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tv   Weekend News  Al Jazeera  January 23, 2016 7:00pm-8:01pm EST

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this is al jazeera america. here are today's top stories. the blizzard of 2016, the crippling snow storm dumping more than two feet of snow in some areas causing a trail of trouble from tennessee to new england. officials asking people to stay at home, but in some cases that message is not getting through. tonight hundreds of people are stuck on highways in several states. another led in the water scare. this time in ohio.
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officials are getting ready to test the town's children. it's the tale of two americas, everything is coming up roses or a doomsday situation, depending on who is speaking. we look at the party line retrospect's you take a-- let's take a look at this pictures. a winter wonder land of 20 inches of snow so far. more to come. a white out by the white house. the nation's capital hit with nearly two feet of snow so far. a service shut down since yesterday, people are finding interesting alternative ways to get around. in kentucky thousands of drivers were left stranded on annex
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express way. the blizzard has left many areas to a standstill. here is the latest. in all more than 80 million people are in the storm's path. officials across 20 states are urging people to stay at home, stay off the roads. at least 17 deaths are being blamed on the weather, the majority from traffic accidents. more than 66 hundred flights to and from - within the u.s. have been cancelled. this was the scene last night in time square as the storm began to pound new york city. normally it's packed with tourist $, but it indeed out when the snow began to fall. our correspondent is live in manhattan with the snow still coming down. >> reporter: this is one major city that has been brought to a
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standstill. we're not expecting it to clear any time soon and everybody is stuck and will be taking days to dig out. >> reporter: the smart thing to do is to get away from any place that you're at. >> reporter: in the new york area the message was clear. go home. >> no-one wants to have to arrest people, but the nypd will take any necessary measure to keep the road clear. >> reporter: the railroads and above ground are not running. many showed up with the station with nowhere to go. >> i foolishly did not check the internet beforehand. now i'm standing here figuring out what i'm going to do have a >> reporter: hundreds of people lined up to see broadway shows.
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>> what do you want to see? >> reporter: only to find out later that all matine and ev evening performances were cancelled. residents were urged to stay home and safe as the weather pummelled the region. there is flooding along the coast, several inches of water filled the streets of some coastal towns. the flood warnings remain in effect until noon, but the governor chris christie says the worst may be over >> the information we're getting from the weather service as of now is that the high tied tonight will be-- tide tonight will be less significant and tomorrow will be less significant. >> reporter: the storm caused 12 deaths across the area. hundreds of thousands of people lost power. heavy snow brought traffic to a
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standstill trapping hundreds of drivers for hours >> there's a lot of snow blowing and it's windy. you never imagine yourself being out here for five hours during a snow storm >> reporter: people came to their aid with supplies while the drivers waited to be dug out. here in the city with a full travel ban, many headed to the hills and central park for shredding. the streets for cross-country skiing. outside the station which is completely shut down people are walking around on the street. there is a peaceful feeling here. there are some emergency crews that have been able to get through. i saw one lone taxi cab one taxi that i'm sure a lot of people would like to be in now. what can people do in major cities do and what can they expect? >> reporter: they can expect to
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hunker down. it's going to be hard to dig out an entire city. you've got all the major thoroughfares, the major highways. it is going to be a lazy day for many. stay home if you can, as the mayor said. new york will be shut down. people will be wandering the streets and monday is going to be tough for people to get back to work thank you for that. let's turn to john terrett who is in washington dc. john, it looks like we can see some of the snow there, but not nearly as bad at this moment. not as bad as what is happening in new york, but tell us more. >> reporter: yeah. speak for yourself. it's all right for you to be in a warm studio. i want to let you know it's bad here, mate. behind me this is the major street in washington dc.
