Skip to main content

tv   News  Al Jazeera  January 26, 2015 8:00pm-9:01pm EST

8:00 pm
president of x-prize. that is our show for today. i'm ali velshi. thank you for joining us. ♪ ♪ hi everyone this is al jazeera america. i'm john siegenthaler in new york. states of emergency, the northeast blizzard tens of millions affected. wake-up call the greek election. the radical left wins and a new government is chosen. taking a toll on america's military men and women. defense secretary hagel speaks out on the stress and strain from non-stop war. and living with autism siblings with the disorder and one family's story.
8:01 pm
♪ major cities on the east coast tonight have practically come to stand-still. highways are closed. schools, offices, shut down millions told to stay home. winter brings storms but the blizzard sweeping across the northeast tonight may be historic. a state of emergency exists up and down the east coast. thousands of flights are canceled causing big problems for travelers. the snow keeps falling, and at the shore the water is rising. kevin corriveau is here with the latest. >> that's right, john and tomorrow the flights are already canceled again in preparation for probably the biggest day of the blizzard situation that we're going to be seeing. what is happening right now is we have seen some light snow across the region pretty much all day, but as we go into the
8:02 pm
next couple of hours and past midnight things are really going to be ramping up due to this low-pressure that is forming off of the coast. that is going to be our nor easter and it will bring the pressure behind it. really long island has seen quite a bit of snow already. but the big band of snow is going to be from long island up through massachusetts. that's where we could see anywhere between 24 and 36 inches of snow there. this really hasn't changed too much all the way through maine through starts of connecticut as well as into new jersey. we expect the ones to the south to end earlier, as the system makes its way towards the north. but it's up here towards the north.
8:03 pm
we're not going to be seeing those blizzard warnings ending probably until we get towards wednesday morning. tomorrow much of the northeast is at a stand still. >> kevin thank you. many people along the shore are still recovering and rebuilding from superstorm sandy. now they are having to deal with this storm. on the telephone is the major of bellmar. mayor, welcome. tell us what the situation is there tonight? >> we just spent the last 24, 36 hours preparing for this storm, and because of all of the lessons learned since sandy, we're really well prepared for this storm. >> what advice to you have for the residences in bellmar and those preparing for this storm? >> there is going to be some tidal surges some flooding in the back bay area but probably the biggest concern will be
8:04 pm
power outages. with high winds and taking down trees and limbs that are going to take down power lines. and for at least a day it is going to be difficult for any power company to fix those lines, so it will be a difficult period of time without any power that lends to no heat and temperatures are going to be dropping precipitously over the next 24 hours. >> some time has passed since sandy. do you feel like you have ptsd when it comes to a storm like this? >> we have some folks that are very, very sensitive. particularly the ones that were flooded out, and some families today are still out of their homes and are not back home but, again, all of us including the residents have learned a lot since sandy, so those families are much better prepared for this storm than probably any storm we have ever had. >> all right. mayor thank you very much.
8:05 pm
we'll update you on this developing weather story out there this hour. in the meantime we turn to a russian spy ring uncovered in the united states. one was taken into custody today. the other suspects are no longer in the u.s. can't be charged. the justice department says both with diplomats, and are immune from prosecution. we turn now to ukraine, where five months of ceasefire lies in ruins. russian russian-backed rebels are gaining ground. 30 civilians were killed in shelling on saturday. kiev has declared a state of emergency in two regions. now the u.s. and europe are threating more sanctions on russia. in syria all of the city of
8:06 pm
kobani has been taken back from isil. it has been one of the most cymbalic fights against isil. >> reporter: for four amongst kobani was the u.s.'s number 1 target. a thousand air strikes. more bombs dropped on kobani than all other syrian cities combined. as the u.s. made it a top priority so did isil. isil tanks and other heavy weapons pummelled kobani. the kurdish fighters held on and with the help of u.s. air strikes, and u.s. weapons, kurds have now turned kobani into one of the only major victories against isil. we visited the turkish side of the border last week.
