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tv   News  Al Jazeera  December 18, 2014 7:00am-9:01am EST

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>> no laughing matter, sony pulling the controversial comedy the interview. >> a new era set to begin as president obama opens diplomatic channels with cube in a, the mixed reviews. >> a guilt verdict brings cheers to a courtroom, a jury deciding
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a man was not defending his home from a german exchange student when he killed him. >> governor cuomo bans fracking in his state, hailed by environmentalists, but criticized by the gas industry. >> more fallout after a massive sony cyber attack. the u.s. knows who was behind the breach. the u.s. has strong circumstantial evidence that the north korean government ordered the attack last month. >> sony is dropping that film. "the interview" has been pulled from release. theaters won't show it after threats they will be attacked. >> a lot of developments in the last 24 hours. >> we hope to learn more details from federal officials later today. this movie is about the u.s. government recruiting a talk show host to assassinate the leader of north korea. it's a comedy with big name actors who have been promoting
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it for weeks but now seems movie goers may never get to see this film on the big screen or any screen for that matter. >> hello, north korea. >> two hollywood heavyweights and one major security controversy means this movie will not be coming to a theater near you. >> if that ain't a story, what is? >> the hackers behind the data threat were acting on orders from north korea, their primary demand to stop the movie from being shown. the movie is about an american talk show host recruited to assassinate kim jong-un. >> you want us to kill the leader of north korea? >> yes. >> whaaaat? >> it's clearly no laughing matter. >> i think it was made in bat taste, but everyone has the right to freedom of speech, so
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that even constitutes hollywood. >> with leaks of embarrassing and sensitive information with a list actors insulted, it stands to take a big hit. the production budget was $45 million. add the domestic marketing of $35 million, an overseas budget of 10 million and strapping the movie has cost sony $90 million. the hacked email liability may cost more. remember when the sony play station network was habit last year? though smaller in scope, that cost the company $170 million. as for the threat against movie goers, the department of home land security says there is no credible intelligence that the group accounted carry out the attack. some worry more about the response than the threat. >> this sets a precedent for others who wish to attack cultural items. >> others say what's truly under attack here is our first
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amendment. >> you start to see more movies being pulled and movies that won't be made because they might be controversial. therefore in some ways, our freedom of speech does die out. >> we already know of one movie that was supposed to start filming in marsh that's getting pulled. it's a thriller starring steve carell who was supposed to play an american working in north korea. that's another movie we will not get to see because of this controversy. >> this movie is pulled from theaters, but what about d.v.d. and streaming. >> sony says it will not release the movie on any platform. the reason may be because of a total write off is required for sony to qualify for potential insurance claim. so that's interesting. >> incredible story, thank you. >> it is a new day for the u.s. in cuba. this morning, the white house and castro regime making plans to restore diplomatic relations.
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>> it began with a return to u.s. soil for an american long in prison in cuba. >> a u.s. government plane touching down outside washington. on the flight, alan gross, five years in a cuban prison, now home in washington, reunited with friends and family. >> five and a half decades of history shows that such bridge rennes inhibits better judgment. two wrongs never make a right. >> we will end an outdated approach that for decades has failed to advance our interests and instead, we will again to normalize relations between our two countries. >> the president proposes opening and american embassy in havana, closed since 1961. loosening regulations on trade and investment, loosening travel restrictions, money transfers to
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relatives and communications and beginning the process of removing cuba from the list of state sponsored terrorism. the proposal was met with immediate opposition including from florida senator marco rubio. >> this president is the single worst negotiator we have had in the white house in my lifetime, who has basically given the cuban government everything it asked for and received no assurances of any advances in democracy and freedom in return. >> rubio and other republicans vowed to block the president, including a cutoff of funds needed to open an embassy in havana. the president will need congressional approval to reach another goal, lifting the long-standing trade embargo with cuba. republicans are unlikely to go along. in a statement, house speaker john boehner says: also
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announced, a spy swab, three cubans held by the united states in exchange for an american spy imprisoned in cuba. the office of the director of national intelligence says the american spy helped unmask several cuban agents in the u.s. government. this man, whose sacrifices were known only to a few spent nearly 20 years in a cuban prison due to his efforts on behalf of the united states. an unprecedented 45 minute phone call tuesday with raul castro. >> i do not believe we can keep doing the same thing for over five decades and expect a different result. >> let's go live to libby casey in washington. all of us waking up to a new reality this morning, now that the president is moving to restore relations to cuba, i guess the question has to be asked, is a visit to havana next? >> the white house and the president himself are not ruling
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it out. there's nothing on the schedule at this point, but president obama told abc in an interview, let's see how things evolve. the president will cross paths with castro at the summit of the americas in panama. it will be the first time cuba is attending. the two leaders spoke for 55 minutes by phone and it is the first time they have had a conversation since the revolution. that comes on the heels of an historic handshake at nelson mandela's funeral last year. >> there are those on capitol hill criticizing the president's move and the prisoner swap. what are they saying? >> the prisoner swap, we just heard that it's three prisoners heading back to cuba. they were spies, part of the so-called cuban five, hailed as heroes back in their home country. in exchange, the u.s. got -- was
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able to get an asset that had been behind bars in cuba for 20 years. the u.s. government is careful to say that the return of alan gross was on humanitarian grounds and not part of this direct prisoner swap because they want to have daylight between him and americans working for u.s. aid as contractors and spice. that's getting pushback from those in congress, including the one democratic in the senate who's very upset at what the president has been doing, bob menendez, the chairman of the foreign relations committee for a few more weeks. while he's very glass gross is freed, he said it's an innocent american for cuban spies. >> does this shift in policy set up yet another battle between the white house and capitol hill? >> absolutely. basically president obama has done all in his power to normalize relations, but steps require congress's input.
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we are hearing from republicans who will control the senate come january, as well as the house that they plan to push back on a number of fronts, everything from opening an embassy in havana to lifting the embargo. the 1996 law does say you can't lift the embargo unless political prisoners are free and free elections are held, so they do have some grounds there, but the automatic already has an intersection in havana and will actively pursue trying to get an embassy there soon. >> thank you very much. >> not surprisingly, former president jimmy carter is cheering the move by the white house. he is the only president or former president to visit cuba since the 1959 revolution. he told aljazeera america that president obama did the right thing. >> some of the best news i've had this year, and in a national sense is long overdo, good for
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the people of the united states and cuba. i'm very proud of president obama for having made such a wise and courageous decision. >> carter says he also believes this deal will give cubans a better life and he thinks it will open new markets for the u.s. coming up in our next half hour, we'll go live to little havana in miami. we have reaction from the cuban american community there. >> russian president vladimir putin reassuring his country that their economy will recover. during his annual news conference, he said they have enough in reserve to stabilize the ruble. >> this situation has been provoked by external factors for first and foremost, but we believe that a lot has not been done by us of which we plan diversifying our economy. >> so far, he hasn't given
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concrete measures that he plans to introduce to fix his economy. during his speech, the ruble started to slide again, now worth a fraction of what it was earlier this year. a ruble right now will by you about a penny and a half. >> a second day of mourning in pakistan, the nation remembering the victims from tuesday's military school attack. >> laying them to rest is a very painful task. >> more than 130 children have been laid to rest. even grown men struggled to keep their composure. >> he buried his nephew. >> i asked what he was wearing, and then it was confirmed that it was him. from inside, i was not ready to believe.
