>> welcome to aljazeera america. i'm del walters. and these are the stories we're following for you. new security concerns in sochi. airlines with an unusual threat. >> it's cranked up and we're eating from the things that we can cook on the stove. >> the storm is over, but hundreds of thousands of people still don't have power. and the senate taking up a bill that will extend those long-term unemployment benefits.
the opening ceremony for the winter games in sochi is set for tomorrow, but security, the homeland security is issuing a warning of its own. >> reporter: more than 10,000 americans traveling to sochi for the olympics now face another security threat. new intelligent information shows terrorists may use toothpaste containers to try to smuggle on planes. it doesn't target specifically americans but to russia. president putin insists that the games are safe. stationing soldiers around sochi. he expects even more terror
warnings to come out surrounding the games, adding that it could be a hard balancing act for the u.s. government. >> how much information you put out there so the public can be smart and wise, and at the same time, you don't want to tip your hand how much you know for the terrorists. i expect there will be more indicators like this, and it's a very difficult thing for the department of homeland security. >> nelson said with this particular threat, a form of explosives. >> we have seen in the past that the enemy is very creative. with the shoe bomber, richard reed. and we saw a bomber coming out of yemen a couple of years ago, so they have adapted their techniques. >> while a tube of toothpaste may be too small to do much damage, consider this, if the shoe bomber had gotten away with it, the people on that flight may have experienced something
similar to in. the ongoing crisis in ukraine. victoria arriving this morning. she'll meet with victor yanokovych and the protesters and asking for his resignation. >> the assistant secretary of state is going to be meeting with the ukrainian leadership. and it's hopeful that her presence will broker an end to the standoff. and she's likely to meet to talk to the hostage and unknown assailant. he faced a series of interrogationers by his captors, where he was accused of being a cia spy.
because of the torture he was under, he was forced to make a false confession, and he said that he received $50,000 in aid from the u.s. embassy here in kiev to help fund his opposition movement. he said that he was falsely arrested. there have been protests outside of the defense ministry and parliament. they are eager and calling for the army to be neutral. asking that workers come up with a workable solution to the crisis. the organization is demanding institutional reforms. those that come here time and time again to independence square, it's clear that they want yanokovych to step down.
>> in the -- there are scattered power outages in pennsylvania at this hour. maria is in pennsylvania, 17 miles west of philadelphia, exton, and that's an area hard hit. >> oh, yeah, definitely, dell. this is one of the hardest-hit areas. and people are staying in shelters. behind me, this is one of the red cross shelters, and they will be bringing in people here. this keeps about 1,000 people overnight. and in another shelter, 105 people were staying there. and a third of them children. that was running on a generator. >> what are they doing to get the lights turned back on?
>>. >> they're saying to be patient. and it could take a couple of days. it really depends on the area. i spoke to people who said they had no power, and their family and friends had no power. they're especially concerned about the low temperatures, especially for the elderly and the children. i just spoke to a woman, 91 years old. her family had to go to work today. but they didn't want to leave her alone in the home without any power, del. >> maria from pennsylvania, thank you very much. in west virginia, they are angry and frustrated and concerned and a lot of people won't drink the water following the chemical spill last month. trying to convince the residents that water is safe. >> nearly four weeks after a
hazardous chemical spilled into the elk river, leaving 300,000 people unable to drink the water, west virginia's governor, members of the cdc and the epa and others made their first appearance together at the state capital, trying to calm the public. >> i'm frustrated and angry. i share your concerns about the water crisis, as does my team in west virginia, the national experts, and the federal partners standing with me today. >> at the request of the governor, the centers for disease control sent one of their lead scientists to charleston. >> i can say that you can use your water however you like. you can drink it, you can bathe in it. and you can use it how you like. >> reporter: the epa said that the spill site on the elk river is stable. but some public health officials are still questioning the safety of the water. >> unwilling participants in an
experiment that we still don't know a lot about the impact of this chemical on humans. >> reporter: in the meantime, worried residents like mother of two, michelle, are planning on leaving the state soon. >> my husband and i are born and raised in west virginia and we love our state, but we have two daughters, and as i told several friend, the cost of live here in west virginia is too high. >> public officials and public concerns to restore faith. and water distribution sites are open, and the chemical smell lingers with the fears of long-term affects. charleston, west virginia. >> meantime, farmers in west virginia are also having problems with water, but their situation is with the drought. it's affecting crops and the economy around the world in what
is being called a crisis. we'll have that later in the show. unemployment is 6.7%, and that's the lowest in five years, but millions of americans say they need help. so the issue of extending long-term unemployment benefits. john, what's the very latest with this particular bill? >> well, the latest news, del, the vote at this hour is being postponed until the 2:00 eastern time. and let me remind you, this is the emergency unemployment compensation act. they got it drafted under the bush administration, and it has been reopted every year. it lapsed and millions of americans are without their long-term unemployment benefits. so enter harry reid, in the senate. and jack reed in rhode island. and they are trying to extend iting, and pay it retroactively for those who mixed out.
