filmmakers are hoping their labor of love will be the next "blare witch project." rob reynolds, al jazeera, park city, utah. and you will find much more on many of our stories on our website, that's what it looks like. and the address is aljazeera.com. ♪ forecasters are warning some 70 million people to prepare for what could be an historic snowfall. >> i guess they are wanting to get a little publicity, but that's a dying paper. >> donald trump returns fire after being slammed by conservatives. and an abrupt ending to the first federal trial over gm's faulty ignition switches. plus 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, and when it is all over it could rank near the top ten to hit the region. states have been getting plows and salt ready. five have declared a state of emergency, as well as the district of columbia. getting around, of course, will be a nightmare. more than 2700 flights have been canceled, and washington, d.c. is shutting down train and bus service overnight. robert ray is live in charlotte, north carolina, which is already starting to see the effects. kind of a slushy mess out there, robert. tell us more about the conditions you have been seeing. >> reporter: richelle it sure is. it is very cold, and very windy right now, and the temperatures
are continuing to drop, and you look around, this is all going to be rock solid ice by the time the sun goes down later this evening, and that's the biggest worry here in the south. we have already unfortunately seen four people who have lost their lives in traffic accidents today in north carolina. there's, according to the governor, over 6,000 power outages, and, you know, talk about trying to keep the streets without the slush, they have dropped over 12,000 tons of salt in and around the major cities and interstates here in this great state. but you can see, i mean, they are trying to do their best. the city is trying to clear as much as they can, but this is a big-time storm that is not going to give up for the next 24 hours or so. >> robert it seems like a lot of this is about planning and getting people off of the roads as much as possible, and i know different mayors have different
approaches. can you tell us what you know about that. i know atlanta in particular is on everyone's radar because of what happened a few years back. >> reporter: yeah, that's a great point. certainly -- you know, the south really took it hard a couple of years back with the epic ice starm -- storm that occurred. some people going five, ten, miles in 12, 14 hours. and they have learned their lessons. the mayor of atlanta decided he was going to shut down the city before any kind of major precipitation began there. atlanta is getting rain right now. they are expected to see snow and ice later tonight. so he has made that call fairly early, which is smart on his move. charlotte seems very prepared. they have had people out all morning long, snowplows heading up and down, people blowing the
snow off of the streets. transportation is still open here, we're not sure for how long. but it seems like everyone has got their act together at this point, but the big issue is these power outages, and keeping people off of the road. i mean four people already dead here in north carolina today. >> all right. let's hope they can get handle on all of that. robert, thank you. blizzard warnings go into effect in washington, d.c. this afternoon as the snow storm moves up any east coast. the storm will be potentially crippling for the washington and baltimore areas with up to two feet of snow expected. officials are urging residents to stay off of the road. taxis will charge an additional $15 per ride. mike viqueira is live for us in washington. so, mike, two feet of snow.
what is it like right now? as folks know it's coming? >> reporter: as much as 30 inches in some forecasts, richelle. all of the models, the p put -- computer models that predict these storms, they are virtually all in agreement. now the storm is moving? to the washington region right now. officials are paining a very dire picture, richelle of what this storm is going to be like. they are warning everyone, as the mayor and other officials, the governor of maryland, up in to pennsylvania and virginia warning everyone to be where they are going to be by 3:00 pm, and shelter in place for the next 72 hours. gail-force winds more than 35 miles an hour are expected. baltimore, washington, up to the pennsylvania border, and into northern washington under a blizzard warning.
