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tv   News  Al Jazeera  May 27, 2015 12:30pm-1:01pm EDT

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night, but it's not venomous and just one has been found ever. many of these species are already under threat. the world wildlife fund says a real commitment is needed by all of those in the area to protect them. much more on our website, ♪ this really is the world cup of fraud, and today we're issuing fifa a red card. >> a soccer scandal heard around the world. 17 people are confirmed dead from historic flooding now a texas town is on alert that a dam may break. another republican throws his
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hat into the presidential election of 2016 but he has a long record of angering both parties. ♪ this is al jazeera america live from new york city i'm randall pinkston. some of the top people in soccer under federal indictment today accused of corruption and taking bribes. seven fifa officials were arrested early this morning in swizer lank, two of the men are vice presidents of the organization. there were also raids in miami. the justice department says those officials took millions in exchange for awarding the rights to televise the games. kristen saloomey is with us now outside of the federal prosecutors office kristen, the scope of this indictment is stunning for one of the world's if not the most popular sport. >> reporter: it really is stunning. loretta lynch described the corruption in fifa as quote,
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deep-seated, systemic and rampant. she also said the corruption goes back to two generations of fifa officials. it involved high ranking officials and also executives at sports marketing companies who paid allegedly over $150 million in bribes to fifa officials in order to get the marketing rights for world cup and other fifa events. so it is in fact a shocking shocking invitement. there have already been four people arrested and two corporations that pleaded guilty. and they contributed to what is described as an ongoing investigation. when we talk about high-ranking fifa officials we're talking about people like jeffery webb who is the vice president of the committee and the president of
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the region group that oversees north america as well and also jack wagner who is the former vice president and president of that regional group. so very high-ranking officials so far not to include the president of fifa but loretta lynch said more charges could come. here is what she said earlier. >> beginning in 1991, two generations of soccer officials, including the then presidents of two regional soccer confederations under fifa used their positions of trust within their respective organizations to solicit bribes from sports marketers in exchange to the commercial rights of their tournaments. they did this over and over year after year tournament after tournament. >> reporter: so 14 charges, the charges range from conspiracy wire fraud, and money
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laundering. the worst charge there could come with a 20-year sentence. we have to wait for the individuals to be extradited to the united states however, before they can formally appear in court, and that could take days if not weeks. >> of course you noted that charges are being brought here because this is where some of the financial transactions took place. but how is fifa responding to the allegations? >> reporter: well interestingly they say this is not going to affect their plans for the world cup in 2018 or in 2022 those world cups are due to be held in russia and qatar. even though there have been many questions around the alleged corruption, around those world cups. they say they are not changing those plans. but broadly speaking a spokesperson said that fifa welcomes the investigation. it will be good for the organization in the long run. >> this for fifa is good.
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it's not good in terms of image, and it's not good in terms of reputation but in terms of cleaning up in terms of everything, yes, in terms of the [ inaudible ] process, this is good. >> reporter: so a major scandal for fifa as they wait to see where all of the pieces land. they are still not sure of the extented of what further charges could be brought against him. so they have little choice at this point but to cooperate and move forward. >> thank you. now to dave the sports editor for the nation magazine and the author of brazil's dance with the devil, the world cup, the olympics and the fight for democracy, joining us now from washington, d.c. you have written fifa's corruption has been such an open secret for years that when new reports emerge they tend to provoke more eye rolls than outrage.
