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tv   News  Al Jazeera  December 31, 2013 6:00pm-7:01pm EST

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>> a live look at berlin where the clock just hit midnight the city is ringing in the new year in a big way with the fireworks show above the brandenberg gate. and much of europe and after ara are saying hello to 2014. we have move celebrations around the world. but first a look at tonight's top stories. russia beats security following two deadly bombings as president putin vows to annihilate the terrorists responsible. ethnic fighting shows no sign of letting up. and marijuana becomes legal for all tomorrow.
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>> i'm john terrett in times square new york. join me and a million other people as we all count down to 2014. ♪ >> new year's celebrations in moscow went ahead as planned while those plans in st. petersburg were canceled. the attackserthose responsible o attacks are still at large, and we have more now from volgograd. >> reporter: there was not much left on the trolley car when the am against arrived. survivors were hanging on and
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volgograd hospital was less than ten minutes away. one of badly injured brought here. >> it felt like a huge electric shock. i didn't see anyone with a bomb. i was looking out the window, and i can't remember anything after that. >> reporter: for the second time in less than 24 hours the victims of another bombing, some with terrible burns. dr. alexander popoov said that they were carrying on several operations at a same type. outside they posted casualty lists of those brought in by ambulance and where they were being treated. the relatives of injured scarcely able to believe that this is happening all over again. trauma specialists part of an disaster emergency team was flown in from moscow to help family and friends cope with their shock and their lost. those too badly injured to be
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treated here were boarded to special flights to moscow taken to special burn units in the capitol two hours away. this used to be known as stalin grad, and it's a reminder of a pivotal battle here in the world war. the defeat of the german army here changed the whole course of the conflict. today people here have a different fight on their hands with a far more elusive inmy. a sense of fear, frustration and anger, a feeling of being left down by those who should have been protected them. >> people are afraid to use public transport. i'm afraid for my family, for my friends. >> they're stepping up security
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not just videos volgograd. peter sharp, al jazeera, volgograd. >> here to talk about the response in the wake of the attacks is stephen layer bee, distinguished chair of european security with rand corporation. good to see you. good to talk to you. i guess my first question is how worried should the world be about the security of the olympic games after these attacks? >> i think the issue is how worried should the russians be? if there are more bombings it's going to affect the olympics, and it effects putin's credibility as well. while it may be difficult to penetrate sochi, the whole country he has--the terrorists
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have at their disposal where they can wreck terror. >> and you can't keep everything safe and secure and buttoned up, can you? >> no, it's simply impossible. so i mean, the situation could be rather dire if there is another terrorist attack, a lot of people may not come to the olympics. they may cancel, but it will be certainly an embarrassment to mr. putin, and it overshadows and neutralizes what he had done previously by freeing kordohkovski and-- >> and the punk rock band. the attacks have brought a new focus on the caucasus and a couple of others, any doubt in
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your mind that those attacks may be by those omaybe responsible e from that region? >> there are targeted groups that have called on troops and others to disrupt the olympics. so it's pretty clear that it's probably a group from the northern caucasus. although the movement itself has decentralized. >> how well has vladimir putin maintain relative peace in chechnya relatively? in part has it been through a heavy-handed security effort while supporting militias to the
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region? to the extent that he has, how has he been able to maintain relative calm there? >> those are the reasons that he has been able to maintain calm there. but at the same time the deployment of troops in chechnya affects the fact that they don't have enough troops in other places in the northern can you kanorthern is one oy they're concerned about what a happened in syria. if there are radical islamic groups that get ahold of weapons and nuclear weapons there it could affect the north caucasus. >> having what the terrorists would consider a success with these attacks, do you see this the beginning of a sustained campaign of violence by these groups? >> it could be a sustained campaign. it depends on how you define
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sustained. i think it will likely come in fits and starts. if there is another one or two, this will really shake up the russian people, and the whole goal is to try to show that russia cannot protect it's own people and cannot protect foreigners who are visiting there and cannot protect people who are going to the olympics. that could lead to first as i said a real embarrassment of mr. putin, and economic losses could be quite high. >> stephen larabee, thank you. in south sudan thousands of troops are heading to the key city of bor hoping to capture the city. the government had been in command but rebels took over earlier today.
