>> welcome to al jazeera america. i'm john siegenthaler in new york. firefight - a developing story out of afghanistan, where right now taliban fighters are attacking an american base. we'll have the latest. stepping out - nasa orders an unscheduled space walk. tonight is closer look at the risks of this highwire mission. what lies beneath of the the super volcano brewing under yellowstone national park. the geologist separates the facts from the fear. >> are you in for the megamillions jackpot. are you feeling lucky.
>> we begin with a developing story out of afghanistan, where the taliban is attacking an american base along the pakistan border. we are told the fighting is going on at this moment. this is the same base that was attacked by the taliban in september. joining us now is douglas oliver, a senior security fellow at the north american foundation. he served as an army officer in afghanistan. i believe you have been to the base. tell us about it. the base that we are talking about is an american farm, 500m back from the afghan, pakistani border. the pakistanis call it the khyber pass, an historic base. >> there has been other attacks on the base.
is it vulnerable? >> i don't think so. it's been attacked twice in the past three or four years. not vulnerable, just in an interesting place sure to make news and more importantly disrupting commerce between pakistan and afghanistan. >> we saw a u.s. black hawk helicopter go down. six americans were killed, sadly. i believe we were told this is not too far from the base. of course, we don't know if there's a connection. clearly some increased activity by the taliban in this area. any speculation as to why? >> i don't want to connect the black hawk downing. we don't know there's a connection. it may be an isolated attack that we look at in and of itself, that this local group of taliban may have its own reasons for attacking the base. it could be about increasing tempo, if someone is not paying them what needs to be paid.
we don't know. >> as america winds down its involvement in afghanistan, are troops more vulnerable? >> any time you are withdrawing tore transitioning, you are inherently more vulnerable. that's just a fact of military operations. when you are not fixed in a defensive posture or actively moving on the attack, when you transition to the next thing you are more vulnerable. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. >> in washington - new developments about the n.s.a.'s controversial surveillance program. it was the main focus of president obama's meeting with tech industry leaders, many whom believe the snooping must stop. mike viqueira reports from the white house. >> technology companies are speaking with a voice. a grouch of text titans were here, google. microsoft, netflix - they are
concerned. they feel their businesses are at stake, and want the government to ease off. the privacy of customers is at stake. they want act ability, transparency and restrictions on government spying, internet spying and telephonic spying. the meeting in the roovt veldt west wing lasted two hours. longer than expect. and also the healthcare.gov problems were on the table. at the top of the agenda was the revelations of n.s.a. spying. collectively the tech companies issued a statement reading in part: >> as we know the president received recommendations from the policy committee and advisory committee that he put in place, the revelations about the widespread spying, the scope of the spying that caused
controversy around the world. the white house spokesman gave the white house version of that meeting. >> he made clear that because of the remarkable advancements in technology, that the united states has both led the way and been able to take advantage of, but as have other countries, we need to look at our activities through the lense of making sure that we are doing what we can and should. but not just what we should do to keep ourselves safe, but we have the technological capacity do it. >> the white house has the report. is says it will adopt some of the proposals. some will be ignored. others put off to another day. in any event the president will not make public his recommendation, what he decided until next year. >> tomorrow night on al jazeera america, my conversation with
the journalist who broke the story of the national security agency leaks earlier this year. >> tonight interesting news about the official u.s. delegation going to the 2014 sochi winter olympics. president barack obama will not attend the games. selected to represent america are several notable people, including tennis legend billy jean king, and hockey player caitlin cahol. both openly gay, which may be telling considering russia's antigay laws. billy jean king tweeted this today: >> china says it's true, the country's defense ministry issued a statement confirming one of its naval ships met a u.s. missile cruiser. the incident happened in the china sea.
china's admission confirmed the earlier statement from washington d.c. china is accused of spying on a u.s. agency. a new report says china hacked into the federal election commission's website. according to the center for public integrity the attack took place during the government shutdown. i spoke to the author. he's a senior political reporter and an al jazeera commit call contributor. >> the fce was the only agency in the government to have every one of its employees furloughed. it didn't have a skeleton staff available to rappell or fend off an attack. most agencies had some aboard to prevent loss of life or property or something of that effect. it was a major issue when you went to access public information that was available.
