work. it's being held as part of china's annual air show. you can read much more about that on our website, aljazeera.com. there you'll find the day's other top stories, all the top news at aljazeera.com. >> election day 2015 and today it is all about the issues. voters are deciding on the future of pot sales, a major tech startup and lgbt rights. >> a pause on the key stone pipeline coming from the company behind the controversial project. it could be for political reasons. new revelations about the crash of a russian airline are in egypt, what investigators have enough found at the site where the many went down.
>> this is aljazeera america live from new york city. i'm stephanie sy. vitters across the country are heading toles polls with key issues on the tail. from stopping discrimination and realizing pot to the fight between a tech startup in a major city. in ohio, voters are deciding whether to allow the medical and recreational use of marijuana. that is where al jazeera's bisi onile-ere is this morning. >> recent polls are split right down the middle, but there appears to be more support for medicinal use of marijuana in steady of recreational use. analysts say that the outcome of this election will come down to voter turnout. >> i've spent my entire career fighting crime and that's why i am voting to legalize marijuana. >> the commercials have been filling up space on television screens in ohio for months.
now it's up to the voters to decide on a constitutional amendment to legalize medicinal and recreational marijuana. >> this happens here, this is going to be earth shattering. >> ian james with responsible ohio believes the proposal is an opportunity for economic growth. >> we literally create 30,000 jobs. we can generate $554 million a year. we can fill possibility holes with pot money. we can help people who are chronically ill. >> there is another side to the battle here, the drive to legalize marijuana is funded by a group of big money investors. if voters approve the measure, they will get exclusive rights to own and operate 10 marijuana growing sites across the state. >> it's a real money grab by a small group of wealthy in vestors. >> another measure on the ballot would make it impossible, issue two banning granting special rights through ohio's constitution. >> with this plan with no
boundaries on where you can market it, there's going to be 1159 stores in the state of ohio, which are more than starbucks and mcdonald's combined. >> tony with the drug free alliance is concerned with edibles. >> as much as you talk about this being a harmless drug, we know that one in 11 folks do become addicted to it. >> ian james disagrees. >> until we regulate marijuana, we're not going to control it. >> if issue three is approved, ohio would become the fifth state to legalize marijuana for recreational use. however, some analysts say it's likely that this debate over legal pot will eventually end in court. >> i'm told if marijuana is legalized in the state, that it will change the national conversation on the issue.
>> a vote in san francisco could impact the growing future of a tech company, regulating the repeating of rooms. housing advocates say many long time residents are being kicked out in favor of converting apartments into expensive short term rentals. the initiative would cap rentals to 75 nights a year. >> houston is at the center of a major fight over lgbt rights. voter there is will decide on a measure to expand anti discrimination protection, as jonathan martin explains, conservatives are angry over one group on that list. >> houston has been really a battleground, dealing with this ordinance. >> in houston this week, voters are set to decide a controversial proposal, prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing and public places, based on factors including able, race, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity. >> right now in houston, if
there is an instance of discrimination, it literally has to be a federal case, because there's no local protection to offer a local remedy, and that's what this ordinance would do, create a local solution to a local problem. >> more than 200 u.s. cities already of similar ordinances. in 21 states and district of columbia, there are statewide protections. conservatives are blasting the measure, saying it goes against they're reasonablous beliefs. opponents focused on one clause. >> it's about allowing men in women's lockers rooms and bathrooms. >> opponents dubbed the proposal the bathroom bill and religious groups released a series of ads like this one showing a man posing as a sexual predator entering a woman's restroom. >> protect women's privacy, prevent danger. vote no on the proposition one
bathroom ordinance. it goes too far. >> those backing the ordinance call the ads stair tactics. >> frustrating to see a conversation that should be about equality and treating people fairly really devolve into something that i go a smear campaign against transpeople. >> supporters responded with commercials, including one showing transgender people being welcomed. >> dylan is a great plumber, still works as hard as the rest of us. >> houston's mayor, who is openly gay has been pushing for a city wide non-discrimination ordinance for more than a year. she said every houstonen has a right to be treated equally. to do otherwise hurts houston's well known image as a tall rant city that is embracing of its diversity. gay rights activists say the outcome of tuesday's vote is important beyond houston. adopting an ordinance here would be a significant step what since the legalization of gay marriage
is now the top priority, pushing for non-discrimination laws in all 50 states. jonathan martin, al jazeera. >> in kentucky today, voters are choosing between the democratic attorney general and a tea party republican to become the next governor. polls leading up to the race show that the democratic jack conway is leading republican mat bevin 45% to 40%. a poll has ben carson extending his nationwide lead over donald trump. carson has 29% support, the most of any republican to date. carson has moved up six percentage points while trump's numbers dropped. president obama made fun of the republicans and their anger over their last debate. >> have you noticed that every
one of these candidates say, you know, obama's weak, he's, you know, putin is kicking and in his face. when i talk to putin, he says going to straighten out. just looking at him, i'm going to -- he's going to be. then it turns out they can't handle a bunch of cnby moderators. >> republicans were unhappy about how that debate was run but this morning, the candidates are at odds over how to change the rules for future debates. trump, christie, carly fiorina and january kasich will not support an agreement reached object sunday night. the republican campaigns drafted a proposal to work around the r.n.c. and want to control things such as on screen graphics. >> this morning, the effort to build the key stone pipeline is on hold at the request of the
company behind it. transcanada asked the state department monday to suspend the review pros. mike viqueira reports the reasons could be political. >> the request by transcanada, the concern that wanted to build the key stone pipeline for several years comes on the same tape that the white house had finally come out and say that the permitting pros would be done, the president making a decision, the administration would be making that decision before the end of president obama's term. many people already wondering about the timing here, transcanada said it wants to suspend its permitting pros. in a letter to secretary of state john kerry, the state department handlings the permitting process and wants to suspend the process while it considers an alternate route through nebraska.
