it was brief but convicted killers charles walker and joseph jenkins appeared before a judge vee yeah videoconference in a courtroom. they were caught saturday in panama city, florida. they were on the run after using forged doupts to get an early release from prison. al jazeera's robert ray joins me now outside the courtroom in panama city. again, it was very, very quick. walk us through what happened. >> it was quick. basically behind me is the bay county courthouse. the two murderers are being held at the bay county jail. they were put on controlled environment video, and the judge actually spoke to them via the video at the jail. he basically asked them if they had attorneys, public defenders. one had not filled out the paperwork, and he does not, and other one does because he filled out the paperwork.
the judge is issues both of them with a charge of one count of escape, and they will sit in that jail until october 25th authoritying tell me, and then they will come back on october 25th to the courthouse behind me where the judge will just verify that the retrieval process has gone smoothly and at that point they will likely be returned to where they were originally sitting, life in prison, at the franklin county corrections center in florida, which is about 100 or so miles to the east of us. richelle. >> what did we learn about what they did these few days they were free? >> reporter: yeah, we're learning quite a bit, actually. so we know this. the u.s. marshals have said that once the story became public, once the media found out, once faep members found out and everyone knew that these guys are forged these documents to get out of prison that basically they kind of freaked.
they were both in orlando, and they decided to go off together and figure out a game plan. their game plan was to get out of the area, which is where they were, and apparently they came here to the panama city area somewhere around thursday we are told, where they were huddling and trying to decide exactly where to go next. the u.s. marshals said that they believe that they were waiting for transportation from someone to bring them to another state. one of the questions was, how did they get from orlando to here? we don't know that exactly yet. a couple other things. they were both in the same hotel room. the coconut grove motor inn, room 227 to be exact. u.s. marshals have been watching them for some time, not sure how much time, but they knew they were there the past couple days. when they knocked on the door, i guess there was a big surprise by the two convicted murderers. joseph jenkins and charles walker, the u.s. marshals said that they didn't find any
weapons inside the room, and that they were okay to leave with them. they didn't struggle or fight, and they were brought to the jail where they're now questioning them and trying to figure out exactly how they had these documents forged with the judge and state attorney's name on it to get out of jail, whether there was an inside job on this, whob working with these guys. they're both 34 years old and have been incarcerated since 19, 20 years old. clearly not educated guys, perhaps not smart enough to put together a process like this. all sides of sort of leaning to someone or someones were helping this in this process. >> another question would you be, how long did you think you would get away with this? i don't know. robert ray live in panama city, florida. thank you. transit workers striking in california, they're suspending pickett lines today after a train hit and killed two workers near san francisco saturday. one of the main unions on strike said it will briefly suspend picketting because of that
accident yesterday. lisa bernard joins us live from walnut creek, california. is there any progress on the investigation into exactly what happened, how this happened? >> reporter: well, richelle, the ntsb is now sending investigators here to look at the safety issues, and b.a.r.t. is going to investigate as well. we just came from the scene of the accident. there is a car there. there are flowers talking about a b.a.r.t. employee and a contractor who were killed on the tracks. the card refers to them as two great trackmen. the train is still there as well a few hundred yards away from where the two men were killed. it happened between two suburban b.a.r.t. stations. the transition agency says two employees were hit and killed by a b.a.r.t. train as they checked out a report of a dip in the rails. >> i have routing at c-53, 54
canceled. let me know when you're ready to proceed ahead after your break. >> b.a.r.t. emergency, b.a.r.t. emergency. >> b.a.r.t. emergency. go ahead. >> central, train 963. we just struck some individuals at approximately 15.2 on the c-1 track. >> reporter: an agency spokesman says one works for b.a.r.t. and one was a contractor. standard procedure calls for one to inspect the tracks while the other watches for trains. b.a.r.t. officials were stunned by the news. >> our hearts and prayers go out to the families of two workers who have just been killed on the b.a.r.t. tracks. this is going to take a long time to investigate, but i'm confident that we will get all of the facts and information gathered. we will get it out to the public as soon as it comes in, but it takes a long to get to the bottom of these things. >> the train was on a routine
maintenance run with an experienced operator at the controls, and at the time of the accident, the train was being run in automatic mode under computer control. now, as i mentioned, one of the men was, we understand, a drtor, and one was a b.a.r.t. employee. that employee worked for one of b.a.r.t.'s smaller unions, and that union is not currently on strike. the other unions had asked the smaller unions to honor their strike, honor their pickett lines, but currently those smaller unions and that gentlemen were not on strike at this time. richelle. >> as we reported a moment ago, lisa, one of the main unions has said that they will do what they can to honor these two men who were killed. is there any word yet on where the contract negotiations are? >> reporter: they're exactly where they were before this accident. nothing has changed.
