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tv   News  Al Jazeera  September 1, 2013 4:00pm-5:01pm EDT

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these are the top stories we're following at this hour. if you feel so strongly about it and doesn't want to take the action itself, he should call us back into session tomorrow. >> some members of congress now asking why the president is waiting to act on syria. nelson mandela is back home tonight after spending three months in the hospital for that lung infection. and the legacy of david frost. a look back at the life and career of a legendary journalist.
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as congress prepares to debate military action against syria, senators are now being briefed on the situation even as we speak. yesterday president obama asking congress to authorize limited strikes against syria. the president's national security team attending today's briefings. defense secretary chuck hagel and other military officials also said to be present. the possibility of u.s. military involvement in syria has people protesting around the world. supporters of syrian president bashar al assad holding a march in southern turkey today. demonstrators opposing any possible u.s. military strike in syria. there have also been demonstrations in jordan and parts of the u.s. over the weekend. in israel many are closely watching the white house decision on any military intervention in syria. now, there is one important reason. iran. from jerusalem, here's jonathan betts. >> reporter: from the streets of
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jerusalem to the malls of tel aviv, the thoughts of many israelis were on the usa. >> i was sure that obama will attack. i was surprised that he decided not to do that. >> reporter: president obama's words surprised many here who were preparing for a strike on syria. >> when people are gassed like two hours' drive from here, from tel aviv, from this beautiful mall, people are being gassed like cockroaches under the sink. >> reporter: of course, the united states could still strike, but some worry what kind of message the delay sends to the rest of the middle east. >> obviously, it's a bad one for israel, because its major ally is showing such weakness. >> that worries many israelis who fear if the president stalls on syria, will he do the same with iran? >> in the israeli mind, as the iranians think about the americans, all bark, no bite. >> reporter: still some welcome the president's pause. >> what we need is not guns and
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force. what we need is not bombs over syria, missiles over syria, military solutions for syria. >> reporter: israel is on alert and folks are still getting their gas masks. >> every country has its right to straighten out it's own internal differences, and that's what the american people are going to do. >> reporter: israel's prime minister didn't even mention syria on sunday, but other ministers are clearly unhappy. one wrote on his facebook page, in tehran they're opening bottles of champagne. >> this is interpreted as something that is -- >> secretary of state kerry making the rounds on the sunday morning talk shows defending the president's position. paul reports. >> reporter: after saturday's announce by president obama he would ask congress to approve military action against syria, secretary of state john kerry took the lead defending the president's decision. >> the fact is that the
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president clearly had a sufficient case presented to the american people that assad had engaged in an outrageous crime against humanity, and that it was vital to take steps. i think the president realized in consultations with the congress that people wanted to weigh in, and he believes, after thinking about it, that the united states of america is much stronger when we act in concert. >> reporter: secretary kerry made the rounds on the sunday morning shows citing new evidence that the chemical attack and pushing back against any perception that the move was a sign of weakness. >> this morning a very important, reasonable development that in the last 24 hours we have learned through samples that were provided to the united states that have now been tested from first responders in east damascus and hair samples and blood samples have tested positive for signatures of sarin.
