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tv   News  Al Jazeera  December 20, 2013 6:00am-9:01am EST

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♪ a sweeping 650 billion defense bill is headed to the president's desk and includes long-awaited reforms on how the pentagon handles sexual assaults in the military and they are going to war-torn south sudan to secure american citizens. reprieve for millions of americans facing cancelled health insurance policies under obamacare and the white house saying they will not be penalized and allowed to buy catastrophic coverage. heading home for the holidays and another winter storm could make traveling treacherous. ♪
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good morning and welcome to al jazeera america. i'm stephanie sy. in an 84-15 vote the senate passed a sweeping new defense budget which now awaits president obama's signature. the bill gives the pentagon more than $552 billion to cover standard military expenditures and almost $# -- 81 billion to pay forward in afghanistan and cracks down on rape and sexual assault in the military tripping them to overturn convictions and loosens restrictions at guantanamo bay making it easy for them to transfer prisoners out of the facility. the national defense authorization act is the first defense bill to overhall the way sexual assault cases are handled in the armed services. the 30 sexual assault provisions were spearheaded by senate women in response to what the pentagon called an epidemic.
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legislation means that victims must be provided with legal counsel. it eliminates the statute of limitations for courts marshall in sexual as -assault and dishonorable discharge for any person convicted of sexual assault and one key amendment not included in the bill, a proposal to remove it from the military chain of command but the deal does prohibit commanders from overturning victims and sexual assault cases. the $625 billion sets aside $80 billion in afghanistan and raises salary for military members for 1% and not every one is praising the legislation. >> keeping the government opening and screwing the retirees, is that the choice and when we are functional we are dysfunctional. >> reporter: the retirees cost
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of living increases were scaled back by 1%. >> it's absolutely wrong to take from our military retirees, those who have sacrificed the most to take it from their backs to pay for this budget agreement. >> reporter: disabled veterans and their survivors were also originally part of the cuts and senator patty murray said she will offer a technical fix that would exempt them. as for president obama's first term pledge to close guantanamo bay there was a provision on restriction of other countries to take detainees and prohibit a detainee to be transfers to the united states, a measure sought by republicans. the defense bill authorize z pentagon to destroy syria's chemical weapons stockpiles and does not address issues facing washington and sanctions against iran and nsa surveillance programs. the prime minister of the
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central african republican says new presidential elections will be held next year. the announcement follows weeks of heavy fighting between muslims and christians that left nearly 1,000 people dead, on thursday the u.n. ambassador samantha arrived for meetings with top officials and the u.s. will provide $100 million to the african union to support its military effort there. president obama says south sudan is on the precipice of a civil war and he ordered soldiers there to protect americans and property and classes in juba started spreading to other parts of the country and the largest part of the state, two indian peace keepers died in an attack on a u.n. compound and at least 500 civilians are feared dead and we have more on the spiraling violence. >> reporter: the passports and those who want to leave south
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sudan must be on the evacuation list and foreigns and locals are flown out of the country and told form security reasons. u.s. soldiers are also in the cap top making sure it's safe for planes to take off and land and have been monitoring the situation together with u.n. troops. but many people can't leave. they find safety in u.n. compounds. during the day they go out to find food but make sure they return before sunset. >> this is the area where most of the fighting took place and it's almost curfew time and families come to the u.n. compound for safety and don't feel safe sleeping at home at night. >> reporter: human rights watch says civilians are targeted along ethnic lines and the president supporters are dinka and the man he blames for violence is his former deputy from the new way tribe. >> because they wait for us outside here. if you go outside they can kill you. >> reporter: but he says the violence because of an attempted
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coup by bashir and not ethnic rivalries and he said he tried to take over the country and duba is quiet and troops lost control of it in the state and say it has been attacked and government officials say they sent in reenforcements. >> where the fighting occurred is where the government offices are and why the whole government had to get out of the process of the fight and located to enemy camp. so there is still fighting on and on. of course the government has been displaced from the offices. that is why we say we have lost control there. but there is still fighting going on with resistance so we wouldn't say it's completely captured because there is still presence. >> reporter: back in the capitol the day is ending. people look for cover ahead of what they fear is a night of violence ahead. and worried political tensions and old ethnic rivalries plague
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the country in another civil war. al jazeera, duba. >> reporter: an oil tycoon who was once the richest man in russia has been released from prison. he was pardoned by vladimir putin and sentenced for tax evasion, money laundering and fraud and it's part of an amnesty bill pass bid parliament and frees members of the riot and green peace activists and ukraine passed a bill with amnesty during a government crack down and the bill will next be sent to the president and they are calling it a victory and urging protesters to stand their ground and ukraine risks defaulting on debts and looking to the eu and russia for an economic life jacket and agreed to a $15 billion russian bail out plan.
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and this is in iraq capitol and 8 people dead and after suicide bombers targeted pill -- pilgrims and violence in iraq is the highest level since troops withdraw their two years ago. target is trying to contain a data security disaster threatening to drive off shoppers than hackers stole thousands from them since black friday and having a hard time contacting the website and call centers and one consumer already filed a lawsuit against the company and we will discuss the target breach with the cyber security expert. investigators are trying to figure out why a ceiling came crashing down in a packed london theatre and happened during a live show at the apollo and 76 were hurt and some seriously when a 30 x 30 foot portion of
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the ceiling fell on the audience and at first they thought the noise was part of the show. >> we just thought it was sound of the theatre and then yeah we looked up and the whole ceiling was coming down. >> reporter: emergency crews worked quickly to evacuate the theatre and treat the wounded. the apollo was opened in 1901 and ticket fees for the show included a sur charge for theatre restoration. it's a tradition this time of year for presidents to pardon prisoners and president obama did that thursday, reducing sentences for eight people. as randall pickston reports all of them were serving time for drug convictions. >> reporter: it's the administration's latest effort to makeup for drug laws widely seen as unfair. until 2010 a person convicted of possessing crack cotan has a longer sentence of someone having the same amount of powder
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cocaine and crack was more addictive and destruction and they were poor and minorities and in 2010 with by partisan support passed the fair sentencing act and removed some disparities but only applied to new convictions. people who had been convicted under the old rule remain in prison. a concern addressed last summer by attorney general holder. >> too many americans go to too many prisons for far too long and for no truly good law enforcement reason. >> reporter: among them aaron was sentenced to life in prince in 93 when he was a 23-year-old college student, his crime introducing two drug dealers. today aaron was one of eight people whose sentence was commuted by president obama and in a statement the white house said each served 15 years in prison. if they had been sentenced under
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the current law many of them would have already served their time and paid their debt to society. instead, because of a disparity in the law that is now recognized as unjust, they remain in prison at a cost of millions of taxpayer dollars each year. in addition to the eight president obama also pardoned 13 people who had previously completed sentences on a variety of charges including embezzlement and robbery. randall pickston, al jazeera. >> president obama granted 52 pardons, the fewest by a president in resent history and comparison george w bush granted 62 pardons by the end of his fifth year in office. e cigarette user rs in new york will have to take it outside because of a new city council ban and means smokers cannot puff on electronic cigarettes in doors and public places. the law has support of outgoing michael bloomberg and will take
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effect four months after he signs it, no smoke comes out, just a vapor and four states expanded the indoor smoking bands to include e cigarettes. a storm system gaining strength could cause problem answer more on the forecast and let's bring in dave warren and good morning dave. >> depends on where you are to see what the storm will create for you, if you want the winter wonder land may not see it across the east coast and will bring up air and could be record highs and to the north of that there is snow and a mix, a storm all the way to the southwest will continue to intensify. look at that, 12:11 and tomorrow when winter begins and timing of the solstice and cold on the great lakes and the sharp divider seeing where the front is it cold and to the south is warm and record-high temperatures and rain with the
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storm. to the north and south of chicago by noon tomorrow we will start to see a mix developing and eventually we will see a little more snow as it moves in the colder air. that is really not until saturday night and sunday so overnight the storm intensifies and severe weather to the south, a lot of rain up north and snow just in the northwestern portion of illinois there and heading up through minnesota. it will move to the northeast with the mix pushing up into canada and a lot of rain and flooding is the big problem here. there is the heavy snow across kansas and oklahoma. that is saturday and by sunday well here is what to expect, a lot of rain across the northeast. stephanie? >> david thank you. janet yellen will wait for the new year to be officially named the next fed chair and senate expected to push the nomination forward with a procedural vote and adjourn for the year. the reason for the postponement and senate republicans used
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stalling tactics to send a message to senate democrats who changed the rules to delay confer makes and the confirmation vote will now be held on january 6, if he replaces outgoing been bernanke as expected she would be the first woman to hold the job. a new report is revealing details about why the u.s. airforce fired a top nuclear general in october. the investigation says mayor kerry drank too much and engaged in inappropriate behavior with women last year during an official trip to russia and kerry was leading a u.s. delegation participating in a nuclear security exercise with russia and he is now serving as a special assistant in the airforce space command. another change to obamacare that could impact millions of americans, what the white house is doing to help people dropped by their insurance company. research raising concerns of the impact of anxiety and stress can increase your chances of having a stroke.
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and oscar winning film making shining a light on iran and the unusual things he does to create art under his country's strict laws. >> reporter: bad news for the la lakers, their star kobe bryant suffers another injury and status and a look around the association later in sports. ♪
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♪ good morning and welcome back to al jazeera america, i'm stephanie sy, the white house issued new changes to the president's healthcare law, ahead we will tell dwrou who will be impacted by that with a deadline to sign up nowadays away and first let's look at what temperatures we will see across the nation today and dave warren is back. >> temperatures are the key and it will determine who gets the rain and snow. certainly a clear divider about where that warm up is and where the cool air is. as far as temperatures go, it looks like chicago 36, 37, staying on the cool side, 33 and dropping to 16. so colder over the weekend. differ in new york. 50s, close to 60, near 70.
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much warmer weather here to southeast and mid-atlantic states but that does come with some rain. that finally followed by colder air monday and tuesday going from 60 down to 36 and a big difference depends where you are. to the east it's warm and north and west a little cool. >> reporter: to the affordable care act, days before the registration deadline expires the obama administration changed the rules, people who had policies cancelled is sign up for a cheaper bare bones plan and it could destabilize the market because that coverage is typically only given to younger customers and could embolden republicans who pushed for an obamacare mandate. >> reporter: the obama administration put a last-minute change to the federal healthcare law targeting millions of americans faced with the cancellation of their health insurance policies. the shift comes just days before the deadline for people to sign
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up for coverage starting january first n a bulletin released thursday night, the department of health and human services said if you have been notified that your individual market policy will not be renewed you will be eligible for a hardship exemption and will be able to enroll in catastrophic coverage. the exemption puts the brakes on what was one of the central features of the federal healthcare policy, a requirement that most americans have insurance by january 1st or get fined. the new rule is a more relaxed approach and gives consumers the option of having bare bones catastrophic coverage or none at all. and a spokesman for the health insurance plan says the latest rule change could cause significant intoable in the marketplace and lead to further confusion and disruption for consumers. the healthcare.gov crashed on the launch preventing millions of customers signing up and the
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biggest blow cancellation notices for 4 million people and something the president promised would not happen. >> i'm sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me. >> reporter: thursday's announcement is the latest attempt by the administration and democrats, many who are up for reelection next year to correct what has been a rocky roll out of the affordable healthcare account and they instituted a one-year delay and provision that requires larger employers to offer coverage to workers, on november 27 it postponed a rule allowing businesses to buy employees insurance on line through the federal exchange and they got rid of a long-term care insurance program saying it would cost too much money. the once troubled ridden website is now working more smoothly and they also added 800 more staff members for americans who want enrollment advice on the phone and erica with al jazeera.
