Skip to main content

tv   News  Al Jazeera  September 16, 2014 8:00pm-9:01pm EDT

8:00 pm
make that case. because in the case of inequality in america, the math is simple. it's the solutions that are hard to come by. that's our show for today, i'm ali velshi, thank you for joining us. >> hi, everyone, this is aljazeera america, i'm john seigenthaler in new york. fighting isil, america's top general says u.s. ground troops might be needed in iraq, tonight, reaction from the white house. target iraq, heavy fighting between kurdish and isil forces, plus more u.s. airstrikes. ukrainian agreement with the european union, but will russia back down? ebola fear.
8:01 pm
the white house gets ready to send u.s. troops to west africa. how bad will it get? and space taxi. a big change for astronauts at the international space station. we begin with mixed messages out of washington. the question is how will the u.s. and it's coalition fight isil. today the top generals held a senate hearing and combat troops might be it needed in iraq. the president has repeatedly ruled that out. >> reporter: tuesday's hearing was the first chance u.s. senators had to question the obama administration on its plans to fight isil. pentagon officials we want to capitol hill on tuesday to convince congress they have a plan for fighting the group that calls itself the islamic state in the iran and lavant or
8:02 pm
islamiisil. advisers are assisting and advising them, and there's a chance that u.s. ground troops could be deplayed. >> if it fails to be true and they are addressed to the united states, i would go back to the resident and make a recommendation that would include the u.s. of ground forces. >> they are bent on defeating isil. >> our focus is on isil and that is the threat right now to our country and to our interests, and to the people of the region. what you're hearing us express is an isil first strategy, and i would say it's a fundamental misunderstanding of the entire concept of the pre-syrian army. it's assad that has killed many
8:03 pm
more of them than isil has, and for us to say that we're going to go in and help and train and equip these people, and only to fight against isil, you're not going to get many recruits to do that, general. >> the senators criticized the recently formed coalition. >> i have no idea, based on your testimony, what our coalition partners are expected to do, or even what we want them to do. >> and with midterm elections just two months away, away, is this war worth it? >> our past performance in that region has not given us the results. and i'm not supporting any way shape or form, assad should be gone, but we're asking the people that we trained to fight, $500 million.
8:04 pm
it makes no sense to me and i can't sell it. >> it's highly unlikely they will prevent the obama administration from taking on isil, but whether they will support a mission that will take years or commit ground troops, it's something that no one can predict. >> mike viqueira is at the white house tonight. and mike, there was a general response to the statement. tell us about it. >> first of all, the white house spokesman, josh earnest started talking about it almost immediately. and on airforce 1 with josh earnest, he termed what general dempsey was talking about as a hypothetical scenario. and the spokesman put out a statement that said, yes, he supports the man in iraq and syria. and trying to walk that back, for a general to talk about hypotheticals and conditions, it's not that unusual. and many people now are having serious questions, and that was the context for a lot of what
8:05 pm
you heard a moment ago about the plans to arm a free syrian army in syria. and after all, today, the administration estimates some 31,000 isil fighters to be from both of those countries, but 2/3 of them are in syria, and it says that the program now, stand up the forces, the free syrian army forces, to give them equipment, it's going to take five months and a year before they can get them into the theater, while at the same time, they say this is a key component of the president's plan, so a lot of questions now about not simply iraq, because the operations are underway there with the asserted air campaign, but also syria itself. >> so is there any more clarity today on what the overall operational plan might look like? >> well, they're talking about
8:06 pm
commanding control. and attacking logistics capability of isil. and there was a lot of talk along those lines, but many senators and a lot of people are still asking questions about exactly what the coalition is going to look like, the coalition that is purported to include many sunni and arab nations in the region. a lot of folks are starting to ask, is this just window dressing? what sort of a roll are they going to play? hagel and dempsey said that as many as 30 nations have volunteered to take part in the aspects of the military campaign altogether, and we don't know exactly who want nations are, and exactly what they're going to be doing and what the price tag is going to be. martin dempsey, of the joint chiefs of staff, it's going to unfold over a very long period of time. here's dempsey. >> this won't look like shock in our campaign because that's not how isil is organized, but
8:07 pm
it will be a sustainable campaign. i want to emphasize that the military actions must be part of government with isil financing and undermine the isil message. >> so small arms, vehicle communications, training, that's how the aid to these rebels is going to start. but again, it's going to take as long as a year to get it underway. and once they prove they work, say hagel and dempsey, they might get more sophisticated weapons. and this is a very long timeline we're talking about for this operation, john. >> all right, mike, thank you very much. >> . >> while washington talks about how to handle isil, forces are fighting isil every day. sue turk reports from wanted front line. >> reporter: military hardware heading west to help kurdish forces shore up their
8:08 pm
defenses, but the russian artillery tanks are not enough to hold the line for much longer. on the front line, we talked to the field commander for the area operations from mosul to the border, the general is worried. peshmerga forces are 10 kilometers from the main border crossing from syria to knows you'll. and the general says they're backing against a of superior force. >> as an army, we need everything from a to z, everything from uniforms to small weapons, and body armor, heavy machine guns, and night vision goggles. even if we have mortar, we don't have night vision goggles, we can't see where the enemy is or what he's doing, we need the whole package.
