>> welcome, to al jazeera america. i'm richelle carey. here are the stories that we're following for you. time runs out on million of americans who rely on long term unemployment benefits. also the desperate plight of palestinian refugees caught in the middle of the syrian war. we talk about the ethnic violence that is threatening to tear apart the world's newest nation. >> one of china's cities that has anything you could want, except people.
>> the united nations say refugees in sir yeahs palestinian camp are starving. i have to warn you that the thes are graphic. >> reporter: this is what happens to the human body when it doesn't get enough food. these images are been filled by activists inside of the refugee camp. >> the humanitarian situation is disastrous. basics like rice and sugar are hardly available, and some corrupt traders have taken
advantage of the situation selling one kilo of rice for $50 to $60 u.s. >> reporter: in the last few months it has been surrounded and cut off by government troops. ithere is a call for humanitarin corridor to access the people trapped inside. >> there are perpetual reports of starvation, hunger and these reports are disturbing. they must lead to a lifted of the siege as commissioner general and other world leaders have asked. there are as many people who are trapped, many children, and we're extremely concerned about their plight tonight. >> reporter: this was home to the largest palestinian refugee community in syria with 160,000 people living there. it lies just south of the
capitol of damascus. it was set newspaper 195 up in . conditions here were far better than other palestinian camps in syria, but that is no longer the case. 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 any of you have honor or dignity. we have nothing to do with fighting. >> reporter: the fear is if aid does not come to the camp soon that they'll continue to bury their dead. >> on the first peacekeeping reinforcements have arrived in juba.
7200 peace keepers arrived. an alleged presidential coup nearly two weeks ago has set off a wave of ethic violence in the world's youngest sovereign nation. joining me now, ms. johnson, thank you for joining us. we appreciate it. so what is the u.n.'s goal in south sudan as it pertains to peacekeeping troops that was requested, what is the goal, the number, and also what it pertains to attack helicopters that you all want there? >> first and foremost the security council has mandated a number of 12,500, which is an increase of 5,500 which includes troops as well as police officers, which we now desperately need. to help protect the civilians and keep law and order within
the camps. we also need multipliers to be able to address the situation. however, at this point in time what we urgently, urgently need are reinforcements to help us do two things. one, secure the camps so civilians are not at risk. any areas where we're hosting and sheltering them, they need to be protected. number two, we need additional forces to enable us to not only be where civilians are sheltering but to be out there where civilians are at risk. we're totally overstretched. that's why they're working around the clock to mobilize the resources that we need. >> what is the timetable ramping up to the 12,500 number? >> we need reinforcements as
soon as we can. so speed this up so we can have the forces that we need to respond to this crisis. at this point in time we don't have firm commitments on the additional battalions. we hope to get that soon. we will knee additional capacity very soon. >> there are reports that 25,000 men called the white army, are marching on board. how prepared are the united nations to deal with something like that while you're primarily focused on the humanitarian crisis? >> well, we are aware of these reports. we have for multiple sources heard that thousands are on
their way. we have not been able to confirm the number. we'll clarify that further, air reconnaissance, so we're able to know more. at this point in time the numbers of peace keepers we have are much, much, much fewer than the battalion, which is 850. we only have 150 max, and of course, facing thousands and thousands and thousands, it goes without saying that this is totally dispore torsion nat, and one isn't able to face the military confrontation of this nature. however, i have to say that i have in prior engagements stretched the need with u.n.
facilities and protect civilians, and the need for those who are in the camps to be safe. nevertheless we're worried where they are marching towards a city which can imply a significant challenge for everyone. so the engagement now has to be very strong on the political side from this column from marching forward. we're using every content point we have to reach them. every constant to those who are influencing them, and every single contact that we have to religious leaders or community leaders who can influence them to try to prevent this from happening. >> let's talk about any type of
realistic truce or possibility of this ending. i understand there was a meeting friday of regional leaders, but if the former vice president machar is not at the table, how realistic is it that there will be any kind of truce in this situation if he's not in the table? >> the egat leaders heads of state yesterday came out with very strong communicate where they came out with clear messages to both sides that now it is time to stop the fighting. now it is time to come to the negotiation table. the engagement is activity, and we now hope to see that both sides will come, and that egat heads of state will act on their strong commit. the two mediators, they'll start
working. >> let's get back to the most immediate thing happening right now. that's the people that the united nations is trying to help. the number we're working with is that there are 60,000 people in your camps. is that number correct? and what emphasis does the united nations need to meet the needs of these people. >> the number is now approximately 63,000 in different locations in south sudan. it is not a humanitarian mandate that peacekeeping missions like ours have, that's why it is an incredible challenge. beyond anything that anyone has seen within basis of the u.n. the camps are really, really a
major challenge. people are living under very, very tough continues. and this is really not what we would like to see. we hope to see a turn around in the situation so they can feel safe and able to live in their own areas in a safe way. but at this point in time what we have to do is to do what we can to help them to make sure that the conditions are as good as this can be in this difficult situation and work with our partners so both funds can come in to assist in the response. and those that are displaced people all over the country we think there is around 121,000 who are also assisted.
