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tv   News  Al Jazeera  December 31, 2014 6:00pm-7:01pm EST

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technology could be the answer >> the future of fracking is about the water >> protecting the planet saving lives... >> how do you convince a big oil company to use this? techknow only on al jazeera america >> this is al jazeera america. i'm tony harris. new year's eve in some areas 2015 just started. we'll have celebration from around the world coming up, and here is what else we're working on. >> the first remains of the victim of airasia crash return home while families pray for help in finding the rest. a provocative move in the middle east as the palestinian
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leadership sign onto the international criminal court. five men who spent more than a decade locked up in gitmo without being charged are set free. >> i think their drive is pretty much the same that they know that that's going to be a lot more dangerous for them. >> and we return to the texas county where hundreds of migrants have died in the desert trying to find a better life in the united states. >> and we begin in indonesia where authorities believe they have found the airasia plane that crashed on sunday. they have recovered seven bodies and some debris but bad weather is hampering search and recovery efforts. the first bodies discovered yesterday were returned to surabaya today. >> they were welcomed by somber
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ceremonies in surabaya. the first two bodies of the victims of the airasia crash in december 28th. they have been searching for bodies in the strait south of borneo. >> the transport of the bodies from the ship to the mainland is very difficult. that's why the ship has come to the harbor, which is a much more time-consuming process than evacuating them by helicopter. >> a very tragic moment, three days after they had departed from singapore. their bodies have now returned here in surabaya. many more have yet to be recovered. >> the bodies will be brought to the police hospital for identification but relatives have supplied dna records to help with the identification of the victims. with respect to the families,
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they have toned down new year festiveities. >> all celebrations have been canceled and we will pray instead for those who were lost, may they rest in peace and for the relatives of the victims. >> some still hoping for a miracle. prayers also for better weather conditions at the crash site so the recovery process can be sped up over the next few days and victims can be reunited with their grieving families. al jazeera surabaya. >> palestinians are moving on from a stinging defeat at the united nations security council. president mahmood abbas signed 20 agreements including joining the international criminal court. he hopes to expose alleged israeli war crimes in the
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palestinian territories. >> if you agree raise your hand. that's what palestinian president mahmood abbas said before signing the rome statute and 20 other international conventions. >> the first signature is for the icc. we want to complain. we're being assaulted and our lands are attacked every day. the u.n. security council let us down. where do we go? >> the next step for the palestinian leadership would appear to go to the international criminal court to pursue war crime charges against israel. but many obstacles stand in the way of an icc investigation including the announcement by israel in september that they are also investigating their own actions. however, some see this as an important step to larger goal of state to do. >> we believe in the long testimony the international community will get fed up with
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this long-lasting occupation and help palestinians achieve their legitimate rights of freedom and independence. >> israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu has responded angrily, stating that palestine has more to fear from the international criminal court than from israel. israel. they say that joining icc they may face sanctions. >> they rely heavily on foreign aid for their funding and if economic sanctions are imposed it could further weaken their shaken authority. but with so many palestinians fed up with the worsening situation and the palestinian authority leadership losing its popularity a bold step needs to be taken. but where it will lead is less certain. al jazeera ramallah in the
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occupied west bank. >> the palestinian move to join the icc begins a chain of diplomatic events. james bays explains from london. >> reporter: it's a complex procedure going forward. now president abbas has signed the rome statute. it will be handed over to the man who acts as the depository for the statute. highways someone better known as u.n. secretary general ban ki-moon. he'll take some time whether to accept the signed treaty from senator president abbas. it will then take 60 days before the jurisdiction of the international criminal court overpalestine, we assume in the 1967 borders will come into force. that will probably be the first of march. but that doesn't then start a case, a case an investigation can only be started one of three ways. either a referral from the u.n.
