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tv   Consider This  Al Jazeera  December 30, 2013 10:00pm-11:01pm EST

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>> welcome to al jazeera america. i'm jonathan betz with the top stories. >> two suicide bombs in just two days in the russian city of volgograd. no official suspects have been named. the russian chechen separatist promised violence and the sochi olympic games. >> palestine president mahmoud abbas greeted dozens of inmate released from an israeli prison. part of those released are part of a deal to broker peace between israelis and palestinians. >> 13-year-old girl will get another week on life support.
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her family issued an injunction to keep her on life support. >> one train collided, carrying grain, and another carrying crude oil crashed on tracks. nearby residents have been urged to evacuate. >> a setback for passengers stranded on a ship in antarctica. they were on a scientific expedition and have been stranded since christmas eve. an australian ship was on the way but could not plough through the ice 13 miles from the ship as it was too thick. those are the headlines. >> fear and anger across the world
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as two deadly explosions rock russia. "consider this" with less than two months until the world descends on sochi - is russia safe? >> a highly detailed new investigation claims there is no indication al qaeda was involved in the 2012 attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi. >> hope of an assess fire is fading in south sudan. we'll break down the conflict and get an assessment on the ground. n.a.s.a.'s superrobot may look like child's play but could lead to more in space consideration. >> we begin with two bombing attacks within 24 hours in russia that raised questions about security at february's sochi olympics , and following a "new york times" report on 2012 attacks in benghazi raising
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questions again about what happened that night. we'll start with the attacks in volgograd. 15 were killed, dozens injured when a male suicide bomber detonated shrapnel-laced explosives on a bus, following a blast at volgograd's main train station, where 17 died and dozens hurt by two suicide bombers. what do the attacks mean for the winter olympics scheduled to start february 7th. i'm joined by dr jim walsh, from watertown, an international security expert at mit's security studies program and fred burtan, vice president of intelligence at stratford, a global intelligence company, and author of, "untold fire." the untold attack on benghazi, and
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served as a counteragent and involved in security issues for the 1996 atlanta olympics. we'll get to benghazi in a moment. first, jim, do you have doubt that the bombing attacks are connected with the winter olympics ? no one has taken responsibility yet. in july a chechen rebel leader doku umarov who claimed responsibilities for other suicide attacks issued a manifesto calling for supporters to disrupt the olympics. is this work. >> whether doku umarov or other groups involved in chechnya or the caucuses, i think they are related. it gives the folks leverage to have a high profile event coming to russia. there'll be thousands of journalists or visitors around the world, creating a target that is difficult to exist. they have laid back and two attacks in three days, three in the past couple of months, it signals that they are going to
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use the games as an opportunity to strike back at putin. >> given that, should americans and other international visitors planning to go to sochi be concerned? >> when you look at trying to secure a large event like an olympics or a peace conference, it boils down to contingency planning. the russians spent a lot of time with this. my old outfit is also engaged with providing assistance. the interesting part for me is how much will the russians allow other international partners to exist. the logistics surrounding these events becomes borderline chaos when you deal with vip visitors, kings and queens and heads of states that like to show up at the event, bringing a challenge
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to security agents doing protection for attendees and the olympic athletes. >> the head of russia's olympic security said: >> do you think that is credible? >> obviously not. part of of that is russian pride, part of that is an attempt to send a message that we are prepared. it's inconceivable that you would have two attacks in two days from a group from dagestan in the caucus, and there wouldn't be additional measures taken. this is a difficult task. i mean, as fred suggests, if you can control the venues, where people go ice skating or indoor event, events outside, they are soft targets. if they are trying to make a point, trying to embarrassment
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putin and draw attention to their cause, they don't have to hit the olympics, they can hit outside the olympics, transportation systems or other parts of russia that are near. they'll get the same coverage. this will be tough. my guess is the russians are working as hard as they can to accept what is going happen next. >> part of the issue there is with the games basically taking in so many resources, especially in security and focussing attention, that does race the question whether other parts of russia, including transportation hubs have been left vulnerable, and the amount of money that the russians seem to throw at security for the sochi olympics, and an incredible array of protection with the village for sochi, sealed off from the rest of the world, will these things in combination, do you think, keep the games themselves safe? >> i think so. having experienced these event in the past, as you look from a
