haven't heard about. >> talk to al jazeera with ira glass. >> welcome oh to al jazeera to a america. i'm richelle carey. i've the top stories for you. unemployment benefits runs out. syrians driven from their homes and the terrible toll that silver war is taking on them. the nsa massive spying program is ruled legal. and shining a new light on winter. >> it's a tough weekend for those struggle to go find jobs.
long term unemployment benefits expire today. their lifeline for 1.3 million americans who are been out of work for months. those people are now cut off. the government check they depend on a little more than a thousand dollars on average won't be showing up. the program started in 2008 at the height of the recession. since then the payouts have cost the federal government $225 billion. extending them into next year would add another 19 billion. congress has yet to do that. tony harris has more. 123,407 months ago they lost their jobs. now they're losing the money they get from the government to get by. since 2008 government has extended the emergency unemployment compensation program almost a dozen times but now lawmakers have let it lapse. now those who have lost their job will not have a cushion after their state benefits run
out. the change will be especially difficult for people in struggling states like michigan. 45,000 people will lose access to benefits right away. 145,000 more in the next year. the 56-year-old norbit is one of them. >> i won't be able to pay for utilities. after this check i get this week from unemployment i have to pay the mortgage payment on first of january. i'll have less than $200 in the bank. >> reporter: michigan's unemployment rate is the third highest in the country at 8.8%. but the national rate is 7%. the lowest it's been in four years. that's led many republicans in congress to say there is no longer any need for emergency unemployment benefits. but most democrats say the benefits should continue. before heading off to hawai'i for the holidays, president
obama scolded congress for failing to extend the program. >> because congress didn't act more than one million of their constituents will lose vital economic lifeline after christmastime. >> until then, those living on unemployment checks will have to hope for good tidings and good cheer as well as more jobs. >> dozens of tax deductions and contracttax cuts are set to expe in 2014. >> while 2013 came in with a bang, it's end may mean a higher tax bill for many. tax breaks are inspiring a range of americans from small business own tours educators. >> teachers in the u.s. found $1.3 billion out of pocket school supplies. that's right.
$1.3 billion every year 2347 more than three and a half million teachers in the u.s. spent money out of their own pockets to make sure students have the resources they need. in 2013 they were able to deduct $250 from their expenses. >> it's going to cost more in 2014. >> reporter: it may cost parents with children in college more to send their kids to school. the tuition and fees deduction allows people earning less than $150 a year, and single parents earning less than $80,000 to exclude $4,000 from their income giving them a lower tax bill. >> we're hoping that congress does something to make these incentives more permanent to provide certainty. when you're trying to decide if you can afford to go to school you need to know that after tax expense for tuition and fees.
>> in the meantime, affected parents should try to pay 2014 expenses by the end of this year. struggling homeowners are going to face what many experts are calling a financial disaster at the expiration of the mortgage debt act of 2007. consider more tha effected lends reduced the sides of distressed mortgages by $108,000 for the monthly payments affordable. if congress doesn't act mortgage reductions made in 2014 will be taxed as income. >> it's going to hit these people who are the very most vulnerable, people who are already struggling with their mortgage payments. people who have been hurt by a declining home price market, and that just hurts the housing market and hurts the economy. >> small businesses in the
united states create more than 50% of private sector jobs. and many economists say their ability to grow will be hurt by ththe deduction spent on new and used commitment. in 2014 it drops down to $25,000. just because these ex-temperatures are set to expired at the end of the year does not mean that the taxpayers will get relief. it's always possible that congress will restate precisions but that does not mean they'll come back in the same size or form. now it's a waiting game. tax payers and businesses need to braise themselves for a higher bill from uncle sam. stacey tisdale, new york. >> target is now saying incrypted pin numbers were also stolen during a hack that may have effected up to 40 million customers. federal lawsuits are beginning
to trickle in all across the country. target insists that customers' pin number data is safe and secure. the pin information was fully encrypted and remain encrypted when removed from our systems. a federal judge said it's okay for the federal government to listen to phone calls and track people. and said that it's lawful and does not violate the privat prif private citizens. >> reporter: in new york the judge said the nsa mass collection of phone records represent the counter punch to eliminate al-qaeda's terror network. he said the 9/11 attacks might have been prevented if the phone data collection system occurred then.
and the government has learned from its mistakes and is adapting to confront a new enemy. the data collection program was part of the adjustment, and he dismissed the lawsuit brought by the american civil liberties union after edward know ze edwan leaked information. iinformation. the aclu said it will appeal judge pauley's rulings and saying that it disinterpret the statute and uni under states the application. the department of justice said they were please with judge
pauley's decision. judge lyon ruled in an opposite way in a suit against verizon for the collection of phone records. he wrote, : . >> in the meantime, two federal judges coming up with completely different decisions on the same subject many people think the issue of nsa spy something headed to the supreme court in washington. john terrett, al jazeera, new york. >> the police have released the final report of the investigation of the new town shooting.
