in washington, i'm ray suarez. >> welcome to al jazeera america. i'm del walters. these are the stories that we're following for. >> you i have decided to issue an invitation to iran to participate. >> the upcoming syrian peace talks now uncertain after the united nations invites iran to participate over objections. some relief from sanctions on iran as u.s. honors it's nuclear agreement. and reports of last month's
suicide-bombers, and they promise more attacks. >> if it is necessary, we are willing and must be willing to go to the jail by the powers of alabama. [ cheering ] >> the life and legacy of dr. martin luther king jr. and the ripple effects still being felt today. >> there are concerns today that this week's scheduled syrian peace talks may be over before they begin. the united nations has now invited iran to that conference in geneva. syrian opposition group say that is a non-starter and they're threatening to pull out of the talks unless the u.n. unininvites iran by the day's end. john, ban ki-moon's visitation n to iran. >> it has broken out in a spat
at the united nations here on the east side of manhattan and state department and it's all over an invitation from the secretary general ban ki-moon, who has invited the iranians to the geneva peace talks slated to begin on wednesday. mr. ban saying he has been persuaded that they would participant in a positive manner and will come without pre-conscience. but that has angered the western back council in syria. they're very cross about this. they say, look, tehran is too much of a close ally to the leader of syria, and they have not really signed up to the whole points of these talks, which is to create a transitional government. the news conference has been abruptly canceled but we have heard from the u.s. ambassador to the united nations samantha power. here's what she had to say about
the situation as it stands at the moment. >> as of this morning iran still has yet to demonstrate it's willingness to explicitly and publicly subscribe to the full implementation of the geneva communique that is a minimum requirement for participation in this peace process. >> so as you were saying it looks as if at this moment these two peace talks are dead in the water before they've even gun. >> when will we learn finally whether the talks will go on wednesday? >> i think we will learn quite soon because the opposition national council in syria said look if iran is not disinvited to geneva two by 19 hours gmt today, that's about 3:00 eastern time, then we're pulling out. so time is not on anyone's side. >> john terret at the u.n. thank you very much. this morning i talked to former u.s. ambassador to the
u.n. i asked whether iran's participation in the talks will cause the process to unravel. >> i think what we're seeing here is a poorly prepared process to begin with. we have force on one side that's assad, and that's readialized in opposition which is the conducting influenced by sunni extremists. that means that you have a geneva process where the prospect result is negligible. this is going to be quite significant because you'll never get to a proper solution. the first step is an immediate cease-fire respected by the government and the opposition. this disproportionate of tenacity on the ground and no cease-fire in place is not in the cards. >> today marking day one of iran's historic nuclear, if the
united states partners would follow through to provide modest sanctions relief to iran based on its nuclear deal, end quote, the safety of the winter games in sochi once again being called into question. a just-released video showing two suicide-bombers warning of attacks and planning to go to the games. >> dressed in black and holding ak-47s the two men in this video claim to be the suicide-bombers responsible for the twin attacks at a train station and on a bus in volgograd last month, they are shown allegedly building their bombs and strapping them to their bodies and heading to the target which killed 34 people. in the same video an ominous message for vladimir putin.
saying if the olympic games in sochi proceed they will offer, quote, a present in the form of new attacks. a similar warning in a video is offered to tourists attending the games which has prompted even more concern. this time from american politicians. >> i would not go. and i don't think i would send my family it's such a rich target. >> president putin says he is ready. >> the job of the olympics host is to ensure security of the participants in the olympics and visitors. we will do whatever it takes. >> sochi has become a virtual police state with beefed up security in the resort town. a so called ring of steel. tens of thousands of soldiers, police, bomb-sniffing dogs and video cameras. >> the threats are real, basically called for attacks on the olympics. >> that warning made in july by russia's most wanted militant,
whose death was reported a few days ago, but the claim has yet to be verified. >> i am very concerned about the security status of the olympics. who do we need to worry about, are those terrorist groups who have had some success are they still plotting? >> hoping to dispel any notion they don't have security under control, russian authorities released a video of their own. a full-scale attack on suspected militants in the region of dagastan. in the same place the men in the video claim they are from. seven dead according to security officials. the shoot out a day after the grenade and bomb attack outside of a restaurant in dagastan's capitol that injured several people. it's the type of response russia says it is prepared to unleash to protect and secure the games which are now less than three weeks away.
al jazeera. >> and we're following another developing story coming out of russia. the head of the house intelligence committee claiming it's no coins den that edward snowden ended up in russia. the u.s. spy contractor may have had help. >> this was a thief who we believe had some help who stole information the vaster majority had nothing to do with privacy. our army, navy, marines has been incredibly harmed by the data he has taken with him. i think there is a reason why he has ended up in the loving arms of an agent in moscow. >> three senior lawmakers suggesting that russia helped snowdon. kenneth bae has been held for more than a year, a northern american missionary being held. he was sentenced to 15 years of
hard labor for what north korea says was an attempt to topple it's regime. police say six parked cars and two explosive devices went off in the capitol of baghdad. so far no one claiming responsibility for those attacks. in ukraine the mass demonstration on the move. several hundred protesters marching to the european union office in kiev demanding to be part of the e.u. ukraine's president rejecting that but has offered to meet with opposition leaders after a night of deadly violence. president obama made a statement about marijuana that we never thought we would hear from a sitting president. >> if you're an adult that enjoys a good beer there is a similar product you might want to know about, marijuana. less harmful than alcohol.