8:07 pm
we watched kurdish fighters moving casually. and we saw a mortar strike in the distance. >> translator: we took necessary measures to prevent any kind of threats from crossing the border. >> reporter: the turkish military is based here. but the u.s.'s focus on kobani is an accident of geography. u.s. officials said they felt pressure to save it in part because of the media. dozens of cameras filled kobani from the safety of turkey. but elsewhere the war in syria is not going well. the syrian air force dropped the same number of bombs the u.s. dropped in a month. many are barrel bombs filled with gasoline iron and high explosives. they destroy entire neighborhoods. aleppo is an historic strong
8:08 pm
hold of the u.s.-backed opposition. but now it's no more than a few hundred thousand. and that means aleppo fighters who were supposed to take on isil are too busy holding their ground against the syria regime. they accuse the u.s. of hitting the wrong target. today the u.s. might have won major battle but it's not clear if it's winning the war. nick schifrin al jazeera, turkey. greece's new prime minister was sworn into office today. his party claimed victory in sunday's elections. now comes the hard part. keeping its promises and finding a way to pay for them. barnaby phillips is in athens are more. >> reporter: he chose to be sworn in without a priest from the greek orthodox church a break from tradition that shows how he is leading a social revolution as well as a political one. he is just 40 years old. the youngest prime minister in
8:09 pm
modern times, and the fifth greek prime minister since 2009. earlier he invited a small right-wing party to form a government with his party. they don't have much in common except for a determination to reject austerity policies imposed on greece. it's a new political landscape, the old guard swept away. a time of expectation, but also fear of what comes next. so the new greek coalition government should have a stable majority in parliament at least for the time being, but the more difficult negotiation lie away when he meets other european governments, the european central bank and the imf. for greece's private sector a far-left victory could be construed at bad news. at the chamber of commerce they
8:10 pm
say greece must reach an amicable agreement. >> the greek people have suffered tremendously to become members of both and i don't think they want to simply throw away all of the efforts, and of course the sacrifices that they have endured over the last four and a half years in order to be members of the european club. ♪ >> reporter: the prime minister believes it has reset the course of european politics and that greece will now lead the way in rolling back austerity. it wants a large part of greece's debt 320 billion euros in total to be forgiven. and yet the european countries say it must stand by itself commitments. >> it has to reach some kind of agreement with greece's euro zone partners, and at the moment they are taking diametrically opposed positions.
8:11 pm
so there will have to be some kind of compromise in order to avoid real financial difficulties with greece. a compromise is in everyone's interests, but there's not much time to play with. greece has funds to survive until the summer. many experts believe greece will need to borrow more money before then. >> pedro reports on economics for the wall street journal, and he's in washington, d.c. tonight. welcome. >> thank you. >> were you surprised by the reaction of the markets today? >> i was not, actually because in a way there was already a sense that siriza was headed for a victory, so there was enough lead time in terms of the information being out there. and one of the things that got lost during the election was i think the opponents wanted to paint them as a party that would
8:12 pm
push for a euro zone exit whereas what they have been pushing for is a renegotiation of the debt as your report just suggested. so there's a sense -- as your report indicated that there will be a compromise while both sides -- there is going to be a lot of political posturing on the greek side in terms of reversing austerity measures and on the german and italian side on standing up to its obligations. >> both sides seem so absolute. >> that's very true but i think that goes back to the political posturing aspect that i mentioned. i mean it's different what politicians will say in public and what they'll agree to in private. and really you know, it's become this self defeating thing
8:13 pm
for the euro zone to have these reoccurring crises in the markets. so it is in the euro zone's best interest to -- you know greece remain in the fray. and at the same time they achieved enough of an electoral victory that it's hard for the euro zone to argument against the democratic process itself. so they have to come to a compromise. >> yeah but can you give us a sense -- can you put this into perspective for us. who is really responsible for this? are the austerity measures responsible for the problems the greeks are having economically? and did the greeks get a bad deal? >> so that's a great question and there's arguments to be made on both sides. i think the issue was greece was going to have a deep recession regardless.
