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tv   News  Al Jazeera  December 21, 2014 8:00pm-9:01pm EST

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what can you tell me about my future? >> can effect and surprise us... >> don't try this at home... >> tech know, where technology meets humanity only on al jazeera america >> this is al jazeera america. i'm richelle carey in new york. let's have a look at the top stories. >> this is not just a baltimore city problem or new york problem, it's a powder keg nationwide officials raise the line after two deadly attacks on law enforcement in iraq kurdish forces gain ground near sinjar mountain where i.s.i.l. has committed some of its worst atrocities. a former government minister claims victory in the tunisia election - despite official results being hours away
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tonight in "the week ahead", how oil prices have economic and political impacts around the world. we begin with live pictures from brooklyn new york, where there's a growing memorial for two police officers killed in the line of duty yesterday. the aunts of one of the murdered officers faced the camera expressing gratitude to the public for their outreach. >> i would like to thank all those that shared sympathy and support for our beloved family member rafael ramos. who will always be loved and missed. rafael ramos and wenjian liu were shot dead execution style as they sat in their patrol guard. the lone gunman linked their
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killing to the unrest surrounding the deaths of eric garner and michael brown. all this brings little comfort it police officers who ensured public criticism. >> reporter: we are used to flowers and candles at christmas time, not like this. >> they are not bad, they are human beings, they have families, children. it's wrong all around. it has to stop. >> reporter: cell phone video shows the chaos in a brooklyn station as ismaaiyl brinsley kills himself. minutes earlier he shot two officers dead in the patrol car. the police commissioner says they were assassinated. >> the rampage began in maryland. he shot a former girlfriend and used social media to make violent antipolice threats, hashtagging his words to the deaths of unarmed americans
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michael brown in ferguson, missouri, and eric garner in new york city's staten island. maryland police tried to warn new york too late. the facts arriving as the police men were killed. wenjian liu had been on the force for sochi years, married two months ago. rafael ramos two years a policeman, married with two sons. >> i hope and pray we can reflect on this tragic loss of life to have occurred, so we can move forward and find an amicable past, a peaceful co-existence. >> there has been a steady stream of people, all colours and creeds leaving flowers and candles at the site where the police officers died. >> at a conference with al-sharp tonne said the mother of michael brown said linking the
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death of her son was not right. >> the police union turning their backs on bill de blasio, saying supporting protests in the wake of straten island, mayor bill de blasio opened the door for killers like break-ins. >> we tried to warn, it must not go on. it cannot be tolerated. the blood on the hands starts on the steps of city hall in the office of the mayor. >> reporter: at the catholic cathedral of st. patrick's, the archbishop of new york has been trying to calm things down, by evoking the spirit of christmas. >> we love them very much, tell them that commissioner bratt en ... >> reporter: sunday even a candle lit village where the
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sentiment is end the harsh words. it's christmas. we had enough. police around the country are pushing back against antipolice protests. in baltimore officials are slamming president obama and city leader who publicly criticized police tactics. >> not since the unrest informant -- in the 1960s, have police officers been targeted. this is a powder keg nationwide. >> a baltimore police officer was shot. he is recovering from his injuries, in florida. a man has been charged with murder. it happened 30 miles north-west of tampa. 17-year-old veteran officer called for help at about 2 o'clock in the morning. he initially responded to a noise complaint and was eventually trying to arrest suspects. he was rushed to the hospital. that's where he died.
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he spent five years as an officer with n.y.p.d. >> the fight against i.s.i.l. has been an intense battle. the peshmerga commander say they are making gains in the mountains, why the yazidi minority was dropped when i.s.i.l. took control. we have more from iraq. [ gun fire ] >> reporter: the fight for mountain sinjar and the surrounding area has been intense. for a week kurdish fighters will face resistance from i.s.i.l. fighters in control of the town at the foot of the mount answers. sinjar has been where i.s.i.l. committed some of the worst atrocities against ethnic yazidi. the president of the kurdistan region of government visited troops on the sinjar frontline. he addressed the displaced families. >> translation: thanks to god we have opened and controlled all the road and broken the siege
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imposed on sinjar mountain. we have liberated the whole area. liberation on the center of town was not part of the plans. we have managed to take control of a large area of it. we'll not need any member of the terrorists in any area. we are ready to teach a lesson to anyone who dare to attack our people. >> peshmerga fighters are supported in the effort to take sinjar. jets belonging to the u.s.-led coalition are carrying out air strikes against i.s.i.l. positions in and around the town. i.s.i.l. fighters captured the towns of sinjar in early august, prompting tens of thousands from the yazidi minority to escape to the mountains. fighters managed to open a corridor for the mountain, but they sustained cas uties.