8:09 pm
>> he might just get his wish. after the head of the u.s. military revealed on tuesday that he could recommend the 1600 american advisers in iraq go on combat missions, the general is getting help from an unlikely quarter. the fighters from the kurdish groups, the ones that have taken neighboring bases actually on iraqi soil. >> these are heavily fortified castles, built by osama bin laden. and it's a relief that the ypg took control of them, and not isil. because when you control them, you control the area. >> reporter: the peshmerga are trying really hard to hold the line, but at the moment, it's a fight against time. they desperately need them to train, and the airstrikes fired from the sky, sometimes they take two hours to get here.
8:10 pm
as he heads back to his headquarters, the general explains how the delay has allowed the fighters to disappear into the arab villages or to put women and children into their vehicles. >> when we started this operation, the u.s. jets responded quickly, but now there's a huge delay. many times we ask, and many teams, they don't respond at all. >> reporter: but he believes that the area bombardment can only do so much. a ground offensive company only lead to war. with weapons and manpower and equipment and expertise, aljazeera at the crossing. >> u.s. wants iraq's government to show a unified front against isil, today another example of weakness. today they named a new interior minutminister because of infigh.
8:11 pm
>> if there was in fact a formal meeting, it suggests two things, that iraq is accepting assad's invitation to cooperate on this effort. and it's suggesting tha iraq ist listening to the u.s. and their allies when they say that al-assad is part of the problem, and not the solution. it's unlikely that the u.s. and other western allies will allow this to happen and not interfere, that they will hold their noses and allow it to happen. it does suggest that iraq is willing to cooperate with the assad regime, and it marks a step to his changing the view of the international community in the effort to tackle isil. >> that's john henry reporting city. >> a baghdad correspondent from the washington post, he now
8:12 pm
sizes on the new york times editorial board. and ernesto, thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me. >> what do you make of this today? >> . >> i was struck by his option of deploying combat troops. putting it at odds with the administration and the president six days ago, and that in itself. >> does that mean there's a split in the administration over what to do here? >> i think that general dempsey is not someone who shoots from the hip. he's very passionate in his remarks, and i think it's too early to tell. one thing that emerged in the hearing, the commander favored u.s. military personnel on the ground during one of the operations to take the mosul dam recently. and that was rejected by the
8:13 pm
administration, giving a window into what military commanders think will be successful. >> you spent a lot of time over there, and what do you make of this new government in baghdad? >> i think that we have seen some recent hopeful, for example, the new prime minister, very soon after he took office and announced that the security forces would no longer be throwing out airstrikes, alienated in angerser and embody thing the islamic state, and on the other hand, all of these players in the government and the government that now appears to have a veneer of greater inclusiveness, they are the same who have been in the government for many years, and they have not had positive results. >> so you think that it's inconclusive? >> i think that it's too early to determine whether or not you can backtrack on what have been
8:14 pm
poisonous policies in the past. and find a way to get sunnis back in the fold and make them believe that the government is going to look after their best interests. >> we just heard from sue turten in iraq, with the peshmerga fighters, and talk to us about this and they have been on the front line, haven't they? >> well, the peshmerga have controlled their turf, which has been a sliver of iraq, which in many ways has been a country unto themselves. and this is the first time that they have been in battle for a long time. and they have struggled by how far the islamic state has encroached on their territory. with the help of u.s. airstrikes, they are holding the line and pushing it somewhat, and the question is how long is that sustainable? > >> it's a complicated crisis,
8:15 pm
but what is more complicated is syria. >> reporter: if they will be willing to coordinate. it's an open line of dialogue, and coordination. >> the broader campaign in iraq and syria, and they do not want to help assad's regime. so if the iraqis go out the back door and start coordinating together, that would create a very tricky dynamic. >> there's nothing about this project that looks simple.