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>> reporter: president obama had initially asked insurers to reinstate policies that were cancelled because they did not meet coverage requirements laid out by the government but after they refused to comply mr. obama authorized the catastrophic provision. stress may increase the risk of stroke. a university of pittsburgh study found those who suffer from high anxiety are 30% more likely to suffer a stroke and people who are stressed out all the time are also less likely to exercise and more likely to be smokers, both factors that of course increase the risk of stroke. the lakers receiving more bad news about their superstar mark morgan is sports, this is my home team and i can't believe kobe is out again. >> and in chicago you hate to say an athlete get hurt and fight to come back and get injured again. his return back was short lived and he rehabbed the entire season to get back on the court played just six games before
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suffering a fracture in his left knee and sustained the injury tuesday against memphis and averaging 14 points a game and a season high 21 in this game and he hyper extended his knee on the play. he is expected to miss six weeks of action. >> that is too bad. you hate it for kobe and worked so hard getting back and he will be back in six weeks and he will have to weather the storm and take us back. >> all you do is feel for the guys and know how hard he worked for this point and for that to happen is tough and i'm sure he will work hard to get back as soon as possible and be ready. >> like a roller coaster and he comes back and started to play another way and getting in the groove and get comfortable now and this is the day. no point guard, no kobe, still we got each other and do out there and play for him and play for each other. >> he will do what he needs to
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be ready. he is too much of a competitor to do that and there is a discussion but i think he will be back in six weeks and hunting for some bear. >> reporter: last season's first coach sat four key players before a huge nationally televised game against the heat and fined $250,000 by the nba. last night with tony parker out with an injury he took two rested and shorthanded spurs on the road and facing the warriors and the short jumper got it and the spurs have lead 39-38 and a great off season pick up and dribbles and led san antonio with 8 and 3 of 30 and midway through the fourth and game tied
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102. a scramble for the ball and put it home and the spurs without their big three win it 104-102. meantime the streaking thunder winners hosting the bulls and durant has 29 per game and on fire to start out and he nail as 3 and thunder up 6 early and jackson drives what we call a high percentage shot and second half more of the same and westbrook from durand. late in the game thunder pulling away and durant another 3 and four or 4 and 107-95 and 8 in a row for okc and the only unbeaten team 13-0. duke's parker began the season as one of the nation's most talented freshman and only improved the status in the early going. blue devil's under bright lights
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at madison square garden facing ucla and gives duke a lift from 3 from the top of the heat and duke down one and parker another triple to make it 40-37 and duke would not trail again. and which was an ongoing theme. parker will hit another three from the corner putting duke up six in the second half and had four threes, this is pretty, parker connecting from the outside and now he is just having fun and will trail the play for the slam dunk and leads the scores 23, duke rips the bruins 83-# 0 and that is a wrap for sports this hour. >> reporter: thanks so much. it's not often we get a look at the m comreks culture and society of iran and back in 2011 iran director osc ashgs rshar-f buzz and we sat down with the director in new york city. iran's best known director,
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asghar farhadi is circling the globe to promote his latest film. >> i see out of my country for a long time. >> reporter: it is set in paris but like everything that farhadi does the past is a product of his home land, an iran man played by an iran man returns to france to divorce his estranged french wife played by an actress and the drama is personal, not political their relationship serves as a metaphor for east/west relations. >> and issues. >> translator: there is a world of misunderstanding between them. perhaps we can't really call it their differences. in the opening scene we see them placed on two sides of the glass pane, they see each other and talk to each other but it seems they don't hear each other. >> reporter: when farhadi released the separation the strain in iran's relationship to the united states was making
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headlines. the movie made more than $7 million in american box offices and earned iran its first ever oscar in the best foreign feature category. the win was celebrated on iran state television despite the government's earlier efforts to shut down the film's production. according to iranian film expert film expert john making an award-winning film under iran censorship codes is nothing short of a miracle. >> you see here that is not allowed in iran movies and faraadi is adept in navigating through the treacherous waters of the codes and it's a skill he developed and manages to be making socially critical films without sounding critical at all. >> reporter: has censorship eased under the new president in iran? . >> translator: it is still too soon to judge. this government has only been in
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office for a few months. before things were so bad that anything that happens now is good. >> with the past farhadi avoided sensors by shooting abroad but the film has been shown and well received in iran. in the united states there is talk of another oscar if the success of his films are any guide, the two countries have much more in common than their governments have led us to believe. kristen in new york. >> reporter: iran reopened its house of cinema, a fraternity of 5,000 film makers in september, it had been closed since 2012. 40 million credit cards put at risk, retail giant target is trying to calm fears of customers and we will talk with a cyber expert if the problem is really fixed. a multi-billion industry and source of hard-fought legal battles, a look in side of patent trolls and the big money
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at stakes and parents and teachers in mexico clashing with one another, what sparked violence between the two sides. ♪
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♪ welcome back to al jazeera america, i'm stephanie sy and these are the top stories at this hour, 84-15 vote and it goes to president obama for signature and has $552 billion for standard military expenditures and $# 1 billion for the war in afghanistan and cracks down on rape and sexual assault in the military. president obama using his clemency powers to have sentences for eight crack cocaine offenders saying it was unfair and pardoned 13 others who served time for various federal crimes. thousands are in search of
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safety in south sudan as the world's largest country is on the brink of war and peace keepers in india are dead and the u.s. deployed a small military contingent to go to duba. across the country holiday shoppers are contending with a massive security breach at one of the nation's top retailer and hackers have stole end credit and debit cards since black friday and some say they will not shop att target until it is fixed and the culprits caught. >> target says if you shopped between november 27 and december 15 and used your credit, debit or store card your personal information may have been stolen. 40 million customers could be effected. >> it's really concerning because i shopped here quite a few times since black friday and
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makes me want to go check out my accounts to make sure everything is straight. >> reporter: the stolen information has names, credit card numbers and expiration dates. >> i might be done for shopping at target for a little while. >> reporter: target has not revealed how i happened but fixed the problem and apologized to consumers. the company's ceo said target's first priority is preserving the trust of guests and moved swiftly to address the issue so guests can shop with confidence and we regret any inconvenience or concern this may cause you. paula used her card at a target in new york and this week she noticed a $400 charge she said she never made. >> i will run my debit and i won't do that any more. i don't think the banks have it secure enough for us yet or the stores. it's not a matter of a bank robber taking a tissue paper and getting it out of the waste basket any more, it's cyber. >> reporter: the minnesota-based company reached
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out to banks and a forensic firm to launch an investigation and the secret service is now involved. >> in 100 or 130 million credit card breaches happened in the past and this will not be the last one. >> this does not effect online shopper, only those who had cards in target stores in the u.s. and if that is you check your statement and look for charges you do not recognize large and small and call your credit card company and bank to be sure you are not charged for fraudulent services and replace your card and pin number. i'm with al jazeera. >> reporter: now this is not the first time a cyber heist like this has been pulled off, but target is definitely the largest retailer ever hit by hackers and target is the largest retailer behind kmart and costco is fourth and target announced it fixed the problem that effected cyber forensics p
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at perdue university in west lafayette indiana in morning and thanks for being with us this morning. how can we be sure that target has effectively fixed the security breach and isn't the personal informati it's extremely difficult to say we fixed it and if they fixed this attack there is no such thing as a secured network in any organization especially in a big company like target and it's just a matter of what
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troubling and in that situation the best advice is cancel the cards. >> i had not heard about the white cards, that is interesting and there have been cases of massive data breaches in years and card information from 90 million customers was stolen from tj-maxx and 160 accounts from jp pennies and 7-11 combined and why does this keep happen is aggregation of data. now we have more of our information in fewer places so
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they want to collect data, it's easier for the stores to deal with very large database of this information in one location than to spread this information across multiple companies or multiple databases. and the bad guys know this and have a single point to attack and it becomes a lot easier and you have the convenience factor and information contained in the cards. >> reporter: the information was taken from the magnetic strip off the back of credit and debit cards, in london they had pin chip systems is this magnetic facet of the perdue
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university and thanks for joining us, looking at what is making news in financial and business world, a move that could set a precedent for transparency in the tela communications industry and verizon is the first to disclose details on number of requests it receives by the government on customer data. the country's largest cell phone carrier will publish reports online early next year and update them twice a year, the decision by verizon is a debate over data gathering by the national security agency heats up in washington.
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stock futures are higher at this hour. the dow managing to creep back in record territory yesterday. the dow jones starts the day at 16,179. s&p 500 stands at 1809 and nasdaq is 4, 058 and european markets are higher after the rally and s&p taking away the aaa credit rating and the rating agency says deteriorating credit worthiness in eu and the budget battle was behind the move. and china composite closing at the lowest level in five months on concern of a credit squeeze in the country. later this morning investors get a look at how the economy performed in the third quarter and expect the gross domestic product to stay 3.6% but one economist said what we saw in the third quarter could slow fourth quarter growth.
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>> people are revising up the consumer spending forecast to reflect what is going on in the current quarter but this is depressing from inventory cycle meaning you built it in the third quarter and sell it in the fourth quarter and don't need to build more in the fourth quarter. >> this accounts for half of the economy's growth. patent licensing is a multi-billion industry and also at the heart of some of the nation's hardest and most expensive and hardest fought lawsuit and take this research, it bought 4g patents last december and one day later it filed lawsuit against htc, blackberry, verizon, t-mobile, boost mobile and sprint. there is now a nickname for those kinds of companies, patent trolls and purchase a patent and sue others that require the technology. the odds are good that they will get their money. the median pay out last year was close to $8.9 million.
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companies like akosha win 1-4 of the lawsuits and the judgments can be found in eastern virginia, delaware and eastern texas. so why is that? al jazeera's heidi has the story of big money in the small town of marshall, texas. >> reporter: this is the busiest time of year at the la warehouse of electronics retailer new egg.com. the company is rushing to process holiday orders from its website and with each click customers tap into a patented technology that another company tqp company claims it's theirs. >> you infringe this patent every single day. >> the patent purchased from the original mentor years ago is a web encryption method that essentially covers every website user interaction in every corner of the internet. >> our belief is that it's just too broad to have been patented.
