>> this is al jazeera america live from new york city. i'm jonathan betz with today's top stories. >> a suicide bombing in southern russia kills and hurts dozens weeks before the winter olympics. a sober prediction for afghanistan's future after the u.s. pulls out its soldiers. >> the uncertain fate of passengers of a ship stranded in ice. >> 125th rose ball parade honours a special set of women who flew planes in world war ii.
>> translation: it's cold so i thought i would come to the train station. it's warmer there. as soon as i walked to the station, all hell broke loose. people, glass, people in the air. i received a concussion. i didn't understand what was going on >> at least is an are dead after a suicide bomber attacked a train station in southern russia, after approaching the metal detector. it happened in volgograd, six weeks before the winter olympic games in socchi. peter sharp has the latest. >> the chaotic after math of an attack at a railway station in volgograd. a body lays on the ground as emergency services struggle to treat the survivors. police say a woman set off a suicide vest. the blast was captured on camera
at the entrance to the station. the station was packed with people leaving for christmas holidays. >> translation: everything was covered with smoke. after 10 minutes i could see again. >> the attack killed and injured dozens of people. >> translation: according to preliminary information, the power of this explosion with the equivalent of 10 kilograms of tnt. there would have been more victims if not for the guarding system at the station, provening the bomber getting through the metal detector. there were three trains because they were running late. >> the the latest bombing was a bus. it raises concern at socchi, 400km from the troubled republics of check nia and
dagestan. president putin offered support to relatives killed and injured. security at the winter olympics will continue to be an overriding concern for the kremlin. it deployed 30,000 troops and security person into the region in an attempt to lock down the winter olympics. >> in an internet video this year, doku umarov, leader of russia's separatist rebels urged supporters to use maximum force to disrupt the games. he said he was cancelling his moray torium of attacks inside russia. his groups claimed responsibility for attacks, including the 2010 moscow underground attack that killed 40. two days ago a car bomb killed three in a southern city. as the violence claims lives, russians may wonder where the next attack may come.
>> and here is background on the violence in russia. four years the government has fought an islamist insurgency in the north caucasus, including check nia, and dagestan, and the host city of socchi. a russian think tank said there has been 32 terror attacks. several other attacks over the years have been committed by women called black widows. often their male relatives have been killed by security forces. >> this is kimberley marten, a professor at barnard college and columbia university. thank you for coming in. it's complicated, but who do you thing is behind the attack in russia. >> it's not really well organised. but doku umarov asked his supporters to disrupt the olympics. >> what do we know about this
man? >> he fought in the wars and check nia, he was a leader of czech nia, there was disagreements about what way they could go. he went off in an extremist direction and supported in some way by al qaeda. >> is he hoping to remove czech nia from russia. >> he's focused on the north caucasus. >> that includes czech nia. >> yes, and volgograd is not far from that, halfway between socchi and moscow. >> let's talk about volgograd, the second attack in two months. the first was a bus, also a suicide bomber. why that city? >> the southern federal district is controlled by a man in putin's personal network. the man who controls it is the brother-in-law of the man who controls oil in russia, so they are closely connected. the man who is in charge of this
district has a background as the justice minister, wrote a book on thou compat terrorism. going after him, showing how weak he is, he can protect socchi, but not volgograd. it's a way of sending a message to putin that he is week. >> you hit on the topic - be able to protect socchi. do you think it's protected? >> i think it is. that's where russia is concentrating their forces. they have to protect socchi, moscow, st. petersburg is another city where people will come in. if you are a terrorist, what you want to do is attack big population center which are not where the forces are >> do you think the cities are here because they can't reach socchi? >> yes, or they cannot take effective action because of the gigantic security presence. >> you think it's related to the
olympics. >> no doubt. there was a call in june to show russia that it was fighting a war against the north caucasus and islamist insurgents. >> thank you kimberley marten for that conversation. >> international intelligence report published in "the washington post" says the taliban could have a resurgence of power three years after the american troops withdraw in 2014. tom ackerman spoke about the significance of this report and what it means. >> a national intelligence estimate is a report which is a concern cess of the 16 intelligence agencies on the outlook, their estimation of an outlook for a policy question which probably is impending, and the course of american posturing in afghanistan, which may or may not have 34,000, or 10,000 or zero troops at the end of 2014,
depending on negotiations by the afghan government. this is the report that you are talking about, it's a leak and the mies are classified but emerge in the media as the product of a leak. you can be confident that one side or another where you can be sure that the conclusion favours their side of the argument. in this case it sounds like it's the civilian intelligence agencies, their voice comes through in the nie. as you can hear from the back and forth of the government with president hamid karzai, the american relations with his government are very, very frigid right now, and there is the ongoing threat that the united states, if they do not conclude a security agreement with the government - and this, again, is
the outgoing government because karzai does not have another term, that the united states is threatening the afghan government with just pulling out completely because there's no understanding as to the status of forces in afghanistan at the end of 2014. the question here is for policy makers in the united states, how does this intelligence estimate, which talks about the taliban resurging in not necessarily in kaboom, but in the provinces, how much that would inform the way the american administration should conduct itself in these negotiations with the afghans. >> there are reports in the south sudanese military, that they are dropping bombs on the white army, after the region is trying to negotiate a ceasefire. more than 1,000 people have died in the violence.
