washington. patty culhane, al jazeera, washington. >> and remember you can find out much more about many of our stories on our website. the address to click on to is www.aljazeera.com. www.aljazeera.com. >> the trial for baltimore police officer implicated in the death of freddie gray is delayed even before it begins. going to court over faulty ignition switches. starving residents in syria welcoming food and aid for the first time in months. [ music ] >> and fans around the world mourning the death of music and show busy legend david bowie.
>> an appeals court now delaying the court of officers goodison. jury selection was to begin this morning but those court proceedings were put on hold, and the court is focusing on whether officer william porter will testified against officer goodson. john terrett is live for us in baltimore. what can you tell us about the court's decision? >> yes, well, del, good afternoon. this is a legal bombshell dropped in baltimore. we were going to court. all the lawyers were coming the other way and it took us awhile to work out what is going on. the trial of caesar goodon, the driver of the police vehicle
when yesterdayy gray was injured, that trial is postponed, possibly indefinitely. officer william porter, whose trial was a mistrial, who is due to be retried in june, he was forced to be a witness for the prosecution, a key witness in this trial of caesar goodson. his attorneys said this is not fair. the court has been thinking about this over the weekend. they wrote to the judge saying don't go ahead with your trial down there in baltimore. you've got to wait until we decide what's going on here. and so the situation is that we now are facing all arguments in the court of special appeals, maybe as late as february. and so nobody quite knows where we're at. it's a logistical nightmare. there is no question of that. there are these six trials. one of them was a mistrial. now this one can't go ahead. what are they going to do? it's possible that they might go
ahead with the trials that don't require officer william porter to be a witness in the hope they can sort this out and then tack this on the end, and then there is the possibility of trying him next to get this out of the way. at the moment we don't know. it's a logistical nightmare. >> as far as the testimony is concerned how important is the testimony of officer william porter? >> well, he's the case, basically. that's it and all about it. there is nothing more to say. officers william, the state is linking officer porter to officers goodson. when he was tried in december, officer porter, he said and his team made it clear that he thought that caesar goodson felt the driver knew that freddie gray had asked for medical help. he instead stopped on the way to pick up another suspect, and it
was a good 25 minutes before the medics were called. william porter is the prosecution's case. if he can't testify, then there is no case. it's a bit of a mess, really. >> a mess, indeed. a case involving g.m. and faulty ignition switches, this involving an oklahoma man who was injured in a g.m. car. the outcome of his case could effect hundreds of others claims against the automaker. al jazeera's bisi onile-ere is live outside of the courthouse in new york. bisi, tell us about the plaintiff in this case. >> well, i can tell you, del, that the plaintiff is a man out of oklahoma. his name is robert shoer, and he claims that a faulty ignition switch in a saturn ion prevented the airbags in his car from deploying when he got into a crash. he said because of that crash that he suffers continuous back and neck problems. and he is now filed suit against general motors. general motors clearly said that
the result of those injuries have nothing to do with the ignition switch. if you recall, del, it was a few years ago when we learned that g.m. was aware of this defect for more than a decade, but waited until 2014 to issue any recalls. now, shuuer is saying had g.m. issued those recalls earlier maybe he wouldn't be in the predicament that he's in, and he blames g.m. for putting him at risk. >> bisi, why is this case being considered a bell weather case, and what exactly is that? >> well, it's because there are so many cases. we're talking about hundreds of cases here. this trial that's beginning today, this is one of six bell weather cases. basically it will test the temperature and figure out how other cases will proceed from here. del? >> is it likely that any of the top level executives are going to have to take the stand and testify about what they knew and when they knew it?
>> yes, really, i'm told that g.m. ceo mary barra and other executives that had been deposed in that the jurors will likely hear those depositions. it's important to note that those patrols are expected to last for about a month and the remaining trials will take place over the course of the year. >> bisi onile-ere joining us from new york. bisi, thank you very much. the white house said it is closely watching a water contamination crisis unfolding in flint, michigan. three fema officials now being sent there at the state's request. governor rick snyder declared a state of emergency there as to toxic levels of lady has been found in its drinking water. as many as 60 schools in detroit are closed as part of an organized teacher sick out. the informal strike is an effort by the teachers to show their ongoing yo frustrations with
the problems in the district. twthe supreme court hearing arguments in a case that could effect the future of public unions. ten california teachers suing the state's teachers association. they argue that they should not have to pay do yous to the union which bargains on behalf of all california public teachers. they say this case is being closely watched. >> i think there is a group of organizations and people who would like to limit the abilities of workers to join the union. if the supreme court rules in favor of the plaintiffs it will be hard to sustain the unions. even if all the workers want the unions, then the workers will have an incentive not to pay their do yous. let other areas pay their do yous for them, and then nobody pays the dues, and then the union doesn't have the money to
pay for running. >> the supreme court said it probably won't issue its decision until june. millions are remembering david bowie today. his voice and artist try emblematic for the 1970s. he influenced musicians as diverse from freddie mercury and kanye west. [ music ] news of his death from cancer shocking fans and fellow musicians at age 69. bowie had just released a new album and seemed poise to make a comeback. al jazeera has more. [ music ] >> david bowie transcended styles and repeatedly reinvented himself over five decades. [ music ] borne david jones in 1947 in south london, bowie rose to international fame with the 1969
hit. from cult figure to flamboyant rock star he took pop in a new direction with his alter ego ziggy stardust a character all about wild costumes, avant garde sound and decadent fame. >> he brought a whole artistic range of ability to being a pop star or being a rock star. >> and he took on iconic roles in movies also starring in "labyrinth." he was inducked in the rock-n-roll hall of fame in 1996. in an interview in 2003 he acknowledged what his ever changing image meant for the evolution of his music. >> most people they get to 20, and then they stay 2037 it didn't happen for me, though. i just went on and on and suddenly i'm 56.
