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tv   News  Al Jazeera  January 18, 2014 2:00pm-2:31pm EST

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>> good afternoon, welcome to al jazeera america. i'm morgan radford and here is what we're following for you right now. wildfires burn as california deals with the worst drought in its history. and the breeding ground for international hackers, we'll go inside the private it school attended by nsa whistle blower edward snowden. >> syrian rebel leaders greed to attend peace talks in geneva
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just four days from now. the syrian national coalition voted yes in istanbul. their attendance is vi vital. the violence is now spilling over into lebanon. too much fire and too little water, a dangerous combination for california. in the l.a. suburb of glendor ga the fire is still burning. >> reporter: this fire is just one consequence of the severe drought crippling california. officials hope the governor's declaration will help farmers and protect california's $44 billion agriculture industry. >> today i'm declaring a drought emergency in the state of california. >> reporter: the governor of the state, jerry brown, made the announcement after mounting pressure from applications, business leaders and farmers. it means that california can
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apply now for relief aid from the federal government. the news count come soon enough for farmer paul van leer who has been struggling to feed his cattle on his farm just outside of santa barbara. >> if we don't get rain we'll nobody dire straits. we're faced with no feed and cows that need feed. >> reporter: california's agriculture industry is worst $40 billion. it produces a large percentage of the fresh fruits and vegetables consumed by americans. officials say the future of the industry is threatened by the catastrophic condition. >> reservoir that depend on snow melt and rainfall are at historically low levels including this one in santa barbara county which is only at 40% of its full capacity. >> it creates a lot more flexibility for us to manage
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the--what water resource we have in our voice. >> inevitablreservoirs. >> normally fires like this one are not a threat to homeowners in the winter, but not with the high winds and high pressure front. >> that's the culprit. that has been blocking all the storms from moving through and bringing rain into california. until that moves to the east, we're stuck in the same pattern. >> reporter: and that pattern is expected to continue until the end of the month. but paul van leer is hoping the declaration of a drought will buy him more time to save his herd. >> it's devastating, you have animals that you know by name, that you've raised up, and you have no choice but you have to let them go. >> unless it begins to rain, and that does not appear to be likely any time soon. >> the governor is asking
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consumers to reduce water consumption by 20%. it loosens environmental restrictions and allows the state to seek federal aid to deal with the drought. in california, stephanie stanton, al jazeera. >> the drought is now threatening to wreak havoc on wine one of california's best known products melissa chan is in napa valley. are crops vulnerable to these types of drought. >> reporter: the wine makers are concerned about the drought but they're not panicking yet. they're optimistic that we're halfway through the usual rainy season. if the second half of the season is normal, and we're seeing a lot of rain, then the vineyards are going to be fine. but the problem is, of course, if we don't see any rain in the coming months then this is going to be a problem. it did say, you know, vines, if
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they struggle a little bit it creates a better vintage, so there are positives but extreme drought is not something that anyone wants to see here. they do depend on rainwater and the reservoirs in this region, and they are low. in the summertime in july and august if they can't irrigate and they don't have enough water the wine makers say there could be an impact. it could effect 50% production. >> is this likely to result in consumers paying more for california wine than they would for other products? >> that's a very good question. right now the answer is we don't know. if the vintage is better because the vines are struggling, then potentially a bottle of wine from the same winery would cost more, and perhaps it could recoop costs there. they want to see as much production as possible, and right now it's a hard guess in terms of what is going to
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happen. they have to keep a very close eye out over the next few months. >> melissa chan for us in napa valley, california. thank you so much. the water contamination that has been affected over 300,000 people in charleston, west virginia, is the only latest incident of pollution by the coal industry. the environmental protection agency said coal plants are now responsible for 50% to 60% of all types of pollution in the united states. loopholes and deregulation has allowed the contamination of waterways and well water sources to go unchecked for decades. and it's more dangerous than the charleston elk river. the royal majesty pulled into port in miami with 16 people sickened by a stomach virus that is believed to be the noro virus. for many it turned their dream
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vacation into a sea nightmare. >> the whole night at the hoy toilet. >> we all brought medication and we were cautious. >> the ship returned to miami where it was scrubbed and disinfected. they're now offering passengers an opportunity to reschedule their trips. more details are emerging about the friday suicide attack at a kabul restaurant. national security adviser susan rice called the attack a heinous and cowardly attack. >> only after sunrise was the level of damage here. over 20 guests were enjoying dinner at this restaurant. it appears that none of them survived. >> unfortunately, the debt toll report decides 21 deaths. and including 13 foreigners. >> when the attackers approached