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>> reporter: new egg was one ten companies sued for patent infringement last year and the case wasn't filed near a tech hub in washington or california, it was filed here in marshall, texas. population 24,000. >> when you see a whole wave of black suit you know the lawyers are in town. >> reporter: a quarter of last year's patent cases were filed in this eastern texas federal court district. why? the court clerk says it's due to local rules that get cases to trial quickly. >> having a case that moves along rather than one that just linger force a long time is attractive i think to plaintiffs. >> some say there is another reason. less than 18% of people in harrison have degrees and that is low and plaintiff lawyers exploit that hoping to find juries less likely to understand
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the complexities of patent law and the president connie wear was on a patent jury and disputes that claim. >> it was confusing and we would go back to the jury room and go oh, my gosh. i think a jury in another area would still come up with probably the same conclusions. >> reporter: tech companies know the value of a good pr campaign here in marshall where almost anyone could be on your next jury. a city official tells us samsung sued here multiple times spent almost $1 million on community projects like this ice skating rink right in front of the courthouse. then there are these, the empty offices of companies trying to establish legal grounds to file their lawsuits in marshall. new egg calls these plaintiffs patent trolls because they make no product and make money by acquiring broad patents and suing whoever they can. >> these entities are shells, empty shells and don't do anything but sue. >> reporter: tqp the company
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that sued new egg sued 800 other companies. most defendants including amazon, ibm and microsoft have settled for million dollars or less. it cost between 2-6 million to take a patent case to trial. this unmarked office in marshall is tqp's headquarters and did not answer the door or return our calls. this marshall patent attorney says the so called trolls are not doing anything illegal. >> what the constitution says is that you have an exclusive right to use your own ideas and to keep it from the rest of the world. >> reporter: a marshall jury agreed in november granting tqp $2.3 million in damages from new egg. new egg says it will appeal. and as the evening draws to a close, the people of marshall enjoy their skating rink in the middle of their patent litigation capital. heidi with al jazeera marshall,
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texas. >> attorneys general from 43 states have sign add letter to the federal trade conmission calling for an investigation and causing problems for small businesses and stifling technological invasion. in mexico dozens of parents and teachers clashed outside. and the teachers were ousted last september that lasted months and replaced with teachers from another union. the fighting broke out thursday when they tried to return only to be met by parents wheeling rocks and sticks. hundreds of police responded, at least 19 people were injured. the final chapter of the home sick hijacker case is set to unfold. according to legal documents william pots junior who has publically admitted to hijacking a miami bound flight in 2004 will plead guilty and he is called home sick see hijacker
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and he was 30 years in cuba and hoped to be welcome as a revolutionary but instead served 13 years in a cuba prison and if he is convicted the 58-year-old could face to life this time in an american prison. copper has been chile's main export and the price quadrupled thanks to china and spurred their growth and unemployment is the lowest rate in 40 years. and al jazeera's newman is live near a mine in chile and good morning, how did this economic partnership come about? >> hello stephanie, there is an opening to a mine and the world's largest copper mine and the chinese know it. the relationship between chile
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and china is a natural and both seen something they need in the other and, in fact, chile is the first country to enter more than a decade ago and china clearly needs the copper and needs to sell it and the fact that the chinese have such an appetite for the copper means that the prices you must mentioned has quadrupled over the decade and gone from exporting 4 billion to 40 billion worth of copper per year and that is a huge difference and chile has the highest income in latin america and on the threshold of becoming a developing country thanks for the appetite for the copper. >> fascinating for china to branch out in countries and we are live in chile and bad weather could wreak havoc and where it is. "national geographic" picks the top pictures of the year, a look
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at which ones they crowned as the best of the best. ♪ (vo) al jazeera america
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welcome back to anning america, just ahead award winning pictures of the year from a peek-a-b peek-a-boopolar bear and swans in the snow and now we have weather and dave. >> rain and snow and it will pick up in intensity over the weekend and now the watches and warnings are in, winter storm watch in effect through the middle of the country and not far away the temperatures will jump in the 50s with a flood watch in effect and a lot of rain and a little snow. this is the outlook hour by hour and at noon rain and severe weather possible saturday with a mix just up through missouri and illinois and just up to the great lakes and intensifies and there is severe weather and heavy snow north of chicago and by saturday night and early sunday and will continue to push to the east, nothing behind it,
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just seeing rain across the mid-atlantic and rain and mix, that is on saturday followed by a little snow on sunday. stephanie. >> dave, thank you, over the next few days millions of americans will be in the air or on the road for the holidays, crowds and terminals and nation's highways picking up dramatically and the rush home starts today and where people are going and what to expect and jay gray is live for us live in atlanta, good morning, jay. >> good morning stephanie pick up on 75 and 85 over my shoulder and will continue. aaa say it could be the busiest end of the year travel seize ever for families getting on the roads and also could be one of the least expend -- expensive as they pull up. the holiday rush officially begins this morning on runways and roadways across the country.
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>> aaa expects 94.5 million people will travel for the year-end holidays this year. >> reporter: that would be the most ever. majority of those travelers filling their tanks for a holiday road trip and taking advantage of gas prices at a three-year low. >> extra money in the pocket when it's christmastime and presents and everything like that. >> reporter: the average price is $3.22 a gallon and falling. >> 1-5 stations are selling gas below $3 and we expect it to fall through the christmas holiday. >> reporter: for some the trip home for the holidays is just a bit too far to drive. >> i am from texas but that is a 17-hour drive so thankful i will be flying that one. >> reporter: about 5 1/2 million passengers will line up at security gates and load on to planes. data from the travel website kyack.com says the most popular destinations are on the east coast and new year's eve the hot
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spots are hot spots, beaches in florida and mexico and caribbean islands. whether it's surf or snow, wherever you go you likely won't be alone. >> the most people ever traveling for the holidays. >> reporter: of course for many being together left the season and what it's all about. now i'm not sure if traffic counts as being together but look a closer look inside the numbers show the average holiday trip will cover more than 800 miles and average cost is $765 and both figures up from this time last year, that is live from atlanta, jay gray and back to you have. >> a talking robot come completed a mission and made small talk with a japanese
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astraunet and instead of using preset phrases and joins iss in november and stay with the team through next year. "national geographic" has picked its top pictures of the year. going through thousands of entries from professionals and amateurs rounds the world and al jazeera john shows us some of the winning images. here it is the "national geographic" prize winter from seattle, a polar bear peering up from the ice as the midnight sun sets over canada's hudson bay and the bear watched him for several seconds under the surface before taking a deep breath and swimming away. it's a spectacular shot including this from japan, crows living in tokyo using coat hangers for a nest because there are few trees there and
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resembles a work of art. this is hungry and catching this in the title area of the danu and this is titled appropriately enough, a man feeding swans in the snow. from may lee malaysia another winner, adam tan trained his camera out of town in transition from the old to the new with a mother carrying a child in a basket here an lioness is waiting in the desert and the photographer followed the pride for 30 minutes before an antelope went by and said this means more than the whole sequence that came after it because it ended badly for the antelope and pictures of a poor family living in belgium and a child with a cautious grip on a bird. >> reporter: al jazeera's john is reporting. you can find the contest winners and honorable mentions on the "national geographic" blog proof. at the end of our first hour
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here is what we are following the morning, the senate approved a sweeping defense bill addresses sexual assaults in military and block commanders from overturning court marshal decisions on sex assault cases. the obama administration is scaling back another rule to the federal healthcare law. the shift will allow some of the millions of americans whose insurance policies had been cancelled to purchase bare bones plans next year and president obama says south sudan is on the verge of a civil war an ordered 45 soldiers to the region to protect american citizens and clashes in duba started spreading to other parts of country. new defense bill will lift the most rigid restrictions from transfers from guantanamo bay and we will talk to security and human campaign in the u.s. of what it means for 100 prisoners still at the facility and it's known as music city with thousands of jobs in nashville tied to the music injury and we will show you how one high
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school is giving students a leg up on others who want to make it in the business. and winter begins in weekend and talking about a little snow and also record highs. the storm that is causing it all, i'll have a look at that with the forecast coming up. >> reporter: al jazeera news continues and we are back where >> start with one issue ad guests on all sides of the debate. and a host willing to ask the tough questions and you'll get... the inside story ray suarez hosts inside story weekdays at 5pm et / 2pm pt only on al jazeera america
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hearing this i'm sure from patients. does big pharma impact the doctors in their decision to not offer alternatives to the pill here? >> i think that there is evidence that if you have interactions with pharmaceutical companies, it does impact -- and there's actually pretty good studies based -- that have looked at physician prescribing patterns and interactions with big pharma. i think one of the luxuries i have is i'm in academic medicine, and we have a policy that we don't interact with pharmaceutical companies. so i hope that gives me a better perspective. and i think a lot of these doctors aren't having these conversations with their patients because i have countless patients who come to me and said they have never
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heard of iud's. so i think there is some impact of that. we know there's an impact of that. and it makes it challenging, you know, to -- to have a completely unbiased view even though we as doctors like to think we have an unbiased view, there has been evidence that shows that they do impact us in some ways. so i think it's important for us to go out and educate our providers too. there is no one size fits all birth control, and there are a lot of options that work for women. >> we want to take a closer look, are there unique challenges facing women in minority communities when
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>> the u.s. rejects india's demand for an apology an in the arrest of an indian diplomat. >> freed from prison, putin sign as decree pardoning his political nemeses. can his gesture escape the criticism of the politics behind the release. >> american troops on the ground in south sudan as the situation spiral out of control in africa's newest nation. president obama sends in a team of u.s. forces to protect american citizens. >> how do you think mainstream
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media defines women of color. anybody? go ahead. >> women of color find their voice through poetry. speaking volumes and providing comfort. >> there will be no apology, nor will the u.s. drop charges. hello and welcome to aljazeera america. i'm stephanie sy. the united states toughened its stance on an indian diplomat arrested and strip searched. it is the latest development in a fallout scraping relations between the u.s. and its long time ally. india is refusing to budge. the countries external affairs minister is demanding more than just an expression of regret from the u.s. the woman at the center of the diplomatic fire storm on the
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outrage on the streets of india. >> protestors in the indian city vent their anger at the united states. the arrest and detention of an indian diplomat by american authorities in new york city on december 12 sparked a nationwide backlash against one of india's strongest allies. new delhi is extremely unhappy about how india's deputy consul general was treated. >> we have seen the statement issued by the manhattan u.s. attorney on december 18. we need to keep in mind the simple fact that there is only one victim in this case. that victim is the serving indian diplomat on mission in the united states. >> this story has captured the indian media's attention. news outlets are pitching the arrest and detention including strip searches and cavity checks as the humiliation of the nation. many people have welcomed the
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government's strong response and new delhi appears determined to set an international example. >> >> it is not a matter of india alone but all developed nations should learn and raise their voice whenever such incidents take place. >> anti americans slogans are shouted. their angry chants are feeding a growing chorus of disconsent. new delhi and the united wrangle over the policies. >> the policies are not good enough. essentially, the case has to be withdrawn. >> india and the united states have traditionally shared a strong relationship, but this row represents one of the biggest diplomatic breakdowns between the two nations in
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recent years. with both sides standing firm, it's hard to see a quick end to this crisis. >> it seems the obama administration is distancing itself from the statements made by the u.s. prosecutor in new york city, that the arrest was justified. a state department official called india's fortune secretary and says the u.s. does not share the views on the case and offers dialogue on issues of diplomatic immunity between the two countries. >> russian oil tycoon is a tree man after spending 10 years in prison. putin surprised many by making the announcement to pardon him and allow him to go free. the former russian oil tycoon and one of the world's richest men was a kremlin critic which many say why he was imprisoned. peter sharp has the story. >> less than 24 hours after
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president putin stunned the nation by announcing he was going to pardon his fiercest critic and one of his most credible opponents, mikael was a free man. president putin signed the pardon this morning, friday morning in moscow and the news was carried immediately to the penal colony where he's serving the last seven months of a 10 year sentence for fraud. at the moment, his legal team are heading towards the prison. there's some confusion about who actually asked for this pardon. his legal team said they didn't. they always pushed off a plea for a pardon, because that would a.m. his guilt. whether putin asked to this pardon because his mother was ill we'll know as he walks free. two words in moscow today, charm
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offensive, this seen by put i tin's critic as an effort to spruce up russia's record on human rights before the olympic. >> president obama will sign a sweeping new defense budget. the measure was passed in an 84-15 vote, calling for $552 billion in military expenditures. landmark legislation strips commanders from the right to overturn convictions in sexual assault cases. >> the national defense authorization act is the first defense bill to overhaul the way sexual assault cases are handled in the armed services. the 30 sexual assault provisions were spearheaded by new york senator christian jill brand and other senate women in response to what the pentagon has called an epidemic.
