>> hi everyone, this is al jazeera america. i'm john seigenthaler in new york. flashpoint ferguson rallies across the country over the police shooting in missouri. protests and frustration on the streets of ferguson. >> there's no excuse for police to use excessive force. >> tough words for law enforcement. tear gas, smoke bombs - police clash under fire. why is the military giving equipment to local police over the county.
journalists in the crossfire, the chilling effects police tactics could have on covering the news. aerial pictures from ferguson missouri. new, bigger protests following four nights of violence over the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager. rallies spread to other cities across the country. crowds gathered for vigils, silence, demonstration, and in ferguson today, missouri's governor put the state police in charge of security and safety. and there's a definite challenge in atmosphere there. the highway patrol captain ron johnson is in charge, joining the rallies, marching side by side with protesters. he was spotted fist-pumping residents whilst marching.
ferguson is 10 miles from st louis. you can see where most of the marches are taking place. the quick-trip convenience store that was looted and burnt is on the street. a few blocks away is where michael brown was killed. ashar quraishi is live again in ferguson tonight. >> good evening. it's a decidedly different tone here tonight. a lot more people out here. we have seen children and it's taken on a circus-type atmosphere. police are taking on a softer touch, clearly, from what we saw, especially from last night where there was a high escalation. the police chief said they were attacked by protesters, molotov cocktails and rocks thrown at police officers, and the response using tear gas and rubber bullets was appropriate, given what was going on. the governor today took a conciliatory tone talking about
the need to amend wounds and move forward, and talked about the controversial point, the fact that the name of the police officer involved in the shooting of michael brown has not been released. here is what he had to say. >> i would hope that the appropriate release of that name, with the security around it if necessary to make sure that there's not acts of violence be done as expeditio expeditiously as possible. >> an important thing that we have seen come out is a change in operational structure. ron johnson of the highway patrol, a local with a lot of ties to the community, an african-american has been put in carriage of the community. he spoke, met with the community members, spoke with the press about what he wanted to dox. >> i grew up here. this is my community and my home. it means a lot to me that we
break the cycle of violence, and build trust. showing the utmost respect for every rehabilitation with every citizen. . >> one of the things we see is a lack of presence when it comes to the tactical presence. there has been criticism about the militarization of this operation with the high powered rifles that the police officers are carrying. armoured vehicles patrolling the streets and standing off against the protesters. we don't see much, and we see a larger crowd, children, families, people more boisterous than in the past. the hope is this will lead to a deescalation of what has been going on over the last few days. >> i want to talk to you about what happened to you last night. before i do, give me an idea of what i have seen. has this been the horns honking, people on the streets, has this gone on for the last couple
of hours. >> it has. earlier in the week when i came out people were honking their horns. there was not this much track. people have converged on the area, and part is to do with the fact that the area is not cord squoned off. we -- cordoned off. we were seeing police blockades where you could not take a vehicle inside. as we showed, we came in on foot, which was all tahat was allowed by the police. a lot more action and a lot more people coming out. >> you talked about last night and scary moments for you about 10:30 last night, when tear gas was tossed your way by police. tell us what happened, and tell us what we heard from the police department today. >> absolutely, we moved as close as we could to the area where the flash point erupted where there was clashes between police and protesters. police chief jackson said they
used appropriate force, and they didn't fire tear gas at anyone in a crowd, and if journalist were in the crowd they could be targeted. we were nowhere near the crowds, we were a mile away. this is what was said. >> if individuals are in a crowd attack the police, they need to get out. we can't go in and a"are you peacefully protesting. are you throwing molotov cocktails." if the crowd is violent and you don't want to be violent, get out of the crowd. >> if you see the video of our crew in the residential area, there was no crowd, just the three of us, three crew members surrounded by lights and camera when we were shot at by police. they shot a rubber bullet and then tear gas. it took a few moments before we could retreat from when they
