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tv   News  Al Jazeera  August 26, 2013 2:00am-2:31am EDT

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>> good morning, i'm morgan and these are some of the stories we're following at this hour. the u.n. secretary general issues a call to action for the chemical weapons in syria. digging in to stop the spread of wildfires outside of yosemite national park. and dozens of schools are shut down.
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>> the obama administration said there's very little doubt that chemical weapons were used by the syrian government. attack happened last wednesday, and it's the country's single deadliest event in the long civil wars, and now u.s. and europeans say that it may be too late. >> u.n. weapons inspectors -- >> we have said it once, twice, and we offer again our assurances that we have never used anywhere in syria chemical weapons in any shape or form. >> but u.s. officials says this little doubt that they carried out the attack.
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the u.n. inspections are too late to be credible because evidence has been degraded or destroyed. >> we cannot, in the 21st century, allow the idea that chemical weapons can be used with impunity, that people can be killed with no consequences. >> but russia said there's evidence that rebels were involved. and it would be a mistake and involve the region. military action is being considered by the obama administration with encouragement by some members of the u.s. congress. >> you can destroy the runways, you could destroy his munitions, and you could destroy his fuel. there are lots of things we could do. we could even destroy the syrian airforce. >> there cannot be a unilateral
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approach, it has to have support internationally, not just militarily. but un latly. >> to that end, u.s. officials will meet with european officials in jordan on monday. it was scheduled before the attack, but that event and how to respond to to and avoid another will be at the top of the agenda. >> you knew secretary general said those chemical weapons inspectors will start their investigation in just a few hours. he threatened that the teams must be allowed to do a full, thorough investigation, and said, "the world is watching syria. >> and every hour counts. we cannot afford any more delays. we have all seen the horrifying images on our television screens and through social media. clearly, this was a major and
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terrible thing. >> and in am an, defense officials across the world are meeting to discuss the syrian conflict. they are meeting in jordan's capital city. the meeting was planned for the latest chemical attack, and it will have discussions on security and the latest develop the, especially in that regard to the crisis. the commander, he spoke, and he said whatever actions the u.s. government takes should include diplomacy. >> i think that the most important thing is, whatever you do militarily, has some purpose for it, and moves us toward the resolution of the situation. so there's no point of firing a weapon and dropping a bomb to dropping a bomb. so you have to start with the coalition around it.
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i think that nato should join together. and there should be strong resolutions, if the u.n. security continue act because of blocking by china, these regions must act to restore stability in the region and prevent escalation of the conflict. >> the general said that u.s. inspectors should go to the site despite the efforts of the syrian government to erase or transplant 2. joining us is the associate professor of public policy at the harvard kennedy school of government. professor, sec tate, john kerry, said that there's very little doubt that the syrian government had gassed it's own citizens, and if that's the case, what are we going to see from the west? >> well, that's certainly hard to know. certainly making that determination that the syrian
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government used chemical weapons makes an armed intervention more likely. but i should note that the u.n. team that's going to inspect the site of the attack is not empowered or mandated to determine who carried out the attack. so the syrian government and it's allies will likely continue to claim that the attack was carried out by rebels. so there's not going to be the crystal clarity that secretary kerry hopes for. >> you mentioned, professor, that the scope is not affected. but on a broader note, given the violence that's rocking the countries, do a you feel that the u.s. influence is declining now in the middle east? >> well, that's a really tough question. to go back to your first question, is u.s. intervention likely? it causes me to think about the
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last time that the u.s. intervened to change an arab regime. and not libya, but i'm chig iraq in 2003. but the regional environment for the u.s. at this point was much more favorable. the u.s. had allies, such as egypt's hosni mubarak, who could tamp down domestic concerns about u.s. intervention and throw the region's biggest country behind the united states. and that doesn't exist anymore. the current egyptian government is very hostile to the united states, or very suspicious of u.s. intentions, and there's this growing narrative in the middle east that the united states is trying to stir the pot and foament instability, and it definitely is a lot harder for the u.s. to do what general clark said in your segment, which is to build this coalition
