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tv   News  Al Jazeera  December 27, 2013 8:00pm-9:01pm EST

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>> hello and welcome to al jazeera america. i'm tony harris. a former lebanese government official with ties to the united states is assassinated in a massive car bombing in beirut. anger in the streets from cairo to istanbul. celebrating kwanzaa, a december honoring. and a message for today.
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so we begin tonight with a new ruling on the nsa spying controversy. a federal judge ruled at the time legal for the national security agency to collect so-called metadata from persons' cell phone. a week ago another judge ruled it basically violated are rights. john terrett could you tell us? >> half us think it's a good idea because it keeps us safe, the other half thinks its terrible. and now members of the judiciary. not just any members of the judiciary, two federal judges, district judges, pretty high up, one in new york, one in washington, d.c, coming to completely different conclusions on basically the same issue. take a look.
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>> in his ruling federal judge william pauley of new york, connected fragmented and fleeting communications. he said the 9/11 attacks might have been prevented if the phone data collection system had existed then to help investigators connect the dots before the attacks occurred. he says the government's learned from its mistakes and has adapted to confront a new enemy, a terror network capable of executing attacks across the world. he said the was part, after former edward snowden being pleakd details, on american are networks every day. the aclu's lawyers arced the government's interpretation of authority under the patriot act was so broad it could justify the mass collection of financial, health and even
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library records of innocent americans without their knowledge. the aclu says it will appeal judge pauley's ruling. misapplies a narrow precedent to read away core constitutional connections. the department of justice said they were pleased with judge pauley's position. richard leon sitting in washington, d.c. ruled the opposite way in a suit brought against the phone company verizon for bulk collection of phone records. he wrote, i have serious doubts about the efficacy of the metadata collection program as a way of creating time sensitive investigations, edwar edward sns disclosure bts the nsa programs, at home and around the world. so where are we tonight? well, last week the white house issued a report that was commissioned in the wake of the
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edward snowden affair in which it seemed to suggest that some changes may very well be in the offing in this country into the way this kind of metadata as it's called is collected and stored. meanwhile, edward snowden had what he always wanted, as a new year's present, national if not international debate over spying. many people feel that this issue is so big and with two federal judges coming to completely different conclusions on basically the same issue, it's heading towards the supreme court in washington, d.c. tony. >> you were talking about cases that would not have come to the fore if it were not the leaks, edward snowden got exactly what he wanted. today's ruling raises all sort of questions. let's bring in ariva martin. ariva, good to see you again. could the nsa and the justice department have asked for a
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besht finding from a federal judge than it received today from judge palley? >> no, toifn. thi-- toifn, this is a early new year's present. well within the right to collect all this data even though there's no necessary find that there's probable cause that a crime is going to be committed or that any individual is leaked to any particular terrorist threat. so a big day today for the government. >> and yet react to that, 11 days ago, dr. richard leon as you know said the metadata collection program was almost orwellian, calling it district and arbitrary and likely unconstitutional sphwhrp you know what's so particularly bizarre about this tony is you have the same set of facts, you have the same law and you have this 1979 case, this smith
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versus maryland case that said when you give your phone records or you engage in, you know, a business deal with the phone company, you no longer have a reasonable expectation of privacy. as it relates to your phone records. now the washington, d.c. court says that's outdated. that the data that was on phone records in 1974 is completely different than the data that's contained on phone records today, and that that case is no longer you know valid. the court in manhattan said absolutely not. that case is still good law and the supreme court is the only court that can overrule the smith case and as long as that case is valid there is no expectation of privacy. >> we'll get to what's next in a moment. but these opinions are in such opposite direction, starkly so. i have to ask you: did the aclu lawsuit ask this judge, judge pauley the critical fourth
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amendment question, whether that represents an unreasonable search and seizure activity? >> that's the heart of the situation, without being probable cause that there was a crime committed and is it a violation of your fourth amendment rights and judge pauley said it is not a violation of your 4th amendment rights. only the supreme court i think can make a final germings the data collection -- determination about the data collection program. >> ariva good to see you. >> thank you tony. there's no responsibility for today's car bombing that killed mohamed chata, former ambassador to the united states, also a member of the coalition that oppose the syrian government. rula amin has the story. >> a daring attack in the downtown's posh area.