8:14 pm
and arguably slashing government spending at a time of already a deep recession, most economists will argue will lead to deeper economic downturn. that said there are several criticisms that -- that northern europe in particular makes about the implementation process in greece falling short, but really you know, i think what you are seeing -- what you saw in the election was really a reelection of the death of the economic downturn. greece had a six-year depression. greece has been contracting for six years and the economy has shrank by about a quarter of its former self. and unemployment is around 25%. so these are developing country statistics in what used to be a first world country. >> how long would it take to reach a compromise in your opinion? >> well you know, there is the
8:15 pm
summer deadline that will kind of force both parties into some sort of debate before then because as your report indicated, greece only has enough money to get it so far, so the discussions will be -- will be happening very soon. in fact you already saw the e.u. side lay its cards on the table and say, look there's no real room for renegotiation. but i think as time moves along, you'll see some null if indication of that argument. >> all right. pedro thank you. >> thank you. president obama and the first lady are in india tonight. earlier today the president announced a $4 billion deal. it includes u.s. investments and lending to india. the two nations all also agreed to deepen defense ties. but tomorrow he travels to saudi
8:16 pm
arabia to pay his respects to the saaddy royal family. king abdullah who was laid to rest on friday. the president will meet with the king's successor, king salman. >> reporter: the original plan was to send vice president biden, and meet with the new king. but president obama decided to cut short his india trip by one day. he was to go sight-seeing tomorrow and it's really a measure of the strategic and economic importance with saudi arabia. saudi officials spent much of monday receiving a stream of foreign dignitaries. tuesday, president obama is set to join them cutting a short a visit to india, marked by festive ceremony and a growing alliance. he'll fly to saudi arabia where the mood is somber. and there's uncertainty over
8:17 pm
regional instability. >> this is an opportunity for the president to both pay respects for the life of king abdullah who he worked very closely with but also to -- to meet the -- the new heard heard -- leader of saudi arabia and his team. >> reporter: it will be the president's second high profile visit in less than a year. on the able to the fight against isil in which saudi war planes have flown on the side of the american coalition. syria, and lingering frustration with mr. obama for not using force to oust president assad. talks with iran over his nuclear program. and the situation in yemen. saudi arabia remains the world's largest exporter of crude oil, and has kept up production even in the face of plummeting oil prices in price helping keep
8:18 pm
the price low. for its part the u.s. military helps protect the saudi remindries and exports. >> i think you saw the president say he is committed to continuity. but, again, i think we're well placed to continue cooperation. >> reporter: and john the president and first lady leave early tomorrow from india. he'll have a couple more events there. all told he'll only be on the grown for about four hours in saudi arabia. >> mike viqueira thank you. now to cairo, egypt's interior minister is denying that security forces were involved in the killing of more than 20 protesters. protesters were observing the third anniversary of the uprising that overthrow former president mubarak.
8:19 pm
>> john egypt's interior member is blaming the muslim brotherhood for the violence. but activists insist it was security forces. among them include this woman. a warning here some of the images are graphic. this video shows her involved in cairo on saturday protesting with members of an opposition party. they are chanting bread, freedom, and social justice, a slogan of the 2011 uprising. moments later, she is on the ground and two gunmen in black appear. a series of graphic photos shows what happens next. a man runs to help her, embraces her, picks her up and carries her away. she died soon after. members of her party say police shot her. other activists also blame the police. >> translator: it has clearly been proven until now is the
8:20 pm
killers are the security forces. therefore the special authorities should look for the killer, and the person who took the decision to kill the protesters. all of those responsible must be tried. >> reporter: but egypt's interior minister accuses members of the muslim brotherhood. >> translator: they occupied some of the roof tops and be be -- randomly shooting. >> reporter: the government declared the muslim brotherhood a terrorist group in 2013 after the military ousted president mohammed morsi. critics say the government has been using the group to justify its own violence. >> there's been a significant dialing back of even the limited political and civil liberties that existed in egypt prior to
8:21 pm
mubarak's overthrow. certainly not the kind of egypt that people hoped for, four years ago when they took to the streets to call for something better. >> reporter: activists tell me the government has underestimated the number of people killed so far, and john, those demonstrations continue today in cairo. >> thank you. coming up next death row controversy, a georgia inmate who many say is developmentally disabled is due to be executed. and the consequences of non-stop war.