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>> grief is giving way to anger. the military and political leadership is jolted into action, the death penalty ban lifted for those convicted of terrorism. the army chief traveled to kabul to shore up support against the pakistani pal stan. >> this is army public school where taliban attackers were sent to avenge what the group called the death of its children by pakistan's military. what happened here has united public opinion and political discourse. >> the blood stain floors and charred rooms are signs of the massacre here, classrooms
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riddled with bullets, books and shoes scattered. this is where the children were taking the exam, each one of those who survived has a terrifying story, which they say they'll never forget. >> me and my friend hid under the chairs there was intense firing. many of my friends were lying there dead. there was lots of blood, many children were crying. whoever was making noise, the attackers would shoot them. >> pakistan is in mourning and schools across the country held prayers for the departed. as those who used to fill playgrounds are now filling cemeteries, their families want actions, not just words. >> pakistan said its military operation against the pakistani taliban has killed 57 militants. it launder airstrikes in the hours following the school attack. >> israel is calling it a gimmick, a draft resolution
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calling for palestinian state hood. jordan presented the resolution to the security council. we break this down. what is in this resolution, first of all? >> the goal of this resolution is to end the israeli occupation, create a palestinian state. the first deadline no later than 12 months, a just lasting and comprehensive peaceful solution, a two state solution. the second deadline is a full and phased withdrawal of israeli security forces from the occupied west bank in a reasonable time frame not to exceed the end of 2017. perhaps the most controversial line in this resolution, jerusalem is the shared capitol of the two states. the status of this resolution is in blue, that means it is a
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formal resolution distributed to members of the security council, but that doesn't even guarantee a vote or even any kind of formal debate. >> what's this about? what is the likelihood of actual success or is it just symbolic? >> well, the likelihood of success is approximately zero. the united states promised to veto any resolution that sets dates for the end of occupation or the creation of a palestinian state. the jordanians who put this forward as well as the french, who are circulating a similar proposal both say they will not put forward any kind of resolution that will lead to a u.s. veto, actually get to that point of a u.s. veto, meaning you get to the vote. this is about creating momentum, diplomatically for the palestinians to try to create a palestinian state. >> can this draft resolution in any way improve the lives of palestinians?
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>> there's a lot of skepticism about whether it can improve the lives of palestinians, for palestinians in the west bank or citizens of israel. there's skepticism among the palestinian leadership that this is enough, but from president abbas, taking away or trying to reduce the u.s.'s almost unilateral role in the israel-palestinian peace talks, replacing that with a multi-lateral effort to create a palestinian state, that means arab countries and european countries pushing for the same thing, that is what this is all about. >> in columbia, farc rebels will stop fighting saturday, asking the government to go along with the unilateral ceasefire. so far the government has refused, worrying that the group
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will use the time to regroup and rearm. >> california has been getting much needed rain and snow. kevin, how much is this helping the drought? >> any rain at this point is definitely helping the drought. it is not going to break the drought, we are far from that happening over the next month or so, but this is just outside of san diego. we had showers push through. san diego got a quarter inch of snow, but up here, it was more like about an inch of snow in some locations, people got out here as fast as they could to enjoy it. now, what we're seeing here is here's the band of showers we're talking about, as it made its way through san diego towards the east is where the snow was a big problem. over the next couple of days, the rain is going to push out. we don't expect to see much more rain especially over the next seven to 10 days across southern california. northern california, you are going to be seeing a lot of rain towards the northwest. seattle, unfortunate, the next days, it is going to continue.
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>> we have to separate what is heavy from normal. >> we are in the rainy season right now. >> a comedy leading to international drama. >> u.s. officials believe the controversy over "the interview" led north korea to hack sony. we'll talk about why some in washington think this comedy was no laughing matter. >> a courtroom erupts in cheers as a man is found guilty of murder. the victim, a 7-year-old exchange student from germany. >> a bold political move by new york's governor cuomo, banning fracking for natural gas in his state. >> $8 billion is the big number of the day. >> a lot of u.s. money could soon be in cuban pockets.
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>> the big number of the day, the president is raising the cap to $2,000, analysts say more foreign money could mean stronger development of private businesses in cuba. >> a case in montana, a man convicted of shooting and killing an unarmed teen. >> he tried to claim self defense. a jury disagreed. i faces 10 years in jail. >> this case closely watched in germany. >> that is because he killed a foreign exchange student. the victim was lured to his death and before shooting, he had talked about trying to catch the person who burglarized his home just months earlier. >> the courtroom erupting in cheers after a montana man is found guilty in the shooting death of a german exchange student. he was convicted of deliberate homicide in the sleigh of the man, who he said was trespassing on his property.
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his parents cried and hugged in the courtroom when the verdict was read. the defense attorney argued the castle doctrine allowed him to use deadly force oh to have protect his home and family while prosecutors said he lured him into the garage by leaving the door open with a purse visible inside. karma said it was his common law wife's idea to leave the door open. >> i tried to explain to her how hard it is to catch a burglar in the act. she's like i'll do it myself then. he said the teenager previously burglarized his home and he shoot him in defense. an exchange student said he saw didi walking around looking for beer. >> no one told him that you could be shot if you went inside
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the garage, because we don't have that kind of rules in our countries. >> he showed no enotion leaving the courtroom. >> they've been waiting so long for the day that it comes out guilty. that was the reason they want to come here and this is now a great feeling that we have this verdict. >> he will be sentenced in february. his lawyers will appeal the verdict. >> federal officials now believe north korea was behind the massive cyber attack on sony, that revelation coming the same day the company decided to delay releasing "the interview," the comedy became the source of threats, hackers saying they would attack any theater who showed it. most major chains decided not to screen that film. j.j. green is our national security contributor here. he joins us from washington,
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d.c. good morning. what concrete evidence is there -- >> good morning -- >> that north korea is behind these attacks? >> there's several pieces, the first of which was an f.b.i. bull lynn revealing that the malware used in the attack was a disk wiper type of malware that essentially would clean the drive. the other part of it is a situation where this malware was very similar to the same malware that was used to attack south korean banks and television stations last year. the f.b.i. released this detail in their flash bulletin not too long ago and basically did a step-by-step forensic detail briefing of this in that bulletin. it points to almost exactly what happened to the sony site and to the sony system. so basically, it's very clear to them where this came from. the question is who exactly did it.
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>> what happens next? what does the white house do? are they going to chronfront or penalize north korea? some suggest this is an act of cyber war. >> it is an act of warfare and we will learn today most likely from the government about what actually happened, who they believe is behind it and i think that's going to go a long way toward determining what it is that the u.s. government does, specifically because of the fact the north korean military and government has a bureau called the bureau 121, a hacking group that's a part of its general reconnaissance organization that is the top spy agency in the country. it is believed that there is some connection between that organization and these hackers. now whether or not the people who did the hacking were wearing north korean military uniforms or were vetted members of the
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intelligence community remains to be seen. it could have been organizational individuals connected to the government that may have been contracted to do it, but i think those pieces of information, those facts will go a long way towards deciding what it is the u.s. does, but it is indeed an act of war, and japan, most likely will have something to say about this, too, because of its connection to the sony company. >> briefly, is it possible we may never know if there is a cyber counterattack launched? >> you mean if the u.s. launches a counterattack? >> yes. >> well, we may never know, but i would -- we'd be hard pressed to miss that detail, because these guys are very good at what they do and i would think there would be some element of disclosure because of the political ramifications of the attack on sony. i'm thinking if it did happen, there would probably be some
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notification that some type of action has been taken, because the u.s. just doesn't want to stand by and allow actors like this to attack the nation. acts of war have to be reciprocated, dealt with and put in their proper place. >> thank you very much. >> another alleged safety violation for uber. wednesday, an uber driver was arraigned on rape charges in boston. police say the man sexually assaulted a woman hood ordered a ride earlier this month. uber has had problems with drivers and sexual assault most recently in india. yesterday, uber's head of global safety said the company is working to build new safety programs and intensify others. >> in south carolina, a judge overturned and injustice that stood for 70 years, george sinney, jr. was exonerated. he was 14 when he was computed for beating two young white girls to death. the judge said he received an
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unfair trial. he is believed to be the youngest person ever executed in this country. >> cuban americans reacting to president obama opening diplomatic channels to their home land. >> the reaction is split and often based on what generation someone comes from. live to our morgan radford in the little miami neighborhood of miami. >> russia's economic crisis, some cashing in buying luxury items. >> the email mistake that left hundred was high schoolers believing they'd been accepted to their college of choice. >> if you thought flying first class was luxury, what about your own mini amount for your next flight? that is one of the stories caught in our global net this morning.
