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tv   News  Al Jazeera  May 7, 2015 10:30am-11:01am EDT

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a federal appeals court says the nsa's collection of billions of phone records is not authorized, but the ruling won't stop government spying. a yemen ceasefire. saudi arabia's foreign minister announces a pause in fighting but only if houthi rebels comply. and election day in the u.k., they will be deciding who will be the next prime minister.
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this is al jazeera america live from new york city. a major ruling on the legality of the nsa's bulk collection of phone data. a federal appeal's court says the program is illegal, was never authorized by congress and exceeds the authority under the patriot act. but they did not issue an injunction against the practice. the judges wrote that they would let congress sort that out. the judges sent the case back to a lower court. the same court that had originally thrown the case out. the aclu sued the director of national intelligence. it wants the program stopped.
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joining us now via skype is kathleen, the national security and human rights deputy director at the government accountability project. kathleen great to have you. thanks for being with us. so the court did not rule on the constitutionality of the program. what does this ruling mean? if we don't know if it was constitutional and there is no injection. >> what this ruling means is it completely validates what nsa whistleblowers have been saying for years, which is that the nsa bulk phone collection program exceeds the authority that congress gave the nsa under section 215 of the patriot act inspect the section is a public law, but the justice department and the nsa have been using a secret twisted interpretation of that law to go far beyond the scope of it. >> how significant really is this at the end of the day?
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>> this is incredibly significant. congress right now is considering reauthorize -- passing the freedom act which would adjust and limit the bulk collection and that's really a c-plus effort, the freedom act, which is really kind of pathetic given that it's been almost two years since edward snowden's disclosures, and all we've seen is more and more confirmation that the nsa spying is out of control. so this ruling is incredibly significant, because it confirms what edward snowden and the whistleblowers have been saying and revealed that that twisted secret interpretation is not legal -- >> but it does not rule on constitutionality, which is what the aclu suit was saying. so couldn't congress in their process of reauthorizing the patriot act simply make it more explicit that that is legal? because the court did not say
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that it is unconstitutional to do so. >> i haven't been through the entire ruling yet, but i think what happened is courts usually do this is they do not reach questions that they reach until they absolutely have to. >> what would be the next step at this point? >> i understand the case was remanded to the lower court, and if the government's track record remains, it will try to work as hard as it possibly can to get any lawsuit dismissed. and they have been consist innocent their ability to keep review of these mass surveillance programs out of the court. and the aclu deserves a lot of credit for fighting against this. and that's what is significant, is that even though the nsa says all of these programs are legal, every time a court looks at
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them it has said that it is illegal. >> kathleen national security and human rights deputy director at the government accountability project. thank you so much for your incites. and now we turn to the war in yemen. saudi arabia says it is ready to implement a five-day ceasefire if the houthis go along with it. the secretary of state says any truce now depends on cooperation from the houthis. >> king salman has announced a conference this riyadh which the foreign minister referred to to which he is inviting all yemeni parties, and we support that conference. every agreed that that conference can help lead into the subsequent talks under the u.n. auspices and that all of this dialogue is beneficial in an effort to try to find a police call resolution to the
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crisis. we're very pleased also that saudi arabia has agreed to support the u.n. in its efforts to find a peaceful resolution to the situation in yemen. >> mohamed vall explains what this proposed ceasefire could mean in terms of finding a long-term solution to yemen's conflict. >> a five-day ceasefire is quite an achievement for secretary of state john kerry in his visit to saudi arabia. now they have given this offer to the yemenese particularly to the houthis and the loyalists to former president saleh. if they agree, this five-day ceasefire could be extended. it's not going to happen until there are agreements by the u.n. and other relief agencies to be able to channel relief supplies to the yemenese in need.