and they are going to allow employers to smooth pensions, which means pay a bit less into the pension pot. which means that the government can tax it, and that's how it's going to be paid for. republicans have said many times, on principle, to pay debt low. and harry reid coming to the floor of the senate this morning at 9:30 and postponing it from 11:00 to 2:00, and really, he thinks that the republicans should lump in on this. three voted in favor last time. but it failed. and the indication is he doesn't have them yet. and that's why he postponed the vote until 2:00. he said that the republicans don't want to vote for an extension of this act. >> extending unemployment benefits, a no vote because they don't want to extend unemployment benefits.
>> so we'll see, del, the vote rescheduled for 2:00 and see if they reschedule it again. >> they didn't want to passion e unemployment benefits back in december, and now they're making it retroactive some. >> i think because a month has gone my already, and the time has lapsed and already a three-month extension, so there's time to get it done. and people know that. jack reed of rhode island has been on the senate floor, and made the point that everybody has been working behind the scenes to get this done, and though the votes don't appear to be there on the republican side, the work is still going on. >> this was not a my way or the highway. this was trying to find a bipartisan pathway, and we're still searching >> so that's where we are at
this power, and we're still looking for a pathway. looking for 60 votes for the 30 hours of debate that they have. and assuming that they get it, there would have to be two more votes, one to close it off and one to finally pass it, and then it has to go to the house. >> sometimes you wonder if people at the capital wonder, bill collectors do not accept retroactive money. coming up, it's being compared to the trayvon martin case. opening arguments in the death of a black teenager shot by a white suspect. >> . >> and california as we mentioned has a terrible drought and now it's affecting farmers and your food prices.
charged with first-degree murder in the death of jordan davis. like trayvo trayvon martin, the teenager was unarmed when he was killed. using the controversial stand your ground law. >> reporter: good morning, del, opening arguments are slated to begin in 45 minutes, and when they do, dunn's attorney was not expected to use the stand your ground defense. he is expected to argue that dunn was justified in using deadly force. but i do want to point out that dunn's attorney has not ruled out using stand your ground. and he has that option as the trial progresses. we spoke to jordan davis' attorney with thoughts on the matter. and he said that stand your ground, he pointed out in the george zimmerman case, she told them that zimmerman had the
right to stand his ground. >> we talked about this case, specifically saying that the jurors would be crucial. so who are the jurors? >> i'm sorry, i didn't quite hear you. the jury is going to be sequestered. we were not allowed to be inside of the courtroom during the jury leaks. selection. we saw the people inside of the courtroom in the jury selection process. 10 women, 6 men, and that includes three black women and five black men. >> is this expected to be a speedy trial? >> i think that the judge is intending for it to be so. with the jury selection on monday, he said that he hoped the trial would be finished by february 14th, next friday, and a couple of things to note,
for people who watched the george zimmerman case closely, they will see the same prosecution case arguing the michael dunn case, and if in fact a verdict is given by next friday, it would be days before jordan davis was supposed to turn 19 years old. >> natasha from jacksonville, florida. thank you very much. wall street seems to be regaining it's footing, at least for now. it's up 146 points. a drop-in jobless applications ahead of tomorrow's big job numbers. shares of twitter are tumbling 42%. it seems to be having growing pains. the number of people using twitter grew at its slowest rate. shares of green mountain
coffee is up, and coke is buying stakes in the company. the companies plan to working together to produce single serve cold drinks specifically. >> gm is seeing higher profits ahead. earnings and revenue for the last months of 2013 missed analyst estimates. gm anticipates gains in north america over the next few years. and the o holidays weren't joyce for retailers. many of the cuts were in the retail sector. the stores are slashing jobs because of the weak holiday shopping sales! >> california's drought will affect food prices around the world. the bread basket, selling produce to asia and other companies. as rob reynolds reports, he has our story from fulsom,
california. >> the dirt is bone dry in california's central valley. and the fulsom reservoir is nearly empty at 17% capacity. that's bad news for rob, who grows pistachios. >> is this the worst drought that you've ever seen? >> it is. particularly down here. but this is by far the most unusual conditions i've ever experienced >> reporter: california grows more than half of the vegetables and fruits and nuts in the u.s. and is the leading producer of milk and wine. but the drought is forcing some ranchers to sell their herds, and growers are thinking about tearing out orchards. city dwellers are being urged to conserve, and some small towns run out of water altogether. some of it comes in the form of snow, but this year, there's hardly any snow at all. >> reporter: what's the most alarming part of this drought for you?
