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tv   News  Al Jazeera  March 15, 2014 8:00pm-9:01pm EDT

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>> and a lot of history in one country. >> yes. >> for many, many decades. >> definitely. >> arthur and pauline frommer of the frommer guides, i am ali velshi, and you have been watching "talk to al jazeera." ♪ maria sharapova >> this is al jazeera america, i'm jonathan betz in new york. this hour we go indepth. first a vote to return to russia, and the strong-armed tactics crimea residents and reporters are seeing from pro-russian forces. plus, three years aboard the suffering, and millions of syria living through it every day, and the violence turning children into orphans.
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. >> we'll get to the indepth coverage of ukraine and syria. first the headlines - investigators are focussing on the crew and passengers of the missing malaysia airlines plane, after concluding the flight was intentionally diverted. japan has ended its search after the south china sea, and vietnam stopped looking in the sea of japan. they are willing to continue searching if requested to do so. >> in venezuela security forces marched in support of nicolas maduro. he warned protesters to clear a care or face eviction by soldiers >> honda is recalling nearly a million mini vans over concerns they could catch fire. >> in six hours from now voters in crimea will decide whether they want a future with russia. russia has bolstered forces on the borders. they pushed deeper into ukraine.
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united states and its allies say the vote is illegal, they presented a resolution at the u.n., declaring it as such, but russia flexed its veto. inside ukraine more clashes in the east. moscow is weighing requests to intervene there. three people have died and fights this week. in crimea the divisions are fuelling fears about the future, with hours to go before polls open. nick schifrin is in the crimean capital of simferepol. he joins us with more. what is the mood like as we counselled down to the referendum? >> it is t-minus 6 hours before, as you said, crimeans decide their future. this is the influence, a campaign poster suggesting russian life is better than crimean life. all across the peninsula, that is what is happening. the pressure is coming from the
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russians, the momentum is with the russians. the vote, many believe, is all but decided. >> when crimea votes, it will use ballots delivered in a van with russian flags, to a building whose ukranian identity was painted over. when crimea votes, it will be surrounded be protesters voting for russia. the local prime minister openly bleeds russian blue, white and red trnchts people are so inspired. they are returning to the mother land. they are returning to their true home. this man has been running election and shows me the tools in a legitimate elections toolbox. trnchts the voting booths with curtains. >> the locked ballot box, and the safe holding the ballots
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sealed until sunday by the signatures of election commissioners. these are the names. here inside the polling station for those that haven't braced a yes vote, the writing is on the wall. these are campaign posters arguing life under a russian rule is better than what ukraine can offer. >> the turn out is huge. we already know the result. >> critical local election monitors describe a series of irregularities in the vote. the referendum was hastily called, and the date changed twice. >> not a single election, especially one like this, could be prepared in 10 days. the voter role for the referendum is out of date. >> we can guess that a bus of people could collaborate and move from one polling station to
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another, and ensure the result. >> for weeks pro-russian activists have been present. they have run after journalists. all criticism has been violent. crimeans can vote to join russia or separate from ukraine. know option ahow's for the status -- allows for the status crow to continue. >> cim -- status quo to continue. >> the pro-russian local government arranged a press conference to declare the referendum legal. [ speaking foreign language ] >> on the street the momentum is towards moscow. many believe the results are preordained. after all, the crimean parliament is flying the russian
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flag. and perhaps one more piece of evidence that crimea is seen as part of the russia. the russian federation has promised to pay crimean workers and pensions not in ukrainian currency, but phasing in russian rubles. >> we have seen the pressure on western journalists at a hotel, correct. >> yes, this is one of the main hotels that journalists are staying in. for about an hour it was full of armed men ak 47s, who came into the lobby, came upstairs, they went door to door in some cases, they pointed guns at journalists, other people staying at the hotel. they never said who they were looking for, someone claiming to be the new crimean interior minister called it a military drill, and they left an hour later not leaving evidence. maybe they were after a few
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western security officers who showed up in the hotel yesterday. that's a hotel full of journalist and pro-westerners and clearly another sign of the pro-russian activists or militias silencing anyone who opposes them and silence anyone who exposes what they are doing here. >> nick schifrin live in the crimean capital. >> ahead of the vote forces are on high alert, but with eastern ukraine. russia is considering requests to intervene as clashes intensified. jennifer glasse has the latest. >> we heard inflammatory remarks from moscow saying they had had requests to protect the ethnic russians in eastern ukraine, and again today clashes pro-russian demonstrators went into the intelligence building, breaking in, took down the ukrainian flag and put up the russian flag.
