in the air and japanese prime minister has instructed local authorities to do everything possible to ensure the islanders' safety and some airlines have been forced to divert flights as well and a reminder you can get updates throughout the day on our website, al jazeera. so. >> more severe weather moving into texas threatening communities. the state is preparing for the worst. >> former house speaker hastert codes faces accusations. seth blatter up for reelection
today. we'll take you to zurich for the vote. this is aljazeera america. good morning. right now flood ravaged texas is getting more severe thunderstorms. the forecast for big storms this weekend is an even larger concern. high waters near houston have prompted evacuations. residents of 300 homes in the southeast also forced to evacuate in wharton because of the rising colorado river. historic flooding earlier this week killed 24 in texas and oklahoma. we have the latest from houston. >> six months ago the people of texas were hoping for rain, but they weren't expecting as much as they've gotten in the past week. in fact, in may the most
rainfall the state of the accident has ever endured houston, many of the neighborhoods have been underwater as people cleaned their belongings, put them to the curbside, the city of houston trying to assess the damage as thousands of homes around businesses have been underwater now more rain and storms on the way this morning and throughout the weekend. one of the major issues, a little town called wharton 60 miles southwest of houston. they evacuated 1,000 people. they are expecting the colorado river to crest at some point tomorrow morning and expect major flooding tonight and in through the weekend. as far as people in houston go, all they can do is basically take cover and make sure that they're out of their homes in the applies where bayous could be rise and flood their homes once again. many are staying with relatives or left to go to hotels.
people here in the state of texas clearly on edge as more storms start today throughout the weekend. >> robert ray in houston. >> the flooding in central texas devastated a popular vacation town a wall of water ripped homes from their foundation, washing the buildings and anyone inside down a flooded river. we have more on the search for the missing. >> the search continues for two families swept away by floodwaters. the macolms were vacationing with the sharbas. this is what's left of the house where they were staying after the blanco river rose 30 feet in less than two hours thursday morning and swept the home off its foundation. laura's sister said laura called her as the house floated down
the river telling her sister has she loved her. that was the last time the mother of two was heard from. >> i think recognizing with what's happening with the weather, we all know and we have accepted that they're gone. >> the father, jonathan is so far the only known survivor. he's expected to recover from a collapsed lung, broken sternum and broken ribs. >> he is absolutely devastated. he did everything every possibly could to save them. >> miles downstream in the next county the body of michelle was recovered tuesday. a day later the body of a still unidentified boy was discovered on the river bank. now seven from the group of still missing. >> this effort is not over. we are 100% committed to finding laura, andrew, layton, andy, will ravel and sue. >> that task falls on an army of
civilian volunteers. the search and rescue team texas task force one and 32 national guard troops deployed to the area. >> how high are the hopes of finding any signs of life? >> we never want to give up hope. >> as the clock ticks the search and rescue team believe they may find bodies. >> there are 72 other families still digging through the debris of their homes that were ruined, destroyed by the flash flooding. more than 1,000 others were badly damaged. >> sections of oklahoma were hit with more severe storms last night. as much as five-inches of rain fell in lawton 100 miles south of oklahoma city. many drivers were caught of a guard. dozens of vehicles stuck on water logged roads. the fire department had to move in to rescue respondents from their homes. >> former speaker of the house
dennis hastert faces federal charges today. prosecutors say he tried to hide nearly $2 million in secret payments, then lied about it to the f.b.i. john henry smith is here. this threatens to taint his reputation. >> it would be quite a turn about for the illinois republican. he rose to the third highest office in the land on the strength of his low key good guy reputation, a reputation burn issued by his past as a small town teacher. now a darker side is emerging. a new federal indictment alleges he withdrew $1.7 million over five years and tried to get around federal reporting allow while doing so. prosecutors say he paid that money to a lifelong associate to cover up past misconduct. we don't exactly know what type of misconduct it was. many still remember his stall town roots in illinois where he taught history at the high school for years.
>> people coming from your community are trying to make a difference in illinois, so it's disappointing. >> he's definitely part of the town. it's a shock. >> hastert faces one count of lying to the f.b.i. and another count for trying to conceal his transactions. according to the indictment, hastert claimed he was using the money forrently use and that he was withdrawing it because he didn't trust the banking system. between 2010-2014 he made 106 withdrawals of $10,000 or less. by law he only needs to report cash transactions exceeding that amount. if convicted hastert faces a maximum 10 year prison sentence and a maximum $500,000 fine. i'll have more details on this story coming up near the top of the 8:00 hour. >> now to soccer. the u.s.s. will vote against
seth blatter. 14 top fifa officials were indictedden a corruption scandal. blatter wants a fifth term. this morning he pleaded for unity. >> today, i am appealing for unity and team spirit so we can move forward together. it may not always be easy, but it's for this reason that we are here together today to tackle the problems that have been created. we are here to solve them. >> lawrence lee now has the latest from zurich. >> 24 hours ago yesterday morning, a lot of people were saying that seth blatter couldn't possibly survive had absolutely welter of corruption that happened under his watch and that he was surely going to have to go. well, last night he opened the ceremony here and said that he wasn't going to go, it wasn't his fault and other people have to pay the price but they have to move forward and obviously
he's repeated that theme again this morning. how does the voting work? for someone to win either he or prince ali of jordan, they have to get two thirds of the votes in the first round. 240 out of 409 votes. for prince ali, he would need 70 votes or more. he thinks he can get most of the block from europe and he said last night perhaps 60 more from other parts of the world which would be a majority. it's not absolutely over, but for what it's worth when we managed to grab a few words early on thong this morning with many delegates from asia and africa, every single one we spoke to to was unrepentant that they were going to vote for seth blatter.
