>> welcome to aljazeera america, i'm del walters. secretary of state, john kerry is trying to start peace talks this. and this explosion in beirut. and four people are now dead. and the rescue team trying to free people trapped in the arctic since christmas eve. topping our news at this hour, secretary of state, john kerry,'s visit to the middle east. kerry is in the region, setting the framework for peace talks.
nick shepard is in jerusalem, and what does kerry hope to accomplish on trip number 10? >> reporter: well, del, there have been a lot of trips and a lot of meetings between palestinian and israeli officials in the last months, and both sides are no closer to peace than they were six months ago. there are a lot of sceptics among both sides and officials who are work for john kerry. so as he sat next to benjamin netanyahu, he addressed the critics and said, let's have some optimism as we go forward. >> i know, i come here with no illusions. i know that there are many who are sceptical whether or not the two parties can achieve peace. but i will tell you that i have personally learned something about the power of
reconciliation. >> and one of the roadblocks that kerry has run into is the issue of settlement. perhaps no one larger issue separates the two sides than israel building settlements on the land that palestinians feel is the heart of their state. we went to the palestinian villages that surround it. >> reporter: before mahmoud had the chance to move into his new home, it was destroyed. this is dir village, and last month, israelis bulldozed his house. this is the period of degradation. they must think that we're animals. otherwise they wouldn't treat us like this. about a mile away, israel is building. these homes are foundations for a settlement. the home was built four months ago. the israeli government subsidizes the houses. it's cheap.
she moved here because the streets are quiet. >> nice neighborhood >> and the neighbors in the village. >> we're 300 feet from the house that was demolished. >> his family has lived here for generations. he said they don't have the required building permits. but he argues that israel is trying to encroach on palestinian land. >> the settlements. >> do you feel like you're being surrounded? >> yes. >> when you look around the settlements, what do you feel about the future of palestinians? >> almost zero. zero chance of an in the palestinian state. >> why? >> practical, i mean the settlements are occupied everywhere. >> reporter: israel said that it has the right to build settlements on land captured in the war. in 1977, 4,000 stetlers lived on
24 isettlements. 22 settlements. the you knew calls these settlements illegal. but for brahah -- >> my kids can go to friend's houses and they can tell me where they're going, and they can go without me going. >> but she's not just here for the neighborhood and view. she believes that god wants here to be here. >> god gave the jews the land. it was given to the jews, so it's important for me to live here. >> as she walks home, mahmoud gathers his family of nine. there's enough room for everyone, so he vows to rebuild. he has no power to stop israel
from destroying it again. >> they decided not to stick the thumb in his eye, as one israel official put it. palestinian officials threatened to pull out of the peace talks, and they argue, how can you possibly talk about peace when israel continues to build settlements that basically divide land that the palestinians say is their future state. it's all fragile and much more so by he's settlements. >> what, if anything, did prime anyone, nex netanyahu say about kerry's visit this morning? >> well, we saw them hold a press conference together. and we'll see what kerry is offering, but netanyahu is saying, this is hard for us, the
israelis have made some concessions, and it's very very unpopular in israel. you see massive demonstrations with the palestinian prisoners are release. so that kind of issue, the israelis say, we're giving concessions, and this is really unpopular. some of the concessions that you're asking, about the borders and how to divide jerusalem. these are very sensitive for israel. so both say we don't have a lot of support on the streets, within our own parties with the concession that's you're pushing for. and israelis say its time to push for peace, and as you know, that's much easier said than done. >> thank you very much. and also in the middle east, a massive explosion killing at least four people today in beirut. it happened in the section of
the lebanese capital. the blast was so strong that there are fears that the death toll could rise. so far no one is taking responsibility for the attack. and in moments we'll take you to beirut! he. >> in iraq, the numbers are disturbing. 8,000 iraqi civilians were killed in 2013. that's one of the highest death tolls ever. already, there have been sunni attacks on anbar province. >> reporter: it has been a vicious year for iraqis. the new year isn't looking any better. sunni fighters in anbar province are attacking police stations, they have released prisoners and seized weapons. there's anger here over the arrest of a prominent sunni lawmaker, and also over the dismantlement. they have accused many of the protesters of being members of al qaeda. that has angered people even
more, so maliki has sent in reinforcements. he says that he wants to talk to leaders in the province, but not those that are allied with al qaeda. >> we welcome our brothers who will step forward to speak to us and discuss. we need the real ones, and not those who claim to represent them. >> iraq has become bitterly sectarian. with great grievances with the shiite government. they feel they have been neglected. it was not like this before the iraq war, and it's a huge challenge for the government to try to reconcile. >> it needs political instruments to deal with the unhappy sunni population, and it needs military instruments to deal with al qaeda. as long as those two things are completed, there's no hope of successful resolution. >> the government has started to
give extra aid to an what are province, including oil and medicine. but it all seems too late. fighters are making iraq even more unstable before the elections in april. so this is not much time to get talks underway to try to calm things down. >> in egypt, there are three aljazeera colleagues spending their fifth day in detention. they're being held in a prison outside of cairo. and our correspondent, peter, remains inside of a police station. and all three are expected to face questioning this week. aljazeera continues to demand its staff be released. a group of senators the karzai to sign a security deal with the u.s. and sign it soon. karzai put it off until after the elections. and they say that will pose a threat to afghanistan and the region. >> we cannot see a repeat of iraq.