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why killed hamad chata and his four body guards. he was a close aid and top advisor to former prime minister. are march 14th antisyria coalition. the explosion took place just a short distance from the resident of hariri where chata had his office. security had been very tight here lately but not enough to prevent this attack. >> we were inside and felt glass breaking and coming in. then we heard the sound and that's what happened. an explosion happened. an explosion continued to break. we waited until it was all broken and then went out and saw this. as you can see all these shops here are damaged. i consider all this terrorism. all this is terrorism damaging the country and the people. what more can i say? god help us. god help this country.
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>> reporter: as investigators looked for clues, politician he said they already knew who was behind this attack and they pointed the finger to iran and hezbollah. hariri who had not set foot inside the kin for a year said the killers were the same as those of his father. the march 14th leaders met at harari's home. >> from dara, to aleppo, to syria. two weeks before the start of the work of the international court investigating the killing of hariri, they killed mohamed chata. >> it is not the first car bomb to hit lebanon this year. in november, the iranian embassy was attacked. dozens were killed then. and in tripoli, twin car bombs
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went off outside two modification. lebanese politicians may agree on various issues but when it comes to the deteriorating situation in the country they share the same view the civil war next door in syria is the reason for it. hezbollah accused syria of being behind the attacks on the shaa neighborhoods. but for the people who live in lebanon, their country is turning into a regional battle ground. >> this war is transforming, the whole political landscape it is transforming even the borders that were prevailing before this syrian revolution, so it could be as a part of a big attempt to redraw the whole levant map. >> key figure in lobbying the
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international community to bring the killers of the former prime minister. he always stressed it was important to deter the perpetrators from further killing. it was set to start on january 16th, that did not stop the assassination of this person. >> tear gas at anti-coup protestors near azhar university in cairo. nearly 300 were arrested. peter cresta has more now. >> friday was always going to be a day of confrontation. the tends to will between egypt's 18th government protestors and the police. it came two days after the government declared the muslim brotherhood to be a terrorist group. the interior ministry warns anyone would be in prison for
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five years on charge of attemp attempting terrorist ideology. thousands turned out after friday prayers. >> and now they want to rule us with with food, with guns, and because of that we're going to present very seaively, very peacefully, to save our rights. >> they will be there, the killer will not be in egypt. >> women also joined the march that seed hez of headed for a confrontation. above them, supporters wavered from balconies. >> this four firngd salute is -- fingered salute is a symbol. they continue to defy the government, we are now needing to see what the governmental is
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is carrying out. >> minutes later the police moved in firing tear gas and bird shot into the ground, a determined core regroups to fight blacks. the police tried to arrest anyone involved in the protest. >> we have one person. dation six burns were received by them. they are now in prison. >> a photographer captured this, what official here to be a threat to stayed security and national civility. but if these coffin front takings continue as the protestors promise, it may have the sops effect. peter cresta, al jazeera, cairo. >> three cabinet members have already resigned, testers want
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the prime minister to go as we well. reporting from iiveld. >> it's one of the largest scandals that erdogan mass suffered. after three of his key ministers were forced to resign. but erdogan still enjoys support and countering antigovernment protests. on friday, he announced before his followers: sovereignty does not balooning to the government either, it belongs to the people. >> elsewhere in istanbul, l although small in number, his opponents were with ongoing battles with police, the chance
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he are clear. bribery is everywhere, corruption is everywhere, they simply wants the prime minister to resign. >> police tried to break away the crowsdz outside taksim square. >> we do not want that man who is a traitor and a thief around our turkz. >> we want to say to him, good-bye. >> this latest scandal has brought to the surface a power struggle between the government of turkey, based in the u.s. is said to have big support in soirkturkey including followersn the police and the asia. it is widely believe that gulan was responsible for bringing the corruption scandal into a public domain. the two men were allies in the past but the rift between them is now threatening the country's
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are public utility stability. >> during an apparent suicide attack in afergz, a bomb are struck a convoy as it was leaving a military base in the capital, kabul. the taliban has claimed responsibility. uncompleer whether rebels fighting in the east africans, meantime 72 u.n. peace keepers riesked in south sudan's capitol. they joined more than 5,000 peace keepers, protecting the 63,000 in are bases. >> starting tomorrow, many americans will no longer be getting their unemployment
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checks. and ban if box, have you ever been convicted of a crime. we'll be right back in a moment. that make a difference... that open your world... >> this is what we do... >> america tonight next only on al jazeera america here is more. >> beneath the fluorescentsun in a former meat packing plant is the latest trim in farming. they call it "vertical farming." these fields grow on floors on at industrial park and farmer john adel and his staff agrees user. >> my shipping proceed did you say 1500, 2,000 miles to get are. >> the plant of the indoor -- as the indoor formers call it
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doesn't grow corn or soybeans but mustard, high end micro greens on the plates of white-napkin restaurants. these fish supply the vert liser that number issues the he.
