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tv   News  Al Jazeera  March 31, 2015 10:30am-11:01am EDT

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facilities. they are happy. this may also mean the park will finally be known for its unique attractions and not as a bitter reminder of the rule. under pressure indiana's governor reacts to the outspoken opposition to his state's religious freedom law as law makers scramble to make changes >> deadline day on negotiations on iran's nuclear program. and the opposition declares victory in nigeria's presidential election but all the votes have yet to be
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counted. this is al jazeera america live from new york city. indiana's governor is again defending his state's religious freedom law this morning. mike pence is set to address the controversy about a half hour from now and we'll bring you those comments live. in an interview this morning he already said the law has been misconstrued as a license to discriminate. >>reporter: in the middle of a storm of controversy, mike pence says his religious freedom law is not discriminatory. he reacted to the backlash this morning on fox news. >> i stand by this law but i understand that the way that some on the left and frankly some in the national media have mischaracterized this law over the last week might make it necessary for us to clarify the
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law through legislation. and we were working through the day and last night with legislative leaders to consider ways to do that. >>reporter: pence says his intention was to give courts a framework where they can review cases in which religious liberty is infringed upon. >> there is no license to discriminate in this law. for my party, i hate discrimination. i don't think anyone should ever be mistreated because of who they are or love. >>reporter: today's front page of the indianapolis star reads fix this now. and there have been calls for businesses to boycott the city which threatens the economy. republicans are furiously working to change the language of the law with all eyes on the hoosier state as it hosts the final four this weekend. >> what our university and
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college members care about and that's an environment that celebrates diversity and provides for a very inclusive, supportive environment. right now, we're not sure that we have that. >> the communications director at the islamic society of north america is joining us live from indianapolis. thank you for your time. do you agree with the substance of this law? >> well we appreciate and, you know, like the support of religious freedom, religious expression. it's the corner stone of this great society of ours. but, however, this law, that way that it's written and the way that it's -- the intentions behind this law would allow businesses including corporations to, when faced with discrimination lawsuits to use religious freedom as a legal
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defense against refusal of service or products that they want to use against people they feel is against their religious belief >> largely what we've seen as far as critics have been the members of the lgbt community. are you worried it could lead to discrimination on the basis of other factors such as race or even religion which is law is meant to protect. >> i completely agree with that. with the post 9/11 environment here in america they could easily say i'm not going to serve someone wearing a head scarf. it's a slippery slope that could lead to other faiths and ethnic groups. i think this law is badly written and they need to protect against discrimination. >> are you speaking with other religious organizations in indianapolis about their take on this law? >> ironically when we did some
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interviews with local media, all of the local religious groups that these local media interviewed are in coordination -- actually they agree, are unanimous with the sentiment that this can lead to discrimination. so we're not currently allied with any other groups in presenting this discussion of something individual but as an organization we feel that this is problematic. >> so the front page of the indy star today took a bold stance against the law. the headline says in very bold big letters, fix this now. do you think this law can be fixed or will it need to be scrapped? >> well, we feel that if you know statements put into the current law that protects against discrimination and other
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matters that have been against -- looked at by civil rights groups i think the law could be salvaged. >> you know when you look at this debate that's happening around the country really because there are other states even this week arkansas is looking at a similar law this week. in indianapolis and indiana, where -- what was the context for this law emerging? why did religious groups feel the need to have further protections? >> well that's the irony, that our organization was not asked about this law and other religious groups have been asked about this law either -- haven't been asked about this law either. so it's ironic it's about religious freedom but we were not consulted in the first place. >> edgar, thank you for your time. >> thank you for having me the issue of religious freedom is also front and center in arkansas where law makers
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could approve a similar law today. >> shame on you. shame on you. >> protesters for gay and lesbian rights took their chants to the state house there on monday. the governor has promised to sign the bill when it reaches his desk turning now to switzerland where negotiators are up against a fast-approaching deadline for a framework deadline on iran's nuclear program. negotiators say they have made progress but also say key gaps remain. here's the latest. >>reporter: we have now nine hours left for that deadline. now, remember these talks have been going on on and off for 12 years. over the past couple of weeks we've had 12 days of talks here. we really are in the final phase of this. meeting right now as we speak, the p5 plus 1 countries, the five members of the u.n.