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so this case is building, and this case will build. i don't believe that my former colleagues in the united states senate and the house will turn their backs on all of our interests. >> reporter: some lawmakers, such as kentucky republican senator rand paul welcomed the president's move but aremain aposed to any u.s. action against syria. >> i would ask john kerry do you think it's less likely or more likely chemical weapons will be used again if we bomb assad? is it more or less likely we'll have more refugees in jordan or israel may suffer an attack? all the bad things are more likely if we got involved. >> reporter: others want action with a clear strategy and end game. >> we should not send servicemen and women into military conflict if they don't have complete confidence that the nation's political leadership and behind them. >> even worry more when the
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president's chief of -- chairman of the joint chiefs says it doesn't matter when we strike. that's not a military action, then. that's a symbolic action. >> reporter: congress may be on summer recess until september 9th, but the congressional debate the president called for appears well underway. paul beeben, al jazeera, washington. >> libby casey is standing by live in washington. libby, some senators have left the meeting. are they talking, and if so, what are they saying? >> reporter: members of congress are coming out of the meeting. some are talking and some are walking right past the reporters and saying i'm not talking about this. they're not talking about the intel classified discussed in the briefings, but some members of congress are giving their opinion. some are giving a definitive action on what they would do. sandary levin, a democrat of michigan says he's ready to vote yes. other people, though, are still weighing the evidence and making their decisions. congressman john lewis, a democrat, someone we've heard a
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lot from over the past couple of weeks. he was the civil rights leader who we've seen so much attention to over the last couple of weeks over the "i have a dream" sfeech speech and 50th anniversary. congressman lewis said i don't doubt the evidence. i hear this, but i have constituents back home that are war wary, and the president has to make a strong case of why chemical weapons are so bad. he has to spell it out clearly. this is a complicated issue, and congressman lewis said we have to think about what a no vote would do. if the house and nature vote no, what message does that send to the international community? what message does it send to assad anddddddddddddddd literally what they asked for in the sense of being asked to decide this particular issue? >> it certainly is a double-edged sword, because it
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was easier to criticize the president from afar, and now they weigh in on this discussion as well. i'm still hearing from most members they're glad to have the opportunity to voice their concerns, to ask questions and get some answers from the white house. they're usually social media like twitter to solicit comments from constituents to find out what questions they have. they are taking this moment to be the voice of people, but the pressure is on to figure out as we heard from congressman lewis not just what a yes vote means but what a no vote means as well. >> libby casey live from washington. thank you very much. joining us to discuss the political divide developing in congress over the issue of syria is juan cole. he's a history professor at the university of michigan. this is going to be interesting, because the president has asked the people's congress to decide this issue. yet, the polls are overwhelming in the sense that the people don't want involvement in syria. is this a case where he's asking congress to go against the will
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of the american people? >> there is a philosophy in government that you're not elected just to reflect the opinion polls. you're elected to represent the best interests of the people as you see them. so it would be, i think, legitimate for congress to vote for this, even though the public doesn't want it. >> that would not be the first time historically that congress has voted for something the people didn't want. >> not
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weapons inspectors being there, and them asking for more time and members of congress say why not wait for the inspectors to do their job? should we have two separate timetables here? one is waiting on congress deciding what they want to, but also deciding to wait for the weapons inspectors to do what it is that they do? >> well, the weapons inspectors have gathered samples, and they are now analyzing those samples. probably we will have a report from them before september 9th when congress will presumably vote on this issue. i think that's all to the good. i think it was a big mistake for
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the bush administration essentially to yank the inspectors out. they gave -- in iraq they gave them 600 sites to look at. they looked at 100 and found nothing, and then they got yanked out. it was already becoming clear there was nothing there. >> one final question. which does history regard more harshly, a president that acts too soon or a president that waits too long to act? >> i think everything depends on the outcome. if president obama goes ahead with this operation against syria, he lobs some cruise missiles on crucial facilities and punishes the regime for using chemicals, and there's not a backlash and a lot of terrorism in the region, the u.s. doesn't suffer from it, then he'll be seen to have done the right thing. on the other hand, if it's the first step into a quagmire, he'll be judged harshly. we turn to the situation in egypt. ousted egyptian president
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mohamed morsi will stand trial. they're charging him with enciting deadly violence in the december 2012 deaths of seven people. he will stand trial along with 14 other suspects from the muslim brotherhood movement. a trial date has not been set. morsi is already accused of crimes relating to his 2011 prison escape. he is still held at a secret location. al jazeera is joining us by phone from cairo. do we have any idea who is behind these charges, nadeem? >> reporter: i'm having trouble hearing you. i think you were asking about this charge. a charge of committing acts of violence and enciting killing is a charge that applies to morsecy. 14 others including people in the muslim brotherhood currently in detention.
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we don't know when they might stand trial, but they're accused of an incident in december of last year after the government under mohamed morsi had changed the constitution. people who weren't happy he had done that generally people who were accusing him of taking egypt -- he's in his presidential palace. after some time supporters of president morsi then had clashes, and at least nine people died. that's the context to these latest charges. they're not the first charges against morsi. they're not the only charges dpens many of them. >> that's nadim baba live from cairo at this hour. once again the news out of kay row, ousted egyptian president morsi is to stand trial according to state tv there. egypt's prosecutor charges morsi with inciting deadly violence in
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december of 2012 when seven were killed in a protest that followed. a place to call home. a community group in new orleans is getting hundreds of homeless off the streets. we'll tell you how they did. a fight over europe's slice of the amazon and the rain forest there.