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those are the acts we saw here a few weeks ago before this became a pro-russian area before the referendum tomorrow. and i think people are very, very worried that russia has their eyes now on eastern ukraine. the russian foreign ministry saying it has the right to protect ethnic russians in eastern ukraine. if it needs to it has troops on the border of ukraine, and worryingly it says this kind of unrest shows that kiev is not in control. bella cos words from moscow and an aggressive action by russian military on the eve of the referendum. >> earlier aspoke with timothy schneider. a professor at yale university and the author of many books on russia and the soviet union. what happens if it passes?
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>> certain members of the russian population and leadership will begin to think of the occupation much crimea not in symbolic, but in pocket book and practical terms, and russians will think about the possibility of travel, the money they'll lose. putin will have to think about what citizens think. it will be a long time coming. meanwhile, we have tens of thousands in the streets. when people add practical and financial motivations to the moral ones, we say see more political unrest. what will happen on monday will have a lot of dim exceptions. >> the -- dimensions. >> the sun of the former soviet leader says it will be better in vladimir putin does annex crimea. >> it will be better for them to be part of ukraine. now when they are squared of the
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western ukrainians who took power, who became tough and brutal, they don't want to do this, and they don't want to fight with them. so today it will be better for them in russia, even in the shadow of this scandal, russia will invest huge money. >> sergei says his father, seen to sign the deal giving crimea back, dealt with a decision to irrigate the southern region, but it was not a political move. >> president obama is weighing options in washington. his security team is watching the situation closely. the u.s. denounced the upcoming vote as illegal. other western leaders wowed not to recognise the results. >> russia used its veet scro power to defeat a u.n. -- veto power to defeat a u.n.
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resolution. >> crimea is part of ukraine today, it will be part of ukraine tomorrow, it will be part of ukraine next week. >> al jazeera's john terrett joins me. the international response on the crisis in ukraine, we knew russia was going to veto the decision. what is the point? >> a lot of people, and i fall into this category myself, and i've been covering the u.n. for the past 11 years, and ask "what is the point?" but this year there was a point. on thursday they had the interim ukrainian prime minister speaking and he gave powerful words. today there was a power fully worded short, one-page resolution, and the western ambass do, the united states, france and britain felt they had a chance to isolate russia on the international stage. the key was getting the chinese
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to abstain. there's a history for this. during the georgia war, a similar point, the chinese abstained. normally they vote with russia, because they tend to see life through the same lense, which is a cold car lens. the ambassadors felt they had a chance. they thought they'd go with it and got what they wanted, 13 security council voting in favour of the resolution basically saying the referendum in crimea is invalid. china abstaining and russia doing what it is entitled to do, use its veto. >> it doesn't hold weight, but the wonder g there's a wider message. imented the you cranian ambass -- the ukrainian ambassador responded so some things. he said russia is behaving as if it's the soviet areaee.
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>> we are upset with the difficulty proposed by russian delegation again. nothing serious, just words. at the same time, there are troopers and other forces who entered the mainland of ukraine. this is cynicism of what is going on. they are coming from the crimea to the southern part. we have a different situation than before the security council. the aggression is expanding. >> the ukrainian ambassador to the united nations. >> i think there was a wider message. i think the feeling is that the - that crimea is probably lost. all the polls tell us that the vote tomorrow will come in in favour of some kind of aligning with russia, so they get the country back after 60 years. but i think the message going forward to mr vladimir putin was
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keep your hands off eastern ukraine. you are completely isolated. all the members of the united nations saying what you are doing in crimea is wrong. don't even think about going over eastern ukraine, which is part of the ukraine which looks towards moscow for all aspects of life in the same way that the crimea does. >> it's an area where it looks like russia is slowly moving towards. >> well, is it does look as if we see the movement of russian troops. there's a long way to go. despite what people say about the security council, it is the world body charged with looking after peace and security in the world. whatever happens, everything ultimately has to end up back there. we are in for a busy week at the security council. >> john terrett fresh back from covering that. >> as we said it's sunday in ukraine. polls will open in less than six hours. locals are divided, but there are larger forces at play, we
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have this report from barnaby phillips in simferepol. >> they don't want to live in russia, but want crimea to stay ukraine. now they are straight. they don't want a referendum. >> because i was born in ukraine. it's my home. i - i just want to live here and, i don't know why i should be forced to have a new mother land >> would you leave if this became russia again? >> yes, i would definitely have to move. >> elsewhere in simferepol women put up posters telling people to vote yes to russia. life in russia will be better, the posters say, a message that resonates especially with older people like sergey, who scratches a living selling herbs in the market. >> translation: salaries are twice as high in russia.
