of the things they will be discussing is how to move forward on immigration reform. >> welcome to al jazeera america. these are the stories we are following for you. president obama taking his state of the union address to the road, first stop costco. both sides on syrian peace talks agreeing to work on the same page. and in atlanta caught offguard by a blast of where the that left hundreds stuck or stranded for hours. >> we begin with the white
house. president obama take can his state of the union address to the states. >> let's see where else we can make progress together. let's make this a year of action. >> president hitting the road this morning just hours after telling the nation it is time to do something about the income gap between rich and poor. his first stop a costco store in maryland. the president says he will visit a steel plant in pennsylvania. >> mike is live in maryland right now. what did the president say when he addressed the crowd there. >> well, it is almost a campaign style i vent. the president has just left the stage very enthusiastic if not small crowd here at costco. he came to highlight the issue that he wanted to accentuate one of the items raising of the federal minimum wage to 10.10 an hour. no mistake he came to maryland, a bill in the legislature tow do that. costco known to pay high wages, the president pointing out that the starting wage
here averages some $11.50 an hour. this is part of a campaign not unusual for presidents to accentuate, to punctuate their speeches by hitting the road afterwards, to take their case to the american people, to use that bully pulpit. he leaves here, he goes to pittsburgh, pennsylvania. he has got an ventilator talking about the savings accounts that he proposed for those who do not have employer based savings, to give those folks an opportunity to put money away for the future all under the rubric of narrowing the gap between ridge rich and poor in this country. something he talked about extensively last night. this could be a breakthrough year for america, says the president. very carefully there have been false starts throughout his administration over the last five years in the economy. you remember recovery summer doesn't work out. othercations. but there are strong signs now that perhaps after a struggling economy for five years that the country has turned the corner.
here is a little bit more of what the president had to say. >> americans overwhelmingly agree nobody who works full time should ever have to raise a family in poverty. [ applause ] >> and that is why i firmly believe it's time to give america a raise. >> it turns out the president is going to be returning to washington to the white house this evening, and then he will head on to milwaukee as originally planned. it was thought he might stay overnight. he will head to milwaukee for another event tomorrow. but we said it before, i'll say it one more time perhaps the most optimistic thing the white house is looking towards in terms of what it can work with congress, of course the president is talking a lot about sign can executive orders doing everything he can without congress but the most significant thing that could have a nationwide impact to fit in with the themes that he
has set forth in the state of the union. immigration reform. he will be working with congress. there are signs that the republican leadership which had dug in its heels is now open to some sort of compromise. we will see if they can get there. >> mike, i should point out you will have miles to go before you sleep. >> ha ha ha. and loving it, delaware. >> there you go. >> by the way, 12 hours ago the president drawing a line in the sand for the state of the an onspeech. he stated if they fail to act he will go it alone. live on capitol hill, libby, the nsa is the controversy that refuses to go away. >> that's right, delaware. and today was an annual event. the attorney general testifying before the senate judiciary committee. he is tasked with coming up with a blueprint on how the government should deal with meta data and turn it into
second party hands. the government has no access to it without a court order. the president has charged the attorney general on how they will proceed. he looks forward to working with the congressional committee to figure out how to move forward. he is being asked about everything else under the sun ranging on policies on drones, how to protect american privacy and marijuana policy. here is a news item that just happened. he was also asked about whether or not the government will seek the death penalty in the boston marathon bombing case. the attorney general said that will be announced on the deadline day, that is friday. so watch for that to come later this week. now, circling back to the nsa. as you said, a hot topic here on capitol hill. across the capitol we are seeing yet another hearing. intelligence committee members grilling the heads of the cia, the f.b.i. and a lot of it focused on national security and the snowden leaks.
