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tv   News  Al Jazeera  April 24, 2015 7:30am-9:01am EDT

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largest festival and attracts as many as 1.2 million visitors. and a quick reminder you can keep up to date with the news on our website, there it is on your screen, new and improved al that is al ♪ a somber day in armenia where dignitaries from around the world mark 100 years since the killing of more than 1.5 million people. plus more than a dozen people arrested in italy this morning for, quote, acts of terror that includes a planned attack on the vatican. and criticism over the u.s. drone program today after two men including an american were killed in an air strike. ♪ watch this we will tell you how
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high school students completely fell through the stage right there at the collapsing. ♪ good morning to you and thanks for joining us, you are watching al jazeera america and live from new york city i'm morgan and ceremonies in armenia today mark 100 years since the massacre of more than a million armains by turks and french president as well as russian president vladimir putin placed a yellow rose on a wreath commemorating lives lost around the time of world war i, for complete coverage we are if turkey and paul live and paul let's start with you this morning, an solemn day in armenia and what happened this morning and what is scheduled for later?
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>> well it's been raining all day, morgan and that has not stopped people from walking up to the eternal flame to pay their respects to those who died 100 years ago between 1915-1923, earlier today was the commemorative ceremony and world leaders including vladimir putin and french president was here and other presidents and they had an official memorial and went off to hold by lateral talks later on this afternoon. now in armenia tonight there will be a torch procession from the center of town to the memorial and also will be an orchestra performing a revival concert. >> paul we heard about the controversies coming with that ceremony we are talking turkey and allies including the united states reject the use of the word genocide, is that affecting the response at all at that ceremony? >> no it's not. a lot of people here today are
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from the united states where there is a large armenian community and obviously the united states voters there have been pressuring congress to recognize the armenian genocide president reagan mentioned it and obama back before he was bidding for the white house promised them they would recognize the genocide and failed to do so. regardless, what the world calls it they will continue remembering and what they promise to do is make sure that genocide and atrocities like this do not happen again. >> let's turn to istanbul turkey and tell us about the events going on there in turkey. >> well morgan there are several memorial events that are taking place because it's important to note that turkey still has a large armenian community and there are armenian turks still living in turkey and left to commemorate events 100
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freely and church services and music concerts and events taken place and will continue to take place and we expect some sort of protest to take place in istanbul and in the square as well as the main church service in the cathedral in vann and eastern turkey and good to know it was renovated by the turkish government and paid money to rebuild it there, it's an example the government says doesn't discriminate against the armenian citizens and proof they say that a lot of the narrative that has been portrayed against turkey is politicized or based on political accusations rather than facts, morgan. >> it's interesting you mentioned a narrative and reminding us is important saying they have a large armenian community and there is controversy about the way events are handled especially those who died in world war i how are people reacting and what is the feeling like right now? >> well morgan turkey is a
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very patriotic society and it's difficult to walk in any of the squares or streets without huge flags and much like the u.s. where you see people hanging flags outside their homes and so forth, there is a very strong sense of nationalism here and that is why it's difficult for people to accept some of the criticism that is levelled against turkey needless to say it's not only patriot and they say 100 been killed and say it's less and historians in the past few weeks say they uncovered masked graves belonging to turks killed by armenians a say there were masked killings inflicted on the turks themselves so the controversy continues but as you say they are marking 100 years since world war one the battle of gallipoli and there have been world leaders including prince charles as well as the prime minister of australia and others to commemorate that over the past 24 hours.
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>> istanbul turkey for us this morning and gentlemen thank you for being with us. italian police this morning say they arrested several men responsible for acts of terror and planned attack on a vatican and behind attacks in pakistan and 18 suspects and include two reported former body guards for bin lade intersection laden and fineanced them in pakistan. facing scrutiny this morning after president obama's announcement that two al-qaeda hostages were killed in a january strike. one of those men was an american aid worker the other an italian national. and jamie mcintyre has more from the pentagon. >> reporter: the white house says there were two separate drone strikes in january that targeted an al-qaeda compound in pakistan along the afghanistan border and one attack
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unknowingly killed two aid workers held captive there. american weinstein and lo-porto and both abducted in pakistan to improve their lives and president obama says while he did not sign off on the strikes personally as commander-in-chief he offers his deepest apologies. >> i take full responsibility for all our counter terrorism operations including the one that inadvertently took the lives of warren and jiovanni i profoundly regret what happened. >> reporter: the white house admitted the strike raised legitimate questions about the protocols used to approve targeted killings including requirement of near certainty in the accuracy of intelligence. >> the first is near certainty that this was an al-qaeda compound used by al-qaeda leaders, that turned out to be true and assessment was correct and other near certainty assessment is no civilians would be harmed if the operation were
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carried out, unfortunately that was not correct. >> reporter: the u.s. says the two january strikes did kill two al-qaeda leaders both americans and adam and faruk and he grew up in california and converted to islam at age 17 was one of the better known americans tied to al-qaeda after he appeared in a number of the group's videos but the two americans were not the targets,, in fact, despite over 100 hours of surveillance some of it around the clock all u.s. intelligence was able to say for sure was that it bombed a suspected al-qaeda compound. that is a human rights advocates and drone strike critics is a big problem. >> it appears that the united states quite literally in at least the two killings announced in the two operations announced today quite literally did not know who it was killing. >> reporter: the president said he de classifiedclassified details of the mission because americans have a right to know when a mistake
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takes the live of a u.s. citizen. >> i had a full review of what happened and will identify the lessons that can be learned to m the from the tragedy. >> reporter: it will not stop suspected terrorists and for now the secret drone program will remain largely in the shadows, jamie mcintyre, al jazeera the pentagon. attorney general lynch hopes to strike a new tone when she takes over the justice department and confirmed her to be the first black woman to ever become attorney general and new york times says she wants to replace moral and find common ground with law enforcement and she will meet with local police across the country this summer and this is a backlash by police groups and nationwide debate over police tactics especially used in minority communities. >> she will do a great job helping our communities, keeping them safe but also making sure
