welcome to al jazeera america. i'm del walters, these are the stories we are following for you. guns in america. al jazeera america focusing on the violence, the laws and the political debate. an american missing in iran was working for the cia on a government mission. and this scene could be playing out in several states over the weekend. another big snow storm headed our way. ♪ tomorrow marking one year since the sandy hook massacre. 20 children, 6 adulted murder in
newtown, connecticut. today al jazeera america begins a new series, guns in america. we begin with bisi onile-ere, and a lot to talk about. a lot needs to be done. a lot they say is being done. a lot you had to follow. >> after newtown the president wiped a tear from his face and vowed to do something. but it forced a lot of lawmakers to take action. but much of the legislation passed actually loosens restrictions on guns, and the number of victims continues to grow. >> i never knew pain like this existed. >> reporter: natasha christopher lost her son akeel last year, the 14 year old was shot in the back of the head after leaving a new york party. the gun was never found and
neither was his killer. >> i live in constant fear. >> reporter: despite new york's strict gun laws she believes more needs to be done. >> i feel like the system has failed every mother who has lost a child to gun violence. no mother should ever have to bury a child. in the years since the shootings in neighboring connecticut, the gun-control debate has raged across the country. >> we're going to have to come together and take meaningful action regardless of the politics. >> reporter: new york was the first state to impose a stronger assault weapons ban, requiring additional registration and reducing the number of bullets allowed in magazines. 21 states passed bills strength eping firearms restrictions this year. but more bills passed that
expanded gun rights. there were 70 to expand, and 39 to restrict them. illinois passed a concealed carry law allowing people to carry guns in most public places with a permit. taking a stance on either side of the issue can come at a cost. in colorado two democratic lawmakers were recalled after pushing for tougher gun laws. jennifer concerns was behind that successful grass roots campaign, what she says is spreading. >> the night of the elections here in colorado our phones started ringing off of the hook with people in california saying help us do this year. >> that scares leah, the director of new yorkers against gun violence. her brother was shot and killed at his business. >> this is a public health crisis. this is not about politics. this is about keeping americans safe. >> reporter: pleased with the progress made on the state level, barret remains frustrated
congress has failed to pass stronger federal gun laws. >> we have a very, very big problem. >> reporter: activists say stricter laws don't equate to gun violence. >> to me it seems very, very shallow, and superficial to think that by having more restrictions on firearms that you will be able to restrict people from going into schools and malls and things like that. >> reporter: natasha christopher continues to push for tougher gun laws meanwhile. >> all we know is that we have to all come together and stand together and say enough is enough. >> reporter: there's a nonprofit group called the brady campaign. they are focused on enforcing public policy that addresses gun violence on the federal and state level. every year they release a scorecard ranking every state for dealing with guns and
ammunition. california scored the highest with an a-minus. >> so one year after sandy hook, regardless of which side you are on, congress did absolutely nothing. >> that's right. and there are still states pushing for tougher gun laws, washington being one of them. they could see an initiative on though ballot looking to expand background checks. washington, d.c. has some of the toughest laws in the country, and were made even tighter in 2013. despite that it did not stop the year's worst mass shooting. lisa how strict are those laws in d.c.? >> well the laws in d.c. are among the strictest in the nation dell. let me give you some idea what they are like. in d.c. it is illegal to carry a firearm concealed or
unconcealed, you can't even drive in a car with a loaded firearm. if you bring a firearm out of state you have to register it here with the city. and there is a ban on assault weapons and large capacity magazines. despite that as you say there was a mass shooting here in september. the man who perpetuated that shooting bought his gun just across the border in virginia. the laws are much looser there. and the police say there is also a big problem here with illegal guns. >> and lisa, just like sandy hook after navevy yard shooting there were calls for something to be done, but was anything done? >> not in the d.c. area. they did not pass new laws. they did not pass new laws after sandy hook here in dc. but when i talked to the folks here, what they are telling me
is despite those strict laws, gun violence is up this year in the district. so far there were 70-gun-related homicides, not counting the navy yard. so still a big problem even though the numbers have come down from where they were in the 1990s, when there were over 400 homicides. >> lisa thank you very much. the senate is in session longer than most members wanted. harry reid is keeping the chamber in session. their are protesting a change in the rules for filibusters. the senators have approved several executive and judicial nominees. senator reid saying they will likely vote on the bipartisan budget plan next week. the family of the man who disappeared in iran nearly seven
years ago are urging the government to do more to bring him home. he was part of an intelligence gathering mission that was not approved. the white house has yet to comment on the report, but says the ap was urged not to publish it. his family issuing a statement in part saying . . . another major winter storm makes its way across the midwest and into the mid-atlantic, and once again, it is expected to dump a lot of snow along the way. dave warren joins us with all of the details. >> it will dump a lot of snow, but not today. it will intensify tomorrow throughout the day. these are the latest watchings and warnings. winter storm warning in central to western pennsylvania.
