>> welcome to aljazeera america. i'm del walters. and these are the stories we're following for you. ♪ prayers and protests in crimea as ukraine says the number of russian troops in that region has now doubled. >> the freedom of the individual must come before the power of the state. >> republican presidential hopefuls playing to their base at c-pac. >> it really is like a drug. you don't have to think about the real world. >> unplugging. a treatment center dedicated to
internet addiction. the number of russian troops in ukraine is on the rise, and intelligent sources telling aljazeera that number stands at 30,000 in crimea. and russians say they welcome it. and western powers saying that it's unwelcome and illegitimate. >> a lot of anxiety in kiev, quite frankly, del. and they're concerned about what's going on in crimea. and also worried about other areas of the country, notably the east and the northeast of the country. those areas bordering with russia, and there's also concern today because there's this growing dispute between russia and ukraine over gas.
ukraine has said to russia, russia's primary gas provider, that they can not pay their bill for february. and in return, they say if you can't pay the bill, we're going to shut off your natural gas. it's chilly here, and we're going into spring, but that has many people deeply concerned because that is a main pipe line for the ukrainians. as you mentioned, going into this discussion that there has been information that there are more troops on the ground in crimea. and obviously that has people concerned here as well. >> and phil, all of these moves are pushing russia further and further away from the international community. >> yeah, absolutely it's pushing the russians away from the international community. and there's still a very strong push in the european union to
pass out a sanction program. there are differences in the european union. the 28 member body, the eu. different policies and different relationships with russia. take for example, britain, a lot of individuals who come to the city of london, the oligarchs, they would not like to see what the united states has done. and germany, with industrial sanctions, they do a lot of trade with germany. interestingly enough, we hear from the french, and they put out to sea one of the first frigates, it's one of two, the first vessel, and the french president said we have a previous agreement. and interestingly enough,
there's a second ship that will be delivered to the russians, and that's called the sevastopol. >> with the troop novemberment that we were talking about earlier, with 30,000 troops on the ground in ukraine, are they are war footing. >> war footing is a difficult thing to say. the russians would say this is their right to do to the ukrainians, and war footing indicates that they're getting into an offensive operation. and we don't see that. there are obviously grave concerns about the east and the northeast, as i mentioned, of mainland ukraine, and if you have a lot more troops on the crimeaian peninsula, there's that thoroughfare that goes right up into the mainland. we have spoken to the ukrainian intelligence officers, and they tell us that on the other side of the border in russia, they're
well aware of the troop positions poised to come in. if moscow decides, when he asks the parliament for use of military power, they gave him the authority to use in the ukraine, not just crimestoppers. >> fill in kiev, and thank you very much. and that critical vote just nine days away. i talked to amy knight. and i asked this question, one month from now, will crimea be part of russia? and here's what she said. >> clearly, the crimeaians, where the majority is pro russian, if their referendum is acknowledged, i suppose they could, but russia is a little bit of a conundrum. because first of all, they already have a naval base and a military presence in crimea. the economy in crimea is not
great. it has been an economic drain on ukraine and the government is corrupt. and i don't see what russia has to gain by annexing crimea. and also, you create problems because there are other republics that are part of the russian federation like chechnya and they start demanding independence. >> the local militia is there to keep the peace, and she found evidence to the contrary. >> reporter: russian soldiers leaving everyone to guess the next move. >> they left at midnight. and we do not know why or where they went. they're still in some bases and others that they replaced by so-called self defense units.