we have the latest from juba. >> reports from the town of bor indicate that some of the white army militia, thousands who march to the town of bor with a view of taking them from government defense forces have disbanded. michael mccoy says the militia responded after tribal leaders spoke them and requested them to abandon their mission and go back to their homes. other sources say that there were aerial bombardments carrying out around the place where the militias where. the aerial bombardments serve as a warning not to advance to the town. what we know and can confirm is that some of the militias are still marching to the town of bore. the government is in position in and around the town of bor.
the white army, as they are known as, brings its name from the members of this militia, usually applying on their face to protect themselves. they are from the subtribe of the tribe of nuer, which also former vice president riek machar belongs to. >> this is omer ismail, from the center or american progress. we are hearing reports about the white army disbanding. what are you hearing? >> what i'm hearing is the same, that some of these groups are disbanding. however, there were other reports that some of them are still approaching the town of bor. i think that is because maybe there is no command and control of these groups. some of them might heed the calls by their elders or
political leaders, others have a mind of their own and that may continue to the up to of bor. >> what does this mean then - that the chances of a ceasefire are slim? >> chances had always been slim. i think if dr riek machar would agree to a ceasefire without preconditions of monetary mechanisms, and a ceasefire that has a certain regiment to it, i think the cease fire will be in place. however, it is always going be fragile because so many people are acting on their open, maybe in both camps of president salva kiir and riek machar. >> moving forward, how does south sudan work its way out of this? >> is there a peaceful solution, do you think?
>> there's no alternative to a negotiated settlement. this violence is not going to resolve this issue. it started as a political crisis and now is getting more and more into some sort of ethnic strife, but i believe there is a chance for a political settlement if the international community was going to press parties to stop the violence and go to the negotiation table. >> what needs to happen? does the u.n. need to have a bigger presence, does the united states need to get more involved. what needs to happen to get the parties to come together. >> the united nations doubles its military preference trying to provide security for the civilians. it's very needed today. i believe that the political pressure on these two leaders continue. we have seen that the egat countries are talking to both of
them, and they said at this line for accepting the ceasefire offer, and the leadership come to the table on tuesday. it may be a little difficult to reach that deadline, but i think as much as we engage with them, and keep on that pressure, they will come to the table at the end. >> there is hope for a lot of people. >> omer ismail with the center for american progress. thank you for your time. >> former n.s.a. director-general michael hayden was on c.b.s.'s "face the nation", and he talked about the leaks of former contractor edward snowden and how his opinion changed. >> i used to say he was a defector, and there's a history require of defection to moscow and he's part of that stream. i'm now drifting in the direction of harsh language >> such as? >> traitor >> based on what?
>> in the past two weeks, in open letters to the german and the brazilian government he offered to reveal secrets to the government in return for something, in return was for asylum. >> meanwhile edward snowden's advisor appeared on n.b.c.'s "meet the press", and said the government charges against edward snowden dose not allow for a proper defense. >> the act, the espionage act doesn't distinguish between leaks to the press, and some of this has been in the public interest, and some that sell secrets to the enemy. the department of justice argues it's a worse violation of the war to leak to the press than to leak to an enemy, because all enemies see it. that's true. but the american public see it. >> he took an oath not to disclose classified information.
