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tv   News  Al Jazeera  May 22, 2015 10:30am-11:01am EDT

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industry in 2007 but in the film he is invited back to reign in the monster he created. >> pacman still cool. if you want to get more on the game as well as the other stories we're following, head over to the senate is in session with the future of the patriot acting in the balance, their choice could change how the government secure i thsz nation. isil seizes the last remaining government border post between syria and iraq. now the calls are growing louder for the u.s. to change its strategy in the region. i think if you have your beliefs, you can then give people equality in society.
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>> and ireland becomes the first country in the world to hold a referendum over whether to make gay marriage legal. ♪ this is al jazeera america live from new york city. i'm stephanie sy. the senate has a few hours left to decide what will happen with the patriot act. it's a controversial law. the law passed in the wake of the september 11th attacks, but expires june 1st, and the senate will be on recess when that happens. right now the senate is in session. you're looking at a live picture of the senate chamber, and the debate on whether this law should remain as is will begin soon. >> reporter: 14 years after the patriot act, lawmakers, and americans are still debating.
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>> i think the debate is whether it has made america safer at the almost trillion dollars it has taken to implement it. >> reporter: this civil rights lawyer say it has not made the country safer. >> when the act was put together and rushed through congress post 9/11, a lot of democrats and republicans joined because they were told it's okay five years we'll revisit these. and here we are 14 years later still talking about it. >> reporter: he has firsthand experience with government surveillance. in 2010, he was awarded more than $20,000 by the courts because the government wiretapped his calls with clients without a warrant. >> fear and complacency allow power to accumulate and liberty and privacy to suffer. >> reporter: it's not what you
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say, but all of the details of who you call and when are being collected. this man says the extend of government surveillance was only revealed by whistleblowers. >> it's a conversation that remains ongoing in the face of a policy conversation that has yet to even start. >> reporter: this man agrees on one thing that snowden was a game changer. >> you know, edward snowden, bless his little heart, did a big favor for our enemies by portraying our collection programs as much more sinister than they actually are. >> reporter: hanson maintains the patriot act has made the country safer. >> it is certainly dangerous to roll back the government's ability to conduct surveillance. if we don't do these things we
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will suffer attacks. >> reporter: the civil right's attorney says the government has a hard time proving the surveillance actually stopped any attacks. >> do we have any cases that were brought forward by these programs? and why are we spending all of this money on this program. >> reporter: he is encouraged that there is moves to curb phone data collection. libby casey, al jazeera, washington. the foreign intent against surveillance court allows the government to request a warrant to collect any quote tangible things for terrorism investigations. those proceedings are secret and the target does not have to be notified they are being investigated. the fbi has dramatically increased its use of the patriot act to collect information. the agency has been using its
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authority to sweep up data on people who are not part of any investigation. it's due to more electronic information being available. the report faulted the fbi for taking seven years to create privacy protections. we are joined to talk more about the options on the table right now. the senate is going to debate three provisions of the patriot act today. what are their options? >> right now, there's basically two things on the table. the first is a law called the usa freedom act which was passed by the house a couple of weeks ago, only 88 votes against, so very strong support in the house. a fair amount of support in the senate as well. and the second option is the option which mr. mcconnell is putting forward which is to
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reenact the patriot act for two months, part of it it's not the entire part that will go away on june 1st -- >> but it's the part with regard to bulk metadata collection. the usa freedom act, does it adequately address the concerns of civil rights advocates that say some of these programs that the nsa is doing impinge on privacy. >> i don't think the privacy community would say they are entirely satisfied. and the other thing to remember too, is we're talking about section 215, which was the provision that was used to gather every american's telephone record over a period of seven years with no evidence that it has been used to build any cases, so that's the main thing that people are arguing about today, but that's only a very small piece of the intelligence communities activities, and i think a lot of people are concerned, including
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people like senator paul and widen, that actually usa freedom doesn't go far enough and that there are all of these other authorities out there that do need to be addressed as well. >> the obama administration supports this house version, this freedom act, loretta lynch warned against doing away with all of the surveillance powers. let's listen. >> we run the risk of being less safe. i think that we lose important tools, we lose the ability to intercept these communications which have proven very important in cases that we have built in the past and i'm very concerned that the american people will be unprotected if this law expires. >> is that true that? that the information gleaned have lead to very important information for the government to build cases? >> there's no evidence that that's the case. when this program first game to
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light, the government made a lot of claims about how many cases had been helped by the patriot act, it turned out there was one single case which was a man who sent $8,500 to al-shabab. so that's one case compared to the cost. but certainly collecting all american's information over seven years. the department of justice ig came out with a report yet in which he also concluded that the section 215 had not had any significant security benefit to the united states. >> but the fbi says american security depends on it having some of these surveillance powers. >> well as i said section 215 is a very very small piece of the surveillance authorities that are available to the fbi and nsa, and so -- and this particular piece has been
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demonstrated not to be effective. i mean everybody agrees to this, right? >> right. >> obviously they don't think it's going to be a problem for them. the president has come out in savor of it. the president has two review groups look at it one that he appointed and one that was independent. both of those groups came out and said this is not an effective national security tool. >> and a federal court said that it is illegal. >> precisely. >> that it never authorized surveillance to this degree. >> exactly. so there is a lot against this provision of the patriot act. >> all right. we'll see what happens. thank you for your incites. the pentagon now admitted that a u.s.-lead air strike in syria most likely killed two children. the military for the last two months has denied that any civilians were killed in either iraq or syria as part of the campaign against isil.