that information was not there. it was a major issue. >> what were the chinese hackers trying to do? >> we don't know what they'll do. i would be speculating, trying to get in the heads of the hackers, but at the same time this is something you see a lot of. you hear about china, syria, russia, hackers all over the world trying to get the united states a black eye. >> we asked the sce about the report, they declined to comment. >> ukrainian's president viktor yanukovych is adding fuel to the fire, meeting with vladimir putin and the kremlin, enraging protesters in kiev. he accepted vladimir putin's offer to buy $15 billion in ukrainian's bonds, a life line for key eve. moscow agreed to slash the price of gas and reduce trade barriers. the u.s. warns that today's deal
will not satisfy the protesters in kiev. >> we earn the ukrainian government to listen to its people and find a way to restore a path to the peaceful, just and economic prosperous future to which ukrainion citizens aspire. >> leaders of the group say they want to know what the country offered moscow in exchange for the deal. >> fire and smoke. an unusual scene in december. airtankers and helicopters are assisting firefighters who have been working around the clock to battle a wildfire in the big sur. 100 residents have evacuated. houses have been destroyed. the fire is under investigation. >> kevin corriveau is here to talk about the weather. >> we'll talk about the big sur fire. on google earth you can see
where it's located. i'll take you in and show you how it looks. the area is fairly rural. of course, you see the ridges and the valleys in the area. here is a passive coast highway. all the fires are between that and the ocean. what we'll see over the next couple of days is one, it will be dry. the whole area is in the droulent. let me give you an example. san francisco sees 20 inches of rain, by this time of year. so far, mid-december, all of 2013, they have seen three. that's a big problem there. winds are calm. temperatures are going to be low. that is good news. it's 5% contained. we think this will be contained because of weather event happening in the area. >> now to the megamillions jackpot, the chances of being struck by lightening and
lotto. >> tis the season for hope. belief in mythical figures. half a billion. >> 1:285 million. >> not all the money goes to the winners. what's when they are paid out. >> i'm assumed most goes to funding for children's health care or medicade. >> not actually. here is a breakdown of 43 states selling mega million ticket. 60% of the proceeds to the winners. 15% to the retailers, marketing and operations. the final 25% to the states of which about 27 of them earmark lottery revenue for education. >> there's criticism of lottery in terms of it being a voluntary type of source of revenue for the states. the argument against it is typically that it is regressive.
lower income, more lower income people play the lottery. >> here in georgia the lottery protected much of its revenue from the state's general fund, keeping it specifically for a college program. >> the state of georgia looked at it as a state of funding for a sector. >> for students in georgia with a b average, there's a hope scholarship, which helps thousands pay for college. there's shortfalls. the lottery funded the welcome to, a 20% drop in the revenue suggested. >> it has to do with the costs of tuition in the system of georgia. college and university cost of tuition has gone up faster than inflation and other products and services. as a result of that, and as a result of the recession, people
losing jobs and income. >> in response to the need the georgia legislature passed a bill this year, which they expected to georgia. a problem that is stopping the funding here is the fact that tuition, for example, university of georgia has gone up 200% in the last 10 years alone. amazing price increase for kids across the country. we should know in the next couple of hours if there's a winner around the country as officials look at the tickets. and if there is not a winner, on friday there'll be another drawing, approaching nearly a billion. if no winner on maybe you get a
latest scandal possibly happen. >> we see over 100 children every week for therapy. among the kids are children with broken legs. we have a child in a wheelchair for the rest of her life >> when it comes to children in harms way, child tlerpist kristi murphy has seen -- therpist kristi murphy has seen more than her fair share and was stunned when child services chose not to investigate 6,500 cases. >> i was appalled. it's unacceptable, knowing that more children die from abuse and there are cases that are not
reported. it's unacceptable. >> if you have people to override policy or law, you end up with a situation like this. >> the situation lawmakers were discussing was just how those thousand of cases ended up on a shelf. >> here is how the system is supposed to work. >> the call comes in, the hotline operator comes in and assesses safety. after the safety assessment is set to a field officer who puts eyes on it. >> unless the report was one of more than 6,000 that went nowhere. they were stamped ni for not investigated. that means nobody knows what happened in thousands of cases. >> the consequences, i think, are devastating. what we need to do now is find these 6,000 or more children that have been left, possibly left in a chronically abusive