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security council. that's not going to happen. the u.s. is going to veto. or the chief prosecutor of the international criminal court could start their own investigation. or palestinian itself requests an investigation. so in many ways president abbas has played the first of his cards, but he has another one up his sleeve. >> five new detainees released from the guantanamo detention center after being held for 12 years without charge. the detainees are from yemen and tunisia, but they have been transferred to kazakhstan. libby casey has more from washington. >> tony, these are basically free men according to the obama administration, but no details have been released about a security arrangement with the country of kazakhstan. president obama's own national security team recommended these men be released five years ago and it's taken this long to see follow through. now the recommendation for the release didn't say they should go home from their home
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countries. no reason given but in the past there have been concerns about tunisia because of persecution and yemen because of extremist elements there and militants. so there may have been fears about the countries rather than these men themselves. no details given about what would prevent them from going to a country like pakistan where they were originally picked up. it's important to note that a man who served as president obama's point person on guantanamo for the past year and a half said that 90% of detainees who have been released have never been suspected of doing anything wrong in the first place. it's taken long for release some of these detainees than expected. one recent complication is that cliff sloan just resigned this month. there has been a lot of tension not just between democrats and republicans on capitol hill about what to do with guantanamo prisoners, but even within the
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president's own administration. tension between the pentagon and chuck headachel. the pentagon and hagel want to go slow down the process of detainee release. chuck hagel is on his way out recently resigned himself and president obama has just renewed his pledge to try to see guantanamo close down on his watch during the next two years. there are 60 more prisoners who have already been cleared for release, so watch to see those detainees fates' sorted out in 2015. tony? >> libby, appreciate it. thank you. the italian coast guard has rescued 1,000 migrants who were left on board a cargo ship after the crew disappeared. the slip was on course to crash into the italian coast until the coast guard diverted a real disaster. >> reporter: the italian cores guard took control of the vessel in the early hours of wednesday morning. these pictures show them being lowered on the deck by
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helicopter. on board they found 970 desperate migrants mostly from syria and iraq. but no sign of the crew. the ship left the turkish port in six days ago. and after three days of terrible weather it was apparently left on its own bound for the italian coast. the migrants locked in the hold. the italian navy brought the ship into the port of gallipoli. the migrants are now being processed in this school at the center of gallipoli by italian authorities who are overstretched by the scale of this incident. most people are from syria and iraq. they all speak of the terrible conditions that they have endured on board this cargo ship. some were on board for nine days. and the journey cost anywhere between $6,000 $6,000 and $9,000 for each person. they painted a grim picture of
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their voyage. haja is from iraq. >> they give you like, just bread. >> water? >> water? just a bit nothing. >> khalid is from syria. >> it was a very bad trip because the ship was very old. and very--very dirty, and very noisy. i can't tell you what--when the raindrop in, the roof dropped on the ship. and floor, the floor water there is no carpet, nothing.
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nothing. >> later the migrants will be bussed to holding centers big enough to deal with the numbers involve. italian authorities say that they picked up more than 2,000 migrants in their waters in the last ten days alone. all part of the ongoing traffic of desperate people seeking sanctuary from war and the chance of a better life in europe. simon mcgregor wood, al jazeera gallipoli italy. >> we showed you the celebrations in paris a few minutes ago. that's good stuff. the rest of the world is joining in on the ringing in of the new year. roxana saberi joins us with some of the highlights sore if a. >> the specific pacific island nation of samoa was one of the first nations to ring in the new year and it's been a mix of the usual fireworks and unusual traditions.
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>> one of the first countries to celebrate 2015 was new zealand. in australia, an estimated 1.5 million people gathered around sydney harbor. in japan thousands of people celebrated in the capitol. some took turns ringing a huge bell in a buddhist temple. struck 108 times to cleanse people of what buddhist teaches are 108 sins and desires. at the same time in the wist north korea's state run tv showed residents clearing fireworks. the countries had it's first big new year eve celebration three years ago in pyongyang when kim jong-un came to power. thedubai tried to break the record for the world's largest
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fireworks display. [music] >> it set that record last new year's eve with 500,000 shells fired in just six minutes. that's more than a thousand fireworks per second. no. moscow thousands of people gathered in a very cold red square to watch fireworks. in the western hemisphere hundreds of brazilians gathered in rio de janeiro to offer gifts and white flowers to the african brazilian queen of the sea. they hope she'll grant their new year's wishes. >> in bolivia people observe a different tradition. they're buying red and yellow
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underwear in hopes of a new year filled with money and love. >> and the country whose people party the latest on new new year's eve is russia. they found on average residents of moscow stay up until 3:43 a.m. here in the u.s. people are little lessen shoesast tick. a third don't even make it until midnight. but the people who stay up the latest are in queens new york. >> queens,. >> yes. >> that's correct. you're going to be here tomorrow right? j i'm hopefully my mind will be here. >> come on come on roxanne. >> i got to celebrate. >> you got to hold it down. >> i'll leave that to you.