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>> wet weather coming into text. alabama, mississippi, georgia, all the way across the southeast. we're going to have wet weather coming in, little warmer and means no ice and we're also going to have the showers still in parts of southern texas, looks like northern texas around lubbock, you're going to stay dry. saturday arctic air is coming in, and that will bring snow around the great lakes. and breezy winds will bring the hint of cooler air as well. keep in mind, that snow will pile up. lake effect snow machine, but areas just south of that will see accumulations of two to four inches. starting out the day they'll feel better than they have this
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last week, closer to normal, billings, high of 32, but we're going to have more comfortable temperatures in places to the. this is the radar, where the rain showers are flooding in and here are flood warnings. areas of flood warnings popping up so you want to monitor your local weather in the southeast. >> rebecca thank you. they have arrived. ups says thousands of backlogged packages have been delivered to customers but angry shopper say they want a refund. they will not refund ground shipping, they blame a surge of bad weather. holiday hack attack, hackers stole numbers from 40 million credit and debit users and
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enincremented pin accounts. target is confident they are secure. the key needed to decode the data was not stored in its system. time and money has run out, their extended benefits end tomorrow. congress did not vote to extend the benefits before taking recess. the president would, quote, push congress to act promptly and in a bipartisan manner to renew these benefits. david hawkins is in detroit with that story. >> more than 1 million unemployment workers will lose their benefits this weekend because congress allowed the benefits to expire before taking its holiday break. since 2007, the federal government has been providing benefits to unemployed workers when their are benefits ran out.
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michigan's unemployed will be the hardest hit. 145,0045,000 will lose benefitst year. >> i get $157 a week after taxes. i'm not going to be able to pay for utilities. in fact, after this check i get this week from unemployment, i have to pay the mortgage payment on 1st of january. i'm have less than $200 in the bank. >> michigan's unemployment rate is 8.8%, third highest in the country. that's led many republicans in congress to say there's no locker any need for emergency unemployment benefits. most democrats believe the benefits should continue. before heading off to hawaii for the holidays, president obama consolidated congress for failing to extend the program.
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>> because congress didn't act, more than 1 million of their constituents will lose a vital economic life line at christmastime. when congress comes back to work their first order of business should be making this right. >> until then people relying on federal unemployment checks will just have to wait and see. keep looking for work and hope the new year brings good tidings and cheer not to mention more jobs. david hawkins, al jazeera, detroit. >> so it is called banning the box. it is a law that says employers cannot ask job applicants if they have been convicted of a crime. seattle is one of the biggest cities to adopt the policy. tanya moaz mri has the story. >> it's a simple interaction. he isn't taking for granted. before he was hired by the community resource program year up, taylor had applied to more than 100 jobs.