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but once it starts it is renewable as john kerry said and that mean there is an opportunity there for the houthis, if they accept it that it could turn into one month, two months or even an open-ends ceasefire. and saudi arabia showed flexibility there in saying that they want to hold a peace conference on the 17th of this month, but also after that they are flexible if the sub see event talks take place anywhere else around the world. now everything hinges on the houthis. >> kerry says the u.s. is not discussing sending ground troops to yemen. yemen's ambassador called on organizations to document human rights violations taking place in the country. iran has released a cargo ship and crew seized last month, and
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the operator says the crew is in good condition. iranian forces fired warning shots at the ship. the ship was flagged to the marshall islands, and the episode prompted the u.s. to send ships to the area. iran says the seizure was based on a court decision. voters are heading to the polls today in the u.k. for a national election that appears to be too close to call. david cameron is in the political fight of his life. his conservative party is neck and neck with the labor party. voters may be turning elsewhere to smaller parties like the scottish national party. >> reporter: election day in the u.k. for broadcast journalists can tend to be an out of body experience. you from the point in time when the polls open until the point
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in time when they shut you can't say anything at all, which fight be considered as potentially influencing the voter's decisions. and so it restwrikts broadcast journalists here to pretty mundane thanks like when the polls open and when they shut how many are edgeable to vote but from the point of time when the poles shut it all goes back out in the open. there are exit polls then. it will become very clear later on who has done well and who has done badly. these rules don't apply to other sorts of media. twitter and social media are unregulated, and so are the newspapers. and the newspapers are full of advice on how i they think people should vote and yet if i told you what the newspapers are saying then technically i would
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be breaking the law. no doubt in many parts of the world, people this as acrimonious, but here people see it as pretty much sack row saint. >> because we are in the u.s. we can talk about the issues in the u.k. so let's bring in patty, who is a u.k. citizen. the city is driving this election. >> absolutely. and so many of the buzz words are the same things like income equality and wage stagnation. but relatively speaking the u.k. economy is doing well. unemployment is only 5.8%. the u.k. economy is growing at twice the rate of the e.u. economies, and we have to keep in mind that they have done a good job of slashing their budget deficit, but so many feel as if they had missed out on that recovery. you have a million families
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accessing food banks for example. but the real thing is real wages. they are lower now than they were before the recession. >> that does sound awfully familiar. there's an overlap on another issue over immigration. another big election issue there. >> huge. and this is a big part of the nationalists party. they are anti-immigrant and anti-e.u. they are expected to poach a lot of votes from the conservatives. and the conservatives have had to answer by putting out their own position on e.u. membership and the conservatives say if they remain in power they will call a referendum on whether to stay in the e.u. benjamin netenyahu will partner with four other parties including the far right jewish home group, that party opposes
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the establishment of a palestinian state. and opposed settlement in the west bank. the chief responded by saying this: earlier i spoke with former israeli justice minister. i asked him whether eracot was right? >> benjamin netenyahu said before the election on his watch there will not be a palestinian state. but that doesn't mean that this is necessarily going to be the policy of the new government because it is a weak government. it is a rightist government. actually it is a naked rightist government, and it will have to do something in order to not be
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more isolated than before. and this is why i can see here -- not that i'm happy, this is the structure of the new government, but i don't believe that we have to give [ inaudible ] i don't believe that my friends who immediately say no chance nowhere. the same party was also a member of the former government and it was stronger then. meanwhile the white house just put out a statement saying president obama looks forward to working with prime minister netenyahu and his new government. this week nigerian forces rescued dozens of more women and children from boko haram. but we rarely here about men being saved, and that's because boko haram typically kills the men before taking the women and children hostage. >> reporter: sad and broke. this person recalls the good old
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days before boko haram met the town. the father of 14 has houses, 20 farms, and more than 100 heads of cattle. now these two cows are his only asset. >> translator: people still come to ask neighbors where i am still sane. i lost so much. at some point even the will to go on. but i am still hanging in there. >> reporter: the pain he feels most is the loss of two adult sons, both killed by boko haram. after their death, he and others left the area to settle here. since boko haram were run out of town in march, some are thinking of going back. but he sees no future cl. >> translator: i think when we eventually go back most of us will be going back to our graves. what is the use when our youth are either dead or gone. how can we cope.
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some of us may just have depression. >> reporter: and there are several farming communities like this that have been displaced. for now they live on handouts as they have neither the money nor the strength to farm or trade. when boko haram attacked in occupied territories in northeastern nigeria, there was a systematic targeting of young men. dez mating the population of many. the group is also accused as using rape as weapon of war. even married women were not spared. most young men and women have either been killed or left and that could impact on their recovery and survival when people eventually return to their homes. economic activities in these communities along with infrastructure like roads and schools have been destroyed, but it's the people's spirits they may prove difficult to repair. >> it will be difficult. for example, our countries
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recovery is always possible. it's a lengthy process, but it's always possible. >> reporter: although boko haram fighters are on the run, few show much desire to return home. the question most are asking now is return to what? in boston today jurors in the penalty phase for dzhokher tsarnaev will hear testimony from a former prison warden. last month the jury found tsarnaev guilty of 30 federal charges in the bombings. dozens of witnesses have testified over the last two weeks. the damage is extensive in a big stretch of tornado alley. john henry smith has more. >> reporter: the most significant of all tornado warnings that we can have again, a tornado emergency. >> reporter: attorney ally living up to its name.
