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tv   News  Al Jazeera  March 9, 2014 8:00pm-9:01pm EDT

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stories and go behind the scenes at"techknow." following us on twitter facebook, google plus and more. >> is >> in is al jazeera america. i'm jonathan betz live in new york. rival rallies raise tensions between protesters in ukraine, each pushing for a different future. ukraine's prime minister heads to washington this week. in the "week ahead" segment we look at what's at stake for united states and russia. >> lost at sea - search planes may have spotted debris from the downed malaysia airlineser. two ships head to that area.
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>> and harsh conditions inside egypt's prisons. >> we begin in ukraine. gegss over crime -- divisions over crimea led to street violence. rallies took place across the country. scuffles took place in the east. demonstrators raised a russian flag on a government building there. in the southern region of crimea people pushed to join russia. people were attacked. tens of thousands rallied in kiev, rallying for a unified ukraine. ukraine's prime minister will travel to washington to meet with president obama on tuesday. what is the latest nick schifrin. >> good evening, we see an expanding russian presence -
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troops moving around and base, and politically as well. a real sense that the pro-russian activist and militias are empowered by the presence of the russian troops. if you go around this city, this capital, other cities across the peninsula, you get a sense of aggressiveness of pro-russian activists, pro-russian militia members being aggressive, confrontational with pro-western activists and is creating a split. the two sides seem to be digging in a little more. on the pro-russian side you get the aggressiveness, an assistance of numbers. there's a lot of people showing up to the rallies. the one today was 5,000 or 6,000. on the other side 300 or 400 on the pro-western side. in kiev, the capital of the country, the heart of the new government, the one that looks west - huge crowds, and a real
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sense that they are digging in for a fight. the prime minister talking about how he won't give a single inch to the russian crowd. as both dig in, the confrontation is mosh likely to -- more likely to happen. >> we have the referendum a week from today. what is kiev and the west and the united states doing to block that vote? >> well, this is important. this is basically a vote that is being done at the barrel of a gun. russian troops, a few hundred feet from me, russian militias are putting pressure on people to not only go out to the vote if they believe in a future crimea with russia, but real intimidation factor against pro-westerners, the people that believe in a united ukraine to show up to the vote. there's a sense of whether this will be free and fair. there is nothing that there stop it at this point.
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the u.s. has been trying diplomatically, trying to push monitors in here, u.n. and european monitors. they have not been allowed into the peninsula, stopped by the same pro-russian activist. a government rhetoric, but no action by the ukrainian military or police, which technically answers the ukrainian government. a sense of unwillingness or inability to confront the momentum that's created by the pro-russian activists or troops, suggesting a vote in a week, that will most likely leave crimea part of russia. >> nick schifrin live in crimea. >> in the port city of sevastopol, 50 miles south, russian forces close in on ukraine's military. there has been no violence, but both sides are on edge. >> it's a ukrainian command ship with nothing to command for now.
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the crew is doing its daily shores, but the armed guards are a sign that all is not well here. >> the ukrainian navy cannot go anywhere, it's blockaded by the russians. >> this is where it gets up close and personal. that's a ukrainian gun ship and russian mine sweeper, brought in because the previous crew got too friendly with the ukrainians. the commander of the black sea fleet came on board demanding the ukrainians surrender and become part of pro-russian forces. the sailors refused. there has been other pressure. representatives from vladimir putin came and offered us food and supplies. we refused. we thanked them for the offer of cooperation, but we don't need their help. wives and girlfriends come to the ship to talk to the sailors. they are worried her boyfriend of three years could end up in
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odessa, 200 miles by three where some of the fleet has gone. >> i think the government of ukraine can't do anything here. it will all be in the hands of crimean authorities, and they'll be with russia. ukraine can't do anything about it. >> in the crimean capital, a pro-russian demonstration attracted thousands. a week before the referendum as to whether they should stay in russia or remain in ukraine. some have been to russian. trnchts if you could know and feel what it was like, how happy the russian government was, i thought it was not us joining russia, but russia joining crimea. russia continues to contoll sit military gains, capturing this border base. ukrainianships took what weekses they could.
