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tv   News  Al Jazeera  December 17, 2013 2:00am-2:31am EST

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>> a federal judge delivers a strong blow to the national security agency saying the collection of u.s. phone numbers is unconstitutional. >> the united nations asking for billions for the conflict in syria. >> newly released audio with video recordings capture the final moments of 19 arizona firefighters who died covering a fire last summer. >> it's the end of an era. saying goodbye to an icon of the road, the volkswagen bus.
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>> welcome to al jazeera america, i'm stephanie sy. edward snowden is claiming victory now that a federal judge came out against the bulk collection of telephone records, saying it may be unconstitutional. al jazeera's mike viqueira has more from washington. >> it was a surprise ruling from a federal judge in washington. judge richard leon ruled that the phone metadata collection is likely in violation of the constitution, specifically the fourth amendment prohibitions against unreasonable search and seizure. >> the judge wrote:
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>> in the ruling judge leon stayed the injunction, he wants to give the government time to appeal. for the time being the metadata collection conditions on, there's a ruling that the government will defend on appeal. >> the white house deferred action to the department of justice. they put out a statement, saying they have seen the court ruling, they are studying it: >> this is the secret court in the center the of the controversy, that hears appeals when the intelligence community wants to go for warrants and other tools to look into potential terrorist or security threats, they go to the court, and the department of justice points out on 35 separate
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occasions they authorised just the sort of telephonic metadata collection that the court addressed today. now, the man at the center of this controversy, edward snowden, has released a statement that reads in part: >> there'll be many more court cases like that that strike down what the n.s.a. has been doing, and what he is fighting against in allowing the leaks to go forward. we should point out another item is president obama posting heavy hitters from the technology world, including the ceos of apple, twitter, netflix, and they'll talk about, and the technological challenges that has had. the issue with intelligence surveillance and the technology involved, the judge in the case
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cited the almost forwellian nature of the data gathered saying the precedent from 1979 used to authorise data, is outdated and technology has changed. that's the basis of his ruling. >> the american civil liberty's union hailed the ruling. in their statement they said, "the call tracking program can't be scared with the constitution." dozens of american sailors involved in rescue efforts now say they have cancer. 51 sailors on the uss "ronald reag reagan" believe they were suffered to radioactive material. the sailors filed a lawsuit against the owner of the nuclear plant. >> ukraine's president is set to meet with russian leaders.
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thousands of protesters demonstrating in key eve, calling on president viktor yanukovych to step down after turning down a trade deal with e.u. vladimir putin is likely to offer loans. they hold key pipelines that much of europe depends on, a deal with russia could mean lower fuel prices. >> north korea marks the second anniversary of kim jong-il's death, dying unexpectedly, and passing power to his son. political leaders in the country used the occasion to pledge loyalty to june. last week he had his powerful uncle executed for plotting to overthrow the government. >> the united nations an asking for more than $6 billion to deal with the refugee crisis, the largest amount of money.
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syrian refugees are living in tents and there are fears of starvation and illness. james bays reports from the u.n. >> without doubt it's the worst humanitarian crisis for decades. a year ago there were a huge number of refugees. throughout 2013, the numbers fleeing syria continued to rise dramatically. the figure is more than four times what it was a year ago, $2.3 million. during 2014 they could be 4.1 million refugees. add to that 9.3 million people in syria. the u.n. statements are in need of human tare can assistance. >> even if there was an answered to the violence in syria tomorrow, we would still have a make your humanitarian crisis on
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our hands. >> last january leaders gathered in kuwait. 4.4 billion was needed in 2013. 60% of it was raised. >> bank ki moonhas this message, and needs to come up with 6.5 million. >> the international community and leaders have moral, political responsibility. we have 9.5 million people who have been affected. this is half of total population. >> one of the other problems is humanitarian access for those most in need in tisir ya. the council talked, but has not taken action. on that and many things regarding syria, there's stalemate. >> over the weekend the u.n.