we have to do everything that we can in order to see that this is signed. but at the same time, we have explained to our afghan friends that unless we resolve these differences, the united states of america has no choice but to not continue with its commitment. something that we don't want to do. >> mccain saying that the differences could be resolved soon. if a deal isn't signed, all u.s. natey troops could leave afghanistan bit end of the year. hundreds dead and hundreds of thousands now displaced. peace talks today in ethiopia, and meanwhile, the president declared a state of emergency in an oil rich battle ground state. >> reporter: for the vice president, it's more about government forces on officials. to deal with the rebellion. the sense of embarrassment that
they have lost two key cities, now fighting is going on this morning around those towns. from the town that fighting began at dawn, when the government forces are sending reinforcements on tuesday, and attacking rebel positions, and fighting will be going on there. and the government is saying that they will everyone stop the fighting until they get more. also, fighting is going on around the count of -- , these are two key states that the government doesn't want the talks to begin before it gets control. >> those passengers who spent days stuck in the ice in antarctica are now on the way to australia. a cheese helicopter taking four scientists from the ship.
and researchers are staying with the vessel, which is not in any danger of sinking. the ice breaker is about to arrive in australia in about two weeks. at home, bracing for the first major winter storm of 2014. it's expected to bring winds and freezing temperatures to boston, new york, and cities up and down the eastern seaboard. several inches of snow already falling in the midwest. some cities have declared snow emergencies. they warn us for what we can expect. >> we expect this thing to get wound up and get going tonight. and specifically, we'll see the wind pick up and a lot of the snow really accumulate. not much happening between now and then. with blizzard warnings, we have increased wind speeds gusting over 35 miles per hour, dropping visibilities for 3 hours or more with less than a quarter mile. so those conditions could happen with the blizzard warnings in effect. nothing happening now in the mid-atlantic on the radar.
these storms will come together with the temperatures really starting to drop overnight. but right now, just above the freezing mark in philadelphia. not much happening at 4:00, but as the storm intensifies, this is where the snow is coming down tonight. i'll look at the cold air behind this. and it will be a little bit later with the complete national forecast. >> next on aljazeera america, a big surprise in 2013. now more popular than ever, and getting competition.
after it opened. and the other, with the army, it claimed that it attacked data with skype. gaining ground this year with vendors, and that is creating room for new digital currencies. patricia explains. >> when you buy something electronically, using traditional occurrences like dollars or pesos or yen, it works like a bank much. >> bit coin's appeal is that it transfers from one person to another. using computers that stops people from sending the same by the coin twice, prevents fraud. and it keeps it growing at a steady rate. >> the fact that there's no point of failure. the fact that the bit coin network is hard to hack, those are the things that it all comes from. >> the bit coin user network is
made up of miners, who verify transactions with a time stamp. think of a postmark. crucially 25 new by the coins, currently worth about $20,000. ironically, that handsome pay off has started an arms race of sorts, that threatens to decentralize the nature. they're solved much faster, using dedicated hardware that's far more powerful and expensive than your garden variety pc. increasingly, professional miners are organizing themselves into pools that are crowding out little guys. >> you may in the future see something like an opec digital currency. >> the specter of the cartel, with digital currencies rising
in its shadow. first up, mark coin. though it's $600 million compared to bit coin's $9 billion, it's designed to be competitively, using a home computer. more than 60 bit coin alternatives, vying for a share of the currency market. they're highly volatile. but no matter how attractive they come to investors, some governments don't like digital currencies. they put a damper on exchanges, and stops financial institutions from handling bit coins. but still, advocates insist there's no putting the genie back in the bottle. >> they have figured on out how to send money over the internet instantaneous wee.ally. this is not something that people are going to forget how to do. >> more than 2,000 businesses
worldwide accept by the coins, and you can see how and where they are. >> the dow is down 81 points on the first trading day of 2014. and the blue chips closing out 2013 with the biggest annual gain in almost two decades. the number of people applying for unemployment is falling in 2013, and it puts it at the lowest levels in december as that month came to an end. it's less reliable as an economic indicator. >>. >> chrysler will soon be owned solely by fee at. it's taking control of the company now, buying from the united auto workers' health trust. chrysler was purchased in 2009,
>> think harry potter. a majestic bird is capturing chicago's attention. it's usually in the arctic tundra and traveling south this time of year. we get a closer look. look. >> i try to get here at sunrise every morning. >> reporter: it's a bone chilling morning on chicago's lakeshore. carey goldner is hoping to snap a photograph of a snowy owl. >> they're probably the largest birds in north america, and
they're amazing. beautiful to watch and beautiful to spend time with. >> reporter: with its bright yellow eyes and black beak and puffy white plumage, the snowy owl has a stink appearance. dis. in the harry potter series seen here i. >> it's a historical creature, a wise owl, and i think that everyone wants to experience that. >> reporter: as this arctic nomad is appearing in chicago, people are braving the elements to catch a glimpse. their hearing is so acute they can locate and hone in on prey in heavy vegetation or even snow. food may explain why the owls have migrated this far south.