>> he took an oath and signed the same standard of classification, it was to the constitution. if the law allowed him to make a public interest defense, saying, "look at all the good this has done", if the law allowed the government couldn't prove harm, sure, he'd face trial. for now, he doesn't believe the cost of the his act of conscience should be a life behind bars. >> since june he's been in russia. >> a group descended on the ukrainian president's home in protest. >> hundreds of ukrainians took their protest to the streets, trying to reach the pal racial residents of viktor yanukovych. they have been calling him to call an early election - the demand are unanswered >> translation: we are not here for money or privileges, we are
here for ourselves, our family and future. >> demonstrators first came to square your in november, when viktor yanukovych refused a deal with the european union. numbers were in the tens of thousands. numbers are waned. the new target is to demonstrate against the president and deputy. >> opposition are relying on a civil society movement to take the momentum and turn it into change. >> an assassinated lebanese minister was laid to rest. a car bomb killed mohamad chatah, along with seven others in beirut. we have more from lebanon. >> [ singing ] >> an honoree medal from the
lebanese president. other lebanese dignitaries line up aside the mosque for a final farewell to the former government minister and ambassador. security was tight in central beirut as more gathered for the funeral procession. the body of mohamad chatah and his body guard were laid to rest next to saad al-hariri, the former president and the man who built the mosque was a victim of an infamous car bombing eight years ago. these mourners said they'd remain defiant in the face of such attacks. >> translation: i came to participate in his funeral, and to show that we do exist. and if they think they can kill us all, we are here. as long as we are all standing, we'll stay here. >> translation: we want the lebanese government, not political parties. we want a real government. >> amongst people here, anger at
the assassination. also despair that there's little they can do to stop similar assassinations in the future. >> former prime minister, a leading figure in the anti-syria march 14th alliance told the crowd that the way that things were before the assassination of mohamad chatah, would not be the same after his death. >> translation: we have a date with you at the squares for democratic and peaceful action. we decided to liberate our country from the occupation of farms and decided to liberate our country. >> he was referring to the arsenal of weapons held by the pro-syrian hezbollah movement. the march 14th alliance wants to channel popular anger into support for a government that does not include hezbollah, and wants to pressure the group to give up its arms. although mohamad chatah assassination polarized lebanon further, the turn out for the funeral was modest, a reflection
of the challenges facing the march 14th camp to get supporters on the streets. whether protesters take to the streets, war-weary lebanese are bracing for more trouble in the coming weeks. >> activists on the ground in syria say 20 are dead after an air strike in the town of aleppo. saying it was carried out by government forces who dropped barrels filled with explosives. u.n. aid flights are threatened to be cut. >> the pallets of cargo are loaded, preparations begin. the vital aid flights are carrying needed supplies of blankets, sanitation and clothing to 4 million internally displaced people. people who are effectively
refugees within their own country. >> the flights began on 17 december. they say it's taken a massive effort. >> we had to transport from jordan, to dubai, and syria. >> getting permission to run the aid flights is difficult, involving the kurdistan government, federal government of baghdad and the syrian regime. the kurdistan government is doing its best to facilitate the flights. >> it's an agreement discussed at the offices in geneva, between iraqi mission to the united nations officers in geneva. and also with the syrian officials. it has been an iraqi and syrian agreement. we have always facilitated the
flights. >> back on the apron and the old russian cargo plane dating to the '70s, and the ukrainian crew are ready to go. we are able to film this part of the journey. >> we are not allowed on the flight. it gives you an indication of how politically charged the whole thing is. once the flights come to an end, and it has been an experiment, relevant players will discuss whether to keep the humanitarian corridor open for more of these flights into syria: that the flights can take place is a success. continuing them and getting aid into syria is the focus, without taking political will, will that comes from damascus, baghdad and the kurdistan regional government. >> ahead - the flu season is
coming on strong. high levels of cases. we have the latest. an uncertain future for the passengers of a ship stranded in the ice. we'll talk to someone trapped on the list. >> it's nice, so much better than germany. >> boosting the image of leash area travel in iran. >> and who will shell out the most - those stories and more when al jazeera returns.