so i have to write from this unique perspective of somebody who never stopped being 20. but i went on. isn't that weird. >> just last friday on his 69th birthday david bowie released his 25th studio album "black star." critics praised it's innovative sounds and his death gives new meaning to the song "lazarus." [singing] bowie died after an 18-month battle with cancer. his son film director duncan jones writing on twitter very sorry and sad to announce its true. and madonna called him talented, unique, genius game changer. >> at least 12 people dead in three separate attacks in baghdad. a live report from iraq is next. and new convoys of aid arriving in devastated parts of
>> new images of the main suspect in the paris attacks who is still on the run. these are the photos showing the suspect at a gas station about 130 miles north of paris located on the french border with belgium. they were taken the morning after those attacks. the man he's pictured with was arrested in belgium. well, desperately needed aid is reaching the people who are still starving in syria.
convoys are unloading in the rebel-held city of madaya, which has been bloc blockadeed for several months. caroline malone has details. >> the red cross convoy left damascus carrying desperately needed aid in maday in western syria. there are demands that more has to be done to help many others in need. >> what is going on now dropping and giving aid to people is not good enough. the united nations has done this exactly three months ago, and look at where we are at now. >> to the north supply trucks from the red crescent aid organization trundles through idlib heading for foah and kefraya. both had to arrive at the same time. pro government forces have blockaded madaya for months.
foah and kefrefraya are blocked by rebels for months. >> are we not arabs as well? i swear to god we are arabs. these children, what wrong have they done? this child, what wrong did he admit? >> the world food program said that the aid carried to madaya will feed 40,000 people but only for one months. there are many who are trapped by various sieges across syria. it is vital they're lifted. the u.n. has more aid convoys planned for across syria. their delivery depends on the warring sides and whether they'll let those delivery of aid through. >> in iraq the death toll is climbing at least 19 people now confirmed dead after gunmen
stormed a mall in baghdad. officials saying that a group took control of a mall located in a mostly shiite part of the city. they took customers and staff hostage. security officers locked down the area for hours. the u.n. is condemning a bombing in yemen that hit a doctors without borders hospital. there has been no claim of responsibility. the group said that more victims are trapped in the building's rubble. it's the fourth time that a doctors without borders hospital has been bombed in yemen. the latest presidential poll showing some of the races is getting tighter with three weeks to go before the iowa caucuses. among democrats wall street journal poll nbc showing that hillary clinton has a slim lead over bernie sanders. 48-45% in iowa. in new hampshire it is sanders who has the edge, 50% to 46%.
tetrose leading donald trump in iowa and marco rubio trailing at 13%. and in new hampshire, trumps lead is bigger ted cruz coming in third at 10%. on the campaign trail trump continues to raise questions about whether ted cruz can be president because he was born in canada. in nevada the issue is not settled, and trump insists the polls have shown him in a tight race with cruz are wrong. >> i think i'm going to do great in iowa, which is going to be interesting. [ cheering ] >> they have me statistically tied but a lot of people say, you know, he's going to do much better than the polls are even saying. >> and the cruz campaign on friday releasing his mother's birth certificate, the document showing that his mother was born in delaware back in 1934.