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>> we have the forecast coming up. welcome to al jazeera america. a word wide appeal to help
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refugees of syria's civil war. >> new york's governor banning fracking in the entire state. >> winston churchill is best known at britons prime minister during world war ii, but is also an accomplished artist. how his painting helped him through his darkest days. >> these are stories we are following this morning. federal officials believe that north korea orchestrate the hacker attack that hit sony pictures, now sony pulling the film from theaters. most theaters canceled any showings. >> a push for peace between israeli and the palestinians at the u.n., jordan submitting a draft resolution to the u.n. security council saying israel should withdraw from palestinian territories by 2017. israel calls the resolution a gimmick. >> strong reaction to resuming diplomatic relations with cuba. alan gross spent five years in a
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cuban jail and was sent home. three spice in the u.s. were sent back to cuba. we have reaction in little havana in miami. you are at the heart of the u.s.-cuban population. is it fair to say a lot of them are still in shock this morning? >> good morning to you, del. of the people i spoke to here, i wouldn't say they were necessarily shocked, but many disheartened. many were vocal about the new measure. many carried signs saying obama, you betrayed us. other signs said you are a coward. they said obama is just as much an assess 16 as fidel castro. a handful of people said they supported it. it sent ripples through families here and back home in cuba. take a look. >> in havana, crowds filled the
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streets and rejoiced, while here in miami, the cuban american capital of the united states highly charged and mixed reactions. as the more than 50-year-old divide between the u.s. and cuba appears to be closing. >> i am disgraced of what president obama has done today. >> do you think what happened today was a good move on the president's part? >> definitely. i cried when i saw his speech. >> almost immediately, cubans in little havana came out enforce, some angry. >> changes of terrible, they set a terrible precedent. >> others quite happy. >> the time has come to start a new dialogue, the time has come to allow cubans, americans, people to go to havana, for cubans to come here. >> it's a highly emotional debate, mostly split among generational lines as many watched president obama's announcement that the u.s. would normalize relations with cuba. >> neither the american nor
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cuban people are well served by a rigid policy rooted in events that took place before most of us were born. >> many are old enough to remember cuba's darkest days, some calling president obama's actions a detrail, rewarding the regime they escaped first under fidel castro and now his brother, raul. >> are they going to free cuba from this dictatorship. >> this oppression will continue, the dictatorship will remain in power, the cuban people will be the loser. >> for those born in the united states, it's an opportunity. the reversal means more money to send home or for sebastian peres, they can visit home. >> they can travel, they have american products, why can't
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cuba have the same things? i don't get it. >> it's interesting, because while this decision may illustrate a shrinking political divide, in many ways, it shows an expanding emotional one. a lot of cubans back on the island say this is a moment of hope, this is a moment we've been waiting for and we are excited that it came under the obama administration. >> we know motions have been run high over south florida, putting police on alert in several cities. have we seen any unrest? >> a lot of the discussion here was handled family-style. i actually lived in cuba back in 2007 and you heard a lot of these discussions happen around the tables of men playing dominos. that's largely how it happened here. there were tense moments where police had to break people up, some yelling to others in support of the president, you are not a real cuban if you agree with the president on this
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one. >> executive vic vice presidentf rejected university joins us from virginia beach this morning. >> does the president's policy shift give more or less of a chance to have rights? >> i think less. the cuban regime is a communist dictatorship. they got everything they wanted, including their three hero spies and made no promises. they've had to do nothing to free the cuban people. 11 million cuban people are still part of a one dictator government. >> obama has raised the cap three fold, if the u.s. trades with china, why shouldn't cubans
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have these economic opportunities? >> the chinese government is not nearly as economically illiterate as the can youen government. they can start businesses, be rich as encouraged, everyone should get rich. cuba has a peso economy for the average cuban and dollar economy for the party elite around foreigners. cuban people have to turn all of their dollars in to the government, which takes it down to about .04 cents, it's a 25-1 ratio. the president got nothing out of this. if he had at least made the cuban government understand that they had to make political changes, have political freedom, multi-party elections, free press, journalists should not be arrested, blacks and gays should no longer be abused, but as it is, it's an ideological move. >> the rest of the world has long believed that the embargo
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should end and many americans do, as well, according to polls. was this inevitable that this was going to happen given that 50 years of this policy doesn't seem to have created more freedoms or democracies for cubans. >> the embargo has an end. the act was codified into law. that's a law. only the congress can move that. the president will do a lot to work around the edges, but the law is the law. unless he's going to do more executive orders that don't have a constitutional foundation -- >> and almost every country in the united states, which is most of the world voted back in october that this embargo should end, every country except for the u.s. and israel. what does the rest of the world know that the u.s. doesn't? >> i don't think they know how you promote freedom. i don't think they seem to care as much about the cuban people not freed. the embargo was the leverage for the next government after the castro brothers, because i don't expect the castes to change.
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it was the leverage afterwards. that's what president clinton believed and president bush believed. until two days ago, president obama was on record saying the embargo is how you force change. >> thank you for your insights this morning and your perspective. >> it appears that boko haram has carried out another bloody attack in nigeria, officials saying earlier this week, the armed group killed 32 people. officials say the group kidnapped 200 women and children back in april. >> a nigerian court sentenced 52 soldiers to death, convicted of mutiny after refusing to go after boko haram fighters, all the soldiers claiming they don't have enough weapons to fight boko haram. >> close to 7 million refugees in syria have been forced from their homes, more than 1 million
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ever fled to lebanon. >> the united nations says it is the worst humanitarian crisis worldwide, the needs are great, up to 11 million syrians require help, not just those who live outside the country, but those who have been displaced within syria as a result of the conflict. it's not only food that they need, and jobs. they need to educate the children. here in lebanon, 500,000 are of school age, and only 25% are enrolled in school. we are at one of the informal schools set up by the united nations. there's 50 scattered across the country, each one enrolls 350 students. a lot of children are not being educated and lebanon can only do so must have. this country is appealing for help. the government wants $2,000,000.02 help 2 million people. 1 million are syrians, and
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1 million are lebanese. this crisis is not just affecting syrians, it is affecting lebanese, as well. a lot of them have lost their jobs because syrians work for social wages. 1.1 million people are registered, but it is believed there are hundreds of thousands more living here and most realize that they are not heading home anytime soon. >> the united nations needs $7 billion to feed, educate and provide for syrian refugees around the world in 2015. >> in arizona, thousands of young migrants are one step closer to getting one form of documentation. the supreme court rejecting an attempt to keep dreamers from getting their driver's license. governor june brewer tried to block the move. a lower court threw that out. brewer's office is pledging to continue its appeal. >> new questions about the death of a former marine accused of killing six in pennsylvania. the coroner in montgomery county said he had an ax, machete and
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prescription pills with him when he was found dead in the woods tuesday. stone suffered a stab wound. the coroner disputes that. >> gas prices falling again overnight. triple-a saying the average stands at $2.47 a gallon. >> part of the decline is because the u.s. is producing more energy on its own. one big state is saying no to a key method, fracking. >> we have more. why is new york's governor andrew cuomo doing this. >> in a word, years of debate have now been punctuated by the findings of a long owe awaited health report. the state health commissioner said the report raises too many red flags, citing concerns fracking could pollute the water, air and soil. it is a process where sand, chemicals and water are pumped into the earth to release natural gas and oil. central new york is considered prime for drilling, because it sits on one of the largest natural gas deposits in the u.s. the governor agrees that the
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risks outweigh the benefits. >> i've never had anyone say to me i believe fracking is great, not a single person in those communities. what i get is i have no alternative but tracking and if you say no to fracking, then i have no alternative. >> now fracking industry leaders are slamming the governor's position arguing fracking could have helped the economy. >> new york is actually had a moratorium banning fracking since 2008. now a formal ban is expected. some say other states could soon follow suit. >> thank you. >> another hit to north american energy production, this one in canada. chef ron is putting on hold its plan to drill for oil in the arctic circle, blaming the drop in oil prices. it's the largest drilling project so far to be stopped for that reason. >> federal charges are being filed against the company
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responsible for the chemical spill in west virginia. it's been a year since the leak tainted the water supply. the justice department said the companies president and five other former employees violated the clean water act. they face charges ranging from negligence to bankruptcy fraud. >> an email faux pas at johns hopkins university. the school accidentally sent out notices that 300 high school students welcoming them to the school. the problem is, they had all been rejected. the university sent out an apology. a spokesperson said someone from a contracting company pulled the wrong email list. >> i still have that nightmare of the school or the classroom that i didn't go to and they call you up and say that your diploma is no longer valid. >> i have that dream, too. >> unfortunately, mine is true. let's look at other stories caught in our global net. a texas plumber flooded with phone calls and threats for a picture posted on twitter that shows insurgents in syria using
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his old flat bed truck as a gun platform, the owner traded in the truck a few years ago and did not remove the company details. he said he did it on an on line group and they were supposed to remove it but did not. >> interesting to trace the journey of that truck. >> india is closer to sending astronauts into space, the organization has successfully launched its most powerful rocket last thursday. part of the mission is to see if they have mastered the technology to safely bring humans back to earth. they can get them there. they need to test getting them back. >> speaking of the space race, an airlines is using physical space to take luxury flying to a new level, launching a 125 square food apartment in the air complete with a personal butler. they say it books for $20,000 a flight. they are already selling out. >> half the flights are booked already through mid january.