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russian forces took another base like it in western ukraine. life is unenterupted. this man says he'll say no matter the vote. >> translation: i like it here. i like the sea. if the majority decide to be russia, we will be russia, but we are still ukrainians. >> pro-russian officials prepare to make crimea part of russia, no one knows what will happen to the caimian fleet. >> the referendum scheduled to take place in a week from today. the big question - is it constitution although. we have a look at that. >> the pro-russian marchers in crimea support the referendum on rejoining russia, saying it's their legal right to self
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determination. the pro-western movement in kiev says it acted legally. in overthrowing the ukrainian government and taking power. all sides in the crisis are trying to justify their action, citing law books and the ukrainian constitution. washington says the maydan movement is illegitimate. >> translation: it's an unconstitutional revolt. i said this before, but i want to repeat it. the only legal precedent is viktor yanukovych. there are only a few reasons why the precedent will be changed. his death, impeachment or resignation. >> a problem is that it's been changed since the fall of soviet union. recently, under the ousted president viktor yanukovych. when the court's reinstated an earlier version, making his office more powerful. >> that was a source of anger that led to the protests in kiev.
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in the latest constitutional argument over crimea. the government and many in the west say crimea's decision to hold a referendum is unconstitutional. the president is a ukrainian constitutional lawyer, saying the parliament has overstepped its authority, a move unacceptable anywhere in the world. >> in the future, the majority of the population will be spanish. can you imagine reaching this point, spanish population demand cessation from the united states. russia's intervention sparked on international crisis drawing in more than regional players. as all sides talk about what is legal or not, all the while russian troops consolidate their hold on crimea. there'll have to be a legal framework for government.
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this country is in upheaval. with pressing threats internal and external. the words in this constitution may be little more than a tool to justify either side's claim on legitimacy. >> there's concerns from minority group. ethnic tar tas make up 14%, and they grow nervous about the region growing closer to russia. they asked for u.n. protection. hoda abdel-hamid has that story. >> they are not taking chances, especially at night. these days, tatars and others feel under threat. >> we need a plan. i trust ukraine, but if the regional government stays, i don't know what will happen to us. >> 3,000 unarmed men deployed in
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simferepol. they can't fight off a pro-russian militia, but they can fight off provocation. people are receiving threats. many crimean tatars woke up to find crosses on the gates. for them it revives some of the darkest memories when 17 years ago similar signs meant you are about to be deported to russia for asia. several houses have similar markings. the threat is so serious, this man doesn't want to be identified. he's afraid history may be repeating itself. >> please, stop this war before it starts. it's really hard. we grew up here hearing stories from our grandparents. >> pro-russian propaganda leaves little space for other ethnic groups to voice their opposition. >> there are people who want is
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a confrontation, that's why we call on the u.n. to send peacekeepers. >> the regional government is going ahead with the render um, in which the choice is to join russia now, or later. many feel their identities are being stolen away. >> we go washington where randall pinkston has been following the u.s. government's position on the situation in ukraine. he sent this story. >> president obama on wednesday will host the new prime minister of ukraine in washington. the president is also continuing to work about european allies, imposing economic sanctions or setting the ground work for imposing the sanction, and isolating russia politically. president obama expanded a visa ban and the deputy national security advisor says the steps are having an impact on russia.
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>> it there's a referendum that boosts crimea from ukraine to russia, we will not recognise it, nor will most of the world. the pressure exerted in coordination with partners and allies will go up. the president made it clear, as did the europeans, that this was a first step, and we put in place a flexible and tough mechanism to increase the pressure and sanctions depending on events and what happens going forward. if russia makes the wrong choice, we have the ability to assert significant pressure. the hope is that russia will not make the choice. there's a way to resolve this in a way that takes into account russia's concerns. >> despite strong objections from the u.s. and western europe, russia appears to be achieving its object tifs on the ground and in crimea. former defense secretary robert
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gates says he does not think russia will rely ink wish control. he thinks vladimir putin has objectives beyond the crimean peninsula. >> it's part of the a long-term strategy to recreate the russian sphere of influence and the russian block, where russia has economic political security relationships with these countries that make them all lean towards or do the bidding of moscow. >> with the russian military in control of crimea and pro-russian residents supporting the referendums, the next step is the vote next weekend. >> former ukrainian prime minister yulia tymoschenko said the world should do more to help ukraine, it's a critical moment for the region. in the talk to al jazeera, yulia tymoschenko tells john hendren that a referendum in crimea should not be allowed.