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our citizens are protected by equal justice under the law. [applause] she has got credibility with law enforcement but she also has credibility with communities. >> reporter: lynch is expected to be sworn in on monday. meanwhile presidential hopeful hillary clinton facing questions about donations to her foundation and asking whether foreign donor governments were interested in helping or buying access to the former secretary of state and david has more. >> reporter: facing acquisitions she is unethical and conflicts of interest and hillary clinton addressed reporters and was dismissive. >> subjected to all kinds of distraction and attack and i'm ready for that. >> reporter: most of the current distraction stem from her family foundation a charity
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whose mission is to promote global health and wellness and soon after mrs. clinton declared the white house campaign. >> i'm running for president. >> reporter: the foundation announced it would continue accepting donation from six foreign governments, one government, canada's continues to lobby for the controversial keystone xl oil pipeline. >> a great way for the donors to have candidate clinton and perhaps ultimately president clinton. >> reporter: hillary clinton was secretary of state her family foundation accepted tens of millions of dollars from saudi arabia and other foreign governments that have a record of suppressing women's rights one donation from algeria was not disclosed properly and by the foundation admission violated an obama administration ethics agreement. republican presidential candidates including kentucky senator rand paul has been relentless. >> using the system to enrich
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themselves and a lot of americans will agree with me. >> reporter: early next month a controversial investigative book is being published about the clintons, with clinton cash have been reviewed by several news organizations including al jazeera and according to those book excerpts and supporting documentation clinton foundation donors received timely favors from hillary clinton's state department in the excerpts from the book reviewed so far there is no evidence mrs. clinton was influenced by payments or she broke any laws. and top clinton defenders have taken to the air waves to blast the book's conservative author peter switzer and attack anybody who promotes his work in advance. >> let's see what the book says when it comes out and i'm happy to come back and if i'm wrong i would be happy to say it but i think it's a political job and can smell it a mile away. >> reporter: chelsea clinton at 35 years old is one of the foundation cochairs and insisted thursday the foundation would not change its practices.
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>> the work will continue as it is. i think that is the right choice for the people who are being affected by that work. >>. the biggest question is whether the foundation's financial dealings along with the blurred lines between donors and the clinton family's accumulation of wealth will matter to voters. for now hillary clinton and people are refusing to address specifics, they are convinced most americans do not care about the issues or see the alleged conflicts of interest. david shuster, al jazeera. a dozen students hurt and one critically after a stage collapsed during a high school musical performance and watch this terrifying moments captured on tape as the stage gave way and happened last night at west fulton high 30 miles from indianapolis. >> the music was playing and singing and, boom the floor went straight down and everyone just dropped and the look on everyone's face was pure shock and no one could believe it was happening.
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>> started running to the stage and finding out what happened and you see this 12 foot drop and just students being covered in huge pieces of wood and debris. >> reporter: that is a 12 foot drop for more than 12 kids the high school is open for classes today and as investigators are still trying to figure out why the stage collapsed. now some are calling it a global health risk and fake medicine for hiv, malaria and more causing hundreds of thousands of deaths and hear from an icon who at six years old was one of the first black students look at her, at an all white high school. stay tuned. ♪
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good morning and welcome back to al jazeera america and thanks for joining us this morning it's 7:46 a.m. eastern and a look at top stories captain and first mate that sank in mediterranean are in court in italy today, more than 700 migrants died when the vessel hit a portuguese tanker over the weekend and face homicide and human trafficking charges and comes as europe says it will offer financial and legal help to solve the crisis. lawyers for boston marathon bomber
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bomber and faces the death penalty for the 2013 bombing and a civil rights group will investigate the death of freddy gray, the black man in baltimore who died in police custody and protests expected to continue today and in the weekend across baltimore and believed gray suffered a spinal cord injury during an arrest that happened last sunday. six years old ruby bridges was an unlikely trail blazer in the civil rights movement and one of the first black students at an all white school in new orleans and we sat down with the i conwho talked about race relations and the violence she sees today. >> we are being divided and there is a us and a them but i think what is dividing us is good and evil. evil stood over my child. evil comes into our schools. and evil looks just like you and me. but then so does good. good looks like you and me. >> reporter: so when you look at what is going on in the country
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today and you think about ferguson, missouri and other places across the country where there continue to be racism and concern about how people get along, what do you say about that and how far have we come? >> i get that question a lot how far have we come? amazing. we have come such a long way. and when i think about ferguson again, you're speaking to a parent that lost a child to violence violence, by the hands of someone that looked exactly like him. i think once obama was elected it was like taking gasoline and pouring it on to a fire. i think racism just bubbled up when he was elected and even though we made progress it's like two steps forward and three back and it's like living through the civil rights movement all over again. >> reporter: tonight at 8:00
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eastern you can catch the conversation with mrs. bridges and what she thinks may solve racism today. renewed push this morning for strong regulation of pharmacies across the world to combat the growing problem of fake and poor quality medicine a new report says the drugs responsible for tens of thousands of deaths all around the world each year and not only that that a lack of reliable meds in poor countries can roll decades of efforts to combat aids and tuberculosis and may may malaria and thank you so much for joining us this morning and i want to jump in it what is burning in my mind how have drug companies been able to get away with this? i mean turning out completely flawed products? >> you know the main companies
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and the big names you recognize like pfizer and lavartis and merck is not the problem but lesser known drug companies mainly from developing countries from places like india and china who we never heard of them that have if you want to put it in these terms not as much oversight and not as much regulation because of course india, china and other developing countries cannot regulate the pharmaceutical industries the same as the west. it allows for the companies to cheat, to make pills with less of the active ingredient than there should be. >> professor i want to jump in and ask. >> and doesn't work. >> i want to ask you you are saying in terms of who is guilty and looking at lesser known companies and not the big ones we are used to hearing with but who gets hit and who are the victims and how many deaths are we really talking about here? >> well just for malaria, just
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one disease, we estimated that there are about 120,000 additional deaths a year because medicines are bad quality for malaria and we have no idea for any other disease because this problem has not been researched in depth enough for hypertension for diabetes for aids and so forth. what we know though is that when we test medicines in the field and many scientists have done this, they often find the medicines are garbage. here is an example, 60% of a particular antibiotic called cotromoxisol nigeria sub standard not good enough bad quality. here is another example. >> 60%, right, so i want to go. >> 60%. >> the numbers are staggering and make sure people have a chance to swallow and wrap their head around what you are saying so 60% of the drug you said and talking 100 more.
