interested in. >> reporter: you can be sure many of these people are hoping their labor of love will be the next "blare witch project." as ever there's much more on our website, use the address aljazeera.com. ♪ forecasters are warning 70 million people to prepare for what could be an historic snowfall. >> i guess they want to get a little publicity, but that's a dying paper. an abbankrupt ending to the first federal trial of faulty ignition switches. plus how an american student wound up in jail in north korea.
♪ this is al jazeera america live from new york city. i'm richelle carey. a big snow storm is making its way up the east coast. when it's all over it could rank near the top ten to hit the region. states up and down the eastern sea board have been getting ready. five have already declared a state of emergency, as well as the district of columbia. more than 2500 flights have been canceled, and washington, d.c., which could see two feet of snow is shutting down train and bus service tonight. robert ray is live in charlotte, north carolina. what are the conditions like where you are? >> reporter: richelle it has been a very cold, snowy, icy morning here in charlotte. every once in a while we get a
burst of freezing rain, and you can see a few inches on the ground, but the temperatures start to drop, and the ice becomes the big issue. we're expects up to one inch of ice on the roadways here in charlotte and the state of north carolina. people are still out. they are trying to get around, though, the governor has said stay home, but you can see public buses still running, but i don't think that will be happening for too much longer. >> what has the state down to prepare for this storm, robert? >> reporter: you know, they are very proactive, unlike a couple of years ago. they have dropped 12,000 tons of salt on roadways all over the state. they are doing the best they can to plow the roads. we have seen plows all day long here. they have city workers trying to travel and just make sure that people are going to be safe, but unfortunately, already, the snow
and the ice have only been here for the past six, seven hours. we have already seen four fatalities, car wrecks in the state of north carolina. and up to the west in the mountains from where we're at, they are expecting over a foot of snow, and that is just going to cause havoc and power outages, already 6,000 in the state according to the governor, richelle. >> what else is happening around the region in anything else you know? >> reporter: well, big thing -- let's remember two years ago, about -- in fact, literally about the same day, i believe. remember in atlanta when the whole city shut down at about 11:00 or 12:00 am, and everybody got in their cars and hit the interstates and it took 12, 14 hours for people to go 10 or so miles. here is the issue. atlanta just decided to shut the city down again. the mayor is shutting down all
public offices at 1:30 and is asking all businesses to get out of dodge, so to speak, leave the city. so certainly we hope that we don't see a recreation of what .hahhed two years ago. but you never know. the problem is, in the south, you know, it's -- it's not really the snow, it's the ice. because the temperature hovers at that freezing point, and when the ice occurs, and in the hilly areas of the south, you just can't go on the roadways. plans atlantians will get to their homes before the brunt of that begins, and those temperatures are supposed to go below freezing at around 6:00 pm tonight. here people are hunkering down, waiting to see what occurs. flights not happening. nothing is coming in and out of charlotte for the next, at least 24 hours richelle. >> all right. robert ray thank you. blizzard warnings go into
effect in washington, d.c. this afternoon as that massive snow storm moves up the east coast. the national weather service says the storm will be potentially crippling for areas with up to 2 feet of snow expected. officials are urging d.c. residents to stay off of the roads. d.c. taxis will charge an additional $15 per ride. mike viqueira joins us live from washington. mike, what is it like in d.c. right now? >> reporter: well, richelle people like to make fun of washingtonans who freak out at the first snow flake they see. this, however, is no laughing matter. we're talking about blizzard conditions. sustained winds of more than 35 miles an hour. a whiteout in effect. a heavy, wet snow is predicted,
bringing down trees and power lines or even collapsing roofs around the region. there is a blizzard warning in effect. a meaning that the winds will be sustained at a very high speed all throughout washington, here in washington, d.c. and into northern virginia. so this is no laughing matter, there is public safety at stake. the mayor here in washington, d.c. had a press conference earlier today, many political leaders from around the region, eager to hold those press conferences with emergency officials to assure the public, not only that they are on top of this, but honestly a lot of political careers can be made or broken on the performance of emergency services. keeping the streets passable and cleared during an event like this. other officials insisting that everybody be home by 3:00 p.m. hunker down, be prepared to
hunker down for the next 72 hours, whatever that may be, have enough food and power on hand in terms of batteries for flashlights, things of that nature. what was it six years ago we have snow ma gedon. they are talking like this could be worse. >> how will this storm impact the white house and government workers, mike? >> reporter: the government is shutting down at noon today. they had a liberal leave policy in effect, and tell la working has been permitted. in effect if you took the metro in, or drove into the city, there was virtually no 1 on the roads or rails. many people took the opportunity to stay home. the schools are closed, the surrounding counties the schools have closed, three-day weekend, of course, the kids are going to enjoy that.