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bor is the center of fierce fighting in an oil-rich air. groups have gathered to discuss a cease-fir cease-fire. >> reporter: both sides have agreed to discuss how to bring the current conflict to an end. it took a bit of pleading by u.n. officials and diplomats for him to agree to send delegation because this is not what he wanted. he wanted a cease-fire first before he held talks with his former vice president rei k machar. and it's been vice president machar who has been insisting on cease-fire. the government has also
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confirmed that it is ready to receive this delegations, who will begin talks immediately. now this happens on a day that the rebels ar under former vice president machar had taken control of bor. it was taken control by government forces just last week, and they managed to get it around midday. officials around the town have confirmed there has been displacement by population who have remained in town during the last round of fighting, or had returned after government forces. >> we have an update on our al jazeera colleague who is have been detained in egypt. one producer has been moved to cairo. and another producer is at same prison. he won't be questioned later.
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and al jazeera's reporter will be questioned tomorrow. removing the toxic chemicals from syria, security, bad weather and some other issues have hampered the removal of chemicals, but they are still on track to eliminate syria's chemical weapons stock piles. at least ten people have been killed, including two people, in the northern syrian city of aleppo, that has been the scene of heavy fighting over the past few weeks. >> reporter: forces loyal to president bashar al-assad have held up areas of the city of aleppo in recent weeks. this bus is reportedly here to provide tank she will. using barrels filled with tnt has killed at least 500 civilians in aleppo since
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december 15th. al jazeera cannot independently verify any of these videos that were up loaded to the internet but there has been heavy fighting in other areas of syria in recent days. this video appears to show rebels targeting government forces in the eastern province. al jazeera cannot verify which armed groups these men belong to. this man describes how fighters are sending reinforcements to areas which is controlled by government forces. in the west of the country activists say rebels took control of two villages after days of heavy fighting. >> this is a hiding place for government forces. we managed to destroy four arm armored vehicles and killed several government soldiers.
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>> reporter: 46,000 civilians have been killed. >> utah is taking its fight against gay marriage to the supreme court same-sex marriage became legal earlier this month when the judge struck down the state's voter aproved ban. today the state's attorney general asked the high court to suspend that ruling: the judge says it violates human rights. much of the world is celebrating the arrival of 2014. dubai rang rang in a new year by holding the world's largest fireworks display. from the world's tallest building. it was a different kind of
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celebration in tokyo where bells were running to wipe away the sins of the previous year. and here is a look at berlin where hundreds of thousands of people welcomed the new year with fireworks over the brandenberg gate and a concert. pretty nice stuff, right? our john terrett is in the heart of times square for the grandaddy of them all where people have been gather forgive hours to watch the ball drop. what is it like. >> reporter: i hope you can hear me because there is the chinese cultural show being behind performed by the american-chinese friendship association. you can probably see it over my shoulder. we're surrounded by stars even bigger than you, tony harris. people like blondy at the moment who are rehearsing for three songs she's going to sing. she has a new album coming out. we have melissa etheridge, and much later tonight we're going to see my personal favorite at
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the moment, miley cyrus. it's good to see if myley can teach me a trick or two. now we've descended from this lofty platform that went down into the crowd to have a word with a few people. we met a couple from china. we have we met a couple who just married. and we met a dad who flew in with his children tonight just for tonight. >> we've talked about this for years. he has been a new year's baby. 18 years old and the ball drops, in times square the most iconic place in the world to ring in the new year, it's quite a memory. >> reporter: wonderful, they're having a great time. they've been here since 2:00 this afternoon and they