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stay with us. stay with us. stay with us. stay with us.
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saudi arabia for that. ♪ members of congress get a classified briefing on the war with syria after president obama urged them to vote on a un active strike for that alleged chemical weapons attack involving that country's ongoing conflict. legendary broadcaster sir david frost has died.
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he was 74. his family releasing a statement saying that he died of a heart attack on board a cruise ship. >> a man whom celebrities, word leaders and the rest actually wanted to be inther viewed by even if they knew it might be uncomfortable. >> so far it's been, you know, pretty much a disaster. >> it has. >> he was equally at home sitting opposite ckarzai as he
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was next to i will bella. i was impossible not to like. despite his fame he had as much time for a colleague in the corridor as he did a serving prime minister. >> amazing bought of the amount of people he dealt with a daily basis. statesmen, celebrities, he knew them all. still, he was an ordinary guy. really very nice man. >> david cameron said, my heart goes out to corina and the family. he was charming and had intelligence and warmth in equal measure. he made a huge impact on television and politics. the nixon interviews were among the great broadcast moments but there were many other brilliant interviews. he could be and certainly was with me a friend and fierce interviewer. after making his name in britain in the 1960s, frost broke through in the u.s. with what mr. cameron alluded to. his most famous interview of
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richard nixon when the american president admitted he betrayed his people. that interview itself exposed something of frost's genius of understanding how people operate and then getting them to reveal themselves. >> one of the reasons he wasn't in touch with what people were thinking was he didn't like going out of his way to meet people because he was awkward with people. that awkwardness or that clumsiness was one of the things that probably closed him off from knowing what the public was really thinking. it's those personal flaws that come through. >> prime minister, thank you very much indeed. >> reporter: his legacy is unique in television. a newsman and journalist an entertainer known on both sides of the atlantic. anyone who was anyone would have been flattered to be offered the frost interview. hardly anyone in the history of tv can make that claim. lawrence lee, al jazeera, london. south africa's legendary leader nelson mandela went home
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to johannesburg on sunday after three months in the hospital. the 95-year-old remains in critical condition. an intensive care facility has been set up inside his home. south africa's president jacob zuma updates the public on sunday asking the public to accept their national hero has grown old and frail. a french company wants to mine for gold in a protected area of the amazon, and the residents are none to happy about it. the fight in french guiana has set off a debate in how france should protect their part of the amazon. al jazeera reports. >> reporter: for cedric a walk deep into the jungle it was an exotic holiday. rather for him the rain forest is a way of daily life and survival. >> translator: here in the jungle we go to hunt and to fish. it's our culture. without this jungle we have nothing here. >> reporter: he and 70 other people live in the village here deep in the jungles of french
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guiana, making this europe's largest national park and it's only slice of the amazon. the residents of the village, a growing eco-tourist destination, have decided to protect the village from development for good reason. in one hectare of forest here, there are more plant and animal species than in the whole of europe. there's something else here, gold, and lots of it. that's why the government granted a small french mining company named rexma a five-year license to explore it against the wishes of the villagers. the area the company wants to explore has an estimated 8 tons of gold along the nearby river, the main waterway for the village. back in the capital an investigation is underway into allegations that rexma falsified environmental documents submitted to government authorities, but rexma denies any wrongdoing and says the whole controversy is overblown.
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>> translator: the area we're going to explore is only 12 hectares. we're not going to destroy the world. these 12 hectares will give the french guiana people wealth and jobs. >> reporter: they already have offices set up and even three pieces of heavy machinery ready to start digs as soon as they get final authorization. the issue has practical and symbolic significance. >> translator: if a world power like france or europe can't preserve a little piece of our own forest, how can we have the moral authority to tell other countries smaller than us to preserve their to rests? >> reporter: as night falls, residents continue to fear if the project is given the green light, it will mean pollution to the river and an influx of illegal gold miners in the area. as they gather for their daily game, all they can do is wait and see what government officials far away will decide to determine the future of their home in europe's part of this pristine amazon.