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they are treating the wounded at a base on top of the mountain. the troops and allies are travelling in a convoy with bright colours, to avoid being bombed by coalition aircraft. >> that was al jazeera's reporter from erbil hundreds of people in pakistan rallied against taliban suicide attacks on school. people waved anti-taliban slogans saying no more television now. during the march demonstrators marched to pray for the victims. on tuesday, 148 were killed by a suicide bomber at an army-run school. most children. >> to tunisia, a former government minister is claiming victory in historic elections. his rival dismissed the claim and results are expected to be announced on monday. a second-round vote is seen as a final step into democracy after the ouster of former president in 2011. we have this report from tunis.
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>> starting early in the morning tunisians line up at the polls wait are for their turn make history. for the first time, the people choosing the president. first beji caid essebsi, a minister under zine el-abidine ben ali. and the moncef marzouki the the interim president, who took charge following the 2011 rev loose. he built his campaign around the political experience spanning decades. they weren't without controversy. as a top security chief. mass crackdowns on competition and dissent. those that voted say he's the only one capable of moving tunisia forward, each though he's 88 years old. >> i voted because he has a lot of experience. we have a lot of faith in him. so he will fix our pant pri.
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>> tunisia is the only country close to being a success story. there has been little violence and political disagreements have been resolved. it is this that supporters say they want to safeguard. the former human rights advocate billed himself as a unifying figure, galvanising support from across the spectrum. >> translation: the reason i voted for moncef marzouki, is i want to ensure no single party has all the power. >> translation: the reason i voted for moncef marzouki is to have a political power share in the country. >> reporter: sunday is the third time tunisia has gone to the ballot box. some say it created terms of fatigue resulting in a large percentage of people not voting this time around. with the polls closed in tunisia people are waiting to find out
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who will be entrusted with this democracy. regardless, tunisians will hope the new found freedoms will not be short lived saudi arabia's oil americans said the country will not stop oil production despite the biggest price drop. the u.a.e. oil minister urged the oil producers not to raise production in an effort to steady the price of oil next year. the lower oil is good news for consumers at the pump. the press for gas at the.s dropped $0.25 per gallon in the past two weeks, bringing the average to $2.47. it's the lowest prices in the u.s. in more than five years. analysts say consumers can expect prices to fall. and in some states the price will drop to less than $2. the politics of oil will be the
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focus in "the week ahead". in a few minutes at 8:30pm minute as we look at the future of oil production. an aid convoy arrived in eastern ukraine. the strucks carried food, medical supplies and christmas trees and gifts for stoles. local volunteers unloaded the convoy. nine have been sent to the region. over the last few months. in kiev, ukraine's petro porashenko met with bella russia's president, praised him for recognising independent from russia. supporters were present condemning the president between ukraine's government and europe's last dictator russia says it will not cave to pressure in the wake of sanctions. russia calls it collective
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punishment. morgan radford sat with an associate professor of international relations and asked if the sanctions made sense. >> sanctions are necessary, bus russian ruble is very, very low. oil prices are low. russians are feeling the pinch. vladimir putin has to explain himself every week to the russians. so i thing it's a good time for diplomacy rather than for sanctions. we can under in the u.s. or canada or elsewhere the process takes time. it is good that the ideal of sanctions or possibility of sanctions are in place. i don't think they should be enforced now. >> the question is how much longer can vladimir putin old out. approval is high. that's given his cell of the state media. how much longer can this continue. >> russians will love vladimir
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putin. he fits the russian ideal of a strong leader. he stand up to the west, wants to make russia great is is easy - they can sacrifice the individual comforts to the great national interests. so that is what vladimir putin is betting on. i'm not sure that this time around this can last for a long time. if the economic situation continues to deteriorate i think he'll be pretty much finished. >> if the economic situation continues to deteriorate, what about ukraine, what is the best that kiev can hope for? >> i think kiev should try to speak to the russians more than they have done, although they have done a good job. president petro porashenko did a good job navigating the noble international crisis. however, i think russia is special once again. it is weakened now, probably will be more willing to negotiate. when russia is week, it will
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come swinging. we have not gotten there yet. maybe a little bit of a conversation with vladimir putin, give and take would be a good idea for the west, the united states and ukraine as well a combination of sanctions and a drop in prices sent the russian ruble tumbling. the latest on the sony hacking story. north korea says new cyber attacks are possible. the fbi says north korea was behind the sony hack which north koreans deny. the release of "the interview", was scheduled last week. pyongyang accuses the u.s. government of being involved in the making of that comedy film. the united states has been considering its response to f.i.f.a. diplomats arrived china to intervene with pyongyang, and the white house may but north korea back on the list of terrorist stakes. in an interview president obama denied the u.s. was at war with the country. >> i don't think it was an act
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of war it was an act of cyber vandalism. we take it seriously. we'll respond proportionately. "the interview" was scheduled to open christmas day. sony says it may release the film at a later date coming up dan al jazeera america - so many are weighing in on the shift in policy. we'll hear what a cuban american priest is saying about the change. also ahead - more on the memorials across the country honouring those that died and rebecca with dangerous weather in tampa. >> lightening strikes across the area. storms, we still have them, and where we have injuries rolling through florida - coming up.
