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tv   News  Al Jazeera  November 7, 2013 12:00pm-12:31pm EST

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>> we welcome to al jazeera america, i'm del walters. these are the stories we're following for you. the senate set to take up a law that would outlay discrimination of gays in the workplace. and the first day of trading for twitter, and the stock price already passed $45 a share. ♪ >> we are now less than two hours away from an historic vote
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in the u.s. senate. lawmakers are poised to take forward towards ending discrimination against gays transgender americans. in 33 states transgender people can be fired or denied employment. a poll in 2011 found that 73% of voters protect protections for gays and transgender people. mike viqueira is live in washington. how likely is this bill going to pass today? >> it is remarkable how quickly the shift in public opinion is translating to legislative victories, and a victory here at the white house even with president obama's only personal beliefs coming about marriage equality coming just before the election. really this has come up in the
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senate before. it has failed. one big fly in the ointment is the house of representatives, john boehner indicating earlier this very week that he does not support the passage in the house. it could be stuck in limbo. but a roster of republicans and some surprises among them, expected to meet that 60-vote threshold in just a few minutes. this is the so-called cloture vote, if they pass that 60-vote threshold, it's pretty much done. let's talk about some of these conservatives. pat toomey, a very conservative member from pennsylvania. this was pat toomey on the floor just moments ago. >> every individual is entitled
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to dignity, respect. a person's sexual orientation is irrelevant to their ability to be a good doctor or engineer or athlete or federal judge. >> and it is currently against federal law to discriminate in the workplace on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, add a fourth category now, sexual orientation if this was to pass the house. the speaker is making a familiar argument. he said it would lead to litigation and hurt small businesses. he says that are already laws on the book to address the very issue he is talk about. obviously this news in the senate is great news for the lbgt community, but it's an
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illustration of the divide within the republican parte. many republicans think it is time to get away from social issues, they are dragging the party down, dell. >> thank you, mike. secretary of state john kerry says he is confident a date for syrian peace talks will be announced in the next few days. but he presents a very different picture for the pal stins. if they have failed he said there could be another uprising. there may be progress in ending that long standoff over iran's nuclear program. phil ittner is live in geneva where the leaders have been meeting. and you have been reporting that something seems afoot, what do you get that feeling?
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>> well, dell, there's an an awful lot going on here behind closed doors, people keeping their cards very close to their chest. but we have had seen a canceling of a short trip that was planned to go over to italy, and he stayed here to have a series of bilateral meetings, and that's a very interesting shift in the way these talks have been conducted in the past. it does seem as though there is something happening, and there is a mood of cautious optimism here dell. >> phil there are hard liners on both sides of this issue, phil, what are they saying? >> yeah, any kind of agreement that is reached here, they are going to have to go back to their individual countries, of course in the u.s. we're already hearing talk in congress about more sanctions not less and in iran we're seeing hard liners,
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of course that massive demonstration -- anti-american demonstration around iran. but it's not just iran and america where there are hard liners. we have already hear from israeli prime minister responding to reports that something may be happening here. >> there are proposals on the table in geneva today that would ease the pressure on iran, ease the pressure on iran for concessions that are not concessions at all. israel totally opposed these proposals. >> now what those proposals may be and what prime minister netenyahu may know, we're not sure. if there is a -- a lot of talk about a six-month period where the americans are saying and the western powers are saying they might ease sanctions. and at least slowing down if not
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stopping enrichment, the iranians saying they want sanctions lifted as quickly as possible, so what he is referring to in terms of those c concessi concessions, we're not sure dell, but there is an awful lot of potential hope as well. dell? >> phil, thank you very much. palestinians are reacting to an al jazeera exclusive investigation that strongly suggests yasser arafat's death was the result of poisoning. the scientists said they can't tell where the polonium came from, but note it is not common. >> you [ inaudible ] close to you, and it's difficult to imagine that [ inaudible ] arfat himself could be present in the room where [ inaudible ] at that time.