this is serious business. a lot of people like to make fun of washingtonians who freak out at the first sight of a snow flake, but this is going to make snowmagedon look like something mild. officials held a press conference to outline preparations and warn the public. the emergency director manager for this city had to say this. >> this is a major storm. this is not an inch of snow that happens some part during the day. this is not an 8-inch storm that we have seen here in the past that has taken a couple of days to clean up. we're talking in excess of 2.5 feet of snow, heavy snow. there is a potential for power outages, potential for roof collapses. those are the things we need to be able to respond to. >> reporter: so this is serious
business. the federal government as of 12:00 noon, is now closed. schools around the region, of course, have been closed. emergency operations are in effect. the snowplowers, the salt trucks, they are ready to go, richelle. >> okay. so get where you need to be by 3:00. mike viqueira thank you so much. let's go to nicole mitchell now. >> this is an multifaceted storm, we have dealt with rain, ice, snow. ice especially through the carolinas, today, we have already seen there. light snow picking up in d.c., the heavy stuff starts tonight, into the day tomorrow, which is where we are now on 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 southern end, still the dynamics that we can see the strong storms. wind primarily, that threat on this side of it, and then you get on the northern and cold airsi airside. 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 about d.c. up to long island, blizzard warning, that means combinations of enough snow and high winds to cause white-out conditions. saturday for a lot of the coastal cities is going to be the really troublesome day with all of the snow of wind, and that's going to be a combination of the wind which could go over 50 miles an 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 to campaign in new hampshire despite the storm bearing down on his home state. christie says new jersey has things pretty well in hand. >> if i feel like it's necessary to get down there, i will. but we have all of our people ready to go. >> reporter: christie who's polls numbers have slipped from 12 to 6% in new hampshire has lined up a number of townhall events over the weekend. carly fiorina is polling even lower than christie at just 4%. she is in washington, d.c. today. she scheduled to speak at today's annual abortion rights march for life rally, getting underway shortly. the demonstration is going ahead despite the bad weather forecast. she is hoping that today's appearance will go better than
the one on thursday. she is being accused of ak -- ambushing a group of young children there, and using them for an right to life forum. the parents say they did not give her permission to talk to them to. the national committee hassened it partnership with national review over its latest publication. they called donald trump a menace, and philosophically unmoored. donald trump reacted by insulting the paper and questioning its relevance. >> people don't even think about the national review. that's a dying paper. >> he also continued to go after rival ted cruz excooing what bob dole said about cruz earlier this week, that the republican party would major losses if cruz game the g.o.p.'s nominee. the fist federal trial over
faulty ignition switches has been dismissed. a local man was suing the auto maker. yesterday the judge questioned whether document trags was doctored and injuries exagger e exaggerated. the switch problem is linked to at least 124 deaths. other litigation is expected to continue. now to flint, michigan, the federal government is stepping in to help with the city's water crisis. the epa has issued an emergency order taking over the testing of the water supply. on thursday the director of epa resigned, and president obama said he will send federal aid to repair the infrastructure. >> reporter: the $80 million that president obama has now committed to the city of flint will go immediately to help fix
the broken water infrastructure. he called last night the conditions here in flint inexcusable. and that comes after he initially gave $5 million in aid. the regional director of the epa resigned last night, as did the director of michigan's department of environmental quality, both agencies heavily criticized for not doing enough when problems started showing up in 2014. governor snyder here says he has been called to testify before congress. so a lot of blame game going on still here in flint, 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. and join us tonight for a special quarter "crisis in many flint, a water emergency."