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president obama said he's optimistic the u.s. policy shift on cuba could influence a new
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generation in that country. the administration is looking at weather to remove cuba from the u.s. list of state conference. that's sparking opposition including florida senator marco rubio. he explained the position on today's "meet the press." i want people to have what others have, which is freedom and elections. i don't think that this policy that the president put in place furthers the goal. it makes it harder to achieve. it will provide hard kurm si for a repressive regime to fund the repress of the cuban people cuban americans are unhappy with the catholic church's involvement in brokering the deal. we have this report from miami. [ bell tolls ] >> reporter: people asking for hope and praying for a miracle. a miracle that some say has already come. >> translation: as a person of faith i'm superhappy.
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i went to the shrine in cuba to pray for a miracle. look, it's a miracle from god. much of the credit for reopening of diplomatic relations between the u.s. and cuba has gone to pope francis. she spent 18 months facilitating talks and meetings with president obama and the cuban president, culminating in a prisoner swap and an ease of restrictions. the vatican has been pushing. starting with pope john paul ii. when the first wave of cuban immigrants arrived they put their money together with that money. a shrine to the patroness of cuba. a beacon to exiles. now, many people here say they support the vatican's role in this new shift in policy, despite fears that it could have pipped safe against politics.
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>> many here in miami suffered so much, so very much during the 50 years. >> st. patricks runs a catholic radio station, and said while men remain hopeful, they have not forgotten the pain of their personal pass. they are weary of being taken advantage of because so many - received so many times by empty promises coming from cuba. the new policy is an opportunity to test the truth. >> translation: i think it's an opportunity to see what happens, because it's been so many years with the same restrictions. i think it's good for the community. that's what i want from cuba. >> a freedom that can reunite thousands of families. catholic face moves us to
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healing, rechan silliation, forgiveness, >> reporter: which is why the people of faith say now is the time to have just that younger cubans are opt stb about restoring ties, they are hopeful that they can bring economic benefits. >> translation: let's have a good relationship to this embargo. so it end. >> translation: i hope everything turns out well. and that there's well being for all. some cubans worry that a change could mean a change in cars. they are known ag tanks. a lifting could make the cars easier to maintain, but they hope cars will not squeeze out the family hir looms. >> reporter: if there are changes, don't take american
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cars away from me. if they want to take me to work. i'll go. >> classic cars is a source of income. >> reporter: they use them to take visitors around the oiled. on a given night 600,000 people in the united states have no place to sleep, except on the street. every year hundreds died of exposure. others across the country decided to join. >> how many night did you spend in the park? >> countless. >> for six years, this is where 29-year-old reggie black used to sleep. when represent got too expensive he lost his home and wound up here. >> it was almost as if my life was in danger. and i thought it would never happen. next thing you no, oh, man, i'm living in boiler rooms, sleeping in parks. >> fortunately he is sleeping
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better. three weeks ago he subsidised housing. he worried about what was left behind. in washington temperatures slipped below freezing. >> across the united states more than 2,000 died. most from exposure to extreme temperatures. homeless advocates staged a slept memorial, to remember those that lived and died on the streets. >> it has not always been this way. homelessness is a modern problem of cash-strapped state, local and federal budgets. there's less money pofor the addicted, aged mentally ill and those that couldn't catch a break. >> it is down from its hype, but not enough. a lack of basic services is costing lives. doctors say hypothermia can kick in when the temperatures fall to
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10 degrees celsius. homeless shelters won't open unless it's minus 3 in some places, in baltimore, maryland, minus 10, before emergency shelters gift the homeless refuge. this advocate case homelessness persists in the u.s. because of misplaced priorities. governments are more likely to fund projects they expect to bring revenue. >> the one thing that every mayor or city commissioner cap do is to make it a priority. i find it interesting that people get excited about a soccer or baseball stadium and must have the same enthusiasm for commitment. >> reggie agrees and says affordable housing is critical for ending chronic homelessness in the united states - saving lives. >> it is inhumane for people to live on the streets, it's inhumane to die there.