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will be here after midnight. you probably can't see in the shot but over my shoulder the times square ball has been hoisted, and the 70-foot drop will begin at 11:59 eastern. >> what is happening? we're used to seeing the mayor trigger the ball's descent, but that's not going to happen. what's going on? >> reporter: for the first time in i really don't know how many years there is no mayor year. we had an election in new york city in the fall, and mike bloomberg comes to the end of his three terms. he took over in 2002, and he's leaving tonight. he's going to have a private evening at home keeping his own thoughts to himself as he comes to the end of his three terms. bill deblastio elected in a landslide, he's not going to be here. he's going to be watching the event on television and then having a swearing in ceremony after the ball drops and then a
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fourth swearing in ceremony. who will trigger the ball dropping? will it be you? they haven't asked me but they have asked someone far more qualified than me. that's justice sow sonia sotoma. she was raised in the bronx and worked her way through yale law school, princeton and now is one of the most powerful women in the country, if not the world. she's pressing the trigger on the balance at 11:59. >> all right, john terrett and miley cyrus. >> reporter: don't forget the glasses. >> there is a twerk fest about
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to happen. have fun. have fun for all of us. >> reporter: thank you. >> oh my. for half a century the space needle has defined the seattle skyline. in the last 20 years the tourist attraction has lit up the night on new year's eve. we go to the top for a look at the difficult work at the high altitude show. altitude show. >> reporter: this takes a different type of workplace approach. buckle up and don't look down. >> don't look down. if you look down you get vertigo. >> we know how to handle explosives. but now we have to handle the explosives 600 feet off the ground. >> reporter: for three days they've been prepping the space needle for one of the largest fireworks display. it's a special challenge placing
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pyrotechnic challenges where they accentuate the building for the world's fair. >> we'll be moving things up and down the legs as we go through the show. >> reporter: the fireworks are packed into prebuilt boxes and then lefted on the roof for special positioning. >> mostly comets, ones that instead of going up and breaking apart like a shell, they go up and burn out. sometimes they'll go up and break into pieces and split out. >> reporter: this is the 21st year that they've wired the needle for the city cued the music and lit the fuse. but it doesn't get old, and there is always something new. >> reporter: new for 2014 more emotion, waves and water false of light. >> combining tilt and pan we can create wave movements which are very special and unique to the structure because of the
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opportunity. >> reporter: a computer print out details every splint second of action choreographed to music. >> basically that's our show. all of this takes place in eight minutes. >> reporter: how many separate explosions or effects? even the boss won't put a solid number on that. >> we have 1750 lines of code, which is 1750 cues that will be shot. each of those cues is anywhere from 1 to 100 items. if you do the math, it's thousands and thousands, a whole bunch. >> reporter: with a whole bunch of people all over the seattle people, 400,000 are expected to watch the show. al jazeera, seattle. >> did you get nervous, edgy anxious just watching that piece? still to come on al jazeera america. after years of sluggish movement, home prices made a big jump this year but some analysts say the trend could fall flat.
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>> another holiday black eye for target. this time involving some of its gift cards. the ongoing cleanup efforts and how the fallout could effect the safety of americans >> are dangerous amounts of radioactive water, leaking into the pacific eververyday? >> join america tonight's michael okwu for an exclusive four part series, as we return to fukushima only on al jazeera america
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>> the retailer target is dealing with more holiday shopping trouble. the company confirmed some of its customers are having trouble using some of its gift cards. >> target won't say how many gift cards have been affected. a spokesperson said that the cards were not fully activated when purchased, so when go to redeem them they didn't have any value on them. target said this didn't have anything to do with the data breach when 40 million customers' credit and debit card information was compromised. you can go to the customer service desk at the store.
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target has been overwhelmed with phone calls. we called an and an automateed service said call back later. they tweeted this, we continue to listen and work hard to address feedback. call centers are home this week including new year's day. >> maria, thank you. the dow jones closed the year at a high. the best one-year performance since 1995. the s&p also closed up 29% of year, and nasdaq closed out the year jumping 38%. we usual asay the tech heavy nasdaq. it has been a block buster year.