>> now jam kidd knee, a former australian soccer executive and member of the senior management team that led australia's 2018 and 2022 club bids, she left with whistle blowing allegations. you decided to leave the position. >> as perfectly described by the u.s. attorney general a couple of days ago it has had this long-held culture of doing things behind closed doors deals, counter deals double deals, and basically subterranean behavior. nothing was very transparent and that's a long bred culture built into the guidelines for bidding. i think, you know, you would
almost have a two bead bid culture the real bid on the country's merits and other behavior going on behind it. >> could you say whether you witnessed ever offers or exchanges of bribes in exchange for getting a bid or placing the world cup in a particular location? >> no. i mean, and this is what we talk about in terms of the long standing culture of the organization where it is just always a feeling that there were things going on. i guess the best example in relation to australia is related to jack warner, who was amongst those arrested the other day. we decided to give half a million dollars or $462,000 u.s. to trinidad and tobago to update a football stadium and some years later found out that that
money ended up in jack warner's personal bank account. that's the type of environment that is set up, so the level of transparency and accountability behind what happens with those sort of development grounds the favors given is not entirely clear. >> the effort that you participated in, the garcia report apparently did not pan out. why has it been so difficult to bring formal charges against people who as you put it for decades have been engaged in shady dealings? >> i think the actions we saw related to the swiss government which suggests they've been working on those for years i think this process just takes some time. as loretta lynch said, she has an expectation that mr. may be
more. >> despite all of the scandals swirling right now everyone expects seth blatter to be reelected. how do you explain the firm support that he continues to maintain among the delegates? >> i guess you could describe it more or less as institutionalized pork barreling. wewe have a number of as your correspondent was just saying, africa is a solid block for him asia other parts of the world from development grants over the years. they have built football fields where there have been none. that's also been part of well, i will do this for you if you do this for me. it's all this sort of currying of favors and it's almost they've forgotten that football is for people. football is not something that belongs to them. they're the custodians of the
game and they've been in positions so long and become so comfortable in them, they're enured to what is right and what is wrong. >> if blatter is reelected what impact do you think that will have on the sport? >> i think there is an appetite for reform and change. there's been too many people who are very experts saying this for sometime including michael garcia when he resigned last november. he said it needs a change of culture and that means it needs a change of leadership. if we don't get that change of leadership i've been working with people around the world members of parliament, commercial partners, fans, players, to get a new fifa now. by that, we don't mean overturning fifa, but looking at something like was done back in 1999 with the olympic movement, where we have an independent fifa reform commission headed up by an imminent person to
completely overhaul the systems the processes the constitution, the statutes, and then develop new ones and conduct fresh elections, because we -- when you've got the organization with the reputation that it has now at the credibility level that it has now probably the only way you are going to be able to rebuild this under the current leadership is to completely almost start again. we need to have confidence and trust in the world governing body of the world's large evident sport and that is an important way to do it. >> thank you. >> palestinians are push forego fifa to ban israeli soccer teams from playing internationally. hundreds demonstrate outside the fifa congress today. the palestinian football association accuses israel of disrupting its activities. it says israel has restricted the movement of its soccer players between the gaza strip and west bank. seth blatter was in jerusalem he last week to try to resolve the
issue, but did not make any are progress. >> international leaders including top u.s. officials are meeting in thailand today to discuss the growing migrant crisis in southeast asia. >> this meeting signals the commitment to address this urgent issue and offers a chance to take concrete measures to save human lives and address the root causes of these unsafe movements. >> tensions between neighboring countries are at play. leaders from myanmar say they are being singled out for criticism. the unit nations refugee agency calls on myanmar to recognize the rohingyas as citizens to stem the flow of migrants from the country. >> when the thin blue line gets too thinned. new orleans why the city can't find or keep enough good officers.
the 1980's after a military coup. >> the heatwave in southern india has killed more than 1800 people. thousands of water tankers are delivering supplies to villages worried about water shortages. crops are dying. the severe temperatures are expected for a few more days. >> cuba will come off the list of state sponsors of terrorism part of president obama's move to restore diplomatic ties with that country. congress had 45 days to override the president but took no action. cuba had been on the list for 33 years. talks are underway to reopen embassies. >> police in new orleans face a new problem not enough officers for a force that is overworked and understaffed. jonathan martin reports.