realised we were press. we indicated we were press and were able to get back to the vehicle, get the equipment and get out. >> sounds as if the police chief didn't really know about your situation. after the press conference, did you hear more from the police department. >> we have not heard more. the line we heard from the police department is if you are in the wrong place and amongst the crowd you put yourself at risk. that's what they have indicated. now we see the missouri highway patrol as taken over, there's a softer touch. you don't see the presence. if you de-escalate the appearance and intimidation factor residents hope it will remain peaceful. ashar quraishi is standing by. until tonight the police in ferguson showed up at the protest looking like they were ready for war, raising concerns
about the militarization about the police departments throughout the country. paul beban has more. >> the pentagon has a surplus of military equipment. what they are doing now is giving that surplus to local police departments. >> reporter: it looks like a war zone. this was ferguson missouri on wednesday night. tear gas, rubber bullets, smoke and flash grenades, all used against civilians. police confronting protesters in full battle gear. >> this force that was reserved for emergency situations when we talk about hostage takings and shootings, is spread over the county because of a number of these federal policies. it's become a default use of force in far too many situations. >> the policy he's talking about is the 1033 programme, which moves surplus war equipment to
america's police departments. the programme was small. in the early 90s it supplied about $1 million worth of equipment to forces. it exploded. so far this year the value is $752 million. some 4.3 billion overall since 1997. the 10 33 programme provided police with everything from machine guns, grenade launches and heavily armoured vehicles. those in ferguson are among more than 8,000 that received equipment through the defense department. lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are calling for the programme to be reined in. in an op editor "time" magazine rand paul called it a problem:
. >> democratic representative hank johnson proposed new legislation to demilitarize police force asks wrote to his colleagues "our main streets should be a place for business, families, not places for tanks and m16s", the act stopping the military from giving police this type of equip. it will be introduced in september. too late for ferguson. the police forces are getting the weapons, but are they getting the training on how to use it. a lot of equipment ends up in the hands of police s.w.a.t. teams and there has been 800 swat team raids in 2011 and 2012. 80% are to serve search warrants. it's a question of overkill
here. >> we are hearing from former military personal on twitter. tell us about that? >> a lot of veterans that have seen combat are coming out against the violence. they are concerned that police are seeing civilians as enemies, instead of people they are supposed to protect. a soldier tweeted: another tweet: all right. paul beban, thank you. mike viqueira is at the white house now. the president weighed in on the ferguson situation today. talk about that. >> well, that's right. it was a subdued and measured president obama who appeared at martha's vineyard where he remains on vacation.
he spoke of there not being any excuse for violence on either sides of the police lines. he said emotions are raw in ferguson and called for calm. he had a visit with attorney general eric holder, and they spoke of the balance between public safety and the right for peaceable protest and assembly. and spoke with the democratic government of missouri, jay nixon, and called him a good man and governor. he expressed concern for the violence in the last 24 hours on the streets of missouri. the president urged all involved to take a step back and find a way to come together. >> there is never an excuse for violence against police, or for those who would use this tragedy as a cover for vandalism or looting. there's also no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests, or to
throw protesters in gaol for lawfully exercising their rights. police should not bully journalists trying to do their jobs, and report to the american people on what they see on the ground. >> president obama has directed the fbi and the department of justice to investigate and, in fact, we learnt from eric holder, the attorney-general in his own statement that the civil rights division of the department of justice has already been conducting interviews of eyewitnesses in the shooting of michael brown. >> tells about the concern over the police use of military equipment in ferguson. >> well, you heard paul beban report some of this. it comes from both sides of the aisle. clair mccaskill is a democratic senator from missouri. she was a state attorney-general in missouri before coming to the united states senate. she's been on the ground and spoke earlier with diane eastabrook about what she perceives as a growing problem
of uparmoured m wraps or humvees. >> the sum of the visuals have been accepted, but some confrontation has been escalated. at some point it becomes a problem, not the solution. >> all sides urged, including president obama, that the police need to be open and transparent about what they are doing, and the incident leading to the rise we have seen. >> mike viqueira at the white house. thank you. >> patricia bynes is a democratic woman in missouri. she was on the air last night and is back now. what are the plans? >> it was a different process that took place. streets are not blocked off, are not stopped by armed vehicles.