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consent ring ring of security concept. as you get closer and closer to the olympic venues or village, security will be extraordinarily tight. credentialing will be checked and double-checked. there'll be a tremendous amount of protection agents and uniform police coverage and your usual kind of security apparatus in place. as jim noted, and this was the same concern in atlanta, you can only secure so much based on your resource, and when we had the bombing in centennial park in atlanta, it was outside of our protection umbrella. and the russians will have the same problem. it's resource intense, as you look at trance pore tags nodes in and out, it's a real challenge. it's impossible to secure all of
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them. >> we saw with the boston marathon bombing three killed, 264 victims injured or maimed. security was tight epd. we saw extraordinary security at the 2012 london summer games. the rushans said, "we are not going be quite as far as in london" security at sochi will be more intense with cost. running into the billions. is that the price that has to be paid to host a big event, whether you are talking about g20 or the olympic games , where the world is supposed to come together in peace and fellowship? >> yes and no. the boston marathon that happened here in watertown, i locked the door to the studio for the first time ever when i came in to do interviews during that period. if was not a random thing, this was a drubleded mentally ill and
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troubled family that took on idea logical cause and then executed that attack. you know, that's almost random, but as opposed to the russian olympics, they are - this is not southern russia, they boarded the caucasuses, they have having the olympics close to a place that was the site of two bloody civil wars, and a country that is dagestan, that has tremendous violence, violent extremism. i think it will vary. post atlanta in palestine issues from so long ago, security is always going to be a priority and a challenge. it will vary in intensity, depending where the olympics are. >> we talked about the role that the chechens, the caucasus may play. there is another issue and that
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is the role that some russians are playing in syria's civil war, and whether or not president putin's continuing support for richard labarbiera could cause play back at home. is that something that russian security officials are wroried about. >> when you look at the special events, national security nations, as well as other participants in the olympics are looking for adverse intelligence affecting the olympics. there'll be tasks around every c.i.a. agents looking for adverse intelligence, we'll be looking for threat information. as i look at the recent bombings that transpired near sochi, the one thing that resonates with me is the intelligence gaps here. look at it this way.
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the suicide bombers pulled these off without the russians preventing them. you have a unique bomb maker on the loose here. based on the forensics of the two more recent devices. the ffb needs to find the bomb maker, and quickly. >> let's change focus and switch to benghazi, and again staying on the question of intelligence failures. this weekend the "new york times" published a lengthy report on the september 2011 attack, that saw ambassador chris stevens and three others killed. benghazi has been a rallying cry for those saying benghazi was responsible. and susan rice was accused of lying to the american people. the morning after the attack rice appeared on five network sunday news programs and said the attack started as a
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spontaneous reaction to an anti-muslim video and not connected to al qaeda. the "the times" report does not say the attack was spoon -- spontaneous, but does say: >> jim, what is your reaction to "the times" report on benghazi. >> it's an impressive piece of journalism and they are offering a subtle and complex explanation. they are not saying it happened out of the blue. they said the folks, talking about a small group, not a militia, but a submilitia with 24 followers, had been warming to attack. there was a predisposition. it was not completely out of the blue. on the other hand the video
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created a gender-setting moment, an opportunity so they could take advantage of it making it difficult for other militias to step in and prevent it or give them intel. it's a combin eight of facts, going to a point we spoke about. there's a tendency in the u.s. to get focused, mistakenly so on the leader or the organization, and the reality on the ground is more complex. and the great thing about the "new york times" report is they went to libya and interviewed all the players. there are shifting alliances and people join some groups and other groups, sometimes they compete and cooperate. there's no sovereign government, there's a lot of gun and decentralized players who are not talking to each other and al
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qaeda was having problems getting a foothold in libya, surprised that aesent or an attack was able to be pulled off. >> you wrote the book on benghazi, and according to "the times" investigation i quote: >> does that line up with your reporting and would this attack have occurred without the video? >> i think the attack would have occurred without the video based on research i conducted along with my co-worker. in the course of our investigation and interviews connected with the case, and having been a former agent and our agents were involved in this case on the ground there, there is a working theory that al qaeda was involved with this
