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tv   News  Al Jazeera  March 23, 2014 11:00am-11:31am EDT

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>> indigenous communities at risk. >> if their forest continues to disappear, then eventually these people will disappear. >> this british firefighter joins a group of brave men. >> the most surprising thing for me is the size of the fires that come through. absolutely brutal. >> toughest place to be a firefighter. tonight at 9 eastern, on al jazeera america. it was like somebody wants to grab you and everything was gone. >> a frantic search for survivors after a mudslide in washington state kills at least three people. a low star spill. a barge carrying a million gallons of fuel collided with another ship right off the coast of texas. turkey's armed forces shoot
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down a syrian jet claiming it violated their air space. we begin with breaking news overseas where a syrian jet has been shot down by the turkish military. it happened in the northern border region with turkey where rebels have been battling president bashar al-assad forces. each country is offering its own version of where and ho it went down. they say it was downed by turkish f-16s although violating their air space, but syrian state tv said it was shot down when it followed rebels within the bodders. first, we want to tourn to a developing story out of washington state where rescue crews are hoping find survivors still trapped underneath debris.
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this all after a massive mudslide on saturday morning killed at least three people. al jazeera is here now with the latest. >> that's right, morgan. at least eight others were taken to area hospitals including a 6-month-old infant listed in critical continue. it happened saturday morning? snohomish county 30 miles north of seattle. rescue workers heard voices crying for help beneath the debris. the mountain of flood flowed into a nearby river blocking water from flowing downstream. the landslide was 135 feet wide and 180 feet deep. one eyewitness described the horrific scene. >> i was coming down the hill and i just saw the mountains like somebody wants to grab you from it. everything was gone in three seconds. two miles from here that way, it's pretty much everything is gone. >> reporter: saturday's weather was sunny and clear, but
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authorities believe the wet winter season and groundwater saturation from a week of heavy rain is to blame. the river is blocked by debris in the area just a little bit downward of the slide. the state's governor declared a state of emergency. there are fears the dam could break. residents downstream have been told to evacuate, and, of course, we'll keep you updated as the search and rescue continues. morgan. >> thanks so much. we want to understand more about those conditions that those washington search crews are facing. let's bring in gentleman lay la awe head to talk about it more. >> we're looking at mostly cloudy overcast skies. in the pictures behind me, the clouds are rolls into the area. i'll show you the radar from the last 24 hours across the region. the clouds pushed onshore and there was a little bit of wet weather in the area and not significant rainfall but a bit of moisture in the atmosphere
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within the last 24 hours. as she said earlier, yesterday was a dry day relatively speaking, but we had heavy rain earlier this month that may have contributed to the landslide. everett, washington reported 5.64 inches of rain as of march 21st. that's 261% more than they would have this time of year. want heavier rain could have played a role. back to you, morgan. >> thanks so much. meanwhile, crews in texas are trying to contain a massive oil spill after an oil barge carrying nearly a million gallons of crude collided with another ship. the crash happened near the coast of galveston, texas. let's speak to our correspondent brandon trutlige in dallas for the update. what can you tell us so far? >> reporter: morgan, people who are responsible for cleaning this mess up have described the process as terrible. as you mentioned, the barge carrying nearly a million gallons of thick fuel collided
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with another ship in houston's ship channel. it happened around 12:30 yesterday, and you still have a big effort underway to try to contain this spill. to give you an idea of the area, it's about 50 miles between houston and the gulf of mexico. right now part of houston's ship channel is closed as, of course, you have several crews working to contain it and clean it up. conflicting reports in the way of injuries, so that's the information we look to find. of course, we're headed in that direction as we find out more, we pass that information along. >> have they said anything yet about the types of health concerns people are probably worried about right about now? >> no, not so much yet. that area, to your understanding, you don't have too many people really frequenting that area. of course, they are still working to contain the spill to keep it from basically coming offshore. >> brandon joining us live from dallas with an update. thank you for joining us this
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morning. also on the phone is first class petty officer andy ket trick. we want to thank you for joining us this morning. i want to ask you, were there any injuries? we were trying to figure out the latest data on that. >> we sent a couple people to the hospital as a precautionary measure. the couple folks on the barge, it was a significant spill. we have close to 168,000 gallons that could have entered the water from the hole that was breached. the barge was carrying a significant amount, but the part that was damaged, 168,000 was possibly to have come out. we're not sure how much of that has come out. we're responding to this. the folks on board obviously inhaled quite a few fumes and we wanted to get them checked out. other than that, we've had no reports of any injuries. we're definitely just hitting it with everything we've got.
