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tv   News  Al Jazeera  August 27, 2013 12:00pm-12:31pm EDT

12:00 pm welcome to al jazeera, i'm del walters. here are the stories we are working on at this hour. >> translator: i believe the pretext of chemical weapons is false, baseless and groundless. >> the syrian government is saying it will defend itself if they are attacked. it is the first day back to school for survivors of the sandy hook elementary school shooting. a measles out break linked to a mega church. ♪
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at this hour, the united states and its allies appear to be moving towards military intervention in syria. the aim would be to deter further use of chemical weapons. a senior administration official is saying the white house has not yet decided on what military action it might take. on the ground in syria, the un inspection team has postponed its chemical weapon's investigation due to safety concerns. >> translator: we are all hearing the drums of war being beat around us. if these countries are willing to launch an attack against syria, i believe the chemical weapons acquisition is false, baseless and groundless, and i
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challenge them to show one piece of evidence. >> david what are you hearing about these reports that some type of military action could happen very, very soon? >> dell, everybody thinking that will be imminent. they are thinking there will be additional inspections on the ground by the un. it is thought they will get another day in of work, before this is perhaps terminated early, i don't know. the indication was last night from mr. kerry that there was new information that was being withheld by the united states regarding what those inspectors had found on the ground, and everybody here wondering what would that be, and what that is. perhaps it won't be revealed or released until they go back in for another day. but here it is nile -- nail
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biting time. and they want to hear something from the u.s. administration a little bit further in terms of pinning down who was responsible for use of the chemical weapons. >> david there are two concerns one being where the sites are located and also whether or not human shields might be deployed. >> dell, apparently there would be an option of what gets struck and what order. whether it would be on a mill stair base or a command structure for any of the military in syria. that command structure has long been established inside the city of damascus, and those buildings are located in and around residential communities. they are in residential areas, now presumably those might not be targeted along the way, simply because there's too much
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danger of collateral damage there, otherwise they would have to go after military bases in remote locations, something that is a little bit safer so to speak in terms of making that kind of strike. but most people think it would be very dangerous to strike inside the city of damascus where the command center is located. but everyone is wondering what they will find out and when they will find out, and whether or not safety will be the world of the day. dell? >> david thank you very much. we turn now to mike viqueira. mike congress is not in session, but have they been briefed and if so, it appears that washington is now in war mode. >> there is a methodical almost systematic nature going on now between the administration and congress, but between the administration and its international allies, and the
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syrian foreign minister himself. the president held yet another telephone call with the prime minister of canada, steven harper, and this is how they end virtually every press release, the united states and -- fill in the blank -- in this case, canada, strongly oppose the use of chemical weapons. this as secretary hagel still traveling in southeast asia has been on the phone with his counterparts at the uk and france and other countries. secretary kerry we see every day. he has placed new calls many to the same counterparts around the world. obviously this is something we have seen before dell in previous circumstances of this kind of military action, trying to build that coalition. the first question is obvious, when if there is to be the military option, when will it take place?
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when will he hear from the president? before such operations take place? what is the goal? what is the purpose? is it simply to punish the syrian regime and will there be collateral effects in terms of casualties and unforeseen effects in terms of taking the lid off of a region that is whip sawed by fractionalism, and thirdly, dell, what are the underpinnings of international law. obviously not going to happen at the un security council. how will the arab league view what will ultimately happen here? >> mike is it your opinion that you are seeing bipartisan support behind the white house on this issue? >> it's hard to tell, because as you point out, congress isn't in
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session. so we have left with those we are talking to behind the scenes. you are seeing support and opposition quite frankly. you have isolationist who are publicly and outspokenly expressing their opposition to any kind of action overseas. you have those on the left while many believe this cannot go unpunished, and that red line that has been crossed, are still very reluctant. on the other hand you have leaders saying something must be done, dell? on that note, the french president says it is ready to punish those responsible for the chemical attacks in syria. he says that france will also increase its military support for the opposition.