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of thing will behind the intervention in syria. it was hard in 2003, and much harder today. >> you mentioned syria, but the big question, does syria have something to hide? the u.s. officials said that by waiting five days to even allow the u.n. inspectors to see the site where hundreds died from nerve gas makes syria pretty suspicious. do you agree and. >> well, i think syria looks pretty suspicious, not just because it waited five days, but over the course of the last two years. we don't need this latest tragedy to conclude that syria is a tragic situation, where innocent civilians are constantly being killed. we have known this for quite some time. and it's not the first time that there have been allegations of chemical weapons, but even without that, this is a humanitarian disaster. and the question is, and the reason why the united states and
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western powers have been reluctant to intervene thus far is simply because it's just not clear what intervention would have resulted. today not as if there's a clear government in waiting in syria that could quickly take control of the country and put it on a democrat path if unseated. either the rebels leaving or the syrians into a situation of considerable instability for a considerable amount of time, and it's no surprise that the u.s. is conflicted on what to do. >> thank you so much, professor of public policy at the kennedy school of government. meanwhile in california, roads and campgrounds in yosemite national park are being completely shut down as the fire
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moves in. 130,000 acres are scorched and the windy dry conditions mean that the fire will likely spread even further. 3,000 firefighters are on the scene, trying to save homes and businesses. the fire is dangerously close to major roads and highways. so far the fire is only 7% contained. aljazeera has been on the front of the fire for several days, and she spoke to several working around-the-clock. >> reporter: lovely clouds, about you it's smoke over the mountains. this is as close to the fire line as we could get. we watched teams battle the flames, from on the ground and help from above. we're just west of where the firefighters are fighting the flames, but they're going to pull back down the road. the fire has jumped the highway, and the steep terrain and dry
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conditions has transformed this fire into one of the biggest in california history. it is so immense, it possess it's own weather, able to generate wind, rain and lightning, and making it more unpredictable. >> we're concerned about this fire getting larger and we're pouring resources into it, and fir fighters from across the country. it's the number-one priority fire in the nation, and we're hoping to get it out. >> teams from across the country are here, mapping out plans to evacuate residents if necessary. more help arrives by the hour, in part to relieve those who have worked for days. a typical shift lasts 24 hours. >> we spent 30 hours by a subdivision. >> we were trying to prevent the fire from moving to the forest to the residential neighborhoods themselves. >> the fire moves north. the firefighters will build
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containment lines to stop the advancement to homes. what is known as the rim fire has cut across the green, leaving blackened oak and pine and smoky desolation. it may be difficult to imagine when spring rolls around, new plants will sprout. but it will be decades before the trees stand mèti again. now with the latest on the fire and potential threats to san francisco, kelly houston, and what's the latest on the rim fire? can you tell us what the latest up-to-date information is? >> well, the most up-to-date information is, this fire has been going for a week, and we're having a really tough time fighting it, like you heard in melissa's piece. the fire is creating it's own weather. and rolling through the canyons.
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i spent the last couple of days up there, and just came back today. and it's just a really difficult fire to fight. >> and you mentioned, mr. houston, you spent the last couple of days up this, and can you tell us, are there any indications of what the long-term impacts of the fire are? >> long-term, the fire is going to create a lot of problems down the road. the people think once you get it put out, it's okay. but the ramifications of a fire like this have long-term impacts. not just for the trees, but when you burn the hillsides down, in january or february, we're going to have massive mudslides which are going to wipe out roads and people's homes, so long-term, it's much greater than you saw last week. >> and many of you know yosemite as a tourist destination, and
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has it affected ta? >> luckily, it's on the north tip of yosemite national park. and it's burning into the park, and it is going to have to get quite aways to get to where people are most familiar with. half dome and the waterfalls. that iconic area is not immediately a threat. but we don't know what the fire is going to do. if mother nature is going to make a turn like she has multiple times this week and push the fire in a different direction, that could be a problem. >> thank you so much. and while dry conditions continue to be a problem for fire crews out west, too much rain is proving to be an issue for other parts of the country. >> we're watching the rain showers out in the west.