situation. what we need to do now is find out who they are and assess their symptoms and trauma. >> as of yesterday state officials checked in on 600 children. so far one child needed to be moved. that process works. >> paul beban out of phoenix. thank you. >> now to the series veterans forces. they serve their country in iraq and afghanistan. their toughest
mission may be in the united states. according to the la times the death rate for california vets under 45 is higher than active duty service members and others of the same ages. the "the los angeles times" says veterans are twice as likely as others to commit suicide and die in a car crash. these are disturbing numbers raising numbers about veterans and what is being done to help them. >> joining us is andrew o'-brian. he attempted suicide in 2010 and now encourages others to see yo i joined the army. i didn't have much of a family. that was the whole reason of joining. i joined and then i ended up
being stationed in hawaii in 2008, and later in 2008 we deployed to iraq from october 2008 to october 2009. as soon as i got back the first year, on average we gave ourselves 365 days subconsciously to fix ourselves from what we saw in iraq. it had been overa year, and nothing had changed. i had a lot of nightmares. whilst in iraq i saw a blown up vehicles with soldiers inside of it, and it stuck with me and will stick with me for the rest of my life. after seeing that i couldn't g handle it. i had a lot of paranoia and nightmares. that was done, i wanted to take my own life. >> you made it back. how did you do that? >> well, after mermission
something that the ministry of health is trying to deal with, certainly in october when there was another scare of booub bonnics plague endemics. now, certainly the recent - the recent case had to do with the nooum onic plague, but the bubonic plague has been the breeding ground. >> so we talked about the fact that it is treatable with antibiotics, but how much access do the people have to the treatment. >> madagascar is a spiritual place, it has a strong presence in the culture. there are a lot of people who tend to go to, i suppose you would call them - i guess you call them witch doctors. it's what they have been doing for many years. in terms of access to basic
services in rural areas, that is what is used. >> thank you for helping tell the story in madagascar. we appreciate it. >> suicide has become an issue in professional sport. there has been high-profile deaths, and doctors are linking them to brain injuries caused by concussions. mark morgan takes a look at the science behind the damage. there's disturbing trends especially where football is concerned. >> the body of a football was exhumed so tests could be run on his play. belcher, wh the denver city chiefs shot and killed his girlfriend and himself. his body requested his brain be tested for c.t.e. i asked a dr about this
research. >> i don't know if we know for sure. it may be a stretch. it depends on how much it is preserved, and a lot of the conditions that his body has been under. i guess we will find out. >> now, once the results are in, what, if anything, do you think can be cleaned regarding his condition, affecting his state of mind at the time he killed himself? >> it's hard for science to explain human behaviour >> in your opinion, is the number of concussions and severity of each a big factor in developing c.t.e. >> it's an emerging science, what is it, who gets it, why.
we think that certainly the number of concussions is not good, but it may be, in my opinion, the years of exposure, not only to concussion, but multiple impacts, subconcuesive blows. explain to the viewers what c.t.e. is, and what it does to a person's brain. >> it is believed to be a milder form of what was originally diagnosed in 1929. it was believed to be in about 20% of retired former boxers. in football players and icehockey players, in some other sports, it's been seen that they can have these changes, these collections of protein, it's a breakdown of the major structural protein in the brain. >> so concussions have become a concern with football and contact sports - hockey.
what about baseball? >> they have joined the sports. ryan frooel was a player who committed suicide. he's the first to be diagnose with c.t.e. he retired after reportedly sustaining five or 10 concussions, freel ran into balls, collided with team-mates. dr bales told me it was unusual and unexpected for a baseball player to show signs, but 18 major league players were placement on the disabled lift last year. 10 were catchers. to that end baseball owners in january will vote on new rules that would eliminate home-plate conditions lessening concussions. >> thank you. interesting story. >> one of the biggest drug makers makes a sweeping policy shift. it's called a game changer.