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saudi arabia also calling for decisive stands against the assad regime. they condemn the heinous crimes of the syrian government. al jazeera is committed to bringing you the very latest happening in syria. for updates throughout the day, we urge you to visit our website, a meesel's outbreak at a texas mega church has now spread to at least 21 people. health officials are trying to contain the outbreak by hosting vaccination clinics. doctors say a visitor who became infected with measles likely spread it to the rest of the church. most of the members did not have their measles vaccinations. a new school year means a new start for those who survived
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the sandy hook elementary school shooting last year. they are going to classes at middle sdmool a neighboring town. task force approved plans to tear down the old school, which was the scene of the deadly massacre. the new one is going to be built on the same spot pending approval i will residents. crews battling california wildfires are finally making some progress. the rim fire, which has been burning for ten days covers more than 250 square miles. that is about the size of the city of chicago. while the fire continues to grow, it is, now, 20% contained. and yosemite's fire chief says they have the blaze boxed in. more good news officials say the wildfires are likely not to disrupt san francisco's water and power supply. katherine barrett has the very
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latest. it seems this is now effecting areas where people are not directly effected, but there still is the possibledy -- [ technical difficulties ] . >> there are some evacuation advisories still in force. they are still having trouble on the northwestern edge of this fire, keeping it contained. the fire generated a lot of smoke yesterday, and columns that rose 25, 30,000 feet in the air, the night air has pushed that smoke down to the ground. again, they say while an evacuation advisory means they are doing everything they can and don't expect the fire to threaten populated areas, it still could. and the fire is unpredictable. mike wilkins re minded media of just how dangerous this particular fire is, not just in
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terms of scale and size, but the terrain, and the winds that then push the fire in different directions. at the moment, though, the primary wind direction on the fire is moving to the northeast, which they think is a good sign because it is mostly rocky terrain with less fuel to drive that fire. they have bulldozen operators heading east to maintain their lines over there. ground crews mopping up hot spots, and air crews dropping fire retardant and water. dell? >> what about the water supply? there is the issue of the reservoir. >> that's right. and they say the fire has burned right up to the water's edge there, but they have made a real priority to secure those structures, and they feel very confident and have since sometime yesterday that those structures are not threat end .
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they clearly have deployed a lot of resources in that area. and they have no signs or news that the water supply has been contaminated in anyway. dell? >> katherine thank you very much. and stay safe. a vacation to outer space? space tourism could be just around the corner. and we have heat just around the corner. i'll show you where excessive heat warnings are in effect along with the national forecast. that's coming up.
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♪ welcome back to al jazeera, i'm del walters. reuters news agency says the syrian opposition has now been told to expect a military strike been days, and syria saying it will defend itself if attacked. firefighters in northern california say they are optimistic. they have gained some ground on those wildfires burning at yosemite national park. talk about your trip of a lifetime, two corporations say
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they will start scheduling flights to outer space within the year. the cost, though, is also sky high, $160,000 if you can spare the change. life behind bars or death by legal injection a military jury hearing more evidence in the sentencing phase of nidal hasan. heidi who did we hear from today? >> dell, these heart-breaking stories just pouring in. one man told the jury about how he tried to drink away the pain of his wife's death. now he is in aa and every time he gets one of those coins for a step forward, he goes to arlington national cemetery and presses it into his wife's grave. he is among the last of the list of 19 government witnesses to
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testify in this punishment phase. we expect the government to rest very shortly. and then the attention shifts back to hasan. it will be his one chance, if he chooses to take it, to speak during his defendant's statement. it is one shot to talk without fear of interruption from the judge or cross-examination from the opposing side. and at this point we have no idea what if anything he'll say. >> we should point out that hasan himself wants the death penalty. so it would be no surprise if he took the stand and said please carry out the max. >> that's right. he has indicated he would consider himself a martyr if put to death, but earlier in this trial some of his counsel members, the stand-by counsel had told the judge they wanted out of this case, because they couldn't watch their client
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systematically condemn himself. but hasan jumped in and said that wasn't the case. so really at this point we don't know what to expect. >> heidi, thank you very much. there was an ecological nightmare unfolding in the state of florida. hundreds of manatee and bottlenose dolphins are dieing there. those effected want to know why. >> reporter: this is florida's indian river lagoon. >> in the last two years there have been over 30 manatees that have died in the lagoon. we have had over 50 bottlenose dolphin deaths in the same area, and about 250 to 300 pelicans died last spring. >> reporter: the lagoon spans
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along central florida's east coast. peter is a fisherman who has felt the impact of the vanishing sea life firsthand. >> i still have a lovely view, but it's no, ma'am teaming with fish, it's deep and black and flat, and most of it is dead. >> reporter: at the center of the mystery, the disappearance of vast sea grass. >> we have lost about 47,000 acres of sea grasses in the last few years. >> reporter: it's the staple of a healthy manatee diet and a hatchery for the native fish. >> they are known as the rain forests for the water bodies. >> reporter: politicians and