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fortunately in houston it's one of the best places in the world as far as response equipment and capability. we have great coordination and great relationships with all the folks here. we have federal, state and local agencies and organizations hitting this thing hard. >> officer kendrick, you mentioned the response equipment. what kind of cleanup efforts are underway so far? >> sure. we've got about 35,000 feet of boom out, which boom is like a floating curtain. it's just a barrier that floats on the water. so we've got containment around the barge itself about 600 feet of it there to just contain any oil that seeps out. right now we're checking the barge and the operations removing the products. we have crews pumping the water off the barges so we can take that barge and get it fixed and check it out and survey the damage. and also find out if there's still remaining oil in that hold that is built. that hull that was breached, we're not sure how much oil may
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still be remaining in there. there may be a considerable amount. we want to check that out and see what we've got. we're also running that like i said 35,000 feet of boom deployed so far. as much as 90,000 feet we had available this morning to get started on getting that out to protect the environment with natural resources and habitat that we want to protect. >> absolutely. all right. petty officer andy kendrick joins us live with an update. thank you so much. we appreciate you being with us. a warning from nato saying there are so many russian troops on the eastern ukrainian border that they're a threat to moldova, which is on the opposite side of ucontain. the security chief is accusing putin of trying to take over the entire country, claims that russia denies. let's go to phil from kiev's independence square. phil, there's a lot of speculating as to what russia is up to.
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what can ukraine and the western allies really do at this point? >> reporter: well, when it comes to crimea, not an awful lot, it's a fate accompli, but what's troubling kiev and the international community is the possible risk that russia has grander designs on mainland ukraine. morgan, they are saying today here in kiev that they have captured a number of what they call russian agent provoke turs around the country and out east. it's in places with large populations of ethnic russians, but also now in the south and oodessa on the black sea. that would create a corridor, morgan. we've heard this from the ukrainian intelligence committee that they believe that's the intention. russia wants to create at least some way of connecting with its military base in that area that
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you mentioned which borders moldova and the rest of europe. morgan. >> phil, we also hear a lot of activity behind you. can you explain to us what's going on and perhaps if that's reaction to what's happening now? >> reporter: well, it is in response to what's happening. not only to the general crisis that's going on, but specifically to the storming of that air force base out in crimea where we saw those russian tanks breaking down the gate, going through walls. also, then subsequently taking into custody the ukrainian naval officer in command there. we are hearing reports he's been released, but all of this, morgan, is making the ukrainians very anxious and very angry. what you're hearing behind me and we are seeing on the ground here in independence square is a show of what they call unity for all of ukraine but also clearly
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sending a signal of defiance towards the russians. the ukrainians will not bow to pressure from moscow. morgan. >> all right, phil is there in independence square in kiev. thank you for being here this morning. meanwhile, tensions run high outside of crimea where another day of pro-russian protests in two eastern ukrainian cities take place as the russians push forward taking control over crimea. it caused a big problem for the ukrainian officers based there. nick spicer brings us their story. >> reporter: this major spoke with al jazeera before russians took over his base. the soldiers were still holding out. he read us the russian offer. leave the ukrainian army, become a russian citizen and get a job with better pay in the russian armed forces.