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it's inhumane not to have support. >> he says even the most challenged homeless person is not looking for a handout, just a hand up dangerous time of year for homeless peep. -- people. rebecca stevenson is here with the weather. there's extreme weather in tamp area, where it doesn't get too cold. >> it's true. it's the first day of winter, it started up and we have severe weather rolling in with lightening strikes, and several around tampa bay. the lightening struck parking lot 14 of the stadium, and we had seven people that were transported to the hospital. all are reported as okay. but there were about 11-12 people impacted by the lightening strike that came down from the line of thunder storms that streaked across the gulf of mexico through florida, making its way to jenson beach as we
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speak. we'll continue with the showers and storms. most of the streaks in the last 45 minutes have been out over the water. at 5 o'clock, the time when the storm came through, those highlighted areas of bright yellow - there were hundreds of strikes in central florida from the storms that came through. they dumps a lot of rain fall and now we'll shift to talk about rain. we have app atmospheric river stretching across the o. -- ocean. focussed near oregon. we had a lot of flooding and rain totals ranging from 3 inches in the valley, to 10 in the mountains, as we look at the radar. it tapered off mainly to showers. the satellite - you see the showers breaking apart. so we'll get a drier break ahow long the rivers to recede. we have a lot of snow across
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northwestern memorial hospital. here is a look at the rain fall attempts. the coast range of oregon, up to 8 inches, the first impact of the storm. as it went over to the cascade mountains, we have 3-7 inches. all of that going into the rivers. initially starting snow it got so warm, it was all rain in the mountains. now for a forecast in the travel. as we got towards wednesday, we still expect a storm to come through, causing water on the roadways and keep it wet and slick to the west. we have a storm developing impacting the north-east. at this point it will crank up the temperatures, up 20 degrees above normal, especially on the great lakes, outline the heavy rain, we'll add to that flooding. other. thank you very much. coming up on the week ahead.
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a meeting of countries exporting oil. we talk to experts about the global response to the growing oil crisis.
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welcome back to al jazeera america. here is a look at the top stories. there's concerns about a recent attack on police officers, two new york city fers were killed execution style on saturday. the suspect linked the crime to unrest or the police involved deaths of eric garner or michael
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brown. one officer was shot in baltimore, another killed in florida. kurdish peshmerga say they are making gapes. that's where the minority has been trapped under control. the wounded are tracked at a base north korea has threatened an attack for the recent cyber attacks on sony pictures. the u.s. claims that the government was involved in making the comedy the interview. they attacked sony in response to the film. it is sunday night and time for our regular look at the week ahead. the organization of arab petroleum exporting companies, or o.p.e.c. is meeting in the united arab emirates. it's similar to o.p.e.c. put includes only arab countries, it comes at a time when falling prices has made headlines.
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because certain producers decided to keep supply up and prices down. we begin with a look at geopolitician for oil. >> on friday, oil closed at $62 a barrel. down 40% since june. last week, driven by saudi arabia, o.p.e.c. chose not to cut supplies. >> o.p.e.c. does not specify a price. we fry to reach a fair price from consumer and suppliers. >> there's more than market forces. saudi arabia had a boosting of cutting production to support long-term goals. sometimes it's market share. it's price stability. sometimes that peens being willing to lose a few dollars, if it keeps iran in check. the saudis can do this. they have financial stability and low production costs.
