a a after a visit from president obama, the house is voting over one of his biggest priorities giving him the power to push will you trade deals on a fast track many bikers in waco texas say they've been wrongfully accused. we talk to their families. plus. >> are you african-american? >> i don't understand the question. >> and a leader with the naacp
is under scrutiny. she's been passing herself off as black even though she's not according to her parents. this is al jazeera america live from new york city. the u.s. house of representatives is about to vote on a measure that could lead to the biggest trade deal in u.s. history. you're looking at paul ryan from wisconsin who is speaking in favor of the legislation. the bill known as trade promotion authority would give the president more power to pass landmark trade agreements including the trans-pacific partnership. the bill has already passed the u.s. senate and today president obama made an unusual trip to capitol hill to try to build up support from members of his own party. many democrats have expressed
doubt. lib by casey is following all of this from washington. explain why the republicans are in favor of this and democrats are not. >>reporter: republicans are saying the president is right on this one in the past weeks while democrats have been pushing back really loudly on this. now, republicans say it's ironic but if the president gets this fast track authority to sign off on trade deals, congress gets a vote a say, because congress ultimately gets just an up or down vote. they cannot pick apart the details but they can give their support or not. and we see important republicans like congressman paul ryan pushing for this to pass today and saying that it actually gives congress some influence and it gives america more power at the bargaining table in these overseas trade deals. >> some of the concerns on both
sides have been echoing across the house floor. tell us about that. >>reporter: yeah here's the elephant in the room. congress is voting on two things today. they're not voting on the trans-pacific partnership. this big, potential deal in asia. they don't vote on that today. but that's the elephant everyone knows is looming and a lot of democrats are opposed to it saying it's just nafta in a different part of the world. they are voting on giving the president fast track authority. the other is something democrats have long supported, assisting workers who have been hurt because of the global economy. here's the irony. democrats may actually not vote for that today because they know it will scuttle any deal. i want to give you a sense of the flavor of the floor, marcy captor democrat ohio saying this bill that will help workers is actually a poison pill. >> what a fig leaf.
it's too little for the damage about to be done. >>reporter: so now republicans in a very strange turn of events are the ones arguing for worker assistance. take a listen to another representative from ohio but this one a republican. >> i wish my dad who lost his manufacturing job way before nafta, who lost his steel worker job way before any bilateral trade agreement had taa to help him get a new job. >>reporter: taa is what will help workers in the global economy. so step one is voting on worker assistance. this is what the president was pressing democrats on today. he took that rare trip to capitol hill to say you need to vote for this. don't vote against it just to kill the package because that's where he needs their support. there are enough republicans on board to support fast track but he can probably get that through but that worker assistance in a
strange turn of events is really a big question mark today, david. >> so in other words there was the president perhaps even counting votes knowing that worker assistance vote is going to be very close. >>reporter: absolutely. and he needs both to pass today in ultimately to get fast track authority which the senate has already signed on and ultimatelina will give him more power. >> thank you a cleveland prosecutor says a grand jury will decide whether to charge two police officers in the fatal shooting of 12-year-old tamir rice. the judge found probable cause to charge the officers. rice was playing with a plastic gun in a public park when police shot and killed him. rice's family attorney says he's encouraged and hope they can finally receive justice for their son.