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normally on a saturday night there will be lots of people out enjoying themselves, plenty of traffic on the street. that's the most remarkable take away about this. there is nobody out. there is a handful of people walking around, but really everybody is inside and it has been snowing now for 30 hours nonstop. you can't see just at the moment, but there are three or four feet of snow just to the left of me here. let's take a look at the white out. you might get a better idea of how hard it has been snowing here. it looks beautiful. let's look at people out and about in the streets because all over washington dc during the day people have been taking a chance in coming out, even though this has been a very dangerous storm. of course, some of them have had to shovel and clear up. despite what i've just said about there being nobody here in part of george town, the mayor
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had a news conference a couple of hours ago. one of the things she said was there are still too many people out, that actually people in dc should go home and stay there. here is more of what she had to say. >> the visibility is poor and you cannot be seen. there are too many people on the streets, both driving and walking. we need you to stay home. this is an emergency event and we are very much still in our emergency response phase. please stay home. >> reporter: she is right about that. what are they going to do about all this snow that they have? the answer is they're going to take their time before they start clearing it up. what has been happening is individual businesses, hotels and the like, have been clearing the side walk, but no sooner have they done that then the snow fills up again.
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the roads are pretty undrivable at the moment. chris, who is the homeland security director for washington dc, has been saying today that they're going to wait until the flakes stop before they assess where and how they clear all this up. take a listen. >> the storm is still happening. we are still in that timeframe when real bad things can happen. once we get past this emergency phase, once the snow stops and the winds come, then we will get into the response phase. that is when we look at how we clean the city up, how we do our damage assessment, when we look at what we need to do to get to the recovery face to get all the snow out of the district. >> reporter: remember there are no buses above ground, there's no metro below ground. i love the fact that they're keeping all the metro trains in the tunnels to keep them warm where it is 30 degrees warmer than up here and they will bring
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them out late sunday in time for the rush hour on monday morning. it's a really eerie feeling here it does look like you're alone out there, john. >> reporter: i feel alone never. thank you. our correspondent has been tracking the storm. kevin. >> reporter: we've been tracking the storm since we knew it was in the south-west. we didn't know exactly how bad it would be, but we did know it was going to affect the north-east, but it has been much worse than we thought it was going to be. i want to give you some totals. for dc down to george town, we saw 23 inches, 17.7 at the airport, 21.4, central park, 19.3 and other areas 20.4. as you can see here the snow has not ended yet. we are starting to see the snow ending here about the central
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part of virginia. to the north they have a few hours left, but more up here. we still have those warnings and advisories out. all the blizzard areas, the blizzard warnings are still in effect and that is because this area of low pressure is just up the coast. it is so windy that it is making those drifting conditions and the visibility down, make it dangerous. that is why places have said no to driving because it makes it very, very dangerous if you are on the highway. so for across here, you can see the darker areas, where is where the snow is. we have been getting anywhere between 1 and 2 inches per hour across that region. so we do have those blizzard warnings still in effect. most of these will begin dropping off tomorrow. we do think it is going to be
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down here to the south first and then as we go through the early morning, the rest of the day, these blizzard warnings will stop to drop off as well. the by tomorrow afternoon the snow will be gone. you one other big factor is the flooding situation. that area of low pressure is off the coast. it's causing problems across parts of new jersey down towards here, and long island, but it is down towards new jersey where they are seeing the brunt of it there. we will watch this very carefully and when i come back we will be talking about when we really expect most of the snow to end that's what everyone wants. thank you. snow fall estimates were readvised this morning by the national center up to 30 inches. this time last video shows the snow fall from last night into the morning about 28 miles outside the capital.
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the govern declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm. a number of professional sporting events scheduled for today has been postponed. the game between the-- boston has been moved. the match up between the washington wiz ards also postponed to a later date. the hockey league has been cancelled as well as sunday's washington's penguins' game. they're to be announced at another date. stay with al jazeera america for continuing coverage of the blizzard. we will have another live update a little bit later in the hour. turning to the fight against i.s.i.l. a millitary strategy to defeat i.s.i.l. biden shored up the alliance.
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al jazeera's bernard smith has more. >> reporter: joe biden said something that the turkish government wanted to hear. he said the pkk, that spritist group fighting here-- separatist group, is just the same as i.s.i.l., it is just the same as al-nusra. what he spent a lot of time saying in this press briefing after their meeting was that this pkk in turkey is just the same, allied to, connected to and linked to the syrian kurdish fighters fighting against i.s.i.l. in syria. biden explicitly did not make that link and that is simply because for the u.s. vice president for the u.s., the ypg fighters are the most important group fighting on the ground against i.s.i.l.