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they prevent iran from buying equipment. now low oil prices help to force hand. making sanctions relief important. and less oil revenue giving the government less money. like presidents bashar al-assad, and houthi rebels. low prices are a problem for another major producer, russia. russia is not a member of o.p.e.c. it accounts for 75% of exports. low oil prices, coupled with sanctions has sent the russian ruble in a downward spirele. producers want to keep prices low, hoping it will end the shale boom. american production is at a 30 year high. fracking is more expensive than drilling and higher prices needed to sustain the industry. >> and to show the united states that shale production has no
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immediate future. by keeping oil at a low prize, and the market gutted, this is going to force shale producing entities in the united states to go bankrupt. >> if prices stay low many small companies could become take over targets. >> as they are performed, they'll be prime ministered for pennies on the dollar. >> this point is lost on o.p.e.c. members who want to minimise competition. some producers hope lower prices will mean less demand for alternative energy sources. not everyone has the time or budget. meetings who once made leaders tremble is a shadow of its former self. these days it controls barely a third of protection. members have a long history of
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cheating on quotas. earlier this week dubai's market stopped by 8%, a large day decline. saudi arabia, the largest petroleum exporter said it will not cut output to prop up prices even if non-o.p.e.c. countries do so. analysts say financial markets are overreacting. prices are respected to return to a high point. to be fair. oil has long been a volatile commodity. it's based on political developments. as courtenay mentioned, part of the decision to ride out the slump is an attempt to wield power. it's something that can't be said of iraq, iran or russia. to discuss all of this, we'll bring in the managing director. and max, chief economist at manhattan venture partners.
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i appreciate you both coming. saudi arabia says, "no, we are not going to do what you are askingment what is your thought on that. to an extent. the saudis suffered from this back in 1979 when they cut production and consumption fell again and more production fell. with the spiral down, from the saudis in the 1980s. the lesson was let's produce the right amount for us. everywhere else can adjust around them. >> how is everywhere going to adjust around them? >> i think we are getting a shot across the global debt. >> the world is reminded, saudi arabia is a swing producer in the tight moments whether they are supply or demand gluts. there's an emergence reminder. the big news is we are seeing a global redistribution of wealth.
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wealth being distributed away from producers and to consumers, and if it comes on for a few months, if will have global asset repricing. this is a growable story and it matters in the real estate markets of london and new york talk about steven, who is benefitting this, and how that might pivot. >> yes, certainly advance country consumers will be the primary beneficiaries. in europe and japan. we have extra cash in our pockets. u.s. shale producers will suf, we need the output. it's the only source of supply. we need to trim back the growth of that, but not crush it. the companies who could suf are the oil majors, shells, chev rons. >> they are...
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>> how much? >> substantially. significant. because they are not well positions in shale on the hole. they are positioned in things like the arctic and deep water and expensive capital intensive oil. and if shale produces well, that will suffer coming up here. >> do you agree with that. >> yes. >> depends on how long. we are asking a question about duration. so far we have a better grip on severity. we are looking at 50% reprice from the top to the bottom. it will have a big short-term effect. my guess is that some of the short-term irons itself out. part of what we see has nothing to do with oil, everything to do with politics and behind the scenes negotiating. that is harder to handicap. if you know what drives the oil, it's 40s, 50s.
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55% of the oil. >> what is the effect on non-oil producing companies like china. don't fight. >> first, i disagree with the previous point. we have a significant obvious slight situation. thiess fundamentals. there's plenty of politician here with the russians and the iranians. the oil importers will benefit. if we look at countries, it's portugal. ireland, greece and spain. i expect them to have a good year. there's big oil importers, and they'll rebound well this time. >> someone not doing well is russia. as we mentioned russia is not doing well, affected by the falling gas prices, rory challands has more on that.
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we'll pick this up on the other side. >> why is the price of oil a big deal for russia. the short open is russia is one of the big gaol produces, the economy is demept on this. 68% of the country's foreign export rev youse come from energy. 50% of the federal budget is made up of taxes brought in from the energy exports. when the price of oil tumbled, fortunes tumbled with it. russia is by no mean penniless. it built up forrens of reserves. it's spending these at the moment. trying to prop up its currency. also, russians firms and banks effectively have been locked out of international credit markets by western sanctions. those firms are coming to the russian government, cap in hand acting for bale ups.
