Skip to main content

tv   News  Al Jazeera  November 4, 2015 12:30pm-1:01pm EST

12:30 pm
ever find a place to live safely. background breaking news, comment and analysis to be found right here, of course our top story right there, resignation of the government in romania. more on that in a moment. losing support, russia softens its stance on keeping syrian president bashar al-assad in power. a meter 60 years in the making, china and taiwan to discuss peace talks. and ohio votes against legalizing medical and recreational marijuana, one of the many issues turned away at the ballot box. ♪
12:31 pm
this is al jazeera america live in new york city. i'm del walters. russia's foreign minister meeting today in moscow with the u.n. special envoy on syria. he painted a optimistic picture of moving forward on peace talks. >> the government in damascus has indicated they are ready to participate and to have a substantial and numerous delegation. we need, and we will ask the opposition, all of the oppositions to actually be represented, so that we can start working. when? as soon as possible. >> reporter: those russian-lead air strikes in syria driving a wedge between moscow and the west, but said sergei lavrov saying it is not crucial for syrian president to stay in power paul brennan has more on what that means for u.s.-russian relations. >> reporter: in september after a series of dpeets at the
12:32 pm
handing of rebel groups and isil, russia started carrying out air strikes inside syria, supporting assad's government forces. >> we think it's an enormous mistake to refuse to cooperate with the syrian government and it's armed forces, we are fighting terrorism face-to-face, we should finally acknowledge that no one but president assad's forces are truly fighting the islamic state and other terrorist organizations in syria. >> reporter: most of russia's air strikes have not been aimed at isil, instead targeting rebel groups trying to overthrow assad. assad travelled to moscow to meet with putin, his first trip outside of syria since the start of the war. u.s. officials say russia's
12:33 pm
ramped up military role in syria speaker louder than words. >> russian actions so far in syria have been to prop up the regime. >> reporter: when or whether assad should go is one of many sticking points in the conflict. last week world powers including iran met in vienna to discuss ways to end the fighting that has killed hundreds of thousands and displaced millions more. russian media reported tuesday that syrian officials and opposition groups could meet in moscow next week. u.s. officials say it's too early for that. >> we think that there's a time and a place when the opposition groups will be represented, but we're not there yet. >> reporter: one point on which the u.s. and russia do agree is avoiding accidental clashes between their air forces in the syrian battle space. to that end, the pentagon says that one russian and one u.s. plane carried out a sort of
12:34 pm
safety exercise on tuesday. the planes flew within about five miles of each other for about three minutes, testing safety and communications protocols set up last month. paul brennan, al jazeera, new york. romanian's president saying he will name an interim prime minister now that victor ponta has resigned. the resignation coming after massive protests on tuesday. ponta is already facing trial on corruption charges. ash carter says he plans to board a naval ship near the south china sea. the pentagon not saying exactly where the aircraft carrier will sail, but it has been on patrol in the south china sea. several countries including china have overlapping claims to those waters and their islands. the first refugees to be
12:35 pm
resettled from greece arriving in luxembourg today. the prime minister was there to say good-bye to the families. their relocation is part of an e.u. plan to make sure that all of the european union deals with the crisis, but tsipras says some countries aren't pulling their weight. >> translator: it's a drop in the ocean. we would like this drop to become stream and then a river of humanity. >> reporter: as many as 600,000 refugees making it to greece this year. but more than 400 dies in the waters off of the coast just trying to get to europe. and as mohammed jamjoom reports, lesvos says it is running out of room to bury the dead. >> reporter: at this hour in greece, the sky darkens as quick as the fare sets in. but still they come. attention comes first to the ones they risked everything for, the young they must comfort, the old they must aid.