the focus, of course, for b.a.r.t. right now in terms of speaking to reporters has been this accident. they are having no appetite really to discuss the strike at this time. there are no further negotiations planned. before the accident happened, one of the unions with 920 members had said that they would take b.a.r.t.'s proposal to a vote, and they also said that they had re-approached the federal mediator to try to get negotiations started again, but none are scheduled and certainly nothing has changed. they are still on strike here. richelle. >> okay, lisa. thank you so much. jpmorgan chase could pay a record $13 billion fine over its mortgage practices leading up to the financial crisis. the ceo jamie diamond spoke to attorney general eric holder on friday, but he wasn't able to convince holder to release jpmorgan from any future criminal charges. that covers 4 billion for
struggling homeowners as well as 9 billion in payments to the government. last month jpmorgan agreed to pay nearly a billion dollars in the so-called london wales scandal. if you add up the fines they have paid this year, it's 14,730,0 14,730,000,,000 total. half a million americans have applied for health insurance through the affordable care act. officials aren't saying how many people have actually enrolled in the program. without those enrollment numbers, it's difficult to determine if the program is on track to reach its goal of covering 7 million uninsured americans. but technical clichs on the heal healthcare.gov website have plagued it since it began. >> we heard news that the 500,000 approximately people have got on the website and left some information. that tells us no information as far as how many people enrolled,
and that's a very relevant matter because if enough people don't sign up, the rates on these will be astronomical and urined mine the entire private health insurance industry in the country. >> there are computer glitches. every major tech company has computer glitches. you read about them about apple and all the major tech companies. those will be solved. the administration is doing it to put more people in the call centers. if you need health care, the fact that you couldn't get on the computer right away isn't going to stop you two, three weeks from now when they're fixed from going on. >> the government said that there was more maintenance performed on the website this weekend. federal investigators arrested a number of naval officers on corruption charges. the case involved millions of dollars in overbilling by a singapore-based contractor that serviced navy vessels in the pacific. they face charges. the ceo and the contractor --
the ceo, contractor and another company were all arrested last month in san diego. white house officials say $1.6 billion in military and economic aid will be delivered to pakistan in the next few months. aid was suspended when relations started to detear the yat over osama bin laden's capture and drone strikes that killed pakistani viflians. the prime minister arrived in washington this week. chemical weapons inspectors say they're making progress in syria. so far they've visited 14 of the more than 20 sites on their list. syrian state tv showed video saturday of inspectors at one of those sites, but security remains a concern as the civil war rages on. the inspectors have about nine months to find and destroy all of syria's chemical weapons. nine lebanese hostages held by syrian rebels for more than a year are finally free. the release comes after a very complex exchange between turkey,
lebanon and syria. andrew simmons reports from beirut. >> reporter: 530 days after their capture, a chaotic, emotional homecoming for neen wary men who thought they'd never get out of syria alive. nothing like a formal handover to their relatives. one woman is overcome and collapses. lebanese security couldn't hold back the rush of people wanting to embrace their loved ones. some of the freed hostages didn't have to walk. the relatives are in the crush. they've waited since may last year for this breakthrough. there have been false alarms, but this is a reality now. this woman with a bunch of red roses searches for her father in the confusion, but he's outside on the shoulders of his son and another family member addressing the crowds saying they had been on the religious visit to a shia shrine in iran, and that had
protected their lives. >> translator: we visited the shrine, and with his protection our lives were saved. >> reporter: another freed hostage tried to describe his sense of relief. >> translator: i thank god, because i felt that i would never see my family again in my life, particularly in recent weeks when there were raging battles taking place around us. in the beginning they treated us well, but then it was really bad the last few months. she imprisoned us in a room where the temperature would reach 90 degrees and the doors were constantly closed. >> reporter: in istanbul the two pilots kidnapped were also reunited with their families. no chaotic scenes here, but plenty of emotion and gratitude for the intense negotiations broken by qatar, which enabled their release. back in beirut finally celebrations in the predominantly shia southern
districts of the city where the nine men had set out a year and a half ago. questions remain about the identities of the armed group that kidnapped the turkish pilots. also, there's uncertainty about how, if or when assad's regime is releasing women prisoners, a demand made by opposition fighters. andrew simmons, al jazeera, beirut. trying to gain control over dozens of fires burning near sidney. a look at the devastation. that is next on al jazeera america. about 28 different instruments on the outside. >> it's one wild ride. we're flying at 300 feet over the gulf of mexico. come aboard nasa's laboratory in the sky.