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it's another drain on russia's reserves. what can russia do. it can't control the price of oil. the line is hunger down, wait for better times and diversify the economy. it's been tuck talking about diversifying the economy for 20 years. the west has an additional recommendation, get out of ukraine. if russia does that, then that extra burden, those western sanctions will be lifted. >> and, of course, that may not happen, they are supposed to attempt to diversify the economy. that is something they have not done, and it's a solution for the long term. what can they do now? >> you are right. russia is dependent on a political standing, a bit of a leadership under pressure, and oil prices that have done everything they didn't want to do during a sanctions period.
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on the other period we'll do well to remember that the long term is affected by a cyclical group of short terms. the pressure down here, and the glut that we see now will cut off projects, reduce investments and set off a sling shot here. the question for the russians is can they survive the pain escalating from political from geopolitical to military and financial situations. can they get to the long term through the short term. it looks like the bottom has not been put in for russia, and the pain will be with them for the long hard winter ahead. >> i see you nodding. do you want to get in on it? >> the russians will be strugglingment i don't see momentum to come to a resolution on ukrainement we'll continue the status quo, the sanctions, and low oil prices for as long as they last. six months of serious punishment for the russian economy. >> you talk about low gas prices for the united states.
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how is this affecting the rest of europe? >> well, a little less than it is us, because the - because of shale production and the strength of our economy. the dollar has devalued. >> dollar is doing well. >> very well. it will continue to do well. and euro has devalued a little. i will is a little more expensive. they are getting a nice tail wind. how is this playing out. what is the bottom. i don't think it will settle blow where it is. i think we'll see 50 to 60. it's painful for people whose expectations were 100 to 110. i'd caution people about making simple. >> venezuela was teetering before this. this was a slip and fall
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smashing into the hup of on unhealthy client. who wins and lose has to do with who creases the opportunities, if you look at the u.s. airline industry, they pocket the money. because they could charge you west, doesn't mean they will. we'll watch a lot of redistribution, not all of it as general and useful as to the public as we like. >> who else has great opportunities right now? >> well, gosh, you know, any advance country or importer has opportunities, to return to the theme of the airlines, what we'll see is a rebound in both vehicle miles and transportation on the ground and in the air. historical standards, up 8-11% in the next year. to the max is - airlines are holding on to airlines and pricing. we'll see impressive transport number games rebounding to
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places like orlando and other places where people travel. >> it's interesting to watch for the weeks and months to come. i appreciate the expertise. thank you both a programme note before rapping this up. fracking has been part of the global energy debate. why is it so controversial. join us for a 3-part series. how it affect drought-stricken california. that is storm at 8:00 p.m. eastern, 5 pacific others event coming up in "the week ahead" on monday. china begins to build a waterway promote in nicaragua, estimated to cost $50 billion, and expected to rival the pan amma canal. -- panama canal. tuesday - elections for kashmir and another area controlled by india, but claimed by pakistan.
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exit polls reveal a record turnout. >> orth dox and other eastern right christians celebrate the holiday on various dates in january. >> palestinians once again able to cross into egypt on the reopening of the border ahead.
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relief for palestinians trying to leave the gaza strip. the susan shaprio government
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reopened the rafa border crossing. as natasha reports, the opening is temporary. >> the bags stuffed to the seams were a fine that people could leave. the faces revealed the misery and frustration that they endured. everyone carries responsibility, including president abdul fatah al-sisi. i appealed to the arab countries, the european and the u.s. to help us. all of them are responsible in the siege against us. among the thousands who found themselves trapped in the gaza strip for two month - the sick, elderly and students. >> i lived for 51 address. the airport and the port. nothing would open. >> reporter: the egyptian government closed it in late october, after coordinated
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attacks killed 33. hamas controlled gaza and had ties to the muslim brotherhood, banned in egypt. the crossing is open in two days, and only for humanitarian purposes. the egyptians gave no indications of plans, but the decision gave some people a solicitor of hope. >> this is a single, the relation much between the palestinians and the egyptians, it's not damaged. we talked about egypt. which is all the time. opening the crossing permanently is just one way palestinians say they can stop living like they are in a prison and have the freedom to come and go as they please. they continue to call on the international community to pressure israel to end the blockade on gaza that is making life difficult for 1.8 million people it's been 358 days since three al jazeera journalists were detained.