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who are these people? >> not us. >> i was just getting ready to say not us. >> russian president vladimir putin sounding optimistic today. >> it comes when his country is experiences economic stress. can his outlook pull moscow out of its financial pain? we'll talk to former ambassador about whether putin's message is likely to be received. >> russia's economy may be on the brink of collapse but not stopping high end shoppers. luxury cars are the hot ticket items. >> the 1500-year-old money mystery in egypt is one of today's discoveries.
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>> time now for one of today's discoveries. a team of archaeologists found buried below the sand, a million
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mummies dating back 1600 years. >> it is south of cairo, they are just mass graves. the nearest ancient village was small and there were numerous other sites nearby. >> russia's president is trying to calm the economic fears in his country. vladimir putin admitted during his annual news conference that sanctions have taken a toll on russia's economy and even though the ruble has fallen more than 45 percent, he said they have enough money in reserve to stabilize it. putin admitted falling oil prices hurt, russia's investment portfolio should be more diversified but said there is enough reserves to keep the economy from collapse. is that going to be enough to reassure russians?
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>> i don't think so. i think the russian people are going to start feeling the effects of not just the sanctions, but the falling oil prices and inflation that that combined is going to generate. they are already seeing the inflation, seeing salaries stagnate and the cost of goods and travel outside russia has gone up, so i don't think this is going to turn out well for mr. putin. >> yet putin continues to enjoy high approval ratings in his country. given his control of the media, the propaganda, the messaging to the russian people, how long do you think he can hold out? >> >> and its true that the opinion polls demonstrate or try to show that mr. putin has strong support and probably in a lot of parts of the country, he still does. one has to doubt the verasty
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ever opinion polls coming out of russia. the russian people are seeing their economic situation getting much worse, thanks to in large part, his adventurism in ukraine. >> putin himself said 20% to 25% reason the economy is struggling right now is due to western sanctions. mr. obama may sign a bill enforcing more sanctions against russia this week. what is behind that tactic of squeezing russia even more now? >> it's very clear that mr. putin that invaded a neighbor, has violated the territorial integrity of ukraine. he has illegally annexed crimea, an obvious and well respected part of ukraine since 1954. he's invaded a country, a
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neighboring country, he has violated the territorial integrity of another part of ukraine, southeastern ukraine. his actions have generated the response from the americans and the europeans. it's been a remarkable coincidence and cooperation between the americans and the europeans to put economic sanctions on mr. putin for his behavior invading and violating the sovereignty of a neighbor, ukraine. this challenges the whole international arrangement, the whole international understanding since world war ii that violence won't be used, will not be used to change borders. >> ambassador william taylor, former ambassador to ukraine, sir, thank you very much. >> for some russian consumers, the russian economic crisis presents opportunity. it's all about the exchange rates. >> a showroom selling expensive cars doesn't seem an obvious
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winner, but these are strange times in russia and audi is doing brisk business. >> the math is simple. you can buy one car for $50,000, now you can buy two for the same money. >> even if i wanted to buy this car, i can't, because it's sold, so is this one, so is this one, pretty much everything in this showroom has recently been sold. now it may seem counterintuitive in the middle of a financial crisis to go shopping, but there is logic to this spree. >> the logic is this: the distributor imported and priced these cars at an exchange rate that bears no connection to realities. when new stock is imported, it will be bought with devalleys and consumers prices will rocket. he is taking advantage of a situation he knows won't last. >> it depends on what people
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planned to buy before but decided not to wait further. we don't expect the situation to get better soon. >> that's the thing. this is a bonanza with a fatalistic edge, russia's economy is in deep trouble and people know they will soon feel the pain. >> one should not allow things like this to happen. they should not allow people to speculate on the ruble. i don't like this situation. >> some retailers seem paralyzed, not knowing what prices they should be charging. apple closed its russian on line store. al jazeera, moscow. >> so many shoppers flock to eyeee stores in russia wednesday. a few stores closed. the chain plans to start resetting prices today. >> in hawaii, a stream of lava is inching closer to the only grocery store and gas station in the town. officials say it could reach there next week. the gas station has begun empties its tanks.
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the lava has been moving 330 yards a day. it consumed a home before stalling in october. >> we get a check of our forecast. >> we are looking at very nasty weather this morning across parts of the central plains. you can see the storm system moving through. we've got rain towards louisiana. we have snow up here towards parts of kansas. take a closer look. the snows going to be a big problem for parts of kansas, wichita, kansas city, even down towards topeka. that is going to be a problem until 9:00 a.m. central time. these thunderstorms we are talking about could become severe as the day goes by, so that could be an issue for. you temperatures not looking bad for who is towards the weekend. chicago's going to be 35 degrees. now, next week is going to be a major travel day, so let's start tuesday, when a lot of people get out before christmas eve. take a look at the eastern
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seaboard down towards georgia, the roads are going to be wet all the way down to 95. the airport, could see problems at the airport, as well. towards wednesday, it's going to be up here towards the northeast. this is christmas eave. most of the major airports around new york and boston could see problems there, as well. take a look out here. it's going to be doing a ski holiday. we're expecting quite a bit of snow, wyoming towards utah, it's going to be quite beautiful, even towards nevada we could be seeing snow. we've seen a lot of wet weather, we're going to get a break in the weather, things are going to dry out. >> a white christmas in some places. >> we may see snow in new york here in the morning. >> thank you. >> ahead in our next our, 14 workers from a massachusetts pharmacy now under arrest. we'll look at charges they face in a anyon a a men anyone.