capitol hill famous throughout the year, for years shredding on capitol hill has been banned, that ban has been lifted now, and so people are looking f forward to that. the president didn't have anything on his schedule today. the press sectarian said he will be spending time in doors with his family, of course the president never out of touch with emergency and national security officials and communications. the white house briefing today, the regular-scheduled briefing has been canceled. the house of representatives said there will be no votes on monday. describing this in historic terms, richelle. >> okay. mike viqueira live for us. thank you. let's go to nickel mitchell. she has more on what we can expect from the storm. >> this is a multifaceted storm. already we have dealt with rain,
ice, snow, snow up to the ohio river valley, the rain on the south could include strong storms especially into florida and ice. the light snow picking up in cities such as d.c. through this afternoon, the heavy stuff starts tonight into the day tomorrow, which is where we are now at this outline, and that includes new york, getting intense even by tomorrow morning, and then the winds pick up as well. continuing this in motion, it clears out pretty quickly by the day on sunday, but in the next two days a lot to get through. so i mentioned on the sow -- southern end, primarily wind, and then on the northern cold sigh, we have had ice already. some of that could go over a half inch, and that's enough to start bringing down branches and power lines, and then where we
see the red, anywhere from d.c. up through long island, blizzard warnings. that means combinations of enough snow and high winds to cause whiteout kb conditions at times. saturday will be the really troublesome day with all of this snow and the wind, and that's going to be combination of the wind, which could go over 50 miles per hour, with some places that could see over two feet of snow before all is said and done. back to you. governor chris christie will continue in campaign in new hampshire despite the storm bearing down on his home state. he says new jersey has things in hand. >> tonight if i feel like it's necessary for me to get down there, i will. but i'm not driving a plow truck, so we have all of our people ready. they know what to do. >> reporter: his poll numbers has slipped from 12 to 6%, and
has lined up a number of townhall represents over the weekend. carly fiorina is polling even lower, and is scheduled to speak today at the anti-abortion rights rally. and the only female g.o.p. hopeful is hoping that today's anti-abortion rights appearance will go better than the one thursday in iowa. she is being accused of ambushing a group of young children there and using them in a right to life forum. parents say they did not give her permission to interact with their kids. the republican national committee has ended its partnership with national review over its latest anti-trump issue. the publication makes a case for defeating donald trump, calling him a menace and philosophically
unmoored. donald trump reacted by insultding the paper and questioning its relevance. >> people don't even think about the national review, so i guess they want to get a little publicity, but that's a dying paper. >> he also continued to go after ted cruz echoing what bob dole said earlier this week, that the republican party was set for major losses if cruz became the g.o.p. nominee. on the democratic side bernie sanders has an 8-point lead in iowa. several polls out this week, also show sanders with a huge lead over clinton in new hampshire. the first trial against general motors over faulty ignition switches has been
dismissed. lawyers for both sides requested the dismissal. gm's switch problem is linked to at least 124 deaths. other litigation against the company is expected soon. now to flint, michigan, the federal government is stepping in to help with the city's water crisis. the epa issued an emergency order, taking over the testing of the water supply. on thursday, the regional director of the epa resigned over allegations the agency did not do enough to fix the problems in flint. and president obama says he will send federal aid to repair the infrastructure. >> reporter: the $80 million that president obama has committed to the city of flint will go to help fix the city's broken water infrastructure. he called last night the conditions here in flint inexcusable. and that money comes after he initially had given just
$5 million in aide. in the meantime, the regional director of the epa resigned last night as did the direct of the of michigan's department of water quality, both agencies heavily criticized for not taking seriously enough the complains from the residents when problems in the water started showing up back in the summer and spring of 2014. the governor says he has been called to testify in front of congress. but the residents tell us they just want their lives to get back to normal. they are now living off of bottled and boiled water. they could be doing that for years in fact. back to you. join us tonight for a special report, crisis in flint, a water emergency, that's at 7:30 eastern, 4:30 pacific. when we come back, a u.s. student arrested in north korea. and "washington post"
for a visa to the u.s. one of the world's biggest financial names is connecting the presidential race to groups like isil. at the world economic forum, george soreoshss said donald trump's rhetoric is helping isil. >> corruption is a radicalizer, because it destroys faith in legitimate authority. it opens up a vacuum which allows the predators to move in. and no one knows that better than the violent extremist groups who regularly use corruption as a recruitment tool. defense secretary ash carter is also in davos today.