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>> translation: the one thing world leaders must not do at the moment is lose time. they cannot leave ukraine on its own. every ukrainian believes crimea will not leave ukraine on its own, for his aggressor. the critical date is the date of the referendum to be conducted in crimea. if the international community allows it to be healed, their struggle will be more difficult. a call to all international leaders to allow not to allow this to be conducted or for the brutal destabilizition of the world. >> stay tuned to see the full interview with yulia tymoschenko, 10:00 p.m. eastern. all sieyes are on russian president vladimir putin and what his next move will be.
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we look at his life to understand his motivations. [ speaking foreign language ] >> vladimir putin ruled russia directly or indirectly for over a dozen years, and could rule for a decade more. he was born in lenin grad, eight years after a 900 day long siege ended. >> the generation that vladimir putin is a part of which is the sunion's baby boom generation, not unlike the baby boom generation in the united states was shaped by the stories heard by the parents, popular culture, all wore movies and glorification. >> as a child putin was too rowdy to join the soviet youth organization. some described him as a thug. he worked for the kgb in east
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germany, a trusted position. after winning the presidency in 2000, he crushed the separatist movement in chechnya. >> putin views himself as being the man of the state and law and order, which he is. he is the ultimate cop, in a sense. the creator of the power vertical, the dictatorship of laws and highly effective. >> with a black belt in judo, he is portrayed as a sportsman. he ordered troops to rescue 1,100 hostages held by the chechen rebels. many died. the incident led to reforms that helped putin consolidate his power. some wonder if he has overplayed his hand, in moving troops into crimea. >> the biggest country in europe. 45 million poem, important participation splittic hi, economically, security terms for
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the future, and putin has gambled and lost it. many say the handling of the crisis forced leaders to rethink what it thought. he described u.s. officials in a press conference in the last week as mad scientists doing experiments on ukraine, like rats. >> russia is a huge country. how do you move forward on syria, iran, north korea. with the referendum in crimea coming up, it remains unclear what vladimir putin's next move will be. >> stay with us later this hour for a regular sunday segment. we'll examine the growing crisis in ukraine. what it means in international security: >> also ahead on al jazeera america, the latest on the missing malaysian airliner. more on the clues search teams
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found in the ocean. more than a dozen greek orthodox nuns held by rebels released and developments that led to their
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freedom. >> authorities are searching for the malaysia airlines that vanished. a vietnamese navy plane found objects that could belong to the aircraft. ships reached the site of an oil slick but did not find any sign of the plane. interpol is trying to determine the identities of two passengers that boarded with stolen passports. 239 people were on the flight that disappeared off the coast of vietnam. we have the latest from kuala lumpur. >> there's no confirmation of what the mysterious object floating in the south china sea is. there's speculation that it may be part of the missing aircraft. the vietnamese navy plane had to
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turn back because it was too dark to investigate. once it's light the search mission by air is expected to resume and hopefully we'll have that information in a couple of hours. a day after two large oil slicks were spotted in the china sea comes another development. reports say parts of the the malaysia airlines plane may have been discovered. the navy planes have returned to base and will return the search on monday. the mystery surrounding the disappearance of m-h370 is deepening. the plane may have deviated from its course. it never issued a distress signal. questions are being asked as to how two passengers travelling on stolen passports could have boarded the flights. behind me is where passengers leaving kuala lumpur goes through immigration.
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no officials in any country checked the organizations database for the stolen austrian and italian passports. this means interpol can't tell whether the travel documents were used to board flights or cross borders. >> interpol says it's checking other passports used to board the plane against its record of stolen or lost travel documents. malaysian investigators said they are looking at foot age taken by security cameras. >> we are not ruling any possibility. but it's important to state that our main concern is to packet away from it in finding the missing account. >> relatives of passengers on board the missing plane have been waiting for news. there'll be no answers.
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only questions and a wait. interpol said there are one suspicious documents and that that they are investigating that at the moment. in a sharply worded statement, the secretary of state john kerry said that he hoped that the situation like this never happened. now, of course, there are no links, or there's no cop cluesive proof that the two people who travelled on the stolen documents could be behind the image of flight 370. security experts pointed out that it's not people who may have a motive to travel on false documents, but travellers do it. until the plane is found, we will not be closer to finding the answer.