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>> i got zero interviews, zero call backs. no, nothing at all. >> taylor thinks he was shut out of the hiring process thanks a little box on job applications that asks, have you been convicted of a crime? at 18, taylor served time in prison for robbery. >> when you fill out so many job applications and hear the same thing, no, because of your record, it basically makes you wants to turn back to a hive of recidivism, commit more crimes because you have no opportunity. >> seattle is one of 50 cities in ten states to make it easier for persons like taylor to move on from their crimes. they cannot be asked until after they are brought in for aan interview. >> they have to give someone a chance to explain or correct their record, if it makes them not want to go ahead in the hiring process. >> this does not apply to committing crimes in direct
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conflict for jobs they are applying for. for instance, a sex offender cannot apply for a job dealing with children. >> they still can decide not to hire someone based on a criminal record but they need to have a legitimate business reason. >> some like jim tharp questions the effectiveness of the law, he believes educational programs would provide a greater service. >> there needs to be not just so much laws but there should be programs so that thee people can get into jobs. and without that we're going to continuously have the same problem. >> when searching for work that's what it all boils down to. am i qualified for this position? can i do better than any other applicant? my background just says i made a mistake. >> taylor says ban the box is not a solution but a first step
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in helping felons give back to society. tanya moaz mri, seattle. >> a couple of days ago we told you about the las vegas cab driver who found $300,000 in his cab and returned it. today he got a pretty nice reward. the poke are player who left the cash in the back seat has noun given the cabbie, $10,000. the cab company made him employee of the year and gave him another $1,000. why the ged is getting a major makeover and bidding war: why every major league team wants this pitching phenom, no matter what the cost.
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judge welcome back to al jazeera america. i'm tony harris. here are your top stories. died in a huge disploation in beirut today, much of the violence in beirut is being blamed on the civil war in neighboring syria.
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police fired back on protestors in istanbul. being reference to the growing corruption scandal facing the turkish prime minister. a federal judge in new york city says it is lawful for nsa to collect phone records. a week earlier, another judge said it was likely unconstitutional. europe's biggest computer hacking club in west germany, how people can better protect themselves online, nick spicer has a report fromhamburg. >> at the chaos communications congress, somehow seemed innocent. a gateway for the national security agency to monitor our online and e-mail activity. thanks to the revelations of
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edward snowden. the keynote speaker at the hacker meeting this year was the journalist who made public snowden's story, glen greenwood. >> i think the power lies in the skills that you possess, the privacy inroads preventing the u.s. government and its allies from invading the sanctity of our communication. >> germans were shocked by revelations made by greenwald and edward snowden, past episode in the cub' cub's history. working with the nsa listened in on conversations with top
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european union officials, including that of unicef, calling that an outrage so they're suing britain for the european court of human rights. >> i guess the agencies and the chief of the agencies should be asked about their smieg spying capabilities and even sow we can have some hold on the future, spying didn't end just because the public knows about it, nothing changed anyway. >> many of the hackers didn't want to be filmed. they have long taken their privacy are seriously and feel there is even more reason to do so. nick spicer. hamburg. crowded town where it is now. many residents of okinawa don't want a base there at all. activates have been camping out on the proposed site for nearly a decade.
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as 2013 winds down many economists in the country are sounding optimistic. as ali velshi is saying, they like what they are seeing and the numbers. >> there are more signs that america's recovery continues. the economy is stronger than initially thought this summer. gross domestic product which is the broadest measure of goods and services out there grew at a annal rate of 1.3% compared to the prior three months. driving those gains were higher spending by consumers and businesses than we initially estimated. this is important because two-thirds of this country's economic output is decide by our spending. now to really judge whether we've turned a corner on this economy, we need spending to pickup in the final months of 2013 and into 2014. we'll get a sense of that when the first estimate for gdp in the final quarter of this year comes out, that doesn't happen until january 20th. more spending fuels more demand for goods and services and
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creates jobs which then creates more demand. it is a virtuous cycle. we've added more than 200,000 jobs a month. the economy is up 2.1 million jobs per year, making 2013 likely the best year for hiring since 2005. we're going to look for more signs of that in the december report which doesn't come occupy until january 10th, and finally in january we're watching how monetary policy affects growth in 2014. last week the federal reserve said it plans to taper. the economy can stand on its own two feet without additional stimulus. fed officials next meet to discuss their moves starting on january 29th. >> you want to talk about money ball? major league teams are paying tens of millions of dollars just for a chance to court japan's biggest baseball stars and try lure them to america.