well, clapper, james clapper just spoke. the director of national intelligence. he said look, we know that americans need more transparency, if we give them more transparency they will be more accepting of what we need to do and talked about the fact that even though he wants to move forward with stronger measures, they may have to ease back a little bit. >> we are thus faced with collectively and by collectively i mean this committee, the congress at large, the executive branch and most acutely all of us is the inescapable imperative to accept more risk. but the dealing with reduced capacities is when we need to ensure the face and confidence of the american people then we will work as hard as we can to meet the expectations before us. >> so basically a warning from clapper saying that with more transparency comes more risk and with budget cuts, is questiontration we also encounter more risks. something that we will to have deal with. >> and in fairness of equal
time you were on capitol hill late last night with the state of the union and miles to go before you sleep as well. >> eventually. >> thank you very much. >> in missouri the life of a man on death row was spared two and a half hours before he was to be executed. herbert balls smalls was scheduled to die this morning but a judge stayed the execution. his attorney questioned the safety of the drugs used by the state. a ruling is from the full court is expected today. a snow and ice storm hitting the south hard. people rushing to get home or just picked up their kids turned highways into parking lots and schools into hotels. some people being stuck inside their car for 14 hours. here's more. >> this is crazy out here. into the south under siege. as potentially recordbreaking winter weather slams several states. in alabama, trucks are
spinning out on the streets and cars are flipping over on snow covered highways. unaccustomed to the dangerous road conditions and some cities without salt or sand trucks many drives in the deep south gave up driving altogether. >> people abandoned their car and we couldn't get by. >> freezing rain, sleet and snow made for such slick conditions on the roads. authorities shut down a bunch of bridges in parts of south carolina. over the border in north carolina, the governor declared a state of emergency. airports are feeling the freeze with nearly 6,000 flights delayed. deeper south in louisiana in the city of new orleans is also in a state of emergency. two major thoroughfares through new orleans shut down for safety. >> we are highly recommending that people stay off of the roadways. it is going to get colder and the ice will remain with us. >> it's the ice making for treacherous travel in central texas where emergency workers have responded to more than
300 crashes. in tennessee, students got stranded at schools because buses could not run on impassable roads. southerners only have to stick it out a few more days though with this wicked weather. temperatures are expected to climb back to normal into the 50s by the weekend. al jazeera, new york. >> right now they are not out of the woods just yet. atlanta's mayor speaking out a short while ago. this is what he had to say. >> we have not had any fatalities in the city of atlanta. we have had 791 automobile accidents. our focus right now is to assist in any way with getting our freeways cleared. so that we can start pulling people from cars, taking gasoline to cars that have run out of gas as a result of being on the road last night. now that storm in atlanta so bad it is affecting our coverage.
our correspondent robert ray ended up sliding off the road this morning on his way to work. don't borey, he is okay. but as you can see. we can't actually say the same for his truck. and dave warren is here now. they are wondering if atlanta and south dune south when will it stop? >> it has ended but the temperatures are down still. and that means ice can melt with some sunshine, could refreeze tonight because the temperature is not expect to climb above freezing. barely touching the freezing mark this afternoon. here is the radar showing where the snow is. it is just off the coast of north and south carolina. however, any snow falling on top of ice already on the ground. it is ending. on the wider view we show this is a front which is pushing to the south. cold air behind it. it is slowing down, stalling out. so it may continue for the next few hours along the coast here. in fact, another wave could move along this. so there is some mixing by 7,
8:00 tonight. just a brief period of rain or ice before it pushes off the coast by tomorrow. and then our focus is the temperatures. they have dropped down into the teens now. not climbing much from here. and will stay below freezing for the next 24 hours. then the warm-up occurs. we will get that in the national forecast coming up. >> the syrian government and opposition leaders taking a step forward at the geneva 2 conference. they have agreed to use a document which lays out a possible political transition. it would serve as the basis for the talks. but the opposition is not convinced the government is sincere. nick in geneva right now. how much should we make of these latest developments? >> well, delaware, i would say it is a small positive development. as you said, the syrian government has never publicly endorsed what's called the
geneva communique which lays out lots of steps which are supposed to happen. but there is a large caveat to that. they want to talk about the document step by step and the very first step talks about terrorism. talks about ending the violence inside of syria before you can even talk about political transition. and that is just not going to happen. that is also what the government has been saying for years now. they have been talking about how they need to stay in power in order to fight terrorism and they have been talking about the fighting on the ground instead of the humanitarian issues for the political transition. what the opposition says we want to talk about everything. we want to talk about transition and humanitarian issues. i heard from one of the spokesmen for the syrian national coalition just a few minutes ago. he argues this is not a debate between assad and the terrorists. this is about finding a third alternative. >> it is more clear right now, all over the world. maybe some people in the past few months have fallen into
the propaganda that in syria it is -- but now today people are seeing that there is a third option in syria, the democratic transition, which we are presenting. >> and that third option is exactly what the u.s. officials i speak to want the opposition to present themselves as. not only to the russians who support the syrians, not only to the international community but also inside syria who they are trying to peele away from the regime. but neither side trust one another. they haven't spoken to each other across the table. but as the u.s. official put to it me, at least they are here. that is better than nothing. >> what are the latest efforts to get humanitarian assistance into the plagued with violence homes. >> sadly no movement to try to get any assistance into homes. you know, there are 12 u.n.