>> this is pushed back until perhaps after the presidential election in the beyond and a new occupant of the white house. a fascinating development here on this long fought battle. the permit has been outstanding for quite some time. many thought the administration would make a ruling before the 2012 elections. they pushed it back. there were legislative challenges. congress passed a bill overwhelming majorities in both the house and senate to build the pipeline. the president vetoed that legislation, not enough votes in the senate to override the veto. environmentalists hated this project. protests outside the white house here for years during consideration of this permitting pros. many expected ultimately the president would not allow the pipeline to be built.
all of that now in question after this decision by transcanada to suspend the permitting process, again to look at alternate routes, their preferred route through nebraska. many people wondering exactly how long that will take and whether there's a political calculation involved. back to you. >> if built, the pipeline would carry 800,000-barrels of petroleum a day. >> solving the refugee crise in europe, my conversation with the prime minister of slovenia about how his country is dealing with the flood of people fleeing their homeland. >> some 9/11 first responders were saying that congress failed them, a law giving them health coverage has expired. many say a new proposal doesn't go far enough.
>> the iraq irpolitician who helped persuade the united states to invade iraq has died. he was a key force in helping guide the bush administration towards that war. >> he was still in exile when he advocated for the u.s. to invade iraq in 2003. the shia politician with a phd from the university of chicago built ties with reporters and the bush advisors, who helped shape u.s. foreign policy. he spoke at the u.n. shortly after the invasion. >> to those who stood with the dictator and who continue to question the intentions of the american and british governments in undertaking this liberation, we invite you to come and visit the mass graves where half a million of our citizens lie. >> his relationship with
washington would soon turn from close to cold. he received millions of dollars from the c.i.a. for forwarding evidence that he said showed sadaam hussein had weapons of mass destruction and considered a favorite to lead iraq after the toppling of whose sane. it became clear that his information was false or exaggerated, the u.s. began distancing itself from him. he tried to assure his place in the new iraq. >> i will be very much a part of the future of iraq but i am not a candidate for political a candidate for political office. i want to focus on rebuilding civil society in iraq, which is the basis of a true democracy. >> iraq and the u.s. forces invaded his home in 2004, searching for evidence that he could be spying for iran. he was also the target of at least one assassination attempt in 2008. he served as a deputy prime minister, but never reached to
the of which iraq's political structure. al jazeera. the pentagon will cope operating in the south china sea despite protests last week. the admiral head of the pacific command said the u.s. military will operate within the 12-mile limit allowed should international maritime law. last week, a u.s. destroyer passed near an i'm the chinese claim as their territory. >> the threat of winter ma the number of migrants crossing the mediterranean to reach europe at all-time highs. the u.n. refugee agency said 218,000 people crossed last month alone, that is the total from all of 2014. most of the refugees fleeing syria where civil war has raged for more than four years. austria and slovenia have been caught in the middle, setting up refugee camps along their borders. the prime minister said that his country is struggling to keep
up. >> as you said, it is really a mass migration, and we are doing what we can to treat the migrants and refugees among them in the most human way possible. we try to be humane, compassionate, we provide for warm shelter, food, water, medical care, and everything we can, but of course, slovenia, as you said, is a small middle european country with only 2 million inhabitants and we cannot provide for the migrants beyond our capabilities, so of course as a transit country, we would like to find a common solution. we would like to see the european union establish effective control on the border between greece and turkey. above all, we would like to see
that the european union would be able to finalize and conclude the agreement with turkey in order to stop this migration flow or at least reduce it to a great extent. >> let's start with what you're saying about turkey being the solution here, that the external borders need to be controlled there. 70% of refugee children aren't even in school in turkey. is that a solution convenient for europe but bad for the refugees? >> no, not in this way. the only solution is that the european union give some help and support to turkey in financial aid, in other ways, and we should provide some means so those refugees in turkey could be in much better position. we must help turkey to provide
for their human rights, for their dignity and for that reason, the european union should really substantially help turkey with dealing with this terrible migration issue. >> the prime minister said the volume of refugees entering his country would be the equivalent of about 2 million refugees entering the u.s. every day. international investigators are checking the black boxes from the russian airliner that went down in egypt. investigators continue to gather evidence at the site in sinai where the airliner went down saturday with 224 people onboard. this morning, there are reports that satellites detected a heat flash at the same time as the crash. that could point to an explosion on the jet. the kremlin said investigators found items at the site not found on the plane. al jazeera's peter sharp is in st. petersburg where bodies of the victims being returned to their families. >> the egyptian president continues to insist that isil
played no part in the bringing down of this aircraft, but the russian news agency taft has a source in the search and rescue team on the ground in egypt. it says they have uncovered and found elements that do not belong from that aircraft. you can make what you want of that. meanwhile, the hotel behind me, the families have been taken out to the morgue to try and identify their loved ones. so far, it's 140 bodies there. there's another 100 body parts and at the moment, they've said they have enough positively identified nine people. >> a grim task. that was peter shortstop reporting from st. petersburg. >> more anger today over a new congressional proposal to extend health care coverage for 9/11 first responders. the zadroga act is set to expire.