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ross is here. i'm in your space here. >> imagine tony, paying someone $20 million just to talk to them. let the sweepstakes begin. masahiro tanaka, it's going to cost any team $20 million to talk to him. under the agreement between the japanese league and major league baseball, they agreed on a $20 million cap on the posting fee. in the previous years there was no limit. the rangers and red sox who coughed up $51 million, each, tenaka is this year's prize right here, because a 25-year-old right-hander, earned run average of 1.27 which would have led the majors this past year, tony. the big question are's askingment snrvment well, how good is this guy?
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and the question is, is he really as i look at the picture, is this guy worth the money? >> it's like vegas. in order to win big you got to spend big. two most recent japanese imports, both players signed monster contracts and both had a posting fee of $51 million. total investment was over $100 million when you include the posting fee. darvish is paid huge dividends. he's a big guy, 6'5", 228 pounds. darvish came in second place in the cy young voting. the first two years in the big lesion he was a pretty -- leagues he was a pretty good pitcher, after that he had injury problems with his shoulder and he was never the same. you could say that boston's $100 million investment was a bust.
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>> hmm. so which of these teams is actually interested in the services of this man here? >> a lot of teams, every team actually, but when you talk about the players, the yankees, dodgers, mariners, are primarily interested. he is being represented by xl sports management who also represent derek jeter. there is a january 24th deadline to make a deal with tanaka. some team is going to cough up $100 million, that's the fair market value. is he going to be a flop like daisuke. , a lot of people were comparing tanaka to another, yankee,
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horoda, 6'2" 200 pounds which towers over yours truly. a lot of people from the land of the rising son, started with ichiro and shimabuku and so forth. >> so -- >> you have the cow boyce, tony romo has a herniated disk. then in the nfc north, aaron rogers is back, cleared to play, against jay cutler, the loser goes home and a lot of heat, a lot of crazy. must-see tv. >> that's good. ross, appreciate it, thank you sir. a nearly 40 million adults, one in six, do not have a high
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school diploma. some would like to change that by taking the high school equivalency test, ged. that's set to become hashedder. >> years after they dropped out of school, these students are in a hurry to make up for lost time. at the academy of hope in washington they are all preparing to take the ged exam to win them a credential to lead them to a better life. eve after mid life, some test takers see the ged as a passport to a higher income. >> i absolutely, positively refuse to cheat myself. i'm not cheating myself, i'm doing what i need to do, to get to where i need to get to. >> advancing their own education isn't just a benefit to these students. international surveys showed that low literacy students,
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lowered their opportunity in america more than any other industrialized country. >> if a child goes home to a parent who has low literacy skills they're not going to get the report and it is pretty tough to do education reform without the support from home. >> next year the ged exam will become more difficult, upgraded to better reflect the skills needed in this year's job market. >> people don't have enough higher level critical thinking and problem-solving skills. so those are built into the content of the ged, pretty different than what we have been offering before. >> and this year, it will be done by computer. alexa who left to have a baby. >> it will be a lot harder, you have to pay more money. i'm really not good at mast.
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i'm scared if i fail it again i'll be taking everything all over again. >> but most ged test takers plan on college. only 12% have actually gone on to earn a higher degree. some worry the upgraded exam will only lead to disappointment. >> no, the bar is now raised again to another level. for seamless college transition, and that's not there, and not likely to get there. >> but for those who do, the odds of getting ahead in a tough economy may be much better. tom ackerman, al jazeera, washington. >> i tell you, it's a spoig day for a number of passengers on a ship in the arctic. a chinese ice breaker got from seven -- within seven miles of the ship but couldn't break through. they have been stranded since tuesday. another tougher ice breaker is headed their way and could break
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through on sunday. thousands of homes are still without power after that severe winter storm that hit parts of the united states and canada. last week's storm has been blamed for at least 27 deaths. officials in michigan and ontario say the power outages could last into the weekend. pussy riot, no longer a part of jailed punk rock ban. and motorcycle riders off the road.