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>> here is more on the palestinian action. >> plo officials have said they want to demand an international independent credible investigation into to the death of arfat after the publishings in the swiss medical report. we understand there was a meeting on thursday to discuss the finings of the swiss report, but we also know we're not expected to here anything or a public statement made by the authority until the head deleases and announces the results of the swiss report as well as a russian report that was submitted to the palestinian authority, and that will happen on friday morning we understand here, where these findings will be made public. now for the palestinian people,
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the results of this report, the -- almost conclusionive evidence that arfat may have been poisoned is not very surprising or shocking. the belief that he did not die a natural death has been widely held by palestinians since he passed away in 2004. the fda says it wants to phase out trans-fats. the fda says eliminating the trans-fats will eliminate around 60,000 heart deaths a year. veterans turn to mixed marshall arts as a way of dealing with posttraumatic stress. their story when we come back.
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on wall street it doesn't appear another record is in the cards after closing yesterday at an all-time high. some mixed data on the economy is among the reasons, but the biggest story on wall street involves that little company known for its messages that are 140 characters or less. heidi zhou castro joins us with more. >> the buzz is everywhere you look, dell, especially here, we're right by the twitter-trading station. this is where 75 million shares have already exchanged hands today. passing through this suction and those guys who are making sure buyers and sellers communicate
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smoothly. i wanted to ask our guest for your help -- the dow is down at this moment, that is surprising. what do you think this will do for the stock market in general. >> there's two stories going on here. we have our economic data, and news out of the u.s., and then the twitter story, in time i think what we have seen is the economic data here in the u.s. is showing recover, the markets have proven that, and i think they are going to continue to trade higher, but with the ipo, it gives investors confidence in the market. >> and the people who are really interested in this is not just the public, if you are watching this today, would you get your hands on these shares now or would you wait? >> it's an interesting question, because you have the ipo
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process, and what you are investing in is twofold, you are investing in the hope that this company will be profitable one day, and they are not, and the management team. i think in the long run twitter is something that you should have in your portfolio. >> but do i do it today or in a week? >> your market investment will dictate that, and your own investment strategies will play into that. my personal thought is it's a good investment. >> thank you very much. for sa successful ipo, and dell as far as users, for the million
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of people who have accounts with twitter, i wonder what the changes might be, how twitter might use that money. >> heidi thank you very much. can't wait to see the tweets. heidi zhou castro joining us live from the floor of the new york stock exchange. it is time to say good-bye to blockbuster. dish network is closing the last stores. dish buying the firm off it went bankrupt in 2011, but the business couldn't compete with online rivals. and a business programming note for you. tomorrow we'll have full coverage of the october jobs report. this is the one that everybody is keeping their eye on. we'll have all of the details all day on al jazeera america. mexico's president is trying to convince the world his country is making progress in
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its battle against drug-related violence there. monterrey has often been singled out as a place where crime is down. rachel joins us now, and the government says crime is down by half, but there's plenty of violence, so how should beinterpret the situation there? >> well, i think we should interpret this as a delicate peace. just yesterday there was a business owner executed allegedly for not paying extorsion. so let's take a look at this report and see how things are faring here in monterrey. >> reporter: on patrol, these police officers are heading to one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in monterrey, mexico. better equipped, better paid, and more vetted, they are part
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of a police force formed two years ago. back then rival drug cartels battled each other. up to seven people a day were murdered here. it turned this city which was one considered one of the safest in latin america, into a place many people feared. >> translator: nobody wanted to leave their house. it was so unsafe. >> reporter: but these days the gun battles are fewer. the murder rate is half of what it was in 2011 at the height of the violence. when this force was created two years ago, there were a little over 400 members, now that number has grown to over 3,500, and while the government is quick to credit these men and women for improving the safety in monterrey, many others say there is still a long way to go.