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the u.s. sees them as an important partner. what worries turkey is that because the ypg is seen as this important partner for the u.s., the u.s. will turn a blind eye to any or ignore any sort of territorial ambitions the kurds might have on syria and that worries turkey because it believes that the pkk here is being emboldened by what it sees happening in syria former new york city mayor may have presidential ambitions. the new york times is reporting bloomburg has asked him advisers to draw up plans for an independent candidacy. he is most likely to run if donald trump and bernie sanders are nominated. he plans to make his decision by early march. coming up on al jazeera america, another town is reporting elevated levels of led in its water supply. details ahead on that.
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we will take a closer look at the dividing line next.
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the g.o.p. and democratic are running for the top office.
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they have their different rhetoric and visions of where the country is and where it needs to go. lisa stark spoke on this story >> reporter: it is a given in any presidential campaign, lofty ads promoting patriotism. what america are we talking about? the democratic america? >> i'm going to build on the progress we've made >> reporter: or the republican america? >> our freedom is under attack. our economy is under water. >> reporter: it sounds like they're running for presidential of two different-- president of two different countries >> in some sense i think they are running for president of different countries. the country is very polarized politically. not just in terms of partisanship but also in terms
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of mass media consumed and other things. there are a few things that really truly bring the country together >> reporter: to hear the republicans tell it the u.s. is on the ropes >> our country is going to hell because that's what's happening >> reporter: it's a much easier picture for democrats >> i believe we are standing on a threshold of american process >> reporter: part of this has to do with which party is in the white house. the democrats have to convince americans that the country is on the right track and they should stay in power. it's the opposite for the republicans. but that's not the only reason for these sharply different messages. >> the parties have become more idea logically cohesive, perhaps more so than ever in american history which i think contributess to the part son divide you see in the country. >> reporter: at one time there were not raid republican leaders and conservative democrats. they're now nearly exing tinkt.
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fewer americans see themselves in the middle politically. the share of americans who identify as either consistently or consistently conservative has grown to 21% already been railly. the split isn't just idea logical. republicans are rural; democrats are urban and attracts the bulk of minority voters. this divide is reflected in a host of issues from immigration, to health care and climate change >> the debate is over. climate change is real. climate change is the perfect pseudo scientific theory. >> reporter: even organizations that once had bipartisan report such as planned parenthood are caught in the political cross-fire >> planned parenthood should be funded, supported and appreciated. >> i vetoed planned parenthood and i would do the same thing if
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president >> reporter: this is what the picture look like now with candidates appealing to their core kon site ewe encease. -- constituencies we have a political analyst with us. we always enjoy speaking to you. the political parties are supposed to have different agendas. what is different now, though? >> well, they're living in different worlds. this country is very divided. a student once asked me in my class, is this the most divided we've been as a country? >> i said we did once have a civil war. three quarters of the americans were killed. i would argue that this is the
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most divided we've been since that terrible time what are the consequences politically of that? what have you seen as the fallout from that? >> grid lock in a word. we're seeing a washington that doesn't function and the result of that is that voters are very exasperated. one of the top issues is washington, what's wrong with politics, with government, with politicians. why can't they get anything done. why does the congress not go along with the president. that's what the public sees as the most serious problem what are they looking for as potential solutions or what type of person can be the person to involve this or is it much bigger than that? >> well, obviously, the solution would be compromised, deal making. bill clinton was asked why and he said read the constitution. let's make a deal. that's how it should be done. if you can't make deals, how else would you do it?
