>> welcome to al jazeera america. i'm del walters. these are the stories we're following for you. the u.s. supreme court putting gay marriage on hold in utah. the senate getting back to work dealing with the issue of long-term unemployment benefits. and a dangerously cold vortex pushing through the country that can freeze your skin in just minutes. >> we continue to follow the day's breaking news. the u.s. supreme court entering the gay marriage debate agreeing
to put on hold gay marriage in utah. last week the state's attorney general asked the supreme court to suspend that ruling. now the supreme court issuing a brief blocking any new same sex unions in that state while the federal appeals court considerings that issue. your reaction to the decision? >> this is a very cautious move by the supreme court. because imagine what they would have done if they would approved this? then this would have been the supreme court legislatin legislm the bench saying we're legalizing gay marriage in utah. >> even when luke at it from under the microscope. look at the latest gallup poll, 52% of americans in favor, 43%
say they oppose it how do you deal with an issue as contentious as this. >> and in utah it's even more con tecontentious. for the court to come around and say if they would have approved this today and then to say we're going to go against what the voters of utah said that would be controversial in itself. >> do you believe the court is buying time before investing itself. >> absolutely they're buying time. this is such a contentious issue, and it has received so-- >> and it's perceived to be a conservative court. >> absolutely. and it's grown exponentially in the last couple of years. 15 years ago people would not imagine that we are at this place where we are today, and for the court to absolutely overturn everything that the courts in utah had said without actually having a proper court hearing that would have been something that would have been
completely antithetical to court procedures. >> if judge roberts goes further, does this turn conservatives on their heads who believe that roberts was their guy? >> i think it would. it's not a conservative or liberal issue. it's a constitutional issue. the constitutional issue here are people being treated the same. it's a equal protection issue. that's what the judge in utah said, that people should be treated the same that are similarly situated. can people of same sex gait married? they should be able to. that's not anything about whether you are a democrat or a libertarian or republican. this is about what the constitution says should be fair. >> and briefly kids are caught in the cross fire of this who have parents who are gay, who want to get married and wonder
why mommy and mommy cannot get married. >> yes, for them to not understand what the courts are doing, what the governments are doing, this is saying to those kids your families aren't legitimate, and something is wrong with the way you're growing up with your own mom and dad. >> kevin millar professor of law. thank you for joining us today. we turn our attention to washington, the senate back in session today. the house set to go back to work sometime tomorrow. but first up for the senate a vote to restore those long-term unemployment benefits for 1.3 americans. who is siding on this side of for the measure and who is on the side against it? >> reporter: by and large democrats are pushing this issue. the republicans are against t but it's a little more complicated. some oppose the extension on philosophical grounds. others like john boehner said they would like to see a pay for. they want to direct pay-for as
part of that package. the senate takes this up as soon as today, and democrats will have to get five republicans on board with them. only one republican has come out for this, dean heller from nevada, a state with high unemployment, and will senators from high unemployment states be pushing this as well? benefits expire on decembe december 28th, president obama pushed this in his weekend address, and we saw it fought out on sunday talk shows. chuck schumer of new york and rand paul of kentucky were on abc this week. >> i'm not against having unemployment insurance but i think it does provide some disincentive to work and there are studies to indicate this. we have to figure out how to
create jobs. >> i think it's a little insulting, a bit insulting to american workers when rand paul says that unemployment insurance is a disservice. they want to work. they don't want unemployment benefits. they're just hanging on with unemployment benefits. >> reporter: one key part of unemployment benefits is people have to be looking for a job. that is a requirement. if this is not reinstated they'll still get to the six months that the state and federal government work together to provide but not that much longer package. >> what else is on this senate agenda? >> reporter: the tomorrow one is getting janet yellen the federal reserve chairman. this is one that did not get dealt with over the holiday. and watch for the senate to work through that confirmation today.
the weather could play a role in this. they to get enough members back here in washington working and voting that they can move for these votes today. >> libby casey joining us live from capitol hill. thank you very much. as you heard libby say our other top story is that extrem extremely dangerous weather spreading across the country. dave warren joins us with more on that biting cold. >> meteorologist: yes, biting cold out there, and we're calling this polar vortex because it is poler air, air that you would find over the north pole, and sometimes the weather pattern allows this cold air to come down across the country here. that's what we're seeing now. it spins an area of low pressure. there is the polar air. it's up over the north poll, it comes all the way down and continues to spin. it remains fairly stationary. it's bitter cold air and that comes with a wind. this is where the surface low is. it's east of that polar vortex.
the temperatures are still 40's and 50s. came to work and you might have noticed it was very warm in philadelphia and new york, but that will change as this bitter cold air begins to spread east. cold air still over the great lakes in new england tomorrow. by wednesday it begins to lift out a little bit each day. look at the actual numbers with the national forecast, del. >> thank you very much. 34 people are dead after fighting between the iraqi army and alqaida in anbar province. they have retai have taken contf ramadi and are next looking at fallujah. >> the iraqi army are preparing for a ground assault in fallujah, but it won't be led by them but tribal fighters.