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>> roxana saberi for us. one of the worldwide it was is just happening a few blocks from us right here in new york city. we're talking about the ball drop in times square. our man of the hour is john terrett. it's just hours until the ball drops. what is it like right now? >> well, the atmosphere is really building. and, in fact, the last couple of minutes the crystal ball has been foisted to its position high above times square. it is said to be a million people in the square, i don't know if it's true. i haven't counted them, but what is being done to entertain them is every year these people turn up and entertain at this hour. and they are paying tribute to the chinese province of hinan known for its tea. if you'll bring me become into view. we can show our viewers the
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revelers. they have to be in that place and not move. they have to be very good because there are no bathrooms for them here. there are no port-a-potties, no johnny on the spot. the only johnny on the spot is me tony. >> there was a bit of talk of protest today where you are. what do you know about that? and has anything materialized? >> you have to be careful because there have been protests going on in the wake of the eric garner death in staten island and michael brown in ferguson, missouri. and the two policemen who were killed. so they are being extra careful. the police message is that times square is the safest place to be tonight. they're patrolling it by air and they're out on the hudson, and they're on foot at thames square and everyone is hoping for the best as amens.
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>> tell us more about the entertainment happening there please. >> well, i think it's kind of okay. i mean, here's the list starting with the rock manned from rockville, maryland, called o.a.r. something of a revolution. they've been going for 20 minutes. then a band called magic from canada. theythey've been going for a couple of years. there is a florida georgia line and then adele maxine. who is that? well he's really adina nadel. but she was rechristened adele maxine. and these are flashing, they should be.
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>> well, i'll tell you what. i'll tell you what, my friend, with those on you could find a very good seat in not far from where you are in brooklyn for the the elton john concert of yours tonight. >> that's where i would like to be rather than freezing cold because it will be warmer there. a happy very new year for you and your team. >> absolutely. >> we'll see you in 2015. >> we wouldn't have as much fun if we were there john, appreciate it. and happy new year to you. russian president vladimir putin ringing in the new year by defending his country's annexization of crimea. that's next. and the green comet you may be able to see with the naked eye.
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>> times square is going to be good tonight. new year's traditions are going on across the globe right now. one of those traditions is a new year's address from russian president vladimir putin. it was a--there was a direct message to president obama and to ukraine. peter sharp has more now in moscow. >> the traditional fireworks over red square ringing in the new year for moscow.
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but for the russian people an uncertainty about what lies ahead. there were reassuring words from president putin in his traditional new year message to the nation. >> dear friends, at this time when we summarize the ending of the year i want to sincerely thank you for your unity and solidarity, for your deep feelings of truth honor and justice and responsibility for the destiny of your country. for your unwavering readiness to defend the interests of russia, for standing by not only in triumph but at a time of trials to fight the implementation of our most brave and wide scale plans. >> 2014 has been a year of highs and lows for russia. there was the glory of hosting the world's most expensive olympics in history. $50billion spectacular that confounded the critics. a month later crimea was annexed, a triumphant putin side
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stepping nato in the west. but the war that followed in the east of ukraine between government troops and pro russian separatists raged interrupted as the west piled on the sanctions. the ruble plummeted losing more than 50% of its valley against the dollar. oil prices followed in the same direction as more than $130 billion in foreign capital left the country heading west. but for the russian people today preparing for the two week new year holiday are particularly resilient bunch. the kremlin has been told that the country is under threat by the. >> he is i expect all the best for the new year. everything is going to be all right. we will be happy and healthy. >> it's hard to say what to expect in the country. we hope that everything is going
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to be okay. we will be lucky and happy. >> i think that everything is going to be great. >> but despite these words of come fort and reassurance there is a growing realization perhaps unspoken among these people that things will get worse possibly far worse before they get better. peter sharp al jazeera, moscow. >> president putin was not the only to release a new year message. german chancellor angela merkel also released a statement. >> europe experienced the hard way what it means when the basics of our european peace framework are challenged. especially the free self determination of the nations. exactly that is what russia is doing to the ukraine. there is absolutely no doubt that we want security in europe together with russia, not against russia. >> earlier the german chancellor