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security council as well as germany meeting with iran. it's the third meeting of this type that's happened today on tuesday and in between those meetings lots of other configurations of people meeting. we know they're close but they're not there yet. one player who is represented here by his negotiators but who is not actually at the talks at the moment is the russian foreign minister. he said on monday that he was going back to moscow and would come back here when he thought there was a realistic chance of an agreement. well, he's now on his way back. he spoke in moscow before he left and sounded optimistic. >> i'm planning to return to the talks and take part in the final session. i will say this round of negotiations has a good chance of success if the participants don't bring forward any new demands which may change the balance that now exists. >>reporter: he is sounding optimistic. i have to say there are others
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that are not quite so optimistic. seven delegations negotiating here. i think even if they get a deal it will have to be examined extremely closely. how substantial is any deal how public is the information they give out. because the big test of this is congress. congress comes back from recess in two-weeks' time and critical of what's going on the administration will be hoping that they have something that is substantial enough to show to senators, look i'm making
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from foreign leaders, other governments, other parts of our government to get a real handle on the challenges face there had. >> the speaker talks about hearing from leaders but it's certainly not only that stephanie. it's also sending a message of the speaker walking a fine line. in many ways -- republicans are trying to keep up pressure internationally and domestically as well. >> they come back from their recess in a couple of weeks. if there is no deal we could be talking about more sanctions. >> they are gone for another ten days or so.
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israel's new parliament has officially been sworn in. within the last hour, law makers began their first official session. it includes more arab members than ever better and a record 29 women. benjamin netanyahu is still working to build his government and announcement of his cabinet is expected in the next few weeks in iraq bombs hit a weapons storage facility. the coalition has now struck targets in nine of yemen's 18 provinces. iran insists it is not backing the rebels contrary to what yemen's government and other arab leaders have said there's still a number of
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districts to be counted in nigeria but the opposition is already declaring victory. ng victory.
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>> techknow's team of experts show you how the miracles of science... >> this is my selfie, what can you tell me about my future? >> can affect and surprise us. >> don't try this at home. >> "techknow" where technology meets humanity. only on al jazeera america. welcome back to al jazeera america. it's 10:46 eastern taking a look at today's latest headlines. a prosecutor is reportedly being held hostage at gunpoint inside a courthouse in istanbul turkey. officials say members of a banned left wing group are responsible. the prosecutor is investigating the death of a teenaged boy during antigovernment protests. he was hit by a gas cannister fired by police and the group is demanding police confess to the deaths lufthanza is setting aside
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$200 million as compensation for family members of those killed in last week's plane crash police are hunting for a prisoner who escaped this morning from a hospital near washington d.c. he stole a gun from a security guard and is an accused bank robber who was take on the the hospital for treatment -- taken to the hospital for treatment after trying to harm himself the defense today is getting a chance to make their case. he have already admitted the boston bomber's guilt in the bombs. >>reporter: day 16 of the trial will be the first full day his legal team presents arguments that their client does not deserve the death penalty despite the fact that he has not pled guilty his attorneys have never disputed their client was involved in the april, 2013 bombing at the boston marathon. >> the defense case is expected to be relatively short. their focus is going to be to try to show that the older
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brother is the more culpable one in these bombings in the hopes of spareing sparing the defendant of the death penalty. they began with a cellphone who testified at the same time tamerlan was buying hardware for the bombs, his brother's phone was pinging off cellphone towers in southern massachusetts. >> they're trying to show his brother bought the bomb components and not him. >>reporter: they reminded jurors that even though he didn't buy the materials he did purposely leave a bomb next right to young martin richard. the explosion violently destroyed his body. >> several of the jurors openly
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cried. several male jurors put their hands to their face as they looked at the photos. the last question asked of the medical examiner was how old was martin and he answered he was 8 years old and that was the final testimony by prosecutors. >>reporter: jurors also heard emotional testimony about the bombing deaths of lindsey lu and 29-year-old crystal campbell. john henry smith, al jazeera the justice department is suing an oklahoma university. lawsuit alleges southeastern oklahoma state university discriminated against a transgender professor and then fired her after she complained. attorney general eric holder says the suit is intended to target unjest prejudices against transgender americans.