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attack to some degree. it was a precise kind of operation with a fair amount of preoperational surveillance that took place. as you look at this, and i think jim raises good points and i welcome any and all investigative journalism surrounding benghazi, because i think that there's still several unanswered questions that we were not able to get to the bottom of in our book. as you look at who put this attack together and the methodical nature of how it was conducted, it's my assessment that this was a fairly good operation specifically targetting the united states ambassador to libya as well as the follow on attack on the c.i.a. base, which was a precision-like mortar attack, walked in, which killed the two former u.s. navy seals and gravely injured a diplomatic
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service agent - blown off a ladder climbing up to a top perch. >> we'll listen to some sound from the "the times" david fitzpatrick who wrote the story and talked on "meet the press" on sunday. >> i talked to some people i believe to be the perpetrators. it's obvious from them and people around them that they are purely local people. there's no chance this was an al-qaeda attack, if, by al-qaeda you mean the organization founded by osama bin laden. >> that's the issue which has been raised over and over by republicans mostly. which is the definition of core al qaeda. they insisted it was an attack carried out by core al qaeda. fitzpatrick's report suggests other you. what do you think? >> that sounds right to me. part of it is and i am sure it
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will be agreed that part of what is driving this, by focussing on al-qaeda, the organization, we miss what is the context on the the ground, which is that libya doesn't have a strong government, guns are everywhere and a lot of people want to do bad things to the u.s. if we are if we think it's al-qaeda we'll draw one set of lessons, if we think about the state of ground on libya, we'll draw other less jornings it's important to get it right. obviously al qaeda is important and will continue to be important, particularly the regional players in yemen and elsewhere. we have to be more nuanced in our approach. >> frank, your reaction? >> the response to the "new york times" is what is in the hands
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of the fbi, c.i.a. and people on the ground. the "new york times" reporter does not have access to c.i.a. reporting, n.s.a. reporting, fbi, 302 interviews of suspects, and it's not been my experience in the course of interrogating in the past years, it's not unusual for people to rely to you regarding motive and responsibility. do they want to come out and say they are members of al-qaeda and have to look for drone strikes. i don't blame them for not wanting to associate with al qaeda per stay, but i do welcome further investigative journalism and discussion on the topic. >> the question of whether core al-qaeda was involved speaks to
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president obama's signature foreign policy achievement, which was the assassination of osama bin laden, which was that core al qaeda - if you define it, it was described as the group responsible for planning 9/11 and events that came after. do you think core al qaeda, fred and jim, has been decimated. does it make a difference if it has? >> i think core al qaeda has been decimated to eliminate strategic strike on u.s. soil, which is a difference here. you look at the attack in benghazi. this was a symbolic attack to kill the president's personal representative to libya and drive the c.i.a. and state
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department out of benghazi. the symbolize. resonates throughout the world which is a principal going back to the organization. when i dealt with them in the "93 bombing of new york city in the world trade center >> jim, should we focus on the question of al-qaeda when the more fundamental issue was inadequate security in benghazi, and a failure to understand on the part of americans present the real situation with militias. >> there's a lot of lessons that flow from the benghazi attack. information sharing, and attack on the u.s. embassy and egypt. it didn't get communicated in full measure to the folks in libya. we overestimated the degree to which major militias controlled little guys or to which they might support us. to the extent that it is local.
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those players have local interests and loyalties that don't always coincide with the u.s. stepping back, i agree with fred. central al-qaeda is taking a hit. would we rather be back in nch or today. there's dangers, but the regional groups grew and we have conflict in civil wars. i worry about syria. there's 11,000 foreign fighters that may be fighting in syria, what will happen do them, where will they go. obviously this continues to be a challenge. i agree central al qaeda is taking a hit. that's a big thing. we have a ways to go. >> jim walsh and fred burton, thank you for joining us. >> coming up, with so many divisive issues, at the forefront of discussion, are we seeing a combination of two
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americans. what do you think? join us: >> as we get ready to watch the ball drop and ring in the new year, the world of politics turns as congress enjoys a break from the gridlock of washington.