there is no new information as to lanza's possible motive. 20 children and six teachers had been killed in that shooting. a checkpoint friday night scoping out possible evacuation routes for diplomats. they're not saying why the men were taken into custody. the death toll for friday's car become has risen to seven. the target of the attack was mohammed chatah. he was outspoken against the syrian government. the first peacekeeping forces have arrived. 72 police officers have joined thousands of peacekeeping troops already on the ground in south sudan. they aim to bolster security where 60,000 people displaced
people have taken shelter. a coup two weeks ago has set off a wave of violence in the youngest sovereign nation. an air track at a rebel held part of the aleppo. the open air market was crowded with shoppers at the time. syrian activists posted a video to the web that appears to show the aftermath at the scene. the video's an authenticity has not been verify. the attack is one of several carried out by government forces in aleppo. the violence in syria has complicated the removal chemical weapons. today diplomats said the job will not be accomplished by deadline. they said the weather was a factor in the delay. people in a palestinian
refugee camp are starving. five people have died of malnutrition. we have more on the images and the story. they're very graphic. >> reporter: this is what happens to the human body when it doesn't get enough food. [ crying ] these images have been filled by an activist inside of a refugee camp. al jazeera smoke to him. we only used his voice, not his face for security reasons. >> the humanitarian situation, there is a threat of famine and people are getting sick. basics like rice and sugar are hardly available and some corrupt traders take advantage of the situation and sell one kilo of race for $50 to $60 u.s. also medicine has run out.
>> reporter: in the last few months it has been surrounded and completely cut off by government troops. it's prompted the united nations relief agency for palestine refugees to call for a corridor to access people trapped inside. >> there are perpetual reports of starvation, malnutrition, hunger and these reports are disturbing. they must lead to a lifting of the siege as world other words have asked. there are as many as 20,000 people trapped, many of them sinner, and we're extremely concerned about their flight plt today. >> they were home to the largest palestinian refugee community in syria with 160,000 people living there. it lies just south of the capitol of damascus, wand set up and built up as it's own urban
corridor with its own schools and centers. >> reporter: people here are calling for an end to the siege. they're desperate for help. >> we only have dust and dirt to eat. we have nothing to eat. have a look at us if you have honor or dignity. we have nothing to do with fighting. >> the fear here is if aid does not come to the camp soon that they will continue to bury their dead. >> again, the backdrop of large protests in turkey. prime minister erdogan is now facing increasing pressure to move ahead in a transparent manner. foreigerdogan has reshuffled his
cabinet after three ministers resigned. 260 muslim brotherhood supporters were arrested on friday alone. one student has been killed today. our university in cairo the site of the demonstration has been set on fire. more than 20 people are dead after a fire broke out on a passenger train in southern utah. many of the passengers became trapped and suffocated when the doors mall functioned. we have more details from new delhi. >> the express train was making it's way through the countryside at night when fire broke out in one of the air conditioned passenger coaches. at the time most of the
passengers were asleep, but others sounded the alarm. >> the fire broke out at 3:15 a.m. two, three people sitting at the corner got out of the train and saw flames emerging from one of the coaches. they alerted everyone and this we got down from the train. >> witnesses say the train car quickly filled with thick black smoke. many passengers were overcome including a two-year-old child. because of the remote location it took time for emergency crews to arrive at the scene. >> we are a total of eight family members. five advised, but we don't know what happened to my mother, her sister and my brother. >> fog and smoke slow down efforts. the forensic team is trying to identify the victims. it operates nine passenger
trains. critics say many trains are aging and are not maintained properly. al jazeera, new delhi. >> trapped in the ice. still ahead on al jazeera america. the race to rescue the tourists and scientists stranded off the coast of antarctica. many worry that the gains made in education will not stick in 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. >> start with one issue education... gun control... the gap between rich and poor... job creation... climate change... tax policy... the economy... iran... healthcare...