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started airlifting aid to syria from northern iraq. the head of the u.n. refugee agency says it's too dangerous to go by land. a string of attacks in iraq killed 70. the deadliest attack happened in kabula. two car bombs targeted some areas. more than 7,000 civilians and over 950 security forces have been killed in iraq since january. israel and lebanon are trying to ease tensions after a flare-up on the boarder. officials met with peacekeepers to reaffirm a 2006 peace fire agreement. an israeli soldier was killed whilst driving along the border, several hours later, israelis
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shot two lebanese soldiers. >> winter storms are called nans, nor-easters, colorado lows and alberta express. that is what we are seeing. the system is moving from canada, across the northern plains. let's go closer in. look at the span through minnesota. a quick-moving system. we don't expect much snow, because there's no time for it to accumulate. what we'll see is windy conditions as well as lower visibilities. once this goes through. on tuesday, that system makes it all the way over here to the north-east. most of new england down to the virginia's. some places will see more than others. connecticut, massachusetts, but in new york, 2-3 inches. for the rest of the country it's
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looking nice, dry. >> no snow or rain. for seattle the rain will be light as we go towards tuesday. wednesday is a little heavier. by the time we get to thursday, it is nice. temperatures of 41. down towards california, we are looking at nice conditions for los angeles, 82 degrees is the high today. look how it drops to 69. it doesn't recover. but the overnight lows. growing concerns in the central african republic. the new challenges that residents are facing and the escalating violence. a final moment. the last words from the 18 heroes who died battling a wild fire. earning degrees behind bars. how inmates are getting lessons
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through higher education.
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>> the sectarian conflict in the central african republic is getting worse by the day. hundreds have been killed. hundreds of thousands are fleeing their home. now there are reports that the rebels are using children to fight. we have this story from the central african republic. >> another attack. houses burning. this time it's muslim homes, no one is killed. it's feared the attackers are here. soldiers are deployed. they are in search of christian militia, anti-balaka. the african peacekeeping force is next to arrive. there's little to do. everyone here has fled. this was an african family home. now look at it. it's hardly any surprise the level of fear, the level of insecurity. people look to the african peacekeeping force, but they are
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here too late to do anything about this. the situation is more critical by the day. the reason, the cycle of violence is deeply set. the african peacekeepers fought bravely, but dozens of people died in a place mired in displace and the will to seek revenge. >> translation: those in security should do more to stop this. otherwise christian houses will be set on fire. >> almost a 6-hour drive from the capital we encounter the vigilantes. they rose against the alliance, bringing down the briefious government. >> seleka people are human being. if they live with us in harmony everything will be all right. they turn the guns towards us, we die in large numbers. >> back here they are former
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fighters in the army transitional government. there are plans to disarm them. the commander says it shouldn't happen to a national army. peacekeepers keep an eye on them. besides them is 7,000 muslims living in dire conditions. a short ride down the road and besides the catholic church, 36,000 christians are packed in equally appalling conditions. >> at one more location to this uneasy landscape, the french army base and it's a dangerous mix. one with no immediate solution in sight. >> well the fighting momentarily ceased on monday. residents say stores doubled the price of goods like milk, meat and oil.
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>> a late-season wildfire burning in california destroys 15 homes. the fire burnt 500 acres, forcing 100 to evacuate. hundreds of firefighters worked through the night. it broke out sunday during the unseasonally warm weather. >> they are called the hot shots. they have one of the most dangerous jobs on earth. instead of running from wild fires, they rush in. last summer 19 of the special firefighters died fighting a blaze in the mountains. audio of their final battle has been released. >> haunting images from a helmet camera cancelling the desperate efforts to reach 19 firefighters trapped in an inferno from which they would not escape. along with the video is the audio of the hot shorkts the heroes that died in the line of duty, battling a fire in arizona
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last year. >> the response comes though not immediately from the command center. the recordings reveal confusion. one unseen firefighters tries to identify the voice of another. >> knowing time is slipping away the dispatcher makes a request for a helicopterer. >> and then the final
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transmission. >> the command center arrives to confirm the location. but there was no reply. when the firefighters reach the men, it was too late. they had all perished. an investigation concluded that a breakdown in communication may have contributed to the tragedy. >> al jazeera's john siegenthaler reporting. 8400 acres were blackened in the yarnel fire. >> a federal judge's decision is giving retired workers new hope. steven rowed says union and pension funds can appeal the bankruptcy warning. a move that could stop the city
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cutting the pensions. the ruling allowed destroyed to move forward with bankruptcy and thus allowing them to re-establish debt. pensions are under funded by $3.5 billion. >> three women who endured years of cap tisty are putting their story in writing. amanda berry and de-jesus will work together on a book. knict knight is working on a memoir. >> 70% of inmates don't have a high school diploma. there's a prison in tennessee trying to thang the statistic. >> donna mccoy is serving a life
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sentence. for a few hours she is here. >> i feel like i'm being redamed, restored. >> it was the first graduation at the tennessee prison for women. eight women received associate degrees. at the university in nashville. >> the university professor came into the prison, teaching everything from history to physics. >> i feel like i have earnt a degree. >> we were never looked down on. we were always considered as students. >> a little bit about vitamins and minor always. >> each had to earn 63 hours. >> there are voices that don't matter or count. now they can illustrate they are somebody, and can work hard and achieve success, and they can model that to their families and
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children and the larger society. >> the program allows traditional students to come in and take classes with the inmates, allowing the students inside to experience traditional college perspective. the program is life-changing, pointing to studies, reducing the likelihood of ex-convicts ping going back to prison. >> the past seven years of work is a way to give back in prison. >> this is a community. it may not be a community seen by the entire world, but it is a community. there are women that will get out before i get out. i have tools to help them. >> why is it important to finish this. >> even though i fail, i can pick myself up. >> there are more than 30 women enrolled.