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here in ukraine people earn nothing. i work for 12 hours and get $5. if i was in russia, i make $25. >> meanwhile in eastern ukraine in the city of donetsk, supporters of russia came out to denounce the government. the situation in the east is delicate. after violent consultations which many ukrainians fear will lead to a russian invasion. in crimea, the russian army is already here. this is the ukrainian military base surrounded by russian soldiers. they are not defense units, they are professionals. >> the siege of this base, carried out by the russian soldiers has gone on for two weeks. the real question is what is going to happen after the referendum. if the vote goes in favour of crimea joining russia, as many
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expect, how long can the uneasy stand off continue? >> a family is given permission by the russian soldiers to go up to the gate and say hello to a ukrainian man inside. a touching moment, and then it's time to say goodbye. we don't know how this will end. nobody here does. crimea's fate is being decided by bigger, outside forces. >> touching moment. and increasingly gayeded company. >> a group of observers arrived to monitor the referendum. they told reporters that they were invited by authorities that support the vote. crimea's leaders say it doesn't matter who makes up the majority, because everyone gets the chance to vote. earlier morgan radford spoke with a former elections observer. he is in kiev and says many signs are troubling ahead of the
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referendum. >> in terms of legitimacy - look, i was an election observer, and by all the international standard rules, the way the vote is being conducted in crimea is against most rules. the way the counting is going to be done, no one knows who will do it or how it will be done. the wording on the pallet is provocative. it doesn't allow people to choose the middle road, asking for autonomy with ukraine, and is buying done under the watchful eye of armed servicemen wearing the russian insignia. a set of things making people nervous >> you mentioned the counting, the wording and armed guards. would you call it a rigged ballot. >> definitely i would. >> he was an observer during
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parliamentarian elections in ukraine in 2012. next, an indepth discussion, the pivotal event turning into an all-out law. >> plus the children - many left without family. the growing refugee crisis coming out of syria. >> and a new twist in flight 370 - someone on board shut off the communication systems. ho>>
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>> in washington remembrance for those killed in syria's war. today marks three years since the uprisiing and the names of the 100,000 people killed in the conflict from read outside the white house. >> to understand how the uprising began and evolved we
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turn to courty healy. >> the conflict began with children imitating slogans. bashar al-assad's security forces rounded up 15 boys, they were beaten, bloodied, burnt and had their fingernails pulled out. the boys families protested and it spread. by may tanks were rolled in areas. by the end of 2011 the arab league suspended syria after the bashar al-assad defied an agreement to stop violence against demonstrators. as government violence continued rebel fighters, calling themselves the free syrian army launched attacks. at the end of may, according to the u.n., 108 villages were killed by soldiers. by the end of it 2012 the syrian
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opposition government gained opposition as a legitimate representative of the people by the u.s., britain, turkey and the golf states. the fighting continued. and lebanon fighters joined with government forces to capture strategic towns. the u.n. concluded that assad's regime used chemical weapons. they brokered a deal, allowing them to destroy chemical weapon stock files. contributors in syria, whose identity we keep hidden says many syrians are abandoned by the west. >> hunger - don't forget the hunger that has brought many syrian in rebel held areas into submission. >> two rounds of peace talks in zen failed. the un estimates more than 9 million in syria needs help.