8:16 pm
based on what i'm seeing. ernesto, thank you for joining us. >> the face of isil is becoming younger and more diverse. in addition to recruiting younger men from the west, even promising young girls financial rewards for joining the fight. >> recruiting them to be fighters at a very young age. >> it is the faces of children. in online videos, proud adults show off kids, barely strong enough to lift, much less fire weapons. another teaches boys to load mortars.
8:17 pm
isil uses children, some as young as 12. activists. >> it was totally new to me, and then i was used to t. >> some are forced to fight, suicide bombers, either drawn by propaganda. >> recruiting boys from the age of 14, recruited to fight in the ranks. >> in this video, a young female fighter showed off. online chat rooms tell girls how to sneak away from their parents, and many are then married off to fighters. >> many of the girls, 14 and 15, are being told on social
8:18 pm
media, you can disbuoy your parents and you can leave. >> isil pays them $1,700 a month. some of the military training and target practice, trying ensure a generation that they can fight. >> they are using propaganda against the shia fighters. >> this is part of the propaganda, and they are worried about the long-term affects of having so many children to fight. >> on friday, we want you to tune into our hour-long special, a report, stopping the spread of violence in iraq and syria. flashpoint, 5:00, 8:00 eastern.
8:19 pm
and check out in afghanistan today, a suicide bomber attacked a military convoy as 20 others were injured, and a landmark decision today in ukraine, parliament approved, stronger ties with the european union. granting more freedom. we have more from robin forester walker with the details. >> two historic votes in one day, in kiev, compromised with ukraine. a law handing significant powers over to rebel held areas, and cooperation with the west by the ratification with the association agreement with
8:20 pm
europe. >> ukraine is europe, that's what the ukrainian people said and did. the signature of the fall of ukraine is under disagreement. >> mps make no celebration of the autonomy offered to the east. many believe that it's recapitulation to the rebels. kill and be killed. in ukraine, the ceasefire is often throughouted. if both sides could weigh their weapons, the kiev government promises amnesty. they manage their own affairs, but remain very much part of ukraine. this is something that the rebel leadership says is unacceptable. >> you understand that neither
8:21 pm
the donetsk people's republic has any intention of ukraine, we want our right to freedom. we have part of the russian world. >> upset with the reality here, but on another level, they are promising what vladimir putin has wanted all along. special status for eastern ukraine, so if moscow likes the idea of this autonomy deal, the rebels may be more willing to listen. aljazeera, donetsk. >> and coming up next, why members of congress are suddenly playing nice with president obama. and the push to get landowners to turn empty city space into urban farms. why critics say one city has gone too far.
8:22 pm
8:23 pm
8:24 pm
>> after the election, when the confrontations don't have the same consequences, and until then, the republicans are especially mindful of polling, which means that they have tended to blame the gop, and not washington democrats for the gridlocks, so republicans are trying to erase any reminders that this is what shut down the government. and they want to end the frustration with president obama, and not with them. >> david schuster reporting.