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that's why donald trump has an appeal because he is a master deal maker but also another way of trying to get around that is to elect a charismatic national hero someone like dwight isenhower. they say if they're a business person or military hero maybe they won't become entrapped in the political warfare in this country are there any issues or one or two issues that you can think of that both parties could possibly agree on? >> one of them is the issue of criminal justice reform. that's an important issue to a lot of americans. you're finding republicans and democrats critical of the fact that so many are incarcerated, many of them for very nonviolent and minor crimes like drug possession. there's a move to do something like that. if there is a big national issue that americans are really worried about where there is a terrorist attack or economic
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issue, then the parties will be forced to work together. a lot of analysts are warning that in 2016 this country could be facing a recession. it has been almost seven years into the recovery and a recision might be do. if it happens during 2016, that's going to take over the whole political agenda and both parties are going to be forced to talk about it you're saying in if that happens, that could make both parties change their tune? >> yes. what happens with grid lock, the way out is a crisis. if there is a crisis you have crisis, it happens they come out. when the voters demand that something be done somehow politicians do something thank you for that. it has been an interesting election season. i'm sure we will talk to you again. coming up the snow keeps on
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coming. we will take a look at live pictures now. manhattan where nearly two feet of fallen. a travel ban is in effect. >> reporter: today has been the worst of the snow. we will see a break for tomorrow. a lot of people are going to be showing themselves out. s out.
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pa pa
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welcome back. a look at the top stories. the blizzard of 2016 continues to wreck havoc for travellers across 20 states. 3,000 motorists were stranded in kentucky. the nations capital is covered under two feet of snow with some of the surrounding areas passing 30 inches. it is expected to continue until midnight. officials were hoping the transit system will reopen by monday. in new york city at least three deaths have resulted from the severe weather. all three died trying to shovel snow. a travel ban and above ground
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train service has been suspended. >> reporter: the right thing to do, even though inconvenient for a lot of people, things could be much worse if more people were on the highways in this situation. some of our viewers have sent in some photos. take a look at this man's car. this is not because of the actual snow depth. this is because of the drifting from the winds. here in newhope. at that time she had 19 inches. she has more across that area. looking at when we think the snow is going to be ending. you notice that a lot of the snow down here to the south is beginning to end. we are seeing a pull up here towards the north. so the forecast looks like this for the rest of the day. still very messy across much of the central states as well as the north-east. tomorrow, though, believe on it or not, that is what it will
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look like. it will pull off of the coast. anywhere from midnight to 5am for the major cities here, your snow is going to be stopping. that doesn't mean it won't be a tricky situation on the roads, but the snow will be ending. temperature wise not too bad. new york 26 degrees. when you factor in those winds it feels 12 degrees. down further it feels worse. we have had a major problem with flooding and it is because of the low pressure and the winds pushing on shore. we have flood warnings and watchers across much of the area that will continue through the rest of the evening thank you kevin. we have our correspondents on the streets of new york city and washington dc. the travel ban we're hearing
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about, are new yorkers abiding by the travel ban? >> reporter: they never really true behave. i have seen one lone cab and others on the road. it's a saturday night. people are trudging through the snow and having fun. if you don't have a place to go, you don't have to go to work and you're in your neighborhood, bars and stores are staying open, restaurants are too. what i grew up with, a very typical hardy new yorker enjoying it. it is still ongoing. it started early this morning. it is now the evening. it is expected to go through the night. many cities are shut down. we will see how long that lasts let's talk about the dangers of flooding that kevin has talked about. not at the level of hurricane sandy, but still a danger nonetheless. tell us more about that. >> reporter: the jersey shore
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has been bracing itself. this is not going to be welcomed. it flooded several towns. you have very high tides. there is also a full moon. you can't see it, but it's there. that could be affecting the tides. chris christie said it shouldn't be that bad, but these are cities that are along the coast that were already seeing some flooding. combine that with the iciness of melting know, it won't be fun for anyone up and down the coast thank you for that. going to washington dc where john terrett is reporting live. how much longer, john? when is it going to let up? >> reporter: well, i can't take my eyes off an suv which is stuck in the snow. it's absolutely compelling. it's very - he has been there for ten minutes now. i think he is badly stuck. to answer your question, how
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long it's going to be, well, we don't know. it started snowing about 30 hours ago. it has come in waves. remember the thing about this storm is apart from its sheer size and the amount of snow that it is dumping all the way across the north-east, the most populus parts of other country. we have winds that are reaching 70 miles an hour. the suv has free now, so good luck to you sir driving out and about. there's no sign of it stopping. the forecasters are saying some time about now here where i am. of course, not much further up the coast where you are, but we're expecting it to stop some time in the next couple of hours and then the next dig out begins. how they're going to get rid of this snow overall the streets the emergency management officials have made it clear this it will come in stages.