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said that they must end the crisis in ukraine. the new year will bring a spectacular show in the sky. a comet that you'll be able to see with the naked eye. a time lapse video called love joy, name after the astronomer who spotted it in august. you'll be able to see it without a telescope or binoculars. this was a big year for exploration outside of earth's orbit. >> reporter: 2014 was a big year for space exploration because just the cheer variety of ways that we got out of earth's gravity, whether for profit or science, with humans on board or without, we went to space in ways we've never done before. 2014 saw 82 orbital launches,
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launches by lithuania uruguay and iraq. the satellites are cheap and tiny at this point. even nasa says it doesn't even need more than a phone to run one. >> someone goes out and buys a phone and bring it back. we take it apart if we need to and repackage it, but that's it. >> reporter: that makes it easier than ever to get a view of one's own country. long planned arrivals the casini probe flew within 600 miles of the surface of titan the largest moon of saturn. and curtsy of the kepler mission we got a glimpse of a planet that could host life, maybe even our own. but getting to space is extremely difficult. in a single week in october, a rocket loaded with supplies, but not humans, fortunately exploded just after lift off and three days late one test
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pilot was killed and another severely injured when virgin galactic spaceship two exploded in midair. to everyone's shock and relief alanding on a comet. it was moving at 184 mph was amazing. the test flight for orion. in disease it performed a flawless orbit to earth. nasa plans to carry out human crew into deep space maybe even following our robotic missions to mars. the few from space has had a lot to teach us. the first apollo mission in the readings from the astronauts
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photographing earth was an extraordinary reminder of our fragile our world is. we got that reminder again. this photograph of gaza as it was pounded by rockets. reporting to be being able to see the explosions from 205 miles. perhaps that sort of view, the view of ourselves and how small we are is what space exploration is truly for. al jazeera, planet earth. >> coming up, a huge drop in arrests by the nypd after the department's union leaders clashed with the city's mayor.
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>> so we have a developing story from china. at least 35 people were reportedly killed in a stampede in shanghai. now this message is from china's
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version of twitter. it shows the aftermath of the stampede on the water strip known as the bun. florence, first of all what is the latest on this? >> we know that 40 people have been injured and they've been taken to the hospital. when you look at the scene people passersby were trying to give first aid to the injured. we don't know the extent of the injured, and those who were hurt but we know they were taken to the hospital. the police are investigating the cause of the stampede. they're not sure what caused people to start running and there are reports on a chinese news portal that it was reportedly caused by someone throwing fake dollar bills from a building to the crowd below causing the crowd to surge and try to pick up those dollar
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bills, but that has not been confirmed. there is no official confirmation that that is the cause of the stampede. >> florence for us in beijing. hundreds marched down chicago's magazine magnificent mile calling for an end to violence. while the number of shootings went up this year, the city is on track to have the lowest murder rate in 50 years. ash har quaraishi is in chicago with more. [ put down the gun in our neighborhood ] >> reporter: 200 protesters came out in the heart of downtown in what is known as the magnificent mile michigan avenue, mostly shoppers and tourists, but today these demonstrators are voicing their concerns about the violence in chicago. ♪ stop the shooting right now ] >> reporter: the march is organized by father flagery by
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st. tobias church, who has been calling for an end of the violence for years. >> this is not a south side problem. this is a chicago problem. everyone in chicago has to be concerned about the violence. as far as shootings being down, shootings are up. if one person is shot, the reality is it's a life. it's a brother sister, a family who has been changed. we want everybody safe. [ save our sons, save our daughters ] >> reporter: it's important to know that while the number of hounds are homicides are down from last year, compared to 20 years ago in 1994 where the number was well over 900 murders, ask anybody in these crowds today who have lost loved ones or are the victims of gun violence they'll tell you even one homicide in the city of chicago is one too many. >> the leaders of new york city's police union say time
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will tell whether they can mend their relationship with the mayor of the city bill de blasio. the mayor met with the union leaders today. nypd turned their backs on the mayor twice. meantime the nypd has confirmed that it's officers are engaging in a massive work stoppage. look at these numbers last week. over all arrests were down 66% compared to the same week last year. traffic violations dropped by 94%. some instances falling 94% down from 5,000 to just 3,000. parking tickets were down more than 90% falling from nearly 15,000 to just 1200. joining us for more on this, a retired deputy nypd inspector. a massive work stoppage.