>> there's increasing outcry to solve crimes in new orleans. the police department is grossly understaff. five years ago, it was 1600 officers strong, today there are just over 1100, the fewest in more than 35 years. >> when people call for the police it's going to take them a long time to get there if they get there at all. >> the department started to shrink several years ago as new orleans was facing an enormous budget shortfall. >> we were not able to hire or purchase vehicles. that went on for a few years. >> the city was losing 100 officers a year from retirement. after a string of high pro time cases involving police misconduct in 2012 with that the nopd and department of justice signed a consent decree, a list of strict reforms the police department agreed to
implement with the oversight of a federal monitor. community activist said the layers of scrutiny have been driving officers away. >> if the police shoot somebody, it will be investigated by the independent police monitor by the public integrity bureau, their internal affairs office. it will be investigated the federal consent decree officer. >> we've been working on it, but it does take time. >> the police chief appointed in october said there's a desperate need to increase the number of officers. he said the city has start and owl out recruiting blitz. >> we have billboards, we have commercials, we have recruitment teams going to different places. >> he said the application process that used to take four mounts months now takes two and the department has done away with rules requiring officers to live in the city and have 60 hours of college credit. >> are you finding that you're still getting quality officers
applying. >> we are. we are. the process is rigorous, only 3% make it through. >> you have to feed your family. >> the biggest issue for officers is pay. as many who have left have gone to work for higher paying agencies like the state police. however, this month the city council approved a gradual 15% raise for officers. he says the increased work load that comes with the monitoring is draining the already thin resources, especially whenever an officer uses force. >> we have to ensure statements are taken videos made, they're cataloged and archived correctly. they have to review the violations. who's policing the city while they're doing that? >> for now state police stepped in to help patrol certain areas. jonathan martin, al jazeera, new orleans. >> history spelled out again at the national spelling bee the
>> a live look now at one world trade center here in new york. the observatory opens to the public today. it features breath taking views stretching for hundreds of miles. there are no outdoor balconies but you can see pretty far through huge windows. >> compton california is known in part for gang violence. growing up there can take a toll on children. a group of schools says educators don't get proper training to help the children cope with the trauma experience. they want that declared a legally protected disability. >> compton is well known in american pop culture for its street artists graffiti and rap stores. it's also known for violent gang activity with a murder rate five
times the national average. now it is becoming known for something else, a landmark first of its kind class action lawsuit against the city's school district. the suit filed on behalf of students and three teachers alleges the district has long ignored what attorneys call an ongoing public health crisis in the halls and classrooms. you have a high concentration of students who have experienced complex trauma in cusp a way that it is interfering with their ability to access their education and compton has an obligation to address that such that those students have as good access to education as any other students. >> compton serves 25,000 students, the lawsuit represents many including 18-year-old kimberly. >> i'm involved because i have three younger brothers and i want what's best for them, to better the education as best i can. >> kimberly has painful memories of seeing two students die in middle school.
she's been the victim of sexual assault and racism. kimberly understands the district knew she was struggling but failed to help her. >> i should have gotten therapy because i felt awful and needed someone to talk to about that. i had no one to talk to and that was a very hard situation for me to be in. >> peter is suing the school district. we are not showing his face or using his last name, because he's a minor. >> when you see people get shot, it's traumatizing. i want to figure out a way for the teachers to understand the students. i have flashbacks of what has happened to me when i was a kid. it either makes me mad or sod or i just put my head down or i leave the classroom. >> that's part of what the lawsuit seeks to change and tonight on al jazeera you'll hear more from the students, got district's response and why the
this lawsuit could impact schools across the country. >> you can watch the full report tonight at 8:00. >> for the second year in a row two students are waking up this morning as company champions of the national spelling bee. . >> correct. >> she was spelling the word that would give her half the crown. the word is german for as i say score cuts. the 13-year-old is the second winner in her family. her sister won the 2009 bee. her co winner is a 14-year-old from missouri.
>> the rainfall again in texas. now people cleaning up and clearing out facing the threat of more dangerous storms. >> he was once one of the most powerful men in congress, now former house speaker dennis hastert faces charges of financial fraud. >> word soccer votes for its next leader, but the u.s. says no to seth blatter amid the corruption scandal rocking the sport. >> the view from the top of the world, the observation deck at one world trade opens to the
public. >> this is aljazeera america live from new york city, i'm stephanie sy. heavy rain and thunderstorms are coming down in flood-ravaged texas again this morning and even more severe weather is forecast for the weekend. the main concerns are rising rivers and the threat of more flooding. overnight, people had to be rescued in the dallas area, where cars were stranded in high waters. the catastrophic flooding killed people in texas and oklahoma. >> with more storms on the way into the state of the state of texas houston is trying to assess the damage. it's a huge task. there are 650 square miles for the city to cover and they're trying to do their best so
federal funds can make their way into america's fourth largest city. >> while houston braces for more rain another water rescue outside the city. meanwhile, residents and officials from america's fourth largest city are cleaning up and surveying the damage. >> we're going to do some damage assessments. this is one of the storms that we used to collect data. >> melvin hopkins is a city inspector. he is among 40 teams documenting the destruction so that federal aid can be justified. >> this is where some of the most severe damage occur. >> what are you looking for? right now, we see bags of people's belongings here. are you just driving by and looking for this kind of stuff and that determines what? >> that's one of the things we look for. most important, we are looking for if you can see some of the water lines in the houses, most of these houses in this area
have suffered major damage. >> houston has until sunday to assess the damage and meet fema's federal aid deadline. a major task for katy tip to know's department of houston neighborhoods. >> i think the perception probably from a lot of people is ok there's a disaster and all of a sudden, there's going to be money that just comes in. what people don't realize is there's a lot of steps that have to be taken to prove that that money needs to be brought in and that's what you guys do, is that right? >> absolutely. there's also the perception that the federal government's just going to sort of come in and purchase your house or whatever. what we're really assessing what we're after is the uninsured or the underinsured. >> though officials cannot put an exact price tag on the destruction, this neighborhood southwest of downtown houston there are nearly 5,000 homes and the majority of them need complete gutting because of the
water damage. >> is there a possibility that we're going to go into the billions as far as damage here? >> i think that's certainly a possibility, but right now it's just really too early to tell. >> with more rain and flooding expected prompting volunteer evacuations in some areas the task to secure federal and state dollars is going on and around the clock. >> this is a scenario that is simply not over. just on thursday night a person was taken out of the port of houston, out of the water police took the body out that's 30 miles from downtown houston. meanwhile, many of the residents around the city of houston are trying to pick up the pieces of their lives. dealing with insurance and the city is hoping that fema, funds will kick in within the next week as they continue to assess the damage here in houston. >> the search continues in central texas for missing people swept away by the raging blanco
river. yea were at a vacation home in wimberly. search teams are searching for the victims with dogs. three children are among the missing. a child's body has been found by not identified yet. >> former house speaker dennis hastert hob indicted. he is accused of hiding $2 million in secret payments and lying about it to the f.b.i. the real question is what he may have been hiding. >> one would think it would have had to have been something very embarrassing. dennis hastert rose to the third highest office in the land on the strength of his low key good guy reputation, a reputation burn issued by his past as a small town high schoolteacher. there are now questions over what may be a darker side. >> i never envisioned that this former teacher and wrestling coach from illinois would have
the opportunity to lead the united states house of representatives. >> eight years after stepping down as speaker of the house dennis hastert is in serious trouble. in an indictment made public thursday federal prosecutors say a near lifelong associated identified only as individual a. threatened in 2010 to make public some "prior misconduct" that hastert committed before becoming house speaker in 1999. the indictment does not spell out the misconduct. to keep individual a quiet hastert is accused of withdrawing $1.7 million from his acts in 2010 and 2014. this money was part of $3.5 million hastert allegedly agreed to pay for individual a's silence. all of that is only the background. here's what hastert is actually in trouble for. first, he faces one count of lying to the f.b.i.