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>> still no answer tonight. last year over a billion passports were not checked to see if they were stolen or lose. the database is available to 190 country, only a handful use it consistently. muslim, hindu and buddhist leaders gather on sunday, holding an interfaith prayer service for those aboard malaysian flight 370. they were joined by volunteers, airport staff and civilians. the family of those missing gathered at a hotel. >> syrian opposition forces released a group of greek orthodox nuns. they claimed they were holding the women for their own protection, after taking over the monastery. syria released 113 prisoners for the nuns. >> after logistical issues
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impeded the release of the nun, we understand the issues have been overcome, and according to the chief of the general security in lebanon, the nuns are with him and they have entered lebanese territory. they entered territory where they were received by the lebanese and delegations outside in no man's land. and now they will make their trip to damascus where we understand at the border crossing, not far away, religious figures and families of the nun, and representatives from the government are greeting the nun, and welcoming them back to damascus where they were kidnapped in december not too far away from the capital. now, these efforts have been very intense. the negotiations have been gone on for a long time, to try to
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secure the release of the nuns. what we do not know yet about is the release of the 153 syrian female prisoners. when that will happen is unclear. how it will happen is unclear. that was the continue set by the rebels, that these female prisoners are released in change your for the release of the nuns. we don't know when it will happen or whether it will happen in lebanon, or if the prisoners are going to their home towns in syria. >> there's more ahead on al jazeera. including the sunday segment "the week ahead." we take a look at what the heated conflict means for international security. stay with us.
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s >> welcome back to al jazeera america. here are the top stories
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tonight - vietnamese authorities say they found what could be fragments from the missing malaysia airlines jet. it disappeared two days ago with 239 on board. interpol is searching for the two identities of the two passengers who boarded with stolen passports. >> 13 greek orthodox nuns have been released after being held by syrian rebels. the syrian government will release 150 prisoners in exchange for their freedom. >> pro-russian groups attacked crimeans at a rally. russian groups mainly control the region. time for "the week ahead." tonight we look at the crisis in ukraine and why russia is responding the way it is. before beginning the discussion, nick schifrin updates us on the struggle for crimea. >> in crimea's capital under the
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eye of vladimir lenin, he wave the flag of the country they hope to join and praise the city they hope will be their capital. [ singing ] >> the song is one that the old russians used to send children to law. from the youngest and the smallest to the resident willing to go to war in a motorcycle helmet. >> translation: i have to defend our land and keep peace, i'll spare no effort. i'm 50, and no longer that young. >> or the man whose medal dates back to the 40s. this man fought in world war ii. he's seen enough wars to think this is already won. >> putin helped us, deploying people that didn't fire a single shot. >> it's calm. in a week we'll vote and be with
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moscow. >> after the soviet union collapse, most of crimea never wanted to be with ukraine. most hope that it will be independence day from a government they think of as illegal. >> translation: we are against the bandits robbing people at the point of a gun. >> the pro-western government mourned a hero. next week's referendum threatens a unity they feel their ancestors died for. parents and grandparents spilled their blood for the land. "we will not give up a single sent metre." sergei doesn't have to look to history to agree. last month he fought the old government at independence square. this morning his father was kidnapped by a pro-russian militia. there has been no word on his whereabouts.
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sergei wants to fight that lawlessness with force. >> we are not going anywhere. we are fighting for crimea to stay inside ukraine. both groups are digging in, ready to fight for land that each side believes belongs to them. >> russia's vast and weak border cuts through the regions and cultures to find many goals. ukraine's location near europe and on the black sea made it key to regional power. it's separated by oceans and boarded by two strong allies. despite the differences, neither the u.s. nor russia had been consistent when it comes to sovereignty. it dates back to an american report. in crimea, vladimir putin says the situation is no different.