and those fleeing for their lives. >> so we're talking about 200,000 people, 63,000 people who have made it to your camp and another 120,000 who have been displaced. ms. johnson, thank you so much for your time and for this information. we appreciate it very much. >> can i just correct the number? 120 total. ifs that was misguided. >> thank you. i interpreted it incorrectly. that's very important that we get that information right, and thank you for the clarification. we appreciate it. legal or illegal a new ruling on th the national secury agency's surveillance program. keep it here on al jazeera america.
here is more. >> beneath the fluorescentsun in a former meat packing plant is the latest trim in farming. they call it "vertical farming." these fields grow on floors on at industrial park and farmer john adel and his staff agrees user. >> my shipping proceed did you say 1500, 2,000 miles to get are. >> the plant of the indoor -- as the indoor formers call it doesn't grow corn or soybeans but mustard, high end micro
greens on the plates of white-napkin restaurants. these fish supply the vert liser that number issues the >> every morning from 5 to 9am al jazeera america brings you more us and global news than any other american news channel. find out what happened and what to expect. >> start every morning, every day, 5am to 9 eastern with al jazeera america.
>> welcome back. it is a tough weekend for those still struggle to go find jobs. long term unemployment benefits expire today and they're a lifeline for 1.3 million americans who have been out of work for months. those people are now cut off and those who depend on it, it will not be showing up. it started in 2008 at the height of the recession, since then it has cost $1.3 billion. tony harris has more. >> reporter: months ago they lost their jobs. now they're losing the money they get from the government to get by. since 2008 congress has extended the emergency unemployment compensation program almost a dozen times. but this time lawmakers have let it lapse. that means that people who lost their jobs will no longer have a cushion once their state benefits run out, usually after
26 weeks. with the extension they had up to 73 weeks of help. the change will be especially difficult for people in struggling states like michigan. 45,000 unemployed people will lose access to people right away. 145,000 more sometime next year. >> the $161 a week after taxes. >> reporter: 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 the first of january. i'll have less than $200 in the bank. >> reporter: michigan's unemployment rate is the theirs highest in the country. but the national rate is 7%, the lowest it's been in four years. that's led many republicans in congress to say that 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. >> obama: because congress did not act one million of their constituents will lose their lifeline. >> reporter: until then, many will have to wait and see. keep looking for work and hope the knew year brings tidings and cheer not to mention new jobs. >> there is good news. as 2013 winds down many economists are sounding optimistic. as ali velshi explains they like what they're seeing in the numbers. >> reporter: there are more signs that america's recovery conditions. it was stronger than initially thought this summer. the gross domestic product grew at 4.1% in the months of july, august and september compared to the prior three months. driving those gains were higher spending by consumers and
businesses than we initially estimated. this is important because two-thirds of the country's economic output is decided by this country's spending. we need to see spending pick up in the final three months of 2013, and into 2014. we'll get a sense of that when the first estimate for gdp for the final court of this year comes out. that doesn't happen until january 20th. now more spending fuels more demands for fuels and services and gives businesses to expand and create jobs which creates more demand. it's a virtual cycle. we've added 200,000 jobs a month. the economy is up 2.4 million jobs for the year and making 2013 likely the best year for hiring since 2005. we're going to look for more signs of that in the december jobs report, which doesn't come out until january 10th. and finally in january we're watching to see how monetary policy effects growth in 2014. last year the federal reserve
announced that it intends to taper the moves that it takes to stimulate the economy. the decision is important because it shows that the fed believes that the economy can stand on its own two feet without additional stimulus. officials meet to discuss to their moves january 29. >> it's okay for the government to listen to phone calls, e-mails and track people. a federal judge made that ruling yesterday. but the fight is not over for the agency. john terrett reports. >> reporter: in his ruling federal judge william pauley of new york said the noseys mass collection is the counter punch to al-qaeda's terror network by collecting communications. he said the 9/11 attacks might have been prevented if the phone data collection that existed then to help investigators connect the dots before the
attacks occur. it said the adapted to confront a new enemy. he said the data collection program was part of the adjustment, and he dismissed the lawsuit brought by the american simple liberties union after normal nsa analyst edward snowden released information that it picked up information from networks every single day. the aclu said it will appeal judge pauley's ruling saying it misinterpreted the statute, under states the government's surveillance and misapplies a narrow and outdated precedent to read away core constitutional protections. now the department of justice spokesman said they were pleased with judge pauley's decision.