>> reporter: the ukrainian airforce base. they sabotaged the missile defense system. there are so many questions about who these men are, and this might give a clue. it's a russian box, and it says russian army, the flack of the russian federation, and behind it, it says military trade. and on this side, not for sale. so one can safely say that russia is at least putting it's full weight behind these men. >> the regional government. >> interpreter: this scenario was not written in crimea. it was written in moscow. the government is like a newborn kitten that doesn't know what the next step will be. they're told to do, but didn't know what to plan. they didn't know they were voting for cessation when they went to parliament. >> reporter: it still has to do it under the protection of
their closest ally. they are deployed near the regional parliament. >> interpreter: we have the right to decide our destiny like any other people. we were with a invited here to help maintain order. >> reporter: the major said that he was ashamed when the soldiers entered his base, and now they're gone, and the unit is building new defenses. whether the commander his men can stand the defense for a yes vote from crimea to join russia is another matter. >> remember, for the latest events coming out of ukraine and the headlines, follow us on twitter. our handle is at ajam. the political action conference in maryland outside of washington d.c. and the list usually reads like
a who's who. abby is there, and new jersey governor, chris christie was on tap yesterday. and who is on tap today? >> reporter: we see senator rand paul of kentucky, and that will be a highly watched speech. but i want to mention that governor christie's speech yesterday was a chance for him to win back some of the conservative base. to talk to those they love the most. and win some over. chris christie focused on something yesterday that many people have talked on yesterday. executive experience. he talked about the governors, and what they bring to a 2006 presidential field. and he's not the only one. a lot of people are tired of politics, and they want outsiders, and they want the leaders of states to form what happens next in the party. among them, governor rick perry of texas. and he found strength in the governors too. >> what is the common
denominator in these states? it's conservative governors, who cut taxes, control spending and invest in jobs. it's conservative governors who trust the people more than the machinery of government. it's conservative governors who know the freedom of the individual must come before the power of the state. >> reporter: he talks about people like scott washing, republican of wisconsin, who fought the union, a very popular name here this week, del. >> sometimes with c-pac, it's not who is there, but who is not there. chris christie last year, and who is not there this year? >> house speaker, john boehner is not here, and there's someone out of the auditorium i'm in passing out stickers against john boehner, with an x over his face. there's criticism on how the house is being run right now,
and following the true party, what is the real conservative value? politics be dammed and what happens next be dammed, and follow what is really your strong belief. we're seeing that play out here, and yesterday mitch mcconnell talked and he has gotten a lot of criticism as a beltway insider. he had a rally onstage, and that got the crowd excited for him. you do see that tension played out here. as every speaker gets up, they're pealing to a strong conservative base, but talking about the realities of running a government. >> libby casey, thank you very much. a welcoming surprise on the jobs front. hiring picking up in february, the u.s. economy adding 175,000 jobs last month, despite the tough, winter weather. services are adding most of the jobs, lawyers and accountants, and they saw 79,000 positions,
and those actively looking for work. 63%. and the number of long-term employed, 3.8 million. and it's the sign that the economy is not yet as strong as everyone had hoped. >> our economy is creating only on average about 129,000 jobs a month over the last three months. but there are about 150,000 people who are in the labor market on average every month. so we're not creating enough jobs for new entrants to the labor market. the long-term unemployed don't have a shot at jobs. >> now, the new unemployment rate, which is it willied by a different survey, ticked up in the last year. giving wall street a boost, up 2 by now. it's on track to reach another record high, but the nasdaq is down at this hour. a judge hearing cases in the
same-sex marriage ban that was approved in 2004. but a same-sex couple sued because they didn't adopt their three children. the judge is expected to make a decision in that case in the week ahead. >> coming up on aljazeera america, a virus going around that already killed one million baby pigs, and now there are new concerns of how some farmers are getting rid of the dead carcasses. and there are rehab centers for alcohol and drugs, and now unplug, it's the internet.
>> farmers in at least 25 states now dealing with a serious virus that's affecting piglets. about a million baby pigs have died since the virus was discovered a year ago. pig farming is very very big business, but we want to warn you that some the story may contain image that's you might find disturbing. >> in north carolina, a yellow sign stands in front of many farms, it's a caution marker saying that the pve virus has affected the population. >> newborn pigs, mott of them die. >> 3,000 pigs on the commercial
hog farms have died since june. but on a snowy march morning, there's no sign of the virus on this farm. he and his family own this 75-acre operation. they raise free range hogs. >> my pigs have a robust immune system, because they live outdoors. >> many commercial pig farms are densely crowded. and that could play a factor in the spread of pve. >> it's very concerning because most of the farms in the united states are in confinement facilities, and those pigs are very vulnerable to pve because it's easily transmittable. >> the virus can spread to humans, and it prevents an outbreak in the adult population. >> thousands of pigs continue to
die of the pve across the country, environmental groups warn in north carolina of the potential health risks that can occur with the disposal of infected hog carcasses. >> we have a large number of carcasses that are left in dead boxes for a long time. it's much like a dumpster that sits on the property of one of the farms. if they're left for long periods of time, they're in the elements, and they can leak out bodily fluids and blood. and the pictures show this. what is the response of the agriculture officials to this, to the outbreak. >> late last month, the water keeper alliance of the north carolina river sent these photos to pat mcquarter and asked him
to declare a state of emergency, aljazeera did a story, and his office responded. >> we're aware of the situation, and we have already been in contact with the department of agriculture: today, there's no vaccine, and despite the herd losses, farmers are not required to report the virus to state or local officials, but environmental concerns, along with pork prices, are starting to rise. aljazeera, lewisburg, north carolina. >> taking a look at wednesday, new shares of safe way are falling. supermarket chain is being bought by rival, albertson's. it will pay $9 billion for the company.