when investigators asked him why he was withdrawing so much money, the indictment said hastert told them the money was for personal use and that he was withdrawing the money out of a distrust for the banking system. second hastert faces a count of trying to conceal his actions by making 106 withdrawals of $10,000 or less. by law bank's must report cash transactions over $10,000. if i can convicted on both counts, he faces a $500,000 fine and 10 years in jail. the as yet unnamed individual a. allegedly knows hastert from living in yorkville ohio, where he coached wrestling and taught school for 16 years. residents of the town of just over 1,000 people said this news about one of york have him's favorite sons was difficult to hear. >> he's definitely a part of the town. it's very surprising.
>> people coming from your community trying to make a difference in illinois, it's just disappointing. >> he resigned from the lobbying firm where he had worked since leaving congress. >> an interesting side note. in his autobiography hastert talked about one lesson he learned as a high school wrestling coach there's no one to blame but yourself if you get pinned. >> thank you. >> officials say human error was likely not to blame for the military accidentally sending live anthrax across the country. the pentagon said it appears all proper procedures were followed to neutralize the spores, but anthrax is notoriously hard to kill. they were sent to 18 labs for trials. more than two dozen people are being treated as a precaution. >> the u.s. will not support seth blatter as fifa president in a vote in zurich.
members will cast votes shortly after 14 indictments against top officials. a culture of corruption was described. >> they've forgotten that football is for people. football is not something that belongs to them. they're the custodians of the game. they've been in the positions for so long, they are enured to what is right and what is wrong. >> where do the members stand right now in terms of reelecting seth blatter as fifa president? >> you would think as head of
the organization with the indictments anded raised, that the man at the he had might be under pressure, but the delegates are arriving here in zurich the vast majority of them are very much pro blatter. he said he couldn't be held responsible for the actions of individuals working for fifa. a strange argument, perhaps if you're watching it from the outside looking in, but he's preaching to the converted from within. there are opponent to say blatter, was the united states have made it cheer they won't support him canada the same, australia and the vast majority of countries in europe will not support him. fifa is a very, very wealthy business. blatter has been clever, strategic in investing a lot of that moneyen previously impoverished areas around the
world. >> what are the potential consequence for soccer in the united states if blatter is reelected? >> it's an if, but it's a probable. prince ally who is saying he is the preferred candidate for the united states, it was interesting, some of blatter's opening comments, he said he didn't want to use the word coincidence, then used the word coincidence and questioned the timing of the raised and arrest by the u.s. justice department just two days ahead of his reelection and intimated had the world cups not been given to qatar and russia, instead to the united states and a western european country then we wouldn't have had these issues. for fifa, it's a slightly different situation. soccer is a huge potential market a big market in the united states, but a growing market, as well. they cannot cut the united
states off. as lots of countries in western europe have discovered, once you go up against blatter, you are going up against a very, very tough regime and in terms of a future world cup bid for the united states, if they're trying to get the majority of votes inside that congress hall when the vast majority of people support blatter they might find that extremely difficult. >> andy, thank you. fifa is a collection of six federations made up of national soccer associations from around the world. let's look at how votes are divided. the largest block does come from africa with 54 votes. europe's association has 53. asia gets 46. the u.s. is part of the north and central america blocks. seth blatter has been backed by the asia and africa federation. that means most of their member nations will likely vote for him. >> the scandal is making headlines worldwide. it is getting somewhat less
attention in the u.s. since soccer isn't as popular as football. fifa has outsized power around the globe. powerful organization. >> very powerful. to give you a sense of how big this scandal is globally, look at the fan base. soccer which the rest of the world calls football, both more than 3 billion fans worldwide over half the worlds population. last year's world cup final in brazil we don't have figures for, but the previous one drew 900 million home viewers. that doesn't count those watching in bars, theaters or giant screens in parks. compare that to the 114 million who watched the last superbowl and you get an idea of soccer's reach and power. all those eyeballs translate into serious cash. revenues clocked in at
$4.8 billion last year with half of that coming from the world cup tournament. there is more at stake here than the bottom who in line. in many countries soccer is the embodiment and expression of national pride. when a a countries team is playing a key world cup match major cities can literally grind to a halt because so many people have dropped everything to watch it. the sport retains this hold on people around the globe despite the fact that fifa's had a reputation for dubious conduct for decade and allegations of match fixing by professional gamblers have called the legitimacy of some results into question. ask any fan of the beautiful game if it's all around the money and they will red card you, because like the nfl here in the united states, fans seem to be able to separate their distaste for scandal from their love of the game. >> and things are definitely getting ugly. i'll say that. thank you. >> on the agenda today secretary of state john kerry is in nigeria to attend the inauguration of president-elect
puhari. international officials are meeting in thailand to discuss the migrant problems, many rohingya's fleeing myanmar. >> whether to place the great barrier reef on the endangered list it has been threatened by pollution and climate change. >> a drug that is cheap yet powerful. >> it's like a plague. that's the only thing i can liken it to, because people are just dropping dead left and right. >> a town in the grip of a heroin epidemic. >> bridging the digital divide, how the u.s. plans to give low income families free internet access. access.
