a second officer on trial, jury selection gets underway for the man who drove freddie gray on the fateful trip that ended in his death. reaching the starving, aid sent in to help thousands of syrians under government siege. ♪ remembering the thin white duke, musician and actor david bowie dead at 69.
this is aljazeera america live from new york city, i'm stephanie sy. jury selection is getting underway in baltimore in the trial over the death of freddie gray involving officer caesar good son, who drove the van that carried gray to the police station, the same van gray suffered an injury that proved to be fatal. john terrett is live in baltimore. what should we expect from this r. from this new trial? >> good morning, it's a cold but sunny morning in baltimore. he we expect jury selection to kick off here in the city in what is the second trial associated with the death of freddie gray last april. this trial already before it's even got underway is mired in controversy and unsettled business. officer caesar goodson junior
faces the most serious charges in the officers indicted, second degree murder. goodson drove the police van in which freddie gray suffered a lethal spinal cord injury. gray's death sparked anti police demonstrations and riots. >> according to the prosecution, he was aware from officer port their freddie gray asked for medical help and he didn't get it for him and he was in control of the van. >> the six officers involved in gray's arrest were criminally charged. prosecutor's contend good son was told freddie gray asked for medical help opinion instead of calling paramedics, goodson made a stop to pick up another detainee. paramedics were called 25 minutes later at the police station when police found gray unresponsive. to convict goodson, prosecutors are counting on testimony from william porter. his trial ended in a mistrial last month.
news that the jury was deadlocked sparked skirmishes at the courthouse but trough at the times were mainly peaceful. >> we want to be clear that we're still watching. this is a statement to say we're still here and watching and nothing is going to slip past us. >> prosecutors decided to retry porter. he could be a witness in goodson's trial. >> officer porter is being forced to testify. it is against his will, but the judge is ordering it. if he doesn't do it, he faces contempt charges. the prosecution needs him and they came up with a solution. they're giving him limited or use immunity for his testimony. anything he says on the stand against caesar goodson cannot be used against porter at his trial later this year. >> porter's attorney and a high court stayed the order, putting porter's testimony in limbo and the state's case in potential jeopardy until a decision is made. >> we can say with some
certainty, the jury selection took two days to pick 12 jurors and two alternates. it is expected to take at least that this time around. >> the last time, as you mentioned, john, in the trial for william porter, it ended in a hung jury, can that affect goodson's case in trial? well, it absolutely could, because officer william porter is forced to testify as a key prosecution witness. his trial collapsed in a misstyle in december and he won't be retried now until june. his defense team have taken his case to the court of special appeals in annapolis, and for the time being, that court has blocked officer porter from testifying in this case, so it's very possible that we could have a jury selected by mid week and a trial that is unable to get underway because the key prosecution witness can't appear. there's no way of knowing,
stephanie, how long it will take the court of special appeals to come down with a decision on whether officer porter can testify or not. by the way, most legal analysts think that it won't force him to testify. we'll see, stephanie. >> he is a key witness. thanks, john. this morning, a trial is getting underway involving the faulty ignition switches in g.m. cars. the civil case involves an oklahoma crash but could have wide implications. al jazeera's bisi onile-ere has the latest from outside the courthouse here in manhattan. >> jury selection is now underway. this is one of several cases that will test the boundaries of hundred was frames against general motors. today's case involves an oklahoma man who blames adefective ignition switch from preventing airbags from deploying during the crash. g.m. was aware of the faulty switches for more than a decade but waited until 2014 to issue recalls. the problem is that the i go
knish switch can slip into the off position and shut off the engine, leaving the air bags and power steering useless. dozens have been injured and more than 100 people have died. last year, general motors she willed out nearly $600 million to settle hundreds of claims, hundreds are still waiting for their day in court. the judge says that g.m. requested to have some arguments in evidence taken out of this case. the judge refused. this court case is expected to last for about a month and the five remaining bellwhether trials will take place over the course of this year. bisi onile-ere, al jazeera, new york. volkswagen c.e.o. is in the u.s. and apologized for the emissions scandal plaguing his
country. >> we all know we have let down customers, authorities, regulators, and the general public here in america, too. we are, i am truly sorry for that, and i would like to apologize once again for what went wrong with volkswagen. >> hundreds of thousands of vehicles by the german automakers were sold in the u.s. with secret software designed to cheat emissions tests. he denies he and other corporate leaders knew of the issue. he is in the u.s. for detroit's annual auto show. next hour, the supreme court is hearing arguments in a case that could affect the future of public unions in this country. as al jazeera's jennifer london reports, it started with 10 public school teachers from california. >> winter break is over. teachers in california are back in the classroom today but they will no doubt have their eyes on