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>> it's outbreak that killed 50. >> we are back in two minutes with more aljazeera america. >> al jazeera america presents >> somebody's telling lies... >> it looks nothing like him... >> pan am flight 103 explodes december 21st, 1988 was the right man convicted? >> so many people, at such a high level, had the stake in al-megrahi's guilt >> the most definitive look at this shocking crime >> the major difficulty for the prosecution that there was no evidence >> al jazeera america presents lockerbie part one: the pan am bomber
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>> every monday, join us for exclusive... revealing... and surprising talks with the most interesting people of our time... talk to al jazeera, only on al jazeera america >> the dawn of a new day, washington and havana move toward a relationship, as republicans on capitol hill prepare to fight the president over his decision. >> sony scrapping the release of its controversial film, "the interview" as the u.s. blames korea for the attack. >> ordering the execution of soldiers, finding them guilty of mutiny for failing to fight boko
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haram in nigeria. >> churchill art at auction. >> emotions running high in the u.s. and in cuba one day after the shift in relations between two countries. >> the u.s. will have diplomatics relations with the cuban government. president obama isn't ruling out a visit to the island. >> for cuban americans, the reaction is mixed. some cheered the announcement, others called it simply wrong. we have more from washington. >> in many ways, cuba appears a country stuck in time, in a long aggravator are a due to the u.s. embargo. for more than 50 years, the u.s. is trying to free the economy, sponsor a an invasion. president obama is changing u.s.
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policy toward cuba. >> it does not serve the american's interest or cuban people to push cuba towards collapse. even if that worked and it hasn't for 50 years, we know from experience that countries are more likely to enjoy lasting transformation if their people are not subjected to chaos. >> these are the images of the shift, american contractor alan gross back on u.s. soil, imprisoned in cuba for five years for distributing communications equipment. >> a lesson i've learned from this experience that is freedom is not free. >> the u.s. doesn't want to set a precedent, so they are insisting that gross was released on humanitarian grounds. three cubans convicted of espionage in 2001 have been sent home and a cuban who speed for the americans released. they aren't releasing his time, but he served 20 years in prison. it's not just a prisoner swap. president obama is shifting economic policy, as well. the u.s. plans to open an
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embassy in havana, increasing the number of americans who can travel to cuba and u.s. companies can increase exports. president obama cannot get rid of the embargo. >> this doesn't mean that the major issues have been resolved. the economic embargo that creates a lot of human and economic damage to our country must seize. >> many in congress were quick to express outrage. >> it's a reward that a totalitarian regime does not deserve. cubans are less free today than yesterday, and i believe the announcement only per pet waits the castro regime's decades of repression. >> there may not be much congress can do. the president sets policy. for the first time in more than a half century, he's saying it's time for a change in cuba. al jazeera, washington.
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>> libby casey joins us from washington. good morning. this deal was negotiated for 18 months. how is it that word never got out? >> in a city known for leaks and not keeping secrets well, stephanie, only a handful of members of congress had insight into what was going on. we heard suspicion and concerns from people like marco rubio, who actually was holding up the nomination process for a while for deputy secretary of state over concerns for u.s. cuba policy. he got a personal call from secretary of state john kerry giving him the heads-up this was happening. this has been kept from the public eye, negotiations happening in canada and even the vatican. pope francis playing an integral role reached out to both president obama and raul castro and ultimately hosted a delegation there in october to work on the negotiations. >> the president's move does not
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obviously lift the trade embargo, only congress can do that. given the reaction on capitol hill, is it possible that will ever happen? >> this goes back to a law 1996, which says that trade embargo can only be lifted once political prisoners are all free and there are free elections. that does not seem to be the case at this point, and so republicans are saying no way, no how. they take control of the senate in january and they already control the house. speaker john boehner clearly indicating he is not letting changes like that go through. the white house that ha done as much as it can on its tone normalize relations. this may be a matter of chipping away at things over time. >> how could this decision impact the 2016 presidential election? >> this is an interesting question. we are already seeing people who very well may become
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presidential candidates carve out some territory on this. one of the most notable being marco rubio, son of cuban immigrants, blasting the administration for this. the senate republicans are really pointing to him as the go-to guy on this issue, deferring to him. also ted cruz coming out vocally, cuban american. we saw jeb bush, fellow fluordaen and governor plan to go explore a presidential run criticizing it, hillary clinton supporting it. florida plays a big role in presidential elections. how will the cuban american community weigh in on this? we're seeing a big difference between the older generation reacting with criticism and younger generation for more open to it. >> it was a lame duck president inizen they're put that embargo in place and ended diplomatic relations and a lame duck
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president in president obama ending it. >> we'll see if an appeal of the act is in the offing. >> who was behind the attack against sony pictures, it is said to be north korea. the movie is pulled. "the interview" drew the ire of kim jong-un supporters. >> it was build as a controversial fictional comedy centered on a reclusive leader, but nobody is laughing. the release of "the interview" has been called off by sony pictures, the studio that made the film. it was prompted after a hacking group called guardians of peace invoked the attack threatening violence directed at the premier of the film at this new york theater. the movie is a highly controversial comedy where the main characters are asked to kill kim jong-un. it's been the talk of late night t.v. in america.
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>> these guys play t.v. journalists recruited by the c.i.a. so assassinate kim jong-un, i assume by smoking pot at him. apparently all sour pus over there doesn't have a great sense of humor when it comes to his own assassination. >> in north korea, it's no joking matter. the government called the film an act of terror and intolerable. sony pictures finds itself in the worst crisis in its history after company internal files and emails were hacked by the same group in recent weeks that made headlines in the gossip pages before moving to the threat of violence. despite hosting the film's release, sony pictures put out a statement saying they stand by the movie and the right to free expression for their filmmakers. the crisis could have wide ramifications for the movie making industry. >> studios are very risk averse and they're risk managers.
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the result of what's happened to sony is probable going to make them take a second, third or fourth look at their projects to detect if there's anything that is potentially controversial or sensitive to parties who would have the ability to do something. >> what started as a relatively minor hacking incident has grown much larger than anybody could have imagined. sony pictures now running to the emergency exit on a movie comedy that has become a real life drama. al jazeera, new york. >> for more, the latest on the u.s. claims that america was behind this hacking attack. what can you tell us? >> we are expecting an official announcement from the u.s. government with more details later today. what we know, u.s. officials alleging north korea was centrally involved in the hacking of sony pictures internal information. the white house has reportedly debating whether to publicly accused north korea of cyber terrorism. they say the hackers' primary demands to stop the movie "the
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interview" from being shown in theaters and they have succeeded. some say what is truly under attack is our first amendment. >> you start to see more movies pulled and movies that won't be made, because they might be controversial. therefore in some ways, our freedom of speech does die out. >> sony is reeling from the november leak that revealed sensitive and embarrassing information, including executive's insulting some of hollywood's a list actors. then there is the financial hit the studio will undoubtedly take for canceling the movie. the production was 40 move million dollars, the domestic price tag is $35 million, $10 million overseas. scrapping the movie has cost sony $90 million. as for the threat of violence, the department of home land security says there's no credible intelligence that the group could actually carry out the attack, but of course, that's something they were concerned about. >> has sony completely shut this
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down or is it possible we see this movie on d.v.d. or an on line release. >> you think that would be much more safe, but no, they are completely wiping it out from any platform. there is an interesting reasoning that the reason could be because sony wants to file an n claim that they need to write off the movie completely. >> $90 million? >> yes. >> thank you. >> in nigeria, officials say boko haram carried out another deadly attack in the northeastern village where 32 were killed. that group has also kidnapped nearly 200 more women and children, the revelation coming at dozens of soldiers were put to death for refusing to fight boko haram. we have the latest. >> the judgment by the special military cart has attracted criticism from rights groups and lawyers in nigeria. this is the second batch of military officers and men who have been convicted by a military court. the number has risen to 66 in
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that there have been reports that the military is understaffed. a warning by administrators that the army is undermotivated and ill equipped to fight the boko haram insurgency. the government over the last few months has been defending its policies saying it is doing everything it can to provide the army with what is necessary to fight boko haram. we've seen progress reported by the military in chasing out boko haram from parts of the northeast. they've taken back towns which have been overrun by boko haram when they chased out the military and killed civilians. now the military in conjunction with vigilant tees and other security services, including civilians affected by the violence for the past five years are moving towards other areas, especially in the troubled spot
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of bourno state. they want to liberate those areas, but so far, boko haram remains in control of several areas, controlling a large swath of land in the northeast of nigeria. the government is saying that it needs to do what is necessary to keep morale high and keep discipline within the armed forces. that's why the military convicted the soldiers. >> all 54 soldiers are going to be fought death by the firing squads. >> it explains why those girls haven't been found. >> the u.n. security council may weigh in on the u.n. palestinian
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process. >> we have more on jordan's role in brotherrerring a deal. >> a series of diplomatics meetings after weeks of speculation about a palestinian draft resolution, would it finally be submitted form ally to the u.n. security council. >> we have a draft, yes, and we will be happy to give it to you after it is adopted by the arab group asking our brothers from jordan to take it to the council. >> oh yeah? ok. i have to see him. i haven't seen anybody yet. >> jordan currently holds the arab seat on the security council. the 15 members of the council
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are the only countries that can actually propose a resolution. jordan's ambassador made it clear she didn't want to submit a resolution that didn't have consensus, in other words language that might trigger a u.s. veto they poured over the wording, ending a year of the negotiation to the two year deadline to the end of israeli occupation that palestinian proposed at a second meeting of arab ambassadors. jordan finally agreed to submit the resolution. the palestinian ambassador said that does not mean a vote will take place yet. >> it is going to be sub bidded in blue as we are speaking to our jordanian brothers. >> you are not pushing it to a vote now. >> we are willing to work with those who want to work with us in a security council in a positive and constructive way for things, meaningful things that we can look at them in a positive, open mind and open heart. >> the palestinians said they'd
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formally submit a resolution to the u.n. security council and they have. in many ways, that doesn't change much here at the u.n. and new york. the draft text has a time line for the creation of a palestinian state and that is something the u.s. is likely to oppose. so the negotiations continue. >> israel's foreign minister called it a gimmick, saying israel will not agree to it. >> a mud slide trapped drivers for hours on a major freeway in southern california. heavy rain sent rocks and debris down on to the 91, traffic brought to a standstill. the hillside was charred by a wildfire in september. >> new figures released this morning on the state of california's drought. >> sophomore, we turn to kevin. interesting numbers. >> that's right. we are hoping for improvement. normally on every thursday morning once a week, they do come out and we're going to be watch that go closely.