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joining us to discuss this is a harvard professor, and robert, from springfield massachusetts. thank you both for being with us tonight. >> it's a pleasure. >> i wanted to talk about what is motivating vladimir putin, and gee og raffy and an interesting feeling. russia's view, it's a big country, between the arctic ice in the north and mountains of the caucuses and had porous borders with europe and the east. how much is geography a factor in this and in driving putin's decisions. >> yes, russia compieses half the long attitudes of the earth, yet it has less people than bangladesh. land powers are insecure and
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russia is the ultimate land power. vladimir putin knows that russia has been invaded not just by germans and french, but swedes, lithuanians and polls. they are looking for targets of opportunity not to recreate the soviet union. putin is smart enough to know the soviet union collapsed because of the financial burden of ruling places like ukraine and the warsaw states and eastern europe. what he wants is to recreate the soviet sphere of influence. sort of in finland's eyes. not only ukraine, the transcaucuses, but moldova, and parts of central and eastern europe. so these countries will operate within constraints. they can have their freedom, their own economy, which will not be vladimir putin's problem, but they cannot take foreign
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policy decisions that are inconvenient to russia. >> do you agree with that. is this a grander plan for vladimir putin? >> i think it's basically right. if you look at russian history and the geographing situation, they have to worry about what might happen down the road. if they don't face the dangers, they have to wonder what might happen in the future. over the past 20 years russia has seen n.a.t.o. moving its borders eastwards, and building missile defenses and other things that might pose a threat to russia's nuclear deterrent. given the history and senn sails, the ways it was described is right. the contrast couldn't be sharper. >> why is n.a.t.o. a concern for russia. people don't understand the threat it imposes because no one assumes that n.a.t.o. would invade russia or ukraine. >> of course, we don't have any
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intentions of doing such a thing. but if you are russia, you can't assume that. if you look at russian history, you would be worried if the world's most powerful country, the united states, was alive with a group of countries op their borders, countries for which they'll be bailed in the past. if you were a prudent russian leader you'd worry about that and want to put a limit on n.a.t.o. expansion. that's what vladimir putin did in the war with georgia, he tried to draw a line saying "you incorporated some parts of the soviet empire", i'll live with that, but i'm not taking it further. >> do you think it's a wise approach for n.a.t.o. to build up assets and resources in some of those countries, the former soviet republic like latvia. >> crimea, first of all, is god, pro-russian.
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it's heavily ethnic russian. when you are there, you feel like you are back in russia. crimea is a peninsula, sort of cut off from the rest of ukraine, except for a narrow corridor. it's the home of the russian black sea fleet, russia's only warm water egress to the med ter aprilian and beyond. crimea shouldn't have been part of ukraine in the first place. it was awarded to ukraine a long time ago. crimea is easy pickings for vladimir putin, and the west should have seen this all along when they were encouraging ukrainian independence. what this is about is not just crimea. it's about strengthening the baltics in the north european plane, about strengthening poland, particularly moldova and romania. it's - because what is - what has really been causing this
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that has not with respect reported in the news is the ongoing half decade-long economic crisis of the european union. the e.u., in the course of this crisis lost a lot of geopolitical band width in central and eastern europe. this has emboldened putin. with the e.u. week, and the ushans buying up assets, here, there, and everywhere, the united states needs to fashion a stronger bow work to make sure that crimea, like georgia are one-off, that they don't indicate a trend. >> i want to get back to the point about crimea being gone, and self determination. putin called kosovo's independent: >> back then russia was upset
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that kosovo was split from serbia. the united states was in favour of that. we are seeing a reversal here. is it fair for russia to want to take crimea, especially since they are calling the referendum. >> i think you have to understand great powers are creative in finding ragsals for what they want to do at any given point in time. the united states came up with a clever set of rationals for why we could help liberate kosovo. russia is repaying the favour. the fact is the united states was perfectly happy to annex texas, arizona, mexico back in the 19th century. that has not happened much sips world war ii which has been a stabilizing force. small changes like we see now, with the annexation or intended annexation of crimea, i don't think revolutionize
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international politics, particularly as robert said, if we stop it here, leave it as a one off, a generous example and not have it be a trend going forward. >> following up from that... >> let me at something >> sure, jump in. >> kosovo happened when russia was week under boris yeltsin's rule. that was a humiliation for russia. it is now flushed with hydrocarbon revenues and is stronger under putin's leadership. we don't appreciate the degree to which kosovo was the humiliation for vladimir putin, that is why steve was right, what vladimir putin is doing now is repaying the favour. >> i wonder, should the u.s. be involved in the crisis to begin with, since it's unclear to a
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lot of people, what the united states interest is. why should we get involved especially when russia seems to have to much. >> viktor yanukovych was not a particularly effective leader. he was not popular. we should have waited for him to be voted out of office and for us to fit in favour of the protesters was a mistake, because we didn't anticipate what vladimir putin was likely to do. >> you think it was unexpected. must have been. we shouldn't have done it, understanding that vladimir putin had more cards to play. russia's interest in this region is greater than ours. we are a more powerful country. in this case they care more about the outcome, and will be willing to may a bigger price making sure their interests are protected.