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>> that was al jazeera reporting from french guiana. the tropics are getting a little hotter, and a storm is brewing. here's kevin to tell us more. >> that's right, dale. actually, august was the -- one of the only six augusts in the whole history of how we've been tracking storms that has gone hurricane-free. i'll show you why on the map. it's because we're actually looking at a lot of sand from africa. as we go towards september 1st, things are about to change. the reason is the waters are very warm at this period of time, actually into the mid-80s. we're looking at this area just towards of the east of caribbean as being the next potential storm to develop. we have this area of low pressure off the coast. the national hurricane center gives it a 30% to 50% chance it will develop, and the forecast models are going to be pushing up here towards the northwest over the next couple of days.
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water temperatures right now are about 85 degrees, 86 degrees, to that is going to be the fuel for the storms. we're going to watch this very carefully. what i'm concerned about is actually haiti. if the storm makes its way over here towards the west-northwest, haiti is one of the most susceptible islands in the area for these tropical systems, even if it's a tropical depression or tropical storm. we'll watch it carefully and see how it plays out over the next couple of days. thank you. >> thank you very much. nonprofit groups in new orleans are working harder than ever to end the scourge of homelessness. the jump energized a lot of groups who found housing for more than 200 people in fewer than 100 days. ben tells us just how they did it. >> reporter: it wasn't so long ago bruce james was living the life he always planned. >> aerospace was my career. i worked on the space station
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and lab. >> it changed in an instant in 2008. >> potential customer was schizophrenic. he heard voices. he came in and opened fire on me and my co-worker. my like a dummy popped up to like and caught a .45 in the temple. i lost my eye. i have a titanium plate in my head to cover up the hole in my skull. >> reporter: the surgery saved has life, but bruce lost his job and pride. frustrated by the bureaucracy, he never could get social security, and his outlook on life faded with his sight. >> finding myself not being able to work was different for me. it was difficult. i had no where to go after that. i was homeless. >> reporter: bruce became a part of growing subculture of destitute people on the rise in cities across the country. it's a condition knowing as chronically homeless. >> the definition is that you have serious mental or physical disabilities, and you have been
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literally homeless, sleeping on the street, and third, you have to be doing that for over a year, in some cases for 30 years. >> reporter: new orleans has become a case study in homelessness. after hurricane katrina, 80% of the houses were flooded and rent prices went up by 50% leaving few options for so many people. in 2005 the homeless population was approximately 2,000. in 2007, nearly 12,000. >> because the research shows that the longer you stay out there, the worse your health is and essentially you'll die out that. >> that re-energized efforts to attack homelessness. >> we agreed on an audacious goe to house people. >> nonprofit groups surpassed the goal finding homes for 220 people in 95 days. the fastest rate in the country. >> my bed was over here in the corner.
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>> reporter: bruce james spent 14 months in a homeless shelter where they helped him get social security. his mother came from california to help him pack. >> it was a blessing. this is a blessing. i love the way you've come through. >> reporter: soon bruce will be in his own apartment. he's one of the 220 taken off the streets of new orleans. >> i can do it. i know it in my heart i can work, and i'm going to work, you know. i just need somebody to give me a chance. >> reporter: for now he's just happy for the chance to have a home. from the big easy to the big apple where it was a very busy day at the u.s. open. here's all the headlines in sports. >> the defending men's champion andy murray on center court today and he sparkled and advanced to the round of 16. late last night roger federer punched a stick into the fourth round, because the 17-time major champion dominated adrian in
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straight sets. federer is moving on and will next face tommy. we'll have more on serena williams later in sports. ♪
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welcome back to al jazeera. i'm dale walters in new york city. syrian refugees are still fleeing across the border into northern iraq. the u.n. says 52,000 people have arrived since officials relaxed the border controls there on august 14th. those numbers are expected to rise as world leaders consider how best to respond to the suspected chemical weapons attack in damascus. we have more from northern iraq. >> reporter: that's the syrian iraqi border. people are waiting to get through. about 700 people have arrived already. they go through that border and are brought here. a number of ngos and refugee agencies have sent up tents here and medicines here. that's the unacr tent. a few people are waiting. the majority have been registered and taken off. see the buses over there? that's the buses that take them
