welcome to al jazeera america. i'm del walters. these are the stories we are following for you. a broker of peace. secretary of state john kerry now in the middle east. beirut explosion. a hezbollah strong hold is hit. and get ready for things to slow way down in the northeastern part of the country, a major snow storm headed your way. ♪ secretary of state john kerry's visit to the middle east topping our newscast at this hour. kerry is in the region setting up the framework for peace talks
which he hopes will come later. nick, what does kerry hope to accomplish this time? >> little baby steps, dell, that's all u.s. officials are saying he is here to today, get a framework that will allow the two sides to talk in the future. and he is really pushing for concessions on both sides. he says it is time that both sides make a lot of hard choices, but he is getting a lot of resistance from prime minister benjamin netenyahu. >> i know you are committed to peace, i know i am committed to peace, but unfortunately given the actions and words of palestinian leaders, there is growing doubt in israel that the palestinians are committed to
peace. >> the time is soon arising where leaders are going to have to make difficult decisions. we are close to that time, if not at it. >> and one of those main concessions that kerry is going to push netenyahu to make and in indeed one of the main aspects and issues in the talks between the two sides are settlements. israeli settlements that they are building in the heart of what the palestinians hope is the heart of the future of their state. >> reporter: before this man had a chance to move into his new home, it was destroyed. last month the israeli military bulldozed his house. >> translator: this is the epitome of degradation he says. they must think we are animals otherwise they wouldn'tn't treat us like this.
>> reporter: about a mile away israel is building. these are homes for the settlement. this man's home was built four years ago. the israeli government subsidizes these houses, so they are cheap. >> it is a beautiful view. it's a nice neighborhood. >> reporter: and their neighbors deer balute village. >> we are about 100 feet from the house that was demolished. >> reporter: israel says these buildings don't have the required permits. one settlement, number two, and number three. >> number three settlements. >> reporter: do you feel you are being surrounded? >> absolutely. >> reporter: when you look around at this, what do you feel about a future palestinian state. >> almost zero. >> reporter: why?
>> practically because the settlements are where every. >> reporter: israeli says it has the right to build on this land. in 1977, 4,000 settlers lived on 24 settlements. in 1993, 110,000 settlers. >> on a good day we can see the sea. the un calls these settlements illegal. but for this woman this is like small town usa. >> they can tell me where they are going and they can go without me worrying about them. >> reporter: but she also believes god wants her to be here. >> it's in the bible. god gave the jews the land. it was given to the jews, so it's important for me to live here. >> reporter: and as she walks home, this man gathers his
family of nine. there is not enough room here for everyone, so he vows to rebuild that destroyed home, but has no power to stop israel from destroying it again. additional 1400 settlements, but they have delayed that announcement in order to not put the thumb in the eye into john kerry. nonetheless this official says the settlement announcement will go forward. that will infuriate palestinians. so clearly del, one of the main issues that both sides are still grappling with in these peace talks. >> nick thank you very much. also in the mideastern explosion killing at least four people in lebanon. it happened in the southern suburbs of beirut, an area that is said to be a strong hold of
hezbollah. so far no one claiming responsibility for the attack. in just a few moments we'll go live to beirut for a report. here at home the northeast bracing for the next big storm of the year. as erika pitzi reports, the same system blowing through the midwest. >> reporter: in snow storm taking dead aim at the east has already reeked havoc in the northwest. in minneapolis emergency crews responding to a gas explosion worked under extreme temperatures. ass rushed to help, some victims were forced to wait in the freezing cold. >> imagine if you are trying to advance a heavy hose line on an ice skating rink, it is very
challenging. >> reporter: residents are digging out, clearing sidewalks and getting around however they can. >> i thoughts after we took a couple of naps it would slow down a little bit, but no it is still snowing. >> it's preicy out there. >> reporter: and it was in ann ar, michigan where fans braved the chilly temperatures to watch the winter classic. >> got to do what you got to do to be hock fans. >> cities between washington, d.c. and maine are now bracing for the blizzard like white
planes, new york. in new jersey salt, shovels and snowblowers are flying off of the shelves. >> they are saying, between six or 16 inches, but with this i'll be ready for anything. >> it will be cold initially and then get colder once the snow clears out. it will be a light snow, and we have winter storm warnings in effect, blizzard warnings, because the wind could increase and the snow could blow reducing visibility. this will all be happening overnighting tonight. a big hole in the radar here. we have two storms that will combine and intensify. but that is not happening yet. the rain to the south and the
snow all coming together. some light snow developing and then it really intensifies. there is the cold air in place. right around the freezing mark in philadelphia. so looks like it could be initially a mix, but then quickly changing over to snow a it will farther south. by 7:00, 8:00, the storm intensifies and it really starts to become heavy. it's overnight where we'll see that snow really start to intensify. by about 10:00 tonight clout night and tomorrow. look at the snow amount coming up on the national forecast later. del? >> dave, thank you very much. hundreds of people in sudan are dead and hundreds of thousands have been displaced. meanwhile the president there declaring a state of emergency
in an ole-rich battleground state. >> the declaration of a state of emergency is more about giving government officials a freehand to deal with the rebelian. the sense of embarrassment that they have lost the two key cities. fighting is going on this morning around these downs. in bor, [ inaudible ] from the town that fighting began at dawn when government forces were sent there as reenfoesments after being defeated on tuesday, and attacked rebel forces, and fighting is said to be going on there. and the government has said they will not stop the fighting until they get boar. also fighting is going on around the capitol of the oil-producing unity state. these are two key states that the government doesn't want the talks to begin before it gets
control of. in iraq the intense violence continues there. a series of car bombings killing at least 10 injuring more than 50. there are concerns that things once again could be spiralling out of control. stephanie decker has more. >> reporter: it has been a vicious year for iraqis and the new year isn't looking any better. sunni fighters are attacking police stations. they have released prisoners and seized weapons. there is anger over the arrest of a prominent sunni politician and over the dismentalment of a shoeny protest camp. now maliki has sent in army reinforcements. he says he wants to talk to shoeny leaders but not those that are allied with al-qaeda.