8:22 pm
8:23 pm
in less than 24 hours, the state of georgia plans to execute a inmate who many say is
8:24 pm
mentally disabled. he was convicted in two separate and brutal murders. still his attorneys and advocacy groups are pleading for mercy. robert ray joins us with more. >> reporter: john good evening. the state is set to execute warren hill tomorrow at 7:00 even though doctors and the courts have said he is mentally retarded. his iq is 70 or below. warren hill was sentenced to life in prison in 1986 for killing his girlfriend but four years later he beat and killed a fellow inmate. >> he actually used a board that had nails in it in the last one to basically club the person to death. >> reporter: hill was sent to death row, but in 2002 the supreme court blocked states from executing people with
8:25 pm
intellectual disabilities. however, they left what constitutes a intellectual disability in the state's hands. many states use an iq of 70 as the bar. >> in georgia our standard of proof for proving intellectual disability is beyond a reasonable doubt, which is the highest evidence standard. and georgia is the only sthat sthat -- state that had this standard. >> reporter: at age 7, he scored a 70 on a intelligence test. all seven doctor who have examined him since unanimously agree he has an intellectual disability. >> there are a lot of people that believe that the iq test is not a good indicator of mental
8:26 pm
capacity or ability to do something intellectually. >> reporter: in fact hill's iq has fluctuated at times scoring in the 70s, and at others 69, below the threshold. >> this is a man who has had lifelong intellectual disability who is not in any sense malingering. it has been undisputed by seven different doctors, and people from around the country and world have spoken up saying it is wrong to execute warren hill because of his intellectual disability. >> this would be the first -- >> reporter: hill's attorney agrees and says the state of georgia is about to execute someone with the mentality of an 11 year old. the prosecutor does not agree. he says that hill held jobs as a teenager graduated high school and served as a petty officer in the navy. the prosecutor says that warren hill showed no signs of mental
8:27 pm
retardation until years into his appeal process. he thinks there is no intellectual disability within hill. we should also note that many of the people we spoke with do not want his sentence shortened. they still think he should be in life in prison including the families of his victims. >> i think the world in a way is watching us so i -- i think we should be very careful about going ahead, about, you know, how we're seen as a justice system in society. how reasonable are we? how careful have we about people with disabilities. >> reporter: john this morning the attorney for warren hill stood in front of the parole board here in the state of georgia in atlanta, pleading that mr. hill not be put to death tomorrow night. no decision was made as of the time that we speak right now, john. we should find out more details
8:28 pm
tomorrow. now the feds or the state could put a stay on his execution which is scheduled for tomorrow night. one other interesting note is it's unknown how many people with this intellectual disability, an iq of 70 or less are in prisons and on death row here in the united states but we do know there are over 3,000 people in the federal and state system that are up for the death penalty here in america. john. >> robert thank you. coming up next the blizzard that is doing, where it is now, and how bad it could get. and the questions about security risks, after a small drone crashes outside of the white house. the science behind keeping us safe on the road >> oh... >> oh my god... >> the driving force behind these new innovations >> i did not see that one coming >> techknow's team of experts show you how the miracles of science... >> this is my selfie... what can you tell me about my future? >> can effect and surprise us...