the two inmates had initial court appearances about an hour ago. police say they found the convicted killers hiding out in a motel in panama city on saturday. secretary of state john kerry is due to meet with the pakistani president this evening. white house officials confirm economic and military aid will be pumped into the country within the next few months. aid was suspended when relations between the two countries began to deteriorate over osama bin laden's capture and drone strikes that kifled civilians. puerto rico is a major hub for drug smugglers. the problem is once drugs are on the island, they head to the u.s. mainland without going through customs. casey kaufmann has the details. >> reporter: this is an unannounced search for drugs. it's a routine process for the sergeant and his team. puerto rico has become a major transit hub for south american drugs headed to the united
states. according to the police, this is an average find. 15 pounds of pure cocaine. >> translator: the person realized we were here and they came and left the backpack in the bathroom and walked out like any other person. >> reporter: the drug runner lost this cargo. here it's worth $140,000. in miami or new york it could sell fostr half a million. >> translator: we must congratulate the dog. he's efficient and did a good job. >> reporter: the u.s. reports an increase in drug interceptions over the past few years, but local authorities say that's a fraction of what makes it into the island. lieutenant carlos figueroa fights the drug trade on the streets of san juan. a murder victim was just found here with drugs in his pocket. witnesses say a motor scooter after hearing the gunshot. now the police are checking for
suspects. >> translator: if you enter into this world, you will die. it's like a death sentence. sooner or later, someone will kill you. >> reporter: about 1,000 people are murdered every year in puerto rico, that's six times the murder rate for the u.s. as a whole. lieutenant figueroa says most victims are young men who want to get rich quick. >> translator: they prefer the easy life and easy money. their life will be short because they will die. everybody thinks it will turn out different for them, but that's never true. there will always be somebody waiting behind you. >> reporter: puerto rican police are constantly fighting the battle. with more and more drugs coming onto the island, prices are
dropping, and there's more business to fight for. al jazeera, san juan, puerto rico. a massive fire is burning in canada after a train derailed and exploded. it was carrying lig fieed petroleum through alberta when it burst into flames. the fire is so big they're letting it run out. no one was hurt. >> a friend of ours, their house burned down from that. i guess the car ended up -- the railroad car ended up in their yard. >> this is the second time this year that a train carrying petroleum has exploded in canada. last time 42 people were killed in july when a train expected in quebec. firefighters are working to contain dozens of fires burning near sydney. a state of emergency has been issued in the state of new south wales. one man is dead and hundreds of
homes have been destroyed. andrew thomas has more from the blue mountains. >> excite all efforts, it's still burns. the blue mountains in sydney are orange and gray as their progressively blackened. this is a situation likely to get worse. weather forecasts, which had predicted rain in the coming day, were wrong. up state it's getting hotter and windier. >> this is a continuing, volatile, difficult, danger wildfire environment. and based on the forecast and based on the size of these fires, it's expected to become a whole lot less yet. >> reporter: in sparsely populated areas people get warnings by text message. leave, or if it's too late, shelter fast. this is what they try to prevent. more than 200 homes were burned after thursday's fire.
it's obvious how intense this fire was. it only lasted a couple of hours, but that was enough to destroy almost everything. a few things still distinguishable. the washing machine back there, and this ladder melted at the end. here, the pages of a book. the house was a lot. insurance adjusters have been around to assure him. three days after he lost everything he has advice for others that may soon go through the same trauma. >> you can only do so much, but in the end you just have to make sure that your loved ones are safe. >> reporter: only one person has died as a result of the fires so far. very few have been injured. animals, though, wild and domestic, haven't been so lucky. >> this guy is burned and we have to clean up the wounds and put bandages on them.