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homes sales have risen but now rising mortgage rates could scare off some buyers in 2014. >> reporter: the demand for homes turned up the heat on cities across the u.s. in october. all 20 cities posted gains. the biggest were in the west where las vegas and san francisco saw home values increase more than 20%. and there were major gains in other regions as well. in cities like atlanta and detroit saw double-digit price moves. harris' company workers with appraisers nationwide and said housing prices are strong because investors feel good about the economy. >> what is driving that is economic growth in employment as well as income growth. those are flat and steady, but you're seeing a lot of pent up demand from people over the last few years 234. >> reporter: in many regions
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homes are outpacing supply. >> reporter: in chu it's hard to find homes for sale. inventories are down 30% compared to last year. and in some cases bidding wars are breaking out. >> reporter: before finally closing on this three-bedroom brick colonial. >> our needs inventory was very low, and the places where we're really nice or fit our needs would tend to go under contract very quickly. >> reporter: however, rising interest rates could undermine the market's recent moves. the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is over 4.5%. that's more than a percentage point higher than a year ago. rates could rise even more once the federal reserves scales back. scott newman thinks the prospect of higher interest rates are pushing his clients to buy now
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rather than wait. >> hey, the higher interest rate will. push your mortgage this much higher. and it pushes them forward. >> reporter: some could get sidelined if mortgage rates rise above 5%. if that happens, sellers will have to lower home prices if they want their properties to move. diane estherbrook, al jazeera, chicago. >> coming up, a different look at the committee. the most vulnerable people in the u.s. left behind hazard markets improve. we'll talk about what is means to be homeless in america. and a 13-year-old teen brain dead for 14 days, and what her medical state really means.
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>> welcome back to al jazeera america. here is a look at your top stories this hour. 2014 has arrived in much of the world millions of people took to the streets, and cities across
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and below to watch fireworks displays, laser shows and others celebrations. that's pretty cool. securities tighten in moscow as revelers gather i. in the wake of this week's bombings in volgograd. and utah is taking its fight against gay marriage to the top. those unions became legal after a judge struck down the state's voter approved ban. 2014 is set to be a monumental year for people of afghanistan. afghans will head to the polls to choose a new leader. one of the biggest issues facing afghan's new leader is the economy and unemployment. al jazeera america's jane ferguson has more from kabul. >> reporter: uncertainty and poverty on their minds every day in kabul thousands of men leave hungry families at home to stand on the street to look for daily
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work hope be someone needing labor will drive by. >> if these people cannot find jobs they will become thieves or join the taliban and alqaida. >> reporter: afghans living in taliban-controlled areas say they have to join either side of the fighting to be guaranteed a reliable paycheck. as the country braces for foreign troops to leave, it's people like this who are at risk for economic down turn. they're looking for any work to support their families here in kabul. some lost jobs that they previously had with the international community. others are trying to survive what could be one of
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>> i haven't been able to pay the rent for two months. every day i go to the square, stand there all day. sometimes i can make $2. sometimes $4. >> most afghans live by the islamic calendar. for those the phrase 2014 has become a frightening event everyone talks about but few understand. >> at the place where we stand around for work everyone talks about 2014, but i don't know when this 2014 is. is it in a month, ten day's time, i don't have a clue. the businessmen hide their money. the investors stopped investing. the shop keepers collect their
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money all because of this. >> reporter: many fear they won't i causing it to facilitie. these men are are like many across the country. they have the most to lose. jane ferguson, al jazeera, kabul, afghanistan. >> the judge of has given a fay with a daughter who has been declared brain dead time to find her long-term help. the hospital said they're delaying the inevitable. and here to discuss this case, we have a physician and associate proffer with n.y.u.
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medical school. how did i do with your name
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>> when go to the doctor and think shine that flashlight in your eye, they look to see if your body responds to different things. in this case the doctor said this poor girl does not have any response to her environment, she's not aware of herself or her environment. what the mom and family is saying is she's
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>> overnight doctors performed a second operation to alleviate pressure on the brain. >> the situation is better controlled than yesterday. the hours to come will be crucial in our medical strategy. >> michael schumacher was critically injured while skiing in the french alps on sunday. the most successful racing driver of all time fell and hit
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his head on a rock. he was saved by wearing a helmet. when he was first taken to hospital he was conscious, but his condition deteriorated rapidly. he's now in a medically induced coma. his doctors say there is still extensive bruising on his brain and a two-our operation t-hour o remove the hematoma was carried out. >> one hematoma was removed, and we judged we could remove it without taking risks. >> reporter: doctors are unable to say that michael schumacher is out of danger or predict his future. emma today war hayward, al jaze. >> the passenger on board a stranded ship spent new year's eve in the same place where they had been for a week now stuck in the ice near antarctica.
