of rafiq hariri. that's where he had his office. >> translator: we were inside and felt glass breaking and coming in, and an explosion happened. we waited until it was all
broken and then went out and saw this. >> translator: as you can see, all of these shops here are damaged. i consider all of this terrorism. all of this is terrorism. damaging the country and the people. what more can i say. god help us. god help this country. >> reporter: as investigators looked for clues, politicians said they already knew who was behind the attack, and pointed the finger to iran and hezbollah. rafiq hariri who has not set foot in lebanon for more than a year said the killers are those of his father. the march 14th leaders met at rafiq hariri residence near the explosion site. >> translator: the siller is the same. all of syria. the same killer is targeting the heros of lebanon. two weeks before the start of the work of the international court investigating the killing
of president rafiq hariri, they killed mohamad chatah. >> it's not the first car bomb to hit lebanon this year. in november the iranian embassy was targeted. and then attacks in the hezbollah strong hold. dozens were killed then. and in tripoli twin car bombs went off outside of two mosques. lebanese politicians may disagree on various issues, but when it comes to the deteriorating situation in their country, they share the same view, the civil war next door in syria is behind it. saudi arabia's allies are now accusing iron of today'sment bombing, but for the people that live in lebanon their country is turning into a battle grown for regional players. >> this war is transforming. the whole political landscape. it is transforming even the
borders that were prevailing before this syrian revolution. so it could be as a part of a big attempt to redraw the whole map. >> reporter: mohamad chatah was a key figure in lobbying the international commune toe to bring the killers of the former prime minister to justice. he also stressed it was important to defer the killers from further killing. but that did not stop the assassination of chatah himself. a federal judge in new york city ruling today that the controversial nsa phone tracking program is legal, but another judge saying that is not the case. cath what did the judge have to say? >> well, in his 54-page ruling
supporting the program and dismissing a lawsuit by the american civil liberties union, the judge basically called the nsa's program a blunt tool which works because it effects everything. he also went on to say will is no proof the government used the data for anything other than to stop terrorist tashgs. and called it a counterpunch to the al-qaeda network. and the mentioned the fourth amendment, the judge said in his ruling that the right to be free of searches and seizures is fundamental but not absolute. it was a fairly lengthy ruling, and he -- this now means that the nsa is free for the moment to continue collecting data as it sees fit. >> and this is the exact opposite of the ruling just 11
days ago in washington, d.c. are we looking another messy and prolonged legal battles ahead? >> yeah, very much so. a d.c. judge ruled that the program unconstitutional. but the judge in that case did not enforce his ruling because he said in light of the significant national security issues at steak and the novelty of the issues, he gave the government six months to appeal the decision. if these conflicts continue coming up, we could see this go to the supreme court. if this kind of problem continues we could very well see the supreme court handing down the definitive ruling in the future. >> thank you very much. members of pussy riot, the
russian punch group say they will not be silenced. today in their first public comment since being released they vow to topple president putin. >> reporter: back in moscow after serving nearly two years in prison, the members were released. they had been charged are hooliganism in 2012. both are young mothers and the separation from their children had been hard. on friday one of russia's independent tv stations, both women met the world's press, both looking surprisingly well after more than 18 months in two of the country's toughest labor camps. they said they are moving in a different direction and their opposition now is to the russian
olympics. >> translator: what we want to attract attention to, first of all of the people living abroad that they should not go to the olympics. think of it is a political event. make your choice and if your choice is positive, and you decide to come, just remember there are russian citizens who do not have this opportunity because they are behind bars and for no season. the russian president was another target. >> reserved non-transparent security officer with lots of fears. he surrounds himself with walls and doesn't see the reality behind them now, he is deceived and ready to believe in that dee set. >> they are now forming a new charity that will support the rights of prisoners in russia. the women said they have already been in touch with the former
multi-billionaire pardoned last week, not for financial aid but for mutual support in their work. >> translator: our final goal is solidarity, a developed civil society, and the ability to help each owe. we saw all of this in prison, and we are very grateful to all of the people that supported us. the now defunct punk band have no ideas of leaves moscow. two people are dead of conflict between the police and protesters in in egypt. over 250 muslim brotherhood members have been detained. a chinese vessel heading