the nation's top courtroom. arguments begin in one of the biggest cases on the supreme court docket this year, a case that could decide the future of teachers unions around the country. >> we could wind up in a world where there is no bargaining. >> 10 teachers are suing the california teachers association, the state's largest union. >> the plaintiffs argue that they should not be required to pay dues to the union that bargains on their behalf and that requiring them to pay those dues is a violation of their free speech rights. >> the suit has support from 25 parties includes the pacific legal foundation which released a statement saying the court's decision to take this case is welcome news for everyone who values first amendment freedom of speech, which includes your freedom not to underwrite a politically active organization that you don't agree with. >> this is not just about teachers, it is about all our collective voice in society to
be part of this future. >> david goldberg taught near the housing projects in east los angeles for 10 years. he is now secretary and treasurer of the california teachers association. >> all the stuff that's collectively done on your behalf, you pay your fair share. that's what collective organizations do. it's about all of us working together to have a collective voice. >> goldberg believes the lawsuit is nothing more than a power play to undermine all public unions, which he says helps protect the rights of the working class. >> it is a real frontal attack on one of the last groups capable of really mounting an offense against these oligarchs and these ruling elites who are basically trying to take over our country. >> i think there is a group of organizations and people who would like to limit the ability of worker to join unions. even if all of the workers want
the unions, then the workers will all have an incentive to not pay the dues, let other workers pay the dues for them, then nobody pays the dues and the union doesn't have the means to pay for the cost of bargaining. >> similar laws regarding mandatory fair share fees will likely spend the spring semester holding their collective breaths. a ruling by the justice won't happen before june, jennifer london, al jazeera, los angeles. millions are remembering david bowie, his voice and artistry emblematic of the 1970's. his influence spanned to today. ♪ >> the news of his death from cancer shocked many fans and musicians. he had just released a new album and seemed ready to keep making
music. ♪ >> david bewee transcended styles and reinvented himself over five decades. born david jones in 1947 in south london, bowie rose to international fame with the 1969 single space oddity. ♪ from cult figure to flamboyant rack star, ziggy stardust was a character about wild costumes, and deck dense. >> he brought ability to being a pop star or rock star. >> he on iconic roles in movies,
starring in labyrinth. he was inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame in 1996. in an interview in 2003, he acknowledged what his ever changing image meant for the evolution of his music. >> most people, they get to 20 and they stay 20. it didn't happen for me, though. i just went on and on and on and suddenly i'm 56, so i have to write from this unique perspective, from somebody who never stopped being 20, but i went on within isn't that weird? >> just last friday on his 69th birthday, he released his 25th studio album black star. critics praised its innovative sounds and his death gave new meaning for the video lazarus. bowie died after an 18 month battle with cancer. his son, film director duncan jones, writing on twitter very
stomping people in syria. the government block indicated the city for six months, but now convoys are on their way there and also going to two towns in idlib province. hundreds of starving residents have been huddled in the freezing cold all morning waiting for those trucks to arrive. >> we're talking in the region of 50,000 people here getting aid today. they are getting around 500 tons, 335 tons of mainly food from madaya and another 17. there are 400,000 people in syria who desperately need aid right now. 200,000 are where isil is holding siege. many places across the country are held siege mainly by government forces, but smaller resident groups as well. it's important that aid arrives in those three place at the same
time as part of a general agreement made with many groups involved here. we've not just got the syrian government involved, but obviously the u.n., as well and the rebel groups holding siege on the areas in idlib and also the government forces and their allies, including hezbollah holding siege, as well, all involved in the agreements. reporting from lebanon, the u.n. is calling on all actors to end the siege in syria. it's only been able to reach 10% of the people who need food aid there. the united nations is condemning a bombing in yemen that hit a doctors without borders hospital. the attack killed four and injured 10. it is the third time in the past four months that a doctors without borders hospital has been bombed in yemen. today president obama is preparing for his final state of the union address. he'll stand before congress tuesday night. the white house says the speech will focus on issues and challenges that shape the future of the country rather than specific policy proposals. the white house made public
just who will be in the audience, including a syrian refugee, a former undocumented immigrant now serving in the army, and the lead plaintiff in last year's supreme court same-sex marriage case and a 911 dispatcher from last month's san bernardino attack will be in the audience. annie teal was invited after directing the emergency response to the mass shooting which left 14 dead. the city's police chief and boyfriend of one victim will also attend the speech tomorrow night. >> among his top priorities before leaving office, president obama has been pushing for changes to the criminal justice system. he says the country needs to break the cycle of poverty and incarceration and give people a second chance. al jazeera's jonathan martin takes a look at the state of that initiative. >> one in 85 duties in louisiana is in prison and in this tough on crime state, many low level drug offenders are serving lengthy sentences.
