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tv   News  Al Jazeera  December 30, 2013 12:00pm-12:31pm EST

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>> welcome to al jazeera america. i'm del walters. these are the stories we're following for you. a second bombing in russia in volgograd target again. and in russia security is number one. israel prepares to release a group of palestinian prisoners. and a california family dealing with what could be the last days of life for their daughter. >> there have now been two deadly bombings in two days, in
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the southern city of volgograd, russia. they're raising concerns for a new wave of attacks. volgograd is 400 miles northeast of sochi, the site for the olympic games which begin in just six weeks. peter sharp is in volgograd. >> reporter: the twisted gutted remains of a trolley in volgograd. russian investigators say a male suicide-bomber is responsible for the attack. it's the second in the last 24 hours. on sunday 17 people were killed by a suicide-bomber in volgograd's main railway stati station. security controls at the end of the station prevented even more
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deaths. >> the explosive device was the equivalent of four kilograms of tnt like the bomb at the train station, it was full of shrapnel and this confirms that the two terrorist acts were connected. >> reporter: president putin has dispatched the head of the intelligence service, formerly the kgb, to coordinate the hunt for those responsible for those attacks. the people here worried that this could be just the start of a concerted bombing campaign leading up to the start of the winter olympics in february. the sochi olympics are a major prestige project for vladimir putin. none is claiming responsibility for either of these attacks but earlier this hebre year chechen leaders wanted to carve out a
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section. organizers are claiming to make the games, quote, the safest in olympics history. >> volgograd also the scene of a suicide-bombing isuicide-bombinn killing herself and six others. there have been warnings going back to july that we would be seeing these types of attacks is moscow powerless to stop this, and how concerned are you that this is leading up to something even larger? >> reporter: well, russia is a very big country, and the overwhelming majority of russian security efforts and security forces are focusing on sochi. it is difficult to provide this blanket coverage across the country and lock down every potential target for a terrorist
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organization. it is going to be very difficult to get into sochi, moscow as the capitol is also very difficult to penetrate from a security perspective, that's why we're seeing softer targets like volgograd being attacked. >> i want to put this in perspective. it's like the games being held in washington and new york and then there being back-to-back bombings in chicago. should americans be concerned about their own safety if they plan on going to sochi? >> reporter: i think that the security effort around sochi is almost unprecedented in its size and in its scope. i think that every single precaution humanly available is going to be taken to make sure that this is a secure olympic games. don't forget as you mentioned in your package, this is an event of enormous international prestige for president putin,
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for russia in general. i think spectators in sochi will be taken care of. >> what would you be telling your clients if russia was dealing with bombings like we have seen over the last few da days. >> reporter: my clients are private companies, and what we're telling them, as a matter of fact, is the chain of bombings that we've seen recently in russia is not aimed at foreign business or investors in russia. that's important as the olympics are under written by a great deal of western capital. this is going to cause discomfort in the security apparatus, but they are not ai aimed and they are not taking target at western companies and the kinds of organizations that
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we normally work with in these settings. >> by extension can we assume if they're not targeting western companies they are also not targeting western tourists? >> yes, there is no precedent of any attack being aimed at tourists or western residence or business people in russia. we're seeing attacks at infrastructure targets which is different than attacking a shopping mall, hotel, cinema or a place where visitors or tourists might be likely to congregate. >> charles hecker thank you for joining us. global director at control risks. >> it's a pleasure. >> earlier today israel is set to release two dozen prisoners all convicted of attacking israeisraeli soldiers. their release is set to take
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place later tonight. nick schifrin. how is the public reacting to the release of these prisoners? >> reporter: yes, not very well. the polls show 60% to 70% of israelis oppose this release. on the other hand in palestinian territories they're beginning with celebration with this release just a few hours from now. as politics remain so divided we wanted to look at the story of one palestinian prisoner who is being released tonight and the day he met an israeli who saved his life. >> the day his life changed forever, she was wearing this dress. in 1992 she was walking in a market when a palestinian man approached her. he had just stabbed a man, and
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the crowd wanted to turn on him. she protected him and they turned on her. >> they told me, they'll kill you. i said, kill me, kill me. >> reporter: for 27 minutes she was his shield. they spit on her and burned cigarettes on her. but she kept protecting him. >> i chose to sanctify life, she said, both mine and the terrorists. [♪ singing ] >> reporter: ten miles away in palestinian bethlehem his family celebrates. the man she saved has been in jail for 21 years. now he's being released. >> we waited too long for this. >> reporter: as part of the ongoing peace talks israel has agreed to release 100
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palestinian prisoners. as a welcome home gift, his family is building him a house. they know what bella did, and they thank her. >> she showed humanity. we would have done the same thing if we had seen an israeli being attacked by people here. >> i was really, really grateful for her, and very thankful because she was--i don't know if she is a mother, but i think any mother would do the same thing in her place. >> they asked me on the phone, you're amazing, you are wonderful. >> reporter: some labeled bella a hero. and because of her they made it a crime t. but then came the death threats.