>> translator: we welcome our brothers who are willing to step forward and speak to us, and discuss. we need the real sons of the area and those that kwlam to be. >> reporter: the shunny population has deep grievances with the shiite government. the attacks here are often along sectarian lines, but it wasn't like this before the iraq war, and it is a huge challenge for the government to try to reconcile. >> it needs political and mill stair instruments to deal with the unhappy population and al-qaeda. and as long as these two things are conflated there is no hope of a successful resolution. >> reporter: maliki says fighters are taking advantage of the chaos to make iraq even more
unstable before the elections in april. so he doesn't have much time to get talks underway to try to calm things down. in egypt our three al jazeera colleagues now spending their fifth day in detention. the correspondent remaining at a cairo police station. all three expected to face further questioning just this weekend. al jazeera continues to demand our staff be released immediately. coming up on al jazeera america, we are following that deadly explosion in beirut this morning. a live report is straight ahead. and it is a popular social media app with tens of millions of teens, now snap chat users have been hacked. we'll tell you why the hackers say they did it, coming up.
see the tips until their regular pay period, which is often every two weeks. >> with the tips, that's how we pay the bills. we are used to having them on a daily basis. >> business owners complain the new tip taxing rules are complicated and are experimenting with ways to work around them. this restaurant is it doing away with mandatory tipping, instead offering a suggested tip amount on a bill. beginning january 6th. the family of restaurants, including olive garden and other chains, will take mandatory tipping off the table. >> you want to simplify it, making money available. >> according to an industry analyst the practice may be dropped by 90% of restaurants.
wounded in a bomb attacks there. last week a former lebanese foreign minister was killed and today's death toll in this one is now expected to rise. the blast happening in a strong hold of hezbollah. what do we know about today's attack? >> yes, we're here in the southern suburbs of beirut and this is as close as we could get to the explosion site. our cameraman will try to show you where the explosion took place. it's at the end of this dark road that you can see. it's almost 7:30 pm here, and the explosion took place around 4:00 p.m. it's a very crowded area. this is in the heart of hezbollah's strong hold in the southern suburbs. this is where [ inaudible ] used to be based. many hezbollah officials and their families live in this
area, and security there is usually very tight. the security forces have core denned off the area, they kept the journalists away, and urged people to stay away. they are trying to determine who was behind the attack and what exactly happened. so far we know it was a car bomb there were about 20 kilograms of explosives inside it, and there is a possibility that there was a suicide bomber. we're not sure about that yet, but we know it was a car bomb. >> do we know what this is doing to the mentality of the people in beirut who must be wondering are we about to see this violence escalate out of control again? >> yeah, i'm not sure i heard you right. but this is yet another attack that is making people very anxious and anxiety is just growing. people have been bracing
themselves for more attacks because of the political situation here, the polarization in the country. people are split especially over the syrian crisis. and that split is only getting deeper by the day especially with such attacks. people have been bracing themselves but not with this frequency. less than a week ago a finance minister was blown up in downtown beirut. he is sunni. this area is shiite. he belongs to the march 14th camp. this area is mostly march 8th camp. so these car bombers are attacking different targets. and some people see these as rear to attacks. the politicians condemn these car bombs every time it happens. however, the political tensions are fuelling the conflict here,
and many people blame the politicians because the rhetoric is very hard and the political divide as i said is just getting deeper. >> thank you very much. again the death toll from that attack now stands at six. ♪ on wall treat, 2014 starting the year out lower. stocking right now are down 120 points on the first day of trading in the new year. both the dow and s&p closing out last year at all-time highs. martha stewart and macy's have a deal. the details of today's agreement have not yet be disclosed. macy's saying that its suit against jcpenney continues. jcpenney saying it will end its
partnership with stewart early. construction pricing 1% in november. that would be the highest level in nearly five years. increase being driven by gains in residential and commercial construction, but spending fell after a strong jump in october. and if you are buying a home, you are now looking at some of the highest mortgage rates in in 10 months. the average loan is now 4.53%. a year ago it was 3.34%. a lot of adults have probably never heard of snap chat, but their kids probably have. it's now the latest victim of high-tech hackers. the information of nearly 4 million users being posted on line. >> reporter: an anonymous group has hacked into snap chat a popular app that lets users
share videos and photos. >> the biggest danger is stocking, i think. >> reporter: experts say the security breach is particularly troubling because people often use the same user name on multiple apps like facebook and twitter. >> we keep hitting this news button. >> reporter: an internet security company claims it alerted snap chat back in august, but says the company dismissed concerns. snap chat is extremely popular around teenagers. right now it's not clear if the latest security threat will effect the company's value. snap chat says it has recently added additional counter measures will continue to take improvements. but snap chat is not the only victim. skype has also been penetrated.
