>> deadly attacks in benghazi libya - a senate committee says they could have been avoided. the catholic church sex abuse scandal in the spotlight - the vatican to be grilled by a committee about cover ups. >> drilling for oil may be causing quakes. how is texas town is dealing with the issue. >> and a place where kids with dreams of gold can train to become future olympic champs.
>> good morning, welcome to al jazeera america. i'm thomas drayton. we begin this morning with a senate report suggesting a deadly aattack on the u.s. consulate could have been prevented. the state department and american intelligence agencies did not do enough to boost security despite warnings that the threat level was increasing. it's the first report criticising ambassador chris sevens directly. it raises questions about his judgments and actions in the weeks before his death. stevens and three other were killed on the attacks, taking place september 11th, 2002. >> there's a new wave of violence in iraq. six car bombs exploded in and around baghdad. 75 were killed, dozens injured. the blasts occurred in the mostly shia neighbourhoods.
senator mccain has been an outspokener critic and spoke with john seigenthaler about his view on america's foreign policy throughout the region. >> throughout the middle east america is declining in influence and on the wane. people are making their own accommodations for the departure the united states, whether it be hamid karzai, or whether what nouri al-maliki did, or the saudis who have lost trust in us. yesterday the defence minister of israel basically insulted our secretary of state and the prime minister of israel did not repudiate him. >> the u.n. says 2013 was the deadliest year in iraq since 2008. almost 8,000 people were killed last year. >> there is now hope a u.s. soldier who disappeared from a base in afghanistan in 2009 is
still alive. army sergeant bo bergdahl is the only u.s. prisoner of war. the u.s. military says it has proof of life video shot by its captors. u.s. officials believe bo bergdahl is held in pakistan by a network with links to the taliban. the pentagon said in a statement: >> reacting to the video the bergdahl family said: >> a massive scandal is upfolding that involves air force personnel in charge of the country's nuclear arsenal. 34 air force officers are facing accusations ranging from drug
use to cheating on important exams. there are - there are supposed to be safeguards to the u.s. missile defense program. >> they are at the heart of american strategy, intercontinental missiles armed with nuclear weapons. the civilian head of the air force revealed that 34 officers are under investigations for drug use and cheating on proefficiency exams. they are the officers in charge of the land based nuclear icbms. >> this is unacceptable behaviour and as everyone here knows the number one core value for us is integrity. >> 16 officers shared the answers to a test by texting them. 18 knew about the cheating but failed to report it. >> we decertified all 34
officers. they are restrictingment security clearances have been suspended and the investigation into the level of individual involvement continues. >> the command and control dates back to the 1950s. to this day 600 officers in pairs oversee the readiness of nuclear missiles working from the silos. 5% of the nuclear force has been caught in a cheating scandal. officials insisted the nuclear mission has not been compromised. >> based on everything i know today i have great confidence in the security and the effectiveness of our icbm force. >> still the secretary announced all remaining icbm officers will be tested by the end of the week. the air force has been
concerned. the cheating scandal emerged from a drug investigation. two officers were stripped of their duties. 10 other officers are facing drug investigations as well. >> but drug and cheating ib factions are considered especially insensitive to america's 400 landbased nuclear missiles. as the air force officials underscored those responsible for the missiles have no margin for error. >> we should point out this is one of a growing number of scandals surrounding the nuclear missile program. in may 17th officers from relieved. and michael cary was removed as commander after being accused of drinking heavily during a visit to moscow. >> the vatican is reeling after new revelations a priest
sexually abused children. a 48-page report was revealed accusing the church of not revealing the truth. >> as simon mcgregor-wood reports the scandal will be the subject of a u.n. meeting in geneva. >> peter saunders was a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of his catholic abuse. so was his brother mike. it triggered a life of drink, drug and deaths. peter helps other survivors. >> most survivors are not particularly interested in compensation. they are interested in seeing change. they are interested in knowing what happened to them is not going to happen to future generations. having said that, examination, i think, is entirely appropriate when it comes to people whose child hoods have been stolen.