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to the camps. also, any children in danger are taken to unicef. now, at the moment it's only syrian kurdish people coming across the border. of course, the iraqi kurds and syrian kurds have a common language and history, so it's easier to absorb them into this society. the real fear for the iraqi kurds is syrian ar rabs coming across the border because of the shear numbers. the u.n. refugee agency say they have a shortage, a funding shortage, which means they're going to struggle with any new influx of refugees because of any potential military strike. >> joining me to discuss what appears to be a deepening religious divide in syria is robert pate, a professor of political science at the university of chicago. thank you for being with us. >> good to be here. >> is this a religious war, and if so, who is against who? >> it partly is a religious war, but it's not simple a sunni/shea
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split. that's what we're used to hearing about in the middle east. here we have five major religious groups where there's tension. we have sunnis and shea and kurds and drus, there's an unusual sext and and christians. in this case because there's a five-sided problem inside of the country, it's difficult to pick one group and think what you'll do is stabilize the whole country. >> this isn't a religious war in the sense one religion is saying my religion is better than yours. this is a war that involves a government treating one religious group better. >> there was a government that held this country together reasonably peacefully, the assad government, and then things fell apart. over the last two years you've seen the dissin integration of the assad government. as it disintegrates, then the other parts of syria have been
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coming at assad, and some of them say even within the sunnis at each other. >> the united states' interest in this is the issue of al qaeda. which group is more closely linked with al qaeda, and which group should the united states be keeping an eye on? >> there is a sub part of the sunnis, so a sixty -- sixth group, that is affiliated with al qaeda. this isn't a majority of the sun mys, it's a small fraction. it's a small group that was doing suicide attacks in iraq against american forces not too many years ago. there is an al qaeda group there, but that al qaeda group is unlikely to dominate the entire country, because they're just such a small fraction. the sunni, the free sunnis, the secular sunnis fighting are much larger, and the alowite would opposed al qaeda. other groups inside of syria as well. so al qaeda is a problem, but
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it's very unlikely to rule all of syria. >> professor, thanks for being with us today. >> absolutely. sex abuse scandals and leaked documents scarring the vatican and their reputation in recent years. as sonya reports pope francis is overhauling a law there trying to rebuild credibility. >> reporter: change may be ringing out at the vatican. in recent times the roman catholic church had its share of trouble to deal with. it's reeled from one sexual abuse scandal to the next, faced accusations it did more to cover up the crimes then punish the perpetrators. the pope francis overhauling some of the vatican's archaic legal code is urgency. it deals with members of clergy and laypeople that live and work inside vatican city. most obvious are the changes to laws concerning child abuse, a crime that carries a punishment of 12 years imprisonment and a
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hefty fine. >> translator: the church's awareness is changing, but we're not at the point yet where bishops are forced to denounce crimes. the question is, how much of the law will really be implied? >> reporter: the vatican signed up to the u.n. convention on the rights a child back in 1990, but it took 23 years to toughen up its own laws on crimes against minors, an enforcement that comes after years of dealing with the repercussions of the sexual abuse scandals within the church. but for the victims there is a sense that this is too little too late. >> i think that we're not going to see the catholic church put it's hands up and accept full responsibility for all the abuses that happened all over the world. this is simply very small steps in the right direction. >> reporter: as well as the child abuse scandal, the fallout have the vatileaks scandal happened.
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papers stolen by his butler were published in the magazine within the highest level of the holy see. now the new legal code states anyone that reveals it risks imprisonment as well as a fine. the church may be taking steps towards pulling back its credibility and changing the laws might redress some of that damage if it has the will to abide by its words. when we come back, concerns over a spike in deadly radiation levels at japan's troubled nuclear power plant. that's the same facility that was crippled by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. next.
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wouldn't believe there is a farm inside of it. members of congress had a classified briefing on syria's war, after president obama urged them to vote on a punitive strike on syria for that alleged chemicals weapons attack.