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>> thank you, sorry, i'm not an m.d. and child deaths when it comes to reportedly low quality drugs, with the falsified drugs not only being produced but also being spread where does one start when it comes to ending this thing? >> well look this is a pandemic and it's sort of a disaster of health in many countries, that is what a pandemic is but this is one we are creating for ourselves because we are not regulating the quality of medicines at a level that is necessary. you see what happened is globalization has taken medicine manufacturing out of the advanced countries and moved it to the developing countries. actually i'm in favor of that. those developing countries need industries india needs a pharmacy industry but what we have not done is follow this migration of manufacturing with law and so what we need are very much tougher criminal laws against the people who do this
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kind of thing. if you are caught selling sub standard or fake medicine you probably won't go to jail. in almost any country because the laws are backwards and have not caught up with reality. >> you need punishment and regulation to catch up with the industry, associate professor of law and population and health at the university of ottawa and thank you for joining us this morning. meanwhile a mexican between teenager after being mistaken of someone else completely and came to the united states and the family is relieved but want to know how it happened in the first place and andy has the details. >> reporter: this is the moment that 14-year-old was taken from her school in mexico. federal agents who were carrying out a court order forced the distraught teenager in a waiting car and took her to the border of the u.s. state of texas, the u.s. citizen garcia claimed she was her missing daughter but dna
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tests carried out after the girl was taken showed the teenager is not related to the woman. on wednesday she was reunited with her parents. >> translator: first i was upset because i never been so far away from my parents then i calm down a bit and felt weird and a bit scared. >> reporter: it's not clear how the mix up happened and authorities in mexico say their agents were simply enforcing the law but many are now questioning why a dna test wasn't carried out in the first place. her mother says the authorities ripped her daughter from her arms and she still feels rage over the incident. she says she is happy to be home and the search for garcia's missing daughter goes on and i'm andy gallagher with al jazeera. looking at space like never before, a world of possibilities seen from the hubble telescope over 25 years and what still lies ahead and cute and smart and causing a lot of controversy, we will tell you all about the legal battle over
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two chim pan monkeys, stay tuned.
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today marks 25 years since nasa launched the hubble space telescope and in honor of the anniversary we created this showing the gum 29 nebula and showing thousands of scartars and gas and we have teams at the university and a group is trying to set them free giving them the same rights as people and let's bring in nicole mitchell and who is trying to help the chimpanzee. >> human rights projects and people are sympathetic to animals that spend their life in research facilities so as we look at some of the chimps they are not hercules and leo because of being in captivity no images i can find of them but the lawsuit was originally filed in
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2013 in suffix county and not granted habeos-corpus and this week the supreme court ruled the two research chimps had a right of habeas-corpus recognizing them as legal persons and that caused a lot of controversy and almost immediately clarified the ruling saying that really they were just trying to get the university to come in court and explain a legal reason why they had a right to have the chimps for their lives in captivity and people share a lot of our heme dna, 99%, after humans and generally considered the smartest animal and have complex emotions like fear and joy and love physical contact so what they are trying to do is say, you know we don't want these animals in research any more they want to put them in an animal sanctuary and attitudes
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are kind of changing and people for example really disagree with animals for cosmetics and still like the idea for medical purposes. >> you had me at complex emotion and thank you for joining us i'm morgan radford, stay tuned. >> bootcamp >> stop your'e whining... >> for bad kids... >> they get a little dirty... so what... >> dangerous... >> we have shackles with spit bag... >> they're still having nightmares >> if you can't straighten out your kids... >> they're mine >> al jazeera america presents camp last resort on al jazeera america >> this is the true definition of tough love
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>> fall of saigon, forty years later. >> we have no idea how many were killed. >> unanswered questions, a botched withdrawal lives lost. examining the impact that still resonates today. a special report starts tuesday, 10:00 eastern. on al jazeera america. ♪ increased oversight the deaths of two al-qaeda hostages renews questions about america's drone program and how the u.s. elects targets, a dozen arrested for quote acts of terror including a planned attack on the vatican. ♪ at least a dozen high school students injured after a stage collapses underneath them in indiana. ♪
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this is al jazeera america, good morning, live from new york city i'm randall and america's use of drone strikes against suspected fighters is under scrutiny this morning and the white house is investigating what went wrong when a drone strike in pakistan killed two al-qaeda hostages in january and one was an american aid worker and the other an italian national and apologized for the deaths but may not be enough to appease questions of how targets are chosen and jamie mcintyre reports. >> reporter: the white house says protocols for carrying out a strike against a suspected terrorist target were followed to a tee and yet resulted in unintended and tragic consequences. the white house says there were to separate drone strikes in january that targeted an al-qaeda compound in pakistan along the afghanistan border and one attack unknowingly killed
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two aid workers held captive there and american weinstein and lo-porto both obducted in pakistan where they were working to improve the lives of the people. president obama said he did not sign off on the strikes personally as commander-in-chief he offers his deepest apologies. >> and i take full responsibility for all our counter terrorism operations including the one that in inadvertently took the lives of warren and giovanni and i regret what happened. >> reporter: the white house admitted the strike had questions about protocols used to approve targeted killings including requirement of near certainty in the accuracy of intelligence. >> the first is near certainty that this was an al-qaeda compound that was used by al-qaeda leaders and turned out to be true and turned out to be correct and the other near certainty assessment was no civilians would be harmed if this operation were carried out
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and unfortunately that was not correct. >> reporter: the u.s. says the to january strikes did kill two al-qaeda leaders both americans and adam and faruk and he grew up in california and converted to islam at age 17 was one of the better known americans tied to al-qaeda after he appeared in a number of the group's videos but the two americans were not the targets,, in fact, despite over 100 hours of surveillance some of it around the clock, all u.s. intelligence was able to say for sure was that it bombed a suspected al-qaeda compound that is a human rights critics is a big problem. >> it appears that the united states quite literally in at least the two killings announced in the two operations announced today quite literally did not know who it was killing. >> reporter: the president said he declassified details of the secret mission because americans have a rite to know when a mistake takes the lives of u.s.