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is the affordable care act facing the dire straits predicted. over a million signed up in december said the government putting the goal of 7 million enrolments by march 2014 within reach. and with the 2014 midterms looming the democrats solidify their strategy. ted cruz doubles down on his attacks against obamacare. joining us from los angeles is bill schneider, senior scholar at george mason university, and michael shaw, and tom toerty, republican strategist and former advisor to governor pataki. >> ban balz wrote a piece in the wost about red states versus blue shats, how they're increasingly falling under one party control, on the one hand,
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lean limited government and on the other, government play essential roles in society. are we seeing the emergence of two americas? >> yes, and we have seen this for one side. a student asked me if this is the most divided we have been as a country. i said, "we had a still war", this is the most divided we've been since the civil war, which is sad and tragic. you have more states like california, where i am now, which doesn't have a single elected state-wide republican, and texas, which doesn't have a single state-wide elected democrat. states are moving in those directions. >> the ideological device seems to grow. fewer republicans believe in evolution right now than in 2009. more democrats believe in serious evolution. will weighbridge a gap and find a happy middle ground or are we
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completely apart. >> political bases are running to their bases. quite frankly, i don't think it's so bad. if you live in texas, there's a reason you live there. you support elected officials there. i would hope there would be compromise. you used to see republic working together, but they seem to run to local central issues as opposed to national and that hurts us. compromise ultimately for those of us involved and work in government - that's how you get things done. if you want to live under a system of rick perry, move to texas, if you want to live under others, move to california. >> a divisive issue is obamacare. it had a terrible launch in
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october. over 1 million people signed up in december. is the battle over obamacare illustrative of the divide between the two competing americas? >> it is, in the sense that what we see in america right now is an intolerance for compromise, as one of my friends mentioned. you cannot be part of an issue if your party is not part of the issue. you see it today, the twha the democrats are staking out minimum wage. it's given to their party and ideology. because they own it no republicans can join them. you have senators and moderate republicans in the house believing that raising the minimum wages is important for the country. because it's anatama for the party to join it, we have a divide. with obamacare to get to your
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questions, it's the most divisive issue, people that don't like the president don't like anything. if it's successful people will point to the fact that this administration did not panic. they made changes, but it wasn't like they lost four games in a row and fired the coaching staff. they forged ahead and found that little by little as we have seen with the economy, it's not a drastic administration. i think that it will remain divisive. i think the democrats will be less afraid to embrace it. democratic focussing is seen on the question of minimum age, extending unemployment benefits. there has to be people within the republican party who would benefit from such moves. is it possible to see republican support in the house or senate for that legislation.
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>> i think it takes the president to step forward. he needs to be the one to rally everyone together, to be the one to stop pointing fingers. there's lit mate reasons to look at unemployment ben fints, should they be extended. economy is in a fragile state. why play the trap game. why be suicide as a guy that stole christmas from the middle class. the president needs to stop pointing fingers, rally people together. that's what presidents are good at. it would work for his pole ratings, rallying the country around something that is good, that helps americans. what is a long-term plan. he needs to work with republicans to say we'll take a lit m. you get a little. he passed a major piece of
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legislation without republican votes. that was a bad start. that's not good. who can blame them. both sides need to play the game. >> there's a disagreement in los angeles as well. michael, let's hear from you first. >> the president, it seemed like he tried to rally the county. rallying the country has not worked so well for president. i agree it's incumbent on the president. if he was angry as seen in the press conference. look, 63% of people in his districtant the unemployment benefit extended. that number of people want that. this is - he's an important player in this. he has to show his stripes here. it's not just up to the president. he's tried to rally the country