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kimberly halkett has more from washington. >> reporter: this is the fist time we have the pentagon acknowledging civilian deaths. you are right, this is the result of a four-month investigation. the pentagon saying the civilian death of children likely occurred on november 5th and 6th. this was apparently an effort to target an al-qaeda cell. but the numbers do contrast some very respected numbers get from the syrian observatory for human rights they report 2500 people killed since the start of this complain. 131 of those civilians. now, the pentagon saying they are still looking into two other reports of civilian casualties. two deaths in iraq as well as one in syria. there's a lot of visiting of strategy in recent days. the president, of course defending the strategy acknowledging this is just a tactical setback, but the state
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department and pentagon saying that the u.s. will be sending an additional 2,000 anti-tank weapons, shoulder-fired type weapons to support the iraqi forces as well. president obama saying there is a need to ramp up support and equipment, but acknowledging this has been a major tactical setback. isil fighters meanwhile have taken another town in iraq's western anbar province less than a week after they took over the town of ramadi. the town is about four miles outside of ramadi. police and local withdrew after running out of ammunition. iraqi government forces and shia militias are preparing a counter offense if against the group. the u.s.-lead coalition says it carried out dozens of air strikes against isil this week. they have also taken aim at
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isil's finances. patricia sabga joining us with this now. how successful have air strikes been at hitting at isil's financial health? >> well they definitely pounded one major source of revenue for the group, but it has others to fall back on. coalition air strikes damaging isil oil facilities, depressed oil prices the one-two punch that has brought the armed groups biggest money spinner to its knees. >> isil previously got most of its money from oil. it was making 1 to $3 million a day last summer. now they reportedly only makes about 1 to $2 million a week. >> reporter: but that hasn't left the group over a barrel. extorting taxes, protection money, and check point tolls is the group's steadiest source of income, and when it's territory expands, so does the pool of
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people isil can shake down. >> the key is when it controls territory it's able to find creative and -- and frankly very effective tools to -- to suck the money out of -- of the economy. >> reporter: like getting around baghdad's ban of transferring to employees in isil-held ter fore. isil waits for government workers to collect their salaries elsewhere and then taxes them up to 50% when they return to isil-held turf. sales of stolen antiquities further booey their a coffers. >> they buy loyalty through providing public services. but a lotting antiques has
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become its second largest source of income, and it's a formula that allows isil to meet its biggest expense and that is meeting its payroll. >> and that's why palmyra matters so much. we spoke with archeologist who lead restoration efforts in iraq and syria. >> the majority of their attacks, over 90% are directed at islamic heritage a small percentage is directed at the preislamic period. all the while they are acting as a capacity builder for the looting of archaeological sites and cultural depositories. reportedly they do have that kind of reach where they can deal fairly directly with
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potential buyers but most of the sources we have talked about on this issue have told us isil has a number of ways of drawing money from these efforts. they tax the traffic of illicit cultural properties and they get a cut of the sales, that includes art, antiques and other material. >> and he says looting is just one part of a greater humanitarian crisis in the city of palmyra and throughout syria. a suicide bombing in saudi arabia has left at least 20 people dead a bomb exploded in the eastern region during friday prayers. isil said it was behind a sim attack on a mosque in yemen today, but it has not said anything about the saudi attack. no other group has claimed responsibilities so far.
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irish voters head to the ballot box deciding whether same-sex marriage should be legal. and police in washington arrest a suspect in a quadruple murder, but is the mystery over what lead to the deaths solved?
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welcome back to al jazeera america. it is 10:48 eastern, taking a look at today's top stories. the first official rescue operation has begin since refugees began landing on the coast of malaysia and indonesia this month. u.s. negotiates are sitting down looking to firm up details on reopening embassies in washington and havana. and the president of the boy
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scotts of america says the organization should allow gay scout leaders. he says the organization needs to keep up with the times if it wants to survive. in 2013 the organization moved to allow openly gay scout members under the age of 18. ireland was one of the last western countries to decriminalize homosexuality. voters are deciding today on whether gay couples can tie the knot. opinions polls say most people support same-sex marriage but not everyone thinks those polls are accurate. >> reporter: the polls suggest that the yes side is likely to win, but there is a sense, if you talk to people that there's probably a lot of people against same-sex marriage who don't want to say that when asked a question in the poll because all of the political parties are
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in favor, most well-known people in ireland are in favor, and therefore, people who don't think it is a good idea may not be telling the pollsters what their true opinion is but when they go into the ballot box they will vote now. i think it's likely to pass but i don't think it will be quite as clear-cut. six baltimore police officers are facing new charges today, and have been formally indicted with connection of the death of freddie gray. gray died in april while in police custody. the charges range from assault to second degree murder. >> as our investigation has continued, additional information has been discovered and as is often the case charges can and should be revived based upon the evidence.