it is headed to the mid-atlantic and eventually slowly moving up the northeast. the radar picking up rain and mix of sleet and freezing rain. this is the forecast showing the area extending out ahead of the storm. the first storm here over the midwest intensifying, bringing the rain and heavier snow to the midwest. it will redevelop off of the coast, but by saturday this when the peak is effecting the atlantic. the know will be heavy, we're talking about accumulations and a mix of freezing sleet and rain. dave warren thank you very much. secretary of state john kerry says he is now confident israelis and palestinians can reach a final peace deal by april. he says israel will release more palestinian prisoners on
december 29th. that is part of an effort to relaunch peace negotiations. north korea executing the uncle of couple -- kim jung un. >> reporter: kim young un's uncle widely held to be the second-most powerful man in the country. >> translator: despicable human scum, jang who was worse than a dog perpetrated treachery against the leader. >> reporter: they cataloged his crimes attempting to overthrow the leadership, building his own power base, even failing to applaud properly. on the streets people who a few
days ago would have spoken of him with reverence and respect were now denouncing him and his allies. >> translator: for this group of traitors who were going to destroy our single-hearted unity, execution is too len yent. and that is what is most illuminating, a leadership that always tries to maintain an image of perfect unity. >> they announced what was wrong with jang song-thaek and executed him very quickly. and this way they try to eliminate a possible counterattack from supporters. >> reporter: one possibility is internal strife could translate into another round of provocative behavior targeting the south. >> translator: your government expects that north korea's
recent develop could bring a reign of terror. as a result, we're closely watching for possibility of terror by rebel groups and poff indications against the south caused by north korea's internal control and appeasement of the complaints. one interpretation is that kim jung un is stronger than ever, but at the same time this spasm of public discord at the top could be a sign that the current order really did feel under threat. no wonder the governments in the region and beyond are watching kim jung un even more keenly than they were before. coming up next, what could be a promising new drug in the battle against cancer. it cuts the risk of getting breast cancer by half. plus we'll talk to a group of poor white south africans who say they are the victims of the
new apartheid. clear adjustments and others that felt that was the wrong way to go to start to cut entitlements or at least slow the growth of entitlements. both of them came to a neutral, compromised ground. this is a compromise of the sort that people have been asking for for quite some time. the bottom line here, those conservative objections are getting some traction, but the betting is now this evening that this is going to pass the house of representatives on thursday and go to the senate the next week and end up on the president's desk, joie. >> mike, thanks for being with us. we'll follow up. ahead. the international space station marks 15 years. are we getting enough bang for
our buck, or is it just taking up space? get it? >> al jazeera america is a straight-forward news channel. >> its the most exciting thing to happen to american journalism in decades. >> we believe in digging deep. >> its unbiased, fact-based, in-depth journalism. >> you give them the facts, dispense with the fluff and get straight to the point. >> i'm on the ground every day finding stories that matter to you. >> in new orleans... >> seattle bureau... >> washington... >> detroit... >> chicago... >> nashville... >> los angeles... >> san francisco... >> al jazeera america, take a new look at news.
the african union says it will send more troops to the central african republic. it plans to bring the total contend gent to 6,000 troops on the ground. france also has troops there. the public viewing of nelson mandela is now over, and dozens of people were turned away. that did not go over too well. there were several incidents of pushing and shoving, and several people were injured as they broke through the barricades. the mandela set a strict deadline to end the viewing at 5:00 local time. he will be buried on sunday in his hometown. illinois democrat was at the memorial of nelson mandela.
i talked to him earlier about that trip. >> it was a truly moving experience to be there with not only 90,000 of mandela's countrymen, but over 100 world leaders, all uniformly supportive of mr. mandela's legacy. what he stood for. what he was able to accomplish in that country. as an american, more than just a lawmaker, i reflected on what his message of reconciliation and the example he lead, many of the wrongs that was done against him and his family, and yet not looking to the past, but rather bringing whites and blacks in his country together, bringing opponents within his administration to run his country, and finally after one term of president voluntarily
giving it up to show africa what democracy means, and what it means to pass the torch in a democratic form of government. so he is an inspiration to me and so many, and that's why it was such a moving ceremony. >> if i can return to politics shortly. there are people who watched the memorial and heard nelson mandela described as someone who can bring people to the table to talk. in your opinion did congress learn anything from south africa? >> i think it's a message for everyone. whether it is the united states or the world. i looked at the five world leaders who spoke, and it began with the united states of america's president, barack obama, and completed by raul
castro, the leader of cuban. and i thought even how befitting even in his death he was bringing leaders who are quite different in terms of their view of government that even -- even in mandela's death he was able to bring these disparate views to the same stage united behind one cause. >> and yet while you were there in south africa there were critics who questioned why people from the republican party, and specifically ted cruz went to south africa. was that a fair criticism? >> i don't think so. at the end of the day this is someone who united everyone. he was a mortal human being, and you can look at any one of our lives for criticism, for things that we might do differently if we could do it over again, but i don't think there is anyone on balance who would look at
