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tv   News  Al Jazeera  December 22, 2013 4:00pm-5:01pm EST

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check >> welcome to al jazeera america, live from new york. i'm jonathan betz with today's top stories >> out of prison and free to speak his mind, mikhail khordorkovsky talks about his future. >> the government in south sudan tries to regain control. hundreds of soldiers on the move, thousands search for sanctuary. a report uncovers a secret c.i.a. program that is helping columbia kill dozens of rebels. fallout from the credit card breach at target - how it's disrupting a lot of people's shopping.
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[ ♪ music ] >> he is out of gaol and for now has no plans to return to russia. mikhail khordorkovsky spoke for the first time since being suddenly released from a russian prison. the oil tycoon and critic of the kremlin was pardanned by the president. >> if the kremlin hoped the world would forget about mikhail khordorkovsky after his release, they were wrong. he arrived under flash bulbs. it was chaotic, but he was quick to thank those that helped secure his release, which he admitted came as a surprise >> translation: i did not have a choice at the time i was released. a chief at the prison camp awoke me at 2 o'clock in the morning and i was told i would go home. i found out that my trip would
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end in berlin. >> he said he would fight to help those behind. >> there are other political prisoners left in russia, not only those related to the yukos case. you should not see me as a symbol that there are no more political prisoners, but that i am a symbol of a society who didn't expect to see the release of these people >> mikhail khordorkovsky spent a decade in detention. he denied the charges, but from behind bars, mikhail khordorkovsky's richest man, was a thorn in the side of the establishment, a critic. vladimir putin, lauded as a rival, he outlined his plans for the future >> translation: i'm not going to engage in political activity. i said that in my letter to vladimir putin and reiterated it since. i'll engage in public work.
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the struggle for power is not for me now >> mikhail khordorkovsky may have ruled out a role in front-line politics. it's unlikely he'll sit on the sidelines and stay silent. what he does is closely followed by the kremlin. >> mikhail khordorkovsky has a visa to stay in germany for a year. a return to russia is not eminent. he may face more charges. >> for more on this we have an associate professor of international affairs. a lot of people are expecting mikhail khordorkovsky to come out and blast the kremlin, blast putin. he didn't. why? >> he didn't because he could not have been released without vladimir putin's pardon, he could not have gone germany without putin's approval and him arranging for that to happen.
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he couldn't come out right away and say vladimir putin is my enemy. he is planning to appeal his imprisonment for 10 years, but he needs to have some sort of a conversation with the kremlin to continue to do that. >> he did mention he wants to help other political prisoners, but doesn't want to get involved in politics. what is he saying? he's saying he's going be involved in politics. he can. he's not going to go forward into saying i'm going to do it in more subtle way. he'll be involved in civil society. we know what there is. still society is protests against vladimir putin's power. i think that he is brilliant man, he handled his release and his interviews really very well. >> was it smart for vladimir putin to release him? >> absolutely. vladimir putin is brilliant in the kgb insidious stuff.
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he was a kgb and was stationed in eastern germany for a while. it is appropriate that mikhail khordorkovsky was allowed to go to germany. vladimir putin is repeating his soviet predecessors because a lot of soviet political enemies were ex-island to germany. in some ways it was a soviet deja vu >> why do it now, especially with the olympics coming up? a lot of people are saying he's trying to look good to the rest of the world. >> and it does >> it works. >> well, i don't know how it works, but he tries to look good for the rest of the world. his other message is that he can do it all. he can keep ukraine - our conversation last time - within the russian orbit and argue with germany. the european union is power.