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the legislation means that victims must be provided with legal counsel. it eliminates the statute of limitations for courts marshall in sexual assault cases and limits retaliation for those reporting assault. it calls for a dishonorable discharge of those accused of sexual assault. the deal did prohibit commanders from overturning verdicts in sexual assault cases. the $625 billion budget as he said aside $80 billion toward the afghanistan war and raises salary for military members by 1%. not everyone is praise in the bipartisan legislation. >> here's the question. is it this choice between keeping the government open and screwing all those military retirees? >> those military retirees cost of living increases were scaled
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back by 1%. >> it is absolutely wrong to take from our military retirees, those who have sacrificed the most, to take it from their backs to pay for this budget agreement. >> disabled veterans and their survivors were also originally part of the cuts, but senator patty murray has said she will offer a technical fix to exempt them. as for obama's first term pledge to close guantanamo bay, it eases restrictions on other countries to take detainees. >> the new defense bill also authorizes the pentagon to help destroy syria's chemical weapons stockpiles but does not address several major issues facing lawmakers, including sanctions against iran and n.s.a. surveillance programs. >> u.s. troops are now on the ground in south sudan.
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thursday, president obama deployed a team of 45 u.s. soldiers to the region to protect americans. the situation in the african nation is on the precipice of a civil war said the president. clashes in the capitol have spread to other parts of the country, including the largest state. two indian peace keepers have died in an attack on a u.n. compound and at least 500 civilians are feared dead since last weekend. aljazeera has more on the spiraling violence. >> officials checking passports, those here who want to leave south sudan must be on the evacuation list. foreigners and some locals are being flown out of the country. they've been told it's for security reasons. u.s. soldiers are also in the capitol juba, making sure it's safe for planes to take off and land. they've monitored the situation together with u.n. troops. many people can't leave. they find safety in u.n. com pounds. during the day, they go out to find food, but make sure they
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return before sunset. >> this is the area where most of the fighting took place. it's almost curfew time and families are coming into the compound for safety. they say they don't feel safe sleeping at home at note. >> how many rights watch said civilians are being targeted along ethnic lines. supporters are mainly dinka. >> for them now, they are waiting for us outside here. if you go outside, they can kill you. >> the violence is blamed on an attempted coup. he denies he tried to take over the country. government troops have lost control in areas. >> where the fighting occurred, it was the city center where the government offices are.
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that's why the whole government had to get out of the process of the fight. there is still fighting on and on. of course, the government has been displaced from the offices. there is still fighting going on within resistance. there is still presence. >> back in the capitol, the day is ending. people look for cover for that what they say is a night of violence ahead. the country could be nearing a civil war. >> before south sudan became independent in 2011, sudan struggled through a 22 year civil war that left more than a million people dead. >> amnesty international said at least a thousand have been killed in two days of fighting between muslims and christians in the central african republic. in a report, the groom said war
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crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed. u.s. ambassador samantha power arrived for meetings with officials. the u.n. will support its military effort there. >> a no report sheds light on why the u.s. air force fired a top general in charge of nuclear missiles in october. the report said major general michael carey drank too much and engaged in inappropriate behavior with women during an official trip to russia. he was leading a u.s. delegation participating in a nuclear exercise with russia. he now serves as a special assistant in the space command. >> three months after the shootings at the washington navy yard federal officials are calling out the agency that oversees security there. a new report says the federal protective service needs to do more to make sure contract guards employed at 9600
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government facilities are properly trained and certified. those guards protect 1.4 million federal workers each day. navy yard gunman aaron alexis had the clearance to yes security but wasn't screened and able to smuggle a rifle on to the premises. >> it's the time of year for presidents to pardon prisoners. president obama reduced sentences for eight people. all of them were serving time for drug convictions. >> president obama's decision is the administration's latest effort to make up for drug laws widely seen as unfair. until 2010, a person convicted of possessing crack cocaine faced a longer sentence than someone convicted of possessing the same at of powder campaign. criminologists viewed is as more detective. most of those convicted were
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poor and minorities. in 2010, congress with bipartisan support passed the fair sentencing act. it removed some of the disparities, but only applied to new convictions, people convicted under the old rule remained in prison, a concern addressed by attorney general holder. >> too many americans go to too many prisons for far too long and for no truly good law enforcement reason. >> among them, clarence aaron, sentenced to life in prison in 1993 when he was a 22-year-old louisiana college student. his crime, introducing two drug dealers. today, aaron was one of the eight people whose sentence was commuted by president obama. in a statement, the white house pointed out that each of them had served more than 15 years in prison. if they had been sentenced under the current law, many of them would have already served their time and paid their debt to society. instead, because of the disparity in the law that is now
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recognized as unjust, they remain in prison at a cost of millions of taxpayer dollars each year. >> in addition, president obama also pardoned 13 people who had previously completed sentences on a variety of charges, including embezzlement and robbery. randall pinkston, aljazeera. >> the president has now granted 52 pardons, the fewest by a president in recent history. by comparison, former president george w. bush granted 62 pardons by the end of his fifth year in office. >> a storm could cause problems for upcoming holiday travel. >> mostly rain this weekend, but big contrast between rain to snow and in a small area. that is the big challenge here with building forecast. storm developing across the southwest. there's rain there, and it will continue to push off to the
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most. 12/11, that is when winter begins. a sharp contrast in temperatures as that storm gathers strength and moves right along this difference in temperature here. a mix of snow up to the north, a lot of rain to the south, even severe weather, a chance of severe storms across the southeast. 12:00 tomorrow, here's this mix, right through portions of missouri and illinois, and then rain coming down to the south with even severe weather across the southeast. it will continue to intensify saturday night. it's across the great lakes. here's that line of severe storms, as it gets colder, we see that mix changing over into just plain snow. good accumulations here across missouri and iowa. sunday, the storm will be pushing across the east and there we have that snow pushing well up into canada. that's how warm that is here, that is rain, mainly rain is pushing off the atlantic coast by sunday evening.
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what to expect? here's that heavy rain and snow. this will be saturday, see that rain could even have storms across the southeast. by sunday, all moving up to the great lakes as far as the snow goes into canada. here's that rain, a rainy end of the weekend, but rather warm from philadelphia all the way up to new york. stephanie. >> dave, thank you. >> another twist not rollout of the obama administration's health care plan. the white house relaxes a federal rule just days before a deadline and the insurance industry is not happy. >> testing for tuberculosis. one high school screening all students for are possible exposure to the disease. >> china's growing demand for power helping one latin american country become a powerhouse. >> $1 billion, it's our big number of the day and it's why 1 billionaire is keeping his promise to spend his money on philanthropy.
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>> $1 billion, that's the amount mark zuckerberg will pocket from
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selling 70 million shares in his company facebook. it's the young entrepreneurs first shedding of stock since his social networking site went public. he also plan to say donate a sizeable amount of shares to charity, worth almost $1 billion. we'll go to the silicon valley community foundation, a non-profit organization in mount 10 view, california. >> welcome back to aljazeera marrying. more changes to the affordable care act that will mean a reprieve to millions of americans being dropped by their insurers. first lets look at what temperatures we can expect across the nation today. meteorologist dave warren is back. dave. >> big nation, so we're looking at a wide range of temperatures, you can see cold air coming down from canada, 13 degrees in billings, 34 in chicago, 63 memphis, houston at 68. big contrast with temperatures also the cold air moves south and warm air north. we could be talking about record high temperatures not in chicago.
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we'll just see that cold air coming in with wintery weather here friday and saturday, then cold air sunday and monday. there's that arctic blast with the high temperature 60 degrees. close to 70, this is in new york city, temperatures with rain coming down, we'll be close to 70, near record high temperatures today, the cold eventually getting here by next week. >> just days before registration deadline, the obama administration has changed the rules. people who had insurance policies canceled can now sign up for a cheaper bare bones health plan. insurers warn the move could destabilize the market, because that coverage is typically only given to younger customers, and it could embolden republicans who pushed for a broader exemption to the mandate. we have more. >> the obama administration put out a last minute change to the federal health care allow targeting millions of americans faced with the cancellation of their health insurance policies,
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the shift comes just days before the deadline for people to sign up for coverage starting january 1. in a bulletin released thursday night, the department of health and human services said if you have been notified that your individual market policy will not be renewed, you will be eligible for a hardship exemption and able to enroll in catastrophic coverage. the exemption puts the brakes on what was one of the central features of the federal health care policy, a requirement that most americans have insurance by january 1, or get fined. the new rule is a more relaxed approach and gives consumers the option of having bare bones catastrophic coverage or none at all. the news triggered immediate criticism from the insurance industry. a spokesman for the health insurance plan said the latest change could cause significant instability in the marketplace and cause further disruption four consumers. the health care website crashed on launch, preventing millions
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of customers from signing up and cancellation issued to at least 4 million people, something the president promised would not happen. >> i am sorry that they, you know, are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me. >> thursday's announcement is the latest attempt by the administration and democrats, many who are up for reelection next year to correct a rocky rollout of the affordable care act. the white house instituted a one year delay in a provision that offers coverage to workers. on november 27, it postponed a rule allowing small businesses to buy their employees insurance on line through the federal exchange and in october, 2011, the administration got rid of a long-term care insurance program, saying it would cost too much money. it appears the website is working more smoothly. it has added 800 more staff members for americans who wanton
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rollment advice on the phone. aljazeera. >> president obama had initially asked insurers to reinstate policies that were canceled because they didn't meet minimum coverage requirements laid out by the new law. after carriers and state officials refused to comply, mr. obama authorized the catastrophic coverage provision. >> more than 1800 students, faculty and students in southern california will be tested for tuberculosis friday. as many as 45 students tested positive for possible exposure to the illness. administrators posted a notice on the school's website saying they will offer mandatory testing for free, t.b. is caused by bacteria that attacks the lungs and organs and spread through the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. >> the department of agriculture is not doing enough to protect the public from contaminated chicken according to two reports. it was found raw chicken breasts sold in the u.s. have high levels of bacteria, including
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bacteria resist antto antibiotics. the groups are calling on the usda for stricter regulations and to do more to fight salmonella outbreaks. >> time for a look at this morning's business headlines. janet yellen will have to wait for the new year to know that she will officially take over as fed chair. a procedural vote is expected today to open the way for a final decision, but that final vote won't come until january 6. she would be the first woman to hold the job, replacing federal reserve chairman ben bernanke. >> in about an hour from now, investors will look at how the economy performed in the third quarter, economists expect u.s. gross domestic product to stay at 3.6%. one economist said the recent build up in inventories is manageable. >> we see fairly solid growth and good fundamentals in the
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economy. we think that build up and inventories can be worked off quickly. it is problematic, but this is a handleable problem with the sound growth we're seeing. >> build up gots for half of the economy's growth. >> dow futures are up 32 points, hitting another record. the dow jones industrial average starts at 15,179. the s&p at 1809 and the nasdaq at 4,058. european markets are mostly higher despite the drop in credit rating. deteriorating credit worthiness was behind the move.