that picture shows him meeting with the iraqi prime minister discussing strategy on how to defeat isil. north korea says it has detained an american college student for what it calls a hostile act. he is a student at the university of virginia. at least two other western citizens are believed to be detained in north korea. >> reporter: this news came through on the north korean state media, kcna, saying north korea has detained a student for a supposed hostile act against the state. also this media report saying that that act was tolerated and manipulated by the united states government. the u.s. embassy here in seoul is only saying that -- confirmed that it has seen these media
reports. it's referring any other questions to the state department in washington. but there has been some corroboration from a tour agency who says he was on one of their tours in north korea and was detained on january 2nd. they are working with others trying to get this man released. he is not the first u.s. citizen to be detained in north korea. in 2014 three u.s. citizens were released. one tourist left behind a baseball in a hotel. these kinds of things have got people in trouble in the past. also last year, there was a south korean stwunt a u.s. green card, he was detained after crossing illegally into north korea from china, and was kept
for six months before being handed back over to south korean authorities here. but certainly this is a new development, a new u.s. citizen reportedly detained inside of north korea. the state department says it is aware of the reports of the detention, and are working with the swedish embassy to secure his release. this morning the "washington post" reporter recently freed from an iranian prison is headed back to the u.s. in a statement he said he was feeling well after spending almost 18 months in an iranian jail. he was freed over the weekend in a prisoner swap. and another prisoner who iran released last week is in home in michigan today. he returned to flint last night for the first time in four years. he was arrested and accused of being a spy when he was visiting
relatives in iran in 2012. he said he was glad to be back in flint. >> i love this city. i love the people. happy to finally be home. it has been a very long road. i'm standing here, healthy, tall, and with my head held high. >> officials say he spent long periods of solitary confinement and was subjected to sleep deprivation. he said his military training help him survive. up next, showing off at sundance, a look at the independent filmmakers hoping to be the next big thing. plus -- ♪ >> oh, my. turning to rap to deliver a message about parking. ♪
robert redford had to say this last night: al jazeera's rob reynolds is in park city, utah with more on the films people are talking about there. >> reporter: the air is full of expectation. independent film makers from 37 countries are showing off their artistic creations to an estimated 45,000 eager cinema fans and perspective film studio buyers. >> it's a budget list item for me. i have always wanted to come. >> reporter: 120 featured films will be screened this year, culled from more than 4,000 submissions. the focus says festival founder robert redford is on narrative.
>> to me storytelling is what it should be about. >> reporter: among the most talked about film this year, "christine," a dark drama about a female journalists trying to break into the male-dominated world of 1970s tv news. the film "sand storm" tells the story of a bedouin family. "birth of a nation" directed by and starring nate parker takes its name from the 1915 silent epic, but tells the story of the bloody slave journey. and there's buzz about "new town," by kim sneijder, the film
takes on the debate on gun violence, focusing on families that lost children in the sandy hook school massacre. and the legendary german filmmaker is back with "lo and behold." the film industry is waiting to see whether this year's sundance will surpass 2015 when the festival's grand prize winner, a coming of age draw many called "me and early and the dying girl" failed to capture big audiences. you can be sure that many of the filmmakers walking on these snowy sidewalks are hoping their labor of love will be the next "little miss sunshine," or "blare witch project." commercial drones are about
to get a lot closer to the action. the faa has given the okay to follow skiers to record their runs. just last month the international ski federation banned camera drones after one nearly missed hitting a skier. the philadelphia police department is sending a warning to residents with this video. ♪ you need to call us from your cell phone ♪ ♪ late night when you see that cone ♪ ♪ call us from your cell phone >> it urges people not to fight over parking spots during this weekend's snow storm. the department is encouraging people to call the police on their cell phones when they see people parking illegally in reserved spots with orange cones, trash cans and other items. thank you for joining us. i'm richelle carey the news continues next live from london.
keep it here on al jazeera. ♪ tunisia declares a nationwide curfew after protests result over unemployment. ♪ hello there, i'm felicity barr and you are watching al jazeera live from london. also coming up germany's chancellor urges turkey to help diffuse the refugee crisis. we're live on the east coast of the united states as the nation brace itself for a huge blizza.