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he can negotiate with the germans. putin has scores on keeping his own political orbit of other countries like ukraine, he has mikhail khordorkovsky released and score human rights points, humanitarian grounds and sent him to germany so he really needed angela merkel's support. he's a man of all traits, he can do it all. >> do you think he's generally concerned about what the international community thinks of him, and the olympics. is this really what is driving some of these decisions? >> he's not genuinely concerned, he's a politician. he is concerned somewhat and he needs people to come to socchi and for socchi to be a success and he needed to score the points. the world in the next month before socchi, it will be slightly more hesitant, perhaps, to be critical of him and say
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maybe if you release mikhail khordorkovsky on humanitarians grounds, maybe human rights abuse, there is his propaganda, it may not be a horrible thing as we think it is. >> thank you for coming in today, we appreciate it. >> chase bank is trying to protect customers' debit cards after a massive data breach at target stores. the move affects 2 million customers. the bank is temporarily limited atm withdrawals to $100 and restricting card purchases for $300 and recommends they go into a branch for additional cash. >> now i speak to someone from a security firm specialising in chip technology. what is behind the move by chase. i was struck by it. have you seen anything done like this before? >> i think it's normal that data
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is breached, that you need to reduce the financial institutions and the retailers financial exposure. so it is not an unusual step to take. >> but to go as far as restricting all debit - not all, but millions of debit cards and purchases, is that not a little of an overkill? >> it really depends on what the exposure is for the financial institution in question. i do not know why they have taken the steps, but i believe that they are reasonable steps if data is breached. >> talk about the technology to make credit cards more secure, especially in other parts of the world. why have we not seen more improvements in american credit cards? >> the u.s. is moving to chip card technology, and this is what we are doing in the united states. in reality, what we have noticed around the world is that fraud
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drops dramatically if your payment incorporates a chip as opposed to having the data this a magnetic stripe. >> explain the difference. a lot of people don't understand what is at work. how is the chip more secure than having a magnetic stripe. >> i will try to summarise it by saying the data on the stripe is data that is not dynamic. it's data for every traction, the same data used when you swipe your card. when you use a chip card, the data is dynamic. therefore, stealing the data on one transaction does not allow you to move on other traction with the same data. >> so if it's more secure, why have we not seen more credit card companies embrace it faster? >> it has to do with the level of overall fraud, and the cost
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of implementing the new technology. i believe the united states is moving to chip card technology, and i believe within the next three to four years all cards will have a chip incorporated in the card. >> thank you for your time today. >> at least two are dead after powerful storms swept through the south. several tractor-trailers were overturned after a tornado hit. there were more than 300 cases of damaging wind. canada is seeing wild weather. >> as a matter of fact we continue to monitor the situation in canada. 350,000 people are without power. we have hydropower, working hard to restore the power to 250,000 customers. mayor rob ford of toronto
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recommended that folks want to open up their tap slightly at the lowest point of their home to keep the pipes from freezing and wants folks to get out and help the elderly and vulnerable who need extra assistance with the storm. across the atlantic ocean, we have a massive storm getting ready to hit england. you are looking at iceo bars. the closer the lines get together the stronger the wind is getting to be. this storm a making its way into britain. we are looking at pressure in - around 984 millibars. it's low pressure, heavy rain associated with this system and it will cause a lot of problems for anyone trying to travel on the roadways. back to the situation in canada, where we monitor the situation. 13,470 folks are without power in bolton outside of toronto.
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this is actually an estimate of all the areas dealing with the lack of power. tornado hydro ceo said it's the worst ice storm to hit portions of atlantic canada. >> well, the rift between south sudan's president and the former president is threatening to drag the country into a civil war. as many as 500 have been killed. the united nations is pulling troops from other conflicts and sending them there. haru mutasa has more from juba. >> as the violence in north and central south sudan escalates thousands are trying to escape. the capital of unity state has been lost to the rebels. they are battling to recapture bor in jonglei. >> there's a lot of people in the u.n. compound in both towns. the town is vacated completely.