8:29 pm
>> sharks like affection >> techknow... where technology meets humanity... only on al jazeera america
8:30 pm
>> aljazeera america presents a break through television event borderland... >> are you tellin' me it's ok to just open the border, and let em' all run in? >> the teams live through the hardships that forced mira, omar and claudette into the desert. >> running away is not the answer... >> is a chance at a better life worth leaving loved ones behind? >> did omar get a chance to tell you goodbye before he left? >> which side of the fence are you on? >> sometimes immigration is the only alternative people have. borderland only on al jazeera america this is al jazeera america. i'm john siegenthaler. ♪ >> path of the storm. cars banned. thousands of flights grounded. a record-setting blizzard on track to cripple the northeast.
8:31 pm
battle fatigue, a warning from the secretary of defense. >> you keep rotating back the same people. >> reporter: the consequences of what he calls non-stop war. surprise landing, a small drone on the white house lawn. new questions about possible threats from above. >> reporter: and pot potential, top doctors weigh in on kids and medical american. ♪ in the northeast tonight millions of people are being warned to take cover. a state of emergency declared across the region. travel bans are in effect from pennsylvania to maine, and hundreds of thousands of people could lose their power. kevin corriveau is here with that. >> that's right. john. in just a couple of hours, new york city is going to become a pedestrian city. take a look at the radar, and you'll notice something very interesting. we have a line right here that
8:32 pm
goes down through the hudson river valley. the heaviest snow is to the east. we're dealing with an area of low-pressure that is calling the nor'easter. you have to have certain types of criteria where visible city one quarter of a mile or less weekends of up to 35 miles an hour, and last over three hours. some of those conditions can go down to whiteout conditions. the other big concern is going to be coastal flooding. as that system is off of the coast. it's actually pushing the water into -- such as the bays and harbors across the region. big problem there. that could be some issues in those low-lying areas, and the winds. right now we're already seeing some of those gusts. boston you are at 37 mile an hour gusts right now. that is considered blizzard
8:33 pm
conditions there. but when you factor that in with the temperatures the real feel tomorrow is going to go down. boston will feel more like sigh must 6, and new york minus 10. >> kevin thank you. a blizzard warning is in effect for some 250 miles of coastline. among the most severely affected areas long island. john? >> reporter: that's right. good evening to you john. we're here at the long beach medical center? long beach long island which is still shuttered more than two years since hurricane sandy roared through here. and people around the parts are pretty nervous. now you know that new yorkers are a hardy bunch, but they are being told that this is the biggest blizzard of all time to go through new york and the northeast of the united states
8:34 pm
and if you thought you were coming to new york tomorrow forget about it you are not. the airports may be open, but the planes aren't here. thousands of flights have been canceled. on the railways to the north. out to the east and west all of the trains are going to close down at 11:00 and they won't be back we're told until thursday. even broadway is closed down. there were three shows due to show tonight, and tonight it has all been canceled. new york is being told this could be a storm of historic proportions, john. >> i'm looking at the picture behind you. there's not much to show it looks like a ghost town. >> let's show you. julian is my cameraman. he will pan around. this is the long beach medical center and now you see the
8:35 pm
all-too familiar red cross fine put up to keep people ott of this building. and only half of it is occupied at this time. i'm sure it's very awkward for the people who live in this neighborhood to have to have this as a neighbor. now just down the road in the town of long beach is a pizza restaurant and there a short time ago, we met a number of staff who's name is katherine, and she was on duty at the time of hurricane sandy. she said the pizza was closed for three weeks, but when they reopened they were handing out free pizza. and people came to take that free pizza and they were extremely grateful. so that's the situation here in long island john. they have been told to take