>> reporter: when the marijuana policy project put out this ad last year the constitution institute on drug abuse, the federal agency quickly responsed with a stern statement that claiming that marijuana is less toxic than alcohol cannot be substantiated. in a recent interview with the new yorker president obama said he does not think it is more dangerous than alcohol, clarifying in fact that he thinks it is less dangerous than alcohol in terms of its impact on the individual consumer. he said it's not something that i encourage and i've told my daughters that i think it's a bad idea, a waste of time, not very healthy. the president's comments come more and more as states decriminalize marijuana. some make exceptions for medical use. only a couple, colorado and washington state make exceptions for recreational use. colorado made history this month when commercial sales of marijuana became legal for adults. >> 170 having voted in the affirmative.
162 in the negative. the motion is adopted. >> reporter: in a vote just days ago new hampshire became the latest state to legalize pot for personal use. new york's governor has announ announced his agenda to do the same. but it's not just the blue states with democratic leaders. alan pete from georgia where pot is prohibited said he recently changed his mind on the drug after a trip to a pediatric intensive care unit where he saw many children fighting for their lives could benefit from marijuana. >> we don't want to go down the slippery slope. legalizing marijuana in our state. >> reporter: the first step to improving the country's pot policy is to first admit that it is less harmful than alcohol. in 2011 they found alcohol to be more than twice as harmful as
cannabis. >> a new jersey mayor now the latest to accuse the administration of wrongdoing. hoboken said she was pressured to support a position to it receive aid. residents still refuse to drink the water after the water has been found safe. investigations now ongoing on the state and federal level. robert gray is in charleston, west virginia. there are now reports that the city is preparing to sue. what can you tell us? >> reporter: indeed, good afternoon, del. city council members have talked to local businesses. they're convening this afternoon in what they call a closed door meeting, an emergency executive
session with city council members where they're considering to file a lawsuit with losses caused by the comment spill and water outages here. they could have a vote as early as tomorrow evening. in the meantime a lot of people here are drinking bottled water, and not drinking it out of their taps, and the concerns are everywhere. in west virginia roadside water distribution sites dot the highways and county roads. >> well, some are still afraid to actually drink the water. >> over the past 11 days nearly 300,000 people have lived through the unprecedented do do-not-use order from west virginia american water, but the problems are not over yet. >> we're still getting complaints from from various residents. in and out of the area they still smell the chemical from their water stream.
>> there is little faith among the population. >> it is something that you don't want to drink unless you have to. >> reporter: pregnant women have been ordered to drink only bottled water, houses still smell of licorice even after the flushing recommended by the water company. people are still showing up at the emergency rooms. >> my throat burns. i felt congested and in my chest, and i have splitting headaches. >> reporter: the daughter of a coal miner and community advocate for a group people concerned for safety. >> we're working with state and federal legislators to come up with laws to protect us. but the problem is they haven't protected us for a number of years, so i'm not exactly sure what the best real form of change is going to be here. >> reporter: now al jazeera america has been efforting a statement or interview with west virginia water company. here's what they sent us:
>> state political leaders have been saying it's their desire to find a balance between clean water and jobs. but overwhelmed west virginians say they've heard that rhetoric before. >> how long do you think this will go on before we get answers? >> years. years. that's the way it always happens. >> meanwhile, freedom industries the company blamed for the chemical spill has filed chapter 11 bankruptcy protecting them for now from class action lawsuits and debt collectors. >> now delinquent at 2:00 this afternoon governo the governor e
senators will meet in the capitol. they'll introduce an above ground storage tank regulatory program so perhaps this doesn't happen again. some other info we were looking at. listen to this. 15-page material safety data sheet for the chemical that was spilled manufactured by a tennessee eastman chemical uses the phrase no data available, 152 times in that document. here's some examples. repeated dose toxicity, no data available. carcinogens. no data available. so if that doesn't go to show you how much scientists and the actual company that makes this chemical know, i'm not sure what does. a lot of answers, regulation perhaps in place starting this afternoon. lawsuits from people and businesses here in charleston, and people still afraid to drink the water.