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the restaurant there were cars parked all around here. still there is blood in the street where they have not cleaned up the carnage. the first attacker is the suicide-bomber who blue off incredibly thick steel doors allowing two other attackers to enter in here and shoot at the diners. this is where so many people lost their lives. once inside they shot diners and staff. footage obtained by al jazeera appears to show that they tried to hide under tables before being killed. victims were of varying nationalities. many thought this place was safe. >> it speaks to the fact that security is a big issue no mart how secure a place might seem
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it's always going to be an issue. >> reporter: the restaurant was popular with foreigners and high-ranking afghan officials. a place to relax in a time of war. it's lebanese owner was well liked speaking to al jazeera in 2008 he was confident his business would not be targeted. >> we do not take part in any military activities. we are protective of the economic sector this is beneficial not only to us but all afghani people as well. >> hamadi died in the attack. jane ferguson, al jazeera, kabul, afghanistan. >> a spiritual leader's funeral in india sparks a deadly stampede. 18 people have died and around 50 were injured in the city of
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mumbai. thousands gathered to mourn the death of the 102-year-old muslim leader. it began when the gates were closed for the night. then the crowd pushed forward crushing people at the gate leaving them with no way to escape. the police say they were outnumbered by the large turn out. no. south sudaout. in south sudan the government has been holding talks with government leaders in ethiopia, and negotiators on both sides say a cease-fire will likely be signed on monday. officials announce the success of a constitutional referendum. four people were killed when ousted president mohammed morsi clashed with security. >> egypt's new draft constitution is passed, and the high election commission said the document got an overwhelming
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support. >> the total number of voters, just 2. the voter turn out is 38.6% of the population. the yes vote, 98%, 1.9% said no. this is a higher voter turnout than the vote for the last constitution. >> now that the government got the yes vote it needed, the next step is to set the date for more elections. the anti-coup alliance has described the vote as a sham. it hailed what it called the historic boycott by the egyptian people including the youth which indicates the majority of the people reject the coup and the constitution. different groups are calling on
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their supporters to increase their protest. egypt is facing tough times, and analysts say that is unlikely to change any time soon. >> i think we hav when we have y coups take place, you have a military dictatorship. you have a military dictatorship with the civilian aside. or resistence civil unrest. i think the plan is to try to legitimate what happened by a new constitution, by new presidential elections, but these procedures need to happen on mubarak. >> egypt is divided and is struggling to restore table. next week will mark three years
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since the popula they removed mm power. and the only thing that is certain is more elections. >> in the meantime three al jazeera journalists continue to be detained in egypt. of this been held since december 29th. they're accused of spreading lies harmful to state security as well as joining a terrorist group. al jazeera denies the charges and demands their release. two other journalists from our sister channel has been there for five months. listening, reporting, and spying, president obama changes some of the rules guiding u.s. spy agencies. plus, a breeding ground for international hackers. we'll go into more about edward
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know den. michelle obama brings in 50 with a bang. those stories and much more when al jazeera continues.
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>> every sunday night aljazeera america presents gripping films from the worlds top documetary directors. >> everybody's different here... >> for students at the esteemed international high school at lafayette everyday is a fight to suceeed >> it was my dream to get a
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high school diploma >> but a failing grade can mean loosing it all... >> i don't know how my life would look, if i would get deported... >> will they make it in america? >> i have a chance... >> i learn america >> the controversial nsa spying program that collect millions of phone records will be limited. that's the commitment that president obama made on friday. we have more from washington. >> the the extent of the spying only a handful of the usual protesters demand demanding changes. the president took to the stage and promised very little. when it comes to spying outside of the u.s. ally leaders can be
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assured that the u.s. won't listen to their phone calls any more. but their people, every text, call, video they send that will still be stored. >> and the u.s. president said that shouldn't bother most people in the world. >> the bottom line is that people around the world regardless of nationality should know that the united states is not spying on ordinary people who don't threaten our national security. we take their privacy concerns into account. >> reporter: for americans there are few changes. the fbi wants to contact my credit card company and tell them everything that i've bought, they will have to tell me that. but a court that didn't reject junone government request in 20. but for many outside of the white house that didn't enough.