>> it's awfully persuasive for the d.a. we know in america from these grand juries from the ferguson matter and michael brown and eric garner in new york you don't know what they're going to tell a grand jury or how delays they're going to present it so it's so important that you have this precedent that a judge has found probable cause. the family of tamir rice is very very encouraged by the judge's ruling. it has been over six months now. it's on video. everybody sees what happened there. the question for the family and many in the community is what is taking so long. and that's why the cleveland 8, the local pastors, worked with us to present this to the court because they were very concerned about whether or not there was an attempt to sweep the death of this 12-year-old child under the rug. >> activists in cleveland used a
little-known law to ask the court to order the arrest of the officers. the judge declined though says his decision is only a recommendation. in louisiana, the last of the angola 3 prisoners could walk free later today. this week a federal appeals court temporarily blocked a judge's order demanding albert woodfox be released. the ruling expires this afternoon. he was convicted of killing a prison guard during a protest. he's long maintained his innocence and two of his convictions were overturned correct investigators trying to find two escaped convicts in northern new york may have new help. a local newspaper is reporting that the woman accused of aiding the men inside the jail has admitted her role and is now working with police. john henry smith has more. >>reporter: the times union is reporting that prison employee joyce mitchell has admitted to police that she provided the two
men with smuggled power tools and a cellphone in alead up to their escape from the clinton correctional facility last week. police also believe she failed to show up after initially agreeing to be the getaway driver. police believe that has left the two men to fend for themselves on foot. the search for the two men is concentrated in an area less than five miles from the prison where officials shut down roads and a school. one mom in a town of katieville says whether schools open friday or not, she's playing it safe with her three girls. >> i'm keeping them home. yes. right here. until this is settled anyway. or at least it's wound downed some. >>reporter: a helicopter continuously circled the area thursday. on the ground police stopped and searched vehicles on route 3. many residents brought food to officers doing their work. >> the people around here have been great. they've been very welcoming
patient. we hope in very short order we'll have these guys in custody and life can return to normal. >>reporter: reports say search dogs led police to an area where the men may have camped out leaving food wrappers and imprints in the grass. police also have reason to believe the two men stopped by a gas station within a mile of the prison. one local issued a warning to the fugitives if they're still in the area. >> i would dare to bet 90% of the people in this area own weapons and they are loaded. >>reporter: john henry smith, al jazeera a second man arrested in an alleged plot to behead boston police officers will appear this afternoon in federal court. officials have not said why he was arrested or what his connection is to the man who was shot and killed last week after lunging at police with a knife.
officials in north carolina can now legally refuse to perform gay marriages. state law makers on thursday voted to override the governor's veto. he opposed the law that lets people who register and officiate marriage licenses to stopper forming them if they have a sincerely held religious objection. the governor called the vote disappointing a debate over race and identity is heating up over twitter and facebook today after reports a prominent civil rights activist in washington state falsely portrayed herself as being black. here's more. >>reporter: rachel is the president of spokane's branch of the naacp. in mar she spoke out against hate mail she received. >> it's not isolated just here or just targeting me. it's targeting the larger black community. >>reporter: but her credibility is now in question with family
members saying she's been living a lie for nearly a decade. her mother provided these pictures to the media confirming what public records already show. she is white. her mother told a local paper it is very disturbing that she has become so dishonest. a reporter for kxly interviewed her about the hate crimes she's reported over the years and she's described several of them in detail but didn't know what to say when asked about her race. >> are you african-american? >> i don't -- i don't understand the question. i did tell you that yes, that's my dad, and he was unable to come in january. >> are your parents, are they white? >>reporter: that video has gone viral leading to a spirited debate on twitter. some tweeting will her salary rise from 65 to $0.78 on the white man's pay now that she's white?
and only a white person can get this much attention for being black. but it's also stirred conversations about a new term. some tweeting she was born with a wrong body, #transracial. her mother says they're czech and german. she identified herself as part african-american on a recent job application. police say they have found little evidence of racial harassment she claimed over the years. in a statement, the naacp said they respect her privacy and stand by her stating racial identity is not a qualifying criteria to be part of the organization's leadership coming up why dozens of people in texas are still behind bars after a biker brawl.