8:36 pm
their cars off of the road wherever possible and prepare tomorrow for flooding. >> yeah long island could be the hardest hit in that area. john thank you very much. there was a warning from chuck hagel today. he says non-stop war for more than a decade is driving more than a few good men out of the military. >> yeah john secretary hagel says he is surprised how often young soldiers tell them they plan to leave the military. the stress is not only draining but also dangerous. after nearly 15 years of war, the top men at the pentagon is admitting the u.s. armed forces are showing strain. >> so we have to pay attention to that. >> reporter: in an interview with npr, chuck hagel said he is worried about the toll of non-stop war especially on an all volunteer force. >> what that means is you keep rotating back into combat tours
8:37 pm
the same people. four, five, six, combat tours, same people. strain stress consequences of that are -- are showing up. >> reporter: the war in afghanistan has lasted longer than any other for america. u.s. military advisors are now in iraq to help in the fight against isil. and up to 20% of soldiers who return have ptsd. that means the wounds have yet to heal. al jazeera visited the hughes last year jonah survived ten bomb blasts over three tours in iraq. his body recovered but his mind never did. in that stress troubles hagel and he worries it is pushing out good shoulders. >> in the end it is people that is the most important asset of any institution. >> solving this issue will fall on hagel's successor, ashton
8:38 pm
carter has yet to be confirmed, and although the numbers have been shrinking, u.s. forces are expected to remain in afghanistan, john until at least the end of 2016. >> jonathan thank you. richard smith is a retired army sergeant and is in washington, d.c. tonight. welcome. >> thanks for having me. >> give me your reaction to what you heard from the secretary. >> i think he is right. i know when i came back from afghanistan, all but one of our commanders left the service. a lot of our senior nco's guys that were over halfway to retirement left because of repeated deployments. that was in 2008 and we're several years down the road from that. and even then guys i was serving with had already been down ranged three, four, five times apiece. and again, we're five -- six
8:39 pm
years down the road from that now. >> how much damage do you think has been done to the armed forces? >> i think a significant amount. you see this in -- in the leadership degradation. in the last five years in the united states navy alone, they relieved 90 commanders. and that's the navy alone. that does include people like the staff sergeant who killed 16 people. or the sergeant who is accused of sexually assaulting his subordinates. so when you have this constant war, and you are bleeding your good leaders, sort of the subpar leaders rise to the top. >> it's been probably 50 years since this country has had a real debate again about whether or not the country should have a draft or -- or should it continue with a volunteer army or can a volunteer army provide
8:40 pm
the necessary personnel the country needs. do you have an opinion? >> i -- i think we -- the military with what has been expected of them over the 13 years has done fundamentally. i think there is a bill that gets introduced in every congress to study whether or not a draft would be a good idea. i think that's a step we should take. we should look into if having a draft makes more americans feel like they have skin in the game when it comes to sending troops into combat. >> what do you think? >> again, i think we should look into the issue. i wouldn't say one way or another just yet. personally i like knowing -- liked knowing down range that the guy next to me wanted to be there as opposed to being forced there. but, again, there is the issue of a civil military divide. >> so do you think there should be some sort of limit?