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she was ostracized, and she is no longer his defender. the protests of his release, and those protest increase the wedge between israelis and palestinians. and it is increased when he is called a hero. >> i'm very proud of him, she says, i'm happy for what he did. that shocks bella. she's willing to meet him but only if he renounces violence. only after there is peace. >> for peace, for life, this is my dream. >> reporter: as for the dress, bella said she'll only wear it again if there is a peace deal or she'll be buried in it. she doesn't know which one will happen first. >> and bella tells me that she still gets threats. she still hears criticism from her neighbors, but she said she has no regrets.
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if she ever meets adnan she hopes that he thanks her and says sorry. >> is this prisoner release part of a quid pro quo? after all there is talk of renew settlement construction. >> reporter: it seems that way although the israeli government would tell me absolutely not. in addition to this prisoner release, we're expected an announcement of 140,000 new homes authorized by the israeli government in the palestinian west bank. the palestinian authority that infuriates them. they say if these settlements go through, they'll pull out of the peace talks. if we're talking peace we need to make sure that we can create a contiguous viable palestinian state in the west bank. if you keep putting settlements throughout that space then that's impossible for us to do. israelis look the 1967 war gave us the west bank.
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we're allowed to build wherever we want. the two sides will agree to disagree at that point, but the peace takes are extremely traditiofragile. >> thank you very much. al jazeera is demanding the release of a team of journalists held in cairo. the interior ministry accused the journalists of what they call illegal meetings with the muslim brotherhood. all we should point out are experienced journalist who is have worked for multiple news organizations over the last two decades. a deadline now looming to remove a brain-dead teenager from life support. we'll tell you why the family is bleedinpleading with the hospitt to pull the plug on their daughter. wra
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i'm del walters. there are nearly 12,000 lobbyists in the u.s. giving out an estimated $2 billion each and every year. but now some new curbs are coming to the state of georgia. a new law limiting how much lobbyists can spend on gifts. robert, what are some of these new rules that the lobbyists have to abide by? >> reporter: yes, del, here's the thing. there hasn't been a piece ofthics reform legislation in decades in the state of georgia. it's always been at the bottom of the barrel on wash dogs. on january 1st it said there will be a law that will not allow lobbyist toss spend more than $75 at a time on lawmakers. let me give you some quick examples of some of the things that they're given throughout the year. representative jason shaw accepted atlanta brave tickets from a georgia power lobbyist, the electric company.
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he was quoted saying if i thought it was wrong i wouldn't do it. i'm going to the braves game regardless whether i pay for it or not. another prominent politician in the state took $340 from a sprint lobbyist, donachie parsons took that money an went to the falcons game and watched them lose, unfortunately. i talked to a gentleman william perry, he's with common cause georgia, a watchdog group. he said $75 at a time is meaningless. i could take the lawmaker out to dinner, go out to the bar, $75. two hours later go out to a restaurant and spend $75 and then turn around and do it the next day. the $75 at a time, it's going to be law, but is it going to be making a difference? it doesn't seem like it. this is going on around the
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country. >> thank you very much. >> taking a look at our top business headlines of the hour. wall street not making any big moves in either direction. stocks are mixed on the next of the last trading day of the year. the dow up knif five points on k for its best year since 1996. wells fargo paid fannie mae $600 million for home loans prior to 2009. fannie mae has now reached settlements with eight banks for selling defective mortgages totaling $12 billion. police in brazil are trying to clean up those anothe notoris slums known as favelas. critics say success in this case
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has a price. [ gunfire ] >> reporter: heavily armed brazilian elite security forces attempting to regain control of poor communities in rio ruled by drug gangs for decades. it's called "pacification." that's a government drive launched in 2008 to secure these neighborhoods. many are close to tourist attractions and the world cup and olympics are coming. but after the military operation the hard part is keeping the peace. >> the state was absence in these communities for many years. we arrived, and we have this obligation to reconquer this community for the residents to grow to trust us. >> reporter: the resident-friendly police are having success. murder rates are dropping quickly, and so is the number for violent crimes. but the tactics of the pacification police are increasingly being questioned as reports of unarmed people being
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killed or abducted. in some cases police have limited access. this is a community that has yet to be passfied by the police, and it's under the control of a criminal gang, which conduct their illegal activities out in the open. every day people line up to buy drugs, cocaine, meth, and marijuana are sold on the corner guarded by armed men who block off the streets. the traffickers say that police only show up to arrest people but never stay for long. >> there are more police which make it stuffer for us to work. most of them earn money from us as well, and we just end up being pushed back. >> reporter: by the time the world cup is held in rio officials are hoping to have 40 communities with a permanent police presence, a fraction of the 900 favelas in the city. >> this area has been neglected by the program, and it has been