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the american objective is to stablilize the situation, make sure things don't go further, that vladimir putin doesn't try to grab other portions of ukraine, and make sure we don't push him into doing steps like that. >> i want to get your thoughts on that, but first i want to show the viewers the scope of the american military. >> it has regional commands, allowing the deployment of resources anywhere in the world. the u.s. is spending more on military than anybody else, close to $500 billion. that's a third of the world's total spending. in this day and aim, is this the smart approach for the united states to be involved in so many conflict, in so many places around the world? >> first of all, the united states is not involved in so many condemricts at the moment -- conflicts at the
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moment. president obama stayed out of syria, he has gotten troops out of iraq, he's getting troops out of afghanistan, he's keeping forces in the pacific to deal with the geopolitical changes of the east china sea and the south chaina sea. i see president obama's strategy as one of restraint. the fact is the united states is the greatest global power and without - and without the u.s. military - without the u.s. navy and air force debate, a lot of our allies would not be able to make it to the degree that they can. the key thing is to have the navy and air force roaming the globe, but to be very, very cautious where you put down ground troops. that is the real key. steve is right - that in this instance, ukraine is more important to russia than it is
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to the united states, and even as it is to europe. so that vladimir putin has the upper hand in this case. remember, ukraine is where russia grew out of kiev in the ninth century. ukraine is key to european russia's continuity. ukraine is key - without ukraine, russia is less of a european state, more of a eurasian state. with ukraine it has leverage over central and eastern europe than it didn't have before. above all you cannot expect a russian leader to let his only warm water fleet be under the control of what he sees as a hostile pro-western government. >> i wonder if you agree with that. the big question is should the u.s. be involved in conflicts where it does not have an
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apparent vital interest. >> absolutely not, except in cases of a genocide where we had military options. the great paradox is that we are extraordinarily powerful and extraordinarily secure here in the western hemisphere. that gives us the freedom to medal in various parts of the world and gives us the freedom to do the stabilizing activities that robert was mentioning, particularly in asia. the other problem we face is many of the conflict that might emerge, including in ukraine, are not vital interest to the united states. but we want to make sure that we don't get our military power bogged down in places that don't matter, so when something that does challenge international security in a fundamental way does, in fact, affect the global balance of power in ways that might affect american security. we want to make sure we have the
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capability of meeting the challenge and are not trapped somewhere else. >> as we move forward and come to an end on the conflict in crimea. what should the united states do - bow out or push for diplomatic solution. >> it should continue to push for a diplomatic solution, and try to convince european n.a.t.o. allies to increase defense budgets, because the american people basically supported the u.s., bearing the brunt of the burden through the cold war because the u.s. fought world war ii in europe, in the pacific. you know, we had lost 600,000 lives, i believe, in world war ii. there was public support for the u.s.-dominating defense in europe throughout the cold war. i don't see public support at that level now, which means if the public is going to support a much stronger n.a.t.o., it's going - the united states is
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going to have to get european alhighs to increase their own defense budgets. >> robert caplin, steve walt, thank you for your time. we are appreciate it. >> before wrapping up, a few key events coming up: >> we'll be right back.