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>> i'm telling you, please stay at work. do not get on the highway. >> reporter: over 20 tornados packing winds of up to 150 miles an hour leaving a trail of destruction. >> a lot of damage out here. >> reporter: the storms brought plenty of hail and flooding to parts of oklahoma stranding cars and residents. >> we were in the freezer and the bathroom. >> yeah. >> reporter: buildings are completely collapsed. power is out here. >> reporter: the governor was set to declare a state of imaginesy as the tornados left at least 33,000 without power. >> we have a large tornado on the ground here south of lincoln. >> reporter: the reports of damage were less severe in nebraska. authorities say around 10 to 15 buildings were severely damaged. kansas also reported minor damage as did texas.
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although flooding roads near austining meant a few drivers needed rescue. tornado ally could get hit with more twisters this weekend. >> mothers meet their children for the first time after being told decades ago that they had died at birth. families reveal the stories of separation and reunion.
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welcome back to al jazeera america. it is 10:50 eastern, taking a look at today's top stories. the greek government will rehire some 4,000 public sector workers previously laid off. officials say the hirings do not violate the terms of an international bailout. and american and italian police say they broke up a mayjor
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cocaine route. officers also seized more than 120 pounds of cocaine en route to philadelphia. and a boat has been rescued in the mediterranean. it is believed to have been from last month's crash that left 800 people dead. new information this morning about a disturbing story we have been following out of st. louis where dozens of black mothers were lied to and told their newborns were dead. instead the infants were stolen and put up for adoption. since our story first aired more mothers and family members have come forward. >> reporter: this video of melanie seeing her birth mother for the first time over skype is raising hopes for similar reunions. >> when i saw her actually moving and her mannerism and
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everything, and i said that's me. that is me. >> reporter: medical staff here at the hospital in st. louis told price her premature baby died shortly after birth 50 years ago. >> back then doctors and nurses were held with high esteem if they said something you believed it. and mine was believable because i was so early. >> reporter: earlier this week price's attorney filed a petition to unseal her daughter's adoption papers. albert watkins says gilmore was stolen. >> you can't steal a baby from a momma, and you don't have to be taught that. >> reporter: since then dozens of people have contacted his office hoping they too may find long-lost family members.
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growing up were you ever suspicious? >> i always wondered what happened. but they were saying they were dead and that was it. >> reporter: what would it be like for you to know you have some others out there? >> it would be something. >> reporter: birth and death records still exist and if there was trafficking, the city could be accountable. >> so the city of st. louis could be on the hook potentially for millions in restitution. >> millions? i don't think you can quantify the loss of a baby for 50 years, thinking that that baby is dead. >> reporter: diane eastabrook al jazeera, chicago. the state of maryland is offering zero interest loans to baltimore businesses hurt by the riots sparked by freddie gray's death. the loans of up to $35,000 can be paid over five years. businesses with greater losses
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may qualify for a different program with higher amounts available at low interest rates. science advertises at washington university found high blood sugar increases levels of a plaque found in the brains of alzheimer's patients. male or female? thousands of families are faced with a difficult choice. how to raise children born with an ambiguous gender? and the potential fallout for tom brady after a report showing he likely knew those footballs were deflated. ♪
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♪ thousands of american babies are born every year with what is called ambiguous gender. many undergo surgery to determine if they will be raised male or female. usher korachi reports. >> reporter: today this person
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does not identify as he or she, preferring to be called they. >> i thought i was a girl. >> reporter: until the age of 18 she identified as female living as a girl and believing she was one. but she never had ovaries and genetically has xy chromosomes typical in boys. >> it's either an individual that is born with not just uniform male or female parts, but they can have combinations of both. >> reporter: usually doctors and parents decide which sex the child should be. >> i wish with all of my being and heart that they would have left me exactly like how i was born. >> reporter: choosing surgery at this early stage is controversial. activists say individuals should be consulted once they are old
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enough to choose for themselves. >> we're very bad at predicting how the patient is going to identify sexually. and that kind of choice it seems, we have learned, is best left up to the patient, him or herself. >> reporter: it's one reason a program in chicago began what it says is a more holistic approach to the treatment. the gender and sex-development program including consultation with urologists surgeons and psychologists. >> the decision is the one that they feel most comfortable with. and in a perfect world we probably wouldn't ever do surgery early on unless there was a reason it had to be done. >> reporter: it raises questions about confirmed consent, gender identity, and patient rights. tom brady's agent is
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blasting the nfl's investigation into deflate gate. they released a statement saying quote: the report found two low-level patriots employees likely intentional deflated the balls. and brady was generally aware of the activities. brady denies any involvement but could face suspension. astronomers have discovered a galaxy far, far away. the galaxy is believed to be 100 million years old. thanks for watching. i'm stephanie sy in new york. the news continues next live from doha. ♪
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>> fierce fighting in syria over a strategic area near the lebanese border.