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rescuers will have to wait until later this week when the weather clears up a bit more. the ship's crew prepared a landing pad for the chopper by stomping down on the snow next to the ship. the crew will stay behind to wait for the ice to break up to take the ship home. staying active and in good spirits. residents forced to evacuate a north dakota community firing a crash. federal investigators are investigating the collision where one train was hit by another train that was filled with crud oil. no one was hurt or injured but it sent plumes of toxic black smoke in the air. so far tonight we have reported on a lot of positive economic numbers while the number of homeless people dropped in 2013 compared to 2012, they did not drop in new york city. critics say outgoing three-term
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mayor michael bloomberg is partly to blame but the city is spending more than it ever has on shelters. >> reporter: you new mayor bill deblasio, who will be sworn in tomorrow, will be targeting homelessness. the number of homeless is the largest it has been since the great depression. 62,000 live in shelters. 22,000 are children. >> raising small children would be tough for any single mom. daniel is doing it without a home. >> when your hom homeless, it ps on 20 times more pressure. >> this is where they're standing with 90 other families, a city in th shelter in the bro. >> it's infested and not
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well-kept. >> reporter: the number of homeless people in new york city has risen 20%: advocates blame the recession. >> do you agree or disagree with me-- >> reporter: and outgoing mayor michael bloomberg. >> there is literally no permanent housing assistance to help homeless children and families move from shelters into their own homes. >> reporter: critics say he abandoned housing policies for the homeless and mate cuts in state and federal funding opting to expand the shelters. the mayor's office said by expanding shelters it's keeping homeless off the streets. at the same time rents are rising across new york city to the average of $3,000 a month. most low income and homeless people can't afford to rent a place in this city and subsidized public housing like this simply does not have enough openings. the soup kitchen at the holy apostles church serve 1200
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people a day, more than it ever has over the past three decades. >> some students, they come out, they can't find a job, a lot of people who are under employed, people in between jobs, people really struggle. >> reporter: many of them are homeless or on the verge of being homeless. like sharon scott, a mother of five. >> the mayor and president has to do something. this must come to an end. >> reporter: daniella agrees and says without more help from city hall her family will be stuck in a shelter. >> people look at us and say we are not trying to do something. but that's a lie. i work many jobs and with minimum wage and no housing, how is it possible? >> reporter: bill deblasio has promised to help the poor starting january 1st, tony. he will have that chance as mayor. >> so, roxana, we're talking about 52,000 people in new york city's homeless shelters. what about the people who aren't
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in shelters? >> right, advocates say there could be thousands more who are not in shelter. there may be people living in shelters with h.i.v. and those who are victims of domestic violence, and many more who are living on the sweets that's sobering, thank you. why someone dressed up as a polar bear. that person is roaming the beaches of hawai'i and an epic moment in the history of marijuana. we look at the drug's checkered past as colorado gets ready to open its marijuana stores.
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>> president obama continues his holiday vacation in hawai'i with his family, but as they've enjoyed sand and surf they've received unexpected company, someone dressed in a polar bear's suit. someone has been trying to crash the president's trip. the mission: to raise awareness about climate change. jennifer joins us from oahu, hawai'i, and we understand that this focuses on the upcoming decision on the keystone xl pipeline. >> reporter: yes, the polar bear is the mascot for environmental di veersty. the expansion was first announced in 2008. it would expand the pipeline
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1700 miles all the way from canada to the gulf of mexico carrying with it hundreds of thousands of gallons of crude oil. and opponents of this light frost paw, would say this would be game over, and call it an environmental disaster. frost paw is a man dressed up as a polar bear to spread the message in an unique and disarming way. that's if you consider talking to a 7'0" polar bear as disarming and even cute. >> reporter: there is an abundance of cuteness with you being a polar bear and all. >> you flatter me. >> reporter: but your message is serious. >> it is absolutel absolutely s. this island could be covered with water and eroded in 20 to 30 years. that would be terrible. this is serious for the
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children, for the future. we have to protect this place. >> reporter: proponents of the pipeline many of them republicans, say this is a critical step towards america's drive toward energy and dependence. they say it would create thousands of new jobs. because it does cross an international border it requires the approval of the state department and the president himself. the state department is looking over a number of environmental impact studies. as for the president himself, he has not commented recently, but over the summer he said he's considering this. he will take it very seriously and does not plan on approving it if there is any proof that it will harm the environment. >> jennifer in oahu for us. thank you. tomorrow it will be legal to smoke pot in colorado. it is the latest state stripping away a stigma that is long existed in america.