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round two of a controversial draw muhammed contest today. today's event will be held outside the mosque the two gunman attended. >> preventing sexual assault on college campuses, colleges will have to have a comprehensive plan for reporting sexual assaults. >> floors 100-102 open to the public today. the to your was built on the sites of the september 11 attacks. >> debating what to do about the patriot act the law greatly expanded how law enforcement and intelligence agencies investigate suspected crimes and
used to jury the bulk collection of met at a data. the house passed a new bill, called the u.s.a. freedom act backed by the white house. the senate has been unable to come to an agreement. a legislative counsel from the american civil liberties union join us this morning. the aclu sued to stop the bulk collection of met at a data. it was said to be illegal but the practice has not stopped. what are you doing to stop the collection of the data? >> congress is vote, eyes wide open for the very first time. they know that the law has used illegally to spy on every single american and hasn't been effective for stopping
terrorism. >> how do you know that? >> there have been two analyses by independent boards looking at the mass call record program and concluded that it never stopped an act of terrorism or played a concrete role in a terrorism investigation. even more recently, we had a -- >> should they have authority at all? >> there are numerous ways the government can get the information it needs. there's the criminal process and frankly, there are other provisions of law that have concerns that the government could use in the absence of section 215. you know, this is just not the provision of law that the government needs to keep the country safe. >> do you have examples of specific people actually having their civil liberties violated by the n.s.a.'s bulk collection program? >> in this situation every american has had their civil liberties violated.
simply the fact that the government is able to collect the records of every single person when they haven't done anything wrong has had an impact. we've heard from journalists that they are afraid to report on issues or people give them information because they are afraid that the government is watching. you have people not wanting to call a suicide hot line because the government has a record of that. it affects fundamental values. >> what do you think the senate outcome will be and where would you like to see it go? >> it's hard to know what the exact outcome will be. we're in a very different place than several years ago. there's been an enormous shift in congress and public. the public more so than it was at any other time is opposed to portions of patriot act and wants reform. they support reform by a two to one margin. congress is catching up to that, that's why you saw the senate
overwhelmingly vote against renewing this provision. for the first time, they are voting with eyes wide open, knowing what it's been used for and knowing that the public no longer supports it. >> that is of course because of edward snowdens revelations. i want to ask you sort of a philosophical question. corporations collect information on americans whereabouts consumer habits and their personal preferences all the time every day. how is what the n.s.a. is doing in collecting phone's met at a data any different? >> the harsh reality is google can put you in prison, and they can stop you from getting a security clearance and the job. the power of the government is enormous. we need to be particularly careful about over breadth.
the founders decided to put restrictions on exactly the information the government could gather. >> thank you so much for your time this morning. >> more than 4 million americans age 12 or older have used heroin at least once in their lives. over a million of those people become dependent on it. those numbers are expected to rise. >> this town is in the grip of an epidemic, heroin, powerful and cheap is ravaging the city. in a hotel parking lot he describes how he almost died from a heroin overdose. >> they dropped me here, pulled me out of the car. >> miss fellow addicts left him on the ground. a passer by recognized him and
called his mother just in time. >> kathy steven's daughter wasn't so lucky. just 23, she died from an overdose in november, leaving behind a 3-year-old daughter. >> it's like a plague. that's the only thing i can liken it to, because people are just dropping dead left and right. the sad thing is, the people that are all right addicted to it we don't have treatment options here. >> west virginia has suffered a devastating wave of prescription pain pill abuse. now the town's addicts of all ages and classes like many in the united states have been turning to heroin often simply because it's cheaper. >> people in this community tell us that heroin is everywhere, and they measure its destruction in the number of overdoses which happen nearly every day. just the other day a man was
found dead in the bathroom of this restaurant with a needle his arm. >> you can see much more on this topic coming up this weekend on compass with sheila macvicar, sunday at 9:30 p.m. eastern here on aljazeera america. >> calls for united response to stop a migrant crisis in asia. international meetings underway searching for a solution at thousands try to escape persecution. >> he was once for it, now against. why new jersey governor chris christie is calling for the end of the common core standards. dards.