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what is going on here? >> well, for them to acknowledge that it's a work stoppage. >> for them to acknowledge. >> for them to acknowledge with all of this going on, it seems that the mayor and the president, it seems that the police commissioner is getting a pass. he's getting the pass on this. he's the head honcho. >> why do you think that is? >> i don't know why it is, but we need to find out and we need to hold his feet to the fire. he's the architect. >> he needs to be saying, yes-- >> he's the architect of broken windows. >> yes. >> they said that he was a reformer. so right now we need some reforming in the nypd. we need for him to have that--remember it's no problem for the police commission for say hey you know, what since you want to take this angle i'm putting you back on patrol. you need to do your union duties during the daytime or i'm going
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to have you work midnight. you have to start ruffling feathers. what is ultimately going to happen we're bridging this gap bigger between the community and police and we're going to have now have people dead in the street because of the response time? you have an elderly person having difficulty breathing the cops are not getting there. >> let's pars this out a little bit. commissioner brattan is brought in to do a job by this mayor. and the job that the mayor wants done with this police force is what? >> reform. >> reform. >> that's what he ran his whole campaign on reform. get rid of ray kelly. i don't like his policies. get rid of stop stop and frisk. what do we have here? stop and frisk did go down. and the mending of the relationship with the police is
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starting to go further apart. it was better when kelly was here. >> so now we're at a situation now where the mayor said i'm going to reform this police department. so now although the attention is on the murders of these two police officers, the mayor's comments before--around the eric garner decision by the staten island grand jury, but what you're telling me is that these feathers have been ruffled for quite a bit of time leading up to this because it seems as though all the focus is on these recent decisions and statements from the mayor but this was starting to happen before. >> let's be clear. i believe the nypd is the best police department in the country. but anything including your job is leadership. the pva has given bad leadership advice. we have worked so hard in the last 21 years to bring crime
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down to meant relationships and minority communities this is a volatile situation. this stuff could go bust any minute now. god fore forbid we had two cops assassinated. then you come out saying we're at war. you won't talk to the mayor. we need peas. peace we don't need war. we need them to come together. everyone in america wants to feel safe. and right now people in the minority community are not feeling safe. >> we have acknowledgment from police sources that there is a slow down, and some say it's a work stoppage in some of these areas we're talking about. should we be concerned that public safety ultimately could be jeopardized by what is happening? the action taken by these officers? >> well, i tell you. >> i don't want to go too far here. >> when i was a police officer i understand that there was a
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semi work stoppage because these cops were assassinated, people's feelings were hurt. cops were scared. they was actually scared to go out on patrol. so we do understand that, and it is still a little early. by next week--one thing with cops, many cops have been murdered before. cops have been murdered before. we drive on. we lost 23 at 9/11, the most horrendous act of war on u.n. soil. we got it together, and i'm looking by this week we got to get it back together. this could really lead to serious issues in this community. you hear these people talking reverend al sharpton, the mayor aligned himself with reverend al sharpton. and scalise who aligned himself with kkk.
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we need everybody at the table because the ultimate goal is to be safe in this community all over the city. >> terrific to talk with you cory retired nypd inspector and happy new year. >> thank you. >> some protesters are using new new year's eve to make their voices heard. >> reporter: from ferguson to hong kong, they're making a statement today. in st. louis earlier today a small group of protesters were part of a sit-in at a police department. moments later more tried to storm into the building. a chaotic scene as you see there. some pro protesters were pepper sprayed. the protesting continued on the outside of the building. the riot came out police came
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out and pushed the protesters on the sidewalk. also in mexico, the parents of the 43 missing students are planning demonstrations later tonight, and this was a scene on the streets of hong kong tonight. you recall the umbrella revolution protests. hundreds were walking around with yellow umbrellas. a heavy police presence there as the protesters, the police moved those protesters from the streets to the sidewalks. later on in the show we'll look at the top turning stories of 2014. we also want you to send us your favorite picture of 2014 and symbolize of what you would like in the new year. >> maryland's outgoing governor said he will commute the sentences of the state's four remaining death row inmates to life in prison. democrat martin o'malley said executing them does not serve