8:25 pm
the poverty level in america is down for the first time since 2006. but it's a small decline. 14.5% of americans or 45 million people lived in poverty last year. for an individual, it means living on less than $12,000 a year. for a family of four, its less than $24,000 a year. two years ago, 15% of americans will were below the poverty line. and the bureau said that the poverty rate for children went down for the first time since 2000. san francisco cutting taxes to try to promote urban farming but housing is pushing back. they say that the tax break offered top landowners is just too generous. >> reporter: in the middle of san francisco sits a bee farm, with a dozen hives and up to a million bees. volunteers work on the bee
8:26 pm
colony that produces honey for the neighborhood. >> this is a place where there has been no develop. because it has a billboard on it, and the owners want to make sure that the billboard is visible from the freeway. >> now this lot owner and the landowners have an extra incentive for setting up community gardens. a new tax break. someone paying $10,000 in taxes before would now pay just about $100. their property assessed as farmland instead of prime real estate. and another part of the sweet deal, urban farms must sell to the community or act as an education site. >> it helps them to turn a corner of the city that's blighted and vacant to turning it at least five years at a time into an urban garden orano ace is. >> france is not the only city to have passed a law for farms,
8:27 pm
places from hawaii to new jersey were come up with incentive for property owners to turn their empty lots like this one into something more productive. however, with san francisco's tight real estate market, some wonder if the city can afford to use any space for anything other than housing. >> the median real estate is $400,000. and the this is a crisis, let's use every bit of land as smartly as we can. >> but there were few empty lots in san francisco, and advocates have no illusions of how many plots can sprout up. >> we're not necessarily naive to feed ourselves in a city like san francisco. but how much can we do? >> still, the effort can make a difference. this urban farm serves those living below the poverty line. >> during the year, it will provide over 1,000 pounds of
8:28 pm
food, given away to people who have the need for fresh organic produce, who have no means to acquire the food. >> advocates hope that this were success will inspire more cities to join in the movement. >> coming up next, boots on the ground in the fight against the ebola epidemic. why u.s. troops are being deployed to west africa. >> i'm dave warden in san francisco, fighting ebola. ebola
8:29 pm
hey, jennar fuzz mike troober munny sling... awwwwww scram! i'm crust mike jubby roll bond chow gonna lean up an kiss bet. peas charty get town down. [laughter] ♪ borf a liver tute face stummy wag ♪ pow pam sha-beeps stella nerf berms. saxa-nay nay? badumps a head. temexiss gurrin. juppa left. fluppa jown! brone a brood. what? catch up on what everyone's talking about with the x1 entertainment operating system. preloaded with the latest episodes of the top 100 shows. only from xfinity.
8:30 pm
>> this is aljazeera america, and i'm john seigenthaler. coming up, sending thousands of troops to fight ebola, and the dangers that health workers have every day to fight the ebola crisis. and spacex changes the way that astronauts get to work. president obama said today that the ebola crisis is spiraling. he laid out a tougher plan to tackle the virus today. and it involved thousands of u.s. troops and millions of dollars in aid. bisi is here with that story. >> reporter: john, the obama
8:31 pm
administration is devoting more troops and medical assistance to fight the outbreak in liberia and senegal. it brings criticism that enough isn't being done to stop the virus. with the center for disease control as a backdrop, the president laid out the next step in addressing the deadly ebola outbreak sweeping west africa. >> faced with this outbreak, the world is looking to us. >> reporter: in addition to efforts already underway, the new initiatives focused on liberia and involved training as many as 500 healthcare workers in the region. the construction of treatment centers with a total of 1700 beds. and the deployment of 3,000 military member, and treatment kits to at risk homes. the administration is asking congress for an additional $88 million to boost it's anti-ebola campaign, increasing
8:32 pm
u.s. aid to the region by more than $700 million over six months ago. >> this is an epidemic that is not just a threat to regional security. it's a potential threat to global security. if these countries break down, if their economies break down and if people panic. that has profound effects on all of us, even if we're not directly contracting the disease. >> so far more than 2400 deaths have been contributed to ebola, and thousands more people have been infected. dr. kent brantly, who contracted the virus in liberia, testified before lawmakers on tuesday. the married feather with children was treated with an experimental drug at an atlanta hospital. >> to control this outbreak and save the lives of thousands of west africans and possibly americans, we need to promise the ebola units, the surge in
8:33 pm
healthcare workers, the u.s. command and control center, and we need it immediately. >> eight agencies have been critical of the international community's slow response to a crisis that first unfolded in march and worsened by the day. the world health organization said rapid needs to be taken. >> we risque humanitarian catastrophe if we don't see rapid action to scale up not just the ebola response, but the provision of essential services and the support platform needed to put that in place. >> this is the deadliest ebola outbreak ever, and it's taking its toll on west africa. the world health organization said today, nearly 5,000 people have been infected since march, and it spread over five countries. guinea, liberia, sierra leone, and nigeria t. close to 2500
8:34 pm
people have died. want hardest-hit country is liberia, 2400 cases there, and 1300 people have died. and this map shows where the largest concentration of confirmed cases are. the who warned today that if not enough is done, the number of cases could double every three weeks. >> the ebola has hit liberia the hardest. and people there are trying to go about their gins, but the spread of the virus is making is dangerous. >> reporter: in liberia, the capital of monrovia, are the preferred way to travel for a lot of people. but in the grip of a widespread illness, many are choosing to stay indoors, and others are forced to go out to work because of the risk. >> it's very bad because of the ebola. we're not moving like before. >> liberiaians have been
8:35 pm
advised to stay at home to avoid infection, and the schools are closed. prior to the ebola outbreak, liberia's government spent just over $100 perry per year on healthcare, and it's not adequate. despite the aid and the resources that have come in. >> [ unintelligible ] >> reporter: the last thing that liberia needs is an economy in recession. the country has a population of 4 million, fewer than $50 doctors and the healthcare is overwhelmed. >> the trend lines in this crisis are grave, and without immediate international action, we are facing the potential for a public health crisis that could claim lives on a scale far greater than current estimates, and set the
8:36 pm
countries of west africa back a generation. >> the country of liberia criticizes government officials of leaving the country and failing to deal with the crisis, a crisis that could cost the u.s. hundreds of millions of dollars. >> he's the president of the non-profit group,iki health alliance, and his organization studied the spread of ebb ebb in asia and africa, and welcome, doctor. >> good evening. >> what is a disease hecologist. >> wastrie to understand the outbreaks, and look back at the outbreaks and say, why are these diseases immerging and spread in an uncontrolled way? by understanding patents, we can try to predict out breaks and stop them in the early stages.
