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tv   News  Al Jazeera  December 17, 2013 12:00pm-12:31pm EST

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welcome to al jazeera america. i'm del walters. these are the stories we are following for you. president obama sitting down with the nation's top high-tech ceos, talking about the hot button issues inside the white house. it was three years ago today that that uprising known as the arab spring bedan in tunisia, now the people there are working to stabilize their government. >> how do copy me? >> reporter: and capturing the final moments of those 19 arizona firefighters doing what they did best last summer. ♪
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some of the biggest names in technology are visiting the white house today. the heads of .al, facebook, google, and twitter among those set to mete with president obama. that session coming a day after the federal judge else dealted a blow to the national security surveillance program. mike viqueira is in washington. miovernment surveillance. they are in there as far as we know, dell, the ceos, titans of technology, speaking with the president. two in particular have written the president and members of
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congress seeking clarification on the surveillance program. they want it to be facebook, twitter, anding goo -- google want to talk about this nsa program. the president made a spoke of house of cards, the ceo of netflix is there in the meeting. but precious little information is available. these top executives avoided
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cameras on the way in. this meeting is ongoing. we'll let you know if anything the readout and what comes out of it, dell. >> the white house a recommendations after the first of the year, dell. >> mike thank you very much. there is news coming out of
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afghanistan that six american service members were killed in a helicopter crash there. officials say the incident happened in the southern part of the country. phil ittner joins us live from london, and phil, what do we know about this crash? >> well, dell what we know is that this blackhawk helicopter came down around mid-afternoon in a southern province in afghanistan that borders are pakistan. six service members were killed. we do have confirmation as you say that they were u.s. service members. in the last 20 minutes or so we made a phone call to the international security assistance force headquarters in in kabul. the only thing they were willing to confirm is that the helicopter has been secured. there are boots on the ground and an investigation has begun. >> phil has anyone claimed
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response or was this an accident? >> nato officials are reluctant to say what caused the downing at this time. the taliban were quick to go on their twitter feed and claim responsibility. there were no known reports of enemy activity that was recorded by nato headquarters in kabul. no -- no firefighters or anything in the area, but certainly until an investigation has been at least progressed further down the road, there -- it's unlikely we'll know exactly what caused the downing, dell. >> this comes as the united states is still trying to convince the afghan president to sign the security pack that would allow troops to stay in afghanistan after the end of next year. >> absolutely. it's a very precarious time for afghanistan. nato and the u.s. wants to secure security arrangements after their major withdraw in
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the coming here. it is also interesting to note as nato forces have taken a back seat, there have been fewer and fewer fatalities. this number today is pretty bad. >> phil ittner joining us live from london, phil thank you very much. a new deal is bringing ukraine closer to russia. russia offering to lower gas prices to ukraine during a meeting between the leaders of both countries earlier today. they agrees to a deal worth $15 billion in securities, and a 33% discount on gas. opposition protesters have been protesting for weeks now. now to nairobi. >> reporter: up until now we had only heard one side of the story, that being the version
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given to us by the president who accused his former deputy of masterminding this aledged attempted coup. now, the spokesman of the president tells us he does not want to comment at all on these allegations that the vice president had attempted to stage a coup. i tried to ask him about the whereabouts of the former vice president. and he said he is fine, very fine. there are concerns because we understand that at least fy political leaders have been arrested, and the government is seeking the arrest of the vice president, something that could inflame tensions further between the two sides. you talk to observers and they tell you that this has been a long time coming. rivalalry had been long-standing between the two men.