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he has never lived in mainland ukraine. his parents and family live here in nearby sevastopol. he has relatives buried here, but there's something stronger than that. >> translator: as for me, i will definitely leave and go to mainland ukraine, but despite all the endless offers, i will not accept russian citizenship or pledge allegiance to russia. an officer can give one oath in a lifetime. if he betrays it, he's not worthy of respect. >> reporter: the ukrainian defense ministry says the soldiers leaving are heroes, not deserters. patriots who served a nation well. he's promising them financial support and housing, but many of the soldiers leaving to the mainland say the government should have given them clearer orders in good time. torn between his officer's dignity and his disappointment, he is going to pack up more than his uniform in the coming days. a whole life, memories, joys and
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disappointments will be coming for a trip to a destination he does not know yet. >> fun, fun, fun. >> reporter: he is bringing something else. he says this flag flew over the base during the three-week standoff with the russians. the officers decided to cut it up and share the pieces in hope to fly it someday over their base once again. for now, he needs to get his paperwork off the base filled now with russian soldiers. after that a long road, and for the major there's simply no other one to take. >> that was al jazeera's in this case spicer reporting from sevastopol in crimea. coming up on al jazeera america, new clues in the search for that missing malaysian airliner. plus, a last-minute push for the affordable care act with a deadline approaching in just a
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few short days.
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in australia eight plains scour the southern indian ocean on sunday searching for the missing malaysian jetliner. several satellite images including new ones this morning from france show objects floating in the water? al jazeera's andrew thomas has more. >> reporter: the comments seem to be significant not least of the fact that australia's prime minister made it. tony abbott is not a man to speculate about issues as series as this. he was more cautious 20 minutes earlier. he's drawn attention to the fact that the chinese satellite spopted an object very similar in size to an object spotted by an australian satellite two days earlier. significantly that object was about 120 kilometers away from where an australian satellite
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spotted something similar. if it is it's been traveling in a southwesterly direction. that is not the direction that experts were predicting it might move. that explains why the spotter planes leaves from outside of perth haven't seen an object of size so far. they look at perth where the chinese satellite has seen it slightly further away from perth. the number of objects in the small area as well that tony abbott refers to, can't confirm what those are. a military plane that looked a few hours after the civilian plane that first spotted these could only see seaweed, so it's hard to know whether there was something out there oornt. nevertheless, tony abbott is optimistic. this is a little more of what he had to say. >> it's still too early to be definitely, but obviously we have had a number of very credible leads and there is increasing hope, no more than hope, no more than hope that we
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might be on the road to discovering what did happen to this ill-fated aircraft. >> reporter: a bit more hope in the air, but in this context hope is a funny word. if solid news does come out that the objects are connected in some way, that could be the news that the family dread. they want news that it could be the worst of all news for them. in kenya four people are dead after gunmen attacked a church. it happened in lakoni. 21 others were injured and the two gunmen used automatic rifles and shot at church-goers just as sunday mass began. no group has since claimed responsibility, and kenya's interior minister said the attackers escaped despite police presence just 100 meters away. president obama is heading to europe this week stopping in four different countries. the president will attend a nuclear summit in the
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netherlands on monday chill focus on how to keep nuclear materials out of the hands of terrorists. mike vick viqueira has more. efforts to rid the world of leftover nuclear stockpiles could be in danger. >> it's a troubling situation. we still have deep national interests in working with russia to make sure nuclear material is secure and accounted for. >> reporter: there are warning signing. cooperation has broken down at the working level because of the ukraine crisis. the 20-year program that guided efforts known as nonlieuinger has expired. now has the ukraine standoff escalates, russian officials threaten to halt inspections on their soil altogether. past summits have yielded results, pushing ukraine to rid itself of nuclear weapons. >> it's because of the first summit in 2010 that ukraine made
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a commitment to remove that remaining material. it is actually because of u.s. and russian cooperation that that happened. >> reporter: at this summit no ukraine and no russia. its president, vladimir putin, is taking a pass. in the wake of the soviet union's collapse, the world was awash with what were called loose nukes. then 52 countries possessed nuclear materials. the good news is that number is down to 25. russia and the u.s. worked together to reduce stockpiles, ukraine, the former soviet republic, was left with 1900 weapons. in 1994 they agreed to send them to russia in exchange from a pledge from russia, united states and others to honor ukraine's borders. since the russian invasion of crimea, ukrainian officials made it clear. they expected more from the west to help defend their country. one concern, other nuclear states are watching. it's a question of trust.
