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tv   News  Al Jazeera  June 17, 2015 12:30pm-1:01pm EDT

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>> reporter: the people have shown it's possible to survive this harsh environment. their dream is other communities follow their example. nazanin sadri, al jazeera, southern tunisia. much more on our website, the address, ♪ tropical depression brings heavy rains to an already water-logged region. texas, oklahoma and arkansas all on high alert plus the federal reserve what they are deciding now. and the defense secretary lays out nine necessary steps to fight off isil. ♪
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you are watching al jazeera america live from new york city. i'm morgan radford. heavy rain is sparking flood worries again today in texas where the remnants of tropical storm bill bill are sweeping through the state. up to a foot of rain falling there overnight. the worst is over but now dallas is bracing for the storm to move in its direction. heidi zhou castro is in arlington, texas for us now. heidi what is the latest there on the ground? hey, morgan. a lot of activity here at the public works department. you can see that crews have been filling sandbags for people and businesses who need it. they have been working around the clock since monday actually filling about 15,000 of these bags. so far they have given away about 6,000. in houston the situation has been much worse, that's where
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bill made its landfall yet about 24 hours ago. in the community of seabrook there was cap waters there. and as it appears to be moving northward, it seems to be losing some of its power. >> heidi itting sounds like its is moving but losing power. what are texasians saying about the state's response so far? >> reporter: right, so the state and local powers on the ground here, took no chances. they learned just how devastating flash flooding can be from last memorial day's flood, that's when 30 people died in flood waters morgan. and so they have immediately been preparing for this next round of storms even as the state was drying out from the last storm. it helped that a lot of the infrastructure was still in place.
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and texans themselves saw how bad it could get and they heeded warning. >> heidi thanks so much for being with us. now kevin corriveau brings us the latest on where it is headed next. >> as we move through the rest of the day, the big problem with bill is going to be the amount of flooding we get. we're still going to see severe weather down towards the coast of texas. storms pushing up through dallas bringing a lot of rain with it. we don't see the winds but definitely a lot of rain. notice the cells pushing up towards the coast. we could see severe weather and the possibility of tornados by tomorrow we think that threat will be over. the biggest threat after texas is going to be what is going to happen here in parts of oklahoma. if you remember last month, oklahoma saw four times the amount of rain for the month of
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may that they would normally see, so they are already saturated and expected to get a lot of rain. as we go towards friday then the threat moves a little bit more towards the northeast. we're talking about arkansas missouri, even st. louis may get it as we go towards friday night. here is your five-day forecast. heavy rain today, by the time we get to friday things start to clear out. for st. louis we'll see some very active weather. very heavy rain towards friday as well. attorney general was formally sworn in this morning at a ceremony in washington, d.c. the supreme court justice administered the oath of office. president obama called her a distinguished publish servant who has fought corruption and
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jailed criminals. >> the law is her map, justice her compass. she is tough, but fair firm but kind. her intelligence judgment grace under fire have earned the trust and admiration of those she works with and those she serves. >> reporter: she has been on the job for two months. the federal reserve could decide the direction of interest rates. the fed has not hiked them since 2006, but there is a growing consensus that that could change by the end of this year. patty is anyone really expecting the rates to go up? >> not at this meeting. but, however there is a growing expectation that yellen and company probably will raise interest rates either in september, october, or december. now looking ahead, the interest rates can't hibernate forever. and there are growing concerns
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that historically low rates are feeding assets like stocks because parking money in a bank account is not a road to riches. but the federal government must time it in such a way that it does not derail the economy. a lot of jobs are being created and the unemployment rate is down to 5.5%. wages picked up nicely as well. but one month does not a trend make. the strong dollar contributed to negative growth in the first three months of the year. and the latest u.s. factory data which was unexpectedly weak suggests the strong dollar continues to drag on the economy. the imf weighed in on the great u.s.-rate debate earlier this month arguing that they should held off until next year. but yellen will be watching the
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figures month to month until the u.s. economy is strong enough at last to pull the trigger. >> what is the immediate impact of what we're about to see. >> the immediate impact the first place americans will feel that is if you have an adjustable rate mortgage that will go up. but if you are a saver, you are like to see your savings grow. but when the fed pulls the trigger on interest rates, it revertre reverberates around the world. so investors tend to pull money out of emerging economies and put them into the u.s. economy. the obama administration is laying out its strategy for defeating isil in the middle east. the fight in iraq is a work in
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progress. the defense department is preparing to send hundreds of additional forces to train iraqi security forces. rosiland jordan carter and dempsey are defending the decision to send more advisors to anbar, but what exactly are they saying? >> reporter: they are saying the deployment of these additional 450 advisors is to basically help the leaders of the iraqi military who will be running a new operations center at the air base in anbar province. these advisors are going to be helping the iraqis figure out their strategy for fighting isil, and trying to figure out what the best intelligence is analyze potential strategies and basically giving them the intelligence and experience that the u.s. military has. they are not going to be actually training the forces.