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there is an evident personality clash between the two. and the ethnic or tribal twist to it. the fact that both men come from highly competing tribes. but it's not a very clear-cut tribal tension as well, because there are members -- powerful members from the president's tribe who are supportive of the former vice president who has been accused of masterminding this attempted coup. so the picture is still quite mirky there in is sedan. north korea marking the second anniversary of the former president's death who died unexpectedly. last week, kim had his powerful uncle executed for allegedly plotting to overthrow the
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government. it was three years ago today that the uprising known as the arab spring began in tunisia. >> reporter: images that inspired uprisings across the region. exactly three years ago, a street vendor set himself on fire after being harassed by local officials. the protest following his death swept across the country. but this anniversary means little to this woman. she is mourning the death of her son. the police said he was dead and claimed it was due to a drug overdose. but his family says he was clearly tortured. >> they hit him on his forehead. they have no mercy. they hit people in the street. so can you imagine what it is like in the police station? >> reporter: the family are now seeking a new autopsy. they hope they will be proved
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right and plan to press charges against the police. al jazeera took their accusations to the minister of police. >> translator: we're trying to reform the security forces. soon we'll bring in a national committee to prevent torture and reduce the custody period from 4 days to 48 hours, and allow lawyers to attend investigations. >> reporter: the ruling parties have agreed to make way for a caretaker government ahead of fresh elections in 2014. another key demand was jobs, and whoever was in government in the new year faces a real challenge in in unemployment. the national jobless rate is 17%, but for young people with a university degree it's actually 30%. since graduating in this
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chemistry this man had visited the job center every day. >> translator: f after the revolution we were expecting a lot of problems to be solved, including unemployment. especially for young graduates. we hoped we would be giving jobs >> reporter: for millions here tuesday is a reminder that the hopes of the revolution are yet to be answered. still ahead the final communications from an elite team of firefighters who died battling a blaze in arizona. >> we are preparing a deployment site. >> what the recordings reveal. plus the bipartisan bill could reach the floor on the senate today. and prisoners doing time and
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earning a degree. stories and much much more when al jazeera america returns.
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welcome back to al jazeera america. i'm del walters. on capitol hill the bipartisan budget deal has now cleared a major hurdle in this the senate. it ease the sequester budget cuts and help to reduce thehat
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to say before the cloture vote. >> this deal is ament compromise. it doesn't tackle every one of the challenges we face as a nation, but that was never a goal. this bipartisan bill takes the first steps towards rebuilding our broken budget process, and committee. here is why he says he is not voting for it. >> let's slow down. let's give us a chance to have actual amendments, and let's fix some of the problems, and there is plenty of time to fix those problems, send the bill back to
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the house and be able sequester. that's the aim reason that mitch mcconnell isn't supporting it either, dell. >> libby how does federal worke
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have to contribute more to their pension benefits. >> libby thank you very much. taking a look at the top business headlines at this hour, all eyes on form suit calls today. galaxosmithkline decided to stop paying doctors to promote its drugs. and will do away to those bonuses to salespeople based on the number of prescriptions doctors end up writing. ben bernanke and others are meeting in washington to discuss the future of the economic stimulus program. they are called the hot shots and they have one of the most dangerous jobs on the
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planet. instead of running from forest fires they rush in. last summer 19 men died battling a blaze in arizona. and now the audio of their last moments on the planet has been released. >> reporter: haunting images from a helmet camera, trying to reach trapped firefighters. and then the heros who died in the line of duty battling the fire in arizona last year. >> reporter: the response comes, though not immediately from the command center. the recordings reveal confusion. here one unseen firefighters tries to identify the voice of another.
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knowing time is slipping away the dispatcher makes an urgent request for a helicopter. and then the final transmission . . . the command center asks to confirm the location. but there was no reply.
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when the firefighters reached the men, it was too late. they had all parished. an investigation concluded that a breakdown in communication may have contributed to the tragedy. and that was john siegenthaler reporting. 8400 acres were blackened in that fire last june. that was the deadliest wildfire in 80 years. up next a run down of your top headlines making news at this hour. to show her that even though i failed i can still pick mice -- myself back up and grow.
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night with the combatants in their training base.