8:37 pm
>> what do we expect to happen when the u.s. troops hit the ground? >> already we're in crisis mode right now, this is the biggest ebola outbreak, and it's far beyond what a year ago any person would have predicted. it's out of control. and at this stage, you really do need military intervention. you need people used to dealing with hot viruses, dangerous pathogens, and patients critically ill and infection, where security is already breaking down. we have heard some of the stories from the front line, and this action is timely and it's exactly what we need right now. what do you think about working with local security forces to protect hospitals there? >> yeah, what we expect is going to happen if the troops are deployed. they're not just going to create security around the
8:38 pm
hospitals, but they're going to supply equipment. the u.s. military, all of the countries involved in these actions have agreement infrastructure in healthcare and providing the critical control agents that are needed right now on the ground. so i think that it goes way beyond just creating security in hospitals. and it's exactly what we need. >> we see the pictures of the protective suits, and we just saw them. could the u.s. troops be using those sorts of suits to protect themselves from ebola? >> well, the department of defense has laboratories and hospitals where they work on these pathogens, and they're ready to use the suits, and they're very experienced in dealing with patients. so they are the right people to be out there working, and when you get to a stage in an outbreak where it's raging almost out of control, you do need this sort of approach, where you have experienced people who have the skills,
8:39 pm
have the equipment, and have the expertise to deal with it. >> but there are risks, right? >> oh, absolutely. and this is a place where there are not just risks from the disease itself. but also from security break down, as people panic and worry about the implications for themselves. and we have seen that whole areas of villages have been sectioned off and people have been held back, and that creates a lot of problems just on a day-to-day basis in dealing with infected people. these are very unsafe area. this is a pathogen that's very lethal. if you get infected, you're lucky to survive, and it's a place where you should not be unless you have the way to deal with it. >> thank you for your expertise. we appreciate it. and some troops deployed in west africa will be wearing those biohazard suits.
8:40 pm
jake ward joins us now with more on how this is going to work, jake? >> well, john, it's really hard to imagine, but the epidemic that we're seeing here in west africa requires an incredible amount of very high standards from health workers, and they have to abide by rigid rules. if they break even the tiniest rule, it could be disastrous. when experts talk about putting on and taking off a suit like the one i'm about to display, they talk about ritualizing the process because everything is perfect. it begins with drinking water. you get dehydrated, bad things could happen to you, not the least of which would be fainting on the job. you are supposed to down water. i'm here in a climate controlled office building, and i'm still going to sweat my brains out doing this. but imagine doing this in west africa, high humidity.
