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tv   News  Al Jazeera  May 26, 2015 10:30am-11:01am EDT

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ecuadors ga lap gus island has erupted. lava was seen pouring down the side of the volcano on isabella island. severe flooding washes away homes and leaves people stranded in texas. helicopters and boats helping people evacuate. hundreds of houston rockets fans spend the night at the arena trapped because of the flooding. and the trial begins in iran in secret for an american journalist accused of spying. ♪
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this is al jazeera america, live from new york city. i'm stephanie sy. a mess does not even begin to describe the situation in the south central part of the country this morning. record flooding has left five dead and rescuers are using helicopters and boats looking for the bodies of a dozen people swept away in a vacation home and trying to evacuate others. texas, arkansas oklahoma louisiana, and missouri all in the grips of this weather system. the high water had people waking up to scenes like this. cars completely submerged. many roads in houston are underwater. a lot of the damage happened in san marcus texas where heidi zhou castro is. >> reporter: the city of san marcus was under an overnight curfew for fear that the waters behind me would once again rise. the river saw catastrophic
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flooding over the weekend, and there was fears of a repeat disaster. but thankfully that flash flood warning for this part of the river has since expired although the danger still exists here. as for the town of wimberley the search for one family has shifted from rescue to recovery. this group of two families reportedly were staying in a vacation home on the banks of the blanco river, and three young children were among them. witnesses say early sunday morning they saw flood waters sweep the home off of the foundation and smash it into a bridge downstream where it split into pieces. rescue workers found one man from that house downstream. they are now expecting to find
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bodies rather than missing family members and friends. the rescue efforts continues in more than 30 cities. in houston people woke this morning to news that they should stay home stay away from schools and from work in order to avoid the danger of floods on the roads. >> heidi zhou castro reporting there. many people across texas are posting online about their experience. these pictures are from houston, taken by residents as they drove down flooded streets. they were racing home to escape the rising waters. >> it overflooded. >> let's go! >> reporter: parking lots completely flooded. this is what drivers encountered when they tried to retrieve their cars. and here is a photo of a mall. that's one of the garage levels completely covered in water, and some people were stuck overnight at the toyota center in houston after a hock ket -- rockets
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game. lee wong was one of the fanned stranded overnight at the toyota center. >> we saw a river, basically. the announcer got on and told us to remain in our seats for our safety. it was going to be a wet ride home so we just stayed there. we walked to the glass and once we saw what was going on it was just crazy winds, thunder and lightning, and then we saw the floods going through the streets. our car was about four streets away luckily we didn't get submerged, thank god. some other cars got stuck. i know some people from high school and other people who left as soon as the game was over and by the time they got to their cars some of them lost their cars. >> the left the arena after 6:00 this morning. mexico's president has
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visited a town devastated by a tornado. at least 13 people were killed directly across the border from dell rio, texas. the twister tore a mile-long path. hundreds of people were injured. iraq has launched a new military operation against isil fighters in anbar province. the group took control of the capitol last week. iraqi state tv announced the operation today showing images of u.s. forces handing over weapons. the iraqi troops will be backed by shia and sunni fighters. at least 500 people were killed and thousands others fled the fighting. ramadi residents were initially prevented from entering the capitol because of fears that isil fighters might sneak in along with the crowds. the trial on iranian american journalist is underway
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today. he is accused of espionage, but the trial is happening in secret. patty culhane has more. >> reporter: for ten months he has been held in prison. he will faces charges behind closed doors. not even his family can attend the trial. his bother ali believes that is telling. >> now they are going to have a trial and they want to keep it as closed as possible so there's less information for people to say why have you held this person? >> reporter: he made a documentary about returning to the country his father left. >> getting to iran was the hardest part. not the actual journey, but the hoops i had to jump through. >> reporter: he stayed received duel citizenship and took a job working for the "washington post." the editor said he tried to get
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a visa to go into iran but didn't hear anything back. the newspaper strategy has tried to link the imprisonment of their journalist and the talks over the nuclear program. basically making the case that unless our editor is freed you can't make a deal. the obama administration has called for his release. >> jason has been in prison in tehran for nothing more than writing about the hopes and dreams of the iranian people. >> reporter: the iranian foreign minister says he has been able to help him see his family but that's all we can do. >> this is a judicial matter. they believe the charges against him are very serious, but he will go through the judicial process with access to his lawyers, and he will go through a trial. >> reporter: the bosses at the paper say their hope is a judge