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>> china's central bank unexpectedly pumped money into its banking system. >> the u.s. had been chile's biggest export market, now china helping it become one of south america's richest country joss copper dug out of the ground in south america arriving at its final destination on the other side of the world in china. with high quality meeting high demand, it is a natural trade. >> chile is the world's top exporter of high quality copper and china has rapidly growing demand, given its pace of industrial growth. >> further growth is providing
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copper cable for power distribution. >> one of the company's most recent investments, this automated plant uses some of the world's latest technology, able to produce around 20 kilometers of high voltage cable every day, most of it to supply china's growing demands for power. >> it's copper super conductive qualities that make it the choice for power distribution. half goes into the power industry, which still has a long way to grow with china using about a fifth as much electricity per capita as the u.s. >> our annual growth rate has been 22%, and our demand for copper has been growing by the same amount. >> there may be price fluctuations along the way, but chinese demand, combined with limitations in expanding copper
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mining looks set to keep copper prices high for the long term. >> a lesson in education reform, violent clashes in the streets of mex cove as parents battle teachers they're trying to keep out of the classrooms. ♪ ♪ >> real life learning lab for students wanting to learn the music industry. >> for team u.s.a., a lot is expected from women's hockey team in the olympics. we highlight it next in sports.
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>> welcome back to aljazeera america. i'm stephanie sy. here's a look at our top stories. india is standing firm on its demand the u.s. apologize for an
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indian diplomat's arrest. the u.s. says that will not happen and the charges against the diplomat will stand. a senior state department official is now offering dialogue to resolve the diplomatic dispute. >> former russian oil tycoon mikael is a free man after spending 10 years in a russian prison. president vladimir putin pardoned him. >> world leaders are meeting to try to find a resolution to the syrian conflict, expected to focus on a peace conference due
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to be held in january. >> the wintery temperatures are perhaps the only thing that this place has in common with syria, best known for its jazz festival, a wealthy resort in a country that hasn't seen warfare in 160 years. it is here talks are due to start with the effort of trying to end one of the bloodiest conflicts in history, a conflict that's still raging. after almost three years of blood shed in syria, for the first time, a date has been set, the 22 of january to bring both sides together for negotiations. even now, there's again talk of delay. >> there are still a lot of challenges. one of those, of course, is who's going to be invited. i know specifically here, the question of iran and saudi arabia might be problematic. key countries including the u.s. would like to hear from iran a
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clear commitment. we haven't heard that yet. there might be some logistical difficulties. i would not be surprised if they decide to change the date again. >> the u.n. and arab league special representative has asked the u.s. and the russians to use all efforts to come up with a list of participants. he's told the americans in the coming hours, he wants the names of nine members of the opposition. he wants the russians to bring a list of nine participants from the regime's side. >> even if the talks do finally go ahead, diplomats think the chances of a deal are not high. despite that, the u.n. has to plan for the next stage. >> we might contribute towards stabilization of the situation in syria, and we have been working on various scenarios, you know, planning ahead, but
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clearly this is still mainly paperwork. >> there is certainly fresh impetus in the search for peace, but on the ground, depressingly, there's absolutely no sign of a let up in the brutal violence. james bays, aljazeera. >> u.n. secretary said it would be unforgivable to let this opportunity for peace pass. >> lawmakers in texas calling for tougher penalties on d.u.i. cases, the lt. governor wants to make sure the punishment for drunk driving fits the crime. this comes after a teen was sentenced to probation for a drunk driving accident that killed two people and injured others. >> the convicted killers who walked out of a florida prison using forged documents have been charged. joseph jenkins, charles walker and four our inmates are accused
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of committing dozens of crimes. they walked free back in october, thanks to intricate fake documents including signatures from state officials. they were later found in a hotel room and arrested. >> the new defense bill will lift restrictions on detainee transfers from guantanamo bay. one recently released detainee said he would been systematically tortured. this is the third release this month and we may be seeing more. joining us now is director of amnesty international campaign in the sufficient. thanks for being with us this morning. can you tell us what you're doing at gitmo. >> sure, i'm down here to observe the pretrial motions proceedings in the 9/11 case. they ground to the a halt yesterday when the government decided that it needed to challenge the competency of one of the defendants to stand trial. i think the bigger question is whether the military commission is competent to deliver justice for 9/11. so far, it looks like it can't.
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>> let's look for a moment at the numbers on guantanamo, reminding viewers with the detainment camp was opened in 2002. since opening, they've held 779 detainees. now 158 detainees are still held. mr. johnson, what impact with him the easedding of restrictions and detainee transfers have on these men still held? >> it should make a huge difference. the obama administration said it needed this new law to transfer out the people cleared to go. there are 79, literally more than half of the people here are actually cleared to leave but are still stuck. the administration has to move forward immediately with transferring those people out. there's literally no more excuse for delay. >> do you think we are already seeing the pace of these transfers and the legal proceedings pick up on the tails of this defense bill. >> the transfers have picked up. we had four this week, but the pace of the military commission is slowing down even more, it's
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crazy, because we're almost at the 12 year mark of guantanamo. january 11 will mark 12 years and we're still in pretrial motion proceedings in the 9/11 case. it's absolutely absurd. what should happen immediately is president obama should bring this case to trial in u.s. federal courts. there, they can make it possible to get a fair trial, a speedy trial, finally close the chapter on guantanamo. >> you mentioned the 79 detainees in the camp that have been colored. a lot of those, i understand, are from yemen. one of your organization's goals is making sure they are transferred back to countries that respect their human righties. is there a list of countries that you guys think doughtainees absolutely should not be sent back to and what are are the options if they can't go back to their home countries? >> it's really a case by case basis. you have to look at the record of the particular country and situation that the detainee's in. the u.s. government really needs to put this on the front burner, get the problem solved and if
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necessary, resettle people in the united states. there's no excuse for detainees paying the price for another year of indefinite detention. >> you know, mr. johnson, some of the detainees that are still at gitmo have been there more than 10 years. is that an indictment on the u.s.'s government inability to bring them to trial? >> well, the real problem here is that the u.s. government has basically aborted human rights obligations, treated guantanamo as a political issue instead of a rights issue. that's really dangerous, because guantanamo's not only a place, it's an idea, and the idea is that the government can strip your rights, civil liberties and there's nothing you can do about it. that threatens all of us. we need the government to change course, respect human rights and get this problem solved once and for all. >> one of president obama's big promises in his first term was to completely close the prison at guantanamo bay. do you see that happening now with the passage of this defense bill? >> this bill will definitely
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help. i certainly think it's possible that president obama can get this place closed, but it's not just a question of closing the detention facility. it's closing it the right way. we've heard that part of the plan may be to move indefinite detention to another facility in the u.s. that would really just change the zip code. what we need is each detainee to get a fair trial in federal court or be released to his country. that's wait to close guantanamo. president obama can get the job done today if he really had the political will to do it. >> this is a conversation that needs to be continued. thanks for joining us from began to know mow bay this morning. >> passion are running high over education reform in mexico's southern state where parents of students and teachers fought violently over who gets to staff the schools. a labor union of teachers who had been replaced after going object strike tried to retake
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the school they once worked in, but angry parents armed with sticks and stones stood in their way. uns of anti riot police responded to the violent clashes. at least 19 people were injured. the teachers went on strike to protest sweeping education reforms that introduced test based performance hiring and promotion which they saw as a polite to fire them en mass. >> a ceiling crashed down at a london theater during a live show. 76 were hurt, some seriously when a 30 by 30-foot portion of the ceiling fell on the audience. many inside the theater thought the noise was part of the show. >> we thought it was part of the sheeter, and then we looked up and the whole ceiling was like slow motion, it kind of came down. >> emergency crews worked to evacuate the theater and treat the wounded.
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the apollo first opened in 1901, and ticket fees included a surcharge for theater restoration. >> e get users will soon have to take it outside. they were banned on thursday, meaning smokers can't puff indoors in public places. the new law has the support of outgoing mayor michael bloomberg. it will take effect four months after he signs it. no smoke comes out. four states have expanded their indoor smoking ban to include e-cigarettes. >> a victory for same-sex same-x couples in new mexico, allowing marriage. counties have begun issuing licenses after one county clerk decided to allow them. county officials asked the court to establish a uniform policy on same sex unions. >> the olympics are just 48 days
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away. we have more now on team u.s.a. in sports. good morning, can't wait to hear this. >> the countdown is definitely underway. the u.s. women's national hockey team currently consists of 25 players. before he head to sochi, the roster will be trimmed. rookie annie is pinching herself, because her dreams have become a reality. >> before she ever played her first collegiate hockey game at the university of wisconsin, the 19-year-old forward got big news, that she was named to the u.s. national team and could possibly compete for gold. >> on a knee, what was it like when you heard that you made the national team. >> it was definitely a surreal moment. i didn't really actually believe my name was called. i had to wait for a team might to hit me on the leg and say good job, you made it. that was a great moment. >> she is the second youngest player on the national team roster that boasts players from
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16-31-year-olds. that isn't the only thing that makes her stand out. >> you grew up in california, not necessarily the hotbed for hockey. how did you end up picking up the sport? >> my dad grew up in new jersey and was a huge hockey fan. he watched the rangers and when he met my mom moved to california. they had my older brother and he started playing roller hockey, it was the thing to do. my sister and i grew up skating around the rink. i had a jersey with the same color as the team skating around. i think i was five, maybe. i got pulled into the huddle, and like you're not on our roster, who are you, where's your mom, do you want to play? i'm like yeah, my mom's over here. >> the california girl has been in love with the sport ever since. >> it's just so much fun and freeing. it's just -- it feels like nothing else matters when you're playing. >> as she fights to get a spot on the olympic team, she isn't focused on not making it, she's focused on what's happening right now. >> coming to the rink every day,
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playing with the best team in the united states, looking around the locker room, i had this huge picture of our whole team pointing at the american flag. it's something that i wanted to badly and now it's here. it's surreal. >> making the u.s. national team was a dream come true, but the dream didn't end this for the 19-year-old. now she shares the ice with the players she grew up idolizing. >> watching them in practice and they paul really cool move or make a great play, i always have to stop and go wow, that just happened out here and i'm standing on the same ice. >> has it occurred to you that you're actually one of those players yet? >> not yet, still watching what's happening. >> aljazeera. >> in other news, former nba star dennis rodman held workouts for a north korean team that will face nba players on leader kim junk un's birthday.
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despite the miss gives of some of the players about making the trip, rodman said the game is still a go and explained his relationship with the north korean leader. >> i come over to see my friend, and people always gives me a little hard time about me saying that he's my friend. i'm very proud to say he's my friend, because he hasn't done anything to put a dapper or say any negative things about my country or this and that. like i said, if i can be that type of person to open doors for america and people around the world, and this is going to be that one thing, we're going to have 12 american guys, exnba players going back and saying really nice things, cool things about this country, i've done my job. >> that wraps up sports to this hour. kind of the odd relationship continues. >> interesting to see who signs up for that trip. >> the cuban government is
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easing restrictions on sit accepts buying cars for the first time in over 50 years. state sellers will be able to sell new cars to buyers without a government permit. it is expected to come with stiff taxes for the transport systems. >> using lyrics to speak up and out. we'll introduce you to a young woman teaching others of color to find their voice when it comes to race and stereotypes. >> students trying their hand at the music business by running their own label. >> start with one issue ad guests on all sides of the debate. and a host willing to ask the tough questions and you'll get... the inside story ray suarez hosts inside story weekdays at 5pm et / 2pm pt only on al jazeera america
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>> good morning, welcome back to aljazeera america. i'm stephanie sy. let's look at what potential precipitation we're looking at today. meteorologist dave warren is back. >> a lot of rain will be coming in this weekend, but a little mix and snow gives you and indication of how warm this storm system will be as it pulse up warm air. it's across the southwest, rain in arizona and then we have watches and warnings in effect
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issued from the national weather service. this is a winter weather watch. this is a flood watch, right here's where you'll see that divider between the rain, snow and mix and a sharp contrast with that rain and snow is what we can expect. so here's the rain coming in saturday, just to the north. there's a little area of mix here across oklahoma and then into missouri and all the way up through the great lakes. it's on sunday where we see a lot more rain across pennsylvania and new york. look at that rain-snow line up into canada. it's mostly rain with nearly high temperatures. >> thank you, dave. >> a young woman is using poetry to quiche women of color like herself to speak up and out about themselves. >> today's workshop, we're going to talk about mainstream media. >> the 20-year-old is a poet and artist and a teacher. >> how do you think mainstream media defines women of color, anybody? free for all.