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ousted egyptian president mohamed morsi is going to stand trial. according to state tv, egypt's prosecutor is charges morsi with inciting deadly violence connected to the december 2012 deaths of 7 people. radiation levels at the troubled fukushima power plant in japan are higher than thought. the levels are deadly enough to kill someone exposed in a matter of hours. craig has more from hong kong. >> reporter: this is extraordinary news coming just one week after it was announced that they discovered 300 tons of radioactive water leaked from one of the storage tanks. they measured the radioactive level on thattal 1100 mili sigh verts per hour. they found the reading were incorrect at 1,800 mill sigh verts per hour. also they discovered that it's not the only leak they have at
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this point. they've discovered highly radioactive leak from one of the pipes connecting two of the cooling tanks. the japanese government is calling on international experts to step forward and assist them with containment of this problem at fukushima. >> legal immigrants can own businesses and serve in most political offices in the united states, they haven't been able to serve on juries. that could be changing in california. jennifer london reports on why lawmakers there are looking to expand their pool of eligible jurors and why some aren't too happy about it. >> reporter: in california lawful i am fwrammigrants play critical role. they serve as witnesses, attorneys and judges, but they can't serve as jurors. the state assembly is trying to change that saying there's a need to create juries that reflect wider society. >> you want the pool of people to consist of all elements of our community. >> we're at a time when at least
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in california we have i'm suggesting many non-citizens living here. i'm looking for ways to improve the delivery and access to justice for everybody who lives here. >> reporter: temporary visa holders and undocumented immigrants are ineligible to serve. if governor brown signs this measure into law, it will open the jury box to more than 3 million potential jurors. potential jurors like anthony scorti. >> i think it's great that we as green card holders should serve as jury members, because we pay taxes and we have to follow the laws. >> reporter: he left his home in london in the mid '90s to pursue an acting career. while he's happy to have his rights expands, he's not looking forward to serving. >> because it takes time out of my day. you don't know how long the case could go on for, and i have other commitments as everybody
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else does. >> reporter: aside from personal feelings about serving, jo ellen says as a matter of public policy, allowing noncitizens to sit on a jury is a bad idea. >> if you've got somebody who is coming in who is not a citizen, they are going to have potentially a very difficult time understanding the norms, the various things that are important to us in our judicial system. so i'm saying that any defendant should have the opportunity to have somebody else who is a united states citizen to serve and decide their fate whether it's in a criminal case or a civil case. >> reporter: the majority of republican lawmakers oppose the measure. >> where do we come upon imposing upon other people who are choosing to work here or go to school here the
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responsibility that a citizen has? you know, is there a problem with the judicial system? is there a shortage of having people offer citizens to come serve on juries? last year 9 million citizens in california showed up to serve on juries. only 165,000 of them actually served. so there's no problem about trying to get people to serve on juries. >> reporter: the complex question of whether legal immigrants should serve on juries may soon be answered quite simply. it could very well become law. jennifer london, al jazeera, los angeles. we have sports. this is a big day at the u.s. open. >> a big day and night because all eyes are on the ladies this evening. there's an epic battle between serena williams and sloane
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stevens. they have had had a rockery relationship. roger federer had a late night last night. the number seventh seed in roger federer, number seven seed is taking on adrian montereni. he won in straight sets. federer is moving on to the round of 16 to take on tommy rabraedo. murray is on track, but can s serena do the same? we have a preview. >> doug, tell me, with the u.s. open so far, serena williams has come in. she lost in cincinnati, but she's come in with the eye of the tiger. it seems like there's one person that can really defeat here, and that's victoria azaranka. what do you think about their
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prospects of meeting? >> she looked like she was in serena form in the first round. there's one player that probably doesn't fear serena is victoria. she's beaten her a couple of times this year on hard courts. serena has a dominating record over her, but she's shown that she's one of the players that might be able to take her out of this tournament. >> on the men's side, novak is unseeded but raphael nadal won two tournaments. he's on a roll. you have a defending champ. it looks tight at the men's draw. >> he's the best player on hard courts, nadal is at a phenomenal season since he came back from knee problems. you have the defending wimbledon champion andy murray. it's very tight at the top. >> a name that flies under the radar and even shocking to use this man's name in the same
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sentence with flying under the radar, roger federer. roger federer came in, irng, the seventh seeded player in the u.s. open. john mcenroe recently said he doesn't think federer has another grand slam in him. what tooung? >> i think roger has another grand slam in him. he's still one of the most electric players out there. he's obviously struggled this season. it's been his worst season in the last decade. he's had his back that acted up and takes him longer to recover from matches. if these break his way, i don't think there's any doubt roger federer could win another tournament. we're going to thailand, because there's a competition there bringing a new perspective to competitive sports. everybody is fighting for the title best behind bars. >> this is a sport competition with all the usual fervor and excitement. there is extra purpose here, an added incentive to succeed.