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>> i think it sets a terrible precedent for russia, the united states and britain pledged to respect ukraine's sovereignty, its territory, and to help protect it if that territory was threatened. that's, obviously, been breached. >> reporter: the united states has its own challenges with nuclear security. >> a commitment to a safer, more secure tomorrow. >> reporter: a new facility in south carolina was designed to get rid of weapons-grade plutonium. already over projected costs, work has been halted. that sends the wrong message to russia. >> they want to make sure russia does not get the signal they should stop on their side, because they have a similar commitment. >> reporter: mike viqueira, al jazeera, washington. >> sinces the last summit two years ago several countries have gotten rid of all frnt most of the nuclear materials and more than a dozen countries have
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reduced stockpiles. coming up, we'll have more for you on that breaking news out of syria. and hillary clinton is very concerned about america's future, but in just a moment hear what she said about her own political future. plus, a historic election. the city of lights is looking to elect its first female mayor.
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good morning. welcome back. i'm morgan radford, and here are today's top stories. they warn russian troops on the eastern ukrainian border are a threat to moldova. meanwhile, dozens of russian supporters rally in ukraine's east. they hope to find survivors under trees and dirt in snow home mish county, washington and they could hear cries under the debris. breaking news out of turkey where a syrian jet was shot down
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earlier today. turkey's prime minister said the jet was downed by turkish f-16st after inviting air space. they warned syria there will be a heavy response if that air space is violated again. we're in istanbul with the latest on that. both syria and turkey confirm the shootdown, but each country has its own version of where and how it went down. what do we know for sure? >> reporter: what we know for sure is that syria described the incident as a blatant attack against the plane, because it said the plane didn't enter turkish air space. however, the tir -- turkish military said in a statement that they warned an incoming syrian plane it was entering
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turkish air space. the pilot ignored the warning and went a kilometer and a half into the air space. then two f-16s, turkish f-16s fired one missile that brought down the plane. the prime minister of this country and his defense minister said that no one should test the retaliation of turkey. >> that's from is tal bull with latest. thank you for being with us this morning. hillary clinton is still not saying if she will make a presidential run in 2016, but the former secretary of state says she haventz -- hasn't decided if she'll throw her hat in the ring. that's what she said at berkeley. clinton said she's very concerned about the directions of our country. parisians go to the polls today for the first round of local elections, and for the first time it's likely the city will have a madam for mayor.
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from paris here's emma heyward. >> reporter: it's a chance to run all this, one of the world's most distinctive cities, and whoever wins this election in paris will make hicht. becoming its first female mayor. on the left the front-runner and the right the ump candidate. >> reporter: both are campaigning hard to make their mark, but doing it differently. she's a rising star on the right, and a former ecology minister. >> i want to change paris for the better. i love paris. >> reporter: while hidalgo takes a low-key approach. she's the current deputy mayor. >> translator: i hope parisians
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choose progress and humanism over conservatism and regress. >> reporter: whoever gains the keys to paris will need to keep in mind the interests of its more than 2 million people. this is the first real electoral test since hollande that struggled in the polls. this is an election done named by discussions about looking for better housing, the economy and security. and that two women are leading the race. politics here, like in many places, is still dominated by men, and at times during this campaign, the two main mayoral candidates have been scrutinized in a way they wouldn't have been in they were men. compared not only on their politics. >> translator: the interest in the fact that the candidates are women could be seen in the media. for example, when they talked about the color of their hair, how they dressed, in fact, they have to play on a double-level,
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which is both one of seduction to the the parisian woman and also to represent the image of the mayor. >> reporter: they both want to revitalize paris. if gender isn't the main issue in the ballot booth this weekend, then just maybe it could lead to greater equality and politics here. emma heyward, al jazeera in paris. before we go, we have a brief look at the forecast. >> the major story across the day is the cold air working in out of canada. look at temperatures in minneapolis. only 22 degrees here for your sunday. typically we'd be around 50 at this time of the year. yesterday temperatures were in the 60s in new york city and in the 70s across much of the southeast, but we had a cold front swing on through, and because of that cold front it will feel a lot chillier across the region. that cold air will continue to push in out of the north central planes into the midwest and northeast tracking into tomorrow. back to you, morgan.
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>> thanks so much. thank you for watching al jazeera america. i'm morgan radford. for news updates throughout the day, follow us on twitter at ajam or go to our website at


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