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with middling success. >> let's turn to you. the president has to show more leadership, but the republicans are getting in the way. we had four presidents who promised to bring the country together and they failed. the first was fired. bill clinton was a new democrat. his policies were supported by republicans, free trade. he was empeached. president bush says he was a uniter. obama said there was no liberal, but conservative america. all it leads to is a simple conclusion. the problem is not obama, the problem is the problem. the division in the country proceeded to grow no matter who
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the president is. >> there's an issue within the republican party, where there is that ted cruise wing of the tea party republicans, who are determined not to work with their own leadership. is, do you think, ted crews prepared to work with speaker john boehner. maybe 2016 and a possible presidential bid. >> i think john boehner hit it on the head. he let the dogs out. there has been a lot of people waiting for someone to take the leadership, representing that tea party represented a small faction, when the tea party is behind candidates. john boehner needs to keep it up and show leadership on the compromised leadership. there's a lot who have fallen to
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the middle ground. they want to see both sides work together. he needs to be the leader, follow suit. the smaller factions, whether they are far left or right go away. >> crews was on this week, and defended the republican shutdown. there's a deal that's been reached that was a bipartisan deal. that came weeks after speaker john boehner lambasted the extreme party. can you close the rift within the republican party. let's tart with utah. ist you have to. the tea party right doesn't represent the nation as a whole. if we ran on a tea party right platform, they'd never win an
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election. they may play in alabama, pennsylvania. the argument is consistently that it may play well for ted cruz, but the numbers in texas are not good. we have to look at, if you are a republican, look at the big picture. >> bill, we know that there are a number of senior republican figures facing primary changes as they go forward into the midterms. what do you think the results of those primary changes will be, and the voters will do when it comes to the wider election? >> there'll be a mixed result. the tea party may win a few races. they did it in indiana, in other states, colorado. this is a fight that has to be settled. there's on one way to see it settled. maybe in 2016 they'll nominate
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ted cruz. he gave up canadian citizenship. he wan run for president. if they do that, he'll lose, become mr shutdown. that will end the debate because the republicans lost three elections in a row. first carter, and duke arkize, they said, "we can't go on." republicans make the decision. ted crews is making steps to renounce the canadian citizenship, he was born in alberta. >> that has taken to be a 2016 run, can he be a viable candidate on a national stage. >> i don't think it will be met with the same dismay of winn grets ski being traded was met with. within the party, you watched the primaries. you saw rick santor um surge, and grin given serve to the
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stop. one of the first things you said when you were asking tom about it can john boehner work with ted cruz, the fact that a speaker has to worry about a senator from texas tells you where the republicans are. john boehner's problems should come from nancy pelosi and others, not a senator within his own party. they have a lot of housework to do, and you have to look at what history dictates. they'll get tired of losing. ted cruise would not win the presidency. >> bill schneider, michael and todd, thank you for coming on. >> ahead - south sudan could be heading for a civil war. we'll check how it happened and get a report from the ground. we'll look back at little known
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controversial screenings of america's powerful men. >> and later, n.a.s.a.'s latest creation looks like a fun run concept. but they have serious plans for it.
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>> we have seen this story before out of africa, ethnic warfare and worries of genocidal conflict. hopes are fade engine south sudan after two weeks of violence, a power struggle between the president and former vice president have left many in the cross-hairs. many are guarded by peacekeepers in u.n. bases. thousands of civilians are also running out of the food. eric reeves spent more than a dozen years working as a researcher and analyst on sudan, currentry will smith college and testified before congress and wrote "compromising with europe, an archival history require of greater sudan 2007-2012", dr iyorlumun uhaa is south sudan representative with unicef.