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the competitors and coaches are all convicted criminals serving long sentences in thailand's prison system. competing in several sports for the right to claim the title of best behind bars. but it's also about providing inmates with skills and attributes to use on the outside. >> translator: being involved in this has made me more disciplined. i feel better than when i was outside. being able to achieve something makes me a better person and gives me something to look forward to. >> reporter: hundreds of inmates have come to bangkok's prison, which is the largest in thailand. the competitors are able to enjoy a unique yet welcome mix of small freedoms under close guard. for those not taking part, the color and noise are merely a passing distraction. this event has become something of an annual reprieve for the inmates taking part. for a very brief moment they can forget about normal prison life.
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despite the festival atmosphere, the competing prisoners say they never forget why they're here. this is the tenth year the event has been held, and it will be the last as an inmate for this man. he's be released next month and wants to resume his boxes career which saw him win two professional world titles in two different weight classes. that was before he was jailed for dealing drugs. now he sees himself as a role model for other inmates. >> translator: i've had opportunities to box outside prison and have my sentence reduced. boxing has kept me busy and help me do something good for my future. >> reporter: those who are crowned boxing champions win the chance to train and compete beyond the prison walls, and they hope to be armed with a newly found respect for life. wayne hey, al jazeera, bangkok. >> you can find competition everywhere. a lot of competitiveness going on on the baseball diamond as we speak. the cardinals and pirates are in
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a battle taking on one another as we speak. >> sports is a metaphor for life, ross. thanks very much. conservationists say a recent surge in elephant poaching is threatening the big creatures with extinction. they say the criminal networks involved are well-financed and organized with a lot of demand from asia. we have the story. >> reporter: each pair of these tusks represents a single elephant. some were old, and others were from old bulls. the smaller ones from juveniles too young to breed. in all the authorities found more than 3 tons of ivory hidden in a single container bound for asia. it was worth millions of dollars. >> this is a crime, and it's not something that is being done by small guys. whoever is doing it is well-connected and has enough resources. >> reporter: this is driving the
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trade. the growing demand for fine ivory. conservationists argue there's far too much emphasis on stopping the supply and not enough on reducing demand for what happens after a decorative item. >> if you buy an ivory bangle or rhino bangle, you want to wear it and show it off. that means it's a status symbol, so that's the opposite of what we need to achieve if we want to reduce demand. >> the south area of this park the last few months have been worse hit. >> reporter: in the meantime they use technology to protect vulnerable herds. in a center save the elephants tracks some of the biggest elephants linked to the mobile phone network. with used the system to find a fiercely protective mother, but save the elephants knows she probably will be killed if demand keeps prices high.
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>> it's worth an enormous amount compared to local incomes here. the tusks of a single mature bull in this region in 2011 were worth 15 years of salary for an unskilled worker or one and a half years salary for a well-paid wildlife ranger. that's quite a temptation. >> reporter: too much temptation for the would-be poacher that shot sylvia in the jaw two years ago. she survived but with an infected wound that still causes her great pain. figures from 2011 show in that year alone the elephants declined by more than 7%, and all the signs are that things are worse now. if things keep going at this rate, within the next ten years poachers will have destroyed more than 70% of africa's elephants. and so conservationists say this crisis could drive elephants to extinction unless something is done to stop both the supply and demand.