>> sometimes we think that they have a lot of chicks because of their food sources this time of year, and after that, the adults may be pushing the juveniles, and they push further and further south, looking for food. >> reporter: one source to track snowy owl sights is eber. it provide realtime information on where the owls are and where they're going. >> the first ones arrived in about mid november. and because of the internet and how birds get reported online now, we sort of knew to expect them. so people were out looking for snowy owls before they showed up because they were being seen in other areas near pitch >> reporter: others say that the owls will likely increase, giving them opportunities to see them in early february to late march. but if that's not pealing,
there's always the zoo. aljazeera, chicago. >> i'm meteorologist, dave warren, and we have two areas of snow and rain. snow coming together and organizing, but when it does, look for the snow to get very heavy and fill into that area, which was clear. the temperatures are cold enough, but they could be dropping. this could be light, fluffy snow, and not the heavy snow that we're talking about. cold air is in place x. it will be even colder by tomorrow once the storm starts to clear out. two areas of low pressure. baltimore, washington, philadelphia, new york, seeing light know in boston. but by this evening, 3:00, 4:00, they start to get organized and come together. and the snow starts to fill in. by 10:00, to 11:00, the snow is heavier with the darker blue
color, indicating the heavy snow. there's the snow, and you get a band of snow on i-95 because the wind coming in from the north. we could see a band of heavy snow in and around the storm. and that pretty much goes from boston to new york to new jersey to philadelphia. that could be where the heavy snow occurs. the snow by midnight tonight, and by tomorrow, it's very brief and heavy snow coming down beyond the ground and clearing out tomorrow evening. that's when the bitter cold air moves in, and the snow is not going anywhere. here's the curb of heavy snow. the wind will pick up and create blizzard-like conditions, with blowing and drifting snow. that's where we see the snow in boston on friday, with the cold ending and sunshine, and the snow won't melt any time soon.
it will be on the ground slick, and the temperatures will eventually warm up by the end of the weekend. but we'll be watching rain and snow on monday. >> thank you very much. ukraine's voice has become the world leader in grain and products. but practices dating back to the old days of the soviet union could be getting in the way. >> in some ways, agriculture hasn't changed much here in the past 100 years. some work the fields by hand and most are still poor. the soviet union's forced program was supposed to modernize farming but it contributed to a famine that killed many farmers. in 1991, the transition to farming made producttivity mum et at first, but now it's booming. >> look where we're standing now. this was an old collective farm
in soviet times, and now it's one of the most modern agriculture complexes. >> but even they have a lot of catching up to do. the average cow produce 60 in europe. expensive products like soft cheese or yogurt. still the country has a lot of potential. ukraine has some of the richest soil in the world. and many believe that with better integration and closer ties to europe, ukraine could be a bread basket. who owns the soil is a problem here. >> there's no clear ownership. there's no clear right to buy or sell land, which of course makes it difficult for people to invest. >> that makes modernization projects like this new seed plant expensive. ukraine charges 25% interest.
farming companies would like government reforms and outside help. >> if makes financial sense, because development from organizations and innovations. we need financial resources. the grains are very expensive. >> europe is already ukraine's biggest customer, and they could sell even more. >> ukraine could be number two this year, and that's 50% of its capacity. ukraine has the capacity to equal or almost equal u.s. exports. >> but it will take a lot of change to make ukraine's farming competitive in the 21st century. jennifer glass, ukraine. >> and a reminder that we continue to follow that story out of beirut, lebanon.
a massive bombing this. i'm del walters. thank you for watching aljazeera america. craft brewing is the "inside story." >> hello, i'm ray suarez. now, full disclosure, the "inside story" team is off this new year's day so i'm not even really here. and to make that possible we dipped into our archive for a show that may pair well with family and football. we're talking about american craft beer. today there are as many working breweries in the country as there were in the late 19th century as consumers search for new flavors and experiences