presidential is getting ready for his final state of the union address. he heads to capitol hill for the final time tuesday night. the white house saying he will deliver a different kind of speech. our senior "w" correspondent mike viqueira has the preview. >> president obama delivers his final state of the union address on tuesday and it's likely to be a combination victory lap of what he sees as successes in his seven years in office and insistence that this last year won't be a lame duck session, but there is much more work to do with or without congress. he'll enter the house chamber on a wave of good economic news. the unemployment rate is up and so are wages. he'll talk about the openin deal with cuba and iran. he wants to burnish his legacy and add to it high profile successes. the big trade deal with the
pacific rim nations, known as the tpp. that may be tough to get with many democrats in opposition. and he'll push with something that has bipartisan support. criminal justice retournament reducing mandatory minimum prison senses and reducing the prison population. and there is one promise that has not been filled, closing the military prison in guantanamo bay. president bush said tha --president obama said he wants to work with congress to do that, and like many presidents before him, mr. obama is expected to spend his last year in office overseas while defending his approach to syria and the fight against isil. all in all president obama will make the case that the state of the union on tuesday that he has turned things around, especially on the economy since he took office some seven years ago, but there is much more to do in his final and eigh year. mike viqueira, al jazeera, washington. >> among his top priorities
before leaving office, the president, as you heard mike say, the president has been pushing for changes to th the prison system. >> many low level drug offenders are serving lengthy sentences. >> we're talking about individuals who are not accused of possessing with intent to distribute but merely having small amounts of drugs for their own consumption. >> a new orleans public defender representing bernard noble, a man whose case has drawn national attention. he's serving 30 year sentences because of two marijuana cigarettes. >> given bernard's family history, his character, his work history, the sense is incredibly
excessive applied to him. >> his case highlights what president obama and some reform advocates is a key failure of america's criminal justice system. >> it just has not proven true that the threat of jail has been a particularly good deterrent to people who are addicted to crimes or low level offenses like marijuana. and in a country where we don't have treatment available at the levels that is necessary, instead we just cycle people through jail. >> in the past year the president has made criminal justice reform a key initiative. the u.s. justice department released more than 6,000 federal prisoners in november as part of an effort to reduce overcrowding. >> we're going to do our part in changing this. >> that same month the president announced new education job training and housing grants to help ex-inmates reenter society. he has urged congress to limit mandatory sentences and called for so-called band the bucks
edge. >> the federal government should not use criminal history to screen out applicants before we look at their qualifications. we can't dismiss people out of hand simply because of a make they made in the past. >> following an national trend reducing drug sentences last summer louisiana made second offense marijuana possession a misdemeanor instead of a felony. still the state sentencing laws are among the harshest in the country. with increasing bipartisan support to revamp the nation's criminal justice system. >> you'll see more stats, and it will be partly over issues of justice but mostly over issues of saving money. >> jonathan martin, al jazeera, new orleans. >> louisiana getting a new governor today. the inaugural ceremonies for john bell edwards happening at this hour. he's the state's 56th governor and the first democrat to be holding that post since 2008. the republican, the outgoing
hubbl republican governor bobby jindal served two terms. >> these type of guys who come from connecticut and new york, they come up here. they sell their heroin and then they go back home. incidentally, half the time they impregnate a young white girl before they leave. >> some state democrats are calling for him to be impeached asking for an investigation to determine if he has abused his power. they say la page pressured a charter school operatorren in resending a job offer to the democratic speaker of the house. women in working working now have the option of obtai obtaining birth control from their pharmacist. they say it will greatly reduce the chance of a woman having an
unintended pregnancy. the organization organize stand off now in its second week. the leader of the occupation rejecting all calls to leave. he said that will happen when there is a transfer of land from government ownership. when al jazeera returns, ringling brothers announcing new plans to changes in its elephant performances. plus... the oh hollywood foreign press honors the best in the business.
>> the winners are in for the u.s. car and truck of the year. the honda civic has been named the best car at the north american auto show in detroit. the volvo xc 90 second victory, those awards given out by independent auto writers in the u.s. and canada. and mercedes-benz boasting an new e class with advance driver technologies, but the show is also about winning customer trust. canned dales from g.m.'s ignition problems. hollywood's award season kicking off with quite a few surprises. the biggest names in tv and film gathering for the annual golden globe awards in last night's winners could signal what is ahead for the oscars. >> and the golden globe goes
to... >> it was the final act of the night with the bloody frontier thriller taking home the award for best motion picture drama. it upset the field for every major category including a best actor globe for leonardo dicaprio. but it ended with hesitant laughs as a result of ricky gervais. i'm going to do this monologue and then go into hiding. not even sean penn will find me. >> that was just the beginning as he continued his trend of ridiculing hollywood's elite. but the night truly belonged to the stars. jennifer lawrence took home her third golden globe for "joy." kate winslet took home supporting actress for "steve jobs." matt damon won for his role in
"the martian." >> it's literally been 18 years since i've been here doing this. and with a little more context i know how lucky i am. >> but the moment of the night went to sylvester stallone, who was honored for his role in "creed." >> i want to thank my imaginary friend rocky balboa for being the best friend i ever had. >> and the race to the oscars is now officially under way. >> a well-known circus group ending its elephant act. ringling brothers will be retiring its elephant act. it's parent company owns the largest herd ever asian elephants in north america. the 11 elephants now on tour will go into retirement at the conservation in florida. thank you for joining us. check us out 24 hours a day by going to our website www.aljazeera.com.
>> this is al jazeera. >> hello everyone i'm felicity barr. coming up in the next 60 minutes, trucks laiden with aid finally arrive in syria where people are starving. 19 people are killed in a siege of a shopping mall in the capital of iraq. indonesia's stone garden is at real risk of being brought