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the public good. maryland got rid of the death penalty two years ago. since the national guard was deployed last summer, migrants run an even greater risk of getting caught while crossing. and many walk as far as 60 miles through the desert in order to avoid border patrol, but many never make it to safety. heidi zhou castro join us in dallas with a series on the border. how many migrants are making this particular journey on foot in order to avoid getting caught? >> well, tony, it's very hard to put an accurate number on that. but the best current estimate is that more than 100 people were passing through this desert terrain each day. now in texas, a corridor of human smuggling where in the last six years more than 900 bodies have been recovered. and where more people die each day. it's been four months since our
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last visit to brooks county. in that time 20 more bodies have appeared in the desert. they are the remains of migrants killed by exhaustion and thirst but none of the bodies are the one we seek. >> julio's father calls here regularly to see if there has been any progress. >> every friday he calls to tell me how many fridays its bin sips his son has disappeared. >> it was back in august when we joined the two full-time volunteers of the south texas human rights center to look for a 20-year-old man who had disappeared the month before. another migrant reported julio had fainted from exhaustion after walking 20 miles in 100-degree heat. he traveled from guatemala in hopes of joining his father in the united states. >> do you think there is any water over here? that maybe attracted him? >> that day the search had been fruitless like it's been every day since. the volunteers have long given
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up hope of finding julio alive but still they search for his remains. >> if we can put a body take it home to julio's father so they have someone to bury. >> at the brooks county sheriff office benny martinez said that 20 bodies in four months is remarkably few in the summer when two or three bodies appeared each week. the cooler weather is one factor but fewer migrants are passing through. >> we're probably down at about 100 a day now or less. >> 100 people going through the desert? >> yes, yes. versus we're looking at 300 to 500 a day so that's quite a drop. >> the things they left behind are still here in brooks county, but the migrants are far fewer. the sheriff office said that's because with more national guards, more state police and border patrol here my grand are
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venturing further west into more dangerous territory. >> since the folks started walking further in the brush earlier than they used to. >> how many miles would that be? >> well, we're 40 miles from there, and they're probably starting walking another 60. >> 60 miles total on foot? >> roughly. >> that's twice the distance before over loose sand, rattle snakes and little water. >> their drive is still pretty much the same, and they know that that's going to be a lot more dangerous for them. to do this walk further. >> martinez said if more people are now dying on the longer trek, the thick winter vegetation will hide their bodies until summer. he hopes to be wrong but he's bracing for horror more hule row julios more sons and daughters.
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>> when the warmer, hotter weather returns in the spring and summer more bodies may reveal as plant life pulls back, it may not be until then that we truly see the price these migrants are paying. >> after 13 years in afghanistan, international forces will officially pull out combat troops. how it's fragile government can build on gains.
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>> 26 wedding guests were killed today. 45 people were injured in the attack. afghan security forces have been battling the taliban there for the past six months ever since u.s. troops withdrew from the region. many fear the attack is a sign of things to come as nato ends its combat mission in the
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country. that 13-year combat mission officially ends today, but thousands of nato troops will remain in afghanistan to support the afghan army and police. al jazeera's jennifer glasse has more from kabul. >> in 2007, helmand province had been filled with taliban fighters. a fledgling afghan national army joined british patrols. nato troops walk adelle kate line in a country suspicious of strangers. >> they effectively could be enemy, but at the same time reassure the locals we're not there to hurt them or harm them. >> another part of the nato mission is to get rid of the opium poppy crops. 13 years and spending $7.5 billion the poppy crop is bigger than ever, and the opium employees more industry employees more than the security
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forces. they are now struggling against a resurgent taliban. >> united nations has only been keeping track since 2008, but since then more than 9,600 afghan civilians have died. and for afghan forces this is the worst year left. 13 policemen and soldiers die every day. one of the biggest killers is i improviseed explosive devices ieds. >> we don't have enough equipment to get rid of the ieds or the commitment to give us early warning like this. but still we are doing better. the ieds, they use against us.