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>> the officers has previously been charged with false imprisonment, has the been dropped in favor of reckless endangerment. arraignment is set today for the suspect in the brutal killing of a washington family and their housekeeper. he is suspected the killing of the family all found dead inside their burning mansion. >> reporter: the week-long search stretched from washington, d.c. to brooklyn here in new york. a former marine and exconvict was taken into custody late thursday in northeast washington, d.c. >> i can't divulge the techniques that we used but we just have some amazing investigators. >> reporter: members of a fugitive task force made the arrest. >> we were able to identify him
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inside of the vehicle, but the vehicle pulled out before we could stop it. we tailed the vehicle, the two vehicles made a u-turn and we were able to get to a location where we could safely take him down. we were able to pin both vehicles and arrested one of them. >> reporter: at least five suspects were arrested. he was recovered after police sound his dna from a pizza he ordered at the crime scene. police allege that he held this man, 46, his wife amy, 47 their 10 year old son, and their housekeeper inside the family's multi-million dollars home while extorting at least $40,000. it's believed wint tortured the
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boy until his father secured the cash. they were stabbed and bludgeoned before he set fire to the house. investigators believe he previous i will worked at two companies owned by the father. >> we do believe there is a connection between the suspect in this case through the business. so right now it does not appear that this was just a random crime. >> reporter: many homes in the same d.c. neighborhood have fences and elaborate security systems. local and federal police are also a constant presence because joe biden's official residence is nearby. the family also includes two daughters, but both were aware at boarding school. he has a long nine year criminal record including two assault cases. cleaning up from an oil spill in california officials are still trying to determine
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the scope of the damage days after thousands of gallons leaked into the ocean.
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cleanup crews say they have now collected nearly 10,000 gallons of oil near santa barbara. the epa says it is devoting more resources to the spill. >> over the next operational period, we're looking at employing additional people and resources and tactics to change the ongoing situation. >> officials say it's not clear just how much oil actually reached the water. beaches in the area will remain closed through memorial day weekend. jake ward has more. >> reporter: this state beach is the kind of place you see in oil paintings in the local restaurants, but now it is covered in oil. federal and state officials are only just beginning to come to grips with how much got out of a pipeline here and into the water. >> with any oil spill response
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there is always things that complicated the response. for example, tonight we had to stop our skimming operations because of weather, the high winds and waves got a little bit too choppy. >> >> reporter: the spill comes during the migration season for whales. they are now swimming right through one of nature's most toxic areas. exposure to petroleum probably killed large numbers of animals for at least three years after the gulf of mexico spill. resources here are limited. >> why not have booms along the shore? >> a lot of it comes down to availability. the amount of booms available. it's pretty much impossible to get all of the oil. our crews are trying to get as much as they can while it is still at sea, but then we have to have crews address it as it
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comes to shore. >> reporter: memorial day is not going to happen for this stretch of coastline. there are armed guards to keep people off of this beach. and it could be weeks, maybe months before anyone gets to use this beach again. a ruling is expected today on a controversial federal policy to hold undocumented immigrant mothers and children in detention centers. come of those families have sued the u.s. government saying the centers are like prisons. erika pitzi has more. >> reporter: well stephanie a lawsuit against the federal government has immigration detention centers like this one here in pennsylvania on the verge of closing with confined quarters and armed guards, they liken these places to minimum security prison camps. but federal officials say it's the best way to keep families together. warning if they shut down many
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mothers could be forced away from their children. one woman ran away only to be locked in this center for her young son for more than a year. she talked with us about what life was like on the inside. >> translator: many of the people who work there would call the residence garage. >> reporter: we'll have much more on her story coming up tonight at 8:00 pm eastern. the classic pacman arcade game turns 35 today. pacman is widely believed to be the highest earning coin operated game of all time. its lifetime income has been estimated at more than $2.5 billion. that is a lot of quarters. a feast for the eyes overnight in sydney. the famous app are house was painted with lights. it's the world's largest festival of light and sound and this year it will leave a
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smaller carbon footprint using lights powered by solar energy. thanks for watching. i'm stephanie sy. the news continues next live from doha. ♪ >> announcer: this is al jazeera. welcome to the news hour. i'm sami zeidan in doha. coming up the suicide bombing at a mosque in saudi arabia during friday prayers killed 19 people. they fled violence in bah rur dee, and now they risk cholera. and myanmar rescued 200 people from