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will throw out this case tuesday, but they are more apprehensive knowing the evidence will stay secret. earlier i spoke with the longest living correspondent in tehran for the "new york times." i asked her if she thought iran really believed he is a spy or if he is being used as a pawn. >> unfortunately i think jason is a pawn. because this has happened so many times repeatedly many duel nationals who work for, especially western american news outlet they have been arrested and charged with quite vague security charges, and most of them have been released eventually. i mean it looks like the iranian government or at least the hard liners are constantly using duel citizens especially the ones who have american or canadian citizenship as bargain
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chips as they try them according to the iranian laws but in the meantime they want to use them to get some kind of leverage either from the moderates inside the country or from foreign governments. >> she said some hard liners used duel citizens as marketing chips to get leverage from moderates from inside iran or foreign governments. there have been multiple taliban attacks today in afghanistan. >> there have been a number of taliban attacks across afghanistan not only in hellmann province, in three different areas, but also in kandahar in southern afghanistan, and central afghanistan four attackers tried to mount an assault on the local court, and managed to kill two policemen
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before those fighters were killed. and fighting going on for about a month since the taliban launched their spring offensive in late april. this is really a lot of pressure on an afghan security forces that is fighting basically on its own. a small nato force is helping to train, advise and assist as well as a small american contingent who are allowed to engage in counter terrorist missions. but the afghan security forces don't have the kind of air power they had when nato was here and that has proved really a great challenge for them. the taliban emboldened by this are launching larger and more complex attacks across the country. not just in the south and the east. their traditional strong holds but also in the north where they have been present, but not really very aggressive now they
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seem to be certainly more confident that they know that the afghan security forces don't have the kind of air cover that they used to have when nato was -- was actively working here in afghanistan, so a very very fierce fighting season. we have seen a number of attacks across the country just in the last day or so and afghan forces working very hard to try and coordinate their efforts to try to minimize very heavy casualties. we're seeing the same thing today as last year facing a very big challenge in afghanistan as they try to secure the country. a settlement may be in the works in cleveland, the latest on possible deal that could close the justice department's investigation into excessive force by the cleveland police. and a bounce house goes airborne with children inside. what launched the inflatable, next. ♪ ♪
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welcome back to al jazeera america. it is 10:43 eastern, taking a look at today's top stories. american tourists are flocking to cuba now that the u.s. is trying to normalize relations. 36% more u.s. citizens have visited so far in 2015 compared to last year. thousands of people who do not meet the new rules are still going the old way, through a third country. vermont independent senator bernie sanders will hold the first major rally for his 2016 democratic presidential campaign today. he is expected to highlight such issues as student loan debt and increasing regulation of large banks. and taco bell and pizza hut are getting rid of artificial ingredients. taco bell says it will always
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remove trans-fat and high fructose corn syrup by the end of the year. john henry smith is here. i understand we could hear more about the cleveland police agreement today. >> that's right. the cleveland police department has come under a great deal of scrutiny for a series of incidents, including the over 100 shots against two unarmed people last year. the report of a settlement between the doj and cleveland police comes after a weekend of mostly peaceful unrest hundreds of protesters turned out after a judge cleared michael brelo in the killing of an unarmed black couple. he is one of 13 police officers to have fired over 100 shots after the unarmed couple sat in their car after being chased by
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police. the jumped on the hood of the car, and fired at least 15 shots through the wind shield. >> it's a tragedy because nobody is being held accountable. >> reporter: while this was the incident that prompted the 18-month investigation, there have been other incident most notably the shooting of a rocky cop of a 12-year-old who was holding a toy gun. police made arrests during this weekend's protests. everyone who plead no contest has charges reduced to disorderly conduct. >> i think we still have a long way to go to fight, and i believe we will win. >> the details of any settlement between the justice department and the city are not yet available, however, similar settlements have resulted in the adoption of independent monitoring changes to policies and improved officer training
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stephanie. >> john henry smith thank you. three kids are expected to be okay this morning after their bounce house went flying into the air. >> woe! bounce house! >> a water spout swept across the beach and unrooted the inflatable. the three children inside were immediately dropped out into the sand thankfully because the inflatable then crossed into traffic. >> i was about to die. i was in a bounce house, and then the bounce house flew into the air, and then i fell in the dirt. >> reporter: the water spout had winds of 60 to 80 miles per hour. police say the bounce house was properly secured. two of the nation's biggest cable forces are making plans to join forces.