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peter greste, mohamed fadel fahmy and baher mohamed from sentences in june to 7 yeesks. baher mohamed was given an extra three years. they had been charged with having ties to the muslim brotherhood. u.s. forces made three air strikes. they targeted the northern town of kobane. the city has been highly contested in the fight against i.s.i.l. kurdish forces gained ground yesterday. i.s.i.l. began to make advantages in kobane in september. both sides lost up hundreds of fighters since then. an iranian official was told. the speaker of iran's parliament visited bashar al-assad. it came two weeks after bashar al-assad visited the side. russia is hoping to relaunch peace talks. the italian coast guard. that dangerous journey is one of
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many undertaken by syrians. desperate to find safety. zeina khodr reports. >> reporter: this woman is preparing to start a new lie. she has a refugee from syria. she moved two years ago. her husband had a heart problem, and that puts the family in a vulierable category. eligible for resettlement in europe. living in lebanon has not been easy. it's a country overwhelmed by a burden of refugees, caught up in the conflict of next year. >> translation: there are no jobs. they are paying the price. they were targeted when attentions were supporters of opponents of the syria government. >> it is a feeling shared by many refugees that wait for hours at a u.n. office, just to apply for asylum. many tell you that they have
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spent savings and can't find jobs. it's not just economic hardships, the government has powerful allies here. >> it's a difficult life. people are scared. >> in europe, we are treated as human being, all the reports about countries is not true. >> people lost hope. there's more than a million refugees. the u.n. settled around 7,000 people since the conflict started. it's a small percentage of the numbers that need urgent assistance. >> in terms of the process it can be lengthy. it can depend on an individual country. usually we have to interview and determine who people are. and very to go through security and checks before they are admitted to countries. we are working to improve the processing. >> it couldn't have come sooner. moving to denmark means his children can return to school.
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for his people it's a hard decision to leave the region. >> we have a choice. we go hungry and live that security or we be safe and able to ate. >> they don't have a third choice, each know what they prefer is the option to return home to syria a businessman in italy climbed on to a balcony at st. peter basilica and protests. he threatened to stay until he falls from hunger and exhaustion. he lost his restaurant in 2008 but is not allowed to rebuild because a new law would not renew his business permit. >> the government stopped the licences passing from one to another to comply with a european union directive after the break, have you wondered where christmas trees came from?
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ever wondered where christmas trees come from. many are grown from seeds that originated in the caucuses where climbers ricked their lives to pick fur combs for a few chars a day. we have more. above the forest canopy lays a hidden bounty. harvesting it can be dangerous work. climbers earn their wages at the tips of florida misunderstand -- nordmund pines, some 60 meters high, the cones contain fine quality seeds for christmas tree growers. for a region sky high in unemployment, it's a seasonal bonanza, supplying 1.5 billion industry in europe. a kilo's worth of cones is about on average 70 sent.
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together it's possible to collect several hundred kilos a day, and that's why it's lucrative. there's a black market and many georgians are prepared to take the risk to dlim the trees, even without the right equipment. >> that man fell to his death 20 years ago gathering zones without a harness or a licence. his brother is the local mayor, and says tragedy happened. unscrupulous buyers ignore safety and trade illicitly. >> translation: police departments hep to control blocks in the forest. it's a vast area and is impossible to control it totally. the existing black market is harmful to the budget. companies that operate on the black market avoid paying taxes. >> companies operating legally could do more to support russia's economy.
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90% of an stimated 45 million trees are grown from georgian seeds. >> we have to it take and know what is needed. and hep and support participating development. you can't just make money here in this wonderful area. pay nothing. i don't think it's fair. >> this is the only company with a social programme, supporting the health clinic in two local schools. it pays above average prices for the cones. but it gathers a fraction of the local harvest. if you are celebrating christmas, you might want to think about where your tree came from and whether you paid a fair price for it.
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and thank you for joining us, i'm repair your in new york. i'll be back with another hour of news from 11:00pm eastern, 8:00 p.m. passive ib. ic. -- pacific. >> three years ago al jazeera began investigating the conviction of abdel baset al-megrahi the only man found guilty of the bombing of pan-am flight 103, over lockerbie in scotland. we subsequently screened two films which cast great doubts on the way the case against megrahi had been assembled. over the next fortnight, as the 25th anniversary of the bombing approaches, we're showing those two films again before revealing the results of a third, and final investigation.

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