>> well, i worry most about the snowpack. >> daniel sumner is an agricultural economist. >> there will be 1 million acres wasted. >> reporter: the drought could have a severe affect on california's $45 billion a year agriculture industry, and on the people who make their living from the land. about 175,000 californians rely on full-time or seasonal farm work. many of them are from the state's most impoverished communities. >> the most vulnerable people for this drought are the farm workers. people on the margin to start with. families that get by on maybe dad getting 1500 hours a year at low wages will now be cut back. >> reporter: the drought means americans may pay more for some groceries this year. and so may other countries. at this food market in british columbia, vendors are worried. >> a lot of the produce that comes to us here is actually
from california or mexico. and a lot of it is really from california. >> reporter: back in his parched pistachio grove, he may be forced to buy expensive water from suppliers. >> we'll go out and pay a pretty penny for water. >> reporter: there's nothing else to do but pray for rain. aljazeera, fulsom, california. >> a rare stradivarius violin has been found at a home in milwaukee. three people are under arrest, one of the suspects admitting he knew where it was. it belonged to a concert master, fred ahlman, and it was taken at a concert under a stun gun. residents are living next to this in the congo, an active volcano. and being able to feel again.
>> welcome back to aljazeera america. i'm del walters, and these are the headlines. the u.s. is warning of a threat in airlines going to sochi. toothpaste containers could be used to smuggle explosives on planes. iffy. >> half a million people are without power after a storm blew through the large part of the country. and the storm shutting down highways and schools and grounding thousands of flights. and the senate set to take up a bill that would extend long-term unemployment benefits, and a vote on that is expected later on today. in the democratic republic
of congo. they have exposed the city to another unpredictable threat. >> the congo is in the top ten most dangerous volcanoes, it sits next to a city of 1 million people in the democratic republic of congo. experts say that it could erupt at any time. it's difficult to predict when that might happen. >> 20 kilometers, the quality of the lava is very nude. so when it starts erupting, the flow of lava will be very fast. >> reporter: george studies rock formations and seismic movement, trying to understand the volcano's activity. >> it will be an explosion. >> reporter: he uses equipment
to measure tremors, and in another country, it could be in a museum. there are said to be eight stations like this, but only one is operational. it's not safe for the researchers to go there and do their work. the government says it's now flushing all of the rebels out of the east after decades of lawlessness, but they have a long way to go. around the volcano, it's not safe, and an eruption could be disastrous. the last one in 2002 sent lava flowing straight into goma. nearly 100 people were killed, and hundreds of thousands fled. about a third of the city was destroyed. a river of lava came bursting out of the ground here, and it destroyed everything in the area, and made its way down here. reaching the airport runway, destroying everything in its wake, roads and houses, but if you look at the rocks left behind, you can see the bubbles and the holes of where it was
simmering. but this rock turned out to be quite useful. a lot of the city of goma has been rebuilt, use being it as construction material. the volcano is everywhere. building blocks from the lava gravel, mixed with cement. he says that it has made him good money. >> on the one hand, we like it because the materials can bring wealth, but on the other hand, it's bad. it didn't cause a lot of damage because it's in the bush away from the city. in the meantime, it keeps smoldering. an eruption can zoe the town. people can leave but only if they're warned in time. >> another storm has cleared out of the northeast, but the power is still out in many
areas. especially southeastern pennsylvania. look at the temperatures now. not that we have a number that you want to see, if you don't have heat or power, down into the 20s. the cold air has come in behind us. the storm has pushed out to sea. in the great lakes, and the mid 20s across the atlantic states. intense storm, and it's off the coast, continuing to move away. pulling in the cold air behind it. we have light snow across the southern plains, winter weather advisories there. snow is expected. the cold weather will dominate the middle part of the country, but it's out west that you want to see, especially in southern california, in a severe or exceptional drought. better type of storm developing, as we start to see a lot of moisture coming into northern california where we need that moisture and the snow. especially up in the mountains where it will typically melt around june 1st and go into
the reservoirs. we need a lot of moisture, but it's causing problems in washington and oregon here. along the columbia gorge there, wind and snow could lead to blizzard-like conditions. southern oregon and northern california, the storm will be taking shape in the next 24-hour. that's the west coast. there's all of the moisture with rain and snow predicted that will come all the way east to wyoming. we have a lot storm to talk about on the east coast. but watching how it could look to be developing with the latest tracks coming in, looks like it's a little far southeast to give snow to the mid-atlantic and new england states, but it will intensify. this will be late saturday now. the timing with the latest information, there will be snow here, but right in southern delaware and virginia and maryland on the del mar peninsula. >> time, we want to show you this break through in bu bionic
hands, giving a sense of touch. it gives our brain what we can touch. they can feel things like cotton and wood. i'm del walters in new york. "inside story" is next. >> higher prices, cracking down to sales, tougher and tougher messages, all have helped to reduce smoking, and now another national retailer has another idea. how about making smokes hard to buy at all? that's the "inside story."