the reason for that is simply the sunni tribes have maintained any ground assault into that city should be left to them. the iraqi army shell and used airstrikes on targets, and now they're ready with their fighters to move into the city. but we're also seeing a humanitarian crisis building as well. they're staying in schools in area, but getting supplies to them have been very difficult. will the battle for fallujah be decisive. we've already seen attacks against iraqi security forces across iraq by isil fighters, so it's likely that those attacks will increase, and that this battle will go on for days. >> ten years in prison for the pennsylvania woman known as
jihad jane. federal judge delivering that sentence moments ago. she's accused of being involved with a murder plot tied to al-qaeda. the judge gave her a reduced term for cooperating with investors. she had agreed to kill a swedish artist who had offended muslims. the sudanese had their country divided, and now sudan is also a closely watching it's newly independent neighbor. >> reporter: it looked like business as usual in khartoum. >> the conflict in the south will drain our resources in the north. >> we're still one people, and it's bothering me that they're killing each other. >> the south sudanese people are sudanese just like us. what affects them affects us.
>> they have mutual ties and interests. they rely heavily on the lice of the pipeline to transport its oil for exportation. >> the pipeline could be cut, and it contributes a lot to the sudanese budget. that would double the sense of the crisis. >> reporter: south sudanese officials say they promise to keep the pipeline open. >> the security of the two countries is inseparable. if you're asking about military intervention, i don't think it's an option here. >> reporter: being neutral about the conflict in the shout is one then. but staying idle and not finding a solution is a different
situation. >> you cannot know what is going to happen in the future, if this conflict is going to continue in the future. i wouldn't expect sudanese army would do it alone. but definitely the sudanese army, they have the capabilities, they have the knowledge, they have the instruments in order to have a strong influence in the south. >> reporter: sudan has 2,000 kilometers of boarders witborders insouth sudan. they have other issues, and at open ended war in the south is feared to complicate those issues. >> sudan's finance minister saying that oil in south sudan will bring in $1 billion i in 2014. pope francis is making plans to
travel to the holy land during his weekly sunday address. the pope announced he'll visit jordan, jerusalem, the west bank and bethlehem in may. he plans to hold a prayer with the orthodox church during that visit. one of our producers in egypt has been interrogated by state prosecutors, mohammed bahamy has been detained without charge for nine days. al jazeera maintains allegations are fabricated. the three are being imprisoned outside of cairo. officials are telling some team to just stay inside at all costs. we have more with our top business headlines when al jazeera returns. "america tonight" investigative series
>> we traveled here to japan to find out what's really happening at fukushima daiich >> three years after the nucular disaster, the hidden truth about the ongoing cleanup efforts and how the fallout could effect the safety of americans >> are dangerous amounts of radioactive water, leaking into the pacific eververyday? >> join america tonight's michael okwu for an exclusive four part series, as we return to fukushima only on al jazeera america
the stream is uniquely interactive television. in fact, we depend on you, your ideas, your concerns. >> all these folks are making a whole lot of money. >> you are one of the voices of this show. >> i think you've offended everyone with that kathy. >> hold on, there's some room to offend people, i'm here. >> we have a right to know what's in our food and monsanto do not have the right to hide it from us. >> so join the conversation and make it your own. >> watch the stream. >> and join the conversation online @ajamstream.
>> welcome back to al jazeera america. i'm del walters. turning back to one of our top stories today from the midwest to the south people dealing with freezing cold temperatures we begin with ash har quaraishi, who has reports from the windy city. >> brutally cold here in chicago. we're looking at temperatures in the minus 15-degree range. lower i in the outskirts, and te wind chills are getting down there, minus 40 and below. this is bitter cold weather where frost bite is likely working outside is dangerous and exposure to the skin can be freezing within a minute or so. so authorities are telling people if you do not have to be outside do not go outside. stay indoors as much as possible. but of course there are some delays. there are people who need to get in the city. we're hearing between midway airport and o'hare airport 400 flight cancellations. there are also some problems on
some of the commuter trains in chicago. delays on most of them. if you do not have to commute that's one thing that authorities are saying, stay indoors. stay home, cosy up to a good book and hot oh cocoa and don't do anything like this. >> and from ash har quaraishi in chicago we turn to robert in atlanta. that's the coldest weather that city has seen in quite some time. how cold is it? >> reporter: right now it's in the low 20s and it's plunging. you can see the trucks, the sand and snowplows. they were out all night. they've been brought back in to the georgia department of transportation depo because the risk of precipitation is gone but temperatures are dropping. atlanta public schools have been canceled along with many other counties around the atlanta area because you know, you don't want
little kids standing out there in temperatures hovering around 1 degree to 0-degrees, and winds at 40 mph gusts making temperatures feel like they're 30. it's down right cold. not as cold as chicago, but people down here are not at all used to this kind of weather. >> robert, thank you very much. and bundle up. german chancellor angela merkel suffering from a fall while skiing. she's recovering from a pelvic injury. all of her meeting have been canceled, including a meeting with the president o prime minif warsaw and president of luxembourg. the dow right now following
