tv Headline News RT June 13, 2013 8:00pm-8:30pm EDT
coming up on r t in syria a red line has been crossed the white house now says that the syrian government used chemical weapons on rebels we'll take a look at that and what it means in just a moment congress is working on the reauthorization of the national defense authorization act we know about the controversial items this act allows including indefinite detention but what else have lawmakers tucked into this legislation details coming up and get ready for a tech report net companies linked to the n.s.a. prism scandal are pushing to expose more about it meanwhile there's a question about the safety of cloud storage that and more into night show.
it's thursday june thirteenth eight pm in washington d.c. i'm meghan lopez and you are watching r.t. but we begin tonight with the latest information coming out of syria the obama administration just released a statement confirming that president bashar all sides regime has used chemical weapons on its people u.s. intelligence reports no estimate that between one hundred and one hundred fifty people have died from multiple chemical weapon attacks over the last year well the legality this is a statement from the white house earlier today it says while the less fallacy of these attacks make up only a small portion of the catastrophic loss of life in syria which now stands at more than ninety thousand deaths the use of chemical weapons of violates international norms and crosses clear red lines that have existed within the international community for decades we believe that the assad regime maintains control of these weapons we have no reliable corroborated reporting to indicate that the opposition
in syria has acquired or used chemical weapons. but before the u.s. jumps headfirst into another middle east conflict it's important to figure out who the rebels are and what specific actions the u.s. plans on taking arabic correspondent remodelled home via sat down with me just moments ago to speak about syria's civil war and i started off by asking her about the significance of this admission does it open the floodgates for war take a look. many people would argue that i was just on the phone with some experts in washington d.c. whole follow up on the syrian issue and they say that this raises a lot of alarm alarms noticed one one one of the alarms are talking about is the fact that this probably is a gateway for another war in the region but also this is a bad sign that the u.s. does not really know what's going on in syria on the one hand they've been talking about the chemical weapons the use the possible use of chemical weapons in syria for a long time but now they go ahead and declare that on their own without the going
back to the land without going back to any of the major players in the syrian conflict now talk about this red line the u.s. president obama has set this red line out now they're saying that they are willing to use military support for the rebels what does that mean and what options does the u.s. have right now i don't think the u.s. really knows exactly what they want to do in syria yet because they were not even willing to specify the kind of weapons that they were going to supply the rebels with if they haven't started already i think the options on the table are as many as the nun options on the table and by that i mean that. the u.s. is not the only player in syria you have many other players in the syrian conflict on the one hand on the other hand you have the opposition that's not structured that's not unified so whatever one group of the opposition says that does not mean
that the rest of the opposition will agree to even with this arms supply to the opposition we don't really know what people on the ground are going to think about it especially because there are groups from the opposition who still oppose any western intervention and they're complex now on one hand rima we have the obama administration say that the assad government is doing terrible things by using these. chemical weapons against our people they're saying anybody between one hundred and one hundred fifty people have been killed on the other hand though i want to say that there was something that just came out in the news that more than sixty shia fighters and civilians were actually attacked in one village and that they were killed by rebel forces it was an attack that the state department spokespeople actually called appalling they said it was disgraceful and they called for the rebels to stop so how does it happen two days after that the attack happened or sixty people died the u.s.