toward the vessel that is stuck in the arctic. the researchers on board are facing temperatures well below zero, and winds in excess of 50 miles an hour. there are reports that the government has agreed to let some political detainees go free in south sudan. fighting there has left more than a thousand people dead already. mohammed reports from juba. >> reporter: the taking of the capitol is a huge boost for the president's forces. people in the town telling us that it was now fully under the control of government forces although there was sporadic fighting going on. it has a national airport and it
is home to some of the most productive oil fields in south sudan. they were thinking of two areas, including the capitol. this is going to encourage them in their on slot against the former vice president. both sides have been trying to get as much territory as possible, before talks being sponsored begin. now the heads of state meeting in nairobi have given the go here up to four days to begin talks. they welcome the government's commitment to talks, however, they are asking the former vice president to also commitment himself to talks. and they are talking about people who are allied to the former vice president, saying they should be released so they
could enter the talks that would end this crisis. a long disput between the u.s. and japan over the island of okinawa has now been settled. the president saying he is willing to let the base will transferred to a remote area of the island. the pentagon says it is an important part of a plan to bolster america's presence in that coup try. and what is being called a situation of anarchy in venezuela.
the future. aljazeera's jane ferguson takes us to a school in kandahar city that was long considered a success and is now facing closure. >> it's a place offering more than these girls know, a quality education in real tangible skills, a path away from positivity and early marriage and towards university and a career. since 2002, the modern stud has been teaching women languages, like management and computer skills. that they are skills that speak of ambition which in the heart of tallle ban country is remarkable. >> we are a unique school, preparing women to go to jobs. our school is preparing women to go to universities.
on august 20th, al jazeera america introduced a new voice in journalism. >> good evening everyone, welcome to al jazeera. >> usa today says: >> ...writes the columbia journalism review. and the daily beast says: >> quality journalists once again on the air is a beautiful thing to behold. >> al jazeera america, there's more to it. in venezuela, motorcycles are cheap and make it easy to get around. they are also used in most of the crimes committed in that country, it's a definite problem
for a country with a rising crime rate. >> reporter: driving between traffic lanes, blowing red lights, even ambushing drivers, motorcycles have invaded the area. >> translator: i saw two guys on a motorcycle, one car behind me. the passenger got off and put a bunch of cell phones in his pockets. i understood they were coming for me next. i gave them everybody i had. >> reporter: nine out of every ten violent crimes in the city involve two wheels. motorcycles are favored by robbers and hitmen, and they act with impunity like these looting a broken-down drive. this man is one of them.
>> i basically -- >> translator: there are times that you have to, it's like, damn. i have no money. and there is little work. or it rained all weekend and i couldn't work. you arrange to go steal. >> reporter: these bikes are a problem but also a lifeline in the constant gridlock. transportation infrastructure has been neglected for decades, leading to these levels of congestion. things have become so bad that what is a 30-minute commute on a motorcycle takes more than two hours in a car. sociologist ramirez says people know the city wouldn't be viable without them, but wish the government could crack down on the lawlessness.
>> translator: right now we live in a situation of a anarchy, a total lack of social solidarity. this government has implanted the idea the poor can do what they want. rules have not been enforced for years, so now even if they try, people defy them. >> reporter: the government started meeting with associations of bakers, but getting them to agree to even basic rules might be as difficult as navigating the area's traffic. in business news there is new information concerning that massive data breach at target. the company now confirming encrypted pin details were also taken. hackers stealing names and numbers from about 40 million credit and debit card users.
target says the pins are now secure. what goes up, must come down. twitter shares tumbling more than 7% following that downgrade. one analyst saying twitter has a bright future, but there is still too much excitement around the stock. on wall street it looks like the breaks have been put on that holiday rally. stocks are flat, but the dow is sinking today. investors pausing after blue chips hit their 50th record high yesterday. denver, colorado issuing its first licenses for recreational marijuana today. most are growers, only eight are said to be sellers. colorado move was passed by voters in in november of last year. only existing businesses are being approved to get those new permits, and they can start selling on january 1st.