the iowa straw poll has been canceled canceled. they made the decision in a unanimous vote. it's a reversal of the unanimous vote in january to continue the summertime event. republican strategists and officials have questioned the straw poll's value in predicting how candidates will fare in iowa and whether it's worth time and money for rick perry and the rest. the last iowa straw poll winner was michelle bachmann who was later crushed in the iowa caucuses dozens of suspects in waco texas are -- some family members
wonder if innocent bystanders were swept up in the arrests. >>reporter: a shootout in waco texas between rival members of the banditos and cossacks motorcycle clubs. nine dead 100 injured and 177 arrested. now, almost a month later, fewer than half have been released on bond. among those still behind bars with no indictment father and son john and jake wilson. >> they should be here. >>reporter: bobby wilson says her husband and son are motorcycle enthusists who were at the wrong place at the wrong time. now with the two men in jail since may 17th the family shop in waco has stood shuttered. >> we've put everything we've got into it so it will be hard
if we lose this place. >>reporter: could you possibly afford the million dollar bond to get your husband out? >> absolutely not. that's instandty. >>reporter: she says on that sunday her husband president of a motorcycle club in his county left home to attend a club meeting. >> i didn't think anything of it. >>reporter: did you know the banditos were going to be there? >> no. >>reporter: do you think your husband knew? >> probably. >>reporter: why would he go to a place where his sworn enemy would be present? >> well, i never understood them to be sworn enemies. >>reporter: she says her husband and son did not bring weapons to the restaurant and that when the shooting erupted, they immediately fled from the patio where they had been eating to the bathroom. >> not for one second do i believe my husband, my son, or
anyone in his group was responsible for this craziness. >>reporter: michael white is john wilson's attorney. >> what they've done is taken close to 200 people and decided that they're all guilty of something because they were there and the number of them were wearing certain jackets. >>reporter: 26 days later, the majority remain locked up though a grand jury has not heard their case. texas law allows a person to be detained for up to 90 days without an indictment. we reached out to this jail to the sheriff's department the district attorney's office and to the city of waco. no one would talk about this case on camera. the waco police department did tell us over the phone that the investigation is ongoing and a lengthy process due to the high number of individuals involved. though not indicted all those arrested currently face the charge of engaging in organized
criminal activity. >> usually you're aware of what you're being accused of and being held in jail for but to this date nobody knows what the criminal activity was. >>reporter: wilson hopes friday her husband's bond will be lowered. if not, she has no idea what comes next. >> i adore this man. he's never given me any reason not to trust him. the obama administration is hoping small grants can make a big difference in the push for renewable energy. the u.s. department of agriculture is awarding hundreds of grants to rural businesses for green technology. there are 550 projects in all. the grants will cost $6.7 million. new york city is one of the most expensive cities in the world. a new report finds that the median rent in the big apple now tops $3,000 a month. some landlords say their rents still are not high enough and
they're fighting to end the city's rent control regulations. >>reporter: she is a native new yorker. >> i grew up in green point. i lived around the corner most of my life and moved here ten years ago. >>reporter: but her neighborhood has gotten expensive. so like many new yorkers, she put up with terrible living conditions to hold on to a two-bedroom apartment she could afford. >> we had no heat in the winter. at times hot water would go. >>reporter: it got worse. >> an ax was take on the the boiler, they destroyed the electrical system. the basement was just flooded out. >>reporter: they in question were the landlords who own her building. they were arrested on charges they intentionally wrecked three of their buildings to drive out tenants who were projected under rent stablization laws. laws that essentially limit how much landlords can increase
rents annually. as rents in manhattan get more and more expensive, more and more people are moving to neighborhoods on the outskirts of the city like this one driving up prices here as well. once a rent stabilized tenant moves out, the landlord can raise the rent. >> landlord harassment is something approaching universal levels in rent regulated units that are substantially below market. they desperately want to evict those long-term residents and move in new wealthier folks. >>reporter: but landlords say the small rent increases they're allowed aren't enough. >> the low turnover means our long term tenants are paying rent far below market and we're pressed to meet our ever increaseing costs. >>reporter: the subject is being hotly discussed. law makers are also pushing for
a requirement to include affordable units in new luxury buildings, buildings blamed for driving up housing costs across new york. but whether a compromise remains to be seen. she is having trouble with her -- >> i have roommates helping me. i dipped into savings, whatever i had to do to make sure my kids had a roof over their head. >>reporter: her rent has tripled but she knows it's worse. her former neighbor has moved to a homeless shelter. coming up on al jazeera america, they blame distracted driving for the death of their daughter. what one family is doing to try to save the lives of other teens. other teens.