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we've been seeing quite a bit of rain in this area since the end of november. from november to marsh, this is the rainy season, so we're supposed to get the rain here. of course, last year, we did not get a lot of rain across the region. this is how the drought stands as of last thursday, so expect these numbers to change. all of california right now is under moderate drought, 100%. severe drought encompasses 90% of california, but this area here, this very dark red, 55% of the state is right now under exceptional drought. what i expect is going to come out in these new numbers is we are going to see a shrinkage of exceptional drought where they are seeing the most amount of rain over exceptional areas. we sometime need 18-21 inches of rain in the north to end the drought. >> our big number yesterday was 11 trillion gallons is how much was needed to do that. thank you very much.
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>> poachiesting u.s. economy towards cuba. latin american policy analyst weighs in on the move and the broader global effect it may have. >> russia's president putin speaking out on what is behind the economic hit his country is taking. a live report on who he blames. >> a look at the earth's rotation captured from all over the world, that video and the others from our citizen journalists. ♪
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make the best entertainment part of your holidays. catch all the hottest handpicked titles on the winter watchlist, only with xfinity from comcast.
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>> crews in australia are racing to get the uphand on wildfires in the southeastern part of the country, this is a blaze burning out of control. four homes have been destroyed. >> it was attorneys in u.s. cities holding demonstrations, ongoing protests over police involved killings. this is a die in, in philadelphia. >> images of the heavens above. this time laps foot acknowledge taken over four years shows the earth's rotation, from joshua
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free national park and yellow stone. >> beginning to restore diplomatic ties with cuba, announced wednesday by president obama. it willese travel restrictions as part of the deal. american contractor alan gross was freed from a cuban jail and both nations exchanged spice. good morning, what do you think of the president's decision to normalize ties with cuba? >> it is a great decision, it was about time that the u.s. president recognized the failure of the current policy. isolating cuba hasn't worked at president obama pointed out. the castro brothers are still there 50 years on and actually has been counter productive. it has provided the cuban regime to blame the situation on the island to the embargo the united states imposed on the island. it has served the regime as a
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scape way for international support. we see u.n. vote overwhelmingly in favor -- >> i want to get your reaction to ted cruz and marco rubio, senators saying the united states in this deal got nothing. >> the thing is that when you look at that u.s. relations with latin america, you see that the embargo proved to be a sore point for a smooth relationship between washington and the region. every time there is a summit, you see that one of the number one issues in agenda is economic isolation and political isolation of cuba by the u.s. if you remove that from the table, you will have a more engaging and positive relationship between the united
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states and not only cuba, but hat tin america. that that's good for washington and the u.s. >> this represents a major shift in foreign policy. when you look back at how the u.s. approached china and vietnam, engagement rather than direct threats, were these events put in motion a long time ago? >> >> yeah, you mentioned it right. the u.s. has a free trade agreement negotiated under president bush and voted by a republican congress. we can't expect cubans freeing coming out of there one, that all of a sudden democracy will come to the island just because washington is going to ease some restrictions, but there is nothing more subversive to a dictatorship than a prosperous population. by isolating cuba, it has helped the regime to impoverish their
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own population and control them. i think the congress should pick where molest and move on to lift the embargo, move on to list the travel ban, because by trading and visiting cuba, americans will help a great deal to the economy that have country, help cubans, helping freedom in the long june is this a shoe bigger than cuba? what about venezuela, can we see a latin american domino effect like when the berlin wall fell especially with oil prices i have not free-fall? >> venezuela, the issue is the economy. i could see firsthand that the economy is going to tank rapidly. i don't think if will impact venezuela, but certainly, i think that there is a characterization that they can't count on it forever.
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>> more than 140 people were killed in an attack in pakistan at a school. leaders in afghanistan are being asked to combat militants on both sides of the border. we have been reporting on the situation. this is the second day of national mourning, what are you seeing and hearing where you are? >> >> across the country, the local channels , pakistan leaders
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arriving on the other side of the barter, the pakistanis saying it was time to cooperate, but everyone knew that it would take a while for the two countries to come together. the efforts are in a positive direction, but so far, the afghans will look into the issue and get back to the pakistani's soon. >> what are the brought species of that resulting in cooperation to tackle the taliban problem in the region? >> unfortunately, this has become such an intricate and complex issue with the pakistani taliban, the afghan tab ban, the afghan taliban are fighting the government. the afghans have been accusing pakistan of letting the afghans cross the border, so it's a
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complex issue, but both sides have realized that they have to cooperate if they want to contain this problem. >> domestic politics coming into play in both countries, as well. thank you. >> farc rebels in colombia want a ceasefire. they say they will stop fighting saturday and call on the government to do the same. the president refused, saying he worries the farc would use the time to regroup and rearm. >> back in this country, parts of the midwest getting hit with winter weather. we ever more. >> we've been seeing a big snowstorm pushing through parts of the central plains, causing a lot of problems on the roads. we're also seeing big problems on the roads up towards maine, where we have seen about 10 inches, just in the last 24 hours of snow up here towards northern maine. we are seeing problems across northern new england, but this system is starting out not too bad this morning. you can see port land's at 38.
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temperatures are only going to go up, which means snow falling on the ground is not going to be too much of a problem down towards the southern areas. boston, a mix of rain and snow, there's no delays at logan at the moment, but the forecast through the region is quite nice. you can see here in new york as for washington, there is an indication there is rain coming in. that was what i was talking about with the rain and snow mix for christmas. >> ok. thank you. >> swift reaction from around the world on the u.s. unexpected decision to change policy towards cuba. >> we will be bringing you the latest reaction right here in little havana in miami. >> the federal government filing murder charges against top officials at a pharmacy tied to a deadly meningitis outbreak. we have the damaging allegation over who new what. >> going back to its roots, blackberry looks to the past for a new phone in hopes of turning
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its struggling company around.