he's on antibiotics and antiflam to hers and on very heavy doses of painkillers. >> the fire began when winds brought down power lines. elsewhere the army is investigating whether an explosive training exercise for soldiers accidentally sparked another. firefighters are struggling to cope with fires already burning. the fear is the rise in temperatures and increasing winds more accidents will spark. andrew thomas, al jazeera, blue mountains near sydney. i'm tracking those conditions that will continue to have a fire threat across new south wales over the next 48 hours, really no change in the weather pattern into tuesday and wednesday, and we'll see moisture increasing. for now a ridge holding firmly in place that's keeping our chance of rain down. however, a little bit more moisture will move as we get into areas of low pressure
developing right to the north of taz mania into tuesday and wednesday, and then we have a better opportunity for rain. until it arrives. we expect more strong winds and also some very warm temperatures getting into the 80s and the 90s. meanwhile, we are still tracking typhoon francisco. it remains a very major hurricane equivalent to a category 4 with winds up to 144 miles per hour. now, it has weakened just a bit. you can see here at the eye not z awell-defined as yesterday but it will continue on a path unfortunately towards south japan. the cleanup continues and rescue efforts as well thanks to the not long ago. francisco is on the same path making its way to the north and curving off to the north and east and it will be closes to tokyo in the coming days. across the nation's mid-section, we're cool. the only exception is in the upper midwest.
there's rain and a little light snow. most of that really not accumulating very much, but we could find some slick roadways because if you're traveling around minneapolis late in the day, do expect some rain and snow to kind of mix over your area. high of only 48, so stays well below average. cooler than average in denver where we expect to see some snow and the higher elevations, but denver mainly light rainshowers late in the day. wild birds from sea gulls can be a nuisance and their waste can spread disease. here in canada you might call goose busters to get the job done. >> reporter: they flock to our parks for food. what they leave behind is unsightly and toxic. they spread disease. sea gulls and canada geese plague ottawa's petrie island.
in the capital city this year, they called in drone strikes. the founder of a company calleded goosebusters, he buzzed them with remote control helicopters. he stays well clear so they don't get hurt, but they want no part of the swooping aircraft. >> by gently harassing them or scaring them, they fly off to another area and get to the area where they're not harassed and all the colleagues will follow them. >> so far it's working. fewer birds are coming, beach-goers play in pristine sands while steve's chopper patrols nearby. >> i think it's a fabulous idea to bring the kids to the beach like this and have it clean. no birds bothering you when you try to eat, and we're not harming the birds at all. >> reporter: next year air patrols could happen over other waterfront parks now plagued by birds if thes city councilors
improve. there's global interest in goosebusters. >> we get calls across the state and from europe about this. it's something that a lot of major cities have problems with it, and hopefully we've found a resolution for it. >> reporter: there's no threat from above here or at most other city parks, and as you can see the birds are making themselves at home. if this project gets approved, this drone helicopter project, then one day both species, humans and birds, may find themselves in cleaner, greener surroundings. daniel lack, al jazeera, ottawa. he's attacking his way through new york city for weeks, and no a push for protection for bassey's work.
a mystery graffiti artist is leaving his art across new york city. as amanda price reports, some is removed before they have the chance to see it. >> reporter: this picture wasn't spray painted by anybody, by banksy, a british artist who kept his identity secret despite his growing fame. to keep the work safe, the landlord of this brooklyn building set up a roll down gate and 24 hour surveillance.
>> he preaches the work. he knows what's it worth. >> reporter: his work sells for six and seven-figure sums. in brooklyn fans of the artist are excited to see an unspoiled example of his work. >> i'm so glad it's still intact. it's neat to get so close to something. it's like a legend. >> reporter: that's because most of his new york street art has been painted over by other gratety artists, but taggers aren't the only ones taking aim. city workers have scrubbed some of his wosh off the walls, to his fans an act of sack relidge. >> in new york city, surely in new york we're going to welcome it with open arms. >> reporter: his american fans are trying to see his new york pictures while they're still time. amanda price, al jazeera, new york. all right. thank you for watching "al jazeera america." i'm richelle carey.