says it's going to support it had to talk about that that's exactly the argument that is probably the most important of all the arguments when it comes to syria at this moment if we're going to arm the rebels who are we arming exactly which group do we talk to and which group do we not talk to the fear that the arming the groups in syria that some of the groups might turn against the u.s. that's one thing but the major issue at the moment is these groups are turning against each other these groups who came because they wanted freedom and democracy and. you know the liberties that other people enjoy right now we're seeing that they're doing things that are internationally recognized as you know wars of crime or. crime of crimes of war cries crimes of war now this village in hot light it was quite interesting because we saw this video they had video showing off the bodies
you could hear the people in the video saying this is your and dogs saying things like the homes of the infidel shias were burned so it's just it's all very interesting in this fog of war but this is not the only thing that's going on right now so let's talk about the timing of all this now the obama administration could this is obviously a very big announcement and it comes in the midst of the n.s.a. didn't matter as data mining scandal it comes in the midst of turkey and its protests so can you talk about can. talk about the timing of all of this. the timing is very interesting when it comes to locally domestic u.s. issues but also on the on the international arena a lot of things are happening at the same time as you said there is that circle process but also there is the talks about the geneva convention the geneva two also there is the meeting that's supposed to happen but when putin and obama and just the fact that they came up with this announcement just a few days before all of the for this meeting and before all of these events taking
place around syria raises again a lot of questions as to what exactly what are the objectives behind this announcement of the moment and finally rima we don't have too much time left but there have been confirmed reports that some of the rebels are working with al qaeda members of iraq so we are still very much in a war with that group what guarantees are there really that the weapons that we hand over that we potentially would hand over to syrian rebels don't end up in the hands of al qaeda in iraq and afghanistan and beyond no guarantees period and that's exactly what some witnesses on a hearing at the on the capital said that there are no guarantees but they're going to try and check the groups on the ground i don't think that's possible at the at the minute and then just checking the groups and making sure that we are the good guys everybody says many of the reports that come out of syria say that
determined that the groups that are in control in syria are al qaida affiliates so even if you end up going the people that you are labeling as the good people how do you guarantee that kind s.l.e.s. are not going to take over those arms from the rebels it's all very interesting obviously the situation is developing we're going to have to see what the obama administration and congress chooses to do with this r.c. arabic correspondent rym of who had the thank you so much for joining us thank you . meanwhile president obama has threatened to veto the reauthorization of the national defense authorization act better known as n.d.a. over a number of concerns those concerns include limousin of limitations on health benefits for retirees transferring detainees out of guantanamo bay the new start treaty military pay alternative fuels purple hearts for the victims of the fort hood and little rock shootings funding for afghan forces and more in total the administration raised thirty one concerns over the revamped india a but while the
president talks tough house republicans are sticking to schedule with the bill's markup and more than a few interesting amendments are sneaking their way into this act political commentator sam sax shows us how some of the curious add ons are actually getting into the da. today the house of representatives finishes up their task of programming the american war machine members are currently slogging through one hundred seventy two amendments to the national defense authorization act a bill that sets the guidelines for how our military functions now some of these amendments that are under consideration are very important they work to address serious problems with our current war footing all around the world for example a team of democrats have put forward an amendment to completely close the detention facility at guantanamo bay by the end of two thousand and fourteen and there are two amendments brought by republicans to weaken the power of our military to indefinitely detain american citizens and there's even one amendment that ends indefinite detention for any individual currently in custody under the
authorization for use of military force and there's also an amendment by congressman keith ellison to prohibit the transfer of tear gas and other riot control items to nations in the middle east and north africa that are currently undergoing democratic uprisings plus there are provisions to keep the president committed to the withdrawal timeline in afghanistan provisions to post the true costs of our wars online and a provision to allow undocumented immigrants to enlist in the military and have access to permanent residency within the united states there after so these are all relevant they address real world concerns there are serious amendments but remember where dealing with a congress that has an approval rating hovering around the fifteen percent mark it's about on par with b.p.'s approval rating during their two thousand and ten oil spill fiasco so naturally there are a few bizarro amendments to be considered today as well for the war machine and here are the top three first brought to us by congressman dennis ross amendment
number sixty two prohibits the department of defense from using taxpayer funds to provide additional or upgraded recreational facilities for individuals detained at guantanamo bay detention facility congressman ross is bad. out of shape about plans to build a soccer field i kept saying back in two thousand and twelve quote good motion not be a place of comfort it should how's the worst of the worst of the world's terrorists not be a training ground for the world cup congressman ross is also against closing the facility and giving prisoners there a fair trial so when asked can we at least improve the conditions there for the more than one hundred prisoners who are on a hunger strike many of whom have done absolutely nothing wrong and are cleared for release congressman ross well you'd rather not and then there's congresswoman michele bachmann's amendment number one twenty seven which requires the p.o.w. m.i.a. flag be flown three hundred sixty five days a year on certain federal buildings because you know it's just much easier to fly