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but it was not always that way. up until the 1890's, growing hemp, the by product of cannabis, was a requirement in 13 states. but by the 1990s paranoia about marijuana emerged. the film "reefer madness" emboldened these sentiments. ♪ music ] [ ♪ >> okay, in the 1950's a strict sentence for pot possession was enforced, and fined as high as $20,000. but 1960's counter culture embraced the drug. despite this the dea was created in 1973 and it would carry over
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into the 1990's. and in 1996 a year of major change, cal legalized medicinal marijuana, and we have more on the debut of colorado's landmark legislation from denver. >> reporter: harvesting pot is a family affair. three generations work here, and business is booming. >> we started out with 1200 square feet, and right now we've got 10,000 square feet all finished, and we're bursting at the seems. the next grow op we're finishing we have plans for three and four more of that size. >> reporter: the four medical marijuana dispensaries already account for a quarter of all tax
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revenues. that's before they start retail sales. a fact that has the mayor seeing green. >> i like to joke that there is not a pothole in my entire town because we've been able to reinvest in our infrastructure and do things we want have had a chance to do without a new industry and new energy in town. >> reporter: if the estimates are correct colorado is about to reap a bumper crop of cash thanks to legal weed. one study says sales could hit $606 million in 2014. right now there are about 100,000 users of medical marijuana in the state, but another half million are expected to start legally lighting up recreationally. that's not counting marijuana tourists. >> it's the next vacation destination. no doubt about it. i mean, we get so many phone calls a day. i would say right now being closer to the first we're getting 50 phone calls a day.
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>> reporter: the u.s. department of justice said it won't try to shut down the recreational pot industry but some gray areas remain. banks are not taking retailers money, and there are worries about increased crime and underage drug use, but john rotherham thinks other states will see dollar signs through the haze. >> i think everyone will follow suit if they can, if the voters allow it. >> reporter: while there are questions about how legal weed will play out here in colorado, it is safe to say that hopes for the future are high. paul beban, al jazeera, denver. >> kevin is in next with tonight's new year's eve forecast. and david shuster is in with ali velshi on real money. >> reporter: new confidence for the new year. the latest signs that americans are more optimistic about jobs and the economy. and why cooling home prices
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in 2014 may not be such a bad thing. plus, understanding the bizarre world of virtual currencies like bit coin and it's competitors. all that and more on "real money." every night on my show i break down confusing financial speak and make it real.
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>> meteorologist: while we're looking at some of the codest temperatures--coldest temperatures we've seen all year long we'll take you to minnesota-north dakota. right now this is what the temperatures are doing, minus 17 degrees in fargo. minus two degrees in minneapolis, and minus 7 in bismarck. some of these temperatures are colder near the canadian border. we may see record-breaking temperatures lows this evening. from yesterday we have seen a drop of 13 degrees at fargo. yesterday was minus 4. today is minus 17. bismarck, it's 17 degrees colder. and what we're going to be seeing over the next couple of days the temperatures are going to come up. unfortunately, not tomorrow
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morning. those temperatures, it feels like right now fargo is at minus 4, but right now you'll wake up with a temperature of minus 23. here in the south its better but there is this pocket of cold air that we're worried about, and we do expect to see those temperatures broken there along the border. the other big problem is what is going to be happening at the end of the week. we have a major winter storm that will be developing and for new england you'll see snow wednesday night in new york. thursday, yes, this is what we are gag to be seeing, big player in terms of snow. now here across parts of massachusetts, new hampshire, we could see 12 to 14 inches. some location also see up to two feet. in new york city four inches of snow possible for you there.
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>> this is al jazeera america live from new york city. i'm tony harris with a look at tonight's top stories. security concerns are growing. ahead of the winter olympics in washington after the back-to-back bombings in volgograd. new year's fireworks were canc canceled and russian president vladimir putin spoke out promising to "annihilate the terrorists." in south sudan the fighting is getting worst. the government is spending thousands of troops towards bor. rebels took control of that key city on tuesday


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