>> glaxosmithcline will stop paying doctors. >> glaxo are a big firm. the $10 billion a year company is soon to stop paying doctors in incentives to promote drugs at speaking conferencers. it's no longer going pay for other doctors to attend the doctors. crucially, the big one, is that in future the sales force will no longer have individual sales targets tied to prescriptions written by doctors. instead they'll be paid based on the quality of service and overall company profits. it's worth noting that sales people for glaxo have been operating since 2011 on this basis. stopping the incentives to
doctors is brand new. here is and your witty, the boss. he aims to roll out the plan by around the world by a target date of 2016. in a statement he said, "we recognise we have an important role to play in privating doctors with in fact. it mu be done clearly, transparently and without perception of conflict of interest. earlier chinese officials accused them of transferring money to travel agencies to bribe chinese doctors. they said it's not related to that. paying doctors to attend conferences and make speeches is common. lately there has been growing calls for this kind of reform. the british-swedish company scrapped payments for doctors. that was back in 2011. other drug companies, until now, have not followed suite. meet dr arthur.
the head of the division for bioethics, n.y.u. in new york. he says the mood by gfk is a big one. >> it's a game changer, a fundamental shift in how drugs are marketed. for the better. other companies, i hope, cheese to emulate it. when they say, "no more free meals or hidden rewards", it's a good thing for patients in terms of how we sell drawings. >> they have worked out how to target consumers, and internet. that is why they feel able to roll back from the years-old practice of incentivizing the doctors. >> in california there's a contentious league at battle waged over the treatment of mentally ilinmates. a judge is expected to rule on use of force. jennifer london reports from
sacramen sacramento. some of the images are graphic. >> in the california state prison system, this is a forceable extraction. inmate a, as this mentally ill prisoner is called refused medication. he's naked. dirty and screams repeatedly after being doused with pepper spray. this is inmate i. the state says these types of extractions fall within their guidelines. >> they are trained to do what they did. >> that is horrific to me. no one was disciplined for that. they acted according to the rules. >> they must change. this attorney is representing 35,000 mentally ill inmates in a lawsuit against california's
department of corrections. >> we don't have policies and procedures to use. we are punished for things beyond their control, and they serve more time and serving them in harsher ways to everyone else. >> the videos and photos like that, showing inmates in cages are part of the case. it's not just the use of force inside the prison that is being challenged in court. >> here at the californian medical facility mentally ill inmates are not getting the treatment they need. doctors testified that here inmates are held in isolation, without group therapy, the use of day rooms or access to prison yards. >> prison officials say this treatment is sometimes necessary. >> sometimes things don't go the way we'd like them to go, and a mentally ilinmate may turn violent. in situations like that staff
are allowed to escalate to the point of using pepper spray. the question is not whether we have a perfect system, but one that satisfies the constitution. >> the lce says mentally ill inmates have had rights violated. >> the video tapes are troubling. there's a lot of other issues going on about not getting adequate care or having proper suicide protocols. >> there needs to be an attitude change and a commitment by the state. >> the department of corrections says they are making changes, including investing in treatment facilities and when it comes to using force, it's up to the state to decide how to handle the most troublesome inmates. >> next - 70,000 years since it erupted. now some are wondering if the super volcano under yellowstone
our big snow event across the north-east is coming to an end. as you see on the satellite and radar. warnings and advisories are out. winter storm warnings are in effect for massachusetts and most of the maine. for the rest of the area we are clear. we are looking at snow advisories in effect. now tomorrow this will be the big problem. towards the east, some places are expected to receive about 10 inches of snow. for the rest of the area, things are looking better for new york over the next five days. temperatures will be on the increase. but with that you'll see a lot more rain in the forecast. sunday will be a bad day.
temperatures at 59 degrees. over the next couple of days we'll watch what happens. the next storm is brewing. this is expected to bring severe weather along with it, over the next couple of days. on friday - a lot of rain across the mississippi river valley. with that we will see severe weather - wind and thunder storms and major problems for many people. hail can be a problem as well.