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>> good morning, welcome to al jazeera america. ahead, albania working to shed it's communist image, moving to a new era. >> the paintings by winston churchill went for a high price at auction. >> a look at our latest headlines, federal officials say north korea was behind the hacking attack on sony pictures. we are expecting more details to be released later today. sony has pulled the controversial film, "the interview." hackers threatened to attack any theater that showed it. >> jordan is pushing a new u.n. resolution it hopes could lead to peace between the israelis and palestinians. jordan submitted a draft to the security council, saying israel should withdraw from palestinian territories by 2017. israel asked the u.s. to block
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any action at the u.n. >> a landmark announcement is still resonating this morning. the u.s. and cuba taking steps toward restoring diplomatics relations. the first step, the release of american contractor alan gross. he spent five years in a cuban jail. another american was also sent home. thee cuban spies here in the u.s. in prison were sent back to cuba. the release of those cuban spice, that has really divided the cuban-american response to this. >> it has. right here in little havana in miami, the reaction was mixed, but the reality of it was that there's a small contingent of people vocal last night saying what president obama is doing is a good diplomatic decision. the vast majority last night said this was not a good decision, this was terrible.
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they felt incredibly betrayed, call our president a coward. >> the only way they can respond to castro is by force of power. they are not going to lower the suffering of the people of cuba just by doing this, what obama did today. >> you are wearing this obama tee shirt. do you think what happened today was a good move on the president's part? >> definitely. i think it will be his legacy. i cried when i saw his speech, it was moving. he talked to the people in cuba, people of cuba about having unions, things that the cuban government has not mentioned of a freedom of expression, only things we are seeing today. >> one woman i spoke to said she fled cuba and came to miami when she was 12 years old. she said i have been betrayed
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twice, first by castro and now by my own president, president obama. >> there's a huge expat community who lived through oppression under castro, but now there is the younger generation. do they feel differently about this policy shift? >> many of the younger cubans i've spoken to say look, it is time. in fact, this is past due, and they're very excited. one woman said this is absolutely fantastic. why can't cubans living on the island have the exact same things that we ever here in miami, including internet and access. some of the older cubans say this is still far too emotional and premature. >> >> calendar pot trying to rehe assure investors this morning. he insisted they have enough money in reserves to stabilize the ruble. it took another small tumble this morning.
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a ruble will buy you a penny and a half u.s. e.u. leaders announced a ban on investment in crimea, the region russia annexed in march. having audio problems now with with brussels, but again, the situation in russia, the president going to the air waivers assuring that he would be able to stabilize the economy, but the ruble taking another slide this morning. referee established contact with brussels. bring us up to date on the latest sanctions coming out of where you are this morning. >> i'm at the headquarters of the europeanin, a huge trading
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block of european countries has been prosecuting its own sanctions policy against russia in response to what russia's been doing in ukraine and in particular today, thursday, the european council, a group of allle heads of state of the 28 governments of the european union decided to tighten and widen the sanctions against russia in particular on crimea, which is you may remember, was illegally annexed by russia in marsh of this year. there's a lot of oil and gas in the seas down there and these sanctions target anyone trying to do business to help the russians exploit that oil and gas and also will prevent anyone from going as a tour it to crimea, european cruise ships will not be able to dock, more sanctions, these coming into effect this saturday, two days' time. >> vladimir putin admitting that
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the sanctions are hurting his economy. how have they affected european countries? >> >> they're not hurting as badly as the russian consumer. the russians have countered banning the import of europeans cheeses. a lot of money has been spent trying to compensate the farmers at goose roots level who have lost trade. it is beginning to hurt, but not front page news and it hasn't pushed the angry european farmer on to the streets yet. >> live from brussels, thank you very much. >> albania could become a member of the e.u. it's been trying for years to shed its reputation as one of europe's poorest countries. >> leaders hope to undo decades
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of fierce communist rule. >> the bunker mentality that isolated communist albania is evident. it has opened up the world and extracted most of the former regime. students are trying to convert a few remaining bunkers into bunk lows, but the old laws still stand in the way. >> the communist era laws said land and property is administered jointly. this is a legal tangle which i hope the government will resolve. >> the prime minister believes in physical change as part of reform. as mayor of the capitol, he repainted facades and demolished 5,000 illegal structures to create this downtown park. >> we are very, very deeply modernizing, because in the end, it's not the people that corrupt the systems, but systems corrupt
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people. when people have to work in germany or sweden or great britain or in america, they behave differently, because systems are different. >> the challenge is to create a rule of law economy in a country that has lost $2 billion to electricity theft. the e.u. called for a crackdown on organized crime in drug and human trafficking. >> on paper, albania is one of the poorest countries in europe with income of just over $11,000 a head, but there is evidence of spectacular wealth here. the government is trying to drag more of this economy into the light. to do so, it needs a strong judiciary and so far, prosecutors are and judges of failed to secure enough convictions to beat widespread lawlessness. >> the government is passing reforms to root out corrupt judges, but it stands alone. >> we have many cases of judges
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being suspended and judges going on trial, but there has never been a conviction. albania's judicial system still needs major reform. >> the ruling socialists are trying to drive an avenue to europe, fighting poverty and unregulated prosperity. meanwhile,al bainens grow impatient for justice and opportunity. >> there have been 14 arrests in a deadly meningitis outbreak. >> two face charges of murder. we have details of a story that makes you wonder how safe any of our pharmaceuticals are. >> at issue here are tainted drugs sold by a compounding pharmacy. according to web m.d., they make drugs prescribed by doctors for specific patients with needs that can't be med commercially
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by commercially available drugs. congress absolved these pharmacies from f.d.a. oversight. a pharmacy took advantage and began making and selling popular drugs at a discounted price. those drugs were dirty and deadly. >> federal agents made their move before sun up wednesday, arresting new england compounding center chairman, fellow cofounder, his wife, and 11 others. >> he was in his pajamas. they wouldn't even let him get dressed. >> the client is the head pharmacists. they face 25 counts of second degree murder, related to 17,000 vials of tainted steroids sold to an estimated 13,000 patients in 23 states two years ago. over 650 of the patients taking the dirty drugs for back pain
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and other back main are now living with chronic if you know gal meningitis. >> actions like the ones in this case display not only a reckless disregard for the federal health and safety laws and regulations, but also an extreme and appalling indifference to human life. >> the cleaning and disinfecting practicion in the so-called clean rooms where the drugs were compounded failed to comply with the most basic health standards. >> case in point, federal investigators discovered in a 2012 raid on the facility that behind the ventilation shaft for the facility where they made the drugs was a garbage recycling facility, just under 50 yards away. the justice d says a case like this affects us all. >> every patient receiving medical treatment deserves the peace of mind and knowledge that the medicine they're receiving is safe. >> according to the
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international academy of compounding pharmacists, there are at least 3,000 compounding pharmacies in america a engage in the sterile production of pharmaceuticals. former head of the f.d.a. admitted patients have no way of knowing if the drugs they're getting are f.d.a. approved or not. the two gentlemen facing murder charges will go before a judge today. >> our legal contributor joins us. the indictment charges two people with second degree murder. why are the executives culpable in this case? >> the claim is that the executives, they don't have to have specific in tent to kill anyone, but as you heard there, reckless disregard for the fact that someone could have become sick and died. the claim is that the owner of this pharmacy actually gave the order to disregard the health
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and safety of people who might receive the drug, integrally involved in the conspiracy. this is a rico -- >> a statute used for organized criminals like john gotti. >> 14 defends were claimed to mislead the government. >> people are wondering what about me, this case resulting in 64 deaths, 751 cases of meningitis across the country. are there other potential victims out there? >> i consulted with a couple of medical experts. they say don't panic, you would have had to receive an injection. this is not contagious. it would have to be an injection from necc, this pharmaceutical company and this dates back to 2012. if you are not sick now, you are not going to get sick.