>> welcome back to al jazeera america. i'm jonathan betz. >> flu season is coming on strong. six states are reporting a high level of cases. one of them is texas, where the flu killed more than a dozen people in the houston area. our correspondent has more. >> in there go up the nose. >> doctors across the houston area are seeing more patients than usual with flu symptoms.
>> we saw an uptake in patient volume. >> the center for disease control says texas is one of six states with high levels of the flu, doctors saying they are seeing 60% more cases. >> most of the cases have been caused by the h1-n 1 strain. >> 80% were h1 n 1. >> the flu made 6 million americans sick. 400,000 had to go to hospitals. the best defense is a flu shot, protecting more than the person who gets it. >> you can save the health of your family and others. half of americans had flu shots. it's not too late. anyone six months and older who hasn't, should get one now. >> many people on colorado are
recovering from the floods that devastated the state in september. residents are getting a little help from an unlikely survivor. calling it flood rum. it stat -- it sat in two feet of mud and muck and is packaged under the name mountain bum rum and is being sold for $200 each. >> everywhere asks when the flood rum will be ready. >> some of the proceeds will happy the lyons fire department rebuild a destroyed station house. >> france's highest court cleared the way for the millionaire's tax, introduced by francis hollande as a way for the wealthy to help france out of his financial crisis. it was designed as a 75% tax on people earning more than a million euro or $1.4 million. >> an uncertainly future for the
>> welcome back to al jazeera america. i'm jonathan betz. here is a look at the top stories this half hour: 15 were killed when a bomb exploded in a train station in the southern russian city of volgograd. a suicide bomber detonated explosives near a metal detector. >> a new national assessment says pulling american troops out of afghanistan could make the country more vulnerable to the taliban by 2017. findings say the taliban could re-emerge within three years of america's withdrawal. >> mohamad chatah was laid to rest. he was killed in a car bomb two days ago. >> after days of boning stuck in the ice, 74 -- being stuck in the ice, 74 passengers are facing on uncertainly future. they are waiting for one last
rescue attempt. the ship has been stuck in ice off the antarctic coach, 100 miles east of a french research station. joining us now is lisa martin, a member of the australian maritime safety authority, which is leading the rescue. how is the rescue going? >> hi, the "aurora australis" is around 20 nautical miles east of the russian ship. it's making way, but slowly, due to the ice and the weather conditions, there are snow showers at the moment and there's poor visibility, >> do we expect the rescue ship to make it to the russian ship? >> it's uncertain. it's very complex situation and incident that we are dealing with, due to the area and the train and that sort of thing. at this stage we are waiting and seeing, seeing how it progresses with the weather conditions, and
with the ice conditions as well. >> what happens next, if the rescuers cannot reach them by boat. what is the plan next? >> the next plan is to use the helicopter on the chinese vessel, which the rescue coordination centre in australia tasked to stay in the area because of the helicopter. >> and actually evacuate the ship and leave the ship behind. . >> at this stage we are aware that some of the russian crew will stay with the vessel, but the expedition passengers will be taken off by helicopter if that's the plan we go to. >> lisa, if you can't update us on the danger here. we see the reports of the passengers, which seem to have a good time. they don't seem to be concerned. is there a risk that the ice could damage this ship? >> there's always risks associated with being in ant tactica. they are doing quite well, from all reports. we heard yesterday that the ice
conditions had improved, some of the ice was breaking up, which will possibly make it easier for the "aurora australis" to get through. we are waiting and seeing how she treks through the ice as she gets closer. >> how much time will you give before making a decision to evacuate the ship. are you hoping the weather may change if the rescue ship cannot reach them. are you willing to give this a few more days to see how the weather plays out. >> at this stage, in the short term, the conditions will deteriorate. later in the day they are expected to improve. so we'll wait and see through the course of the day to see how the "aurora australis" tracks towards there, and then we'll look at making a decision later in the day to see what we'll do next, if we will keep the "aurora australis" on track, if she's capable of keeping towards of the russian ship or if we may need to get the helicopter in. >> we'll see how it plays out.