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concerned citizens met last week to discuss the issue. >> we're dumping billions of gallons of highly polluted water into ourest tu wares, it's killing fish, and birds. and we have to do something about it. >> reporter: the water continues contaminates from fertilizer and septic tanks. state and federal officials have agreed on a four-point plan to begin looking for solutions. meanwhile they are now hoping to restore that balance. behind me are white pvc pipes which mark a spot where scientists are transplanting sea grass. but unless they deal with the source of the contaminates, more
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animals will likely die. a massive dust storm covered the city of phoenix, arizona on monday. winds from an approaching storm pushing the hazy brown cloud into that city. there are reports of downed power lines and trees. arizona's monsoon season has produced those massive dust storms that you see right there in recent years. heavy rains are dropping as much as two inches in just hours in some parts. 57 -- a 77-year-old woman was killed on monday when her vehicle was caught in a flash flood. the heat is closing the schools in the midwest. sweltering temperatures are
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forcing school closures from minnesota, east to illinois, west to the dakotas, and south into nebraska and iowa. school nurses are also on the lookout of any signs of heat exhaustion. we turn now to dave warren to tell about the crushing heat in the midwest. >> yeah, a little different. the kids want to see the temperatures heat up, to get another day off from school. could have it again in the northern plains. omaha, 88 right now. indianapolis at 80. minneapolis at 85. so the heat is building up, and the temperatures will continue to climb from here. and heat advisories in effect for this whole area, so again, dealing with that heat. it just builds up day after day. when you factor in the humidity, you could see that heat index
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feel like well over 100 degrees. a little cooler today after a shower or even strong thunderstorm tomorrow. a tropical storm in mexico dying down as it's over land. but on the pacific side, a redeveloping cluster of storms could continue to intensify. that area is being watched closely. all of this moisture, creating showers and storms in the west, and these are what caused the dust storms and strong thunderstorms and flooding that we showed you earlier. could see a repeat of that in arizona and southern california. the forecast calls for very heavy rain in the next 24 hours. this could lead to the monsoon storms which lead to dust storms and flash flooding. flash flood watch in effect for the entire area. a little bit of rain came through the northeast. that has cleared out, and now
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we're looking at a nice day here. temperatures are a little cooler. a light breeze, and maybe a pop-up thunderstorm then dry and comfortable, friday, saturday, and sunday. >> thank you very much. another showdown between the white house and congress over the nation's debt ceiling again. neither side backing down, and time is running out to strike a deal. ♪
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♪ the white house says it will not negotiate with congress over the government's ability to pay its bills. the deadline for raising the $16.7 trillion federal debt ceiling is mid-october. white house officials state vital to avoid a repeat of 2011 when partisan bickering delayed action until the very last minute. and that lead to a government default. on main street, your home prices keep going up. a report shows prices increased more than 2% in june. that would usually be considered
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a strong jump, but sit down slightly from may, signalling some moderation in the housing market could be taking place. americans apparently liking american cars these days. the gap between the big three and overseas cars is the largest in three years. the drop is in part due to concerns about vehicle reliability. some people feel the quality of u.s. autos has suffered as auto makers have ramped up production to meet demand. americans like european cars best followed by asia vehicles. two companies are ramping up to sell tickets to space. as craig glaeson reports, no one will be flying coach. >> reporter: space the final holiday frontier.
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the place of many childhood dreams may now be within reach. two corporations, are expected to begin scheduled flights outside of the earth's atmosphere within 12 months. packages by sxc are expected to start at around $100,000. >> our aim is to make space affordable to everyone. so we would like to also get people who may have dreams when they are young to want to go to space. they will be also our type of clients. we have parents who buy ticket for their children and give them as a present when they go 18. and there are some retired people. >> reporter: sxc has signed up 250 customers globally, about half that of virgin. but has opened a branch in china in hoping to attracting the new asian wealthy. >> in asian we hope to sell 50
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to 60 tickets the first year, and after that we are sure the figure will be triple. >> reporter: sxc offers what it is called the ultimate experience. clients are trained as astronauts that last just six minutes. >> this is not a new technology, it is something that has been for years, and i like to be a part of -- you know, like this new generation -- new travel, i like to be the pioneer. >> reporter: this is a replica of the vehicle that will take the customers into space. it's the lynx mock one. it's engines can be switched on and off, and reused up to 5,000 times, making it a much safer
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and environmentally friendly spacecraft. >> the client list includes djs and supermodels. once up and running, sxc says it will operate four flights a day. it is one small step for wealthy tourists but one giant leap for space tourism. britain's prime minister said this just moments ago. >> what we know is this regime has huge stocks of chemical weapons. we know they have used them on at least ten occasions prior to this last wide-scale attack. the opposition's chance of having used chemical weapons is vanishing. the question now is are we more
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likely to deter the future use of chemical weapons by acting or not acting. >> the news continues talk to al jazeera at


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