up to leave. 24 people have been killed in texas and oklahoma. >> former speaker dennis hastert is accused of financial fraud. he is accused of withdrawing nearly $2 million for hush money opinion the charges say he was paying off someone to cover up misconduct. >> the u.s. will not support seth blatter for another term of president of fifa, up for reelection today. voting is set to get underway shortly. 14 top officials were indicted in a corruption scandal. >> cuba is set today to come off the list of state sponsors of terrorism. congress had 45 days to override the legislation. the move is part of an effort to restore diplomatic ties with the country. >> a major impediment to
formally normalize releases is underway today. it could clear the way for an announcement of embassies and exchange of ambassadors. the president made the announcement that he was going to try to normalize releases with cuba. there were things to do, items on the agenda that had to be cleared away before these two countries could formally normalize relations. the president announced 45 days ago that he was going to remove cuba from the state department's list of state sponsors of terrorism. that started a 45 day clock. that expires today. during that time, congress had the option to challenge the president's decision. they have not done so. since the president's announcement on december 17 there have been four rounds of talks, all aimed at normalizing releases sort of the nuts and boats toward opening an embassy
and exchanging an bat door. the issues on the table as of the last round were the cuban military and security presence around a prospective u.s. embassy. the ability of diplomats in havana and cuban diplomats in washington traveling without getting permission of host governments. on the cuban side was concern about democracy programs that happen in american embassies all over the world. the cubes don't want to see them in havana. they include training journalists and individuals in information technology. no break through was announced in that last round of talks. now that the 45 days expired a 15 day publishing of the notice
has to take place. republicans are very much in opposition to lifting the trade embargo that has been in place for more than 50 years. it's something cubes desperately want. republicans are showing no signs. it would require congressional action -- showing no signs of lifting that embargo. >> nebraska's legislature may not have the final word on execution the in the state. earlier this week, lawmakers outlawed the death penalty. nebraska is the 19th state to outlaw capital punishment, but the first red state in decades. stacy anderson is the executive director of nebraskans for alternatives to the death penalty. thanks for being with us. you were one of the leaders to
abolish executions in your state. what was the tipping point there in nebraska? >> this has been a grassroots movement for as long as i've been alive. the organization actually was founded the year i was born. i would say really, the tipping point and the changing moment in nebraska was when we had nine conservative state senators actually sign on to the bill, so their conservative colleagues were able to join together and see this change in nebraska. >> when it comes to those conservative lawmakers which really made the difference in overturning the governor's veto this week, what was it that drove them? >> you know, there are three main things. the risk of executing an innocent person weighed heavily on their minds. it's fiscally irresponsible we haven't executed anybody in nearly 20 years and for many of
them didn't align with their pro life values. at the end of the day conservatives came for many reasons, but joined together in this effort. >> i should say that you also work with the in sense project when you refer to the potential for innocent people to be put to death, there are 10 men on death row in nebraska right now. will their lives be spared because of this law? >> that remains to be seen for sure. we know that the bill was retroactive. i think that their sentences will be commuted to life without parole but that becomes sort of the question for lawyers. >> let me ask you this. what about those victims's families and justice for them? these men were sentenced and convicted for their crimes. what do you say to the victim's families? >> i think victims fall on all
sides of this issue. we've heard from many victims that the very process of the death penalty the on going appeals, the celebrity status of those on death row the fact that the details of their loved ones murder is recounted in the press over and over agains a very painful process for them. it doesn't allow them to find a new normal and move on. they mentioned with all the money we're spending on the death penalty nebraska is dead last in providing victim services so they would rather see -- many of them would rather see that money spent on taking care of victims' family members and helping them get the help they need. >> nebraska is the first red state since north carolina of some fort years ago to repeal the death penalty. how do you think this ends up playing out nationwide? is this a bell weather for where the nation is going in general when it comes to capital
punishment? >> i think there are many red states close to repealing the death penalty montana has come very close kansas is on its way. it seems to me that this is probably the first domino to fall in terms of the red states and we will likely see for red states in the repeal column in the next years. >> do you think this legislation is going to be the final word or do you potentially see a referendum put to the voters of nebraska? >> i think there is potential that the referendum might go to the voters but i think nebraskans are smart reasonable people and when they get the facts about the death penalty felt they could live without it. i don't know that they will get the signatures needed to be on the ballot or not but i do believe that at the end of the day, nebraska will be without the death penalty. >> stacy anderson, executive
director of nebraskans for alternatives to the death penalty, thank you for your time this morning. >> international leaders including top u.s. officials are meeting in thailand today to discuss the growing migrant crisis in southeast asia. the tensions between neighboring countries are at play, myanmar saying they are being singled out. they are called on to recognize the rohingya muslim minority as citizens hoping that will stem the flow of migrants fleeing the country. has there been any progress at today's meeting? >> we do have a final statement from the 17 stake holding countries, and the observers who were u.n. agencies, including the united nations agency for refugees and the international organization for migration. here it is. what we're seeing in it are
measures to do with the immediate humanitarian assistance that is needed, the thousands of migrants and refugees who are belied to be still at sea and endangered in the hands of traffickers. those who have survived say that they have been through immense abuse, and deprived of food and water. what we're seeing now is that countries agree that they should search and rescue and save these people. the problem is then what to do with them. we have seen from the united states that they have said that they will contribute more money to helping with food and shelter to the countries that are taking in rohingya refugees and migrants and also australia has said that they will contribute for development and assistance in their country of origin in western myanmar. the most controversial part probably is on the last page,
which is about addressing root causes because as you say myanmar refuses to acknowledge that the rohingya are from their country. so what we've got is a statement that talks about development that talks about creating more jobs finding skills, training and protecting human rights. when asked the united states assistance secretary ann richards said that myanmar had not objected to the way that the paragraph was put together by other participants, so it's not that they're committed to it or agreed to it, it's just that they've not objected to that. >> one of the other ways that this is being addressed including by bangladesh and thailand is they say they're going to crack down on the smugglers themselves. have those plans made an impact? >> can you say that again. >> i was saying that bangladesh and thailand have said they are