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selected and oriented towards certain projects in the city to turn rio de janeiro into a tourist sure. >> reporter: some are worried that the police will leave once the sporting events are over, but he said that he's not going anywhere. al jazeera. >> a new york hospital could be the only hope for the family of a 13-year-old california girl who has been declared brain dead. they have been fighting with the hospital to keep her on a ventilator but time is running out. the hospital plans to disconnect that vent late ventilator at 5:. >> we declare her brain alive. >> time ticks down to the moment on monday when the young girl is disconnected from her tent later. the 13-year-old california girl was declared brain dead after
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suffering cardiac arrest during a routine tonsillectomy. the hospital has been wanting to take her off life support but the family has been fighting to keep her alive. they went to court and that time is running out. they found two nursing homes that will take her in and try to revive her, but both backed out. the family is refusing to give up because in their heart if her heard is still beating then she can alive. >> god could make another way for us. she's making little movements. she's still getting prayed for. >> they hold out hopes that some facility will hold out hope. >> there is a place in new york. >> but officials say there is no such place and no such home. >> no amount of prayer can bring her back. i think everybody in this hospital, everybody in this community, all the friends,
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family, all are grieving because this is an irreversible and very sad situation. >> and the sad reality comes later today. >> when 5:00 comes around the ventilator will be removed. >> though soft-spoken, his words were hard and fast. the ventilator will be removed. she's been using it to breathe since december 9th. >> the next step is for everyone to pay their respects and move on. >> moving on is not going to be easy for this family, especially when strangers around the world continue to support their fight for life. >> thanks to everyone who has been sending their prayers, cards and letters, she reads every last one of them, and that gives her strength. >> and she can breathe even longer with the ventilator if the family files an appeal in court to delay the 5:00 disconnection time. >> helping people who can't see.
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next on al jazeera america, an artificial retina could help millions see again.
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>> welcome back to al jazeera america. i'm del walters. a second deadly bomb attack attacking the russian city of volgograd. this comes after a bombing at oa train in the very same city. an artificial retina is being sold in the u.s. for the first time ever. the new technology can restore sight to millions of people who are now living in the dark. we talked to one of the first people to get that new device. >> dean lloyd, an attorney in palo alto, california, lost his sight 30 years ago. then in 2007 he got it back.
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at least in part. >> it had some effect but how useful it was going to be for me was a different issue. >> reporter: lloyd volunteered for a trial, and he was one of the first recipients of the artificial retina. the device just went on sale in 12 u.s. cities. it's mounted on a pair of glasses. it produces a low resolution sketch of the world. it's not true sight in the way seeing people experience it. but it highlights point of contrast and makes it possible to broadly identify obstacles and objects. >> so i'm getting some dirt or grass or foliage. >> you can tell the difference between one surface and another. >> it has contrast point.
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you have to think about that to make it useful. >> reporter: it's approved to a hehereditory condition. it will move off of the eye and move to the back of the head. >> if they're patients with glaucoma or retinopathy disease, if we go to the next step we should be able to restore some level of vision. >> reporter: the tiny implant requires manual assembly under a microscope which drives the price to $145,000. only a few insurance companies have agreed to cover that expense. thethe company intends the impls to be permanent but they're
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really only rated for five years. it's a question of how long this remotely powered titanium will last inside the body before it needs replacing. >> and using the device requires practice. there is only 60 pixels of information. you have to scan around to get the entire picture. >> reporter: the doctor who helped to develop the device said it could deliver a high resolution. >> we don't fully have the technology at hand. we're talking more about train but this is more like a plane. >> you're tall person. >> reporter: the blurry image is
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primitive compared to the eye, but it is a milestone in efforts to understand and improve the human body. jacob ward, al jazeera, california. >> meteorologist: i'm meteorologist dave warren. the cold air is coming down and this cold air will spread east. set it thset the stage for anotm moving east. the difference with this next storm is the area it develops over is kentucky and tennessee and the coast keeps that cold air in place. that is a look at the headlines. >> thank you very much. thank each and every one of you for watching al jazeera america.
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the stream is next. check us out 24 hours a day as always at >> hey, i'm wajahat. ali. you're on the stream. you hear about local police durng into little brother. -- turning into little brother. lisa fletcher is out, but we've got omar, as digital producer. >> i.t. has really lit up. we put out the question of


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