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that's not something they can immediately shall concerned about. they're trying to get through the next day or so. >> reporter: absolutely right. the mayor has said today too many people on the streets, go home, even though it's pretty much deserted here, there are still people out and she wants them off the streets, and guess gerhart, the head of security here, he says we can't begin to consider how we will clear the streets and get rid of the snow until it stops. so at the moment, fingers crossed, tomorrow is supposed to be quite a nice day. the sun is supposed to come out tomorrow, as always happens after a big snow storm. i think they're hoping to get some flights out of the airports by late afternoon. i think the underground rail service here is hoping to get back on course by monday morning, but really no guarantees at this stage. these are all ambitions absolutely. that's about all it is. thank you for that.
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in other news, 8100 people in ohio were told they had excessive levels of led in their drinking water. many are affected by the result which show led levels at 21 parts per billion. the epa do not xeft 15 parts per billion. >> it means it's slightly acidic and as it goes into the older residential service lines and into residential pluming and it's not being used, it's not being being poured out of the fau sets and it's sitting for an amount of time, the acidic water is leaching the copper and led out of the old pipes officials handed out bottled water. levels in flint have showed
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between 27 and 13,000 parts per billion. the city has been in crisis mode. our correspondent explains the science behind the numbers. >> reporter: the threat of led poisoning is not a one-time fall over and die threat. it is dangerous over time because it slowly builds up in the body. the long-term exposure one gets from repeatedly drinking led contaminated water is the worriysome thing here. in children under 6 it can lead to developmental dlid and hearing lots and in babies slow growth and learning difficulties. that health threat is why led is measured in drinking water in parts per billion. it determines a number at or below what you would find in 90% in homes in a given area. that is why the led content of flint, michigan's water is alarming. 271 homes were sampled in the area in the summer of 2015.
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here is what they found. first of all, let's look at neighboring cities, which is roughly 45 has a reported 1.1 parts per billion. in detroit levels were 2.3 parts. that is the point at which 10% have worse than that and 90% are bow low that. these are acceptable levels. that's because scientists don't get concerned until you reach 5 parts per billion. that's below the epa but that's where problems show up. imagine how they felt among those 271 homes the reading was 27 parts per billion. that is almost twice what the epa allows. their limit is widely considered to be too loose. also consider that some homes had a higher reading than that. one reading was 158 parts per billion. that is ten times even the epa's limit. in one unwill beingy home--
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unlucky home they made sure they were getting the most representative level possible and that one home the highest level recorded was 13,000 parts her billion. at 5,000 parts per billion the epa considers that to be toxic waste. this was the stuff coming out of the pipes in that home. one research wrote "we had had never seen such sustaineded levels in 25 years of work". this city has a serious problem coming up at 8 p.m. a deeper look at water safety. the challenge that many cities face. the infrastructure crumbles leading to contamination. financial markets was a topic at the world economic forum. the managering director the international monetary fund says chinese officials should clarify how they value their currency, especially the exchange rate. more than 2500 world leaders from business to government
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wrapped up the annual meeting. our correspondent has more from switzerland. >> reporter: the annual meeting here is drawing to a close. what has been achieved? it is always important to remember that this isn't one of those conferences that comes up with a final communication or a plan from all the members. it is a giant networking event, the biggest and most powerful one in the world, certainly the most cold yeft. when we woke up on the first day we found oil below $28 a barrel. this was the first time it had gone below that price in a very long time and had a lot of people rattled especially as they saw the markets tumble as a result of that. oil became a big talking point here. even prompting some to talk about the threat of a second recession. maybe not everyone else agrees with that, but people i spoke to did. also the manner, well, it all seems to be happening in slow motion. when the financial crisis hit back in 2007/8 it was really a
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shock. this time we're watching it happen. seemingly powerless to stop its fall. migration was obviously a huge issue for europe, not just the issue of people arriving in europe but also the cause of the problem. that is mostly the conflict is syria. many leaders talked about the need to get a plan in action. it was the dutch prime minister says we have six to eight weeks to sort it out. the waves of migrants will start again then when the weather is warmer. we have spoken about migration and refugees here he world economic forum shows it is not just about the economy, it's about a raft of social and environmental issues which all feedback into the economy proving that it's not just about rich people in the snow a 13-year-old palestinian