lisa martin with the australian maritime association. thank you for your time. >> 15 people have been killed when a bomb exploded in a train station in volgograd. >> del walters spoke with an expert on security, and asked who he thought was responsible for the attack. >> doku umarov has gone public and has called on troops and allies, if you will, to do everything they can to disrupt the socchi olympics, and he's branded them as unholy. you have to assume he has something to do with the attack that happened. >> many americans will think of volgograd as stalingrad, during the old soviet union. why volgograd? >> yes, that's a good question. you are right. volgograd was called stalingrad prior to the collapse of the
soviet union and the scene of an historic world war ii battle. there could be any number of reasons why it was volgograd. it was near to the caucasus, but it's not the closest big city. that's an important factor. volgograd has to be in terms of a target softer than, say, moscow. the maximum impact is to pull off on attack in the russian capital. russia is a difficult city to penetrate than volgograd. here you have a combination of a city that is sizeable. volgograd is a big city. it's close to the caucasus and has to be easier to get into than moscow. >> many believe that putin has been on a pr blitz ahead of the socchi olympics. what does this do to his image of someone who said, "my country will be safe." >> one of the ways you can look at this is to see it as a
warning shot and a reminder to the kremlin that there are, indeed, forces out there that can pull off an attack six weeks before the olympics. there is some precedent around russia of terrorist attacks like this being staged in the run-up to federal events, national events like elections. we have seen that in the past. you have a warning shot saying no matter how much security you invest in socchi, there's a group of people can pull off an attack. we think that this is about the hosts, but there are many corporations that have a lot of money on the line in an olympic games. what does that mean to those investors? >> yes, i think you have to be very careful here. there is no sign that this attack is at all aimed at western investors, or international residents or international business in russia. this attack was not at a factory
owned by a western company, it was not at a shopping mall, it was not at a residential complex. this is something that is calculated to cause maximum distress inside the kremlin, maximum distress inside government security and circles, but there does not appear to be a spillover into the international business community. >> del walters there. >> for years belfast northern island was synonymous with bomb blasts and battles. then came a fragile peace. a former diplomat is back in belfast trying to keep the peace. issues are smaller, but nevertheless significantly. >> they are calling it a final effort to reach agreement between the northern island parties. as richard haass and his team convened talks in belfast, he admits it is difficult. >> by noon on monday we'll have 12 hours of plenary sessions.
it will be very hard at that point, given everything that will have come before it to argue that the missing ingredient is more time. >> the issue that has been toughest to crack is flags. late 2012, belfast city council voted to fly the city flag from city hall and other buildings on certain days. it sparked street protests in which more than 100 police were injured. >> they want it to fly when they want it. nationalists say know. 47% of us are catholic nationals, we feel you shouldn't rub our noses in it and fly the flag where we don't want it to fly. and we want to flown sometimes. >> one recurring source of tension is the so-called marging season. >> every year parades, most organised by protestant groups
like the orange order take place. most pass peacefully. parades through catholic areas promote antagonism and clashes. >> the reports saw progress on that and another key issue, dealing with the legacy of violence, troubles preceding 1998's good friday agreement. more than 3,500 lost their lives. in most cases no one was brought to justice. >> the reports of victim's groups, studies by civil society, conversations had dealing with the past, all of those things influenced the process. that is another example of how we weren't starting from square one, we were starting from a well-developed conversation. >> if the talks do lead to an overall agreement, it could be a long time before northern island deals with years of resentment and misunderstanding. >> still ahead on al jazeera america, the 125th rose bowl parade honours a special group
>> welcome back to al jazeera america. i'm jonathan betz. >> a special honour for unique female pilots part of the rose boll parade. known as the women airforce service pilots, they flew during world war ii. brian rooney sat with one. >> her hands are not as steady as they were, her eyes not as sharp. in her heart she is still a
pilot. it's what florabelle reece always wanted to be. >> i used to tell my father that's what i wanted to do. he'd say, "not something girls usually do florabelle reece, but if you figure out how, more power to you", i was never discouraged by him. >> there was not much hope for women that wanted to fly. until app attack on pearl harbour. there was an ad seeking women pilots and she went for training in texas. >> i was excited. we were going to get to fly. we could see the planes on the field. >> the military was forming the women airforce service pilots, the wasps. during the war they shuttled bombers and pilots around the country and flew transport. when they started flying was a man's world. the flight suits were for men. >> you wept -- went in, picked one out. they were too big in the legs, you rolled them and did what you
had to. >> the training was difficult. >> one of the things we had to do was they would blindfold us and name an instrument, and you had to touch it and tell what it read, and what you would do if it malfunctioned and why it was important it was in the airplane. >> it turned out women could fly. she learned on the 86 trainer. >> i did the wheels, the spin, everything we had been taught to do. it was a beautiful airplane to do it. >> she ended up as a transport pilot, flying a b 26 bomber dragging a target in live-fire exercises. >> it never occurred that it would be dangerous. >> it was dangerous. of just over 1,000 women, 38 died in accidents. after the war she had a family and never flew again. new year's day aboard this float commemorating the wasps, florabelle reece will be in parade dress. >> i'll wear my wings.