american dream... >> this definitely gave me an opportunity to grow up... >> you just don't give up... >> hard earned reunion only on al jazeera america kids with adhd the best way to help them focus according to a new report is to keep them moving. a university of california study suggests even a simple activity like chewing gum allows children to focus on simple tasks. we are in the middle of what's considered the deadliest 100 days for teenage drivers.
more teens are killed on u.s. highways between memorial day and labor day than any other time of the year. six of ten accidents happen because teenagers just aren't paying attention according to triple a. >>reporter: playing with the radio, putting opp makeup talking or texing. all distractions -- texting, all distractions that can have deadly consequences. triple a has been putting cameras in cars to study this further. >> the most common form is teens interacting with other passengers in the vehicle and interacting with their cellphones. talking on their phones social media, texting and driving. >>reporter: how often do you come to this memorial? >> every morning or night for three years. >>reporter: his daughter died in a car accident at this new
jersey intersection in 2012. she was weeks away from her high school graduation. >> we miss her terribly. nobody can figure out or explain what it is to lose a child. it's an empty, empty, empty room, empty spot in your heart that is killer. >>reporter: nicky was a passenger in the backseat of a car driven by a classmate. prosecutors say it's unconclusive whether the driver was texting or talking on a cellphone but he blames distracted driving for the crash. >> when you're a kid and you're inexperienced and you have some kids in the car and they're laughing and the music is on and you're talking and thinking about stuff, to even have a phone out is just crazy because you're in a time bomb waiting for the bomb to go off. >>reporter: he has turned his pain into a personal mission starting a nonprofit organization, pad, people against distracted driving.
>> we try to reach out to teens, adults, anybody that will listen. that's the hardest part getting them to listen. >>reporter: after learning distracted driving may have led to his daughter's death, he pushed for a state law requiring new jersey roadways to have signs like this one that clearly state texting while driving can kill. here in new jersey texting and driving is against the law but that's not the case across the country and this father is determined to change that. according to triple a, nationwide only 33 states and the d.c. ban teens from texting or using a cellphone while driving. when it comes to friends in the car, 17 states and washington d.c. limit new teen drivers to one passenger under the age of 20. but some critics argue distracted driving might not happen as often if teens are properly trained before they get behind the twill. in the u.s. there's no national standard for driver's education. in some states it's not even required. >> there are efforts underway to set guidelines at the national
level and so to raise the bar for what driver education should be for all states. there's a varying degree of what is required and what is in place in the different states. >>reporter: this is not your run of the mill driver's ed class. it's a real-world driving school run by street survival in new york. from simulating driving in bad weather to emergency stopping, to avoiding accidents. >> they're teaching us how to get out of skids and how to make like really sharp turns if we have to and really it's all just safe and controlled >> change your brain so you can do it on the road if anything happens, an emergency. you'll have this in the background so you know what to do. it's very helpful. >>reporter: he worries about his daughter on the road. >> nothing is completely safe and one thing they teach is keeping eyes up and looking far ahead. >>reporter: while it seems so many teenagers are looking down at their phones some know better already.
>> nobody i know texts and drives and if someone does everybody yells at them. >> it's horrible. i never text and drive. it's dangerous for yourself and everybody around you on the road. >>reporter: this father agrees. >> put the phone down. when you get to the next spot you can tweet or text or voicemail. that can wait personal letters written by author harper lee are up for auction today. they come from around the time she wrote "to kill a mockingbird." the letters are expected to fetch up to $200,000. that's the report for this half hour. thank you for joining us. we leave you with a quick shot of the house floor in washington. the congresswoman from michigan is speaking on behalf of trade authority that president obama wants. we'll have a full news report on this vote at the half hour. ote at the half hour.