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welcome a back to al jazeera america. i'm del walters. here is a recoup of today's top starries. there are reports that six american service members were
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killed in a helicopter crash in afghanistan in the southern part of the country. there is no word yet on what caused that crash. president obama meeting with america's top tech ceos. and today marking the three-year uprising of the arab spring in tunisia. the country is still facing a lot of problems. the u.s. has one of the highest incarceration rates anywhere in the world. a prison for women in tennessee now helping inmates use that time to earn their college degree. jonathan martin reports. >> reporter: donna mccoy is serving a life sentence for first degree murder. for just a few hours she is able to swap her prison uniform for a cap and gown.
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>> i feel like i'm being redeemed. i'm being restored. >> reporter: it was the first graduation at the tennessee prison for women. eight inmates received associates degrees in in liberal arts. every wednesday night for the past seven years, professors have come here into the prison. teaching these women everything from history to physics. >> the classes were easy, so i felt like i really earned a degree. >> we were never looked down on as inmates. we were always considered students. >> reporter: each women had to earn 63 credit hours. >> there have been a lot of voices in their life that tell them that they don't matter and they don't count. and now they can illustrate that they are somebody, they can work hard and achieve success, and model that to their families, to their children, and to the larger society. >> reporter: the program also allows traditional students to
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come into the prison and take classes with the inmates. bringing in this outside perspectives and allowing the students inside to experience a more traditional college setting. pointing to studies that show higher education reduces the chances of going back to prison. for this woman who is locked up for the next 38 years, the past seven years of work is a way to give back in prison. >> this is a community. and so there are women here who will be getting out before i get out. so now i have the tools to help them. >> reporter: why was it so important to finish this. >> to show her even though i failed i can still pick myself back up and grow. >> reporter: there are currently 30 women enrolled. the next class is set to graduate in less than two years. at a 57 years old, donna mccoy
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knows she may never leave prison. but she says now she has a different kind of freedom. i'm meteorologist dave warren. we have something happening here in the southwest and normally you would see some rain around this time of year, but certainly not scenes like this. wildfire here, the big surfire has developed and burned a couple of hundred acres. it's air because normally this time you don't see wildfires out west, but after the winter and year they have had, with the precipitation so low and dry, they are seeing the wildfire situation continue. this is the percent of average precipitation in the past 12 months, a quarter of what you normally see over a 12-month
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period has fallen there. about 75% here in the yellow, so this entire area has had very little rainfall over a 12-month period. now the temperatures today could see more records there in los angeles, up to 83 degrees, so it's still warm, but this is the last day of the heat. a storm moving south by thursday will bring light rain and snow to the vagus. so not much precip, but we'll take a little bit in if there is any at all. and a little more snow across the northeast in new england. it has pretty much come to an end across the 95 cities there. but here is the snow continuing to come down throughout the afternoon and evening. snow intensity could increase a bit and continue to come down. it's stuck here as it
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intensifies off of the coast of new england. we'll see more snow overnight tonight, and by tomorrow morning it's beginning to clear out. we could see snow on the ground here by tomorrow morning. a little heavier up towards boston and new england. so the winter storm warnings remain in effect, and the temperatures are still just barely above freezing. very cold temperatures, very slippery roadways, especially untreated surfaces here across new england. winter weather advisory and even winter storm warnings remain in effect because the snow continues to come down. the heat -- well, you could call it that -- returns, barely. this is in new york, so that snow clears out today then the temperatures climb just a few degrees there.
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closer to 50 by this weekend. of that cold air returns with more snow, but at least two or three days temperatures in the 50s, dell. kiss is now in the rock and role hall of fame. this year's class also welcoming the '90s grunge band nirvana. on wall street investors seem a little cautious ahead of tomorrow's big fed decision. the dow is down 29.points. stocks have been lower following most of the session. this will be the last meeting for the fed. ben bernanke will be replaced by janet yellen, set to be confirmed by the senate. we want to thank you for watching al jazeera america.
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i'm del walters. "the stream" is next, and as always you can check us out 24 hours a day on aljazeera.com.

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