going to crack down on the smugglers. has their plan had an impact? >> i'm afraid what i'm hearing from you is going in and out but if i understand you correctly you're talking about cracking down on the smugglers the human traffickers. this has actually been the cause of the crisis we're seeing this year because this has been going on for years. rohingya has been fleeing since 2012 when there was violence against them and there's been increased persecution. the thing is by cracking down on trafficking in thailand, that has meant that there is nowhere for people to land, for the traffic beers to land, so what they're looking for is a transnational comprehensive
strategy that involves the whole region, and the international community to share in the burden. >> veronica pedroza in bangkok with the latest on the crisis there. thank you. >> iraqi lawmakers say baghdad is vulnerable to attacks after bombings outside two hotels in the capitol. 15 were killed and dozens injured. officials believe the blasts were coordinated. no one that taken responsibility but authorities believe isil is behind the explosions. >> omar da dire was 15 when he was detained for allegedly throwing a grenade at u.s. troops in afghanistan killing one soldier. he was interviewed in canada, where he now lives. rosalyn jordan reports. >> for many years this photo of 15-year-old canadian omar was all the world knew about the youngest prisoner held at the u.s. military facility as
guantanamo. he is now 28 years old, out of began to know mow under house arrest in canada and learning to move beyond what he said were 10 traumatic years in american military custody. >> people were drugged. humiliated water boarded. the dogs, sleep deprivation the music, it's just they throw at you the whole book. >> it is the first time that he has spoken publicly about his time in detention. he had been under a gag order until a canadian judge ordered him released on bail earlier this month. he is now trying to answer questions he imagines people have about his experience, such as whether he is angry about what happened to him and why he was captured in the first place. >> the first few years in began to know mow, i was just all over the place emotionally and i'dologyically.
i was a mess. i'd be around people and start acting like them and talking like them and doing everything they're doing and they'd move me to a different place and i'd just adapt to the new neighborhood. >> he talked about whether he threw a grenade at medics in afghanistan. he was working as a translator for al qaeda operatives. >> nobody claims to have seen he throw the grenade and this soldier has testified that i was under the debris and it couldn't have been me. i always held to the hope that maybe my memories were not true. >> he is considered a terrorist and wanted back in prison. he is suing the u.s. government to clear his name and the canadian government for allowing
him to be tortured as a child. whatever the outcome, he said he is poke cussed on the present. >> for the longest time, all i would tell to anybody is that i wished that i could just get out of prison, and just be the next joe on the streets who nobody knows and nobody gives a second look or a thought to. >> al jazeera washington. >> oh a debate over the role of u.s. power around the world the new book super power, three choices for america's role in the world. he said the u.s. has hard choice to say make to keep its global standing. ali velshi challenged him to defend that point. >> i accept the fact that if the united states does not act as a global leader, no one else is going to. china's prepared to challenge the americans economically around the world, they do have aspirations, but they are not going to try to fix any of these challenges.
there are reasons to believe that the americans should be in dispensable when you hear marco rubio give speeches, which are clear on foreign policy and you see the demand to destroy isis. the saudis don't have the interest the iranians are problematic on this front for many reasons who else is going to do it? >> you can watch the rest of the interview when "on target" airs tonight. >> breaking news on the economy the latest measure of g.d.p. came out and the numbers are not good. >> the economy contracted in the first quarter. this was largely expected. let's look at how bad the damage was. this is the second look at first quarter g.d.p. let's look at consumer spending. while it was up 1.8%, that figure was revised down slightly. it was a sharp deceleration from the fourth quarter.
we needed that to be stronger to off set this number, exports. let's pull that up now. this was the big drag on the economy, exports falling 7.6%. >> thank you. >> in today's tech beat, it is something many americans take for granted. access to high speed internet. for some low income families, the cost is to high. that may soon change with a new government push to close the digital divide. andy gallagher reports. >> public libraries used to be all about books but in the digital age it's access to the internet that draws people in. this library provides free on line browsing to educational and music programs. for parents it provides a vital service. >> it's a really nice library. we enjoy coming. my son enjoys coming, as well. >> it's that kind of service that the u.s. government wants to get into people's homes.
the idea is to modify a program called lifeline that helps poorer families pay their phone bills and also get them on line. >> when people talk about the digital divide, they are talking about a difference between being information rich and information poor and the figures speak for themselves. according to the latest u.s. census bureau findings, 5 million households in the u.s. are without broad band and disproportionately tend to be black or hispanic families. >> industry experts say if the u.s. wants to remain competitive, it needs to give everyone access to the web. >> if europe not connected you run the risk of being marginalized. not only are you left out of the competitive opportunities the job opportunities but your children in particular are behind other children of their age. >> critics say the program is already wasteful, expensive and ultimately could harm the people it hopes to help. >> really, the program is full
of waste fraud and abuse and unless we return to making sure that people have skin in the game that's just going to continue. what that means is really, there will be higher broad band taxes for everybody else, including the people not quite poor enough to get the subsidy and that there will be less subsidies for those who really need it. >> the plan voted on in june will cause fierce debate. few doubt that access to the internet is increasingly essential. >> chris christie is calling for an end to common core in schools. he said the standards are not working for new jersey students. he says it's brought frustration and confusion to the classroom. they were adopted five years ago and spell out what skills should be malt steady at each grade level. >> nine years ago, it was a crowning achievement building hydra electric dam to say fit the power needs of a growing
country. not everyone has benefited from them. rob reynolds visited the dam in oregon to see how native american villages have struggled. >> in the 1930's, the u.s. government began building huge dams on the colombia river. >> out of steel and concrete, they weld to the river's fury. >> dams generated electricity and made navigatable for ships. they drowned dozens of villages where native americans and people fished for thousands of years. now in the shadow of those dams, they live in scall lid settlements of trailers and shacks. >> the luxuries of having a house with plumbing and stuff, i really don't know what that is. >> gabriella lived on cooks landing for 45 years. there's one toilet and shower facility for about 40 people.