they'll be on. so that, you know, to me those two things tell you this is who i am. >> this is her moment, the moment of rtionz nigs for her and sooech other women, and for all the wasps who are gone. >> this is a big deal for me and the appreciation that people need to know that we were there. i'm living proof of that, that women did fly in the war. >> new year's day she'll fly high once more. >> flying high indeed. good for them. a retired formula 1 driver michael schumacher is recovering from a skiing accident. the racing legend was tape to a hospital -- was taken to a hospital near a french ski resort where he fell and hit his head. he suffered a serious head injury even though he was wearing a helmet.
>> michael schumacher injured and a horrible in jury in an mma fight. >> mixed martial arts fought to win over the hearts and minds of fans. it's been a hard sell drew to the barbaric nature of the sport. last night taps witnessed an ugly injury. former middle wait champion anderson silver faced chris weidman in a rematch. it ended when anderson silver throe a leg which chris weidman checked. anderson silver's leg broke. he was taken to hospital, he fell to the ground no agony. there's a belief that the injury could end anderson silver's stellar career. the mmc released a statement reading in part:
>> anderson silver is considered the best pound for pound fighter in the history of martial arts, holding the longest title streak ending in 2013, with 16 wins and 10 title defenses and won 33 of his 39 career mixed martial arts fights and is 16 and 2. both of the losses coming in the last two flights. >> so sad it may end his career. >> has this happened before, serious injuries like this? >> it is a freak injury. the last time it happened was in 2008, when former light weight champion cory hill suffered the
same injury on a leg kick. he was younger. anderson silver is 38, which is why so many fear the injury could end anderson silver's career. >> i'm glad we did not show it, gruesome. >> iran has seen something it has not seen in years. foreign tourists, many coming to visit the soaring mountains. soraya lennie has more. >> it's one of the world's highest and pristine ski feels. dizin is 3,600 metres up, and one of the country's major attractions. locals know it and foreigners are catching on too. >> i think it's nice. it's so much better than germany. there's sun and the snow is good. >> the location is great because of the mountain and we are astonished because the mountains are high, and snow quality is
great. >> iran's president is aiming to attract foreign visitors, an increase of 4 million, composing medical tourists. with iran's good ties to china, many are likely to be there. >> now you know china has developed fast, and the people's living standard is go high and mostly chinese want to go abroad to have a visit of some other countries, such as iran. >> in order to handle more people, the country needs investment including on the ski fields. >> translation: the equipment is old. over the past 27 to 38 years it's the same. three new facilities have been added. the ski field has potential. the whole mountain can be used. and i hope investors invest more and make it bigger and bigger to
introduce it to the world, secure its future and make money. >> it's not hard to see where dizin is one of the best places for skiing and snow boarding not just in the middle east, but throughout the world. more than 2,000 come here. that's iranians and foreigners. it's not just amateurs and tourists, the national team for skiing and snow boarding use the slopes for training. >> iranians have the best sights to themselves. with more and more tourists arriving from abroad. they are learning to share them for the benefits of everyone. >> well it's a combination of r2-d2, and robocop, security robots that can go anywhere. they can see, hear, feel and smell. some say there is a privacy risk. >> some folks said privacy concerns and may put people on edge.