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many worry that the gains made in education will not stick in the future. aljazeera's jane ferguson takes us to a school in kandahar city that was long considered a success and is now facing closure. >> it's a place offering more than these girls know, a quality education in real tangible skills, a path away from positivity and early marriage and towards university and a career. since 2002, the modern stud has been teaching women languages, like management and computer skills. that they are skills that speak of ambition which in the heart of tallle ban country is remarkable. >> we are a unique school, preparing women to go to jobs. our school is preparing women to
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go to universities. he. >> just when we get a milder day we've got a tump daze coming in. rain starting to surge into the southeast for the weekend. eventually that's going to meet up with the arctic air we have blasting in near the canadian border. the result of this initially, we are talking about more flooding in the southeast, watches and warnings in place for you. as we look at the northeast, we have breezy winds that will be developing. parts of north carolina and the virginias, they're going to get colder as some of that frigid air will make its way down towards you not completely though. most of our snow is going ostay near the canadian border, great lakes, highest snow totals look like they'll end up into canada
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but lake superior we'll see the snow totals of four to eight inches but you'll also get those totals further up into canada. expect one to two inches in places like thunder bay. we'll cool off and get wetter. plenty of rain will be working its way right up the equities foequities.for vermont, new hamd maine. he wants everyone to know he's not a joke. this is the same guy who dressed up in a wedding gown and will rite a book with his bff, kim jong un. the 52-year-old rodman, who never shies away from the spotlight arrived in north korea
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>> some call them a playing. but they're a get away vehicle of choice for crooks. the story from caracas. >> riding through traffic lanes.
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glowing red lights even ambushing drivers. motorcycles are am burk caracas. -- ambushing caracas. >> i saw one on the motorcycle. a passenger got off and put a bunch of cell phones in my pocket. they were coming for me next. i gave them everything i had as everyone else did. >> nine out of ten violent crimes in the city involve two wheels. motorcycles are favored by robbers and hit men and gangs of armed bikers act with impunity like these looting a broken-down truck. this driver is one of them. he works as a taxi driver. but says he mugs people when in need. >> translator: there are times that you have to. it's like damp. i have no money and there's
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little work. it rained all week and i couldn't work. you need the money so you're encouraged to steal. i call a friend, we go look for victims. >> the two-wheel invasion began a decade ago when cheap chinese made bikes arrived. they are a problem but also a life line in the constant gridlock. transportation infrastructure has been neglected for decades leading to these levels of congestion. things have become so bad that what was a 30 municipal commute on a motorcycle takes more than two hours in a car. >> sociologist rafael ramirez says people know that the city wouldn't be viable without them but wish the government could crack down on the lawlessness. >> translator: right now we live in a situation of anarchy, a total loss of solidarity.
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rules have not been in force for years so now even if they try, people defy them. >> the government started meeting with association he of bierkers, many of which -- bikers, many of support the socialist ruling party. getting them to obey rules may be as difficult as negotiating caracas traffic. sandy hook elementary school last year, final report is roughly 7,000 pages long, still does not offer a motive but the gunman's fascination with guns and violence. adam lanza killed 20 children and six adults including his mother before killing himself. videos of 911 calls including videos of his home, where every room there were guns or materials related to guns.
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that has not stopped the members of punk protest bafned pussy riot from speaking out. two band members offered their first public comments. peter sharpe has their story. >> back in moscow after serving two years in penal colonies in part of russia, pussy riot was released, they had been charged with hooliganism, after a protest in 2012, and both were young mothers. the separation from their family was hard. both women met the world's press, both looking surprisingly well after more than 18 months in two of the country's toughest labor camps. they said there would be no more pussy riot, they are moving on in a different direction and their opposition now is to russia's winter olympics. >> translator: what we want to attract attention to, first of
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all, the attention of the people living abroad, is that they should not go to the olympics, as if it's some sport or cultural event. think of it as a political event. make your political choice. if this choice is positive and you choose to come, remember there are people in russia, russian disins wh citizens who e the opportunity because they are behind bars. >> and they describe putin as: >> reserved nontransparent security officer with lots of fears. he is afraid of lots of things. he surrounds himself with walls and doesn't see the reality behind them now. he is deceived and he is ready to believe in that deceit. >> they are now forming a new charity called reserve of rights. the women said they have already been in touch with mikhail
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khodorkovsky. >> we saw all of this when we were in prison and it was a real miracle. we are grateful for all the people in support of us. >> but unlike mikhail khodorkovsky, who left the country shortly after his release, the women say they have no desire to leave the country. are people still celebrating? plus times square tribute, there is a very special panel on this new years eve crystal ball.