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it is only these rebel soldiers who move about in the town. all the bodies have not been collected. we don't know what is the number of the deaths up to now because the town is under the control of the rebels. >> the rebels are loyal to former vice president riek machar. he is accused by president salva kiir of plotting a coup. he denies this. speaking to david foster from al jazeera over the phone, he said he is ready to run the country. >> so the answer is yes, you would like to be the next
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president? >> yes. >> no one knows where riek machar is and government officials seem to be losing patients. >> since he is continuing with atrocities against the people, the government of south sudan will not tolerate that. we will not allow him to continue to kill the people. we fall on our hands and will wait for him to accept peace. i strongly believe that after this there'll be no way, but we'll have to move to protect the lives of the citizens. >> there are diplomatic efforts to get the opposing sides to talk. >> losing key towns to the rebels is a temporary setback. they won't let forces loyal to riek machar take the capital. >> the u.s. and u.n. envoy are in the capital. riek machar made it clear he wants the president removed,
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making the chance of a dialogue difficult. >> later we'll have more on the crisis in sudan. >> anti-government protests in ukraine have entered the second month. the number of protests are declining, but the opposition movement may be gaining ground. >> as the demonstrations enter the second month, there's the power to draw tens of thousands to independence square in the center of the capital. these began as a protest when the government failed to sign a deal with europe and grew when the government tried to crackdown on the protesters. many now are wondering what is next. >> this man joined the protest on december 1st after seeing the police crackdown on protesters. he'll stay. >> what next? i haven't thought
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of that. the next step has to come from the government. our cards are on the table. >> the demonstrations are entering the second month. they have been called revolutionary and criticised the leaders. >> ukrainians come in their tens of thousands. organizers say that protest will continue. they called on people to celebrate new year's eve and demonstrate into 2014. >> this woman is inpatient. she has been here since november 24th and says something needs to change. >> we can't stand and wait. we need to act. there must be concrete action. she says a peaceful outcome is impossible. opposition leaders disagree. so many have said they are willing to shed blood. >> no chancesal all. shed the blood.
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we prevented all kinds of violence. we showed to the world that we are pro-european in position. >> a pro government parliament predicts there'll be movement towards europe to apiece the protesters. >> the government's makes makes the opposition stronger. we need to correct the mistakes so the situation will calm down. >> the people on independent square will not be easily won. they want to see concrete changes before they'll consider leaving. >> opposition leaders have called on the protesters to stay here in the days and weeks ahead. they offered no concrete plan to move the spags forward. there's a stalemate with the government. the people want the government to enact european-like reforms and turn to europe. the government showed no
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inclination of that. the people say they'll stay as long as it takes, but that is unclear. there's about no movement. the only development we have seen is the opposition leaders have announced a new mydun independent people's movement designed to draw in all walks of life to get momentum if the movement. in this cold, cold winter, cold ukrainian winter you had people living in the square, and it's really uncertain how this situation can move forward, who may make concessions - the government or the demonstrators. >> police in bangladesh charged 13 people in connection with a fire at a garment victim impact statementry that killed 112. the death toll was an as a result of poor safety standard. the openers were charged and could face life in prison if convicted of negligent homicide >> demonstrations in generrmany
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grew violent at the protest of a left-wing cultural center. german officers used water canons to quell the protesters. 22 officers were hurt and unknown demonstrators were hurt. >> a warning to cuban entrepreneur pushing for an overhaul of the economy. all reforms must happen with a sense of order. the communist governments have been relaxing laws. some home cinemas and salons have been closed after opening. castro wants a better relationship with the u.s. but is not willing to change economic policies to do so. >> still to come on al jazeera america - the war on drugs. 1,000 pounds of heroin seized at sea by kenyans. >> a train derailment in kenya's capital. >> access in columbia - a secret
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c.i.a. program to help the col up bian government kill rebels.