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al jazeera in kenya's game reserve. california's rim wildfire is now the fourth larger in that state's history. the fire has burned almost 350 square miles. even though it's still growing, firefighters are able to contain 40% of the blaze. thick snow settled over yosemite national park. it's hampering crews and keeping visitors there from weekend from going outdoors. the battle over the indonesian rain forest with environmentalists ready to cut down trees to protect the jungle. we have the report. >> reporter: it's a rare sight. environment aallists with chain saws. ironically they're cuts down trees to protect the forest. these palm oil trees have been illegally planted, and after pressure from environmentalists the company handed them over to the government. cutting them down means the
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original forest gets a chance to grow back. in the last 20 years, large parts of indonesia's jungle have been transformed into a new kind of forest, 10 million hectares of palm oil trees. good for the economy but bad for the rain forest. worldwide the oil is used for food, fuel and soaps, but community leaders say the palm oil trees are causing drops and making the land less fertile. >> translator: this palm oil is colonizing our country. in 100 years our land will be dead and nothing will grow here. >> reporter: this is called indonesia's last forest. the forest on the island of sumatra. this soon will be a lot less. despite successful efforts by the government to try to save the remaining rain forests, economic pressure is quickly threatening what is left. this was a national park with
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protective forests until the local government recently allowed companies to grow palm oil. environmentalists say there are plans for 1.2 million hectares of aceh forest to be cut down, despite a government ban on logging. the government says it's a lot less than that. >> translator: this is our last remaining forest. the trophy of sumatra which needs to be saved, because this is the last place where elephants, tigers and orangutans and rhinos can freely roam around. >> reporter: the enormous destruction of the rain forests and the yearly forest fires with it have turned indonesia into the third largest emitter of greenhouse gas in the world. in an effort to stop this, the fovt has extended the moratorium on logging in certain areas for two more years. >> translator: it's effective because at least people now know there's a punishment. if there's logging still going on, we have to see first if this is happening within the area where the ban is active.
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if this is the case, the punishment will be stiff. >> reporter: although greenpeace and other environmentalists are happy with the ban, they fear it won't be maintained in the long run. trying to restore the forest by cutting down trees might be more effective, although it will take 20 to 30 years to grow back the trees cut town in just a few minutes. >> reporter: that was al jazeera reports. closer to home all eyes are on the skies with millions around the nation wonders when to put the stakes in the barbie. here's kevin korville. >> i'll take you into space and show the wildfire burns and the potential of flash flooding today in the region across california. all of that coming when we return right after this. "consider this" will be right back.
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>> "consider this" will be right back. ♪ ♪
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. hello again. i'll take you into space and show you what the burn areas across the rim fire look like. we could actually foresee later on today. this is a picture from space. this is nasa's image. you can see down here the area
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of the burn scar, which is a little bit darker compared to the red, which has been changed by the satellite to show you a little bit better where actually we're not burned. this area burned is the problem, because we're talking about flash flooding potential today. you take areas like this, and the erosion factor goes up. you add the water from flash flooding, and that's a major problem across the area. we are picking up showers across parts of california. as we go a little bit later today, that is going to increase. that is also because of the heating of the day. more rain could be a problem. we'll watch it throughout the rest of the afternoon. temperatures are on the increase. las vegas is at 88 and san francisco at 71. temperatures in the middle are in the into the high 80s as well. and those are only going to be increasing with the heating of the day as i said. now, the other problem today is the thunderstorms that are pushing across the central regions of the united states. we had a lot of problems last night with these storms. we saw some wind damage and also
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saw some hail damage as well. now things have cooled off, but as we go a little later today, we expect more problems in in area. actually, we are talking about severe thunderstorm watches in effect as well as warning for some states such as parts of nebraska as well as down here towards missouri. now, up to the northeast we are looking at flooding potential here across parts of northern new england. we're talking about maine as well as down towards new hampshire and also flash flood warnings in effect for parts of massachusetts and connecticut. those are going to be the areas to watch as well. a lot of rain is expected for the rest of the day, so that's a major problem. down here towards parts of pennsylvania, we have flood advisories in effect as well as town towards new york and even severe weather could be a potential in the southern portions of new jersey. the rest of your labor day weekend for the northeast unfortunately does not look so good. that's a look at your national weather. your headlines are coming up next.
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i'm dale walters, these are stories we're following. as congress prepares to debate military action against syria they're being briefed. yesterday president obama asked congress to authorize limited strikes against syria. the national security team is attending today's briefing. chuck hagel and other military officials are at that meeting. south africa's legendary leader nelson mandela is going home to johannesburg on sunday after nearly three months in the hospital. the 95-year-old nobel laureate remaining in critical condition. an intensive care facility has been set up inside his home. president zuma updating the


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