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i'm phil torres. coming up this week on techknow.
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>> washington, d.c, now joie chen is standing by to tell us what's coming up on "america tonight". at the top of the hour.
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>> good evening tony. we're going to look up and look back, historic architecture. the flame is father and sons who are immigrants. old world design techniques are now contemporary and practical masterpieces. our correspondent christophe putzel tours the exhibit dedicated to their work. you'll be surprised as how many of those are in our everyday lives. that's coming up at the top of the hour on america tonight, tony. joie, we appreciate it, see you then. kwanzaa was initially an attempt to celebrate pan africa unity. we don't know how many people actually celebrate there holiday, but it still remains a
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part of the american holiday season. let's talk kwanzaa. professor, it is good to see you, it is good to talk to you. do you celebrate kwanzaa? the reason i ask you is, i don't. i'm not sure why i don't. >> no, i don't celebrate kwanz kwanzaa. it was mostly during childhood, pretty haphazardly. i know people who celebrate kwanzaa. >> what do you think of the celebrations? >> i find it an incredibly beautiful ceremony. it is a secular holiday, it is an integration of incredibly beautiful values. all of the gifts are supposed to be hand made, nonmaterialistic holiday, the are foundations of
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this holiday are supposed to be self-determination, ethics and values. >> let's get to those principles in a few minutes, they are beautiful and universal. maybe this is part of my issue. how did kwanzaa get to a place where it was viewed as kind of this critique of christmas or in the eyes of some kind of a christmas replacement? can you help me through that? >> sure. well, you know, there has been various iterations of the way people have talked about kwanzaa and addressed kwanzaa and certainly there has been some of those who celebrate kwanzaa who use it as an alternative to christmas for those who are not christian. but i actually think that is probably not the majority of those who to some degree participate in kwanzaa. it hasn't been embraced largely as alternative to christmas or
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as some people misparenthesis aa black christmas, in the midst of the holiday season, that all the major religions as you tensibly embrace but in the commercialism of the holidays we forget. >> i'm looking at the principles here, they're beautiful, self determination, collective work, purpose, creativity, faith. these are universal principles, it sounds to me, that could be celebrated by everyone over the next -- over these seven days. >> yeah. i think one of the things that's wonderful is that kwanzaa is something that is embraced in certain segments of the african american community. and yet we see that it's taken different forms and has kind of an compassiveness.
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recently lgbt communities across the nation have embraced kwanzaa which is interesting and exciting. along other ethnicities across the diaspora, it is not -- it is an entry point to a way of thinking about both blackness but also humanity that is also quite beautiful but opposit opee door to what that means. >> let's get to the relevancy question here. is kwanzaa an african holiday on the decline or on the asen dance. >> the numbers are small. but you know, any time you actually attend a kwanzaa
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celebration, it is so beautiful and rich, i think, there's something that is going tob resilient and it's going to change over time, as all cultural expressions do. but i do think that it's around, whether for a while, it will be around for a while, whether or not people -- lots of people embrace it. >> impletmadi perry is a professor for african american studies. it is good to see you and happy kwanzaa. >> and happy kwanzaa to you too. >> workers have finished crystal panels in the new year's eve balm, 3,000 glass triangles, the sphere is expected to reflect more than 16 million colors as it drops at midnight. the headlines in a moment.
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>> and welcome to al jazeera, i'm tony harris. the nsa's mass collection of telephone data is legal, according to a federal judge in new york. he dismissed a lawsuit today brought by the aclu. today's ruling conflicts to another judge's ruling from last week, he says the program likely violates the constitution. in istanbul, government threw rubber bullets at the crowds. a corruption scandal demands that the turkish prime minister resign. emergency j


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