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>> welcome to al jazeera america. i'm jonathan betz in new york. nairobi police are looking for survivors after a freight train derailed into a neighbourhood. seven people have been hurt. we've been sent this report from nairobi. >> crushed by trains, shacks in a slum reduced to wreckage. it took rescue teams an hour to get to the scene in kibera. by then people have started helping those trapped. >> when i reached there i heard a noise, "can you help us?" i called people, we went there and we tried to dig down. we took two children - one five years, and another six years. >> hundreds of people gathered
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around the accident site. police struggled to cordon off the area. >> the transport minister visited the scene after the accident. he pleaded with people not to set up their home close to the track. the proximity has been complicating rescue efforts. for hours workers struggled to slip over the shanties. train company officials say the train was travelling at a low speed due to congestion in the air, causing the wagons it give way under the heavy weight. this was a colonial line receiving next to no maintenance. >> the trains come from town. if you stay here, you think they
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are going to fall on you >> many say they know the proximity to the train line puts their lives at risk, but in reality they have nowhere else to go >> hundreds of striking railroad workers clashed with police today. 600 officers used tear gas to force their way into the headquarters of a labour group. 100 union leaders were taken into custody. 600 walked off the job in protest at privatizing south korea's railway system. >> tens of thousands marked through bangkok calling on the prime minister to resign. some marched to the prime minister's home. the rally comes a day after the party announced it would boycott elections next year. >> dan da's military will seize
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1,000 pans of drugs at sea. the ship is part of the a 20-nation fleet to fight piracy, and is the largest heroin seizure that the coalition has made. the struggles are worth more than $100 million. >> it's a risky operation. surgeons in france designed a new artificial heart that could replace the real thing. >> this is the world's first, app artificial art to stay in the body for five years. surgeons at a paris hospital implanted another in a male patient on wednesday. so far they say he is doing fine. >> the patient is doing very well. he is getting better every day. i saw him before coming to see you. we are talking to him, he recovering and resting. we are correcting things little by little and will take away the
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dribs and drains necessary in this situation. >> doctors designed the heart to reduce side effects by using cow tissue to connect the device to the patient. the great advantage was the lio logical material used to minimise clotting. that's the first aspect. another is computerized assistance in the heart so it adapts in real-time. >> thousands die every year whilst waiting for a heart donor. the other initial heart weighs that, almost a kilo. three times that of the human heart. it runs batteries around the waste. but at a cost of 240,000, it's almost out of reach for most people. the implant fits 90% of men and 20% of women. the company carnat is working on
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one for women. three more patients will receive the heart in coming months. >> a teenager shot in her colorado high school died. claire davis has been in a coma. karl pierson entered arapahoe high school looking for his debate teachers. the attack took 80 seconds. a statement was issued saying: >> next, we return to one of our stop stories - the civil unrest in southern sudan. rebels control a state capital that has most of the company's
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oil. >> pack your bags - you may want to consider buying a lottery ticket in spain. if you thought the mega millions jackpot was a big deal, you have not seen anything yet. those stories and more when al jazeera returns.
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>> welcome back to al jazeera america. i'm jonathan betz. thousands are in the streets of kiev protesting the pact with the european union. they are demanding president viktor yanukovych's resignation over a decision to snub the e.u. over closer ties with russia. >> former russian oil tycoon mikhail khordorkovsky spoke at a press conference. he promised to help political prisoners in russia, but will not enter politics >> a bomb exploded in tel aviv. a passenger noticed a passenger and alerted the driver who
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quickly got everyone off. >> a train derailment in nairobi's slum. at least six have been hurt. >> the ongoing rift between south sudan's president and the former vice president is threatening to drag the country into a civil war. rebels control the state capital, which has most of the country's oil. as many as 500 people have been killed. troops have been diverted to south sudan. let's go to leslie ne warner, a non profit think tank. thank you for being with us. the vice president's loyalists took over the oil-rich capital, how much is oil plays into the conflict in south sudan? >> well, it's important to keep in mind initially this started as a political dispute between riek machar and the counter
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president of south sudan. because the oil-rich capital in unity state is in northern south sudan has been taken over, there's a potential that this area could be held hostage by the rebels in order to attract concessions. >> there's concerns that this could, you know, fall into an ethnic dispute. >> it's important not to overemphasise the ethnic aspect. it's an inpersonnel s.p.l.m. ruling party dispute. and plain if you can what the roots are. a lot are not familiar with sudan. now there's concern of another slip within the southern part of the country.