police officers in military style militia with rifles are not around. people are able to drive up and down the street. sounds like a celebration than any other protesting that has taken place. >> what did you think of the decision by the governor to bring in captain ron johnson, an african-american who has grop up around the area to -- grown up around the area to be in charge of security and safety? >> i think it makes an incredible difference. the community feels now we have someone who understands u and can see both sides of the coin when it comes to policing and public safety and understands what it's like to be black in the area. that's the leadership and perspective he can bring that will make a difference. >> we understood that many marches were headed to the
church. is there an event that is supposed to happen? >> i live near the church. as i left on the way here, i saw them going up there. it's an organised protest with the church involved. there's a programme, and there's supposed to end up there. it looks positive. >> many people are hoping for peace. what do you expect? >> you know, i don't know. because i came out here, i want to judge the pulse of the crowd. i think, maybe the changes are going to help alleviate the tension. the only way to tell is what happens when the kun goes down. there's a difference between the protesters, and what us call the agitators who come out and want to provoke and that doesn't take place until the sun goes down. we'll have to wait and see. >> stand by a second, i want to
bring in attorney areva martin, she's in los angeles, but grew up in the ferguson area. welcome. give me your thoughts about watching this about an area that you care so much about? >> well, john, the first thing i want to say is i'm so glad to here what patricia has to say. i echo the sentiments of ron johnson. that's one of the best things that happened, to bring someone from the community into the situation, someone that the community trusts and understands the community, and hopefully can be - it's a pivotal moment in terms of turning the situation from the violence to something positive. and a teachable moment about the segregation that exists in towns like ferguson and the northern suburb outside of st louis. >> a demand of the protesters is to release the name of the police officer that shot this young man. can you talk about the legality. there's a sunshine law in the
state of missouri. is the police department required to release that information? >> yes, and the aclu filed a lawsuit asking the courts to force the police department to release that information. it's puz lipping, because we are hearing that they are concerned about the safety of the officer. you know, there has been enough time. if that was a legitimate concern to move the officer to some place where the safety wouldn't be concerned. the failure for the police department to release the information is fuelling what the protesters are expressing. i think we can de-escalate the situation with the release of that information. positive to hear that eric holder said that the department of justice is on the ground interviewing the witnesses. it's so important that we get the witnesses interviewed as close in time to the incident as possible when memories are fresh and they can give us an account of what happened that night. >> we heard from the government
but he didn't say much about releasing the name of the police officer. have you heard whether that name will be revealed? >> i have not. i know that they are trying to find a right balance in between correct protocol and looking out for the officer's safety. many of us in the community feel like why don't you just arrest the officer, and he'll be in the police's custody. we want to make sure things are done properly, and so that there are no missteps in this case. >> patricia, what is it that people looking from the outside don't understand about what is going on there right now? >> we may have lost her. are you there patricia? >> yes, i'm here, i'm sorry, say that again. >> i was just asking, what is it about this situation that people
from the outside really don't understand? >> right. the problem is this is not just a ferguson issue. this is a police brutality is personal. the way that this young man was killed, he was shot in between 11:30 and noon in broad, bold daylight. there are a few facts that are undisputable. they are ugly. he was shot multiple times, in the head. an ambulance was not called. his body laid out for 4.5 hours, and he was unarmed. the fact that it was done boldly in broad daylight enraged the community. >> thank you for coming back to talk to us. we hope you join us again, if you can update us on what's later this evening. we'll talk to you areva a little later. there are protests over the death of michael brown beyond missouri.
jennifer london is at the rally in los angeles. what is happening? >> well, the gathering here in south los angeles is one of more than 90 planned visuals and rallies calling for a moment of silence in solidarity with what is happening in ferguson. i'll step out of the way and you can see what is happening. we have a relatively peaceful but passionate crowd of 200 people. they gathered about an hour and 20 minutes ago. 30 minutes after the hour they held a moment of silence, reachireac reaching their arm to the sky, standing together in solidarity, with those protesting the death of browne -- michael brown. i spoke with a woman, and she
said the news is sad, but it's becoming ordinary. we have people starting to chant, some holding signs saying "we are michael brown". i spoke to another woman about why she is here. you are getting emotional. >> yes. >> what is making you react so emotionally right now? >> that was someone's child. that could have been my brother. it is my - it's just - it's infuriating. it shouldn't happen this way at all. >> just like the woman gabriel who you heard, the people here, very emotional over the issue. another speaker said "we are human beings, and you can't shoot us. >> as we heard from ferguson a little while ago, there seems to
be a change for tone which results in part that the locality police department is not in charge, and an african-american is. what is the reaction to that in los angeles? >> in los angeles, the protest is peaceful. the police are taking a different approach. they are here, but they are down the block. there's one or two or three officers in a car. we know they are here, but they are staying back, not making their presence known. that is not to agitate the crowd. the crowd is saying this is supposed to be peaceful. this moment of silence is about to be showing solidarity. they don't support violence of any kind. the violence against the black and the latino around the
country say it needs to stop. >> thank you very much. now, we'll have more on the protests going on all over the country. coming up next - the transfer of power in iraq. prime minister nouri al-maliki's long battle to stay in power ends. what his resignation means for iraq's future, and the tough task of changing common ground between israelis and palestinians. a conversation with middle east negotiator. we have more from ferguson coming up.