firearms last year, up 20% from 2014. more than 80% of those guns were loaded. most were seized at airports in dallas and atlanta. the obama administration is implementing changes to the visa waiver program that allows citizens from 38 countries mostly in europe to apply for a visa. people must now apply for a visa to visit the u.s. people who have visited those countries for certain business activities may be eligible for wavers. one of the world's biggest names is connecting republican
president hopeful to 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, corruption is an opportunity destroyer. >> ash carter is also in davos today. the pentagon tweeted this picture, earlier, showing carter meeting with the iraqi prime minister discussing strategy on how to defeat isil. north korea says it has detained an american college student for committing 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. harry fawcett has more from seoul. >> reporter: this news came through on the north korean state media, kcna, saying that north korea has detained a u.s. student for a hostile act against the state. the report saying the about was tolerated and manipulated by the united states government. the u.s. embassy here in seoul is only saying that it is -- confirmed that it has seen these media reports. it'ser fromming any other questions to the state department in washington. but there has been some corroboration from young pioneer tours which says this man was on one of their tours in north korea and detained on january 2nd. they say they are acting closely with the swedish embassy, also with the north korean ministry
of foreign affairs, and the u.s. state department 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 bible in a hotel. these kinds of things have gotten people in trouble in past. last year there was a south korean student with a u.s. green card. he was detained after crossing illegally into north korean territory from china, and was kept for six months before being handed back over to south korean authorities here. this isn't the first of its type, but it is certainly a new development, a new u.s. citizen reportedly detained inside of north korea. harry fawcett reporting from seoul. the state department says it is aware of the detention and are working with the swedish embassy to secure his release. this morning "washington post" reporter recently freed
from an iranian prison is heading back to the u.s. he completed medical examinations at a u.s. military hospital in germany. in his statement he said he is feeling well after spending almost 18 months in an iranian prison. he was freed over the weekend in a prisoner swap. and another prisoner who iran released last week is at 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 this flint. >> i love this city. i love its people. happy to finally be home. it has been a very long road, a very johning journey. i'm standing here, healthy, tall, and with my head held high. >> officials say he spent long periods in solitary confinement and was subjected to sleep deprivation. he says his military training
helped him survive those conditions. former oklahoma city police officer is beginning the first day of his 263-year prison term. he was sentenced for sexually assaulting women in poor communities while he was on duty. he -- a 58-year-old grandmother and day care worker was his last victim. he assaulted her in the back of his squad car. >> whatever hapns to you, no matter who it is, tell on them. police officer with a badge, a gun or not. it's wrong. it's wrong. justice has been served >> those who live in the area are still worried, they say their calls for reform, like dispatching officers in teams, and overhauling the system have been unanswered. up next, show off at
pregnancy until 2018. the cdc has also told pregnant women in this country to avoid traveling to certain regions. the number of cases of a rare birth defect is on the rise in the u.s. the cdc says the cases have more than doubled from 1994 and 2012. the defect causes infants to be born with intestines excruding from their stomach wall. the faa has given a company the okay to fly its drones closer than once allowed. it records skiers on their runs. just last month, the
international ski federation banned camera drones after one narrowly missed hitting the skier. the controversy over the oscars is threatening to overshadow the sen -- sundance film festival, and the founder, robert redford said this: rob reynolds has more. >> reporter: the rocky mountain air in this small resort town is full of expectation. independent filmmakers from 37 countries are showing off their artistic creations to an estimated 45,000 eager cinema fans and perspective film studio buyers. >> i have always wanted to come.
>> i think people are pulled here, because they know that this is where the best content in the world for film is. >> reporter: 120 feature films will be screened at sundance this year, culled from more than 4,000 submissions. the focus says festival founder robert redford is on narrative. >> to me the most important thing is the story. >> reporter: among the most talked about film this year, "christine," starring rebecca hall. it's a dark drama about a female journalist. the israeli produced arabic language 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 place antly
racist 1915 silent epic, but tells the story of the bloody slave rebellion in washington lead by african american folk hero. and there's buzz about "new town," the film takes on the gun violence debate focusing on grieving families that last children in the sandy hook school massacre. the film industry is waiting to see whether this year's sundance will surpass 2015 when the festival's grand prize winner called "me and early and the dying girl," failed to win big audiences when it was released in theaters. >> that shows there is a big difference between the bubble of the sundance film festival and
what main stream audiences will be interested in. >> reporter: many of these filmmakers are hoping their labor of love will be the next "blare witch project". the philadelphia police department is sending a warning to residents with a video, inspired by the rapper drake. ♪ you need to call us from your cell phone ♪ ♪ late night when you see that cone ♪ ♪ call us from your cell phone ♪ that parking spot is not yours alone ♪ >> the parody 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 phone when they see parking spots illegally reserved. thank you for joining us. i'm richelle carey.
the news continues live from london. don't go anywhere. ♪ >> announcer: this is al jazeera. ♪ hello, everyone, i'm felicity barr. coming up in the next 60 minutes. tunisia imposes a nation-wide curfew over protests over unemployment. germ -- and we're live on the east coast of the united states as the region braces itself for a