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>> they didn't go far enough. he took a very narrow tack. >> even before that criticism the president took a defensive tone. >> no one expects china to have a debate about its surveillance programs or russia to take concerns of citizens in other places into account. >> reporter: the debate isn't over, and it may go further than the president, and the supreme court still has to decide if the domestic spying is constitutional. but as evidence by the size and scale of the protest. >> we don't want the nsa. >> so far they're facing public pressure to change their decision. >> the man who prompted this week's changes to u.s. surveillance policy took computer courses in india including a so-called ethical hacking class. one of a few foreigners who traveled all the way to india
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just to take these courses. >> hacking isn't confined by those who have high-end computers or computer geniuses. this security expert said hacking whether done to improve security or steal data can be done with a lap t laptop or jusg in the right place at the right time. >> team can break into companies and do significant damage. >> reporter: and those skills are easy to find in india at one of the it colleges. >> edward snowden, he learned techniques. >> in india because we are a global it training, and we get
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students from all over the world. >> what snowden learned here probably helped him get his job at the nsa. and the lure of upgraded it skills for a better job has pushed the it education industry to grow in five times i in the last five years. >> reporter: students return to their countries with an upgrade to their current position or better job prospects but some worry this training can be easily misused like in the case of noden and may need oversight. >> it's like the wild, wild we west. >> reporter: this specialist said lack of regulation over these it schools has made it a free for all, and there should be guidelines on who coul these.
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>> a lot of them could be in the hands of criminals. >> but he argue it could be misused. >> india has no plans to regulate it's it schools. so foreign student continue to come to enhance their computer skills before deciding how they will use those skills when they return home. al jazeera, new delhi. >> coming up on al jazeera, digging deep into the brain to fight a debilitating disease that impacts millions. and a birthday bash worthy of the first lady, michelle obama brings 50 in style.
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>> well back to al jazeera america. i'm morgan radford, and here are today's headlines.
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syrian rebel leaders have agreed to attend internationally brokered peace talks. the syrian national coalition voted yes in istanbul. they will meet in just four days. california's governor jerry brown has called a state of emergency. the designation now qualifies california for federal aid as they head into the dryest year on record. and things are getting worse for the west virginia company that leaked chemicals into a river. it is now filing for bankruptcy as hundreds of thousands of residents can't use their drinking water. recordlesregardless of their bay status they will still need to
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clean up their mess. a novelist talks about symptoms he kept secret for 18 years and the treatment that set him free. >> in 1995 martin smith was on top of the world. >> i had what one would say about as good a life as one could have with this one hiccup, i was start to go shake. >> that year he was diagnosed with parkinson's, the brain disease that creates hallucinations. >> i didn't like being weak. >> finally his doctor suggested what turned out to be a miraculous treatment. >> he had run into side effects with medication that we typically use. >> a pace maker in the brain
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that delivers a current directly into the brain matter. at first the idea of brain surgery r repulsed him, but then he met with people who had had the procedure. >> it was as if they had been let out of jail. >> for him it was equally miraculous. >> tell me about the moment. >> i could show you the moment. flip the switch and it happened. >> the field is exploding. new defense department research is looking to see if it could treat soldiers suffering from post traumatic stress. >> one is severe mood depression. some groups are interested in using it to treat memory disorders. and it effects the part of the brain that you want it to effe
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effect. >> the hope is that the technology will continue to improve even as symptoms gets worse. >> what i am hoping for is ten good years. but i know that when i get to the end of ten years i'm going to want another ten years. >> reporter: jacob ward, al jazeera. >> well, temperatures are plummeting across parts of the mid plains. we have a system pushing across the area. while it's bringing snow into illinois, also across indiana you can see the spin in the atmosphere and we'll continue to see snow across portions of pennsylvania into up state new york. on the backside of the system cooler air rushing in out of canada. look at fargo only 11 degrees right now right at the freezing mark in bismarck.
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it will continue to be cold across the area with that wind pushing out of canada. winds gusting at 32 mph in omaha right now. we could use some rain, some snow across portions of the southwest but we're not going to get it. there is a strong ridge of high pressure across the desert southwest back towards california and it will keep it exceptionally dry. low levels of hidet humidity. we could use the rain across south and eastern australia. high pressure dominating there, right now they're dealing with a very large wildfire burned over 52,000 acres. one person has been killed. a major threat to wildlife as well. you can see its just heat the area up.
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in in darfur they don't have enough water to get through the year, and there are water problems in kosovo. they're dealing with exceptional levels of drought as well. it's not just an issue in california but an issue that folks all around the world are dealing with. >> we hadn't heard about the threat to wildlife. >> yes, it is. >> a milestone birthday for the first lady. michelle obama turned 50 and showed off her new aarp card. the president and the first lady will now host a party at the white house tonight. the celebration is dubbe dubbedk you for watching al jazeera. i'm morgan radford.
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for news updates all throughout the day head over to www.aljazeera.com or follow us on twitter. >> she's known as baby veronica, and she was the center of a high profile custody battle. her adoptive parents are white. her father is native american, and he has been fighting for her along side his tribe. the case went all the way to the united states supreme court. at the heart of the case is the indian child welfare act or iqwa which tries to keep if children to their tribes. it was in response when a highly number of native children were removed from their families and placed with non-native homes,

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