we continue to monitor the tense situation in ferguson, missouri. protesters have taken to the street for a fifth night. we have more reporting ahead. there's a developing story in iraq. iraq's prime minister resigned under intense pressure. nouri al-maliki sought a third term. it ended after his party withdrew support. we have more from jane arraf in
erbil. >> reporter: after weeks of insisting the constitution demands that he himself form a new government, nouri al-maliki, now a caretaker prime minister, announced on national television that he is stepping aside to allow hider al-abadi to become the country's next prime minister. hider al-abadi, also from nouri al-maliki's party, has less than a month to form a government. a difficult task at the best of times, made easier after nouri al-maliki 's announcement. he'd been under pressure to step down from inside and outside, from the united states, from former ally iran, from within the county, sunni and kurdish communities that he ail yepated, and under -- ail yepated and under pressure from shia leaders. the ali al-sistani, the most revered leader, the ayatollah, a religious figure came out in support of nouri al-maliki stepping aside to allow the
country to turn a new page. at the end of the day nouri al-maliki heeded the calls, and from the evidence are of the religious leadership. less than a month while the government is formed, and last time around it took a month to come up with the cabinet. it's expected to take weeks. all of that with a backdrop of fighting in most of the country, with a third of the country taken over by the islamic state. fewer obstacles for putting the country back together. >> that is jane arraf reporting from iraq. there were air strikes against the islamic state in northern iraq. the u.s. used drones and fighters to hit several armed vehicles. president obama said it was targeted attacks that helped free thousands of refugees from a mountain top. >> we will continue air strikes to protect our people.
we have increased the delivery of military equipment. fighting i.s.i.s. on the front lines. and perhaps importantly we are urging iraqis to come together to turn the tide against i.s.i.s. >> a small team on the ground is assessing the situation, they would leave the region soon and there would be no american combat troops in iraq. freedom of the press is a question in missouri. we look back next at a night of tear gas and arrests. watch this. we talk to a law student in the middle of last night's violent conflict, and shot this dramatic video.
missouri - new protests on the streets of ferguson, and the rallies are spreading. [ chanting ] >> demonstrations, vigils held across the country. the justice department criticised the use of military equipment, and missouri's governor put the state's highway patrol in charm of security. there's -- in charge of security, there's a change on the streets. ashar quraishi has been covering the story and joins us from ferguson. what are you seeing? >> good evening, it is a decidedly different top in ferg tonight from what we is -- ferguson tonight from what we have seen over the last few days, particularly after the criticised heavy-handed response of police. there's more of a flow of traffic. they have not blocked off the streets. there's foot traffic, more people as well as children and parents. there's a different tone. a lot of changes happening here as the missouri highway patrol
takes over security. we talk to some marching through the streets. there's some optimism. >> we are about to get some justice as a community, as a culture and a people. that this is our right, and we believe it to be so. >> a major change is the fact that the police chief of ferguson is no longer asking protestors to caes operations after nightful. the question is will the softer touch make a difference as night falls and police keep a watch, although from a safe distance and a softer touch. >> i'm going to try to look - there's a live feed from argus radio.com. it was streaming last night. i'll try to look at it. it's down the street from where you were. it's similar protests that are going on, and the cars coming
by. the big concern foopt is as the -- tonight is as the sun goes down, what will happen. how will the new highway patrol security force handle this? >> that is a big question. the governor said they are looking for reconciliation. a lot of criticism that we have been hearing is about the idea of militarization of the police force that has been taking care of crowd control and dispersing the crowd. we saw rubber bullets, tear gas cannisters fired into crowds. we were fired upon. further away from this location. that sort of is what they want to see changed. they want to allow people to protest as a way of doing peacefully and yesterday. until things got out of hand. police complained that rocks were thrown at them, and that's what threw things into chaos last night.