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citizens. >> i have a full review of what happened and identify the lessons that can be learned from the tragedy and any changes that should be made. >> reporter: the white house says the tragic accident won't stop its efforts to target and kill suspected terrorists and for now the secret drone program will remain largely in the shadows, the white house says lessons learned will be incorporated into future strikes against suspected terrorist targets and the president promised to do his utmost to make sure this kind of incident is not repeated and that is far from certain considering that these strikes are based on intelligence and one pentagon official said intelligence is not an exact science. >> reporter: that is jamie mcintyre in washington and press secretary josh earnest acknowledged vulnerabilities in the u.s. drone program. >> in the aftermath of a situation like this it raises legitimate questions about whether additional changes need to be made to the protocols and
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to put it more bluntly we have national security professionals diligently following protocols based on everything we know and follow protocols and yet it still resulted in this unintended and very tragic consequence. >> reporter: now, during a may 201 2013 speech they talked about drone strikes and revealed a process by which the u.s. authorizes those strikes and he says that drone strikes would not be carried out unless there was near certainty that civilians would not be killed. pakistan journalism political analyst joins us now from washington d.c. thank you for joining us you know one of the questions that we are wondering this morning is what kind of reaction is happening in pakistan to this revelation? >> well obviously, the reaction would be mixed in pakistan and most certainly the questions that pakistanis raised over the
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strikes must now be resurfacing when two westerners have been inadvertently killed by a drone strike because for a long time there has been a campaign in pakistan about the civilian casualties from the drone strikes which has been denied by and large but independent troops both in the u.s. and pakistan have been saying that the strikes are not always accurate and they do miss targets or kill wrong targets so definitely that is going to be the most severe kind of reaction. >> do you anticipate that there will be any change in the american/pakistani relation and pakistan officials, you tell me is it true that there is at least tacid approval by pakistan government and america use of drones in that border region? >> yes, i mean you know, the drone strikes require local
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information and intelligence and it has now been reported that through various means there is approval and some level of cooperation as well from within the pakistani state. but you mentioned about the pakistan/u.s. relations, i think the bad phase is over 2011 and 2012 were the two years where the relations were very strained but as of last year they have really improved and are definitely they could not have been better because there seems to be mutual understanding of the objectives in the region both by pakistan and by the u.s. but about this particular incident there is now a question mark and, you know, it remains to be seen how much of public activism would be garnered around this event. >> now i understand that you actually met warren weinstein
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and what can you tell us about the work he was doing and what you know about him? >> yes, i mean i mentioned because i was part of the national development programs in many countries including my home country pakistan and in 2008 warren and i were working together on a program, so i would meet him quite frequently and he was a u.s. contractor and heading a consulting firm in pakistan which is a u.s.-based consulting firm and a very cheerful and jovial man and it is very sad to see him go like this especially after 3 1/2 years of captivity and then this very unfortunate, you know, drone strike that also took him away. so i mean warren was a man who loved pakistan and used to wear local clothes and he even
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learned and spoke fluently in local language and was always very you know happy and wanted to stay there for a longer time and until this unfortunate kidnapping took place in 2011. >> to the best of your knowledge, how many other hostages are being held in that region by either al-qaeda or al-qaeda affiliates or taliban? do you have any idea on numbers? >> i don't have an exact idea. i mean there are some high profile pakistani captives that al-qaeda and affiliates have, one of them is the son of former governor who was killed by his own guard in 2011. another one is pakistan's former prime minister's son who is also in the captivity of these groups but they could be others as well. and, you know this information
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is always not easy to verify. >> thank you for joining us this morning pakistan journalist and analyst. in other news italian police this morning say they arrested several men responsible for, quote, acts of terror. investigators say the al-qaeda suspects had planned attack on the vatican and behind several attacks in pakistan and 18 suspects include two former body guards for bin laden and had attack and wanted to topple the government and financed it in pakistan. two crew members a the helm of a deadly migrant boat crash where this court in italy and the captain and first mate face homicide and human trafficking charges in deaths of 700 people aboard the vessel as european leaders will boost funding and
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aid to italy to help stem the crisis and paul has more from italy. >> reporter: progress is extremely slow i have to say. we just had an update from both the prosecution and the defense lawyers who popped out of court ahead of a lunch break to take place and still on the first of witnesses and they brought a handful of survivors from last within's disaster up to court in order to detail exactly what happened, the circumstances, and the purpose of that is because this is a preliminary hearing where the judge in the building behind me will confirm the charges, will basically decide to confirm which charges the captain and the ship's mate will face and they are on the first witness and there are five or six witnesses they are hoping to get through. what it appears is prosecution is taking the witness through the whole process, both not just the sinking itself but also the whole migration process from the country of origin all the way up through africa and at the moment
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we understand they have only just reached libya in the description. it's a closed session so we are not allowed in but that is what the lawyers are telling us. the realistic prospect is it may go to tomorrow and we were expecting it to be over in a matter of a couple of hours. the war in yemen forced 150,000 people to leave their homes in the past few weeks, many of them are now part of that growing number of migrants escaping on boats in search of safety and those in yemen say they have lost everything. >> translator: what is happening here is the humanitarian crisis and homes have been destroyed and victims as a result of what politicians have done to yemen. >> reporter: saudi-led coalition carried out 20 strikes across yemen despite an earlier announcement it was ending the air campaign. a dozen students hurt and one critically after a stage collapsed during a high school musical performance, the terrifying moments were captured on tape as the stage gave way
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last night. it happened at westfield high 30 miles from indianapolis. >> the music was playing and singing along and stuff and, boom just the floor just went straight down and everyone just dropped and the look on everyone's face was pure shock and couldn't believe it was happening. >> started running to the stage and finding out what happened and you see a 12-foot drop and students covered in huge pieces of wood and debris. >> reporter: the high school is open for classes today as investigators try to figure out why that stage collapsed. residents in texas this morning are waking up to thunderstorms and tornados and hail scattered storms also expected to make their way up the plains and we will get more about it from our metrologist nicole mitchell. good morning and across the country a huge contrast this morning and look at the radar because we have everything from snow in the northeast there it is and syracuse and rochester a lot of cold air in this
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direction and obviously below freezing to support snow and as we zoom to where you were mentioning, texas strong storms this morning with heavy rain right now is the primary threat and severe weather risk enhances through the course of the day and where we have lighter colors and pinks in south texas that is a thunderstorm watch the potential is there especially for wind and hail and red and green are places we have flood concerns but as the day goes on here is where we have the highest risks, places like dallas right in the bullseye of where we could deal with some severe weather and does include the tornado risk also elevated risk into kansas, spreading in the day tomorrow and front loves along then the risk moves the highest part of the risk kentucky and kansas but the heavy rain corridor will stay through the south and that will cause us a lot of problems as well and see it develop through the course of the day and not the best start to maybe our last
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weekend in april. >> i'm waiting for warm weather, thank you very much nicole mitchell. on agenda today a court hearing in pakistan against the former president charged with treason and the largest strike in 20 years is set to take place in south korea, the country's biggest labor union say workers will protest a government push to give companies more leeway to lay off workers and cut salaries and special envoy forcier -- for syria and eric holder's time in office draws to a close and a look at one of the attorney generals in history.