a flag for prisoners of war than actually do something about our continuous military operations around the world that produce p o w's and produce missing soldiers and finally there's amendment number one fifteen straight from the cold war era brought to us by representative cynthia loomis as well as congressman steve danes and kevin kramer it requires the depend part of defense to preserve currently active intercontinental ballistic missile silos in warm status warm status meaning fully staffed and functional just in case we need to deploy our entire nuclear arsenal at a moment's notice an act that would quite literally kill every living thing on the planet so great idea guys so yeah that's what congress is working on and if you think there's no way that there's no way that any of these bizarro amendments will pass out of the house today just remember this is an institution that's less
popular than cockroaches and washington same sex arty. well ladies and gentlemen the king is back all month we have been telling you about our newest shows ahead r t america's airwaves there have been so much speculation and anticipation and yes even criticism about this new show and what it will be now the wait is over politicking with larry king will make its debut on our team america tonight at nine pm eastern and it will reappear at eleven pm mr king's journalism career has spanned fifty six years he's conducted more than fifty thousand interviews and this award winning journalist is ready for more here's an exclusive sneak peek at what viewers can expect to see tonight. i'll pick you were to go with the latest for the headlines movie and as they leave immigration reform our guest republican congressman aaron schock democratic that he's
a. political manager that is original smoke that's today's. security versus privacy. where you stand look i think what's difficult is it's not black and white in nineteen thirty six hitler made a speech once in germany and said when he did away with the warrens he said if you have nothing to fear why should you be afraid if we search your house and they had a very low crime rate in germany and the people bought that well we have nothing to fear let them search his house there is a day that was a different time but don't you fear that danger absolutely no more to studios in the way thanks for joining us. so once again here's where you can catch the very first episode of politicking with larry king tonight and it's in forty five minutes you won't want to miss it. well it's thursday so that means it's time for our weekly check reports this week we want to focus on the effects of the national
security agency leaks on the internet companies and the american public just to recap what we discovered last week the guardian and the washington post reveal that the n.s.a. has a program called prism which allows the agency to access medal data from some of the biggest online companies in the world think google apple facebook microsoft yahoo you tube and they all well and so many more so that means this agency can get private communications like your e-mail your searches chat logs and even your private messages and sometimes they can access them in real time the prism program is justified under the foreign intelligence surveillance act and is designed to monitor foreigners however many american citizens ultimately fall under its watchful eye but these internet companies deny that they give the n.s.a. card to launch to rummage through their servers so the question remains what exactly are they giving the government access to to talk about this and all things
tech i was joined earlier by s.s.p. blue founder he much of me gone i started off by asking him about the different reactions from the internet companies one of them is google who is asking the n.s.a. to allow it to release information about exactly what data it handed over to the government in order to clear up some of the erroneous reports but is it all for show take a look. i think this all falls into what i would call collateral damage of what's going on on the one hand the most important thing that you can do with a customer is to have their trust without trust you don't have a relationship with that relationship you lose your revenue and your greatest sources of revenue and all these companies have been getting hit by the one arm of the government that saying do something about privacy customers are demanding it and they have been responding microsoft google they're all great examples of that and on the other hand you have another arm of the government saying disclose information take away the privacy in some sense and we have an order and by law you
have to do it so they're stuck in the middle of this and the question becomes from a company is how do i maintain that trust how do i at the same time cooperate with a lawful order from the government to protect our own citizens of this country and they're still caught between these things and at the same time add to it a third piece if you do start talking about what you're disclosing or who you're disclosing about or the fact that you've been got in order by law you are creating a criminal issue for yourself as a company you could get prosecuted for that and at the same time if you did disclose it there may be an undercover operation that you're jeopardizing and somebody gets killed so the companies are caught in this three piece little piece of a large issue which in essence is creating a lot of collateral damage and i think what's going to happen is things past and i think what i should i if i was recommending these to these companies what i would say is start running an ad campaign run an ad campaign that separates the facts