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what has taken so long to see charges brought against some of fifa's leaders. >> well there are a number of reasons, one is that many nations of the world are trying to curry favor with fifa. they want the cup and the regional tournaments to be held in their countries. we're talking about a billion dollars effectively stateless organization that has been proven to be very effective for people around the world. so this is a day, i think, where we should look at as i think the beginning of the end of fifa as we know it. because it's important to understand that despite the breadth of these indictments, it's only related to a small corner of the world. imagine if this gets kicked forward to every other corner of the world and all the way up to
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sepp blatter. this is the first pulling of a string on a sweater. >> sepp blatter as you mentioned is not facing charges, but how much accountability should he shoulder for the alleged actions of his colleagues including the two vice presidents. >> he was not mentioned in the indictments, but he was mentioned in the indictments, because the statement that standings out from loretta lynch was these are practices that goes back two decades. that's very important because sepp blatter's term as head of fifa is 17 years, so she is talking about the entire tenure of sepp blatter's reign. and even though she and others went out of their way to not name sepp blatter, it would be fool hardly to not assume there is some effort to have those who were arrested have this kicked
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up to to sepp blatter. who's arrogance, i think is going to prove to be his undoing. >> it's a time tested strategy for prosecutors. but speaking of those arrests, they come just one day before the presidential election in zurich. two candidates pulled out, leaving sepp blatter and the jordanian prince in the running. do you think the charges will impact tomorrow's vote? >> i think what is going to happen is that sepp blatter will be reelected and it will once again cause fifa to be the subject of international mockery, and erode its power, which will only pave the way for more problems for and set blatter. the prince is 39 years old, he is considered very young, very
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raw, so even in the best of kirks he would not be competing this and set blatter. that's why people have dropped out, because fifa's actions are not seen as legitimate by the candidates. >> you wrote that fifa's core problem is its duel problem is raising money and regulating the game. how would you remodel fifa. >> i would make it two separate entities, an enforcement body and then another that deals with selling the game to the world, promoting the game to the world, and making sure that the beautiful game people have as much access to it as they can have regardless of the station of their country. the fact that fifa takes responsibility for both of those things is just a recipe for corruption. it's overseeing itself. it's the chicken guarding the
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wolf in the hen house, but it has lead to fifa effectively has no enforcement body for match fixing or bribee. they have had independent commissions before they have always been dissolved, and this is what has happened it has had to go to the u.s. justice become because fifa has basically waved his behind at the world and said hey, if you want to give us a free kick go ahead. they also spoke about the expiration of the patriot act. >> though house of representatives has passed a bipartisan bill that would extend these tools while addressing important and valid concerns about other aspects of the government's ability to protect data. but without action from the senate, we will experience a serious lapse in our ability to protect the american people.
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today i join the president in urging the senate to work through the current recess in order to make sure that we can continue to appropriately safeguard this country and protect its citizens. >> reporter: president obama says there is no backup plan if congress does not act to extend the patriot act. the senate is set to meet for a rare session on sunday to consider what to do next. it has been raining again in houston. today's weather adds insult to injury in texas. at least 17 people were killed by the fast-rising waters that struck there, and in oklahoma over the last few days. in the small town wemberley, officials are still searching for the missing. >> reporter: local officials say they tried to warn people about
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what was essentially a 46-foot wall of water. this is where a tree stood. and if you look at this tree you can see the direction the water traveled and the force of the water that sheered the bark off of the stump there. and homes in the way were also knocked off of their foundations. you can see the white debris of what remains of what was once a house. and another home that was moved off of its foundation and pushed downstream. today the mission continues to be search and rescue for the 11 people who remain missing. eight of them were staying in a home just up river from here that was also knocked into the river. witnesses say they saw it careen into a bridge and splitter into pieces. one person was found eight miles
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downstream. there is still some hope there could be survivors, recently one of the family's dog was found clinging to a tree. but dog rescue teams as well as air and on land and on water, they are all combing the area today hoping to find some signs of life as the day continues. >> heidi zhou castro. after so much tragedy and destruction engineers in ellis county have some hopeful news. they say they have been successful in their efforts to stop a huge dam from breaking. there were worried the dam could rupture. local officials say they have reduced pressure on the dam, and the threat from a rupture is now far less. earlier today i spoke with the
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american red cross in texas. >> we have provided shelter to more than 500 families over the weekend across texas, and we're going to continue to provide help by bringing bulk cleanup supplies into the most affected neighborhoods. we have health services workers in sherlts across the state assessing the physical health of families and working with local government health services to provide vaccinations that may be needed and we have mental health support as well because counseling will be so important. we encourage families to take extreme caution after a flood, because those waters are not just rain water. they continue anything that has been washed off of the road or anything on the banks of the river that could be toxic. there could be chemicals, you just don't know. that's why we provide rubber gloves and boots. we encourage people to use bleach and mosquitos are a big
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problem too, so we're also making sure families have bug spray. more than a thousand homes were detroyed in central texas alone this weekend. straight ahead on al jazeera america, the runner up is running again. rick santorum is set to join the growing field of republican candidates for president. ♪ ♪
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lawmakers in nebraska are stoet vote in just a few hours over abolishing the death penalty. they are trying to override the governor's veto. if they succeed with the override nebraska would be the first conservative state in 40 years to abolish the death penalty. another republican is joining the 2016 presidential race. there are already six people officially running, the seventh is former u.s. senator and 2012 republican candidate, rick santorum he is set to announce this afternoon. jonathan betz takes a look at
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his career. >> reporter: in the last race for the republican presidential nomination, he was the runner up. >> game on. [ cheers ] >> reporter: he won the 2012 ayia caucuses and went on to capture 11 states in a campaign that appealed to social conservatives. >> a country that was built on the idea that rights come to us from god. and the one thing that the government has a job to do is to protect those rights so you can form families and churches civil groups hospitals and schools, and build a great and just society from the bottom up. that's the conservative vision for america. that's who we are? >> reporter: he managed to finish ahead of newt gingrich. >> miracle after miracle this race was an impossible as any race you will ever see for
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president. >> reporter: he is a devout catholic known for unwavering conservative convictions. his stances on national security mirror those of the most ardent republican hawks. >> if isil wants to establish a seventh century caliphate, let's oblige them by bombing them back to the seventh century. >> reporter: in a 2003 interview, he told the associated press: gay activists were so outraged they lead a webcam pain popularized on google an alternative definition of santorium. the ridicule hurt him badly.