12:36 pm
having survived the sea, they land into a situation so chaotic even our team was asked to help translate. yes, she has on her -- the said of her head and her cheek. the car accident in turkey just a few hours ago was bad, but this woman and her family still made the crossing. i can't even explain my emotions he tells me. we came such a long way. we were just praying we would make it to greece and then we did. thank god. the medics arrived quickly and treatment was given, but during these days of crisis on lesvos, even aid workers accustomed to helping the emotionally traumatized are at a loss. >> they flee war for a better life. most of them now they are forgetting because they brought the families with them, children, and now they are dead
12:37 pm
or they are looking for them. actually you cannot say anything to a woman that has lost husband and children as well. but they just need a hug, someone there to be next to them, and facilitate in the procedure. >> reporter: it's not just identifying their loved ones that is so difficult, even finding a final resting placing is near impossible. these graves are a stark reminder of how harsh a life and how sad a death these refugees had. what makes their fate even more tragic is the fact that many of those buried here were put into the ground anonymously. overcrowded with bodies, this cemetery has run out of room. the grave digger understands death better than most, but this, he struggles to comprehend. the refugees come to find a
12:38 pm
better future, he tells me, instead they get a painful death. we greeks we also were migrants, but we didn't have to die in the sea. now even for the refugees who managed to escape with their lives, it's death that seems closer than ever. mohammed jamjoom, al jazeera, lesvos, greece. we now know the cause of that fatal shooting in a northern illinois police officer. the sheriff's department announcing that he committed suicide. investigators say it is the result of a police officer who broke the law. >> the investigation found he has been stealing and laundering money from the police explorer post. this had been occurring over the past seven years. he was also found have forged signatures on official documents. thousands of dollars were used for personal purchases, travel expenses, mortgage payments,
12:39 pm
personal gym memberships, adult websites, facilitating personal loans, and unaccounted cash withdrawals. he was found dead of a gunshot wound. before that he told dispatchers that he was chasing three suspects. that manhunt shut down the area for days and drew nation-wide attention. voters in ohio overwhelming strikes down an attempt to legalize recreational and medical marijuana. the outcome may have been driven by critics who say the measure would have created a monopoly in that state. >> reporter: this is a huge upset for the backers of legalized marijuana, a group of wealthy investors spent millions of dollars over the course of the year trying to push issue 3 through, but in the end, they were defeated. now a lot of voters that we talked to, took issue with the term monopoly. had this gone through the group of investors that i mentioned,
12:40 pm
they would have gained a lot of profit. they would have had exclusive rights to about ten marijuana growing sites across the state, and again, a lot of people took issue with that. over the course of the past several months there have been a number of schools, hospitals, law enforce agencies, and politicians who have been vocal against legalized marijuana. i had the opportunity to speak to one lawmaker about the defeat. >> ohio voters were on to this plan. they saw it not so much as a marijuana legalization plan, but as an investment-driven business plan that a select few were trying to insert in the state constitution. and these plans have no sort of place in our constitution. nicklas o'shea was one of those wealthy investors and he had this to say on twitter about the defeat: we actually talked to proponents
12:41 pm
of legalized marijuana, it's a group called responsible ohio, and they said that this isn't over. they are not giving up, and there is a very good chance that a similar issue could be on the ballot this time next year. that is bisi onile-ere reporting for us from columbus, ohio. canada has a new prime minister. justin trudeau sworn in just a few moments ago. he is the second-youngest prime minister in the country's history. he has promised to jump start canada's lagging economy. in unprecedented summit, china and taiwan coming together to discuss peace for the first time in more than 60 years. plus equal pay for equal work, why some disabled workers earn less than minimum wage and it's legal.
12:42 pm
12:43 pm
12:44 pm
china and taiwan plan to meet for the first time in 60 years. it will be the first meeting since they were divided by civil war back in 1949. rob mcbride has more from beijing. >> reporter: this will be hugely historic for mainland china and taiwan, and is the culmination of a process that has been going on several years now, especially under the stewardship of the president of taiwan, who has been pushing for closer ties. we have seen those links in business terms, in communication, in transport, millions of tourists now travel back and forth. what we haven't seen is a corresponding closeness in diplomatic terms. that's obviously been far more fraught. so this is hugely significant.
12:45 pm
and adds a interesting dimension to presidential elections in january. the main opposition party is expected to win those elections. they are opposed to closer ties, so this was seen as the last best chance of this -- historic meeting taking place while the president is still in power. both sighs say there won't be any agreement signed 59 the meeting, it is purely symbolic, but it doesn't get much bigger in terms of symbolism. >> ann leah is a professor of finance at new york university. thanks for being with us. symbolic, but how significant is this meeting going to be? >> i think it's very significant, because you haven't had these leaders from these two countries ever sit down and meet formally this way. it has always been informal
12:46 pm
talks with people doing track two talks in the background unofficially, but this is pretty major steps. >> what about the protocol for the summit, for example, they will address each other as mister. what kind of signal does that send? >> well, because they are sensitive to the divide between the two, because china doesn't accept taiwan as a separate country, so calling him president might inflame the two countries. so i think by keeping it mister, they are just keeping it mutual until they iron out the differences here. >> the last time they met was 1945, why so long? >> well, i would say that it's also not just between the two
12:47 pm
peoples there, where they have bitter feelings about what happened, which is similar to cuba when they became communist and then the folks who fled to the u.s. have been very upset -- >> a lot of people in fact drawing that comparison. >> yeah, taiwan is china's cuba in that sense. but also politically the u.s. has also encouraged taiwan's separation, because strategically it is important to have military bases in that region for the u.s., so having an ally there helps the u.s., so that also has kept the relations from thawing for so long. >> in fact some people are comparing this to president obama's desire to leave a legacy with regards to cuba, that the china president is trying to leave the same legacy with taiwan. >> there may be a comparison