welcome back to al jazeera america. i'm del walters. here are your headlines today. secretary of state john kerry now condemning that bomb blast in lebanon. kerry saying the assassination of mohamad chatah is a loss for lebanon, the lebanese people, and the united states. a federal judge ruling the nsa surveillance program is legal, that contradicting the ruling of another judge who said the program is unconstitutional.
san francisco's economic growth may be the envy of just about every u.s. city, but its prosperity is also creating problems. it now has the most unaffordable housing in the united states. rent, take a look at this, as gone up more than 10% just in the last year. the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment, $1,250. that that is leading to tensions. militia chan has our story. >> reporter: for almost half a century mary phillips has had this view of san francisco from herbal -- her balcony.
at 97 years old she is facing eviction. she has decided to face the eviction in court. others are not getting kicked out, but they are getting priced out. jennifer says she can no longer afford the rent on her place. her landlord wants 3, possibly $4,000 a month. >> i don't think i have done anything wrong except i'm not rich. >> reporter: san francisco now has the highest median rent of large cities, beating new york. anti-eviction protests have become more frequent. >> it is getting worse and worse and worse. we have three times the amount
of evictions we had last year. and at some point we had to say stop. >> it is really sucking out the soul of san francisco. >> reporter: san francisco has become a victim of its own success. a strong economy fuelled by the electronic industry has lead to the tail of two cities. some real estate speck l lay -- speculators are using eviction. buses that shuttle employees too and from work. the level of anger misdirected in what has been a decade's long problem for the city. whatever the reason for the crisis, tech has become the target. al jazeera asked google about the backlash, we received this statement, quote . . .
the city is trying to speed up construction of affordable housing, but for some that solution won't come in time. >> i don't know what i would do. i don't want to go to an old folk's home. >> reporter: if mary loses her court battle all she'll have left is photographs of her home. imagine living in a house that is less than 150 square feet total. >> 112 square feet plus the loft. >> reporter: -- it is approximately 2 feet by 4 feet
for the kitchen and bath. >> reporter: when she is finished she is not going to have room for many guests or gifts. >> reporter: this is going to be a hallway, and you get narrow here and then it opens into the great room. >> the great room. [ laughter ] >> reporter: your spacious living room. >> this is my spacious living room. >> reporter: where will she sleep? in the loft. all she needs are these 112 square feet. and it is about the 10th of the cost of a traditional home. >> reporter: i had a 30-year mortgage and a traditional home, and i felt very trapped, i would go to work to get a paycheck to buy things, and it just seemed pointless to me. >> reporter: there are tiny house communities in vermont, iowa, california, and this one in washington, d.c.
there are four tiny homes here occupied by folks who want to live a sustainable green lifestyle and seriously downsize. her house is on wheels so she can take her tiny house on the road. >> reporter: i hope to help other people build their tiny houses. i would like to park wherever somebody is doing their construction and get them from the start of construction to being weather tight and then move on to the next whomever needs help. >> reporter: she has a couple of friends helping her. today they are finishing up the exterior trim. >> the place she is at now, i'm not there, but maybe i will be, who knows. >> the more i get rid of, the more i want to get rid of. i feel so free and liberated. not having the burden of things.
>> reporter: the tiny house will have climate control, hot water, insulation, wiring, and plumbing, just not a lot of storage, which is fine with her. ♪ very chilly start to the weekend across the north central plains, all the way from portions of the da codas. you can see the upper level system pushing into north and south dakota. it's cloudy right now but not as cold as it is going to get over the next self-days. meanwhile we have an area of low-pressure strengthening. this is going to spill over into the southeast and subsequently into the northeast as we track into saturday night and evening as well. this is all i-95 territory.
starting up towards pensacola and into washington, d.c. very cold weather here today as we track into tomorrow it is going to get even worse. bismarck 41 today, but by tomorrow that temperature split nearly in half. 44 here on saturday, but 39 and much colder as we track into sunday and monday. so i hope folks have their jackets ready. >> thank you very much. it is one of the most enduring mysteries of natures, and now it is solved. british research believe that zebra's striped have evolved to help create an optical illusion. thanks for watching, i'm del