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girl is dead after she tried to shot an israeli guard. police say the girl may have taken the knife from her home after fighting with her family. at least 147 palestinians have been killed by israelis since october. left wing protesters marched through a greek bordertown near turkey carrying banners reading no more drownings, bring down the fence. it comes after two boats carrying migrants sank in the sea killing at least 46 people. at least 60 people have died so far this month trying to get to greece. meanwhile in finland demonstrators are saying the national anthem. more than 100 people with torches marched calling for the
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borders to be closed. they were met by counter demonstrators wearing clown coulds tums. >>-- costumes >> you can't fight with anything else other than humor because that's how they are. >> unidentified people have arrived in this country in this last year and nobody knows who they are and where they are from, what they're planning to do here while they're here. there has been a huge amount of crime related to these people many of the protesters accused migrants of sexual assaults against women. the presidential election in haiti has been postponed after protesters expecting a rigged election have taken to the streets. our correspondent reports from the capital. >> reporter: one opposition leader called it a victory for democracy, but on the streets of the city protesters were in no mood to celebrate. once again, thousands marched to
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voice their anger. burning campaign posters, tires and throwing rocks. many remain sceptical of the election process and fear haiti is going into a crisis. it is time to form a transitional government and organise a fresh election this man said. he said the people need to be part of that decision and in the end be victorious. this remains an extremely volatile situation. there are rocks being thrown, cs gas in the air. was a victory for these protesters, but clearly there is a great deal of unhappiness about the process. >> reporter: this man is confident he will be president >> in two months i will win >> reporter: the 47-year-old was hand picked by the president and refers to himself as banana man because of his background.
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he topped the votes in the last poll. >> translation: it's true that six months ago nobody knew my name, but today the entire country knows who the banana man is. they know me because my campaign team has done excellent work >> reporter: but opposition candidate called a first round of voting a farce and refused to campaign in the run off. there's now pressure from the international community for haiti to restore confidence in its electoral process, but time is running out. the president is supposed to step down in two weeks. what comes next remains uncertain the zika virus is spread by a mosquito bite and it causes brain damage to babies. it causes their brains to shrink. that's coming up next. plane wreckage awashing up along the coast.
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many are wondering if it's part of the missing malaysia airlines' plane.
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officials in thailand say plane wreckage there could belong to the missing flight. the large piece of curved metal measuring six by nine feet was discovered off the coast. the wreckage had washed ashore
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last summer. this large piece washed ashore in the indian ocean, but there's no official confirmation this new wreckage belongs to the plane. it was en route but vanished with 239 people on board. women in el salvador and colombia are being cautioned becoming pregnant due to an outbreak of the zika virus. ministers in those countries have made that after babies have been born with birth defects which is said to be linked to that virus. >> reporter: the mosquito born zika virus has been around for years in africa and south-east asia. in that time it barely registered as a problem. that was until it turned up in brazil. in just nine months there have been half a million cases of contagion with the virus and a link in the dramatic rise in
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berth defects in babies. >> normally zika is not a very dangerous disease, it is very self-limiting with mild symptoms. what we see in brazil right now is that in lots of the areas where we have zika infections, women have born babies with microcephaly. >> reporter: that is a condition in which the babies brain and head don't fully develop. before the virus arrived in brazil there were 150 known cases in the country. since october that has jumped to four thousand. the link to the zika virus hasn't been confirmed, but it's enough to prompt health officials to act as if there is one. >> we are quite concerned about the potential complications to the foetus of the zika virus infection of pregnant women, so we are advising pregnant
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postpone travelling to these areas if possible. >> reporter: those areas cover 20 different countries throughout latin america and the caribb acres n. there have been a handful of cases in the u.s. health officials are still not clear why it has become an epidemic so quickly. the olympics next august could provide the conditions to spread even further. >> translation: it is the limb in particular games and a lot of tourists from all over the world will arrive and they will be exposed to the risk of getting a virus. so zika has consequences not just for the brazilian public's health, but the health of those worldwide. >> reporter: as yet there's no vaccine or treatment for the zika virus. officials in brazil, cloum m colombia and el salvador have taken the step of advising women not to get pregnant for now.