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welcome back to al jazeera america, it's 8:17 eastern, taking a look at today's top stories, lawyers for boston bomber will begin presenting evidence monday in hopes a jury will spare his life and he faces
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the death penalty or life in prison for the 2013 bombings. another ice cream company has shut down production over listeria health officials found bacteria in a sample of jenny's blended ice creams the company is based in ohio and sells at grocery stores nationwide. and north carolina's house voted to extend the mandatory wait time for abortion care if the bill becomes law, the state will joan three other states with a 72-hour waiting period. protests are expected today and throughout the weekend over the death of freddy gray in baltimore, demonstrators calling for the officers to face murder charges and maryland police have now been called in to help monitor demonstrations. gabrielle has more. >> reporter: the protests continue here in baltimore, several hundred protesters have been out for several hours here in front of one of the police stations in the city and they have been calling for things like no justice, no peace,
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calling the name of freddy gray and i'm going to step out of the frame so you can get a sense of the scene here for people who are angry and want answers of what happened to freddy gray when he was in custody under suspicious circumstances by police and found out mr. gray's funeral is going to be on monday and that the chief of police for the first time actually met with freddie gray's family and offered condolence but people are very, very angry as you might imagine and the governor of the state of maryland actually said he is going to send state troopers to baltimore to beef up security even though protests have been very peaceful so far but make no mistake about it the people here are very angry and untimely death of mr. gray is just sort of lit a fuse on what was building of frustrations here on the streets by so many people. now, civil rights activists are
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calling for thousands to come out to the streets this saturday and they say they want to hold one of the biggest protests yet to call for some sort of justice in this case. attorney general lynch hopes to strike a new tone when she is sworn this to leave the justice department and the senate voted thursday to confirm lynch as the first black woman to lead doj and she wants to improve police morale and find common ground with law enforcement and she plans to meet with local police across the country the summer and comes amid backlash by groups and tactics and she takes over from eric holder and resigned seven months ago but remained in office for the senate to confirm the successor and he is the first african/american to hold the position and the fourth longest serving attorney general and also possibly one of the most
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controversial. >> in good times and in bad and things personal and things professional you have been there for me. i'm proud to call you my friend. >> reporter: and with that eric holder told his friend, president barack obama that he was resigning his position as attorney general. [applause] leaving behind after more than six years a legacy that is up for debate. >> he has been one of the most decisive in history. >> the best attorney general i've seen in my lifetime. >> no reason to be timid. >> praise holder for taking positions on controversial issue and defending the marriage act with the supreme court and thus supporting same sex marriage opposing state efforts for voter id laws and speaking against police practices such as racial profiling. >> under mines the public trust ultimately and makes us not good at what we need to do.