12:48 pm
there, but it's also a strategic move, because taiwan has a lot of troops on the island in the south china seas. if taiwan becomes closer to china, and invites chinese troops to join on that island, then it would certainly give taiwan more authority over those claims in that area. >> briefly before i let you go. does the united states want to play a role either directly or indirectly in trying to influence the way these talks go? >> well, the u.s. would never openly say they are playing a role. i would say probably behind closed doors they would exert some political pressure and influence with taiwan, and certainly they probably exert that influence in other ways too, with various student demonstrations and what not, and providing support in those areas, and to the opposition
12:49 pm
candidates. so i would not discount that possibility. >> professor, thank you very much for being with us as always. >> thank you. voters in portland maine rejecting a proposal to raise the minimum wage in that city to $15 an hour. some workers in the city earning far less than that. and as ali velshi reports it's legal. >> reporter: this 50 year old has never had it easy. but she has always been determined not to let her disability get in the way of an independent spirit. she and her 13-year-old daughter live in a modest two-bedroom apartment in st. louis. she has worked most of her life. >> right now i'm labeling boxes. i do maybe 2.5 skids a day. that's probably about 500 to 700 boxes on a skid. >> reporter: like an estimated
12:50 pm
420,000 disabled workers in the u.s., theresa is paid below the minimum wage. earns about $3.65 an hour, $4 less than missouri's minimum wage. her wage fluctuates based on how many boxes she labels. she works at industrial aid, the packager employed over 130 adults with disabilities. >> to me it's not right that we're getting the pay that we get, because we work hard over there. we work very hard. >> reporter: industrial aid is a sheltered workshop. sheltered workshops can legally employ disabled workers at sub minimum wages. kurt decker says sheltered workshops are a well-intentioned idea gone seriously wrong. >> when it's legal to pay people less than the minimum wage often as little as 20 or $0.30 an hour, raises serious questions
12:51 pm
about exploitation and whether people are really being given an opportunity to reach their full potential. >> reporter: the heads of the workshop say their business model is dependant on sub minimum wages. they appealed to city hall to convince alderman to propose a bill to exempt them from a minimum wage hike. >> it has been a fight to prove my intellectual ability all my life! these workers, these workers, they deserve at least the respect of a minimum wage. >> i'm scared. i am scared to death that the workshops will go away, because it gives him meaning. >> reporter: the future of sheltered work shops across the country is being threatened by stepped-up enforcement of a 1999
12:52 pm
supreme court ruling that people with disabilities work in more integrated settings. >> i should be home by late afternoon. >> reporter: jim and his developmentally disabled brother jared, makes about $1.93 an hour at a sheltered workshop in new york. >> if you see him working at his electronic recycling program, he is thrilled about that. tremendous amount of self-esteem that he feels out of it. >> reporter: the thought of he and his coworkers losing their jobs here, literally brings jim to tears. >> the families -- give me a second. the families i -- i think worry about the guys, the gals, just being at home, you know, with -- with little meaning, you know, to their, you know, day-to-day existence. >> we don't want to see the
12:53 pm
workshop close down, and i don't want to get laid off. ali velshi, al jazeera. the fcc cracking down on hotels that block access to the internet for their guests. hilton the latest chain facing up to $25,000 in fines. they -- last year marriott paid $600,000 for the same violation.
12:54 pm
12:55 pm
12:56 pm
♪ those rising college costs may finally be slowing down. the college board finding that tuition and fees went up about 3% last year, that is far below the average increase of 9.5% we have been seeing. but for many the prices are still too high. the report also finding that students are taking on less debt, borrowing $106 billion last year, that is 6% less than the year before. what time the student goes to school is the issue in
12:57 pm
seattle. the school board taking up that issue today. research showing that students do better when school starts later. but it is an expensive proposition. >> reporter: breakfast at this household, always a busy time, and henry and olivia get ready for school. for the second and fourth grader it's just a couple of minute's drive to school, but an hour and a half before their classes start. mom has to get to work, so the kids go to day care first. it's five days a week, and $600 a month. >> spread out over 10 months of school year, $6,000 a year we're paying just for the before-school care. >> reporter: the seattle school district wants to get more teenage students to school later in the morning. studies show they need their sleep. >> if you can't fall asleep until 11:00, and we're getting you up early to go to school, then we are causing sleep deprivation, and that perts
12:58 pm
cognitive ability. >> cindy is a seattle teacher who works with the grassroots organization, start school later, who's name is its mission. they say they have seen some progress in pushing back the school bell for teens across the country, but they also understand for any school system tackling this problem it will take time. >> because you are asking a big bureaucracy to change, you know. and that's not easy. and there are a lot of complicated factors. you are dealing with transportation, and costs, so it's not something you can just do overnight. >> reporter: simplifying the system from the current three start times to just two, earlier for elementary school students, and later for middle and high school students would add mlks in -- millions in transportation costs. >> it becomes very expensive. once you have to get the new
12:59 pm
buses, new drives, and overhead, it adds up quickly. >> reporter: and it means not everybody will be happy here with the likely compromise, which emphasizes teenage sleep and learning keeps the costs where they are, but also keeps some elementary schools on the same frustrating schedule. >> not only the late start time which is not great as studies show for the younger kids, but also the cost for families like mine and certainly there are less fortunate families. >> reporter: seattle is one of the largest school districts in the country to bush for later start times for older students. and for those times when words just aren't enough, there is now a keyboard on sale. they are debuting the first of its kind today. we want to thank you for joining us. i'm del walters in new york.
1:00 pm
the news continues live from london next. ♪ >> hello, i'm maryam nemazee. you're watching the news hour live from london. coming up in the next 60 minutes. flights to egypt sinai region saying saturday's crash could have been caused by a bomb. romania's prime minister and government step down as protesters blame corruption for a nightclub fire that killed more than 30 people. rescuers battle to find survivors in the rubble of a collapsed factory in pakistan,