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why the division, why the fighting. >> sure. what happens is it's important to go back to the events of the summer. president salva kiir sacked his cabinet, including the vice president riek machar. not to overemphasise the ethnic dynamic, salva kiir is dinka, and riek machar is nuer. they are from the two minority groups. the thing to pay attention to is nick did not launch an armed rebellion, he tried to gain power through political means. this is my reading, he's trying to reform the image through the 1990s. the south, south ethnic violence that occurred within the north-south conflict. do you think the president is going to lead the coup? >> he had been trying to reform his image until the events of sunday, in which there were
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fights within the presidential guard. throughout the week it's important to pay attention to the messaging between the government of south sudan, and riek machar. it started with riek machar saying he was not necessarily involved in a coup, and then he started saying that the ruling party, the spln overthrew others and later he said he was part of the armed movement. over the course of a week you saw him increasingly calling for violent action, which imposes - goes against what he stood for, since coming into the fold in 2002. >> he told al jazeera that he has no problem being president. >> thank you for your time today. >> a close call for bus passengers in tel aviv. the driver evacuated the vehicle when a suspicious bag was
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pointed out. it blew up as it was being examined. it's being called an attempted terror attack. >> house and committee terrorism chief appeared on morning television to defend phone call records. he cautioned against the panel's recommendation to take the data out of n.s.a. hands. >> they basically said the information is important, but where we keep it may be up for debate. that's a very important milestone for services devastating to the naa. i disagree. what they said was this information is a vital part of our counterterrorism effort, keep americans safe. we don't think they should collect is in a safe place, we think they should spread it back. here is my concern. privacy groups reject the notion
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had a government mandate that someone keep these records is less safe than what we have. >> a covert c.i.a. program is helping the columbian kill dozens of leaders of rebel forces. two dozen leaders of f.a.r.c., the revolutionary armed forces were tracked down and killed. joining us to discuss this is robert, a former top counterterrorism official. thanks for being with us. >> are you surprised by this operation? >> no, i'm not surprised. a little disclaimer. the actions that were described in this article are, for the most part. things that took place after i left government. i can't confirm anything in the article. that said, what is described in the article is reminiscent of methodologies employed and affected by the joint special
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operations command and in iraq and afghanistan. >> the main thrust was how the columbian government used c.i.a. technology, smart bombs, on the planes to target the rebels. there's a lot of emphasis placed on smart bombs. there's nothing new, and they don't involve the c.i.a. that said, what is really important and unique in all of this and what was provided in bulk by the c.i.a. was a capability, an intelligence fusion capability enabling them to find and fix narco trafficker leaders enabling them to be target by the military number one. and fusing them with operations on the ground. when the strikes are taken military forces would move in, they would capture cell phones, computer harddrives, thumb
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drives, documents, and the capabilities provided to the columbians would permit them, with u.s. assistance, to rapidly analysis the information, identify new targets and roll on to the targets. >> what is it like in the halls of the c.i.a. is it a difficult decision to go into these countries and help the governments kill the rebels is this. >> i think it would be a difficult decision if you were not clear about how these methodologies were going to be used. as pointed out in the article there was concern that the capabilities provided to focus on terrorists was the f.a.r.c. - they at the time was in a designated terrorist organization. the primary concern was the involvement in counternarcotics, where there was a national security interest. the fear was the capabilities of political opponents, and it was something that the u.s. would
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take strong measures from happening. as described in the article, for what it's worth, they were careful to ensure that the u.s. retain control of the gps-guided technology, it was years later once it was established that the government could be trusted with the use of the technology that they made it available. >> is it not more dangerous ground to go into the area and help the government, and that the columbian officials may use this technology. there was measures taken to ensure the technology would not be used. if there was evidence to indicate that it had been misused, i am sure with oversight there would be strong measures to make sure that the use of that technology was removed. the column bians would have understood precisely what was at stake. this is not different from what
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the u.s. had to do with other countries. use of various methodologies that could be employed in unauthorised ways elsewhere. >> former top counterterrorism official to the c.i.a. thank you for your time. >> afghanistan has been renowned for its carpets. for many women weaving could be a way to make a living if they had the means to export their wares. an organization in chicago is helping women do that. >> the rich cultural history require of afghanistan's province was largely blown up by the taliban, along with towering statues of buddha. decades of warfare drove the weavers of afghanistan's carpets to pakistan, depleting the nation of an historic industry and income. leaving shoeless children in jobless afghan. >> a nonprofit rug maker has
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brought a cultural revival, especially for afghan women. >> translation: there has been a lot of changes. people who were unemployed can work now. the wages that they give are very high. >> the idea came from american former investment banker connie duckworth who visited afghanistan in a u.s. state commission in 2004, in return for a business custodion design for african women. >> it was seeing the conditions of women, many living in rubble with small children, that hooked my heart. the ultimate definition of sustainability is profitability. we are not there yet. why? we need to sell more rugs. >> the revival of afghan weaving comes with a twist. arzu makes afghan rugs and modern carpets. a change from complex african
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patterns. >> we are comfortable with the foreign designs because they are simple. >> at first most of the women were illiterate, signing for pay with a thumb print. >> in the first year a thumb print. now it is signatures. the women know how to write, to read. they are learning maths. what we have done, how we transformed their lives is inspirational. it's a change appreciated by the men. >> some of the people here have nothing. nothing to move their lives forward. thank god the lives of people have gotten better. >> moving on with their lives remade as dramatically as the cotton on their looms. >> if you thought last year's mega million jackpot was a big deal. wait until you here what the spain jackpot was.