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he joins us in the early morning hours from the capital in juba. we note that there'll be a sat lie delay and we hope no other technical problems. erratics, civil war is a threat in south sudan. there are major concerns of ethnic violence and this could become the next somalia. in layman terms, what happened? >> what selled sudan together during a long civil war, concluded in 2005, was opposition to the tyranny within the khartoum regimes of that period. as soon as sued became independent, forces that had been kept at bay by the unity needed to fight the north, started to dissipate. and what we see now are the consequences of those centrifugal forces overcoming the need to bring together an extremely diverse region, the
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size of france, with many, many different ethnic groups, many political agendas, and a great deal of underdevelopment to say the least. it's probably the least developed country in the entire world. >> let's go to dr iyorlumun uhaa on the ground in sudan. you served women and children in unicef for five different count rice for 20 years, is this as bad a situation as you have seen? >> from my many years walking with unicef and the u.n. in general, i would think that this is the worse crisis i have seen, with over 180,000 people displaced from their homes, with 75,000 of them within the u.n. premises. most of this are children and
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women. women who have been separated from their families, back in juba, in bor, malabbinga and all over the country, this is one of the worst crisis i have seen in my experience with the u.n. and unicef. children, of course, and women become the major victims of this crisis. >> this erupted quickly. the problems were there and known to be there. the crisis set off in a short period of time. so as i understand it, we have now got a situation on the ground where you have all these thousands of refugees, tens of thousands running out of the food and hiding from growing violence. how difficult is the situation for you to work in, and what do the people need from unicef and
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the international community now. >> our major concern is those children and women and those displaced in places such as bor, in places such as malabbinga, and in places such as bentiu, where we do not have access. but in those places where we have access, like those people who are displaced within the u.n. premises in dube, and the places in bor, unicef working together with the u.n. family here is providing assistance, we are providing water, trucking in water to make sure every person has access to water. we are working on sanitation, you have tens of thousands of people living in an area, we are working on providing lat reens and working on making sure many thousands of children separated
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from their families can be reunited. we identify them, register them and make sure they can be reunited with their families. we koucted conducted a campaign, working with the minister of health, and other places, we can avoid an an outbreak of measles and other infectious diseases. with the u.n. family, we are responding to areas where we have objection, but a major concern is with the children and women in places where we have no access. >> eric, the formation of sudan papered over the attacks as said, there were problems that were waiting and no one wanted to face them until they grew into crisis. for people on the outside can you help us to understand how we got there and how the ethnic
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divides come to the forefront. >> you mentioned former vice president riek machar, and president salva kiir. salva kiir is a dinka, riek machar is a newer. in 1991, in an infamous adrafty, there was a bor massacre. in 1997 riek machar made is peace agreement with the khartoum regime splitting a southern option enabling war in the bentiu area. what we are seeing is not simply a political contest between it riek machar and salva kiir is the breakdown of distinctions between the political, the ethnic and the military. all are involved. we have a forced marching on bor described as the nuer white
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army. they were responsible for the obviously bor massacre. the ability of uni self and other u.n. agencies and humanitarian organizations to operate will depend on what happens and the course of the next few hours or days. we are extremely close to an explosion. the explosion may occur in bor, and bentiu, but we need an immediate military standout. and the man who can affect that is riek machar, and he has given no sign that he will accept either the unconditional offer for peace agreements or negotiations with salva kiir. nor will he accept either ceasefire or negotiations without condition, and we can't wait for the conditions to be met. >> we have a few seconds left, and i want to go back to you in
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juba. we have heard the prediction that things may get worse quick quickly, how unstable is the situation now, and what concerns may you have in the next few days. >> the situation in juba has been quite calm, but the separation in boral is untable. is volatile and we can classify it as dangerous. we do not have access to the information. what we are get something that there is combat in bor. the situation in malabbingar was dangerous with significant fighting. the situation in bentiu is stable, volatile and so overall, why one says there has been some
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improvement in juba, across the country the situation is grave and dangerous, especially for children and women. >> eric reeves and dr iyorlumun uhaa, thank you for your time. coming up, out of this world, advancements in space explorations. we'll tell you why so many at n.a.s.a. are so excited about them. you may have heard barack obama is hooked on "breaking bad," we'll tell you what lbj was obsessed with. here is a hint - it was very personal.