8:41 pm
i mean or -- or does it depend on what sort of deployment these -- these young people have endured? >> so i don't think necessarily we should say that -- we shouldn't do repeat tours. repeat tours can be really important. you don't want people with knowledge out of there. i do think we need to look at limiting frequency of deployment. we have guys going a year on a year off, and have been doing that for 13 years now, and i think that can be excessive. i don't know if it's a three or four-year break between deployments, but it needs to be looked at in a way that we can keep guys from serving so many tours over the course of their career. >> is this something you talk about with your friends who are veterans and some of the guys coming back now? >> absolutely. again, we talk about the degradation of leadership. how many senior folks are being
8:42 pm
forced out. and why we left. i only did one deployment for 14 months but i was in the 82 airborne division where guys were doing a year on and a year off. and it doesn't the sole reason i left but it was a main consideration. i deployed after my child was born and i didn't want to spending my child's life watching him grow up in pictures. >> we hope to have you back and talk more about this issue. thanks. >> thank you. investigation is underway tonight at the white house, a lockdown was triggered there after a 2-foot wide drone crashed on the white house lawn. the secret service says a man has taken responsibility calling it an accident. but the incident is raising new concerns about security there. our science technology correspondent jake ward is live
8:43 pm
from san francisco with more on this. what do we know about this drone, jake? >> this is a pretty straight-forward drone. i actually own one of these any idiot can buy one including me. it's just shy of $500. it's the entry-level drone that you would buy for somebody for christmas, which is how i got it. so it's really not -- it has become pretty clear to the drone community that while this does raise massive concerns about sort of privacy and federal guidelines this was definitely somebody who -- who was just probably flying around -- although at kind of an odd hour and just happened to loose control of this thing in the worst-place possible. >> this is an area where it is not really defined quite yet. you have been covering the recreational drone industry for sometime now. so what is the status of these
8:44 pm
individual categories if any? >> well it's very, very gray still, john. the faa has put down a blanket prohibition on the commercial use of drones including the use of drones by journ ailes ailes -- journalists. meanwhile the drone industry is pushing for the faa to move faster than that. the reauthorization act is going to come up this year and they are trying to make it part of that. that said the legal status of this particular drone in this particular case is really not in question. an amateur can fly many places but you are not allowed to fly anywhere in washington, d.c. itself. so this was a pretty clear case of -- of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. you are not allowed to do this but it's a very gray area for private operators. >> someone just flew a $500 toy
8:45 pm
into the lawn of the most sensitive building. who is to say that they could don't that any other location around the world? >> that's right. just last week somebody flew a different kind of drone by the same manufacturer dji, flew a hex-copter hex-copter, with 6 pounds of methamphetamine. the dea say they see about 120 of these flights across the border every year. so we're seeing drones being used for thatnefarious ways now. >> jake thank you very much. coming up next the surprise finding about children and autism. how siblings could have completely different forms of
8:46 pm
the disorder. plus should medical marijuana be given to children?
8:47 pm
8:48 pm
medical marijuana is now legal in 23 states as use of the drug increases so do questions, especially about the effects on children. richelle carey is here with more. >> the nation's leading organization of pediatricians has issued a new recommendation. it's a policy shift that many consider promising. the american academy of pediatrics says while there is no hard proof of the drug's benefits it does advocate its use for children with life threatening conditions. and it calls on the government to remove marijuana from its most restrictive drug category. doing this it says will make it easier for researcher to study the benefits of cannabis if any. and help develop treatments.
8:49 pm
but it still objects to children and adolescence using pot for recreation and does not support the broader legalization for adults. not enough is known about the effects of marijuana, but the pediatrician's group hopes this policy offers compassionate use for patients like chase. they moved to colorado springs so he could legally use a marijuana oil. she is just one of hundreds of parents who have relocated to the state so their children who suffer from severe epilepsy and other conditions can legally access the drug. some of the dispensaries are not regulated and run by people with little to no medical training.