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>> it doesn't. i feel a lot of us are misrepresented. >> at urban word, she's helping young women of color find their voices. >> as a latino women, like j. lo is the main woman. you have to have a curvey butt, the big lips. you have to cook, they set a standard in society that's not true. >> she is a woman of american indian descent. >> they sell bleaching creams in our country. my grandma when i was six years old bought one for me. >> she felt pressure to conform in in the morning. poetry she says helped her deal with issues that millions of girls face. >> i started writing poetry because i was bullied on and picked on because i didn't look like anybody else. that i started writing because it really helped me cope with emotions building up inside of me, helped me see myself. >> her mother couldn't
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understand why ashley dreamed of being a poet. >> i said the other two children they do conventional jobs they have and for her to be a poet, come on! >> ashley's mother changed her mind in 2010 when she came here to apollo theater to watch her daughter compete in a poetry contest. for the first time, she heard the power of ashley's voice. >> over time, you put me out it was dark and then 60% of americans look like me and you can't accept it right in front of you? >> last year, this poem won her a contest held by the city and urban word. as a poet lauriate, she helped
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people. >> it has the power to change people and inspire. >> i've gone through helping others feel. >> ashley said life as an artist might not make her rich, but she'll be happy as long as she's a voice for the voiceless. >> that's a different kind of richness, a different kind of wealth. >> a richness that will feet her heart and soul. >> new york's next youth poet laureate is the i understandian american, taking the title from ashley at the end of the year. >> one of the city's biggest employeesers and students at one high school are getting a crash course. that we report from music city. >> in high school, music education is often limited to band and chorus. students are getting hands-on
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experience with the music industry by running their own record label. >> 15 years old, 16, 17 years old, handle business like 25-year-old people that want to grow this. >> with big donations from the recording academy and warner music, the high school is equipped with a $1.2 million state-of-the-art recording studio. the country's only music business magnate program is designed to give students practical, real-world experience in this competitive and ever other changing field. in national alone, some 56,000 jobs are tied to music. >> we sign the artists to a contract, we create the image and we create the music. >> courses focus on song writing, audio production and the business side of the industry. students in the record label class are also responsible for finding and promoting artists, making sure they get vocal training.
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recording sessions are available for students in nashville public schools. >> it is not easy. it's signing, promoting, the creative side, your look, your look has to match what you're doing. >> what's been the biggest thing you've learned about the music business? >> probably how a whole record is put together from the publishing to the selling. >> five time grammy award winning brothers oversee the program. most students they teach are financially disadvantaged. >> i find the kids are more talented here. kids actually are more creative because they don't have some of the luxuries that other people have, so they're more creative. they write, they write better songs. they experiment. they're not scared. >> to see our students coming and believe i can, and just
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being different and taking those skill sets into society are making a difference. this is the right place for it to be. >> with their first full project, a christmas album complete, some students look at music production and a future in a brand new way. jonathan martin, aljazeera, nashville with that. >> the high school is the first entertainment industry focused magnate high school in the country. students can take classes in song writing, styling and engineering. >> del walters joins us with a look at what we're following this morning. good morning. >> they're talking about stranding diplomatic ties, india demanding an pal gee concerning the arrest of a diplomat in new york. >> the russian president pardons one of his biggest critics. he is free after 10 years in prison. >> president obama ordering american forces to war torn south sudan to help secure u.s.
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citizens there. we're taking a look at the lucrative business of patent trolling, allows companies to cash in on other people's ideas. >> we'll tell you about some eye opening statistics that reveal an increase in the number of teens now turning to marijuana as their drug of choice. >> we have a big storm this weekend, the first weekend of winter certainly won't feel like it in parts of the country. i'll of a look at where. >> the aljazeera morning news continues. del walters is back with you in two and a half minutes.
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>> 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.
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>> a sweeping $650 billion defense bill passing the senate, now headed to the president's desk for signature includes long awaited reforms on how the pentagon handles sexual assault in the military. >> putting boots on the ground. president obama ordering u.s. forces to war torn south sudan to help secure american citizens there. >> a reprieve for americans facing canceled health insurance policies, the white house says they won't be penalized and allowed to buy catastrophic coverage. >> he manages to be making
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socially critical films without sounding critical at all. >> winning an oscar for his work. >> good morning, welcome to aljazeera america. i'm del walters. in a volt of 84-15, the senate passing that sweeping new defense budget, which now awaits the signature of the president. the bill giving the pentagon more than $552 billion to cover standard military expenditures and almost $81 billion more to pay for the ongoing war in afghanistan. it cracks down on rape and sexual assault in the military by stripping commanders of their right to overturn convictions. it loosens some of the restrictions on guantanamo bay, making it easier for obama administration to transfer prisoners in and out of this facility. stephanie sy has more. >> the national defense authorization act is the first defense bill to overhaul the way
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sexual assault cases handled in the armed services. the 30 sexual assault provisions were spearheaded by new york senator christian gillibrand and other senate women. victims must be provided with legal counsel. it eliminates the statute of limitations for courts marshall in sexual assault cases and criminalizes retaliation against service members who report assault. it calls for a dishonorable discharge for anyone convicted of sexual assault. a proposal to remove sexual assault cases from the military chain of command won't be approved, but commanders are prohibited from overturning verdicts in sexual assault cases. the $625 billion budget sets aside $80 billion towards the war in afghanistan, and raises salaries for military members by 1%. not everyone is praising the bipartisan legislation.
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>> here's the question. is it this choice between keeping the government open and screwing all those military retirees? is that the right choice? even when we're functional, we're dysfunctional. >> those retiree's cost of living expenses were that scaled back. >> it is wrong to take from those who have sacrificed the most to pay for this budget agreement. >> disabled veterans and their survivors were also originally part of the cuts, but senator patry murray has said she will offer a technical fix that will exempt them. >> as for president obama's first term pledge to close guantanamo bay, another step eases provisions on other countries agreeing to take detainees. the bill would prohibit any detainee from being transferred to the united states, a measure south by republicans. stephanie sy, aljazeera america.
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>> that new bill authorizes the pentagon to help destroy syria's chemical stockpiles but doesn't address sanctions against iran and n.s.a. surveillance programs. >> european leaders say the doors are still open for a ukraine deal, just not with the current government, those remarks coming after the president snubbed the e.u. an in agreement in favor of russia. demonstrations continue in key every a day after the parliament passed a bill guaranteeing amnesty for protestors. the opposition calls it a victim eight and urges protestors to stand their ground. >> twin bombings rocking a market north of iraq's capitol leaving eight dead comes a day after bombers killed at least 36. in a separate attack, a family of five was killed just west of baghdad. rye lens in iraq as its highest level since troops with drew a year ago. >> retail giant target is trying
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to contain that data security disaster now threatening to drive away holiday shoppers. hackers stealing accounts from target began on black friday. they are having a tough time reaching out to the store on its website and call centers, one consumer that filed a lawsuit against target. later this hour, we'll talk about the target breach with a cyber security expert. >> janet yellen has to wait until the new year to take over at fed chief, her nomination pushing forward with a procedural vote before they adjourn for the year. the reason for the postponement, senate republicans using a stall tactic. the vote will now be held on january 6. now yellen if confirmed would be the first woman to hold that job. >> a new report is detailing why the u.s. air force fired a top nuclear missile general back in
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october. the investigation says major general michael carey drank too much and says he engaged in inappropriate behavior with women last year during an official trip to russia. he was leading a u.s. delegation there participating in a nuclear exercise. he is now serving as a special assistant in the air force space command. >> investigators are trying to figure out why the ceiling crashed down inside a packed theater in london during a live show. 76 were hurt, some seriously when a 30 by 30-foot portion of the ceiling collapsed an fell. at first, many of those inside thought the noise was all part of the show. >> we just thought it was part of the theater, and then we just looked up and the whole ceiling, it was like slow motion, kind of kale down. >> these are photos that have been released from inside the theater. the apollo, by the way, opened back in 1901 and has been undergoing extensive renovations. in fact, there was actually an
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extra surcharge on the tickets for the show that went to help pay for that face lift. >> a storm system is gaining strength and could cause problems for your upcoming holiday commute. >> a lot of problems will be the rain. we're looking at heavy rain and flooding coming down, a little snow, but for the most part, mainly rain as temperatures will be very warm across much of the country. here's where the storm is taking shape, this little serve at your of the clouds here show how it's intense filing. it's well over the southwest and will continue to intensify and move east. >> by saturday at 12:11, the beginning of winter, look at this sharp contrast in temperatures. the start of winter will feel like record temperatures across the mid atlantic and southeast, even philadelphia and new york, temperatures could be close to 70 degrees. the storms intensify, getting
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rain and where it's colder, that rain falling in the air which is below freezing. this could be a mix of sleet and freezing rain throughout saturday and saturday afternoon. saturday night, it intensifies. we could get a round of severe weather. here's the heavier snow around chicago and rain pushing up to the great lakes. this rain-snow line pushing well north of the border up into canada. a lot of the mid atlantic states dealing with just rain, that could be flooding rain as the storm eventually will push off the coast. behind it, there's bitter cold arctic air. you'll feel that on monday and tuesday of next week. >> thank you very much. >> the prime minister in the central african republic says there will be new presidential elections next year, the announcement following weeks of heavy fighting between muslims and christians there. amnesty international saying thousands of people were killed in fighting two days earlier this month. on thursday, samantha power, the u.s. ambassador to the united nations arrived for meeting with
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officials. the u.s. will provide $100 million to the african union to support the military efforts there. >> president obama saying south sudan now on the brisk of civil war, the president now sending soldiers to protect american citizens and property. clashes in the capitol city have spread to other parts of the country, including the largest state. two indian peace keepers have died in an attack on a u.n. compound and 500 civilians feared dead since last weekend. we have more on the spread in violence. >> officials checking passports. those who want to leave must be on the evacuation list. >> foreigners and some locals are being flown out of the country. they've been told it's for security reasons. u.s. soldiers are making sure the capitol is safe for planes to take off and land. they've monitored the situation together with u.n. troops. many people can't leave, finding
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safety in u.n. compounds. during the day, they go out to find food but return before sunset. >> this is the area where most of the fighting took place. it's almost curfew time and families are coming in to safety. they don't feel safe sleeping at home at night. >> civilians are targeted along ethnic lines. the man blamed for the violence is the former deputy. >> for them now, they are waiting for us outside here. if you go outside, they can kill you. >> the violence is blamed on an attempted coup and not ethnic rivalry the, u.n. officials say the base has been attacked. government officials said they sent in reinforcements.