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they are already members of the iraqi military. however, these advisors are also going to be doing the outreach to sunni tribe members who are very interested in trying to take back their province from isil. >> you mentioned figuring out a strategy. but is there a definitive strategy coming out of this hearing? >> reporter: well according to carter, it does not mean sending in u.s. ground forces to try to hold iraq together. what he did say was that this is a fight that really has to be done in a very different and fundamental way. >> it's the only way to create support among local forces and local people. that support being necessary to make progress against extremism stick. >> reporter: now the hearing is still underway before the house armed services committee.
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there also is some general questions about whether the u.s. military is spending enough time focusing on the influence of iran inside iraq and neighboring syria where isil has established a significant beach head as it were, and even though the u.s. military says that dealing with the iranian influence is important, they say they still have to take their guidance from the white house. >> roslyn thanks so much. hundreds of syrian refugees are returning home this morning after a kurdish victory against isil. they have retaken a city which sits on major isil supply line. and more than 23,000 people were forced to flee their homes because of the fighting. >> translator: deciding it is better to go home than to squeeze into packed refugee camps these syrians crossed back on wednesday. ypg fighters took control of the
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strategic boarder town from isil after a three-week battle. >> translator: we are at a loss whoever we support others will kill us. >> translator: we are going back after two years. the condition of our homes were blown up by isil who accused us of being ypg. >> translator: we have been in turkey for three days without anywhere to stay. i'm not afraid to go back. i have done nothing wrong. >> reporter: most of the 20,000 syrians who crossed over are still in turkey. of those we spoke to who are going home some are nervous, others indifferent, and glad to see the back of isil. isil is being replaced with the kurdish ypg some say.
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turkey has long been worried about a strengthening kurdish presence along the border. now they control the border for 400 kilometers. in january, after a four-month battle, ypg forces secured control of the syrian town of kobani then they had been under siege by isil fighters. with support of air strikes, the ypg managed to hold on to kobani, but much of the town was left in ruins. here the battle shorter, the damage less severe. nato is expressing concerns about russia's plans to beef up its nuclear arsenal. vladimir putin has announced his military will get dozens of new missiles as part offen a effort to modernize the forces.
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>> translator: our nuclear forces will be supplied with 40 new rockets that can overcome defense systems. >> that comes at a time of increased tensions with the west overishias role in ukraine. russian officials denounced a plan for the u.s. to plant weapons near the border. the california state legislator considers a death with dignity law.
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families of five irish students who were killed in a balcony collapse in berkeley california are now in the united states. the balcony came down during a birthday party. more than a dozen people were on it when i it collapsed.
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the war on drugs has taken u.s. agencies oversees to stop drugs from coming close to our borders, but there have also been cases of the state department killing people who were not connected to drug cartels whatsoever. >> reporter: on may 11th, 2012, four people died in a remote corner of honduras they were caught in the cross fire of america's war on drugs. honduras is a major transport port of cocaine. it is often flown in on small planes that land on airstrips carved out of the jungle then transported overland through mexico to the u.s. the victims and family members of those who died that night say they had nothing to do with drug
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trafficking. but the u.s. drug enforcement administration tells a very different story. al jazeera has obtained new incites into what happened that might. meanwhile here in washington some members of congress have said the u.s. investigation into this incident is taking far too long, and the u.s. war on drugs can't working at home or abroad and too many innocent people are being caught up. a major ruling in california could impact uber. the state labor commission says the company should classify itself drivers as employees and not independent contractors. the service has long avoided providing benefits or paying payroll taxes for drivers, but uber plans to .a peel. terminally ill patients may
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soon win the right to end their lives in california. as michael shure reports, patients say it's about the right to die with dignity. >> reporter: a day in the life of californian, michael psalm, a terminally ill cancer patient. >> it's constant pain. pounding headaches. non-stop nausea. constantly nauseated, and when i'm not, i have pain in my stomach. >> reporter: do you cry? >> yes, it gets so severe that i do cry. >> reporter: michael wakes up hoping that the state and then a doctor will legally help him end his life. >> love life and i want to live. this is the happiest i have been in my entire life and now they tell me i'm going to die, and to that -- i say, have a death
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sentence so why not just end it early? >> reporter: some legislators in california are asking the very same question in the form of state senate bill 128. >> it's legislation that would allow patients to request a lethal dose of medication that a doctor would prescribe. >> reporter: this man sees both sides of the issue as compelling. >> for this legislation to go through and for doctors to practice physician-assisted suicide or aid in dying, they would either have to go against the hippocratic oath which would be to go against their public commitment to the community. >> reporter: what did they say as justification? >> doctors in favor feel they are helping to end suffering. they are shortening people's lives, but ending their suffering. >> i would like to see all americans have access to the
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same healthcare rights. >> reporter: last year brittany maynard, poignantly chronicled online her own desire to end her life. it may have resurrected the debate over this delegate issue. she moved to oregon, one of four states along with montana, vermont, and washington where physicians can legally prescribe a fatal dose of medication. she took her own life in november. >> this issue really has to do with people being terrified of dying. if you listen to what brittany maynard had to say, and she's very sincere, we have to ask why is she terrified of dying, and what has made it so terrifying? and can we make dying easier for people. >> there's a difference between alleviating suffering, and eliminating the person who is suffering.