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the next class is set to graduate in two years. at 57 years old donna mccoy knows she may never leave prison. jonathan martin, al jazeera, nash victim. >> it takes the women about seven years to complete an associate's degree. >> why federal regulators are looking at manufacturer's claims. >> a look at why some people have kept the volkswagen rolling. >> and a look back at the music of ray price.
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>> the food and drug administration says it's proposing tighter rules on the makers of antibacterial soaps. they want to find out if long-term exposure is doing more harm than good. >> for years u.s. manufacturers have advertised to get rid of dangerous germs, antibacterial soaps are the answer. now the u.s. food and drug administration says there's no evidence to back up the claims, even worse, saying one see
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ingredient found in most antibacterial soaps may be dangerous. after an environmental group accused the f.d.a. of delaying access on the chemical did the agency take action. >> people are using them every day, making kids and infants watch their hands with them. they may have hormones important for development of the brain and reproductive function may be affected. >> manufacturers must prove the product is more effective than soap and water. new guidelines apply. handsan tiesers and soaps used in places such as hospitals are not affected. >> two associations are vowing to challenge the ruling. >> in a statement they said we are perplexed that the agency
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would have no evidence. industry has long decided data about the safety and esso case of these products. in 2010 the european union banned the product. in march the canadian government deemed the chemical was dangerous. despite 40 years of investigation. the f.d.a. says a final rule won't be issued until 2016. >> the f.d.a. has a year to produce data showing that the chemicals in the data are safe and effective. if it can't be proved, it will have to be removed. >> country music fans mourn the death of ray price. his car here began in the 1950s
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as a pioneer of the honky tongue sound. he released "for the good time" in the '70s. price had been battling pan creatic cancer. he is was 87 years o. >> it's the end of an era for an icon. the volkswagen bus. >> on friday the last of these mini becauses is scheduled to roll off the production line in brazil. it will bring an end to a 63-long chapter. some people are not ready. >> i can't open from the side. >> it's been three years since dave left his home in san diego california, to drive up and down south america in his bus. the vehicle is beat up, full of personality and reliable, he says. >> the only time i had to take the motor out is put new piston
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rings on it. >> like most owners of vans or combys as they are known in brazil, the love affair with the vehicle is something different. >> you don't buy a car, you enter the relationship. i feel that car. >> they gathered to hold a farewell party. 63 years after it was introduced on the market. volkswagen is discontinuing production on the kombi before the end of the year. since 1975 the vw factory is the last place in the world the kombi is made. 140 a day are produced here, but now they are assembled in the final few. >> there's a new law going into effect in brazil saying all new vehicles have to come equipped with air bags and breaks.
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there's no way to retrofit the vehicle. so the people at volkswagen will retire it. >> for these kombi owners, it was nonstop talk about their adventures with the vehicle. a map inside his kombi traces everywhere it's been. he's taken it to three world cups and driven it in dozens of continents. >> when i travel, it's where i eat, sleep. when i'm tired i stop the car and spend the night with it. subpoena like a true kombi lover, who will have to carry on the legacy of those on the road, that no more will be made. >> they will be missed. that will do it for this editio
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