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>> where the government offices are is where the attack was. the government had to get out of the process of fight and located to camp, so there is still fighting on. of course the government has been displaced from the offices. that's why we say we have lost control there, but there is still fighting going on, resistance, so he wouldn't say it is complete, because there is still present the. >> people lock for cover ahead of what they fear is a night of violence ahead. political tensions and old rivalries could plunge the newest country into another civil war. aljazeera, juba. >> there are now 30,000 refugees house said in those u.n. camps in the south sudan. >> those convicted killers who walked out of a florida prison have now been charged. they are accused of committing dozens of crimes and walked free
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from the franklin correctional institute in october, using fake documents including a judge's signature. they were layered found hiding out inside a hotel. >> bad weather may be to blame for three bus crashes in california that left one dead and over 50 others injured. the accident happening at riverside county, where a transit bus slid sideways across the road and struck an oncoming car. the driver of that car suffered serious injuries. >> later in the day in california, a tour bus taking passengers to a casino flipped over. thirty were hurt in in that crash. fifty miles away, a 30 bus crashing, a female passenger thrown through the window and died at the scene. the bus began to fishtail on the wet roads and the driver lost control. all three accidents are now being investigated. >> another change to the affordable care act that could affect millions of americans. what the white house is now
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doing to help people dropped by their insurance companies. there is no research raising concerns about the impact of anxiety. how stress can increase your chance of having a stroke. >> paying the price at the upcoming olympics. the toll the ban an gays could have on the world's largest brands. ad guests on all sides of the debate. and a host willing to ask the tough questions and you'll get... the inside story ray suarez hosts inside story weekdays at 5pm et / 2pm pt only on al jazeera america
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>> good morning, welcome back to aljazeera america. i'm del walters. the white house issuing new changes to the president's affordable care act with the sign up deadline now just days away. we'll tell you who is going to be affected. first, let's find out about those temperatures across the nation today. >> affecting the temperatures is the storm in the southwest bringing a lot of warm air in it, so mainly rain over the next few days. miami miss 62, houston 70, the warm air will be across the northeast, very cold air in the north central states, teens in minneapolis and billings, temperature 13 degrees.
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high temperatures could be easily setting records today from the mid atlantic philadelphia to new york, where it's 60, close to 70 here. the warm air certainly moving east. cold air will come into chicago, teens with snow on monday, low temperature down below zero, but here are the report-high temperatures in new york, close to 70 on sunday. it will come with rain saturday and sunday and finally cooling off monday and tuesday. del. >> it's beginning to look a lot like spring break. dave, thank you very much. >> just days before that big health care registration deadline, the obama administration changing the rules. people had their policies canceled can now sign up for a cheaper bare bones plan, putting the brakes on the central feature of the health care policy, requiring most americans have insurance by january 1 or face fines. insurers warning the market could be stablized because that is usually only given to younger customers. >> americans infected with the h.i.v. virus could live as long
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as those without it. researchers at the university of british columbia say a newly diagnosed 20-year-old will live into their 70's. that's a big jump from 30 years ago, that same 20-year-old only expected to live to 56. researches say drugs have improved. >> stress could increase your chance of getting a stroke. university out of pittsburgh found those who suffer anxiety of 30% more likely to suffer stroke. people stressed all the time are less likely to exercise and more likely to be smokers, both factors that increase your risk. >> an oil tycoon who was once the richest man in russia has been set free, pardoned by vladimir putin today. he was sentenced a decade ago for money laundering and fraud. many say he was locked up because he ran against putin. russian officials say he is now
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on his way to germany, the pardon coming as part of an amnesty bill passed by russian's parliament employee it frees members of the band pussy contract and activists of green peace. >> president obama is not going to the winter games in sochi, but is sending a delegation and message. that delegation includes gay activist billie jean king all coming after protests to condem, which is where she joins us from live this morning. ms. hopkins, the olympic games are an advertiser's dream but in this case could be a nightmare. is that safe to with every olym.
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in the build-up, there's always an issue that hams to the games. in london, it was going to be the transport and security issues. once the games start, everything want to tell you what i heard the olympic swimmer say, he said somebody asked him whether or not they thought the athletes from the united states should boycott the games. he said no, don't boycott the games, boycott the advertisers. is that something that rings in the ears of advertisers and if
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so, what do they do? what creative executions they'll bring with their advertising. there's been rumors that coke are going to have an advertising creative that's very much about promoting positive messages around diversity. i don't know if that's true or not, they haven't substantiated that, but that's the clever thinking that sponsors need to be putting in place now in preparation for people with a strong point of view on this co,
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which has hundreds of millions of dollars on the line in these games. they wouldn't confirm that, but as you mentioned, and as we look at the list of brands, it's almost a who's who in advertising, should they be more nimble ahead of the games as to how they address the advertisements that they do put on
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the picture. >> i want the to ask you one question before we run out of time. is part of the problem that broadcasters who broadcast the games buy into the games and as a result control the message that goes out as to opposed to what the message should be. in this case, the president of the united states, the president of germany, the presidents of france not being there, but when the games are broadcast, that might not be what you hear.'re e
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media set the agenda. >> yes, because they buy into the games, because they have actually paid for the rights to broadcast the games. >> i don't know if that's true. as i say, once you get the games going, you see it time and time again, it suddenly becomes about the sport and the politics become secondary. there will be unyou doubtedly a story very quickly that pertains to an athlete performance. unfortunately, anti doping issues become an issue very quic director of
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public relations in london. >> taking a look at what is making news in the financial world this morning, blackberry, tough times continue, it lost four and a half million dollars in the 30 quarter. in an effort to regain market share, the company is going to team with fox con to produce new blackberry devices. >> in just a few minutes, investors are going to get a last look at how the economy performed in the third quarter, predicting the gross domestic product will stay at 6%. the third quarter should actually slow. >> mildly revising up their consumer spending forecast to reflect what's going on in the current quarter, but you still have this depression from the inventory cycle, you built the in the third quarter and sell it off in the fourth quarter, so you don't need to build anymore
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in the fourth quarter. >> that accounts for half of the economy's growth. >> the federal reserve says for the first time ever it is holding $4 trillion in assets because of the bond buying program aimed at boosting the economy since so-called quantitative easing began in 2007. the fed has spent more than $3 trillion, policy makers announcing they will begin reducing those purchases next month. >> do you futures up 12 points. the dow jones industrial average starting at another record high. the a and p standing at 1809 and nasdaq above the 4,000 mark. >> the s&p taking away the european's triple-a credit rating, saying deteriorating credit worthiness in the e.u. >> in asia, markets ending mixed, shanghai closing at its lowest level in five months facing fears that the country
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faces a credit crisis. >> walgreens is gearing up for a big flu season. it expects it will increase from last year. profits in the last quarter were slowed by fewer generic drugs coming on to the market. >> retailers are going high tech to wardrobing. that's what happens when shoppers buy the priceyest items in the store, use them and bring them back. we look at what is now a widespread problem. >> it is the season to party, but those celebrations where guests show off their best can bring out the worst. it's called wardrobing, the return of merchandise. it's buying that dress and wearing it to a party tagged and
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all. after it's worn towns make a holiday splash, it gets returned. retailers say the practice has grown. >> it's part of the american lifestyle, you know, shopping is part of the culture, people enjoy spending money and they spend more than what they can afford. >> i don't think it's right, you bought it, your body was in the garment for a night of partying, so i just don't think it's appropriate to return it. >> according to a national retail federation survey, the industry will lose $8.76 this year to refund fraud, including practices such as wardrobing and almost half of that happens during the holiday season. >> blooming details has adopted one of the boldest policies to fight back. >> they've put a very prominent black three-inch plastic tag on the garment, so that one wouldn't wear it out and about,
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and specific instructions on how to remove this tag. if you remove the tag, it's very clear that you can't return the garment. >> other stores remain more flexible about refunds. it shows how tough the problem can be for retailers particularly during the holiday season. >> are you going to potentially alienate existing customers? oftentimes, a customer wants to go to a store who they understand and know and trust and believe that if something happens, the store will back them up. >> those who have never wardrobed but may have been tempted might consider creative options cropping up, including this business. her store is called the little borrowed dress and she rents out bridesmaid dresses for those who want to walk the walk for a few hours. >> i think women are warming up to the idea of renting, even
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since we launched. at that time, it was pretty much, you know, consumer reactions were, you know, they had never rented. they hadn't heard of the concept of renting. >> a few other ventures rent out designer handbags and runway clothes. some shoppers may continue to wardrobe away. aljazeera, new york. >> unfortunately for retailers, wardrobing is on the rise. 65% of retailers saying they suffered from refund fraud that year, up 4% from the previous year. >> marijuana use among keep agers is also on the rise. we'll look at what may be behind this spike in teens who smoke pot. >> teachers and parents in mexico clashing outside the classroom. what's sparked this wild scene. >> it is a multi-billion dollars industry and the source of some hard-fought legal battles. a look inside the world of
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patent controls and the money on the line. >> the duke blue devils took their bows and. >> vary parker turned heads, as well. was 17.
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flat out my whole life. >> reporter: motorcycle riding free spirits like this guy need health insurance too. that's is the message coming from insurers with commercials aimed at people who may not have been covered in the past. they offer protection and maybe a little piece of mind. >> to go forward sometimes you have to go back to a time when knew. >> reporter: with 30 million potential new customers, insurance companies are expected to shell out half a billion dollars next year on tv advertising alone. >> insurance companies see opportunity in the potentially millions of new customers, and if you are an insurance company in this country, this is your growth opportunity. >> reporter: insurers, state exchanges, and the feds collectively purchased $194 million wort of ads just
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jo r. >> welcome back to aljazeera america. i'm del walters. these are our top stories. the senate approving a new defense budget that now goes to the white house for the president to sign. the plan provides $552 billion in military spending and another $81 billion for the war in afghanistan. it cracks down on rape and sexual assault in the military. >> president obama commuting sentences for eight crack cocaine offenders, calling their lengthy prison terms unfair. he targeted 13 others who served time for a number of federal
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crimes. >> thousands are now searching for safety in south sudan as the world's youngest country teetering on the brink of civil war. two international peacekeepers now dead after a clash with rival factions, the u.s. deploying a small contingent to ramp security. >> chris christie would sign a bill letting undocumented students receive financial aid. new jersey will become the 17th state to grant undocumented students in-state tuition. >> those who use e cigarettes in the city of new york will soon have to take smoking outside. smokers can't puff on electronic cigarettes indoors in public places. the new law has the support of outgoing mayor michael bloomberg. once signed into law, it will
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take affect in four months. no smoke comes out, just a vapor. four states already expanding their laws to include bans on e-cigarettes. >> there are eye opening numbers on something else that involves lighting up, a study conducted by the national institute on that drug abuse minding marijuana use among teens is rising faster than those smoking cigarettes. we are joined live now, mr. wilson, your organization conducts this study. i want to set the backdrop. there are 20 states that now say that marijuana use is legal, including d.c., how do
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adolescents a understand youth. >> these states are saying it's ok now and there is no danger in marijuana use. is your study a moot point? >> the purpose of this study is to help track the trends over many, many years. this study by the university of michigan has been going on since 1975, it tells us about the ups and downs in drug use among youth in america. the changing state from starting up down a very dangerous pathway. >> i want to go back to that graphic that shows the number of states that have now made marijuana use legal. if it's legal in all these states, wouldn't it stand to reason that marijuana use a at n
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early and vulnerable stage. >> your study found you that marijuana use among teens is rising faster than that of alcohol. who tobacco. we've seen tobacco rates, smoking cigarettes drop to their lowest levels in the history of this study, so that fewer than 10% of teenagers are now smoking cigarettes on a regular basis. d current levels. >> is there a battle going on that between the federal government and the states concerning the issue of territoy
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for us and does conflict with federal law. >> i want to show our last graphic here. this is the one that parents need to see. over the last two decades, t.h.c. going up considerably. what effect does this have on a developing brain and what shoule
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director of the national institute of drug abuse. he is in washington. >> lawmakers in texas calling for tougher penalties on d.u.i. cases. the state's lt. governor wants that make sure the punishment for drunk driving fits the crime. it comes one week after a teen was sentenced to one year probation and rehab for a drunk driving accident that killed four and critically injured two others. prosecutors asked for 22 years, they are now seeking just jail time on two lesser counts. >> we want to now tell you about something called pat ept licensing, a multi-billion dollars industry, the heart of
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some very pricey lawsuits. kay see ya bought four wireless patents from nokia. a day later, i had filed a patent lawsuit against several companies. those companies have now been nicknamed patent trolls, purchasing a patent and sue others that acquire the exact same technology. the odds are pretty good that those suits will pay off. the average payout, $8.9 million, winning one in four of the lawsuits they file, some of the highest judgments coming in eastern virginia, delaware and eastern texas, but why? we have the story of big money and one small town, marshall, texas. >> this is the busiest time of year as l.a. warehouse of the electronics retailer no wag.com. the company's rushing to process holiday orders from its website,
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where with each click, customers tap into a pat tented technology that another company, t.q.p. development claims is theirs. >> you infringe this patent every single day. >> new egg said the patent, purchased from the original mentor years ago is a web encryption method that covers every website interaction in every corner of the internet. >> our belief is that it's just too brad to have been patented. >> new egg was among the 10 companies sued for patent in trainingment last year. the case wasn't filed near any tech hub in washington or colorado, it was filed here in marshall, texas, population 24,000. >> when you see a whole wave of black suit, you know the lawyers are in town. >> almost a quarter of last year's u.s. patent cases were filed in this eastern texas federal court district.