>> you can try as much as you can, you can never keep it clean. that's all it is. got a shower over there that don't work. >> about 500 native people live on sites designated for access to fishing that's guaranteed by treaties but the places were never meant for permanent settlements. these deplorable housing conditions are another sign of the dam's enduring human impact. paul is head of the colombia intertribal fishing. >> the incredible wealth, these people here don't have that. you wouldn't think here in the united states of america that you have these kind of third world living conditions, but it is here. the government knows bit and they won't do anything about it. >> u.s. army corps of engineers built the dams and is responsible for the sites where the makeshift housing i guess located, but the core has no
plans to build new homes. it's waiting for congress to fund more studies. >> the next step would be another study, and so, the fact-finding is to determine whether or not a study is needed. >> the dam generates thousands of megawatts of electricity every day but the trailer where jesse lives with his family has only a wood stove to ward off the winter cold. >> look what they've done to our land and our country. it's a fact, every dam like this they ruined another native american's life or family, and that's a true fact. >> dams brought prosperity to the pacific northwest but only misery to this land's original inhabitants. al jazeera lone pine, oregon. >> killing one species to save another. killing thousands of birds and why some say that's a mistake.
at the capitol for the ceremony. but harry defeated goodluck jonathan. >> the heatwave in india has killed 1800 people. water is being delivered crops are scorched, wildlife dying. the extreme temperatures are expected to continue for at least two days. >> a volcano sending smoke and ash into the sky. we say dents have been evacuated and the volcano alert level raised. >> an update on a story we've been following here. federal teams have begun their program to kill thousands of sea birds in the pacific northwest. it's designed to protect salmon heading out to sea but activists call it slaughter. we have this report. >> the army corps of engineers
isn't going to show us what's happening on east sand island, the west's biggest nesting ground. the agency confirms he was to kill two thirds of the colony started this week. >> how effective were the teams that were out there? >> to date, 1769 nests were culled. >> bob of the portland audubon society says they'd like a lot more information than the brief weekly press release the army corps is offering. >> i think people have a right to see what the federal government is doing spending our tax dollars on and doing to our wildlife and there's no excuse for not being transparent. a 75 word release that provided virtually no information is not an acceptable surrogate for that. >> a a federal judge has ruled the program can continue while the lawsuit is pending.
the killing is happening because of hydroelectric dams and the fish. the dams can be deadly for salmon. nooaa is trying to prop up the salmon population. one of many being used is to kill the birds which feast on the fish. critics call it a slaughter and say the birds are being blamed for what the human beings and dams are doing. >> they are turning the largest population into a shooting gallery, putting shooters on elevated platforms tonight night vision goggles and killing these birds. >> to the core, it is necessary wildlife management to help protect the 13 wild salmon species endangered in the river system. these birds eat 11 million
salmon and steel head trout each year. >> it's pretty positive results. >> what exactly is positive in this case? >> positive means we are not disturbing the entire colony. we're not dispersing birds. >> the core admits it started well behind schedule, because of the legal challenge but that won't change the shooting and egg oiling which could continue through august. al jazeera near east sand island oregon. >> on the cult err beat this morning, 97-year-old vivian bailey runs a funding program to help children go on field trips they otherwise couldn't afford. she never went on one herself. after vice president joe biden heard her story he invited her to the white house. she met with president obama in the oval office and met the white house staff. someone she really wanted to see wasn't there. >> it's an exciting, awesome
thrilling visit and i felt very honored to have been able to meet both the president and the vice president. the first lady was not there but sent a letter to me saying that she regretted that she wasn't there. i certainly hope to meet her in the future. i also hope and have a wish that at some time, we might be able to get the first lady to come out to our school. >> bailey was born in 1918. she wasn't allowed to go on field trips and she attended segregated schools. >> coming up from doha, much more on the vote from fifa to elect the next president. the u.s. has said it will not vote again for sitting president seth blatter. that's it for us here in new york. thank you for watching. the world trade center opens to the public today the observation tower between floors 100 and 102. what a view from those floor to ceiling windows on this beautiful friday morning.
>> on hard earned, down but not out, >> i'm in recovery i've been in recovery for 23 years... >> last shot at a better life... >> this is the one... this is the one... >> we haven't got it yet... >> it's all or nothing... >> i've told walgreen's i quit... >> hard earned pride... hard earned respect... hard earned future... a real look at the
american dream hard earned only on al jazeera america >> part of our month long look at working in america. "hard earned". >> hello welcome to the news hour from doha. coming up, fifa is set to vote on seth blatter's leadership amidst the greatest scandal in the history of world football. >> a second bomb attack on a mosque in saudi arabia in a week. >> myanmar says it will tackle the root cause of asia's migrant crisis as