>> we're talking about individuals who are not accused of possessing with intent to distribute, but merely having small amounts of drug for their own consumption. >> g. park is a new orleans public defender representing bernard noble, a man whose case has drawn national attention. he is serving a 13 year sentence for having what amounted to two marijuana cigarettes. because of two other convictions, one more than 10 years prior, he was given the mandatory minimum sentence under louisiana law. >> given his family history, character, his work history, the 13 year sentence is incredibly excessive as applied to him. >> the case highlights what president obama and reform advocates say is a key failure of america's criminal justice system. >> it just has not proven true that the threat of jail has been a particularly good deterrent for people who are addicted to crime or to low level offenses like marijuana. and in a country where we don't have treatment available at the levels that's necessary, instead, we just cycle people
through jails. >> the president made criminal justice reform a key initiative in the past year. the u.s. justice department released more than 6,000 federal prisoners in november as part of an effort to reduce overcrowding. most were inmates who'd received harsh sentences in drug cases. >> we are going to do our part in changing this. >> theresident announced new education, job training and housing grants to help exinmates reenter society. he urged congress to limit mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders and called for so-called ban the box legislation. >> the federal government should not use criminal history to screen out applicants before we even look at their qualifications. we can't dismiss people out of hand simply because of a mistake that they made in the past. >> following a national trend of reducing drug sentences, last summer, louisiana made second offense marijuana possession a misdemeanor instead of felony. still the state sentencing laws are among the harshest in the country. with increasing bipartisan
support to revamp the nation's criminal justice system, there's increasing political will on the state level to follow suit. >> you'll see more steps and it will be partly over issues of justice, but mostly over issues of saving money. al jazeera, new orleans. aljazeera america special coverage of the state of the union address begins tomorrow night starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern. the race seems to be tightening among the people who want to take over the presidency just three weeks before the iowa caucuses. polls give hillary clinton a slim lead in iowa, 48-45% over bernie sanders. in new hampshire, 50 to 46% with sanders having the edge. cruz leads trump 28 to 24%. rubio trails with 13% in iowa. in new hampshire, trumps lead is 30%, rubio second with 14%. senator cruz is third with 10. trump is still questions
whether cruz is eligible to be president because he was born in canada. at a rally in nevada, he quoted a harvard law professor saying the issue is not settled. he said polls are wrong showing him in a tied race with cruz. >> i think i'm going to do great in iowa. it's going to be interesting. they have me essentially statistically tied, but a lot of people say you know, he's going to do much better than the polls are even saying. >> trump focused on it citizenship issue all weekend, adding bruce springsteen's born in the u.s.a. to play lifts. an appeals court delayed the trial of an officer charged in the death of freddie gray. jury selection was supposed to get underway this hour in the case of caesar goodson but the appeals court put the proceedings on hold. it has been asked to decide if a fellow officer, william porter, will have to testify against his
the nation to allow pharmacists to write prescription for women's birth control pills and patches. another law ensures they will receive a 12 month supply and that it will be covered by insure. >> because we know from research from studies that have been done, that consistency of use of birth control, particularly hormonal birth control such as pills or patches, is the most important factor in the effectiveness of the medication, and by having available in her medicine cabinet or wherever she stores it, a full 12 month stores it, a full 12-month supply of birth control, that woman can give herself a chance at a 30% reduction in the likelihood of an unintended pregnancy. that's a very big advance for women. >> what's happening in oregon is considered the most direct step to date in a more ambitious push by women's health advocates to make oral contraceptives legal
to sell over-the-counter and still covered by insurance nationwide. al jazeera, portland, oregon. you can see much more of catherine's report on the impact of the law in oregon tonight. 60 schools in the city of detroit are closed this morning as part of an organized teacher sick out. the informal strike is an effort by teachers to show frustration with on going problems in the district. the group called detroit strikes to win said teachers are unhappy with pay as well as the district's poor finances. two schools were closed friday due to similar sickouts. hollywood's award season kicked off last night. the biggest names gathered for the annual golden globe awards. >> the golden globe goes to... >> it was the final act of the night with the bloody frontier thriller taking home the award for best motion picture drama. it upset the field, winning
every major category, including a best actor globe for leonardo decaprio. the night began with hesitant laughs as a result of host ricky gervais. >> i want to do this monologue, then go into hiding. not even sean penn will find me. >> that was just the beginning, as he continued his trend of ridiculing hollywood's elite. the night truly belonged to the stars. jennifer lawrence took home her third globe for the movie joy. kate winslet won for her work in steve jobs. >> really, i'm actually extremely surprised, and overwhelmed. >> moments later, matt damon won for the martian. >> it's literally been 18 years since i've been here doing this and with a little more context, i know how lucky i am. >> sylvester stallone. >> the moment of the night went to sylvester stallone, who was
honored for his role in "creed" with a thunderous standing ovation. >> i want to thank may imaginary friend rocky balboa with a for being the best friend i have had. >> the race to the oscars is now officially underway. thanks for watching. the news continues next live from doha. we end this half hour with another look back at the life of david bowie. ♪ >> he died of cancer atage 69. singer josh globe bin just tweeted he never seemed of this earth and now left it. he bend rules, genres, genders and our minds. david bowie, dead at the age of 69.