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and in 2006 he lost reelection by 18 points. he went on to practice law and become a news pundit. when he launched his presidential campaign he seemed to come out of nowhere in iowa early polls putting him at just 4%. this time around he also begins as a long shot and he will not have evangelical support. mike huckabee was the darling of evangelicals in 2008. both men are compelling speakers and natural rivals but a victory in iowa or new hampshire can serve as rocket fuel. the irs is promising tighter security services and free credit reporting after a huge data breach. hackers gained access to the personal information of more
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than a hundred thousand taxpayers. >> it was name social security birthday, home address. these are things that are pretty much out in the public domain at this point. and if you consider how many big data breach we have seen that data is already in the hands of the hacker communities. >> they got of information from the get information act. the information was then used to cheat the irs out of close to $50 million in phony tax refunds. the app has been shut down as the agency investigates. a new york city museum says good-bye putting on a final show celebrating an italian master. why the museum can't afford to keep displaying some incredible art.
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♪ the vatican secretary of state is calling this weekend's vote to allow same-sex marriage a defeat for humanity. he was personally saddened by the decision. more than 62% of the voters in
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ireland said yes in the referendum. the archbishop said it means it is time for a reality check in the church. native american groups are angry at the vatican, they say the church should not be con non-izing one friar. >> reporter: this father is a spanish missionary that britished a string of missions along the state's coast. and for his work pope francis has decided to declare him a saint later this year but there is another side to his story, the fact that the missions did force the conversion of native americans and enslaved native americans and a lot of the descendants are unhappy with the church's decision.
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>> he didn't make the world better for us. he made it worse for us. he suppressed our language our culture, he -- you know we had our population drop by at least a hundred thousand people. people enslaved and starving. >> we'll go into more detail in our full report later this evening. but there are a lot of questions about what the church can do in terms of outreach. you can watch melissa's full report tonight at 8:00 eastern. it is the end of an era from one of new york small but dazzling art spaces. the museum of biblical arts will close its doors. >> these objects will never cross the atlantic again,
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certainly not within our lifetimes. >> reporter: it is a breathtaking collection 23 rare works of art, three by donatello, considered the greatest greatest italian ren against artists. it is the first time that many of these pieces have left their home which is getting a facelift. what all of the works have in common besides their beauty is their biblical inspiration. that dove tails perfectly with the mission of the museum. >> not just saying how beautiful, but then saying ah this depicts abareham and isaac. >> reporter: but the museum
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director emphasizes that it is not a religious institution. >> we have no religious agenda we simply want to make as accessible to all possible great works of art inspired by the bible so they can understand the unpinnings of western culture. >> reporter: out there its ten years existence, they have struggled surviving thanks to rent-free space. by far this has been the museum's most successful exhibit, distribed by the "new york times" as soul stirring attracting hundreds a day. but the success is bittersweet, when this exhibit ends in june the museum will close, because its principal sponsor is moving to philadelphia. when they decided to sell its building the museum was confronted with the problem familiar to many new yorkers, finding real estate they could afort. curator says the demise is the
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latest in a series of art institutions squeezed out by the city's hot economy. high rent forced this museum from its home for seven years until it found new space. the american folk art museum was always forced to move. and before that the museum of contemporary hispanic art closed for good. >> so what you are describing is a danger for small institutions. >> i think so if they don't come in with a trust fund. if they can't expand their patron base off of what they began with. >> reporter: richard hopes the influence continues even after the doors are closed. >> i would like to think we have been a catalyst and inspiration for art museums to discuss spiritual and religious implications of works of art in their care. >> reporter: but on june 14th after bringing so much history to new york the museum of
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biblical art will become a part of it. richard town send says he hopes to continue the exbags perhaps on the internet. the most powerful women list is out: well there's a surprising finding by the united nations, world hunger as dropped significantly over the past 25 years. the u.n. says despite natural disasters, and political instability, more than 200 million people are no longer suffering from hunger. thanks for joining us.
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i'm randall pinkston. the news is next live from london. keep up on >> they did this over and over. year after year, tournament after tournament. >> a double investigation into fifa. seven top officials arrested on u.s. bribery charges. and investigations of how russia and qatar won their world cup. hello there i'm felicity barr also live from london iraq launched an