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>> this week nato marks the formal end of its combat mission, but the taliban said that the fighting isn't over. >> this war will continue until america and the west completely leaves afghanistan. changing the name or title is not important for us as long as the foreign forces are in our country we will continue fighting. >> and the afghans bear the brunt that have fighting. a doctor in hell pond who treats hundreds a year say not only do the security forces need more training, many of the police are heroin users. >> many are addicted, as you can see in our hospital be more than 40% of police are addicted. how will they create security in the future? >> this year the taliban has taken large parts of the countryside across afghanistan. and alqaida is reestablishings training camps in the east. nato's combat role may be
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ending but it's initial mission is far from accomplished. jennifer glasse, al jazeera, kabul. >> earlier i spoke with army veteran matt zeller, and he shared his thoughts been the farming of opium and diverse flying the afghan economy. >> it's been the top crop in afghanistan for many decades previous. you know, it's a misnomer. we think that the taliban a lot of this credit during their time of power they cut opium production so significantly they're always touting as the one good thing that they did. but let's be clear, they were trying to change the price of the opium on the market. they were creating a shortage so they could drive up the price of it to make more money. you know, it's unfortunate that report is quite sobering to hear the amount of people that are engaged in the production of opium. unfortunately for afghanistan
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what it will take to bring about the opium economy is a diversified economy with political institutions that people can trust in to be honorable and honest dispute mediators. there is no trusted banking system. there is no trusted system of commerce. a lot of what the taliban makes money off of is extortion racketeering, the elicit trafficking of illegally mined chromeup and copper, stolen timber from the forested areas along the afghanistan border. to do that you have to have government institutions that can credibly back up people in a court system that people can trust to be without bias and effective mediators of dispute. none that have exists in afghanistan. >> you're talking about an end to corruption. so the question then is how engaged is corruption in afghanistan public-private
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circles. >> i would say it's an every day occurrence for every single afghan. i have friends who are afghan and give me anecdotes of going to get their power turned on in their home in a major city. showing up at the office, me say in addition to filing the forms you have to pay a bribe. when all is said and done its easier to go to the guy who sells power illegally through a generator on the street and is hooked up to an illegal connection. again, the afghan government is not responsive to the needs of its citizenry because it does not depend on them to be there. the afghan people elect two people in the entire government. their member of parliament and president. everyone else is appointed by the office of the president or one of his subordinates. you have an constitutionalized patronage and nepotism. until you start to get the
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afghan people a government in which they are depending upon the people to survive and responsive to citizen's needs you're not going to see an afghan government or population that is without tremendous amounts of corruption. >> the believe that should the u.s. withdraw completely afghanistan would dissolve into a civil war. the cdc has warned that the flu has become an epidemic. 15 children have died from complications so far. the hardest hit states are the southwest and midwest. and there are outbreaks throughout the country. the flu shot is not a good match for the primary strain this season but they still recommend getting it. coming up, the ice bucket challenge. just one of the trends that swept across the internet this year. ines is back with the one of the biggest stories. and your pictures.
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>> it's a year. a lot happened this year. a lot that caught on, essentially a life of its own through social media. ines is back with some of the most trending stories of--i think i just botched that lead
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completely. the trending stories of 2014. >> we took a look at google's top searches for 2014. these are the most popular new stories of the year. at the top of the list, the death of robin williams. followed by world cup. that was number two. remember that? and suarez bite. and another one on the list, ebola was on the top ten list followed by the search for malaysian flight. the ice bucket challenge, do you remember that. that would raise money for als. that was also on the top ten list. loads of people took part in that. also the top ten the rise of isis and at number 10, guess what, the sochi games. and remember this one where a bobsledder bunched through the bathroom door. we asked people to send in their
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favorite pictures. i posted it on facebook and i got people who posted pictures, the things they would like to see also in 2015. so a lot of people posted pictures of their kids, little babies someone posted a dog with a cigar there. and tony you tweeted this out the newsroom. >> why do i look so--what is wrong with me? everyone focuses on themselves. >> everyone else looks great. great looking people. >> and our boss is even in there. happy new year to you guys. >> send more pictures. we'll put some up tomorrow. because you know, it might an slow news day. there might be news all over the world, but in case there isn't we would like to see your pictures. >> happy 2015. >> and to you ines. if you don't want to wait for midnight can we go just to the pictures. we'll leave you pictures from london first and then we've got--what else do we have?
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times square coming soon, and then some pictures from hong kong bringing in the new year. happy new year, everyone. we're already in a new york state of mind here. >> one of the world's largest single unit housing developments. >> the iconic american dream you work hard. load up the kids in the car, and you're on the road to ease street. >> others take their travel in lots. >> today the dream is alive, but it's an uphill struggle. >> it's hard to survive. >> we need to strengthen the middle class for the 21st century. >> i can't figure out why it's not working. >> the democrats are hanging the middle class out to dry.

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