containers sitting outside the city. this city has been besieged and isolated. about a thousand families are still in the old city of homes. they have no food, no water, no medicine for the last eight or nine months. the opposition says the regime has a cordon around the city and are not letting u.n. supplies in. what the opposition wants to do wants to get all the supplies in. the u.n. ambassador took to youtube releasing a video statement saying the regime can be guilty of war crimes because of the fact that they are not letting the supplies in to the old city. so sadly, even though all of this talk about humanitarian assistance still goes on here, nothing has been done on the ground. >> nick, thank you very much. in egypt, one rough our correspondents detained in cairo appeared in court. he and other of our staff members are continue to be held without charges.
all have been held for a month. the two other journalists have been detained for half a year. in london, family and friends turned out to call for their release. >> for a great nation like egypt to treat people who are doing their job as journalists, which is an ethical decent job which all decent societies need for egypt,of all countries to treat journalists in this way is a shame on that nation. >> last week arizona senator john mccain joining the chorus calling for the al jazeera team to be released. also criticizing interim government as. they are bees being accused of being linked to the muslim brotherhood a group that has been declared a terrorist organization. still to come, questions about investing in emerging markets is leading to nervous
primetime news. >> welcome to al jazeera america. >> stories that impact the world, affect the nation and touch your life. >> i'm back. i'm not going anywhere this time. >> only on al jazeera america. your 401 k is not smiling right now. on wall straight street, stocks opening lower. right now the dow is down 95 points. it was up as many as 174 points. there are deep concerns about problems in some country. and why so many u.s. investors
are worried about what is happening overseas. >> for the last several years the u.s. federal rates has kept rates of borrowing down. and investors have been taking the easy money and placing their money on emerging markets in economies like turkey, india and brazil where rates of return are higher than other investments. meanwhile china has helped fuel the growth by buying raw materials from those country for manufactured goods that the world consumes. but now that the fed is late letting rates go higher and china has reported a slow down in manufacturing investors are getting nervous. china is important to many emerging markets, especially those that are commodity exporters. so any signal or any indication that china's growth is slowing even more and this manufacturing index that was released last week points in that direction, those kind of indicators of even weaker
chinese growth i think begin to get a lot of players in these markets quite worried and quite upset, not just about china but also about the ramifications for other merging markets. >> over the last few days, investors have been pulling their cash out of emerging markets and bringing it back to more stable markets and economies such as the united states. the transfer has been hurting the developing nations leading to a run on their currencies. in the last month, a turkish lira has fallen by 16% against the u.s. dollar, brazil's by 8%. the valuations make it harder for the countries to service their debt. u.s. committees will sell fewer goods to these countries as a result. and that means smaller earnings for u.s. companies counting on global sales. those fears combined with the
feds decision to let effort rates climb her has left investors scrambling, even here in the united states. monetary credit conditions are beginning to tighten and that has hurt the emerging world in particular the prospect for higher interest rates in the u.s. means that all of a sudden u.s. investments start to look more attractive relative to emerging market investments, so money is coming back into the u.s. and away from the emerging world. but it is coming back to the traditional safe havens like u.s. treasuries, not to the stocks of u.s. companies. and so the dow has dropped leaving many americans wondering if the strong bull market of the last year will soon come to an end. >> david shuster, al jazeera. >> dogs are usually used by cops to find the bad guys or drugs and explosives. now some are being trained as wildlife detectors sniffing out things like elephant ivory
smuggled into the u.s. here is the story. >> good man. that's a good man. >> jammer has an exceptional sense of smell and will work hard for food. a couple months ago he was in a shelter. now he is being trained to work with federal agents. >> we have the dogs employed to catch those people that are smuggling. >> this u.s. department of agriculture center outside of atlanta was already training dogs to sniff out insect pests. now they are teaching them to find wildlife products like elephant ivory and rhinocerous horn that can be smuggled in packages. the u.s. fish and wildlife service says illegal trafficking of both animal lives and parts is pushing some species near extinction. >> so the demand for these dogs is increasing. we have customers in california, and florida and service other foreign governments and of course our largest client is customs and border protection.