8:50 pm
the american academy of pediatrics are basically saying they want to know more. >> thank you. we are joined by the pediatrician at seattle children's hospital. doctor welcome. how many children are being given this drugy their doctor? >> well i wouldn't say very many. it's certainly not a typical practice. and i really look at this policy statement differently. the tone was very much against legalization. the dangers that come in states like where i live in washington state where we have recreational and medical use of marijuana. we want to make sure advertisers aren't praying on young teens, since we know widespread use in the teen population is a real thing. one out of 16 say they use marijuana every single day. >> i understand the questions
8:51 pm
and concerns about recreational marijuana, but when it comes to giving children this drug for some sort of medical problem -- and ak dock -- doctors making that decision what sort of -- what sort of diseases or conditions would doctors use it for? >> well i think that -- the clear point of the policy statement is we don't really know. we don't have any good retrospective or even any randomized studies that tell us about the safety using marijuana or marijuana ingredients in children and we don't have a lot of long-term data. what we do have is the data on the developing brain that is detrimental. so this is the beginning of thinking about how do we reclassify marijuana. how do we let our researchers access to understand the effects this can have when we don't
8:52 pm
have other choices, and how do we do that at the same time that we don't send the wrong message. the message that sometimes people confuse it being legal for it being safe. >> yeah it's used to manage pain in many states across the country, but i would assume most of those people are adults. but it probably is used for children and pain management as well. is that -- is that what we're talking about? >> that is what we're talking about, but, again, the academy takes a strong stance saying we need more research in states that have legalization that have medical dispensaries like dwoe here. we need to understand how to control the substance. we can't guarantee safety. we can't guarantee potency, so we certainly don't want to put kids in harm's way when there are overall tern-- other
8:53 pm
alternatives. >> does that mean doctors shouldn't be prescribing it. >> i would not prescribe it as a pediatrician. but it's widely available to adult populations. and teens i think are very confused. in complex medical care i would work with a number of specialists to ensure that we exhausted all other sources. >> yeah i mean -- >> but that's the call to action. >> yeah the real question -- or what is surprising in many ways is how far down this road we have gone especially in washington state, but how little we actually no so far. >> exactly. >> thank you very much for sharing your incite. >> thanks for having me. a new study on autism is revealing how complex and mysterious the disorder really
8:54 pm
is. in most cases researchers found something very different. >> reporter: 20-year-old kevin can't speak but he sure can communicate. >> go patriots. [ laughter ] >> like asking for his favorite drink. like one in 69 american kids kevin is autistic and like many of those children he shares autism with his sister. 18-year-old melissa. but melissa can speak. >> so what are you making here? >> i'm making a swader will for my baby cousin. >> reporter: a new study shows that they may not share the same greens. instead his sibling may his or her own form of autism. >> siblings with autism don't
8:55 pm
necessarily have the same genetic makeup. >> reporter: this doctor has 6,000 parents come through the doors every year. and like many families this family admit that having kids with different abilities creates a worry about the future. >> my biggest fear is they won't be loved the way i love them. >> reporter: even kevin and melissa's older sister says he question keeps her awake at night. amy the children's biological mother fell in love with julie, an autism specialist and they got married in 2008. >> i was married for 16 years to my kid's father, and that didn't work out. my sister said i don't get it. and i said it's not about being with a woman, it's about being
8:56 pm
with julie. >> amy will say to me, you saved my life. well she saved mine. >> reporter: as they prepare their kids for the future, they make the most of what they can teach them out in. kevin meets with a local speech therapist once a week to learn basic living skills. meanwhile melissa wants compassionship. >> reporter: what do you want to do when you get older? >> i hope to raise a family one day. >> so you want to get married and have kids? >> i do. >> hell i will -- melissa expresses that she would like a friend but it's so hard for her. >> reporter: what do you do at the high school? >> basically food prep. like burgers and smoothies, and serving lunches to the students there. >> reporter: and she wants you to know just one thing.
8:57 pm
don't count her out. >> don't think about your disabilities, but think about your abilities. think about what you can do. and still ahead on this broadcast, the asteroid passing by earth that has scientists looking towards the night's sky.
8:58 pm
8:59 pm
coming up on our broadcast at 11:00 eastern time. the message parents have in mexico for authorities. plus caught on camera off of the coast of maui how a pilot escaped death. those stories and a lot more at 11:00 eastern. the earth has a close encounter today with an asteroid. it's almost 2,000 feet wide. it missed hitting earth by 745,000 miles, about three times the distance between earth and the moon. scientists say this will be our closest encounter with the asteroid until the year 2027.
9:00 pm
now to our picture of the day. for kids this storm of course is -- it's a day off school. it's a lot of fun outdoors. they are sledding in new jersey. we'll see you back tonight at 11:00 with the latest. ♪ >> august 25, 2014. michael brown is laid to rest by his family and friends he was 18, and unarmed