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another 2.5 million fled the country. >> courtney healy looking at a grim three years. >> syria's wars displaced millions, most fleeing to lebanon. we have this report from a lebanese refugee camp. >> a syrian refugee never thought she'd give birth to her youngest child in lebanon. in is one of syria's newest refugees. her parents and siblings became refugees here. she was brought no the world as one. >> i feel sorry for her because whatever she has will be less than what her siblings have. she'll be deprived from clothes heat and health care. >> the refugees in exile for the longest are the most pessimistic. they have been living in a tented community for over a year and a half. >> translation: the war
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prevented us having dreams or plans for our lives. we survive the day. hopes and ambitions and plans are shattered because of this war. we have no hope for the future. >> his son tells him he wants to return to syria because he's unhappy. they can't return because syria is too dangerous. over 2.5 million syrians have been registered as refugees. the majority are here in lebanon. three years after the start of the conflict and with no political solution, the future looks more uncertain with these people. the u.n. refugee agency says syrians could make up the largest population in the world. the war devastated children. between those under siege in syria, those displaced externally and those in exile, 5.5 million syrians are
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effected. despite the conditions they face, syrians are fleeing, choosing a life of hardship over death. this woman and her family fled from ib lib. all they feel is fear and uncertainty. >> translation: we are afraid we'll never go back, our house will be destroyed and things will get so much worse than they are. >> the war is causing a humanitarian cat aft trophy. if the world fails to act refugees say they not only will feel abandoned but fear for their future. >> i spoke with simon ingram with unicef and he says the issues facing the children is worse. >> many children, month, if not years, have not seen the inside of a school room. they are falling behind in their learning, and it has long-term
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implications for - for whatever chances we have of putting syria bag together as a country once the conflict finally comes to an end. >> paint a picture for what it's like inside the refugee camps on a day-to-day basis for the families. >> here in jordan, the situation has evolved erratically since i arrived for unicef, when the refugee camp barely existed and there were little more than 200,000 or something syrian refugees inside the country. now it's grown exponentially. many families tried to adjust to the situation of near perform nans. they accept that they will be able to return quickly to their homes inside syria. they recognise that will not
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happen for some time to come. >> how do you help them adjust. will they integrate with their host country, find jobs or schools. what is the game plan for the refugees, at least in the short term? >> in certain situations, they have helped themselves. they are setting up their own businesses and shops. you can see them sprouting inside the refugee camp and out in the host communities. new restaurants, car repair shops. syrians are an entrepreneurial people. they have brought skills with them. they are entering into the marketplace. this sets off - risks settling off friction and tension with the indigenous population who, in some instances see opportunities taken away from them. >> just a few hours ago the united nations tweeted the latest numbers on syrian refugees, and the in the are
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staggering. two years ago there were more than 23,000 syrian refugees. today that number stands at more than 2.5 million people. women and girls have been hit hard in the conflict facing changes, forcing marriages. heidi joins us on set with more on this. first off, thank you for being here. what is it that the refugees who are women and children face, that the men are not facing? >> i think the daily threat of sexual violence, domestic violence, i think limited mobility in the camps, even camps like zateri or places of refuge that should be safe for women and girls. >> how big of a problem is sexual harassment and assaults. >> it's a significantly problem. every day women and girls come into one of the 18 centres that we support across the region,
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giving us their stories of domestic violence, sexual violence, looking for options to not sell their daughters, if you will. so these are daily things that the irc are seeing. >> it's heart-breaking when you think about it. these are people that have lost everything. another in horrible conditions in camps, in foreign lands to them. they are facing the concern of abuse from their husbands, male people in their community. talk about what these women are facing on a day-to-day basis there. >> i think the daily reality as you say is the war and the trauma that the women and girls faced is compounded by the issues of violence that they are facing every day. i was in jordan last month and i was talking to a group of women and they were talking about domestic violence that they were facing, including being burnt by
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cigarettes, beaten by chains and asking where are we supposed to go with these things, it's why the international community is focussing on the visibility of the women and girls. >> where do the women turn? is it the aid groups. is there any kind of law and order handled by the government. >> ultimately it's the international communities collective responsibility to make sure the girls are safe, once they reach the refuge of whether it's turkey or jordan. it's intention that the communities are putting up programs. >> are you getting the impression that the host countries are dismissive of integrating the refugees, they are isolating them in the camps. >> to keep it in perspective,