to an expert. >> volcanos are terrifying and mesmerising. we have seen massive eruptions in mt st. helens to etna in italy. it's what we can't see that may be the most breath taking. it's at yellowstone park. if you thing the setting is serene, wait until you see what lies beneath. it's where a supervolcano lives. massive at 18 miles long, 15 miles long. if it erupts, the debris has the potential to turn day into night. the park is home to one of the largest volcano systems. the guisers and springs attracting tourists come from the molten rock core of the volcanos, there has been three catastrophic eruptions. 70,000 years ago was the last.
is yellowstone overdue for a super eruption. we ask jacob, a geologist in yellowstone volcano observatory. >> the worst case scenario is out there on earth. there are big systems. the more likely scenario is a smaller eruption. >> he says the threat is small, but admits this. >> if the worst case scenario happens, it's not a big thing, it's a big event. it's a lot of ash that comes out. it will interfere with works with civilisations. similar if an asteroid hits the planet. >> if you go to yellowstone, enjoy the site and wonder and remember what is going on underneath your feet. >> we have learnt a lot this year about how the u.s.
government spies - that's because edward snowden stole government secrets. he surfaced against with an offer for brazil. al jazeera's correspondent has the story. >> appealing to the people, national security agency whistleblower edward snowden published an open letter in the brazilian newspaper on tuesday. he hinted at requesting political asylum but alluded he'd help brazilian investigators uncover more information about efforts. he wrote: >> his appeal was met with mixed reactions in sao polo. >> edward snowden has an
important role in history and contributed by revealing the information. considering that, brazil should give him asylum. >> translation: no, brazil should not give asylum to edward snowden. if his own country cannot trust him, why would our country. >> brazil had been a target of the n.s.a. program. documents leaked by edward snowden revealed that the n.s.a. spied on the president along with senior advisors. after the revelations president dilma rousseff cancelled a visit to washington. edward snowden does have political support in brazil. several legislators asked for his support in hearings about the n.s.a. the only person that can grant him asylum is the president. >> and tomorrow night on "al
>> [ singing ] >> lots of music videos, catchy tune, years of great performances and enough votes to get them into the rock'n'roll hall of fame. hall and oates among a mix of artists, along with the duo, the class of 2014 is impressive: >> now to a different set of rockers. stonehenge. tourists will have something extra to see. emily haywood reports. >> they have watched over this land for thousands of years. stonehenge and monuments set deep in the corner of england.
around a million people come to see the icon every year. >> what endures about the place is the puzzle it presents. no one has been able to say with total certainty what stonehenge is. >> some say it was a solar temple. others believe it's an astronomical computer. there are many theories about its meaning. what is clear is its popularity. after years of wrangling visitors can experience stonehenge in a modern way. it has its own museum, more than $40 million has been spent on creating a building made of glass and steal. visitors stopped from accessing the center can now do so virtually. >> there are two things that are important. the first is the ability to feel that you are standing in the stones. the other thing is we have a fantastic artefact.
we have tools that were used by the people who actually built the stones in the first place. that is exciting to see. >> this knew era at stone hen j has not pleased everyone. some object to changes to a local road. others have expressed anger over the inclusion of human remains. ultimately, it is the stones themselves which will remain the biggest draw here. >> i see it as a place of beauty, and a place of wonder. it is - even to have survived in this state is a testament to the ingenuity and still of the peel that built it. >> in a few days hundreds of people will gather here. perhaps one of the purposes of stonehenge that it was built for - to worship the sun during the winter solstice. >> thanks for watching tonight.
our top stories are next. >> welcome to al jazeera america. i'm john siegenthaler in new york. here are the top stories. in afghanistan a taliban attack on a u.s. base is over. three attackers were killed. the taliban breached the base near the border of pakistan, carrying machine-guns and rpgs, opening fire and tried to enter. no international security forces were hurt. >> controversial tactics used by the national scurl the security agent were a topic when president obama met with the ceo of the top tech companies. electronic surveillance was a major concern. >> ukraine's president secured a $15 billion bailout from