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>> reporter: this doctor pioneer and author on books about dying is the director of the institute for human caring. >> there were certain limits imposed on the medical profession the first of which is not to kill patients. >> reporter: he says it should be about fighting for better end of life care. >> we will offer an option to quickly and cheaply end their lives. this does not feel like social progress from my perspective. people should be born into the welcoming arms of society and die from the reluctant arms of society. >> reporter: michael wants the progress to come from his decision to choose to end his own life. >> i feel luckily to be able to do this. i am lucky that i get to fight for this. >> reporter: michael shure, al jazeera, torrence california.
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stay tuned because straight ahead, we'll take you to the largest gaming show on the planet, where virtual reality is becoming all too real. coming up how desertification is threatening to destroy that famous former star wars set as well as many communities here in southern tunisia.
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emmy award winning investigative series... fault lines invisible hands only on al jazeera america running out of water. nasa says the world's underground water supply is running out at alarming rate. still, while water levels are dropping in some areas, in others deserts are actually getting bigger. the problem say experts is poor farming techniques and deforrestation. >> reporter: a few years ago this entire area was covered in
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sand, but now life is returning. this man hopes these salt-resistant plants mean his three children won't have to migrate elsewhere. >> translator: if you have sheep and camels they can eat these plants and live here. before we couldn't even feed them. scientists partly blame climate change for what is happening here. every year there's less rain and more underground water evaporates, the soil becomes dry and salty. >> translator: large amounts of water have very high salt levels between 8 to 12 grams of salt per liter. >> reporter: it is called desert if indication. some of the most famous scenes in star wars were filmed here. every year thousands of cubic
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meters of sand are removed from the set. the sahara is growing every day. scientists are talking about building a green wall across the whole sahara a belt of trees and plants that will help prevent the creeping of the desert north and south, and try to stop more land erosion. here a unique irrigation system makes sure palm trees only get the water they need. the oasis also has become a major source of fruits. these organic fruits are exported abroad. >> we need to stop this irrational exploitation. if there's no common consciousness or vision the solutions we have won't be
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enough. >> reporter: the people here are shown it's possible to survive this harsh environment. their dream is other communities follow their example, before the expanding desert destroys more land. the electronic gaming industry has gathered this week in los angeles for the largest exhibition of gaming on earth. this is a lucrative opportunity for an industry a that far exceeds the profits of movie and music combined. >> reporter: the biggest show on earth is off and running to the delight of thousands of fanatical gamers. e-3 showcases the latest hardware and software. >> when you get to an e3 where franchises, these are the big kind of blockbuster, the summer
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movies of our industry i guess i would call them and when you get all of those rolling out at one time, that's what makes an e3 really really special. >> reporter: the biggest splash was made by sony this year. they are bringing out new versions of classic games for its play station platform. gamers could barely contain themselves when sony teased themselves for a trailer of the last guardian. it features a boy protagonist, along with his giant pet, a kind of bird cat mix and match type of creature. this has been something of a coming out party for virtual reality devices. these machines have been talked about for years, but finally some of the biggest names in
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technology have devices that are just about ready to hit the markets. microsoft has hollow lens which is a new twist on vr. >> rather than taking you into a virtual world, what it does is protect a virtual world on to the world you see around you, so appearing like hologram so you could be staring at your coffee table and the virtual world will appear on it. it's very exciting stuff. >> reporter: exciting for gamers and incredibly lucrative for the big corporations that dominate an industry that rakes in $93 billion a year bigger than the movie and music industries combined. scientists are hoping to hear from a spice probe that landed on a come met. it was the first time in seven months that the lander made contact there scientists thought it was lost but now they are confident that experiments will
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be able to get underway soon. thanks so much for watching. i'm morgan radford. stay tuned. al jazeera continues. >> new evidence in chemical attacks by pro assad forces in syria. >> there is a warning of possible exit from the eurozone