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there's over 900,000 syrian refugees in lebanon, a country the size of 4 million. it's just one county. >> we have to look at how do we support the countries that are hosting or giving refuge to the syrian refugees to meet the social problems that have been there from the beginning, but are becoming more pronounced as the protracted nature continues. >> without question the neighbouring countries like lebanon, turkey are shouldering most of the responsibility. do you feel like western, european, north american countries should do more to open borders to accept refugees from syria. >> i can't speak to that, but one of the things i can speak to is the need for all of the parties in - in this conflict to come together and agree on how we open up unfettered
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humanitarian access within syria. >> is that the biggest concern. >> for sure. >> for sure there's 6 million plus folks in syria that are unable to get any kind of aid. the fact that the humanitarian community has not been able to have unfettered access is significant. irc has been doing antiviolence programs for 18 years, and we know how the risk is compounded for women and girls, to be sexually assaulted and exploited. >> 9 million people displaced as we enter the fourth year of the conflict. thank you for your time today. >> syria's kennions could be removed by april 13th, according to russia. the country missed deadlines for removing and destroying the
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weapons. last year president bashar al-assad agreed to destroy all of them. he has until june 30th to eliminate syria's chemical weapons program. charles was a lead weapons inspector in iraq for the united nations and the united states. he's been following the response to the syrian stockpile closely and joins us live from maine. thank you for being with us. give us a progress report. how far along as the chemical weapons process gone, and how productive has it been? >> of all the horrors which you discussed about syria, there's one semi good thing, and that is the progress made on getting rid of chemical weapons. it's worth remembering that in the fall they destroyed missions, production equipment. that has given syria no capacity to use chemical weapons. with the delays recently about, that has been about getting the chemicals out of syria on to ships where they'll be
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destroyed. there has been some political issues getting entangled in all this. there has been the meetings in geneva with the opposition, and i think that bashar al-assad was seeing if he could play a bit with his chemical destruction process to effect that agreement. >> so you are not too concerned about the delays that we have seen, the missed deadlines. the united states called it, frankly, weeks of inaction by the syrian government. you don't see it has a stall tactic. >> i think you are right. in the last couple of weeks the russians have gotten back on to the stick on this and put pressure on to bashar al-assad to comply with the mandate. they are, as you point out, late in getting the chemicals out of syria, but the russian, i think, are reapplying pressure. russians have an interest in complying. >> that's interesting. a lot of people would say the opposite. the impression is that russia is so distrcted by ukraine and --
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distracted by ukraine and crimea, that there hasn't been a lot of attention. >> that may be right, but the international community is looking at them with negative light because of actions in ukraine. they don't want to further that by pulling back on the actions, which are seen favourably by the international community in a limited way in syria. i suspect that they'll keep the pressure on syria to get rid of the chemical weapons. the problem is that this does nothing for the rest of the country. the international community does nothing about killing community with barrel bombs and other ways to do it. they feel strongly about chemical munitions. that leaves people wondering what is up with that. they don't seem to care about other actions. it's a difficult picture. >> does in not count for something to have horrific
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weapons removed that kills hundreds of thousands. >> it's a plus, it takes a dangerous weapon off the table, and is a risk more to the international community, rather than for the syrians themselves. the bashar al-assad regime demonstrated that they can conduct a lot of military operations without chemical munitions. it is great that these things are now being deactivated, leaving a couple of countries standing out, prominently egypt and to an extent israel. getting a syrian munitions, it's a plus. we have done most of the job. it's going to be a success story, even if it's delayed. >> my quick last question for you, because we don't have much time. do you think syria will meet the june 30th deadline and do they deserve credibility for removing the chemical weapons. they'll meet the deadline because it's a deadline that
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they have to get the chemicals out of the country. the united states and other countries will dale with the destruction. i don't think they deserve positive credit for doing this. look at what they are doing with the country, by other means. the russians are trying to promote the positive aspect. it's a dim picture as the rest of your reporting showed. >> you're right, whether it's a chemical weapon or barrel bombs, many are killed. >> a former lead weapons inspector, charles, thank you for your time. >> still to come on al jazeera - two countries suspended their search for the missing malaysian plane. why the mystery is turning into a criminal investigation - ahead. >> last days of winter, there's 4-8 inches of the snow for some mid-atlantic states and several isolated storms. i'll show you where this will happen
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>> week two in the search for flight 370 is a criminal investigation. it appears someone deliberately cut communication, diverted the plane and flew on for another seven hours, says the malaysian prime minister. >> investigators do not know who, why or where the plane went. lisa stark reports. >> it is a chilling picture. the jumbo jet, 239 on board, flown for seven hours, thousands of miles off course, possibly until the plane ran out of fuel. with criminal investigations under way. investigators are securityinizing the backwards of everyone on board. in malaysia police searched the captain. zaharie ahmed shah has more than 30 years of commercial flying experience. it's unclear whether the home of copilot fariq abdul hamid has been searched as well.