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like this mother who prays she will one day see her mother again. the 20-year-old told her mom she was going to the movies. she says she is skeptical the city is now safe. >> translator: it is not true we have got through the worst, because otherwise this would not be happening to me. >> reporter: it's not just kidnappings that are on the rise. many shops and businesses remain closed in this downtown neighborhood where criminal gangs are known to extroert the owners. but the criminologist thinks the city is on the right track. >> translator: it's too early to declare victory. things are a bit calmer, but we still have work to do in bringing down crime overall. >> reporter: for these men it's a challenge, they say, they
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gladly welcome, and they hope day soon these streets will return to being some of the safest in the country. and we would like to point out that that police force is set to double in the next two years, the governor of this state is really betting that it is this new kind of state police force that he is hoping will bring peace and bring levels down to this which they were ten years ago, which was once considered the switzerland, if you will of latin america. >> rachel thank you very much. the central african republic has been dealing with periods of political instability for years now. and al jazeera has evidence that documents the atrocities against civilians there. f >> reporter: two of claris's
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children were killed in front of her. she was shot in the back. she said she hasn't got the strength to take care of the two who survived. >> translator: everyone was sleeping except me. i was in the corner of the put by the door. they started spraying bullets. i was shouting i have a baby in my hand, why are you shooting? then they shopped, and everyone on the floor was already dead. >> reporter: this woman was shot in the back. the hospital says 18 people dies. the youngest victim just two week's old. the shooting happened around 5 kilometers from the center of the area. forces accompany us as we make
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our way there. on the knight of october 26th, a local man brought soldiers to the hut. he told them anti-government rebels were hiding inside. there is clear evidence of what happened here. we have found spent casings and bullets. there is dried blood all over the ground. there is a dead puppy, and even a bullet embedded in the wall surrounded by blood. the stench of death is overwhelming. there were 30 people crammed inside this tiny shack. it is incredible that anyone managed to survive. there is a grave. we're told three of the victims were buried here by their relatives. claris's husband shows us where he was hiding. he watched helpless as his six year old son was killed.
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>> translator: when they shot my little boy he fell to the ground. i lay down on the ground too, and i heard my wife screaming and crying. i broke down in tears. i was devastated. >> reporter: security forces are out of control. they have documented executions, rapes, and recruitment of child soldiers. even the president of the republican admits these people don't follow his orders. >> translator: when we arrived all of the escapees from prison and bandits dressed in uniforms and said they were part of the military. >> reporter: most people here say they won't find peace unless the men responsible are also responsible for law and order.
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♪ welcome back to al jazeera america, i'm del walters, these are your headlines, the senate set to approve a bill that would ban employers from discriminating against gay, and transgender americans. and a swiss report shows elevated levels of a toxic substance in yasser arafat's body. it is the first day of trading for twitter. the social media firm has surpassed it initial price. al jazeera talked to one
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veteran who says he doesn't know what he would do without mixed martial arts in his life. >> reporter: when steven is training and fighting, he says he is so focused that every other thoughts float away, including nearly drowning in the persian gulf. >> there is nothing that will make you feel more alive than getting put through the ringer in here. >> reporter: the 31-year-old veteran has suffered from ptsd since 2002. his helicopter spiralled 80 feet into the water. >> and then i was drowning right after that. i knew to get out. i knew where the door was. i knew the helicopter was going to flip over, and i was in bad shape. >> reporter: he broke his a
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back, leg, and nose. and is haunted by the memory of watching a photo journalist drown. he says fighting professionally and training people in mms has been great therapy. >> there is a lot more you can get in here than sitting around in a circle and hugging your pillow. it's similar to the military in that you are all right elite fighters and elite people in specialized groups, and it's just part of being a team and working toward a goal. >> reporter: this man can see why they might find a physical and emotional catharsis in mma. >> it's mastering not only their mma skills in the ring, but also going up against another opponent. >> reporter: so far there is no
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more evidence backing up the finds. >> but they can sustain some kind of head injury, and i think that kind of damage might do more harm for a lot of these guys than help. >> reporter: he knows that ptsd might be the most formidable opponent we'll face, but he'll continue to use mma to counter it. i'm meteorologist dave warren. temperatures dropped across the country, except along the east coast where temperatures are still in the 60s. seeing this cold air move in from the north and slowly push
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east, as the cold air moves east, you will feel of rain, so there some rain out there. in new york 63, probably already hit that temperature, and dropping. into the 40s for a low temperature saturday and sunday it's dry at least, but off to a cool start each morning. by the afternoon we'll climb into the 50s. there goes that rain, maybe a few light snow showers, and the pacific northwest has more snow moving in. this is supertyphoon, it is approaching the philippines. winds well over 150 miles an hour, and it will continue to have high wind. dell? >> thank you very much. thank you for watching al jazeera america.
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