mrmr. mr. mandela's legacy -- >> i don't think they are questioning the legacy of nelson mandela. i think they are questioning the motives of ted cruz. is that fair? >> i don't think so. i don't think it is any different than the 22 members of the congressional black caucus that joined the trip. certainly senator cruz was invited as well as the entire senate. but everybody was welcome and certainly republicans and democrats were there not just in congress but also with george w. bush, jimmy carter, barack obama, it really crossed the political spectrum as it should be. life after app parred tide improved for many south africans, but for one group of whites it has been a reversal of fortune. >> reporter: this feels a long way in every respect from the
scenes of mourning and song following the death of nelson mandela. we're in a squatter camp filled mostly with white africanas. there are a few black people here, but they are mutually poor. the government has been promising them housing for years, but they are at the very end of the long list. >> this woman lost everything when the apartheid civil service became mostly black. >> we live in a squatter camp and nobody worries about us. we don't get help from the government at all, and we just have to look after ourselves. >> reporter: just meters away,
black families picnic under the trees. they are the new middle class in a town build by the africans when gold was discovered here, then fought over and lost to the british, and the british used the park as a bore concentration camp. today in what is still commonly referred to as the new south africa, this form of leisure, camping, and caravan park is again an africana prison of sorts. they may once have been the apartheid opprezers, but history has not been particularly kind to the africanas. >> translator: yes, we're disappointed about it. mandela tried to make things better, but his dream wasn't realized. it is now the blacks who are suppressing the whites with their economic policies. >> reporter: ann told me she dreams of one day moving back to
our home in johannesberg. >> look, i'm used to a better life than what is here. but unfortunately, things have changed. >> reporter: and the dreams of this community are not a priority. ♪ the future home of boeings new 777x remains in doubt. a contract would guarantee the plane is built in the seattle area. boeing warning without a deal it may have to look elsewhere. they say 22 states have already expressed interest. inflation remains virtually nonexistent. prices at the wholesale level developing a 10th of a percent
coming up on al jazeera america, there is something else besides the flu to worry about this season, whooping cough is on the rise, but in one state parents are saying no to vaccinations. the anger all one sided? i hear rumblings from the people who cover the heat that the heat are not in love with players in the payer side, there is real hate here. >> there better be. they can really mess it up for them. when they dislike there, yeah, i think there is dislike but they've got the bravado. they got their chests out. it's still their game. but that's where the home court advantage is important, this game is important because miami used game seven to advance to the championship. they don't get one tonight, i mean, they don't get one in the end, that game seven here in indianapolis could be a problem.
we often think of winter as flu season, but a -- across the country whooping cough is raising concerns these days. >> you are okay. >> reporter: this is the sound of the 100-day cough. more commonly known as whooping cough, and this is the sound of a baby getting a shot to help keep it away. mom is not taking chances with her 4-month-old. there have been babies in her day care that have gotten it, that have been out for a while.
>> reporter: whooping cough in decades with over 48,000 infections. and 2013 is shaping up to be just as menacing. a growing anti-immunization movement won't be lining up for shots, claiming they are an intrusion on individual rights. what other medical procedure you are willing to give up your bodily integrity for. >> reporter: in colorado parents are signing a simple form. they can select medical, religious or personal beliefs as reasons for refusal. almost 2900 kindergartners opted out in 2012. that is a brood loophole health officials and many parents want
to close. >> they are creating these pockets of unvaccinated children. public health officials say whooping cough is so contagious that every person that gets it will infect 12 others. in boulder high school, one girl got whooping cough even though she was immunized. >> she had the vaccine and booster and still got it. >> we know immunity will always fade over time. >> reporter: unvaccinated children are eight times more likely to become infected. >> the vaccine is the best chance against the disease. >> reporter: the battle cries of private health versus public health are just now sounding. women with a strong family
history of breast cancer could benefit from a new drug under research. nearly 4,000 high-risk most menopausal women were studied. doctors say it is an important option for stopping breast cancer. they also say it has fewer side effects. ♪ well, lake effect snow or nor'easter, either way some snow will be effecting the mid-atlantic states. right now it is just lake-effect snow and a lot of it. it creates scenes like this. over four feet of snow around buffalo. that's what they are dealing with. now we will be talking about a
storm developing, and affecting the mid-atlantic and the northeast. a bit more widespread, but this will effect the weekend. it is certainly cold enough to see this begin as snow across the mid-atlantic states in the northeast, and it is a complicated storm. one area of low-pressure developing in the midwest, and another off of the coast of north carolina and move north as it redevelops and keeps the cold air in place. starting off as snow early saturday and then get that development off of the coast, and look how it becomes heavier and that cold air stays in this place. this is when the heaviest snow will be coming down, and it may push north a little bit. so it could start as snow and then change to a slushy mix. by late saturday and sunday it
will move out. dell? the >> dave, thank you very much. i'm del walters in in new york, thank you for watching. "the stream" is next. ♪ >> how deeply does the you income gap affect your every day life? >> our digital producer is bringing you ive feed >> how deeply does the you income gap affect your every day life? >> our digital producer is bringing you live feed >> it is the size of the gap, the numbers are stunning.