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>> i've been struck by how popular soccer is everywhere in the world except the united states. >> slowly it's starting to change your. when the u.s. petitioned f.i.f.a. to host a cup, it agreed under the condition that a professional soccer league be created to grow the game. fast-forward to 2014, and al jazeera's ross shimabuku reports major league soccer is alive and well. americans are embracing the sport that the rest of the world loves. >> 20 moves from its inception, as the league built on the promise of a world cup. the world's game given a presence among the big four sports in the u.s. by attracting international stars, growing talent at home and cultivating rivalries with league expanse, the future is
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bright for the beautiful game. >> that's part of the whole equation. it's continuing to grow the league and developing enough players so that the quality of the league is good, bringing in players so the quality is good. we are on the right path, it's fun to be a part of. >> home-grown talents will be credited as forefathers, helping to give the united states and soccer league credibility. credibility that is paramount. >> we have a guy like germaine defo has chosen to come to toronto. and giulio cesar is trying to get somewhere where he can play games and be sharp to go into a world cup with his home country where they are expected to win. he has chosen major league soccer in toronto. >> this 19-year-old garnered
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national attention and has chosen to stay in the u.s., and plays alongside players he idolised while becoming an idol himself. >> you can't complain, quay hill, mike mcgee, great players to be around. i was not expecting this, especially at a young age, playing against some of these players. it's exciting. >> when you have someone like david beckham arguably one of the most popular people in the world that wants to continue to be a part of the world, it speaks well. when you have a team like manchester city investing, it says a lot about our league. we are proud about what is going on, the more the merrier with me. >> new york yankees venture set to kick off in 2015, the mls will have three major power players. five cities will vie for two
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franchises. attendant this seven is projected to increase from its initial offering. >> for those that thought soccer couldn't work in america, it's time to think again. >> a couple of the cities on the short list for mention mls expansion - that will be the next two teams coming in. >> i'm surprised the cities don't have professional soccer teams. >> it's with the mls. >> we'll see what shakes out. >> let's bring in rebecca with the weather. you talked about the storms in the north-west. >> there's plenty of soccer - rain, mud. now, it is all rain and it's very, very soggy for record-breaking rain for western washington, moving to northern california. we'll see another hit of rain into north california, and western oregon overnight
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tonight. then finally we'll get a break for the west. in the meantime there's a lot going on. in the east coast there's light snow showers. now, a lot of forecasts have been hinting at a chance of a little snow tracking across the east coast. it looks like most all this will be light hit and miss showers, mainly from upstate new york and across new hampshire and parts of maine. otherwise we'll stay on the comfortable side on the east coast. we are cooler than what we have for saturday, and temperatures on the cooler side for the next several days. record totals for seattle and out on the coast for faurks and further south, these are the impressive totals in a 24 hour period. this is from the atmospheric river. a lot call them the pineapple express because it taps into
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hawaii pressures, and shoots up the east coast. north california, and western oregon is where we'll see the rain. plenty of rain in parts of idaho, flood watches in place there. otherwise, it's a little disturbance that is tracking down, coming off the south. we are going to see stormy systems coming off around texas. overall, when we talk about the storms coming off the west, we are watching a big one about to pound into south central alaska. >> it's nice that the weather is warm for once. it's not too bad. >> i'm talking about the pineapple express. i learn everything from you. >> thank you. we'll be back at 11:00 pm eastern with more news. have a good night.
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>> you are watching al jazeera america. i'm jonathan betz with the top stories. tensions grow on the ground in crimea. pro-russian groups attacked activists at a rally.
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secretary of state john kerry warned russia that annexing crimea would close the door to diplomacy. russia is undeterred and reinforces its presence in the region. >> the vietnamese navy may have spotted debris belonging to the malaysia airlines jet. interpol is investigating why two passengers were able to board the flight using stolen passports. >> syrian rebels released a group of greek orthodox nuns. they claimed they were holding them for protection. the syrian government released 113 prisoners for the 13 nuns. >> the venezuelan deposit as been accused of using brutal force against protesters. 20 have died since last month. today marked seven years since an american working for the c.i.a. disappeared.
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in a statement released secretary of state john kerry said, "the united states is committed to the safe return of rachel levin to -- return of mr levinson to his family. >> next "the toughest place to be a ferryman" starts right now. >> colin window is swapping a thousand ton car ferry in london for a wooden sampan in dhaka, bangladesh. >> this is gonna be a lot more involved than what i imagined, i tell ya. >> he'll be working in one of the busiest and most dangerous waterways on earth, where ferrymen take their lives in their hands every day. >> if they hit you, then it's


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