the question is whether or not taking a softer approach, a distant approach without the armoured vehicles, we are not seeing that, we are seeing people, mostly jovial atmosphere without the police preps. whether that will make a dips or the elements that will cause that unrest will continue to do that despite the change in the atmosphere. >> stand by for a second. joining us from ferguson is mustafa hussain, a man behind argus radio and the streaming feed that we have seen on video online, the owner of argusradio.com. if you can hear me, what have you been hearing from people tonight. >> yes, right now the crowd is in much better spirits following last night, as the reporter said before. the atmosphere is easier without the police presence threatening
the demonstrators as they protest. numbers are larger that last night, and the atmosphere is much calmer without the aggressive nature of police officers and full riot gear. the presence is minimal. things seem to be calming. we are waiting for nightfall to see what happened. >> mustafa stand by. ashar quraishi, are you seeing any police presence on the street? >> we are not seeing any police right now. it's different to what we see in the last few days. we are at the location where the looting took place overnight sunday, and the rioting, the serious rioting that we saw. over the last few days there has been police lines, about in time yesterday, from the mobile
command center where we were located. that's where we saw the tactical units, the officers in the armoured vehicles setting up lines and they held them. we don't see that presence tonight. it is a decidedly different scene here in ferguson. >> i'm just looking at other pictures. i believe we have pictures from new york, where there are some demonstrations. if we can take a look at those quickly, but there are demonstrations going on. believe me, this is in new york. these pictures are from new york city. as you can see, police are lining the streets. there was a moment of silence earlier, but a crowd gathered on the streets of new york. paul beban is standing by with more of the story on some. other protests going on right now. paul. >> a remarkable picture from times square. people in more than 90 cities are observing what they call a
national moment of silence honouring michael brown. but not quiet in times square. in st louis, not far, a group of clergy is leading, and there's a small group in alabama, and back to times square, there's a large crowd in support of the citizens of ferguson. there's one in union square, an historic center, a protest near the statute of gandhi. these things are popping up, remaining peace. . >> we heard there would be protests in miami and washington d.c. we'll get to those later. let me bring ashar quraishi back in. you are seeing little police appearance on the streets of ferguson. it's about to get dark there. do we have a sense of what the plan is on the part of the police or the protesters? >> we'll have to wait and see. they'll react to what they see
on the street is our understanding. as we have been reporting throughout the day, the missouri highway patrol will take a different tact. there has been a thought that the missouri highway patrol may not be equipped to handle this, that it may be a cosmetic move as the st louis police have been mostly handling the security in the area. it's a very interesting litmus test that we will see tonight as we have seen for the first night in the way that they handle security, and a softer touch, a distant touch. whether, in fact, the idea that this intimidation, the strong presence has done more to provoke and be a provocative sort of tension that is created amongst the crowds. whether pulling back makes a difference. >> stand by, i want to go back to the pictures in times square. you can see a crowd gathering. police are present. it's a protest that is going on
all over the country. this one in new york city's times square. in the meantime, he's right in the first amendment congress shall make no lou abridging the freedom of the press. reporters in ferguson have run into challenges >> reporter: an al jazeera crew running from police tear gas wednesday night. we don't know if police targeted them. we do know that police at times tried to put a tight leash on coverage of the unrest. two journalists were arrested. wesley lowry of the "the washington post" recorded his interaction with the police after he said they were ordered to leave an edmonton restaurant where he charged his cell phone. >> they threw me up against a soda machine. >> the national press photographers association sent a level of protest to the police
chief of ferguson saying: both of the journalists taken into custody were released without charge. the action against journalists in ferguson has caught the president's attention. >> and here in the united states of america police should not be bullying or arresting journalists trying to do their jobs. and report to the american people on what they see on the ground. >> missouri governor jay nixon weighed in. >> it needs to be heard. we want to make sure. if people have things to say they'll say it. if you want to cover something,
and take pictures, they ought to do it. it's a free country. >> reporter: ferguson's police chief says the ferguson pd is e-vallating tactics and. >> attorney areva martin joins us from los angeles. you had interesting things to say about taping people with cell phones, like the reporter from "the washington post" did. >> john, i think the story is remarkable that the ferguson police department is trying to quell the freedom of speech, the opportunity to report what is happening on the ground. i think you should look at what happened in los angeles, after the police officers were involved in the rodney king beating were acquitted and there was civil unrest. a major thing that came out of that is that an independent review chigs looked at the tactics of the police department