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in iraq the country's prime minister says his forces are moving closer to full control of tikrit. troops have retaken neighborhoods in the southern and western parts of the city and are now just battling a group of isil fighters holed up downtown. u.s.-led air strikes joined the fight in tikrit last week todays with the world's largest drill is getting a tune up. crews in seattle unearth the front end of the bertha drill on monday. it broke down 15 months ago stalling seattle's multibillion dollars highway project. >>reporter: we're talking 4 million bounds worth of cutter head drive assembly and main bearing. that's it right now seeing the light of day for the first time since december of 2013. this is a project that's been going on today for about 13 hours. they've been very deliberate lifting this thing up and out of
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the pit that they had to dig to get at it. it's tough to see exactly what's going on because it's moving so slowly that it looks like it's not moving at all. we want to give you background on the project and we'll start by speeding thing up. time lapse photography shows one of the smaller pieces emerging from the pit dug to reach this stranded tunnelling machine. a huge industrial crane pulls it up an out as the unprecedented repair job nears a crucial stage. replacement parts sit nearby which project managers hope will get the tunnel project back on track. bertha is the biggest and most important tool in the $3.1 billion plan for replacing seattle's earth quick damaged double deck waterfront highway. >> we don't have a total estimated cost yet. >>reporter: the tunnel was supposed to be complete by now
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with the whole project finished and cars using the new underground highway by this december. the current timeline though pushes that date back to 2017. neither the contractor nor the state department of transportation will discuss just how much the 14-month delay, all of bertha's repairs and upgrades could add to the budget. the official stance is that this project isn't technically overbudget at this point. >> we're going to complete this job and we're going to be accountable to the public. the contract will be accountable. and this job will be completed. >>reporter: if no agreement on money is reached between the state and its contractor who's at fault, and who could pay how much for a blown budget will almost certainly be decided in court. so they're going to put that cutter head in a cradle so they can replace and repair and they
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hope to be back and drilling by sometime this august. in nigeria, the opposition is declaring victory in the president shiley elections. votes are still being counted but results so far show president good luck jonathan is trailing the opposition. what is the latest and any response from the president's camp? >>reporter: this is not the first time that the opposition has said that they're winning this election. on saturday when polling stations were closing across the country, they were already declaring victory. what they're saying is that they're coasting to victory now. according to the numbers released by the independent national electoral commission their candidate is in the lead.
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there are still a number of states yet to be declared. but it's not enough to get a clear majority. after the clear majority the winner also has to get at least 25% of the votes in 24 of nigeria's 36 states. now, if the opposition fails to do that or the incumbent president jonathan this race will go to a runoff in a week's time for the first time in nigeria's 16-year democracy that there's ever been a presidential runoff race al jazeera continues to demand the release of two of our journalists detained for a week now in nigeria. they're not allowed to leave their hotel rooms. both were embedded with the military covering the fight against boko haram before being detained john stewart's replacement on the daily show already
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stirring up controversy. sy.
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al jazeera america gives you the total news experience anytime, anywhere. more on every screen. digital, mobile, social.
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visit follow @ajam on twitter. and like aljazeera america on facebook for more stories, more access, more conversations. so you don't just stay on top of the news, go deeper and get more perspectives on every issue. al jazeera america. defense secretary ash carter is speaking out about the fight against isil. here's what he had to say earlier this morning. >> i think it's too early to say that we're winning, but i think we are certainly inflicting a lot of damage. it will take some time to inflict defeat upon isil. we're still building the coalition and forces. that's why i hesitate to say we're winning. i'm confident we will win.
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the bill would have kept the identities of officers involved in the shootings secret for two months >> some john stewart fans are calling his replacement sexist and anti-is hesemitic. in may of last year he brother mind every successful rap billionaire is a double as rich jewish man. he appeared on the daily show three times. it's a popular stand up comic in south africa. the ncaa women's championship teams. the huskies are now two wins
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away from a third straight national championship and will face maryland in one semifinal. we are waiting for a news conference from indiana governor mike pence who is set to address the controversy surrounding the state's new religious freedom law. this is the state capital where that news conference is set to happen. right now the news continues from doha. from doha.
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. . . . . . . . . this is al jazeera. > this is al jazeera. heavy fighting across yemen on the sixth day of the saudi-led offensive. elections results from nigeria as nigerians wait to see who will run their country. and a last-minute agreement on iran's nuclear future plus out of africa and into the philippines. how