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if you have concerns, cult your physician if you had an injection related to back injury or some sort of spinal -- >> in january 2013, the pharmacy filed a letter with the s.c.c. claiming the cleaning company should share blame. on what basis should it share? >> they were trying to avoid civil liability. this today is criminal action. they are being pursued by the feds in criminal court, there, they knew they'd be sued, 700 people got sick, 64 died, and there were going to be lawsuits. they filed for bankruptcy and then went of a the cleaner, thinking well, we're going to share some of these damages that we're going to have to pay out and that's fair, if you think that you're going to have to pay out. with the bankruptcy, they're absolved of having to pay out damages and said they'd make available any funds head to pay families who had pain and suffering, but this is criminal. we're talking about possible
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sentences for the top two dogs in that company. >> jami, thank you very much. >> more fallout for the decline in oil price, now chef ron putting a major drilling project on hold. it was supposed to take place in the arctic circle. this i guess the largest drilling project so far to be stopped because crude costs less. >> the federal reserve is inching toward raising short term interest rates. it could happen next year. officials suggest the move affidavit wrapping up their wednesday meeting. the central bank's next central policy meeting is in late january. >> blackberry going back to basics, set to release the classic with an eight megafictionle camera, querty key board. the company is trying to reinvent itself. >> sony caving to threats of violence.
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>> breaking down difficulties companies will deal with facing international hackers. >> works of art from winston churchill, fetching big bucks at auction. a look at his work and works of other leaders who are create i have with the paintbrush. >> final for our big quote. the decision by sony to scrap the release of the comedy "the interview" drawing sharp reaction. >> one director saying i think it is disgraceful that these theaters are not showing "the interview." will they pull any movie that gets an anonymous threat now? >> the fanny man who says this is no laughing matter. >> i told you this would be your best interview >> ...and it is... it's the current one... >> every monday, join us for exclusive... revealing... and surprising talks with the most interesting people of our time... talk to al jazeera, only on al jazeera america
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>> who said i think it is disgraceful that these theaters are not showing "the interview." will they pull any movie that gets an anonymous threat now? >> judd apatow weighing in with others in hollywood on the decision to hold off releasing the new movie, the interview. sony made that addition amid
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threats. hacker said they'd attack any cinema that showed this movie. the film made backers of kim jong-un angry. u.s. officials say north korea orchestrated the hack tack on sony pictures. a tech analyst and host of tech bites join us. thanks for being with us. what are the ramifications of this case and the fact that this movie is actually not going to be shown now? >> it's interesting how over just the past 48 hours it's gone from some theaters saying we don't want to show it out of these threats for violence to sony pulling the movie and saying we're not going to do it. it's unprecedented. we've never seen this before. this hack is unprecedented. we've never seen a major company i don't want to say taken down, but really kicked down for just doing business. granted, we've seen interesting emails and they've leaked a lot of private information, but this is starting to read like the script of a movie.
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>> are you surprised to the north careens were able to either have the capability to do this or be able to outsource this? >> absolutely. this is a country that struggles with everything technological. they are almost stuck in the 1950's, but it definitely, the way this is playing out, fits into their narrative of what we are as a country and what they are as a country, and what i find fascinating is we've sort of sony pictures that sort of fallen in line with well, the dictator didn't want this movie out, so you have to pull it. >> some say this is straight-out blackmail. >> it is. it is. it's amazing to me that it's gone this far, that sony is saying fine, if you're offended by this movie, we are not going to do that. it begs the question whether this is going to happen again. >> it begs the question whether it wields power to affect the first american rights of americans from north korea. >> and from other countries to
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take out these attacks. with hackers, we've seen so many this year, it's become the year of the attack, home depot, nordstrom. >> hackers are using ransom wear, extornadoing money from small businesses, a police department in massachusetts was attacked, there were reports unconfirmed that nokia was attacked. what can be done, and is anything being done? >> it's very out of control, and there does need to be some legislation, because a lot of the laws are murky, because countries can't hack each other, because that is espionage. >> what about security software? >> it only works to a certain point. there's always that point where someone can get in, be that an email. i read about where executives were meeting with executives from people in other countries
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and it was in a golf invitation that contained malware that went out on your network and finding its way around. there are so many ways in. i definitely see in the new year, we're going to see companies like mark cuban with his email that doesn't actually exist. >> basically you send an email and it disappears, so we may see more of that type of software. we'll have to leave it there. thanks for joining us this morning. >> another fascinating story of art and politics. winston churchill was remembered for his speeches steering britain through years of war, but people don't know one of his secrets was painting. some of his works have hit the auction block. >> >> i'll on hall day, he spent a good deal of his time painting. >> for many, he is a political master who steered his country through the second world war. for almost half a century, though, winston church him's private passion was painting.
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it provided an escape from a depression which jen gulfed him during world war i. fifty years after his death, some of his work is being sold. >> winston churchill only painted one picture during the second world war. just before the war broke out and on his final painting trip, he apparently said this is the last picture we shall paint in peace for a very long time. >> churchill isn't the only leader who's used art to express himself. adolf hitler also painted. while churchill used a pseudonym for his first exhibition, others such as former u.s. president, and oils man george w. bush and russia's vladimir putin of less shy about showing their work. >> a lot of people paint because they find ate creative release. they find it relaxing, just as many people, you know, just as
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many politicians have other hobbies, such as fishing. i don't think there's anything in particular in painting, but it does take you away from yourself. it does take you away from the job stresses, and is relaxing for depression. >> there are common themes through both politics and art in that everybody has an opinion. >> who do you think could ever painted those? >> that's george h.w. bush's work. >> ok. >> this one? >> churchill. >> what do you think of it? >> fantastic. >> do you look it? >> looks like a child's painting. >> despite what people think of the quality, what's on the canvas provides a glimpse of life away from high office. >> al jazeera in london. >> the painting sold last night, one of fetching $2.8 million, more than 10 times what they
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thought it would sell for. >> 25 films are added to the national film registry. among the movies, "the big lebowski,"" ferris bueller's day off" among them. >> let's get another check of your forecast right now. problems for christmas travelers. >> everybody wants snow for christmas but don't want to travel in the snow for christmas. new york is warmer than atlanta, that won't stay that way. they'll see sunshine today. we are looking at rain probability with thunderstorms pushing through much of the gulf states today. we could see thunderstorms and also some snow up here. tuesday, the forecast map, we have very rainy conditions all
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up and down the seaboard. that will be changing over, of course a lot of people traveling on tuesday, that's going to change over to snow, so detroit, minnesota, minneapolis, you could see snow. here we think it's going to be rain, but in the morning, could be snow in the morning, of course snow in the city turns to brown snow. >> true. thank you. >> coming up in two minutes from doha, russia's president speaking out about the decline of the ruble. >> tomorrow morning, negotiating a landmark deal with a look at the role the pope played restoring diplomatic relations between the u.s. and cuba. >> a look at our images of the day, it is santa claus taking a dive in california. >> scuba santa taking part in a holiday program teaching kids the importance of preserving the coral reefs. >> we'll see you back here
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tomorrow at 7:00. >> al jazeera america presents >> somebody's telling lies... >> it looks nothing like him... >> pan am flight 103 explodes december 21st, 1988 was the right man convicted? >> so many people, at such a high level, had the stake in al-megrahi's guilt >> the most definitive look at this shocking crime >> the major difficulty for the prosecution that there was no evidence >> al jazeera america presents lockerbie part one: the pan am bomber >> protestors are gathering... >> there's an air of tension right now... >> the crowd chanting for democracy... >> this is another significant development... >> we have an exclusive story
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