ad guests on all sides of the debate. >> this is a right we should all have... >> it's just the way it is... >> there's something seriously wrong... >> there's been acrimony... >> the conservative ideal... >> it's an urgent need... and a host willing to ask the tough questions >> how do you explain it to yourself? and you'll get... the inside story ray suarez hosts inside story next only on al jazeera america >> welcome back. threscue teams trying to reach a russian vessel trapped in frozen seas. >> reporter: stranded in the southern ocean passengers on board this scientific research ship finally see a glimpse of help. they've been trapped since
christmas eve. >> just over my right shoulder is the chinese ice breaker snow dragon. it turned up an hour ago and is making steady progress around two tnots. there is a lot of relief amongst the team and there are a lot of happy faces. >> reporter: but it would be short lived. the chinese vessel had to cut through 1300 kilometers of sea ice. halfway through it was unable to continue through and had to turn back. the stricken russian ship is carrying 74 people including scientists, tourists and journalists. they're taking the route that was taken one hundred years ago. the best hope now lies with the more powerful australian ship
expected to arrive on sunday. for now the passengers are not in immediate danger. their ship is stuck with weeks of supplies. it's just frozen in place. >> amazing flicks. state of emergency declared in three areas of mexico's state after days of torrential rain causing landslides and flooding and forcing many people to stay inside. they can't leave their home. the heavy rain began monday which means some of the worst hit areas could not celebrate christmas. and the heatwave that has hihits many. and frustrations continue to mount a week after an ice storm
shut down power in almost half a million homes. tens of thousands of people may remain in the dark until after the weekend. it is getting intense. fights are breaking out over generators and death threats are directed. at the power crews. and in michigan 50,000 customers are still without power a, and warm temperatures could cause more hammer than good as tree limbs snap and fall onto the power lines. >> you know, richelle touched on a lot from the heatwave. it is summertime to the cold across portions of the north central plains back into michigan. it did heat up just a bit yesterday but the cold air on
the way again. we have this air mass pushing in out of canada producing light snow back into montana. as we take a look across portions of minnesota we have a blizzard warning in effect just because of the wind, the winds will be howling to 20, 35 and 45 mph over the next several days, and it will bring in a:cooler air mass. we're talking about wind chills, and a lot of folks into the midwest currently are without power. look at temperatures right now in detroit, 38 degrees, but that's nothing compared to what it's going to be as we track into tonight and tomorrow. as i said that arctic push in and out of canada not only effecting the northwestern plains but the entire country. that cold air pushing in out of canada will spend temperatures down in the teens in some locations. look at shows reaching a high of 14 by tuesday. negative two i in in minneapoli.
we have an area of low pressure organizing as it gets ready to track into the i-95 core down. we have heavy rain towards new orleans, baton rouge with storms getting ready to make their way through atlanta. this storm will push north and east. and it's bringing the threat for some strong thunderstorms capable of producing damaging winds, hail, and even the chance for a few isolated tornadoes across southern portions of george, florida, and all along the i-95 corridor up towards raleigh. so we want folks to be careful on the roads. >> thank you so much. ahead on the al jazeera america. coming out of the dark. look at this, literally
brightening the days of millions of people in russia. was -- prince william was dating kate middleton. >> ross shimabuku is here with sport. >> dennis rodman is in north korea to train basketball players for an upcoming player. he wants everyone to know he's not a joke. this is the same guy who dressed up in a wedding gown and will rite a book with his bff, kim jong un. the 52-year-old rodman, who never shies away from the spotlight arrived in north korea
>> welcome back to al jazeera america. i'm richelle carey. here are today's headlines. emergency jobless benefits a lifeline for many americans unemployed. that means about 1.3 million people who have been out of work for months will be cut off. new york judge has ruled the nsa widespread spying activities are legal. that decision just days after another federal judge said the program was unconstitutional. and winter moscowites often deal with 18 hours of darkness. but the government is trying to cheer up the day with light. >> reporter: wakey, wakey, it's nearly 10:00 in the morning and it could well be midnight ever since the kremlin scrapped daylight saving time a couple of years ago people have to face 18
hours a day through the winter sometimes without seeing a trace of blue sky or sunlight for months. for the people of moscow the daily walk to life can be a depressing and at times a dangerous experience. carried out in almost total darkness crossing trenchous icy streets, and then it all has to be repeated again eight hours later on the way home. again in total darkness. >> it really influences people. they can even get depression. statistics say 10% of people suffer from this disease during winter. almost every person can feel lack of energy. almost 10% have to get medical treatment such as anti-depressants. >> so for the first time the city authorities declared let there be light and lo and behold there was light. and they don't celebrate christmas in december, new year's is the big deal but that did not stop city officials
slashing out $10 million to turn moscow into winner wonderland. we're not not talking about london's regent street or new york's sometimes squar times a big improvement. lights that will remain in place through the winter olympics in february. >> lovely. >> i hate these dark days. we wake up at 11:00 in the morning and still have to turn the lights on in our apartment. but what about the children? they have to spend their mornings and evenings in darkness. >> reporter: but if you live outside of moscow, well tough luck. no lights in the suburbs. just four months of bumping into things. peter sharp, al jazeera, moscow. >> the lights are nice. thank you for watching al jazeera. i'm richelle carey. "inside story" is next, and for updates throughout the day always check out our website at www.aljazeera.com.
>> america's cities are a mixed bag. some are thriving. some are sinking. one thing they have in common is this: when they get into trouble they can't look to the state house or capitol hill for help. running cities in the time of austerity. that's the inside story. >> hello, i'm ray suarez. for many american cities the big municipalities for the core of the metropolitan areas it was a rough half century. from the 1950s on many of them