>> the world health trade center program called the zadroga acers fired. many who became ill after the attacks of 9/11 say that's an outrage. >> there are more than 72,000 first responders who aided in the rescue and recovery at ground zero and still suffer the health impact of their service. >> by failing to renew the act, congress cast thousands of people who worked at the world trade center after the september 11 attacks into a situation where they now face losing their federally funded health care, and at a rally held monday, some first responders called one option under consideration in congress a bad deal. that measure would extend the zadroga act by five years. critics say it could reduce compensation to responders by 60%. democratic senator kirstin gillibrand championed a permanent extension. >> the pushback is we'd like to
have a five year bill. this should be a permanent about him. >> congress is also considering a bill that would extend the zadroga act indefinitely. senator gillibrand is the lead sponsor. she now says she has enough vote it is to get that measure through the senate. it's not clear if there is enough support to extend the health care bill in the house. those first responders who suffer want the government to act. >> everything that was in that building, we ingested. anybody that was there that inhaled that cloud. >> john henry smith, al jazeera. >> hitting the brakes, red light cameras are supposed to make intersection safer. they're actually making a lot of money for city government. ahead, the outcry from motorists.
>> a red light camera program in chicago has netted the city $500 million. critics say the city has become addicted to the money and say the lights are designed to switch too quickly from yellow to red, trapping the drivers and causing collisions. al jazeera's ali very well she has the story. >> vehicles running red lights
with disastrous results. engineers have grappled with ways to make intersections saferrer. one controversial method is using a red light camera. >> when you throw up a red light camera, what happened was people started slamming on the brakes and lo and behold, there's a 22% increase in rear end accidents at these intersections that have red lights. >> david kid well is an investigative reporter for the chicago tribune. he's been following the troubled history of chicago's red light camera program. since 2003, the city's nearly 400 red light cameras have brought in $500 million in traffic fines, money the city desperately needs. >> the city of chicago's bond rating is darn near junk rating right now. ending the red light camera program only creates more
problems for the government in the city of chicago in terms of making up very, very critical shortfall in the amount of money they have to run the city. >> kid well's investigation also exposed other issues at intersections in chicago with red light cameras. one of the biggest problems is that the yellow light intervals are too short. federal guidelines say yellow lights should last at least 3.2 seconds. the city of chicago's department of transportation says its yellow lights are set at three seconds. kid well uncovered evidence that many of the red light camera intersections had so-called yellow light intervals of less than three seconds. that's what the research shows. he's known to chicagoans as the red light doctor. using a video camera and software, he is able to capture the exact duration of a yellow light intervery well. his camera proves that this
yellow light lasts just 2.837 seconds. >> red light camera revenue is municipal krakow contain. they are hooked on it. they will go down fighting before they give up the ref new. >> kid well said chick got the cameras through corruption and politics chicago style. in may, 2014, john bills was indicted on a federal bribery charge. prosecutors say as assistant transportation commissioner, he received $2 million in probes from red flex. on august 20 of this year, former red flex c.e.o. karen finley pleaded guilty to a federal charge that she conspired to bribe john bills. a few months earlier, finley pleaded guilty to another federal charge, that she bribed officials in ohio. bills attorney said his client never had the power or authority
to do what federal prosecutors allege and that john bills did his job in the best interest of chicago, not himself. red flex's problems are far from over. a fired former executive of that company now working with federal prosecutors alleges in another lawsuit that red flex executives bribed officials in at least 13 other states. for its part, red flex said the company has new leadership, systems and poles and is committed to transparency and honesty in our business practices. >> we've still got 300 cameras out there, still the largest operation in the country and still fill the a very, very huge budget hole for the city of chicago. >> al jazeera, chicago. >> you can see more of the reporting tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern. thanks for watching. the news continues next live from doha. have a great day.
>> announcer: this is al jazeera. ♪ from our headquarters in doha, here is what is coming up in this news hour. russian state media says debris found at the scene of the plane crash in egypt does not belong to the aircraft. a rare cyclone hits yemen bringing heavy rain and high seas. an energy crisis deepens in nepal. and we're in nigeria where a