del? >> robert ray joining us live from charleston. thank you very much. and al jazeera has conducted it's own investigation concerning that water supply. coming up next on al jazeera america, new research on the growing gap between the rich and the poor. just how much wealth the world's top 1% actually holds. and it's martin luther king jr. day. 50 years after that famous "i have a dream" speech, we look at the gap that separates americans. someone dies... >> two hours in, we come up on a body >> now, in a breakthough television event, al jazeera america takes you beyond the debate. experience first hand the tragic journey of these migrants. >> a lot of people don't have a clue what goes on when you live near the border. >> six strangers with different points of view... >> i don't believe in borders... >> our government is alowing
an invasion... >> get to experience illegal immigration. up close and personal... >> it's very overwhelming to see this many people that have perished... >> a lot of families that don't know where their babies went... >> i wanna make sure her life, it's remembered... >> what happens when lost lives are re-lived? >> the only way to find out is to see it yourselves... >> on... the borderland... only on al jazeer america >> hey guys wanna come to the united states?
worth $1.7 trillion. that's equal to 3.5 billion people. and a reminder our ali velshi is on his way to switzerland and will talk to some of the most important people in business and finance. you'll see his reports were hert here on al jazeera america. years after dr. king's speech the dream has still yet to take hold by americans not divided by race by financial income. >> america has defaulted on this promissory note in so far that citizens are concerned. >> according to historians reverend dr. martin luther king was very concerned about the economic gap between races could derail his civil rights movement with poverty and income disparities being the ultimate segregators. >> in 1968 he pivoted all of his
attention on what was then called the poor people's campaign, and he was killed before his first march. >> his poor people's campaign was focused on providing economic rights for blacks, latinos, native americans and whites. dr. king asked the federal government for the $30 billion anti-poverty package, the same issues lawmakers debate today. >> it is the sense of having control of your life and having the personal financial dignity in the choices to then create the reality that you want that i think is the issue, and we've never been in that regard in control of our own destiny. >> 50 years later financial disparity has gotten worse. when the poor people's campaign was launched in 1968 the median black family was made $0.60 for every dollar the median white family made. recent data shows that that
number has fall on it $0.57. the net worth of families in the united states stands at $632,000. that falls to $110,000 to hispanic and $98,000 for blacks. while people of color are currently on the losing side of income gaps in this country, the concern has to be in two decades when the struggling minorities become the majority and the primary drivers behind the u.s. economy. >> we've got a shift to people of color all around the world younger and darker. and unless we empower these folks the world has got a problem. >> i have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its dream. we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." >> with an equal chance to enjoy
the freedom and peace of mind that come with economic security. stacey tisdale, al jazeera, new york. >> up next, a wake-up call light years in the making. more than two years after a deep sleep the european probe is waking up. the daring mission that lies ahead next. >> all this week, >> the strength of our future relies on education. >> we are creating a class of adults exposed to mediocre education. >> stealing education, part of our week long, in depth series. america tonight only on al jazeera america
>> welcome back to al jazeera america. i'm del walters. these are your headlines this hour. the syrian peace talks scheduled to begin this week are now in doubt. opposition is threatening to pull out of the geneva two talks. the city of charleston, west virginia, now considering filing a lawsuit to compensate the losses caused by the elk river
comment spill. 8,000 gallons of chemical spilling into that river. the investigations are now under way at the state and federal level. today is dr. martin luther king, day, it was a day of service for many americans who came together to serve in their local communities. >> i'm meteorologist dave warren. we're tracking the development of a western storm along the east coast and starting to see snow in north and south dakota. and then we get that storm developing. it's starting to develop now. temperatures really drop in north dakota, fargo at 1 degree. that's it. 16 in minneapolis. 43 in omaha and warmer to the shout. there is that front. it will continue to move south monday and tuesday.
and right along the boundary, you have this storm developing. timing looks like late tuesday morning we see storms developing and here is snow in the afternoon. once it begins to come down we'll see snow accumulate in west virginia, philadelphia and you will the way up 95. early snow tuesday night early wednesday bringing moyes and the storm will intensify. it looks like its happening too far south to give a tremendous amount of snow to new england and the northeast. it looks to be developing farther west with snow along i-95. the amounts four to six inches, this band may be heavier closer to the ocean where you get more moisture. then the storm closer out. and high temperatures below zero. bitter cold air through chicago and the northeast still warm across the south and they're talking about this polar air
dipping south effecting the northeast thursday, and throughout the weekend and then the warm air and dry weather continuing out west. >> thank you very much. it is considered one of the most daring space missions ever under taken. a probe with an rather unusual mission. chase down and land on a comet. for the past two and a half years the rosetta craft has been in hibernation, as we report, it's now waking up. >> reporter: for almost two years rosetta has been traveling through space. it has been using the planets to catapult it to 100,000 kilometers an hour. now it's coming out of hibernation, let's hope that it's system is intact. it's a veteran of space flight, and space flight takes its toll
on robotic probes. they're hoping that everything is working and functioning for its main mission wisconsi whicho orbit, map and even land on the first comet in history. >> using a harpoon system it will bolt itself to the comet and begin to analyze its surface. and the jury is out at the moment on whether t to an eye rk area, remember it will he had back to the sun and produce a big tail. do you land where the tail will flare out, or do you land in a safer place where you can lapped for the ride. >> it is believed it was form