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and that's going to bring relief in terms of the drought. but before that, flash flooding in many states here s nevada, utah, arizona, new mexico and colorado. and even the very southern part of california. this is all moisture coming in from the pacific. we have a approximately system down there that's helping to pump it into that region. we'll keep you informed in that, but in the northeast, things are looking nice. we're beginning to pick up clouds and showers coming in off of the great lakes and that will affect canada, but in the southern part of new england, things will stay fairly clear to partly cloudy for tomorrow. there may be a few stray rain showers in the forecast, anywhere from new york to boston, and the heaviest will be up in the great lakes. the temperatures like this, albany, 84, and new york, 84, and washington, up to 87. as we go to the rest of the week, it's going to get warmer
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on tuesday, and come back down to normal as we go to thursday. now down to the southeast, we have a lot of rain going on, and this has been because of a cold front that has gone stationary along the gulf states. we'll see possible flooding as well, but nothing like we saw last week at this time where most of the southeast was experiencing flooding in the region. as we go to the high temperatures today, atlanta, we're going to be below average at 83, but out to the west of should relievshreveport, 80°. and wednesday, higher here, temperature of 91°. >> thanks so much, kevin. and next up, he's facing the death penalty. the trial for china's disgraced politician, bo she li comes to an end. and a soldier convicted of a
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shooting death in fort hood. and students head back to school in the midwest.
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>> in china, the trial of fallen politician, boshilai is coming to a close, and he could face the death penalty if convicted of corruption charges.
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>> reporter: earlier in the case, he said that he had something to reveal in the final statements to the court. if it wasn't this, you have to think of something else extraordinary that he said. because it's an unexpected twist. he's talking about his one time ally, the police chief in the city of chong ching, whose night in the nearby consulate started the ball rolling for this entire political scandal. and what he said, the two of them had an extremely special relationship, and they were as close as paint with glue, and he described one particular incident. from the details of the transcript, he said that he came to his wife with a letter expressing his love home ru lovd he hit himself in the face.
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he said i was abnormal in the past. but now i'm normal. internship, we're lead to believe, boshilai walks in and takes it away. he knew about the relationship. and he realized that he had harmed the family. and that's the reason he flew the couple and ran off to the u.s. consulate. does any of this have legal weight? no, and it's a series of things that he's saying, so he couldn't repudiate them. but what it does do is add to the case, and he has been on the fringes of all of the wrongdoing. if there was involvement in the death of the businessman, and any cover up or attempts to investigate that death, he's saying that all of this murky material involves his wife.
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and boshilai's own actions, he was trying to frame his wife for the murder, on this, the film day. >> the u.s. army psychiatrist convicted of murder will go before the jury again today. he will enter the penalty phase of his trial. and a jury convicted hasan of 45 charges, including the premeditated murder for the shooting spree in texas. it could make hasan the first soldier to be executed by the u.s. military since 196 1. it's back to school today for students in chicago. it has been a rocky year with the third largest school system, with teacher strikes and the largest mass school closing in history. we look at the challenges ahead. >> reporter: 8-year-old
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crystal plans to meet a lot of new classmates. >> i'm going to have to meet new friends again. >> for mom it's more harrowing. >> it's scary around here, my daughter is in the third grade but i walk her to school. >> the chicago school board decided to close down 49 underperforming and poorly utilized schools. on the hilly depressed sides. the kids from different blocks will meet for the first time. >> kids are coming from everywhere, rival gangs, and families don't get along, and when they see each other, it's not about the law. >> safety is so much of a concern that the city has torn down dozens of vacant houses and boarded updoses of more. >> when you get in there, you
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see needles, used condoms, mattresses, discarded alcohol bottles, and you see where they have been tagged by gangs. >> after several years, betsy ross elementary showed improvement. reverend andre smith lives across the street from the school. >> they're making a good school, a safe school, now a warehouse. >> reporter: no longer a place for students, the building is now a storage space for beat up district furniture. new furniture has been moved in over the summer. and they have been fitted with wi-fi and air conditioners in every classroom. school officials denied repeated requests to speak on cameras about the changes or the concerns, only after the school
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year begins, and parents are waiting too, to see if any of it will work. >> i don't think a sign would stop a fight. >> you think you're going to be safe? because i'm going to be here to protect you. >> grown up worries for a little girl about to go to third agreed. aljazeera, chicago. >> and finally, good news for drivers. gas prices come down as a steady supply of petroleum cuts prices at the pump.
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was not me. check us out 24 hours a day on >> for 300 years, the most powerful nations on earth grew richer and stronger on the profits of the slave trade. over twelve million men, women and children were forcibly transported from africa on slave ships like this, to the colonies and plantations in north and south america. today slavery is illegal on every country on the planet. but the truth is, slavery did not die in the 19th century. it is alive, it is thriving, and it it is bigger than ever.

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