from the fiction and when you do and explain what happens in these criminal orders how do they work what kinds of information is requested what is the company doing to protect your privacy in that process i think customers will say you know what i actually get it there are two competing interests but they are very well balanced by the companies who are stuck in the middle of them and they're taking both sides . very seriously and trying to do the best they can and in that sense they will and they can get their customer trust back now he wants to twitter was notably absent from this list of companies cooperating with the n.s.a. is present program what do you attribute that to does that mean that customers should feel more comfortable using the micro-blogging site than they should with the other internet companies well i think what we have to do is assume first where would the and they say be investigating they go where the terrorists might be going and if the n.s.a. says finds out that there's there's terrorist activity or high. activity against
the u.s. happening on a twitter platform they will eventually get there one of the things that you have to understand is the government is doing what governments always do they go chase bad guys when they're chasing bad guys they have to go so anything all it might be is that twitter is a very is a platform that pushes out stuff for the public to see much of these activities take place in private communications between one to one or one to several not in the way that twitter does which is push it all out everyone sees that whoever is following it's very public. platform let's talk about what the public can do to protect its information so let's talk about cloud computing we've seen the shift from saving documents on floppy disks to c.d.'s and hard drives to cloud computing do you think that that shift will go in reverse now that people have discovered that these internet companies that the n.s.a. has access to all of their information and that they're willing to take it. i think
actually the answer that question is a very international one if you're a u.s. company that does and has done a great job in cloud computing and you're trying to get into the european marketplace that's the first place that backlash will occur because from a european citizen point of view the customer in europe they don't want to work with a company in the u.s. that has that the and this can access information from so i think the first thing that's going to happen is that concern out of the european citizen siri versus the u.s. citizens in the u.s. i think people are starting a recognizing and polls are showing this again and again there is not as much a concern as you might expect on the other hand on the european side there is a huge amount of concern in there x. historically always has been a greater amount of concern and protocols and privacy mechanisms in place so i think that's going to be the most important immediate backlash and will then eventually turn into a long term imbalance of businesses competing in europe and in the u.s. he mancini gon founder of s.s.t.
blue thank you so much for sticking around and talking with us thanks. well it's becoming more and more commonplace in the u.s. to confine inmates to isolation for twenty three hours a day at these may seven percent of the two hundred seventeen thousand inmates in the u.s. federal penitentiary system were placed in solitary confinement that's according to a new report put out by the government accountability office that examined the unknown costs of the practice the report was drawn up at the request of three congress then illinois senator dick durbin maryland congressman elijah cummings and virginia congressman bobby scott who all highlighted the lack of public information on this practice so is putting an mates in the hole making prison safer artie's margaret howell has more. the whole segregation isolation lockdown i'm standing here in a cell just like the one the private bradley manning was held in for over three hundred days aside by eleven cell with just a toilet and
a cots prisoners eat here he sleeps here and most of the time they're alone for twenty three hours a day only getting for an hour or so to exercise for a long time we didn't know much about solitary confinement in the u.s. now we know a little bit more after the government accountability office released a report last month solitary confinement is used when a prisoner is considered a danger to himself or to others or if they have gang affiliations a day in this tiny cell cost as much as a night in a hotel room it can cost taxpayers one hundred twenty to two hundred sixteen dollars per day for just one prisoner insult harry confinement that adds up to roughly seventy thousand dollars a year to keep one of these individuals locked up meanwhile social programs are getting cut due to the sequester but our prison system is booming the population in solitary is growing faster than the rate of general inmates in the us except seventeen percent over the past five years what that means is that over twelve
thousand u.s. citizens are in the hole and the government says that they don't even know if it's actually making prison safer the g.a.o. said prisons are tracking the practice so they're not sure if all of this is a benefit at all. so what does this mean for the rate of people returning to prison once they've been released solitary offers little rehabilitation and deprives prisoners of normal human interaction but the bureau of prisons has not done any long term studies on the effects of this practice despite relying on it with increased frequency and conclusion that we've got a lot of growing cost without solid proof of either it's harms or its benefits. in washington margaret how will our tea while you can't plan something nature created on its own that's a ruling the supreme court handed down today in the case of the association for molecular molecular path ology versus myriad genetics the ruling said that
a naturally occurring d.n.a. segment is a product of nature and not a patent eligible products merely because it has been isolated or to correspondent liz wahl tells us more about the background of this case and the significance of the court's ruling it was a dream court today ruled against the patenting of human genes the night to zero ruling is a victory for patients doctors and medical researchers the ruling says quote a naturally occurring d.n.a. segment is a product of nature and not eligible merely because it has been isolated but now this is a strand of d.n.a. that has been synthesized is paid eligible because it is not naturally occurring now essentially this means if somebody is born with a gene if it's found naturally that a company cannot patent it but if they manipulate or create a gene then in that case they would have rights to it now this comes after a biotech company myriad genetics discovered an isolated two genes called b.r.c.a.