a hacker collective that supports syrian president bashar al-assad is claiming credit. wednesday skype's twitter account said don't use microsoft emails. they are selling the da -- data do the governments. the anonymous hackers saying it posted the information to raise awareness about internet privacy and to pressure snap chat to tighten its security. 2013 was a disaster of admissions for rob ford in toronto, but now there's something the toronto mayor wants you to know. it's all next. ♪
broker a peace agreement between israel and the palestinians. carrying a meeting with prime minister netenyahu earlier this morning, and he'll sit down with the palestinian prime minister on friday. also in a middle east, an explosion in a strong hold of hezbollah in beirut. the northeast is bracing for a winter storm already dumping several inches of snow across the midwest. from new jersey to new hampshire, people stocking up on food, water, salt, shovels and other supplies. rob ford making headlines when he admitted to smoking crack cocaine. now he is back on the ballot running again for mayor in october. we take a look at the mayor who's middle name seems to be scandal. >> reporter: if you have had access to news anywhere in the
world this past year, then you should know this man. toronto mayor, rob ford. in in an explosive year of acquisitions and revelations, rob ford went from being a tax cutting mayor in toronto, to this. >> yes, i have smoked crack cocaine? yes. am i an addict? no. >> reporter: his behavior made him one of the biggest news stories of 2013. >> this guy has huge [ censor bleep ]. [ laughter ] >> i am sorry for how i have been acting. it's not indicative of my position of mayor in this great city of toronto. >> hey, man, i got what you
wanted. [ laughter ] >> reporter: ford refused to step down even if it meant toronto city councils taking away all but the most symbolic of his powers. >> counselor, the reason i drank or did drugging was not because of stress it was out of sheer stupidity. >> reporter: now he plans to wonder for mayor again this year. global audiences may wonder why toronto would reelect this mayor. but torontoians are clear about their feelings. >> everybody doing it, but they don't catch them. >> with rob ford he has come in touch with the people. >> reporter: that is what give rob ford another chance at running one of north america's
fastest-growing cities. ♪ i'm dave warren. timing of this storm will be overnight tonight. that's when a lot of the mid-atlantic states, seeing all of this snow, filling in and getting heavy. right now there's a big hole here. from washington, d.c. up through baltimore, new york, philadelphia, boston, and this storm and this storm coming together off of the coast, and once the snow clears out, even colder air moves in this. down to 26 in new york. it will be a light fluffy snow but there could be a lot of it. by tonight, about 3:00, 4:00 it is starting to intensify, and after 8:00, 9:00, this snow gets heavy from new york up through new england, very heavy snow especially close to the change line. one big storm intensifying, so
we will see banding here along this low. the two converge and some areas through this region could see very heavy snow in a brief period of time. that time looks like midnight tonight by tomorrow morning it's on the ground as the storm begins to clear out. so it's overnight tonight that the snow is heavy. by 5:00 still snow coming down, but clearing out. by friday night it is gone, but the air gets even colder. you can see this curve here where the heavy snow goes along the coast. this combined with the gusty wind could create blizzard-like conditions with the blowing and drifting snow there long island and right along the coast of massachusetts. so it's over tonight and tomorrow. >> dave warren thank you very much. and thank each and every one of you for watching al jazeera america. i'm del walters in new york where we are expecting snow.
"the stream" is next. and for updates throughout the day go to aljazeera.com. ♪ at. >> i'm wajahat ali am you're in the stream. exchange can come from anyone, anywhere. game changers alex, ohanian and salman khan share theirs ideas with exciting game-changers. >> chances are you're one of the 80 million users of the social sharing site reddit or maybe you're one of the 10 million students brushing up on your learning skills on the online site, khan academy.