>> welcome back to al jazeera america. i'm jonathan betz. the annual good riddance day event in new york city gives people a chance to destroy bad memories from 2013 and get ready for a new year. for one family it holds special meaning, and for good reason. >> in just a few days 2013 will be history. and in new york's time square hundreds came out to say good riddance to the year. >> a lot of backpacks. >> tossing everything, sometimes by the suitcase falling into a mobile shredder. the idea is let go of the old. >> i traded my bad grades. >> from bad grades to bad
relationships. >> i'm shredding my ex-husband. >> my 14-year-old's bad attitude. >> the johnson came from north carolina. our second was diagnosed last year with a tumor in his kidney. we went through seven months of chemotherapy, and we - he's in remission now, so we are saying good riddance to cancer. >> and a stack of medical bills, one totalling more than $70,000. the johnsons the winners of the good reidance day contest, and a trip to the big apple. they beat out 2,000 entries. >> we feel great. it was a great experience to watch it shred the bills, and the cat scan picture. this is probably the coolest way to say goodbye to bad memories. and start off 2014 in a fresh
healthy, happy year. we are excited. >> excited to say goodbye to cancer and hello to a happy and healthy 2014. >> that's great. shake off the bad memories there. they were the russian novelists that inspired leaders like mahatma gandhi and martin luther king jr. now leo tolstoy's works are being digitised for the world to see. david chater has more on that. >> this is the voice of the 19th century russian writer leo tolstoy, widely considered one of the greatest novels for works like "war and peace" and "anna karenina". he's reading a fairytale about a wolf and a child, and this shows him in his final years at his country estate. we caught up with his great-great-granddaughter at his house in moscow, now the leo
tolstoy museum. fyokla has been the driving force to put a new generation in touch with his works, online. >> translation: i wanted people to return to read leo tolstoy with all the ways that modern technology offers. this is part of our heritage. not all of it is on the internet. it should be available to everyone. 2,000 copies of his works were ever published. impossible to buy. >> it's this russian company that was charged with the task of getting leo tolstoy's works online. not just the 90 volume standard collection, but diries, letters and less well-known works. the cost of such a vast amount of material threatens the works
in its tracks, but thousands offered to help. leo tolstoy's estate at yasnaya polyana attracts a small stream of visitors these days. it's hoped the project will reignite interest and boost numbers. inside the house everything has been remarkably preserved. it's as though the distinguished writer has just stepped outside and is expected back at any minute. >> perhaps leo tolstoy most famous quote comes from the opening lines of "anna karenina". happy families are all alike. every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. >> at the end of his life leo tolstoy said "i don't need money for my work, i want to give it to the people."
>> his will is being granted and in a way he could never have foreseen. >> meteorologist dave warne, impressive temperature drops with a storm developing over the east coast, happening in the northern plains. these were the high temperatures, close to 50 in minnesota. look at the numbers now, below zero, close to 50 degree drop. we'll see that continue with the gusty wind as cold arctic air moves across the great lakes and the north-east. here is the next storm, just off the coast of new jersey. that is bringing a lot of warm air and rain it the north-east and new england. where it runs into the colder air, we are seeing significant storms across new hamp sire and main. we are starting to see the mix.
the computer shows an area of snow getting heavy through maine, by 10 or 11 o'clock. it will be out of here, gone by tomorrow. here is the cold arctic air moving in with light snow. a foot of snow possible in this blue area. rain continuing off and on, heavy for the next few hours. it's close to 50, temperatures are not dropped, not warming up but they'll start to drop tomorrow. temperatures in new york dropping to 36, 31 in new york day. this cold arctic air going across eastern canada and new england, area without power. we are getting more snow and colder air coming in to areas with no power. look for improving conditions there. >> temperatures dropping to the mid to low 20s. that's what it feels like. bundle up. a look at the headlines is coming up next.
>> you're watching al jazeera america live from new york. i'm jonathan betz with the headlines. >> at least 15 people were killed when a bomb exploded inside a train station in the southern russian city of volgograd. officials say a suicide bomber detonated explosions near the station's metal detector. >> a national survey says pulling troops out of afghanistan could make the country more vulnerable to afghanistan. the findings say the taliban could remerge three years after troops are withdrawn next year. >> lebanon's former finance minister killed in a car bomb was laid to rest. seven others also died in that explosion. >> passengers