one and b.r.c.a. two the company says it pumped billions of dollars into researching and eventually identifying and isolating these two genes this gene sequence patients that carry this gene are at significantly higher risk of developing breast cancer a recent high profile example would be angelina jolie she tested positive for the breast cancer gene which led to her decision to get a misstep to me a myriad said that since they found this gene that they had rights and this led to it this twenty year monopoly over researching and testing and patients complained that myriad charged unreasonably high prices for this and other companies could not do their own research because of this monopoly and develop their own testing but today. a the supreme court says that naturally occurring genes are part of the human body and the company found but did not create the gene and therefore does not have exclusive rights to it that this decision is expected to have far reaching consequences for the science and medical community here in front of the supreme
court liz wahl r.t. the u.s. department of energy's main mission is supposed to be the advancement of our a nation's energy technology and innovation but it seems that this department has some issues of its own to deal with the residents laurie harmfulness tells us more . according to recent data from the economic policy institute the us job market is worse right now than at any point in the last downturn there's one job opening available for every three point one unemployed persons looking for work. that
figure applies across almost every industry and according to a recent report from the international energy agency global emissions of carbon dioxide from energy use rose by one point four percent last year setting a record and putting the planet i'm fourth for a disastrous temperature increases well above international climate goals. put both of those facts together down the you can have double the outrage at this next fast the u.s. energy department inspector general greg friedman said in a recent report that nepotism is quote open and widely accepted within the energy department apparently department of energy employees routinely give paid positions to their children and other family members not only is that not fair it is against the law for any public official to appoint and boy or even advocate for their
children to be hired within the agency. there was actually even a case where the office of chief information ted no plan to hire any paid intern but then changed its mind and hired in the fischel family member after the official asked for it this isn't an office where competition for jobs and paid internship is extremely intense. and the energy department also owns sandia national laboratories and they've given all the jobs that the lab over to the private sectors sandia corp which just happens to be a subsidiary of the nation's top defense contractor lockheed martin the energy department might not be related to lockheed martin by blood but they sure are related by money as lockheed martin spends millions lobbying in washington. right now and energy you account for about two thirds of all greenhouse gas emissions and cutting them is kind of important for you know human survival of the planet and
it's department of energy's job to address that issue so they should be hiring the absolute smartest people they can for every job they had instead it seems like they're more concerned with hiring friends and family and keeping that sweet sweet taxpayer money as close as possible. for a department whose mission includes binding force a clean energy the u.s. energy department sure is dirty tonight let's talk about that by following me on twitter at the red button. and that's going to do it for now for more on the stories we covered go to youtube dot com slash r t america and check out our website r.t. dot com slash usa don't forget to follow me on twitter at meghan underscore lopez and don't forget we are just thirty minutes away from larry king's new show
politicking here on r.t. that's at nine pm eastern don't miss it. good afternoon and welcome the prime interests i'm very i'm boring in washington d.c. let's get to today's headlines stories. because goldman eight gary gensler is on the way out as chairman of the derivatives industry regulator the commodity futures trading commission this is after spending the three years implementing dodd frank recently suffering a losing battle with fellow commissioners it's also through the office of inspector general released a damning report in may on his performance or lack there of the inn at the m.f. global did wattle a front runner for his replacement is yet another goldman sachs.