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>> reporter: harvard law professor credits holder of changing the drug prosecutions. >> he said the war on drugs was a mistake, that the government had the wrong approach and that these men should be treated and given a sense to rehabilitate themselves as opposed to being incarcerated. >> reporter: holder launched investigation into police practices and he inserted himself into controversial cases alleging police abuse against african/americans. [chanting] mr. garner's death is one of several incidents across our great country that have tested the sense of trust that must exist between law enforcement and the communities they are charged to serve and to protect. >> reporter: but he says holder's policies have actually damaged race relations. >> i'd say that he is probably had one of the most race conscious tenures of any attorney general in terms of how
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he enforces voting rights law, other civil rights laws including racial action and preferences. >> reporter: he says hold holder will be remembered for poor relations with congress. >> stone wall and congress is a theme that comes up again and again, whether that comes up in fast and furious where he was actually held in contempt and referred to the federal prosecutors, he has dared congress to investigate further and not provide disclosure when requested. >> reporter: fast and furious was a department of justice gun smuggling operation that holder admitted failed miserably. >> we will feel the effects for years to come as guns lost in the operation continue to show up at crime scenes both here and in mexico. >> reporter: when he refused to turn over documents demanded by congressional committee, holder became the first cabinet officer to be held in contempt. two years later this sharp exchange with a member of
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congress revealed how much holder was stung by the citation. >> and i realize that contempt is not a big deal to our attorney general but it is important that we have proper over oversight. >> you don't want to go there, okay? >> i don't want to go there. >> no. >> about the contempt? >> you should not assume that that is not a big deal to me. i think that it was an appropriate. i think it was unjust but never think that was not a big deal to me. >> i don't need lectures from you about contempt. >> i don't need lectures from you either. >> reporter: another complaint while the department of justice negotiated record fines from wall street banks after the 2008 economic collapse. >> the justice department obtained a landmark civil resolution with citigroup, totaling $7 billion in fines. >> reporter: holder failed to go after the top executives running these companies. and he predicts a negative legacy for holder. >> he definitely has not brought
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this country together in the sense of the fair administration of justice and the rule of law. >> reporter: holder's defenders disagree. >> i think that going forward he is going to be viewed as somebody who made an enormous amount of difference in our society and used his time as the attorney general to make things happen. >> reporter: on that point critics and supporters might agree. ♪ on the money beat this morning, a potential murder between two cable giants is falling apart and comcast will announce today it is walking away from a merger with time warner cable and valued at more than $40 billion. john has more on a deal that may have been undone by too much scrutiny and criticism. >> reporter: at $45 billion comcast move on time warner has everyone in t.v. land talking especially regulators who are not happy, comcast time warner hook up would mean one cable
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operator controlling 30% of the paid t.v. market and almost 60% broadband and a big foot print with far reaching consequences for coach potatoes everywhere. >> not just a provider they will determine what content goes on the air for consumers. >> reporter: now the deal seems to be off, comcast said regulators are putting too many hurdles in their way, the last straw being the federal communications commission concluding the deal would not be in the public interest and proposing a hearing by a federal judge. a hearing is a big roadblock to a merger and signals to people the government could likely would block the deal. >> reporter: the problem concern that the come binded company could charge you at home more for less offering fewer choices and poorer services and they said, no they will benefit for faster internet and hotspots and pointed out the deal will not harm competition because it
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doesn't operate in the same markets as time warner cable. but regulators fret about the power a combined comcast time warner would have over t.v. channels including al jazeera america and streaming services like netflix and amazon prime. >> department of justice is worried they will then control the content and be the gate keeper and determine what consumers have to see. >> reporter: comcast had to share customers for beat the they sayers but red tape made them see red enough to cancel the party altogether announcement expected to be implement, john with al jazeera. coming up on al jazeera turkey and armenia at odds over the death of a million armenians and now the controversy is complicated president obama's foreign policy goals and we take you to michigan's dirtyist zip code where one woman is helping residents live with the polluted air they breathe.
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welcome back to al jazeera america and coming up on 8:30 eastern and looking at the top stories, italian police arrested several men accused of having links to al-qaeda investigators say they were planning an attack on the vatican, some of the suspects are believed to have organized bombings in pakistan two men were bin laden former bodyguards. review of drone strike that killed two hostages, one was a u.s. worker and one a national and killed in a drone strike in pakistan in january. the captain and first mate of a boat that sank in the mediterranean are in court in italy today, more than 700 migrants died when the vessel hit a portuguese tanker over the weekend and face homicide and human trafficking charges, marking 100 years of mass killings they say were genocide
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and arrived at the flame lit memorial to pay their respects and french president and russian president vladimir putin of many who placed a really low rose on a wreath to commemorate the day and they were killed around the time of world war i and paul mass more. >> reporter: well it has been raining all day and has not stopped people from walking up to the eternal flame to pay their respects to those who died 100 years ago between 1915-1923 and earlier was a commemorative ceremony and putin was here including the serbia and greek president and had an official memorial and went off to hold bilateral talks later this afternoon, in armenia tonight there will be a torch lit procession that will walk from the center of town to the memorial and there will also be an orchestra performing a revive
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revival concert. >> reporter: and events in turkey and more from istanbul. >> reporter: in turkey despite the fact the armenian issue is still very controversial the government here and authorities have allowed the armenian community to commemorate those events 100 years on. it's important to note there is still a large armenian community. there is still many armenian turks living here and the main ceremony that is taking place is in cathedral in eastern turkey which is significant to mention was actually renovated by the turkish government and the government says that is an example that it doesn't dismate and never discriminated against armenians and obviously there is still disputes the numbers presented and dispute the narrative by them that genocide was committed and believe the numbers are grossly exaggerated and, in fact turkish historians say they uncovered masked graves belonging to turks killed by armenians and massacres were also conducted by armenians
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against the ottomen turks and the prime minister issued a letter of condolence to the armenians, second time ever in turkish history that a letter was issued and last year was 2014 when prime minister current president erdiwan issued a similar note and it's still controversial however the turkish government believes it has done more than predecessors to bring both sides together however, it still believes the armenian issue is a political tool used by turkey's opponents to try and put pressure on it. the death of a million armenians is a diplomatic sore point and allies and u.s. reject the use of the word genocide and many disagree and patricia is here with more on the controversy. >> reporter: well randall what is in a word? plenty when the word in question is genocide and washington relationship with the ally hangs in the balance and president
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obama will refrain using the word genocide to describe 1.5 millions killed a century ago as a senator running for the white house he pledged to recognize the dark chapter in human history as a genocide but geo politics trumped the campaign. and turkey has never acknowledged the mass killings as an act of genocide and it is opposed to the term so much so that earlier this month they recalled the ambassador to the vatican after the pope francis referred to it as the first genocide of the 20th century. the pope raised the moral stakes and many armenians and scholars say president obama should describe what happened as a genocide and/or it's the denial of the truth and have to weigh