and there was a resignation of the chief. there has been a focus on the individual who shot michael brown, and we need to keep the focus on him, but we need to look at the ferguson police department. look at the accountability. the chief made pretty aggressive statements. i hope the justice department in the review of the shooting is looking at the department to determine was there or is there systematic racism that may have led to the accessive force used against michael brown, and some aggressive tactics used against the protesters. >> it's the st louis country police. can you talk about the bigger picture, why this story at this time sparked such a rehabilitation in missouri, and all across the country? >> i think we can't underestimate the uncomfortable distrust that exists between african american males and police departments. >> st. louis is one of the six
most segregated cities and the racial segregation is palatable. i grew up here, friends and family are there, and i know if you are black you live in north st. louis, if you are white you live in south st. louis on the west side of town. you can't have a city in 2014 that is so segregated, and have white police chief, mayor, people who are running the city and have the city african american. there has to be diversity, integration, and that way we have trust. i don't think we would see the tension that is erupting on the streets. >> thank you very much. >> stand by. ferguson is a small city. it's a suburban down to st louis, home to 21,000 people. it's at the center of a national debate about race and free speech. how did it get there. paul beban takes a look back. >> this begone saturday afternoon when 18-year-old michael brown and a friend were
walking down the street in fergus ferguson. the details are in deputy. an encounter with a police officer ended in death by a police officer. crowds gathered. on sunday they were emotional while monitored by growing numbers much police officers in riot gear. looting broke out and 30 people were arrested. on monday the police officers fired tear gas and rubber bullets on protesters, and ferguson officials cancelled the first day of school. the federal bureau of investigation announced it's investigating brown's death. on tuesday the f.a.a. put in place a no fly zone to provide a safe haven for law enforcement. police planned to release the name of the officer, but decided against it out of concern or his safety. wednesday night police used tear gas to control crowds. that's when journalists were caught in the crossfire, including our own al jazeera team, hit by tear gas.
today president obama called for farm, saying there's no execution for excessive force against peace protests, and the highway patrol was put in charge of jirt. >> "america tonight"s julie chen is preparing for her programme. you had a chance to fly in this afternoon. give me your impressions. >> yes, "america tonight" is doing a special report in missouri. we are in a st louis suburb at the center of the controversy, that has grown up around the death of 18-year-old michael brown, a story we are covering across al jazeera intently. on "america tonight" we'll look at self features, and the event that have taken place, trying to put it in context and try to help understand what has led to all the rage that happened here. i will tell you at this hour we are at the command center. as you see behind me, a few law enforcement officers. the governor of the state
decided that the highway patrol would take the lead on keeping things secure and quiet. there is a protest underway, but it has remained largely non-violent, it has been a peaceful protest and everywhere here is hoping that it remains that way together. >> you may not know the answer, but we know that the state highway patrol is involved. are any of the police officers involved, the local police, st louis county police - are any of them on the scene together? >> we know that law enforcement has not given off its job. police are continuing to do the work. the governor wants to concentrate attention on having the government take over. it's concentrating on the areas where michael brown died, the areas where the riots broke out,
so there's a lot of ground it cover and law enforcement issue in trying to keep it under control. >> based on the time you have been there, what is the mood like there tonight? >> i think everybody is trying really hard, john, to emphasis is to stage nonviolent action both sides need to calm this down. i have a strong sense that law enforcement would like to keep things from going out of control. as well, the local people - we have seen a number of folks come up and volunteer to say we would like to tell you what we think about the situation, and law enforcement. there's an undercurrent of anger. there's a lot of recognition, coming from michael brown's family, saying we need to keep calm and under control. we have a sense that people try to abide by that, and we hope that the night goes well. >> it's the most police presence we have seen in any of our
pictures. there's a lot of law enforcement officers behind at the command center. >> quite a few. and we have seen a helicopter circle through the area, we have seen law enforcement highway patrol and county police teaming up, getting instruction. there'll be a lot more instruction and directive about what should take place, what is out of bounds, what is the appropriate level to keep things calm. >> julie chen took time to talk to us, she is preparing a big program. we'll see you at the top of the hour with "america tonight". we'll be back with some of the other day's news after this.