federal judge lyon sitting in washington, d.c. ruled the opposite way in a suit against verizon for bulk collection of phone records. he wrote: >> last week the white house issued a report in which suggested changes may be in the offer in the way information is collected and stored in this country. two judges came up with rulings completely different on the same subject, and many believe the issue of spy something on its way to the supreme court in washington. >> the lights are back on for thousands of people in the northeast, and an ice storm earlier this week cut the power to half a million homes. warmer weather in the next few days may not be a good thing. falling ice and tree branches
could damage more power lines. >> meteorologist: the lights are back on and the heat is back on given that we have a cold mass coming out of canada. you can see the clouds here. it will bling snoit will bring . it will continue to bread shah snow and continue to spread the wind. take a look at wind gusts in bismarck. this is sustained wind rapid city right at 38. gusts up to 43 mph within the last couple of hours behind this frontal boundary we'll see wind.
this is the snow depth chart, with that wind pushing in we're going to see a lot of blowing drifting snow with continues across i-94. if you're traveling across the east where millions are still out power, cold air on the way. and the air scoop swoops south d eastward. temperatures will be plummeting. chicago at 14 degrees, and you factor in the wind chill and temperatures could be anywhere between 10 and 15 degrees below zero. another system impacting the east coast and gulf coast as this area of low pressure gains strength as it pushes into alabama, mississippi and georgia. later on tonight we'll see damaging winds, hail and a chance of isolated then as the system continues to push north and east towards southern
>> welcome back to al jazeera america. i'm richelle carey. here are today's headlines. emergency jobless benefits a lifeline for many americans unemployed. it expires today which means 1.3 million people who have been out of work for months will be cut off. the international community condemning the assassination of former finance minister mohammed chatah and five others were killed in a bombing.
the decision that nsa's spy something legal after another federal judge ruled it unconstitutional. this city in china has everything you want. schools, housing, the only thing it doesn't have is people. andrew thomas explains. >> six years ago all this was farmland. now there are tens of thousands of apartments and plans for many more. in her building are 44 flats, just four are occupied. >> it's too quiet. on weekends or weekdays it's the same. you don't see anyone on the streets except sometimes cleaners. >> do others feel the same way? there was no one around to ask. if they had tumbleweeds this is where it would be blowing. there is something quite spooky about walking around here.
it's the weekend, the middle of the day, it's not raining. there are hundreds of apartments yet the streets are virtually deserted. it's almost as if some terrible accident has cleared all the people out. in fact, they've never arrived. most front doors are still wrapped in cellophane. the city has been planned by a provincial government who hopes that 2 million people will live here in a city housing has become expensive. provincial governments expect chinese will move to rural areas that's why they're creating new cities. the theory is if they offer affordable housing but most houses have been sold to speculators. prices for the first apartments
built have already doubled. >> it's an investment. here it is still cheaper than town, and it's speculation in the long term. >> real people may move in. universities and government offices are being moved to bring in students and jobs. but now that speculators have driven the price of a two bedroom flat to 80,000, they're already out of reach for those who it was aimed at. the results is a ghost town with few people and without much traffic. china's economy building the right affordable housing in the right place is tricky. >> thank you for watching al jazeera america. i'm richelle carey. "the stream" is next. for updates throughout the day our website is www.aljazeera.com. thank you so much for your time. let's take a look outside. a beautiful shot at new york city.