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>> today's data dive checks in on presidential viewing habits. the "new york times" reports president obama's catching up on "breaking bad." apparently he and president clinton share a desire for dark reality tinged drama like "hom
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and "house of cards." >> by contrast president regan's favourite show "family ties," his request for a cameo ignored by producers. the whitehouse movie nights dating back to 1915 with woodrow wilson's screening of "the birth of a nation." the reconstruction of the war portrays ku klux klan as heroes. wilsons showed it as a political favourite. 27 years later fdr converted a cloakroom into a screening room. that is the white house movie theatre. the 40 seat room is far from perfect, narrow and directors complained about sound and focus issues. still, dwight d. eisenhower watched more than 200 westerns during his two terms. president kennedy put his famous rocking chair in the middle of the front row to help with the back pain, and later had an orthopaedic bed to watch propped
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up on pillars. kennedy watched "from russia with love" the night before his il-faith trip to dallas. >> lbj was not a movie pan, but watch a documentary called "a president's country" 18 times. jimmy carter viewed nearly 500 films, the first "all the president's men". president kenny had an awkward screening with "the apostle", hillary clinton diffused the tension saying, "just another quiet day at the white house. >> films of significance from lincoln, "the butler", but he is not all business. the president made "high school musical 3 and other musicals available for his daughter. >> coming up n.a.s.a. plays ball in outer space. we'll explain.
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>> start with one issue, add guests from all sides of the debate and a host willing to arriving the tough question. weekdays at 5 eastern cl
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>> picture in your mind a space rover, high tech, lots of computer chips and solar panels and advanced technology. meet the latest rover prototop, called the small ball bot, a collapsable robot developed by n.a.s.a. for more we are joined from philadelphia by dr derrick pitts, chief avt ron mer at the franklin institute science museum. the super-ball bot is light, survives a 60 metre drop. it looks like a tinker toy, and doesn't require a parachute. what is special about this robot? >> there are several things showing themselves as making this special. one is the construction of this would allow a payload to drop on to a service unharmed, unscathed. the way the thing is obstructed it can observe the drop, and the way it can be packed into a rocket can possibly allow for
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multiples of these to be sent for a much lower price than just a large massive rover itself, and i think it would be a lot of fun to have a number of these objects deployed out on to a surface, say 10 or so versus just one. >> why is it going to go to sat urn's moon titan first. >> the reason it would go to titan first is because of the uneven surface at titan, and the rocky surface, and the fact that it is so cold, they have lengths of methane and the system may function better considering that it is not getting enough light from the sun to generate electricity. there may be an alternative way of doing that. getting around on the surface this may be a good way to get around. >> where else can this little bot take us that we have not been behaviour. >> one thought is it could go to
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an asteroid. some asteroids don't hold themselves together, they don't have much cohesion of the materials. for a rough surface, where you don't want to disturb them by a hard impact landing, you may use something like this to soften the landing. so that might be an interesting one. >> speaking of exploration, it's hard to imagine seeing better images than the ones of satterb, that n.a.s.a. released. these photos are so striking, did they tell us everything new. >> they are spectacular images. we have seen all sorts of great things going on. one of the ones that interests me most are the images of jets of water vapour squirting out from the sat urnian moon. this material is feeding the outer ering of sat urn, and that's an interesting one to see. the other is a photo where we
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see a cloud-like feature in the atmosphere, it's a ring around the poll that has this 6-sided nature to it. that is unusual to see. it tells us a little more about the dynamics of the atmosphere in sat urn. >> 2013 was a big year for space. tell us about your favourite discoveries and innovations. >> i think my favourite is what has happened on mars this year. the mars science lander that we know as curiosity i was able to complete its primary mission after one year on the surface of mars. it has nine years of power supply and discover more information about the possibility of environments where life may have developed on the planet. it has a way to go to get to mt sharp. on that trip it will give us more ification in. the other thing that -- nor information. the other thing is that the
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vehicle worked so well, better than we had reason to expect, other than great engineering by n.a.s.a.'s engineers. what gets me is the car will not star, and this object works so well on mars, even with its harsh environment. that's one thing. >> in the few seconds left, what is the big discovery, the big innovation will be? >> two big things for 2014. there'll be more exoplanets, and 2014 will be the year in which we see regular people travelling into space as tourists on board the virgin galactic spaceship 1 as people by tickets for their chance to go into space. >> the show may be over, but the conversation continues on our website al jazeera/consider this or on facebook or google+ pages or on twitter. see you next time.
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>> hello and welcome to al jazeera america. john siegenthaler has the night off. fire ball in north dakota, two trains collide, evacuations over the aftermath. a young girl in california, her parents struggle to keep her a alive. a cruise ship is stranded in the antarctic. a surprising look at the president's favorite tv shows.

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