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it against strategic imperative and last month they agreed to less u.s. fly armed drones out of turkey and rebels washington deems moderate will start training in turkey as part of a program and turkey will go against i.s.i.l. fighters in syria and iraq and the white house has a vital strategic partner with a single word. >> so we understand the complications with respect to our ally turkey but there have been other situations other than armenia where previous administration have been ret retisent to use the word genocide. >> it triggers certain legal obligations and also really
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inflames public cries to go in and do something. >> thank you, patricia. in other news this morning thousands of students in new york state this week are refusing to take a test. it's a standardized test designed to show how students are doing under common core education standards. on the more than 2.5 million in new york's public schools about 175,000 of them opted out of the exam. now, the common core has drawn objections from across the political spec frum and many believe it's an unwanted top down intervention in public schools. we have in our studio this morning an expert on education and let's bring in dr. norman francis and advisors to president including lyndon johnson and walker and george w. bush and president obama, he has met with pope john paul the second but he will tell you probably that his most important job has been president of his
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alma mater, xavior university and after a half century in the role he is stepping down this summer and it's a pleasure to have him this morning and i will ask about common core but first let's talk about xavior and in full disclosure i'm a friends and we will let the audience know that and try to do pointed questions here. first of all why did you stay at xavier so long? >> i was doing a job i enjoy and it was one that was very much needed in this country and we have done a very good job at it i believe. and i'm still pleased at what we have done and i'm at peace with myself as i step down. >> now you know before many schools focus on the importance of science and math and stem and you were already doing that as xavier and has a reputation of the college that produced more
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african/american graduates in the bio medical field. >> pharmacy and dental and medical. >> why did you focus on that area so long ago? >> our founders opened a college of pharmacy in 1935 so we already had the base for the fields and stayed with us and when it became very important part of this country, we enhanced it and today, yes, we are in a top 50 schools in the country and we are number three producing young folks going to graduate school and ph.d.s in the stem fields. so we think we have written the book on how best to educate young people who want to learn and who have come with a passion for wanting to be somebody and a lead in the future. >> we were just talking about common core. >> yes. >> and of course you have to graduate from high school to go to college. now what is your opinion in a nut shell on common core and
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what do you think are the fundamentals for preparing students for college today? >> i know there are arguments all rounds and i grew up with a core and have a strong core at the university for the last 80 years and i think you have to have a core, solid foundation in the basics and you could do it in many ways. and i know there are arguments back and forth about that but i'm a strong common core person and i think if you are going to prepare somebody for the future particularly they have to be able to change with change and not just be focused on one thing and it doesn't mean when you are in the stem fields you have to read and write and speak and have an understanding of what it will take you to get to where you want to go. >> one to the purposes of common core is set metrics for the teachers and president obama has proposed metrics for college or a rating system saying you will get a certain level of federal support if you graduate a
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certain number of students and we know you don't like that rating system do you? >> i don't see how you get the metrics to figure out whether a school as diverse as we are in the united states and i have to say to you for those of us who come out of the system hbc and the historic black college and university we have been doing this since 1855 and we think we know a little how you move from one area to the next and i don't know if the ratings will work at all. >> do you think hbc are still necessary and so many of them have financial problems xavier has not. >> absolutely they are necessary. as i said we have come through everything since the 1855 and i don't know what this country would have been like had that not been an hbcu. we still produce 25% of the young people who go on to graduate schools and go on to careers and the like and america is going to need that leadership. we lost generations and we have
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to recapture them. >> i could go on with the conversation a while but i have a wrap sign and i say you are now working on setting up endowment to provide opportunities for students like those you received so long ago and provided for 20,000 students during your tenure as president. >> i handed out 20,000 diplomas and i'm one of those 20,000 because i saw myself in every one of them. >> thank you, dr. norman francis and good luck. >> always good to see you, thank you so much. >> a battle animal rights and they are researched chimps at new york stony brook university a group there trying to free them by giving them the same rights as people? nicole mitchell tell us about that. >> it's an interesting legal tenent out there and there is a group called the nonhuman rights project that has been trying to work on this case since 2013 mostly unsuccessfully until this week at the new york state supreme court, a judge finally
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granted them originally it said writ of habeous-corpus a human right and it was modified and the term was taken out but she said it was basically a formal way of directing the university into her courtroom to say a legally sufficient reason for keeping the two chimps hercules and leo and the hearing is in may and this is not them in the video because they have been away their lives with research done on them and with chimps share 99% of dna and the smartest animal and higher than dolphins or elephants and have complex emotions joy, sadness, fear, a human-like enjoyment and makes captivity hard on them and if they win they will
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go to florida for the rest of their life in a sanctuary but it has been changing probably not human rights given but more sympathetic to show there is a good cause for research versus keeping animals in captivity without any chance to be outside and enjoy their lives, back to you. >> thank you, nicole. ♪ to the health beat now detroit suburb of river rouge of michigan is the dirtiest zip code in the state because of poor air quality and the bad air is taking a toll on the people who live there and as we report one healthcare worker has her hands full just trying to keep up with new asthma cases. >> reporter: and coughing at night is the tail tale sign. if you hear coughing at night something is going on. >> reporter: when she began eight years ago she had 20 clients and now she serves
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nearly 300. >> we want to stop it in this zone. >> reporter: she is an asthma educator and her first stop today is river rouge a heavy industrial area with some of the highest asthma rates in michigan. >> are you sometimes tired or very pale sometimes? >> very tired. >> 12-year-old derrick has been suffering with asthma since he was born and it's getting worse. >> just about every household we visit has some form of asthma, if it's just one child or one adult that is effected by asthma they are being impacted by it. >> reporter: in a community short of doctors, milton's days are nonstop, she refers clients to specialists and educates them on the latest medicine and life saving technology and worries about the impact the power plants factories and refineries that surround river rou ge are having on our clients. is there a link between, you know, the air quality and these plants and the illnesses that
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you're seeing? >> absolutely. the air quality we know will effect and cause asthma we know that. >> reporter: we first reported last month on what many residents call michigan's dirtiest zip code and cameras were rolling as hundreds packed a town hall meeting voicing their concerns. >> in a lot of us are getting our dreams cut short because we are not having the opportunity to breathe like normal people in an area. >> reporter: air monitoring showed sulfur dioxide levels were so high they violated federal standards according to the environmental protection agency and so too as its known can trigger asthma attacks and cause other breathing issues but the michigan department of environmental quality or mdeq say it has the problem in check. >> in an interview with the deq and mdeq last month the spokesperson said the air here is safe. >> is it everything it could be? maybe not but it's industry it's an industry area.