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why? the court clerk says it's due to local rules that get cases to trial quickly. >> having a case that moves along rather than one that just lingers for a long, long time is attractive, i think to plaintiffs. >> but some say there's another reason. less than 18% of people in harrison county have college degrees, far below the national having a. the companies being sued say the plaintiff lawyers exploit that, hoping to find juries less likely to understand the complexity of patent law. connie was on a jury and disputes that claim. >> it was confusing. we'd go back to the jury room and go oh my gosh. i think a jury in another area would still come up with probably the same conclusions. >> tech companies know the value of a good p.r. campaign here in marshall, where almost anyone could be on your next jury. a city official tells us that samsung, sued here multiple
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times has spent almost a million dollars on community projects like this ice skating rink right in fronts of the courthouse. >> then, there are these, the empty offices of companies trying to establish legal grounded to file their lawsuits in marshall. new egg calls these plaintiffs patent trolls, they make no product and make money by acquiring broad patents and suing whoever they can. >> these entities of empty shells. they don't do anything but sue. >> the company has sued 800 other are companies. most defendants, including amazon, i.b.m. and microsoft have settled for a million dollars or less. it costs between two to 6 million to take a patent case to trial. this unmarked office in marshall is t.q.p.'s headquarters. they didn't answer the door or return our calls. this marshall patent attorney said the so-called trolls aren't doing anything illegal.
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>> what the constitution says is that you have an exclusive right to use your own ideas and to keep it from the rest of the world. >> a marshall jury agreed in november, granting t.q.p. $2.3 million in damages from new egg. new egg said it will appeal. as the evening draws to a close, the people of marshall enjoy their skating rink in the middle of their patent litigation capitol. marshall, texas. >> attorneys generals from 43 states sending a letter to the federal trade commission calling for investigation. they say patent trolls are causing problems for small, and stifling innovation. >> in mexico, dozens of parents and teachers clark outside a school. the teachers were ousted last year during a strike. they were replaced by teachers from another union. fighting broke out when they
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tried to go back to their classrooms only to be met by parents with rocks and sticks, hundreds of police responding. at least 19 people were injured. >> fidel castro praising his brother for shaking hands with president obama. that unexpected exchange taking place at nelson mandelas memorial. immediately it made headlines worldwide. the white house said the president was just being courteous. the u.s. still has a long-standing embargo against cuba put into place back in the 1960's. >> there were some college hoops in action thursday night at the world's most famous arena. mark is here with sports. >> it's great to see the college teams come in during the holidays during the holiday season. dukes jabari parker began the season as one of the nation's host highly touted freshman and only improved. the blue devils at madison square garden facing ucla.
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second half, parker bang with a three, duke down one. then parker with another triple, somebody better get a hand in his face. duke wouldn't trail again after that one. parker would hit another three, putting duke up six. now parker just having fun. check it out, you kids at home always trail the play, because you end up doing that. jabari parker leads all scorers, 83-60, head coach sean miller's number one ranked arizona wildcats hosting southern university's, another outstanding freshman stole the show, 8-11 from the field, led with 21. arizona led by 15 at the half and cruised 69-43, a little more gordon here. wildcats now 12-0 on the season. >> turning to the nba, l.a. lakers star kobe bryant suffered attractiture in the left knee, he was averaging 14 points a game since his return from
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achille's surgery and now bryant is expected to miss six more weeks of action. >> that's too bad. that up hate it for koby and work hard to get back. he'll be back in six weeks and he'll, you know, kind of weather the storm. >> that's all you can do is feel for these guys. we know how hard he worked to get back to this point now and for that to happen is tough. i'm sure he'll work just as hard to get back and be ready. >> it's tough. he was playing in a certain way, then to come back and start to play another way, start to get into the groove, get comfortable, now no point guard, no kobe. still we got to go out there and play for him and each other. >> he'll do what he needs to be ready. he's too much a competitor to do that. if he decides to do that, there's a discussion, but no, i think he'll be back in six weeks and he'll be hunting for some bear. >> remember last season, spurs head coach gregg popovich
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famously sat four key players, including tim duncan, tony parker before a nationally televised game before the heat. popovich was fined $250,000 by the nba. last night with parker out with an injury, pop decided to rest duncan and ginobili again, second of a back-to-back on the road. san antonio in transition, leonard gets better every year, spurs with their first lead, leonard 21 points 10 boards. marco belinelli with the three-ball to put the spurs up six. he led san antonio. the warriors hanging tough, currie with 3-30 on the night, golden state up 91 owe 88 in the fourth. now final seconds, tied at 102, a wild scramble for the ball. the spurs without their big three hang on to win it 104-102. >> now looking ahead to a marquee matchup in the nba
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tonight, the houston rockets travel to indianapolis to take on the palessers indiana 21-5. that game tips around 8:00 p.m. eastern. also, on the hard court to any, there's only one top 25 team in action, syracuse, the orange take on the high point panthers, syracuse 10-0 on the season should improve on the mark this evening. looking ahead to the weekend, guess what, it's the holiday season and bull parade begins. the las vegas bowl features the 20th ranked bulldogs against the trojans 3:30 eastern on saturday. that's it for sports at this hour. >> who doesn't have a bowl? that's all i want to know. >> there's more of them every year. maybe it's just me. >> thank you very much. >> you bet. >> a rescue caught on tape. how an aid stepped in on a runaway bus, saving a group of
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kids. >> an oscar winning filmmaker using the power of the big screen to shine a light on iran, using art in that countries strict environment. >> a sight to be seen, analogy graphic picking top pictures of the years. whole tell you the ones they thought were the best.
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>> and now a techknow minute...
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and up and down the eastern seaboard by the end of the week. we're going to tell you about one man getting his message out. an iranian filmmaker making moves so the world can see his art. >> where it's going to rain, snow and get warmer cross the country today. >> that rain and snow could be within a short distance here by the time this storm really winds up, both saturday and sunday. right now, just beginning across the southwest, there's rain in southern california that will push off to the east.
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here is heavy rain and snow. this is right over the midwest for saturday and sunday. these are the watches coming in from the winter storm watch and a flood watch. right now, we're seeing that rain saturday, along with a mix there, across oklahoma. rain and snow across the northeast on sunday. del. >> thank you very much. >> this is one of those special stories this time of year, national geographic picking its top pictures of the years, going through thousands of entries. john siegenthaler shows us this year's winners. >> here it is, analogy graphic's grand prize winner taken by paul of seattle. we see a polar bear peering out from beneath the sea ice. the bear watched him for several seconds, just under the surface before taking a deep breath, and swimming away. it's a spectacular shot, one of 7,000 submitted from 150 countries, including this from
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japan, crows living in tokyo, using clothes hangers to make nests. they do it because there are so few trees there. the effect reassembles a work of art. this from hungary in the tical area. this is a man feeding swans in the snow. from malaysia, another winner, adam trained his camera on a town in transition from the old to the new, with a mother carrying a child in a basket. here, a lioness lies in wait. the photographer said this shot means more to him than the whole sequence that came off the it, because its ended badly for the apartment lope. >> a series of pictures on a poor romanian family living in belgium, a child bundled against
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the cold with a gentle cautious grip on a bird. >> that is aljazeera's john siegenthaler reporting. you can find all the contest winners and honorable mentions on the analogy graphic blog. >> you might call these people heroes. a school bus filled with fourth graders after the driver lost control, running into a drainage ditch after the driver was throne from the seat. an aid on the bus grabbed the wheel and a teacher came forward to work the brake. school officials say the bus was in danger of tipping over, but thanks to the quick actions, nobody was hurt. >> from a miniature movie to a groundbreaking filmmaker, the foreign language oscar was for his film called accept rigs. the filmmakers new movie is earning him oscar buzz again.
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>> iran's best known director has been circling the globe to promote his latest film. >> i feel i can stay out of my country for a long time. >> it's set in paris, but like everything he does, the past is very much a product of his homeland. an iranian man, played by iranian actor returns to france to differs his estranged french wife. while the drama is personal, not political, their relationship serves as a metaphor for eve-west relations. >> there is a world of misunderstanding between them, perhaps we can't really call it their differences. in the opening scene, we see them place said on that two sides of a glass pane. they see each other and talk to each other, but it seems they don't hear each other. >> when he released his last film, a separation, the sprain
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in iran's relationship to the united states was making headlines. the movie made more than $7 million at american box offices and earned iran its first-ever oscar in the best foreign feature category. the win was celebrated on iranian state television despite the government's earlier efforts to shut down production. according to iranian film expert, making an award winning film under iran's sensorship codes is nothing short of a miracle. >> you see here, that's not allowed. he is adept navigating through the treacherous waters of sensorship codes. he manages to be making socially critical films without sounding critical at all. >> has sensor ohship eased under the new president in iran? >> it is still too soon to
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judge. this i don't have the has only been in office for a few months. before, things were so bad, that anything that happens now is good. >> with the past, he avoided sensors shooting abroad, but the film has been shown and well received in iran. in the united states, there's talk of another oscar. if the success of his films are any guide, the two countries have much more in common than their governments have led us to believe. >> in september, iran reopened its house of cinema, a fraternity of film makers that closed in 2012. as always, more news in two and a half minutes.
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