>> the vatican has a new pope. he's popular and made big promises. pope francis wants openness and transparency. he set up a committee of his own. thursday's appearance before the u.n. is overdue. the extent to which they engage seriously with the u.n. will be a test of francis's papacy and whether he can deliver on the issue of sexual abuse and the allegations of cover up. the authors have little optimism that the church will change its approach. >> we traced back or the last two decades all the promises made versus what happened. there has been many promises. very little happened concretely. everything that has happened happened in secrecy. >> in 2012 the u.n. asked the
vatican to respond to questions about child abuse and what it is doing about it. many questions remain unanswered. >> if the institution acknowledges its many failings, then i, like many other people who suffered at his hands, i think, will, as you say, have a form of closure and some means of moving on. >> the vatican is coming to geneva because it signed the u.n.'s convention on the rights of the child and says it takes its treaty obligations clearly. the action or inaccess -- inactii inaction on child abuse says otherwise. >> we'll follow the meeting closely. the u.n. committee meeting is said to begin at 10am local time in geneva. 4am eastern.
>> as we entered the day yesterday, this is what it looked like across monew york a the burrows, it caused a problem at the airports, especially j.f.k. earlier we saw an hour and 15 wait. things will get better there and the reason is we have a disturbance pushing through. that will disrupt the atmosphere and make it not so stable. fog is stable. when the shower activity pushes through we'll see clearing and snow flakes. the temperature is too warm. towards the north-west things were not looking too bad. we have clouds in the area, not a lot of moisture. seattle, you'll see about 50 degrees. how about 39 degrees for you washington. you will go below freezing.
seattle, a string of five days with no rain in the forecast. high temperatures on friday. we are looking at the major problem in california, and that is the try, the hot and the windy conditions across much of the area. these are the red flag warnings across the region, and above san francisco. what that means is the fire danger is high. you know in california they are dealing with drought. look at the temperature we expect to see for los angeles. 85 degrees and warmer as you go inland. when will it break? the temperatures will stay. saturday down to 79. sunday 77 degrees. across texas, things are looking dry. the cooler air is coming in from the north. >> a bloody battle south of the border. the steps the mexican government is taking to end a stand off between vigilantes.
of torrential downpours. 46,000 people have fled to temporary shelters. >> battles and bloodshed in mexico. it's a bitter standoff. the government is trying to cop convince the groups to lay down their guns. many are refusing. >> a shattered symbol of a cartel that has lost support of the people that it once said it fought for. the cartel is feared for those it claimed to protect. extortion, kidnapping and killing the hallmarks of its rule. they have reported on the michelle knight for years. he said they created a new business model for the mexican cartels. >> it's remembered as a group that helped people, gave them money for a sick family member.
on one hand we have the social aspect. on the other it is not helping the people, but extorting them. >> the knights templar make millions running drugs, running illegal mines. the network stretches from mexico to asia. it was born years ago after a split between another cartel. it followed the killing of a cult-like leader nazario moreno. his body was never found. many believe he is alive. others veperrate him as a saint. the knights templar shrouded themselves as ancient christian warriors. the cartel took on more modern tactics. its reputed leader is an ex-school teacher saying he's waging a war for the citizens. >> translation: i represent the
knights templar, and our intention it to ensure fellow inhabitants can live in peace. >> it's a hard sell. many have been touched by the cartels violence. for the past year it's been in a pitched battle with vigilante groups who say they took up arms because the government left him helpless. now the government will send thousands to disarm the vij landy and take back territory. after years in which violence waged authorities in mexico city show that they have the control to rein in groups in a lawless land. >> wishful thinking for a state where impunity and violence reined for so long. >> more than 70,000 people have been killed in mexico's drug-related violence over the past six years. a 1.1 trillion spending plan is
moving forward on capitol hill. the house approved the bill on wednesday. it funds every agency in the government from things like airports and defense costs. the senate is expected to vote on it. civil liberty groups call it the biggest settlement. new york city paying $18 million ending a decade of legal battles. it began when nearly 2,000 protesters were arrested in maddison square garden. those arrested say police violated their civil rights. the settlement gives each plaintiff about $6400. >> freedom industries is blamed for spilling thousands of gallons of chemicals into the elk river. it tainted water supply for 300,000 people. the company has been cited for safety
violations. the town outside of dals is on sheikhy ground. it's been hit by 30 earth quacts. some residents say the reason for the quakes is obvious. >> hazel is a quiet town of about 11,000 people. it used to be quiet. >> you hear a boom. >> shaun is describing an earthquake between two and 3.5 magnitude, not enough to cause damage, but people around here have had enough. >> all of this in one area. who doing to cover the damage that occurs in the future if we fail to act. >> 800 residents packed the first of two town hall meetings, calling on those who regulate drilling to look on the quaus of the quakes. >> i can see their point.