holding. there's a level of optimism from palestinian officials. officials held a press conference, saying there was a real opportunity to meet agreement. we have not heard that from them before. israeli cabinet officials were meeting, getting briefed by binyamin netanyahu on some details of what is happening in cairo. both sides are in their respective capitals for confrontations and will return on sunday to hammer out an agreement midnight local time. this comes as we learn for the first time the united states has put higher level controls on requests by israel for ammunition. every time israel fights a war lasting longer than a few weeks, it needs ammunitionme. it came to the pentagon, asking for 9mm ammunition, tank rounds, illumination rounds. the pentagon approved that. according to u.s. officials,
because in part it didn't need a higher level approval for the request. since then, state department officials, white house officials said that the approval process should be stringent, and since then they have changed, according to u.s. officials, a process by which israel must go through to get more of the ammunition. despite tension between president obama and prime minister binyamin netanyahu, and despite some leaks in the media here and in the u.s., describing the tension, the united states has supported israel through the war, pub lacly and crucially -- publicly and has crucially given the ammunition needed to fight the wore. erin david miller was a state department senior advisor for arab-israeli negotiations and is now with the woodrow wilson center. i asked what was needed. >> if you reach on agreement
that will endure, you have to satisfy four sets of requirements - israelis needs, egypt's - try to introduce the palestinian authority in a role that is somewhere between symbolism on one hand and substance on the other. and satisfy the desires of a hamas military wing that is, as an organization, financially bankrupt, politically isolated, and determined to use military pressure and escalation if they can't find a way to create a fundamental change economically and politically. >> so how do the two sides get past the mistrust? >> this could end in one of two ways. you could have a transformative ending in which somehow hamas evolves and morphs into a different state, and demilitarizes, and it essentially becomes a political
party. elections are held. and gaza fundamentally changes, because hamas is - gaza is demilitarized. most of the controls, restrictions are tan off gaza and israelis are no longer there. you know, gaza has a chance to breed. it becomes in the sense of boosters, you know, like singapore. that's a transformative ending. i don't think that's where we are headed. in the middle east it's rare. you don't get transformations, what you get more often is transactions. that is where we are headed. a narrower or smaller deal done in phases. >> let me switch gears for a moment and talk about a hot spot in the world, iraq, and the news that prime minister nouri al-maliki decided to step aside, step down. too little, too late.
>> no, i think it's important. i think, and i won't use the term reconciliation because i'm not sure that's the way iraqi sunnis. it opens the door for the first real possibility of an equitable power sharing arrangement against a backdrop of decentralized structure. >> we are never going to create a situation where there's a strong government. fundamentally the shi'as vender all of their economic and political power on the assumption that the central government will wisely govern, as we do in this country, wisely govern on their behalf. >> does this mean the u.s. will give more assistance? >> it means, yes, that in term of assistance, additional assistance in training for the army, direct support to the kurds, which are doing it. yes, we are not going back to the days of $25 billion to
support the iraqi army or $2 trillion over a 10 year period, nor will you see the introduction of massive numbers of ground forces. but the president in committing the 1,000 special forces, he could double or triple the number of those in an effort to deal with i.s.i.s. >> is that enough to push the islamic state out of iraq. >> no, that was the next point. i think the president understands this will be a promote he will work on for less than 1,000 days of presidency. he'll turp it over to to -- turn it over to his successor, because the idea you could push islamic state out only with airpower and arming the kurds is an illusion. back to missouri, police arrived at the scene of one of the protests where ashar quraishi is.
tell us about it. >> it's the first sign we have seen of police officers. we saw two vehicle, three come through to the crowd. what happened was a woman fell down, and they came into the crowd, a couple of police officers, i'll step out of the way. basically they came in checked on her, we saw the crowd descend on them for a melt. they retreated. i saw a plastic bottle thrown at a car, but they retreated. it's - some people actually pushed crowds away from the vehicles, and those are not police officers that were helping to make way for the police cars to get out of there. the first sign of police officers, no sign of trouble, it seems. the crowd is reacting. tense situation still in ferguson missouri tonight. there are protests across this country. thank you ashar quraishi. coming up new on al jazeera america at 11:00, eastern, 8:00
pacific, we follow the event and so is leonard pitts, pulitzer prize-winning journalist who says the situation is not just about michael brown. we hear from a woman who says she was hit with a rubber bullet. that she was shot and what she saw. that's coming up at 11:00 eastern and 8 pacific time. we want to you stay with al jazeera america. our reporters are on the ground. julie chen has "america tonight" next at the top of the hour. i'll be back with comprehensive coverage beginning tonight at 11 eastern time. i'm john seigenthaler. thanks for watching.
on "america tonight"... gungun..live coverage from missouri as another night falls and tension rises. our special coverage from the scene of the killing of an unarmed young black moun, gunned down by the police, and how a community rises up. an "america tonight" special - flash point ferguson. good evening, i'm