8:41 pm
and temperatures, and you have to wear this thing hours on end. imagine that i've just come from treating an ebola inflicted patient, and the seal around my gloves is a really crucial thing. so you were instructed to wear the pull tabs that make it easier to get it off. but you have to make sure that they're on the outside of your wrists, and not on the inside, where walking with wear them away and break this seal. i'm going to get out of the suit. i'm going to show you the critical mistake that can get so many aid workers into trouble. they're exhausted and they have seen a lot of blood, and they're panicked and they want to get this off. they pull it off. and the fresh air hits their face, and their first instinct
8:42 pm
is to wipe their withdraw because they're so sweaty. this glove is contaminated and that's where you're getting contaminated material into the mucous membranes, that's the moment. for every person you want in one of these suits, you're going to need a second person also trained in the suit so get that person out of it. that but they system is essential in creating the ritualized process that's going to keep me from being infected. john, it's unbelievable to imagine the standards that these workers have to hold themselves to, on the ground and in the heat. and the tiniest mistake can mean the difference between life and death. >> let me ask you a question, how long were you in that suit to get that sweaty? >> that's amazing about it. i was only in the suit for 15 minutes. i'm in about a 75-degree room
8:43 pm
here in the united states, and had an easy time of it. if i had been subjected to the flush of adrenaline, and the tropical temperatures, i can't even imagine dealing with an actual emergency in that suit. >> all right, jake ward, thank you very much. and we have another health threat to tell you about tonight right here in the united states. a dangerous organism has been discovered in tap water in a louisiana community. it's a brain eating amoeba, and it's been blamed for several deaths in that state. jonathan martin has more on that. >> well, john, police are actually involved in the investigation, and they're trying to figure out if the potentially dangerous amoeba ended up in the water system as the result of the water company not putting the proper chlorine in the water. this is very serious, and three people have died of the same amoeba, including a
8:44 pm
four-year-old boy just last year. in st. john parish, outside of new orleans, tainted water has put schools into a state of emergency. >> what we're doing, we have taken the water out of the water fountains and we're providing water in the schools, and wipes and hand sanitizers. >> last month, samples of the district's water supply revealed the presence of a potentially brain eating amoeba. while the state health officials say that the water is safe to drink, they warn that the amoeba leads to a deadly infection if it gets into the nasal cavity of the brain. >> a four-year-old bends their head and presses the button in that direction. right now, the water in the community tastes and smelled different, because they have had to double the chlorine in the water, hoping to eradicate the amoeba.
8:45 pm
they have mandated that they are that high for 60 days. >> it has passed 70 sites, and those 70 sites have to be tested once a week in one day. >> no illnesses have been reported, but still sheryl berger isn't convinced that the water is safe to drink, and she won't serve it to her customers. >> i run a business, and i'm making sure that all of my employees are doing what they need to do, and i don't understand how the supervisors are not checking up on t. >> the samples taken in august showed no chlorine in the system. last year, the state started requiring all utilities to maintain a closuring level. it's responsible for three
8:46 pm
deaths louisiana. >> we don't want to say how it happened, but we want to get it right. >> reporter: purchasing water has cost the school district nearly $20,000. but it's a small price to pay for precaution. >> and again, john, officials with the cdc and the louisiana health department are reminding residents that they can drink the water, that it doesn't affect the digestive system. but if it gets into your nasal cavity and brain, it's almost always deadly and that's why so many return concerned. but because there are so many questions about the records and how much chlorine was in the water, a lot of people are not drinking it or brushing their death with it, and they can get clear answers. >> jonathan martin in new orleans, thank you very much. coming up, the next gen race in space transport. a preview of nasa's new space capsules.
8:47 pm
8:48 pm
8:49 pm
>> the strongest hurricane to ever make landfall in baja. and we're talking about 200,000 people without power across the area, as well as 26,000 tourists that are stuck there, because the airports are closed. they're now airlifting them out. this is the latest advisory, and where odile is now. we were going to see it drop to a tropical depression, but it's not the system itself that we're worried about. it's the amount of moisture that's going to be touching into parts of the southwest. just like norbert did last week, we'll be seeing flooding across the region. last week, it was up toward phoenix that we're really concerned. but this storm, we're talking
8:50 pm
about the southeastern part of arizona as well as into new mexico. we expect to see in the next couple of days, of course the warnings are out here, but we expect 5-8 inches of rain in some locations and isolate today 12. >> in florida just a few
8:51 pm
minutes ago, an onboard secret communications satellite owned by the u.s. government. the group partially owned by boeing. and today nasa announced a deal with spacex. the contract brings the u.s. one step closer to sending naughts to space without using rockets. nasa will use two spacecrafts to get astronauts to two space stations, and allen is in seattle with more on that. allen? >> reporter: big deal announced today by nasa, the boeing company and spacex will be awarded $6.8 billion between them to continue building aircraft that can take people and deliver them to the international space station, and boeing gets $4.2 billion. and spacex 2. $2.6 billion, and
8:52 pm
boeing will work on its rocket, it's a capsule that goes onboard the one that you just saw, and spacex will be using a capsule called the dragon v2. and it will go into space onboard it's very own falcon rocket. these two companies in competition for years, and not always friendly competitors, and they have been tangled up in anti-trust legal entanglements for the past decade, but spacex has been delivering supplies, cargo to the international space station for a couple of years, so both of these companies, john, very much in the game, and those initial contracts could grow into much much more down the line as the u.s. gets back into the buns of putting human beings in space. >> so this time, john, why are there two winners?