41 points. the clue ships closing out at all-time highs but lower in the new year. mixed signals on the economy impacting trading. the commerce department saying they're seeing a rise in factory orders in november. those orders declined in october but there is another report out that shows that growth in the non-manufacturing sector or services was weaker than expected in december. there is a new fight between men's warehouse and joseph a. bank. men's warehouse is offering a aggressive bid worth $1.5 million. in mid-october it was the other way around with message warehouse saying no to joseph a banks take over plan. >> i give you the new taxi for
london. >> reporter: one of the world's new car makers is trying to must until on london's icon. it's redesigned to look like the real thing. >> we tried to capture the essence of the london black cab but at the same time we tried to bring freshness to both the design but also to the execution in terms of quality, reliabili reliability, driver comfort, passenger comfort. >> london's black cab has not changed much in 50 years. they still have that bulkily body, the orange light, and they still have an amazing turning circle of less than eight meters. they are an indelible part of the city's landscape. >> this taxi project is an ambitious one, an attempt to infuse the old london cab with new technology. city authorities are putting pressure on taxicabs to produce
lower emissions all the time. this electric version of this vehicle in 2015. to sell london as a green city it's mayor wants its center to be emission freebi free by 2020. it will need a huge investment in infrastructure as well as the right vehicle. >> electric vehicles are one solution to that problem. there are no fast charge points in london and the first electric taxi is going to somewhere else, which is a great shame and loss to london. >> reporter: and what about the skeptical cabbie, the person who has to drive it every day. >> people want to see a taxi that looks like a taxi, not like a van. >> does this do the job? >> a bit in between. >> reporter: from well i willlous traited corporatia wela
>> welcome back to al jazeera america. i'm del walters. here are your headlines that the hour. the u.s. supreme court entering the gay marriage debate agreeing to put same-sex marriage on hold in utah while they review the ruling that allows the marriage to take place. the oldest daughter of former vice president dick cheney stepping down. she's calling it quits because
of serious health issues in her family. the report did not provide any other details. government forces in iraq say they have taken the city of are a mcity oframadi from al-qa. now they're ready to take the city of fallujah. with most of the u.s. facing record low temperatures many are preparing for the worse. but some of those who thrive on winter sports, they're ignoring the warnings and heading outside. we head to the frozen waters of michigan. >> reporter: you might think that no one knows cold weather like an ice fishermen. >> if the fish are biting, i don't care how cold it is. here we go. >> reporter: most people have never experienced the kind of cold weather that is expected to blanket half of the united states this week. so who better to ask of how to handle temperatures of 10, 20, or 30 below than a man sitting
on a suspec bucket full of fish. >> if your feet get cold, you're miserable. your feet and your head. if you keep the feet and the head warm, the rest you can tolerate. >> if you go out in the cold you have to dress right. >> reporter: is it every too cold to go out on the ice? >> the coldest weather i fished in was minus 10. it was blizzard conditions, 30 mph winds. it was pretty crazy weather. as far as the temperatures, i don't let it effect my fishing. >> reporter: sure many here have small tents with heaters, but plenty of others like chuck and his son mike prefer being outside exposed to the elements. >> you always wear more than you think you need because it's always colder than you. >> i as long as your power doesn't go out, you'll be all right. >> that's the biggest thing, your furnace.
>> reporter: others shop for emergency supplies things like mill, bread and butter, firewood, gas o generators, thee men sit on the ice waiting for the next bite. >> i got something here. >> whoa. >> there's your bass. >> reporter: perhaps the best piece of advice for surviving subzero temperatures is one that you won't hear from fishermen here on the ice: stay inside. >> by the way, the cdc or the center for disease control and prevention recommend if you go outside you should try to stay dry. >> i'm dave warren. staying dry won't an problem. snow and rain staying out, it's just bitter cold. the air is so dry it will get colder as this bitter cold air comes in from the north. the temperatures are down to the
single digits but here is the core of this very cold air in minneapolis, chicago, memphis dropping down below freezing. washington and new york are not there yet but they will quickly dropping in the next few hours. here is the radar plus the satellite. the rain is in front of it, it has cleared out. dry weather all the way to the west coast of the u.s. there. this is what it feels like. when you factor in the winds plus the bitter cold air this is where it gets dangers. 50 below in minneapolis. we have winter warnings issued in this part of the country. that means that frost bite and hyperthermia can set in quickly if you're not prepared for the cold air if you do have to head outside. this is the actual temperature, and tomorrow and wednesday it gets a little warmer. today is the core of the very cold air in place combine with
the gusting wind. and back up to the freezing mark by friday. this is west of philadelphia down to 18 in pittsburgh. hour by hour you see these numbers drop. by 6:00 just after midnight tonight we set the high temperature tomorrow. it does not climb much. only the single digits in philadelphia and new york. do not be surprised to see below freezing temperatures in pennsylvania and new york as well. the temperatures are bitter cold and then it gets a little warmer. tuesday and wednesday with cold wind chills climbing a bit on thursday and friday. freezing temperatures expected tomorrow morning as far south as florida. look at that, del. >> dave warren, thank you very much. thank you to each and every one of you for watching al jazeera. the stream.is next, and remember you can watch al jazeera on