>> so he is looking for things that are smuggled into cargo areas. >> the dogs are stationed at international airports in the u.s. along with fedex and ups centers and a variety of ports around the country. the dogs help them search large numbers of parcells and luggage quickly. >> it kind of alarming the statistics that come out. so, if it has never been monitored before and now you start monitoring it. you are getting a baseline of statistics that are high. there is a lot of interceptions. >> what did you get? >> dogs are trained for 13 weeks. they go through intensive medical screening. they must stay in shape. while the work can be rigorous, there are benefits for the dogs themselves. >> what did you find? >> good boy. 98% of our dogs probably come from shelters. so it is an actual life saving moment for them. they come out of the shelter and are willing to do almost anything for us as long as they have a great food drive.
and they actually love their jobs. >> helping to save time and the population of some species through their sense of smell. jonathan martin, al jazeera, noonan, georgia. >> a group of college football players could change the playing field. some northwestern university players talking about joining a union.
>> some of these players on the northwestern university football team about to make history. not for the number of games they win. but for something that is happening off the field. they want to join a labor union. but they could be in for a battle. >> the football playing wildcats bring millions of dollars to northwestern university when they take to the gridiron. but the big 10 athletes say too often they are on the hang for medical expenses or are stripped of scholarships if
they get injured while play. that's why ken colter is leading the charge for union representation for his teammates. >> some athletes don't have a voice. it is a dictatorship where the ncaa places rules and regulations without their input or negotiate. >> the president of the new college athlete players association filed a petition on behalf of the team with the national labor relations board. a hearing on the petition is scheduled for next week. >> in the period of 60 years the ncaa knowingly tenned a system using student athlete and amateurism to skirt labor laws. >> they argue student athletes can't oregon because playing sports is voluntary. >> in a statement the association said this union backed attempt to turn student athletes into employees
undermines the pump of college and education. >> there has been success on many college campuses organizing students who are teaching assistants because they get paid for their work. but organizing student athletes could be more challenging. >> labor professor says the challenge will be convincing the nlrb that the players are in fact workers. >> so i think that for student athletes silt transforming that perception on campus for athletes as well as the campus community. what they are doing is in fact labor. >> even if the nlrb says the wildcats can't organize an appeal is likely. so it could be a few years before the players win representation. by that time, the team members filing the petition will have already left the playing field. for al jazeera, chicago. >> only college football and men's basketball players will be allowed to join the union. the organization says those two sports make the best case that they are employees of the ncaa.
now going back to our other top story, the rare ice and snowstorm that hit parts of the south. so bad people stuck in their cars for hours. dave warren is here to tell us it is all ending. >> the snow and ice is ending. the temperatures will stay down. it will keep the ice on the roadways. it may melt during the day but refreeze overnight. the temperatures will be down below the freezing mark across the southeast. this is the last few hours. you saw the rain and snow clearing out. temperatures remain in the teens. but where are they headed? computer forecast shows that 7, 8:00 dropping back down tonight. thursday morning still below freezing, but by 11:00 maybe getting warmer. so it is cold today. maybe touching the freezing mark around atlanta. maybe climbing briefly. but ill will stay below freezing overnight tonight and tomorrow morning. 32 and up to 42 and. it does climb. saturday and sunday, the warm air comes back.
but that comes with a few clouds. looks like the precipitation is holding off for now. but you have to wait another 24 hours after least before the temperature starts to climb. here is this cold air coming in from the north. low pressure up around hudson bay. but a pattern change here. a welcome pattern change across the southwest. low pressure digging down the coast. that will bring moisture in to the northwest and machines of california where we need it. it is so dry. need the snowfall to accumulate between now and april first. we are getting that with the one storm. certainly not enough to help end the drought. but welcome moisture across the northwest and southwest. now the pattern change will bring that warmer air back across the mid-atlantic and northeast. comes with precip. there is rain to snow on saturday and that will push east on sunday. the temperatures on friday up to 45-degrees in washington, 38 new york so it climbs up a little bit there. 50s and 60s in the south.
the cold air is not far away. that could come back for the weekend. thank you. and thank you for watching al jazeera america. inside story is next. check us out 24 hours a day at al jazeera.com. >> >> pollution, racism, the struggles for an union. the lives of poor people. pete seger sang about all that and more and believed deeply in the pow of art to change the world. seger's work and whether that spirit survived today is the "inside story." hello, i'm ray suarez.