>> billy caldwell is an independent geological consultant and professor, specialising in the oil and gas field. >> there's a falt trend. >> caldwell points out there are three fault lines, believing the continuous pumping of waste water impacted the fault plane to the point of causing the quakes. in recent decades there has been little to no activity here. >> we ought to consider pumping less and slower, and see if that helps. >> how would that be received by the oil and gas companies. >> not well. it would slow down everything. >> monday night dozens of residents decided they'd jump on a bus, go to austin and put pressure on state leaders to get something done. the mayor thinks it's too early for that. >> they know there's a problem.
they are hiring a sys meteorologist. the commission is aware of problem. i don't think it's time to bring out the pitch forks and the torches yet. >> until there is conclusive evidence from the study the railroad commission is starting, opinions will fly. >> people are overreacting. i don't think it has anything to do with the oil field. >> if it does geologists say people don't need to fear a massive quake. this work can't cause one. the u.s. geological survey is working to determine where they are originating. >> the state of texas has 35,000 active injection wells according to the commission. 7,000 are used for deep waste water from hydraulic fracturing. >> a monster sink hole in louisville has grown to 26 acres. it started six years ago after a
salt mine operated by texas brine company collapsed. the hole is causing a levee. toxic liquids are spreading to surrounding communities and swamplands. >> creating the olympians of tomorrow, today. we'll take you to a town where they are learning to go for the gold. in a regard pay day for curtin kershaw, how much the team is paying to keep their ace on the
who has a dismal record. this is zimer's best coaching opportunity. speaking of contracts, multiple media reports say the los angeles dodgers signed a contract with kershaw. it pays him $215 million over seven years. it surpasses the 7-year $80 million contract. kershaw's salary of $30.7 million is the highest ever for a baseball player. he's won two of the last three national league ci young awards. >> the miami heat fell. it was incredible that they trailed the wizards. that happened after washington
scored 43 points in the first quarter. the deficit cut before the wizard responded with a 17-9 run. bradley added 19 apiece, leading seven players, michael eaves, let's look at sports for this hour. >> the winter olympics begin in soichy. hundreds of athletes would compete. there's one town that has a lot to be proud of. paul beban has this report from steamboat springs. >> forget football. this is how they do "friday night lights" in steamboat springs. the kids line up and launch themselves into the darkness. saturday morning it's time for speed camp. and saturday afternoon a cross-country race.
for all these kids this is base camp. the steamboat springs winter sports club at howelsen hill, it's a place to play, meet and compete. >> i'm on top of howelsen hill. it may be humble, but around here it's mt olimp pus. they say it's built of dreams. >> one of the club's celebrated sons johnny spillane says winning is not what the place is all about. >> first and foremost it's a place for kids to ski. >> johnny spillane grew up a few blocks from the club at the vancouver olympics he was the first medallist bringing together ski jumping. >> all the kids are having fup, and you can't be successful at
any sport without enjoying what you do. >> this is the history of ski town. >> yes, and here is the man that started it. carl howelson. >> he founded the club in 1914. his culture fuelling a winning formula. 96 olympians and counting. >> a large majority settle here and become coaches and mentors are olympians and you can touch and feel the spirit. taylor and bryan fletcher are grown up on their way to sochi. mum says the club is more than medals. >> it's a community gathering spot. we used to come here and train, and learn sportsmanship, morals, ethics, goals in life. >> make no mistake the boys and girls have visions of olympic glory. >> my heroes are the women ski jumpers, it's the first year
they jump at the olympics. >> do you guys dream of having your own flag at the olympics? >> yes. >> in this room each flag represents one olympic appearance by a sports club athlete proof that here more than any place else olympic dreams do take flight. >> a lot to be proud of. that was al jazeera's paul beban reporting. the opening ceremony of the sochi winter olympics is february 7th. a pressure moment frozen in time. twin polar bear cubs cuddle with mum, keeping them warm. they were born at the munich zoo in germany. they have not been named. >> remember news at the top of every hour. you can lock on to