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charter communications hopes to buy time-warner cable. it would make charter the second biggest cable operator. time-warner's merger with comcast fell apart last year. the s&p index showed home prices climbed in 20 major cities. that could price some would-be buyers out of the market. a lot of college students are graduating this month leaving school weighed down with student loans. >> reporter: melissa found a way to beat the student loan system she did it by following a simple piece of advice. so as a strong student from a low-income household, she qualified for grants at some of the most expensive private
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universities in the u.s. north as an undergraduate, and the university of chicago at a graduate school. now 32 years old, she still owes about $35,000 in student loans, but they are deferred while she is earning her phd in sociology, but hers is a rare story. for manying students big loans are the only way they can make it on to a campus like this but once they leave those loans can become crippling. increasingly students are paying off loans later in their 30s, 40s, even 50s, and they are owing more. the u.s. federal reserve says while those in their 20s owe on average just under $20,000, those in their 30s owe just under $30,000. shawn says the condition can be explained in two words. >> compound interest. so the older you get and the
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less able you are to pay your loans that compound interest will build and build and build. >> reporter: his company links graduates with companies that pay off their student loans directly out of their salaries companies like blue 1647 a non-profit technology center. >> we have a lot of students that are really talented but they with run small digital skill away of being highly employable so we try to make them highly employable and reduce their debt. >> reporter: melissa says her loans will impact her lifestyle for years to come. >> i think the combination of growing up in a low-income household, not placing value on material things plus learning how to budget a small income for a long period of time there are
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things i can do without. >> reporter: and the job she takes after she finishes her degree will largely be determined by how it helps her pay off her loans. we are disabled from our service to our country. >> why these veterans say they are not getting the help they need from the government. plus the investigation into the death of a legend some remembers of b king's family believe the blues giant was murdered. ered.
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a key moment today in the trial of aurora colorado movie theater shooting suspect, james holmes. jurors will hear what is inside his notebook. he reportedly wrote about his hatred of man kind in the weeks before the shooting. homs faces 166 charges ranging from murder to possession of explosives. parents in a somali community in minnesota are growing more concerned their teenage sons could fall in with isil. last month federal officials arrested sick young men who officials say were planning to
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head to syria to join isil. >> reporter: so you have a 13 year old son, are you worried that he could be recruited by isil? >> absolutely. any parent would -- would get worried, hearing all of these stories about kids going back and all of this is just -- it's just -- it's -- it's worrisome. we're new to this environment. we're new to the system and understanding and figuring out things work what takes some time -- it can take a long time. so imagine families who came to have a better life here. i mean to raise their kids left -- their entire country to have a better life and now they are losing their own sons is just hermore ren does and heart breaking. australia plans to pass a law over the next few weeks to strip citizenship from some people involved with groups like
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isil. >> there are a lot of australians overseas right now, about 100 fighting with terrorist groups in the middle east. 40 to 50% appear to be dual nationals. >> the government fears fighters returning from the middle east will fight at home. some u.s. veterans are fighting a new battle years after the end of the vet nam war. they say they were left sickened by agent orange. >> reporter: this man has been fighting the department of veteran's affairs for years. >> i want to go with the navy not the army. i wanted to be in nam, and i did. >> reporter: he was an electrician on the uss prairie, he is sewn today as a blue water vet. but 20 years ago, paul says he got sick. >> the doctor did blood work and
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he came in the room and says how long have you been a diabetic and i go i didn't know i was. >> reporter: with no family history of the illness, paul blames his diabetes and the prostate cancer and a crippling burning sensation in his hands and feet on agent orange. the u.s. sprayed more than 20 million gallons of agent orange during the war in vietnam. but paul says veterans affairs won't be pay for treatment because first it has no record of the uss prairie ever being in vietnam. >> nothing was entered in the deck logs and it baffles me and my shipmates as to why? >> reporter: and secondly paul was a sailor at sea rather than
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a soldier. the va points out that agent orange wasn't sprayed at sea. >> navy stipes pull in the salt water and we desal nice it. >> reporter: the va does also say those who served on water were not exposed to the agent. what do you say? >> we were exposed. they do know it because from 1991 to 2002 the blue water navy veterans did receive from the va benefits for disability in their illnesses from agent orange. >> but in 2002 the va excluded blue water veterans from claiming for illnesses that may have been directly linked to agent orange.
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senator gillibrand is proposing a bill to help sailors. >> agent orange did not discriminate between those who stood on boats on rivers and those who stood on boats offshores. he va says: >> my goal is simply to right this wrong as quickly as possible. >> reporter: former u.s. navy admiral says these blue water vets have been left behind but the head of the va has the power to act immediately. >> with the stroke of a pen today, he could say those veterans who were so served on ships are eligible for medical benefits. >> reporter: as he heads to work the bumper sticker on his car
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says all you need to know. he is very proud of his service in vietnam, and now he just wants his government to step up to the plate in the same way that he did over 40 years ago. >> we served our country, and we are sick from a chemical that was used during the war. and we need to be taken care of. >> reporter: john terrett, al jazeera, connecticut. two of b.b. king's daughter say their father was murdered. the daughters claim who close associates poisoned him. las vegas police say there is no evidence of foul play but plan to investigate. an autopsy was done sunday results could take up to two months. the nba mvp suffered a terrible fall he got caught in the air, went down hard last night, slammed his back neck and side of his head. thanks for watching i'm
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stephanie sy. the news continues. ♪ >> announcer: this is al jazeera. ♪ >> welcome to the news hour. here is what is coming up in the next 60 minutes. iraq's army launches a military operation to retake anbar province from isil. a month after attacking an university in northeast kenya, al-shabab gunmen return to the area to target police forces. malaysian police teams