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is it conforming to state and federal clean air laws? yes, it is. >> do you believe that? >> safe for whom and who determines what is safe for us? who determines that? someone who doesn't live here or doesn't even care about the people here? it's not safe for us if our asthma rates are continually increasing. >> i always cough everyday. i wheeze like two times a week. >> what do you think is the cause? >> our air, the pollution in the air and something has to be wrong. >> why do you say that? >> the bad smells all the stuff in the air, it has got to be. >> reporter: epa gave the mdeq until april 6 to submit a plan to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions and the state missed the deadline. >> the dangers posed to health are worry some in wayne county. >> watching developments closely
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and she is an attorney with the great lakes environmental law center. >> in your opinion who should be held accountable for making sure the air that people are breathing in southwest detroit is safe? >> well you know i think we really need to rely on deq here. they are the agency in charge of enforcing these permits and these permitted levels and we really should be able to trust them. >> we need our elected officials, we need our governmental regulatory agencies to do their job which is to protect our health and protect our air. >> elizabeth milton is not alone in the fight for clean air. she and many of her clients hope that a push for federal intervention will begin to gain momentum. i'm with al jazeera, river rouge, michigan. traditional packing materials keep items safe but can pollute the earth, now a new method is getting into the weeds to change all that. and hoops in cuba the nba tries
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to build new ties as america's relationship with the island nation nation thaws. ♪
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welcome back to al jazeera america, coming up on 8:50 eastern time take a look at the top stories comcast just announced it's formally dropping its bid for time warner. the merger would have been worth about $45 billion, both the department of justice and the federal communication's commission raised concerns that the deal would not benefit the public. a columbia university student is suing the school over rape claims and says he was publically called a serial rapist by a fellow student and the school failed to protect him against harassment and the campaign against rape carrying a mattress around and previously cleared of rape charges but the university. fda has warned the makers of eight dietary supplements and products contain a potentially dangerous substance and according to "new york times" it comes after pressure from some three u.s. senators to crack down on dmpea.
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in today's tech beat styrofoam packaging is clogging landfills and floating in the oceans because it's not degradable but as tech know says they have an alternative that is environmentally friendly. >> every cubic inch of the soil is teaming with millions of inches of micillium and around us and you cannot see them there are fungi growing everywhere. >> reporter: it's pure pleasure but with barely 30-year-old geniuss. >> there is a piece there. >> reporter: you are sure to stumble on something scientificicily complex. >> you can see them growing directly in the log. >> reporter: and chances are it somehow involves a mushroom. >> we are here at the design and i'm a cofounder and scientist at
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this truly revolutionary new bio material company and taking local farm waste and mixing it with tissue from mushrooms and growing replacements for plastic foams used in protective packages. >> we have seen these before and almost every big product we buy comes packaged in this material, here is the problem with it these are made from unsustainable chemicals and take up to a million years, maybe even more for this material to bio degrade and leave the earth. >> we use a combination of agricultural waste like corn husks and mushroom as a resin and combine them and grow them the mold and make them even into auto parts. this is comprised of mushrooms but looking at the tree or along the forest floor what you find
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is a vast network of strands and fibers through the soil of the environment as well as in trees and that is what is really gluing the mushroom on the side of a tree or the forest floor. >> reporter: here is what is really cool about mushroom packaging, i can take the packaging material and actually bury it in my yard and within a couple of months it will bio degrade and not only that add valuable nutrients to the soil. do you feel like you are having an impact on humanity? >> we see this looking fwoord -- forward centuries and not days and we want it available for our children and grandchildren's children and taking best use of the natural resources that are provided us today. >> reporter: for more of the latest technology and how it can impact your life tune in to tech know at 4:00 eastern, it was a bench clearing fight in chicago and we are not talking about
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hockey as the kansas royals played the white sox, players from the dugouts ran on the field last night throwing punches and it lasted a couple of minutes, five players ejected from the game the royals involved in another brawl last week against the oakland as. ♪ on the culture beat something cuba and america share is a love of sports and now that relation is between the two countries are slowly warming and american sports leagues are beating a path to cuban shores and john henry has more on that, going to havana? >> i would love to and to compete on cuba soil played the favorite sport, baseball. so you would think it would be major league baseball leading the return of big time american sports to the so called pearl of the antillies, instead it's another popular league that is reblazing that trail. current and former nba players
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regularly take part in basketball clinics but this one is special. >> translator: in the next couple of years there will be a chance for athletes from basketball to get exposure athletes from baseball has. >> reporter: four days this weekend the pair leading a camp in cuba making the nba the first professional sports league to take advantage of the thaw in relations between u.s. and havana. >> isolation has not worked and time for a new approach. >> reporter: 18 years as a feared nba center he is now a global ambassador for the league with the league broadcaster playoffs to 215 countries and in 47 languages his job is more than ceremonial. >> we about to offer to build the bridge. and that happens to young men and women in cuba. >> laying grounds work for a new
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market and new source of talent for the league. >> i think in the next couple of years there will be a chance for basketball for the same as baseball. >> reporter: nba is not alone, new major league baseball says he hopes mlb team also play in cuba by next spring and relations will make it easier for more talented ball players to play in the state and big leaguers look forward to the day when they don't have to choose between their families in cuba and their careers. >> translator: we pray for that everyday. i have many relatives in cuba my grandmother, my aunt cousins, friends, i have a lot of people i love in cuba who i want to see. >> reporter: north american soccer league is going to cuba soil this june this will be the first american sports team to play in cuba since 1999 when they take on cuba's national team. among the athletes and ex
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athletes however the focus is sports, not politics. >> these questions are above my pay grade because i think these are obviously political issues. >> reporter: by the way while basketball is by most accounts cuba's fourth popular sport between baseball boxing and soccer and we have a long history with the game the national team won the bronze metal at the 1972 munick olympics randall do you remember that? >> i remember, thank you john henry. today marks 25 years since nasa launched the hubble space telescope and i remember that too and it has been hovering 250 miles from earth and sending hundreds of thousands of images and accuracy has given scientists the clearest most precise photos ever of planets in the solar system and also given nasa unprecedented insight into our our universe developed and expected to keep operating for the next few years but an instrument 100 times more powerful will be launched in
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2018 and that is it for us and more news next from doha.
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welcome to the news hour. another boat reaches sicily a day after the eu promised more money to stop the deaths at sea in the