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mosquito thrive and breed in small amounts of still water. health officials say avoiding or limiting exposure to the mosquito is the only answer, making mosquito raid indication programs like these all the more important a school district made surprise changes to the curriculum to help their children. >> reporter: ask these gifted middle schoolers how they spend their afternoons. for the most part it's all work and no play >> we're stressed. kids are really stressed. >> reporter: just so i'm clear, all four of you, every day after school you're studying, doing homework until you go to bed >> pretty much. >> reporter: how stressed are you every day? >> very stressed. >> recently i've been often
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stressed >> sometimes stressed. >> i feel afraid to tell an adult that maybe we need to slowdown. i need to take a step back >> reporter: it's part of growing up, hating homework, freaking out about tests, dealing with stress, but at west windsor plains school, they say what their kids faced was too much. how stressed would you say your kids are? >> i hear my son saying i can't handle it >> they tend to struggle throughout their time here >> there were people throwing up and being very upset about the test and stressed out about it >> >> reporter: the district near principles tonne - pr-- princeton have highly driven kids. 87% of the graduating class went on to attend four year universities. to many on the surface things like great. deep down this man was worried.
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last year 120 students were recommended for mental health evaluations, 40 were hospitalised, two-thirds said they were stressed all if not most of the time >> we are hearing about sleeping problems, suicidal ideations, cutting. >> reporter: suicide clusters of students have been seen >> that is no way to live and we don't want other children functioning that way on a daily basis >> reporter: they imposed changes to lighten the load, like no homework nights or no mid terms or finals. every student can now participate in music. >> we're very confident that the education will prepare them very well for a life outside of our district >> reporter: you can imagine what the kids thought >> i thought it was a good idea because there's more to life
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than getting good grades and doing homework and studying for tests and stuff >> reporter: the district faced a backlash. the biggest concern the changes would water down that quality education >> my parents thought it was a bad idea. on no homework nights my parents say you have no homework so you can spend more time practising piano >> a lot of parents are worrying about dummying down schools >> i think it is a non-productive term. they will come to realise that the plan meet the needs of their children and serve children well >> reporter: for some parents, something had to change >> you can't sustain study only. you will never repeat your child hood >> reporter: a big teaching moment for many, but not all of life's lessons are found in the classroom
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more on what is coming up in the next hour. >> reporter: the storm continues and so does our coverage of it. that crippling blizzard, millions of people affected. live reports from new york and washington, plus a deeper look at the water crisis in michigan. what is the government's responsibility to keep drinking water safe. with nine days left of first presidential caucus, donald trump, the republican presidential candidate, claims blind loyalty from his followers. even if you were to commit a violent crime, they would not turn away from him he says. we will tell you that we must talk about that. in the meantime the snow storm is reaching record levels now. you have been doing your research. >> i have to credit our ep patrick who has sent us the national weather service revealing that we have 25.1
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inches in central park. that is the third biggest snow since they have been recording the amounts that is a big snow >> people in vermont are laughing at us yes, they are. this video i'm telling you is the best video you will see today. everyone stayed inside because of the storm except for this cutie pie. just chilling at the national announcer: just having an absolute-- national zoo and just having an absolute ball. it doesn't get any better than that, does it. keep it here. the news continues next. show at 11:00 eastern. >> we start with breaking news. >> let's take a closer look.
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this is al jazeera america. i'm in new york with a look at today's top stories. traffic banned in new york city. severe flooding in new jersey, all of it caused by a crippling blizzard. we are still looking at the storm. even tomorrow we are looking at a lot of clean up happening. i will bring

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