8:53 pm
>> interesting, boeing and spacex awarded the contracts and other companies, sierra nevada the loser in this, they are out of the competition, but they will still work on applications for their spacecraft. but nasa wanted the competition to continue, and coshing to the nasa administrator, bolden, there will be plenty of work in space for both of these companies. >> ideally, several years from now, there will not just be the international space, but other laboratories, single modules and the like, where people can be going, and some of them won't have anything to do with the government at all. that's the vision of a special space industry. >> clearly, this is much more than just a deal to build a couple of different versions of a fancy space taxi. charles bolden said look, this is the next big step into space for americans, and for america, and if we want to develop a
8:54 pm
near orbit space industry, we have to keep this competition going, and from that, astroids, and exploration of mars would be the next big step. and with spacex, ilan mosque echoed that. he said that this is the next step on the adventure to the stars and something that could make us a multi-planet species. there will be 500 people working on their capsule when they get to the very hart of developing it, and that work starts immediately. it will be done in florida at the kennedy space center. >> lauren gretsch is the assistant ed tore of popular science magazine where she writes about space. is this the future, private versus public. >> yes, this is definitely the way that space travel is headed. >> is it good? >> oh, yes, america is back. >> wasn't america there when
8:55 pm
the government ran it? >> no, but this is the way of providing a synergistic relationship between the government and the private sector. >> what are the advantages? >> we're getting back into space on our own rockets, and we have been using the russians since 2011, and that's not cheap, it's $70 million a pop, just to send one astronaut on a voyage rocket. and we don't know how much it's going to cost, but it could cut the cost in half, which is definitely an incentive to get back into space. >> so is it about nasa saving money or taking the trips out of the hands of the russians? >> it's about saving money and taking the trips out of the hands of the russians, but it's about lightning the load. we have a lot of long-term goals, and they can't do it on their own, and so it's about sharing with private companies. to get to mars, we need a lot of stuff. vehicles to take us from the
8:56 pm
interplanetary, and nasa can focus on those long-term goals, while these private companies take us to the international space station for cheap. >> what about the pitches that spacex and boeing made to get to this deal? >> so spacex is their dragon capsule, and best thing has the st100. and they both rival nasa's orian vehicle. and they will dock on the space station when they get up there. >> compared to what nasa was like in the 60s and 70s, what's nasa going to look like in this new realm? >> i think we're going to see a hybrid. spacex has shown that they can get us into space for a friction of the cost. and nasa is going to utilize them in ways that will benefit
8:57 pm
them cost wise, and it's going to be safer. >> thousand dollars ho >> how do you know it's safe if it's done by an outside company? >> it's all about testing and nasa said today they're going to go through a rigorous testing procedure before they think about putting astronauts on these capsules. it's going to be 2017 that it happens. >> and you think this is an example of what's going to happen in other projects that nasa is working on? >> definitely. protest sector is the way to go. it inspires competition, and they compete against each other, and that's the perfect way to get people to make their deadlines and crete great stuff. so i think this is going to inspire a new generation and era of space travel. >> when will they decide. >> we might use both, and we don't know if they are
8:58 pm
downgrading yet. but the goal is 20152015, that's when we'll get straughts gack into space. >> lauren, thank you very much. and coming up, growing pressure on the nfl. the reaction from sponsors as adrien peterson faces child abuse charges, and what one hotel is trying to do to encourage customers to tip house keepers. and now our picture of the day comes to us from scotland where the campaign for scottish independence is heating up. allowing customers to purchase whatever side they're on. see you back here at 11:00. i'm john seigenthaler.
8:59 pm
9:00 pm
>> we have an exclusive story tonight, and we go live... > on "america tonight" - headed to the hot zone. the unparalleled ebola epidemic, and the president's plan to fight the enemy. >> the men and women and children are just sitting, waiting to die much right now. and it doesn't have to be this way. >> what he's proposing, and whether it will be enough to stop a