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>> february 6th - we'll hit the slopes with a snow boarding legend who once again goes in search of schedule. that's ahead of us.
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>> mark is here with sport. the scramble is on for the playoffs. that is true. we focus on two games, both down to the wire. here we go. remember two weeks ago the saints throttled the panthers 31-13 in new orleans to grab sole position of first place. they met again in charlotte. the saints struggled 3 and 4
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this season away from home. carolina in new orleans fighting for the title, number two seed and first round buy in the playoffs. this game not the shoot out. saints up 6-0 in the second, de-angelo williams gone. panthers up 7-6. fourth quarter carolina on top drew breesz looking for the main manned. he find it new orleans up by three. less than 30 seconds left cam newton, domenic hick son nice. 14 yards for the score. the panthers win for the 10th time in the last 11th game. be careful you have another game, don't pile on him. >> here is how the nsc south look. panthers cap clench it with a win in atlanta. the saints can watch and see if
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arizona lose to seattle. cowboys and redskins renewing their rivalful battling to win the nsce. tony romeo there. des-bryant done in the end zone. the cowboys in good shape, 14 yards on the plate. alfred moyes. under a minute and a half left. fourth and 10. the whole season is on the line. look at romeo, he makes it happen again. cowboys escaped 24-23. look at jason garrett, "yes, we'll kick the extra point." the cowboys now face the eagles in dallas for a winner-take-all game with the nsce title and a play-off berth on the line. the loser out of the play-offs. >> with the winter olympic games approaching we continue a look at the american athletes representing the red, white and
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blue. today ross shimabuku profiles the young lady, the face of women's snow boarding. >> with tricks and aerial displays snow boarding is a popular winter sport. the united states snow boarding team is considered the greatest on planet earth. enhancing the u.s.'s chances in halve pike is gretchen bligher, she is ranked third and is shooting to make a third olympic experience. >> this is my fourth qualifying experience. i had the best and worst case scenarios. then i have the young girls, you know, pushing me and hopefully i'm an example to them. we are each other's biggest competitors, because there's four spots for the women and there's about seven plus girls who shut be on the team and representing the us in the olympics. >> in the 2006 winter olympics she hit the pinnacle of a story
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career by winning the silver medal. in june 2012, while practicing a double backflip on a trampoline she over-rotated kneeing herself in the face, making the journey back almost impossible. >> i shattered my eye socket. broke my nose and gave myself a severe concussion. it's a journey, the obstacles and triumphs along the way, you learn a lot of good-life lessons. >> bligher persevered and has a great chance to get back on the podium in socchi russia. >> i work hard. if something doesn't work, i work harder. this was not the case. i had to take a step back and accept where i was, and not compare myself to where i was the year before because it was a different version of myself. i had to start over again. >> after winning four golds and a silver medal at the winter x
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games, she is the face of women's snow boarding. she has a different view. >> there's so many women that made the sport. that's a cool part of it. everyone has their strength and has brought snow boarding into a different light to the public and audiences who wouldn't have normally watched the olympics before. there's so many different characters. that's what is appealing about snow boarding. >> all right. thank you so much and jonathan - shaun white is a guy that has had a lot of publicity. gretchen had a great career and people will keep an eye on her too. >> it will be great to see how she does. >> and a record-setting day for peyton manning. we'll focus on the afc at 6:00. >> two winning tickets were drawn in the mega millions jackpot, worth $636 million.