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investigators now know that someone in the cockpit set off two key systems, first, the one that sent out data on performance, and the traps ponder, letting air traffic know the position. there was a final routine voice, but then the jet turned off course. officials confirmed that blips seen on malaysian military radar were the missing jumbo jet, and someone was at the controls. >> up until the point where it left military, primary radar coverage, the movements are consistent with deliberate access by someone on the plane. >> even with its communication systems disabled, the aircraft was sending out electronic symbols picked up by satellites. that's when investigators know it was still in the air.
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and it's determined two possible flight paths. one heading north over india, pakistan. the other to the south over the indian ocean. sources say that is the more likely path if those in the cockpit wanted to avoid detection. officially it's a wide-open investigation. >> despite media reports that the plane was high jacked, i wish to be very clear. we are still investigating all possibilities. >> the latest news is another blow to the families of those on board. understandably desperate to know what happened to loved ones. malaysia airlines has no answers. >> because the situation is looking at criminal investigation under international law, we are not permitted to respond to questions of this kind. >> dozens of planes and boats that had been searching the south china sea, under the
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intended route of the jetliner are being pulled out, moved west into the vast indian ocean to try to find a sign, any sign of the missing jetliner. >> and joins me on the phone from hong kong is commander william mark, currently on the uss "blue ridge", thank you for being with us. do you feel like you guys are getting closer to finding the plane or further from finding it? well, we really don't have any indication that we are getting closer. i can tell you when we shifted from the gulf of thailand to the indian ocean, we certainly did feel like the efforts took a step back, simply because of the geographic area. for the u.s. navy, the way we think of it is the first 72 hours you are looking for survivors, a human being can
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easily last that long alone in the water. in the gulf of thailand you have a defined search spot with defined boundaries, and we covered it. we methodically searched the whole area. when you shift to the west, that's a brand new game. there's no way you can search the entire indian ocean. so you just have to take it little bit - a little bit at a time. it's a huge area. it's almost overwhelming. hep us understand the resources that the united states has. are they all in the indian ocean or are some of the planes and ships searching the gulf of thailand. >> everything we have now is over the indian ocean. there is nothing from the u.s. navy searching at all in the gulf of thailand. we have three, one a destroyer,
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uss "kid", and that is in the north-west section. strait of malacca heading to the andaman sea. it carries to mm-hmm 60 search and rescue. they fly low to the waters at a range of a couple of hundred miles. if there's anything low to the water they can get a visual identification of it. i have a person here take a picture and come back. finally we have a t8 pos eyedon flying in a few hours. it's the most advanced controlled aircraft, flying 5,000 to 10,000, and will look at the radar at the surface of the water. the range is well over 1,000 miles for every flight, giving us the best range. >> a lot of sophisticated equipment. how concerned are you that we may reach the point where we never find the missing plane?
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>> i'm very concerned. first and foremost for our sailors out there. we have about 700 u.s. navy sailors, and have to watch the fatigue level. we sent out grief counsellors and chaplains to make sure that mentally they are doing okay, and physically too. you can't operate equipment 24 hours a day, or push people to work 24 hours a day. we are very concerned about the fatigue level. we are watching it closely. that is where we are right now. >> commander william marks with the u.s. navy's 7th fleet, thank you for your time tonight. >> get ready to fill out your docket for march madness. >> well have how someone is putting up a billion dollars in you can pick the perfect
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bracket. >> all righty. we are hear back with ross with more on march madness, have you filled out your bracket. >> not yet. all 68 teams we'll find it tomorrow. it's big business and money. especially when the n.c.a.a. signed an agreement with c.b.s. to televise the games in 2010. everyone wants a peace of the pie. people in los angeles will be catching in, and so will the bars and restaurants around the country. >> it's finally here, tournament time in college basketball. for bars and restaurants it moons the post-holiday drought
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is over and the crowds filling streets to enjoy the excitement of the dance. >> 75% of the business, we double, triple based on when the games are and what we are anticipating before, after and during the game. >> the madness of march is no better personified than in crowded bars, with tip offs as rly at 7am. >> business wise it's very good. everyone can watch. constantly busy. we need extra staff. the kitchen is busy, the bar is busy. all snow balls as the month goes on. 67 games will have to be played, and each one is a welcomed opportunity to pack in the crowds. as one bar owner told us, there are no days off in march. >> march is after january, february, everyone has cabin fever, and everyone moves forward, not just business, but