traditional supermarkets have been struggling to compete with the big box retailers like costco. no stores are expected to close because of the merger. and weather hitting the gap hard. falling by 70%. affecting old navy and others as well. bad weather in japan forced them to close 450 stores in one day last month. the housing crisis took center stage in a meltdown, but other crisis are looming with student debt. over $1 trillion. >> i'm angry, because it's unfair that it's happening to us, and we're even being sort of blamed for the amount of debt that we're being put in. >> 22-year-old viola is turning her anger over the student debt crisis into action mobilizing support with her fellow
activists with students rising to deliver a message to state lawmakers. >> we're demanding an immediate freeze on tuition, and demanding the 1 and a half billion dollars that has been cut from state education. >> for jj, it's not just the new york students that hang in the balance. >> we're talking about giving people the tools and the skills to navigate in the united states united states. >> a college education is the ticket to america's middle class, and as states have cut funding to higher education, students have been socked with higher tuition bills, driving those who have to pay them deeper into debt. >> it's absolutely the cuts in state funding that have been the cause of the debt. >> he ran the numbers on state fund funding on education and college affordability. 49 states have slashed higher ed
funding since the great recession. nationwide, state funding has declined an average of 27% per student. roughly $2,400. and tainment, the tuition at public and four year universities has increased 20%. but though in room and board, and the hike in total student charges is nearly $2,300 at state universities. >> the main thing they have done is pass the budget cuts right through to raise tuition. >> reporter: seven states have raised tuition more than one-third since 2008. arizona and california by 66%. >> they have holes in the state budgets, and they're doing so in the worst times of their lives. >> which has repercussions for us all. >> the students paying $500 for their student debt, that's 3-$500 a month they could be spending on a down payment on a
house or new car, and these are things that would recirculate into the economy. >> the education in new york used to be free, and a lot of them in other countries are free. and a lot of places think that it's smart to invest in higher education, and this country needs to follow suit. >> later today, the president and first lady will be speaking in miami, announcing an initiative for protective college students, and the government proposing an easier way for students to sign up for financial aid. next on aljazeera, can you remember the last time you went an entire day without using the internet? some people are so addicted, there's now a rehab center to help them out.
on the ground in crimea crime. west adding more sanctions, and a gas company threatening to cut off ukraine. rick perry addressing a gathering this morning, and kentucky senator, rand paul, is the speaker this afternoon. >> he. >> and despite snow and ice, stronger than expected, 175,000 jobs. well, today is the fifth national day of unplugging. if you missed the first four, here's why. it's supposed to motive us to disconnect it all of those devices we cling to, and reconnect with each other, you know, people. allen spent the day trying it out in seattle. >> well we do all kinds of things. >> reporter: by the time we metcos et ray in her rural retreat in seattle, i had been unplugged for 24 hours, no
facebook, tweeting, google maps, television, and i was feeling a little bit disconnected. >> and worried about what's happening at work and with friends, et cetera, and family. yeah, that's fairly normal. we have become very highly connected as a culture >> reporter: breaking that is the goal here, and one of the country's first internet treatment centers. it cost $23,000 the waiting list is long. >> rediscovering the things that make you human. >> reporter: for andrew and others, unplugging is a chance to get their lives back. there's counseling and daily chores, and connecting with nature. an obsessive video gamer, he flunked out of college in one semester after spending weeks in his room online. >> it's like a drug. you don't have to think about the real world, and once you're
out of that virtual world, it's just depression. >> reporter: the virtual world of gaming and endless options became a reality. >> we're entertaining ourselves to death. >> reporter: health insurance doesn't cover this treatment. the american psychiatric association said that the concept of addiction still needs more study. but in china and south korea, it's a major health threat. >> it's similar to an eating disorder. just because you have a problem with food doesn't mean that you're not going to eat again. >> reporter: andrew has rediscovered music, something that he abandoned during his online bing manies. >> feel the farther of the brain, go see friends, and the real world doesn't matter. >> reporter: as everyone here learns that the real world does matter, they have simple advice for people like me and maybe you, unplugging for a mere 24
hours. that advice, do it. >> for one day, be present. and then i invite you to bring more of those days in to be present. it really will change your life. >> so consider giving it a try. it's really just that easy. aljazeera, seattle. >> there's winter weather in the southeast. and this is the mix area. it's cold air, and freezing rain and snow. winter advisories and snow warnings because the snow will clear out. right in this area, it's down below freezing. raleigh, 34, and it's cold rain, but at least it's barely above
the freezing mark. the temperatures climb above freezing, and this is the line in the far south of dc. the rain continues tonight and the storm moves out. we're looking at more winter weather moving in, but not a lot though. along with the cold air coming down from canada. you see the drop in temperatures, but the arctic air just across the northeast. we have cooler air here. rain mixed with snow, saturday to early sunday. as the next front moves in, a lot of rain, and we could see mixing where it's cold enough. not dry, but just a little bit of rain keeping the temperatures down just a bit. speaking of temperatures down. it's just for a day. low saturday morning, down to 0 in bismarck, and north dakota. up to 70 in denver, and the warm