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that is chump change in spain. the christmas lottery draw there held today splits $3 billion in prize money. we have more. >> it's known as el-gordo, the fat one. it's a seasonal fixture as traditional as the nativity scene on display in christian homes. the top jackpot prize is 5.5 billion. with tickets costing $270 each most people buy a share of a tickets, resulting in tens of thousands enjoying a windfall. the really enthusiastic attend the draw in person, sometimes in extravagant fancy dress >> translation: we are waiting to see if we win the lottery. >> a festive hat works for this woman, amazed to win $170,000
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prize. the reaction struck a cord with many when it was said the lottery prize would pay off some debts. >> spanish government has the same plan. the state takes 30% of revenue from the sales. this year, for the first time, the government is targetting the prize winners too. an austerity tax means prizes larger than $3,400 will be subject to a 20% tax rate. >> translation: i don't know what is going on with the treasury, they take everything. if we win we'd have to pay. >> taxing the winners is unpopular. it adds up to an estimated 1.2 million. it really is a jackpot win. >> jackpot - a lot of money. there's more ahead on al jazeera america, including it's not the
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grinch stealing christmas but the mould killing christmas trees. that story and holiday weather when we come back.
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>> welcome back to al jazeera america. pope francis used his last devotional prayer before christmas to make an appeal for homeless families, and spoke of difficulties homeless families place and vowed to do everything possible to find them a home. he encouraged 1.2 billion catholics to reflect on how they can help others. christmas is a big part of the holiday season. the trees are under threat from an aggressive form of mould. we go to washington state where researchers hope to find a sol use. >> the noble fur is one of america's favourite christmas trees. they are fragrant and lush, with sturdy branches for hanging audience. >> this is my favourite. i like this personally. >> they are bread and butter. for 43 years noble and frasier trees have been grown on 480km
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of land. the bulk is selling seeds to farmers who grow them to maturity. nobel and fraser fur are susceptible to mould called root rot. demand for the trees hits a high. many farmers are trying to grow them in areas with poorly trained soils. this is where root rot thrives. it can take years for symptoms to be shown in trees. this tree is seven years old but didn't show symptoms until last year. it can mean a lose of time and money. >> this root rot is responsible for destroying 6 million worth of crops a year. >> these are stiff branches. >> washington state pathologist believes that the solution may be in the norredman and turkish fur. >> they are resistant to the
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root rot and provide an alternative for growers if they have a poorly drained soils. the team has been studying the root rot. they discover that norredman and turkish thrive anywhere. >> being able to help them come up with options for them has been really rewarding. >> the downside - the root-rot resisted trees do not have much of a fromming rans and take 9 to 10 years to grow. >> it's a great place to try exotic species. >> scholes is banking on their success and is experimenting with the norredman. his latest crop will be ready to hit the market in time for christmas. >> what does it mean for prices? >> you can pay more for all christmas trees next year. some farmers balance out years
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of over supply, others recover from years of losses. >> record-breaking heat across new york city. we climb to a high of 71. at this time of year we should be in the 30s. all ahead of the frontal boundary bringing in moisture and warm air across the east coast. rain is on the way. cooler temperatures on the way. on the backside of the front look at how cold it is, the wind sweeping in out of the north. omaha 22, rapid city only at eight. we are looking at scattered snow showers. looking at overcast skies, it's quiet and calm. heavy snow across milwaukee. that will die down. the heaviest of the rain across the south-east, making its way into the caro linas, where we
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continue to deal with gustier winds as we track in as the front makes its way offshore. a wet weekend. we had to deal with heavy rain, the heaviest situated between little rock. some areas saw as much as six inches of rain. back to the heat. look how warm it is in savannah. 81 degrees, spreading all the way to the. >> -- i 95 core dar. tonight a cool down. dealing with ice across new england and maine and i 95, the white and green mountains from vermont. treacherous travel - be careful on the roadways.
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>> this is al jazeera america live from new york. i'm jonathan betz with the headlines. tens of thousands of refugees a fleeing three homes in south sudan. u.s. citizens have been evacuated to juba. u.s. envoys are meeting with government officials hoping to end the conflict >> thousands are on the streets in ukraine, demanding that president viktor yanukovych resign over his decision to snub the e.u. in favour of closer ties with russia. >> former russian tycoon mikhail khordorkovsky spoke out at a conference in berlin,

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