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all families, and people from everywhere. it's a chance to get out and let it go. >> now the n.c.a.a. tournament is a cash cow. the big dance, a big distraction for most companies. everyone i know is at work filling out a bracket. i had a chance to see daniel caplin, talking about how many people are playing in an office pool. >> unofficially, officially there's no real figures, but tens of millions of people are doing this. the estimates for unofficial wages is over a billion. it's quite a bit. >> we hear about the decline in productivity at work. how much money are businesses losing and how should management approach the situation. >> sorry, my productivity was lost there. no, look, businesses should be concerned. people are on the internet. there's other sporting events that are streamed - tennis,
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golf, soccer. so many events are streamed. 5-10-15 years ago, the n.c.a. tournaments, whether it was the scores or streamed after that started. now there's so much more. i question whether this is the only thing that we should be talking about every year. how much productivity are we losing on wimbledon or the u.s. open and gulf. this is all streamed as well. >> some companies are losing money, what about the bars and restaurants. they must be loving this. >> they do well. los angeles does well, particularly the first weekend that includes the thursday, friday period. corporate america, i am sure, doesn't like it, on the other hand happy employees is a good employee. >> speaking of big business, you mentioned las vegas. how much money is generated revenue in gambling. >> well, in vegas, it's 60 to
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70 million, dwarfed by the $5 that everyone puts down. >> it's also big business for the programs. how much money does each team receive per game. >> it depends how far they go through it. a lot of this is about exposure. it's not like a ball game, spls you get to the final. it's about the exposure the university gets, and the number of applications they receive in ensuing years, particularly for the universities and colleges that do not have a lot of exposures, the mid majors, the stories that you here of after the fact, where the next year 20%, 30% is bumped up. that's where they get the payoff. warren buffet is offering a billion if someone can pick all games. one billion. what is the odds of doing that?
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>> it's 8-9 quintillion. buffet - it's his insurance company underwriting the risk of the game. >> are office pools legal? >> i don't believe so. i do not believe - you can gamble on sports obinitially outside of -- officially outside of las vegas. >> all teams will be announced at 6:00 pm eastern times. you could win one billion. >> i find that hard to believe. one billion he'll give away. >> 9.2 quinn trillion to one. >> it's worse than lotto. programming - join us tomorrow for a special look at president obama's plan to overhaul overtime pay. on our "the week ahead" we go indepth on how the changes affect the local worker: >> we could not leave without a check of the weather with rebecca. serious storms are out there.
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>> there's a severe storm warning in texas, bringing in gusty winds. the potential dragging east, along with a new storm slamming into the pacific north-west. a lot of rain. into tomorrow night, and monday morning before it tapers off. we are watching the initial storm that will bring in the storms particularly into miss sippy and indiana. this will be pretty good sized hail with the severe storm that could break out. it's a slight risk. you have to keep an eye on the sky. there's so much cold air. the north-east gets a cold blast. virginia, and west vigia. now, radar and clouds show the storm system electricing through north texas as it continues east
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ward, we'll see the thunder storms start to role from new orleans up across beluxy, all the way over to pensacola and panama city. by the time we get into sunday night, monday morning, this is where, in the virginias, we see the risk of 4-8 inches of snow piling up. to the south is the mix of rain and snow. new york city is looking dry and out of the snow. boy are we going to feel the cold bite. >> it's supposed to be march, spring. are we not down with the cold weather. >> official start to spring is thursday. >> we have a couple of days left to feel it. that's the show on this saturday night. thank you for joining us. i'm jonathan betz. more news at 11:00 pm eastern. headlines are after the short
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break. >> you're watching al jazeera america. i'm jonathan betz in new york with the top stories. russia vetoed a u.n. security council resolution that would have declared the election in crimea illegal.
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violence erupted again in eastern ukraine, not far from the border. russian troops are trying to advance northward from the peninsula into the mainland. the criminal investigation into malaysian airlines flight 370. the prime minister says it appears the plane was deliberately diverted off course and flown for seven hours. police reportedly searched the homes of the pilot and the copilot. >> today marks three years since the start of the crisis in syria. nearly 3 million people have fled the county. venezuelan president mooud rah gave anti-government demonstrators, clear out or face an eviction. thousands of supporters were told if protesters dent retreat, he'll liberate with security forces. fighting killed nearly 30 people
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since protests began. >> rescue workers reached the site where gas beloweded. >> "consider this" starts now on al jazeera america. >> why are exorcisms

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