handled that. thank you for being with us. that is all for now. the conversation continues on the website. aljazeera.com. we are also on facebook and twitter @ajconsiderthis and tweet me at david shuster. thanks a lot. see you next time. hi everyone this is al jazeera america. i'm john siegenthaler. the death of the saudi arabia king. a former ambassador tells us what is next for the region. the u.s.-backed president rescience, the chaos in a stronghold of al qaeda. political intrigue. a president under investigation. the prosecutor turns up dead.
outrage in the streets of argentina. and boiling point. the fight for safe water in a cash-strapped michigan we begin with two transfers of power in the arab world. in saudi arabia the death of king abdullah tens of thousands are mourning in mecca. it's 7am. these are live pictures. the king half-brother will take his place. >> in yemen, a government in chaos, the president resigned under pressure from a rebel group. more on that in a moment. first, the death of king abdullah. his rein started long before his ainitial ascension 10 years ago. >> reporter: he was one of the world's few remaining monarchs. king abdullah's years as carbon prince might have marked his
legacy stronger than king. he became de facto ruler when his predecessor had a stroke. at the time he was crowned prince but with an amount of power and influence. he was known to foreign diplomats as devout conservative and strong ties to the beddoe win tribes. when he took the throne he had to overcome pressure from clerics to condition his reform programme, aimed at bringing together islamic traditions with the needs of a state. granted women the right to vote and run for office and issued i.d. cards torefor women, allowing them to do business. domestic concerns gave way to global ones when the united states was attacked on 1911.
15 of the hijackers were saudi arabia citizens. there was a cam pain of bombing against westerners his clermy told him to stop preaching intolerant versions of islam in schools and mosques. his record on human rights was cafl yol. activists demanding change ended up in gaol. the next challenge was iran. they focussed on efforts of the influence of a shia led government in iran. the cold war tile battle between the two countries was played out in lebanon. the former president was assassinated many blamed the
iran-backed syrian government. the iran factor floouned king abdullah's stance to the arab spring. supporting change in libya, but lukewarm to type-tunisia yemen and others. king abdullah was a supporter of the syrian rebels. pt king confronted his fears of an uprising in a different way, spending 130 million on housing, jobs and general benefits in a bid to win hearts and mind of those in saudi arabia. it worked. despite calls for a day of rage the anti-most movement never took hold and the king remained a largely popular figger. >> king abdullah will be buried
tomorrow. >> president obama released a staples calling king abdullah a leader with the courage of his convictions, and said: . >> james smith is the former u.s. ambassador to 2009 to 2013 and is in washington d.c. roim. >> good to be with you. >> talk if you would, about the man you knew. what was he like? >> well we saw him many times in a little over four years in saudi arabia. >> he was a simple man, a map of the seth and prided that he was
close to the desert. i remember when robert gates came by and sat with king abdullah looked distinguished with white hair and explained that he was retiring. and king abdullah looked at him and said "but you are so young." he had a wonderful sense of humor, he was kind to me. he had a deep fashion for the future of the arab world, and the people of saudi arabia. >> we saw a picture of him with robert gates and the king. how would you characterise the relationship between the u.s. and saudi arabia. >> it's a strong relationship. we share many many challenges. and we have together faced a lot of the challenges that resulted in 9/11 and the period
afterward. so we have a strong relationship on energy. a strong mill to mill relationship. a strong relationship on intelligence and counter-terrorism, and work on a range of issues. we depend on them for stability in the region. they depend on us for their stability as well. and if if you are in saudi arabia, you see yourself in the eyes of a storm. >> saudi arabia derives its power from oil. how important was oil to the u.s. relationship? >> well it's only part of it. there's no question that energy is important. but not tore u.s. consumption. we import about 8% of oil from saudi arabia. but our allies in europe and
asia import much of their oil from the region. so the united states navy is the only navy in the world guaranteeing the free flow of energy in international waters. in the case of the streets of hormuse, if we allow that to close it opens up for the straits of mohl arko or the rest of the world. it's important for us to have a base of operations. if we need to under take operations in the region the political outweighs oil or energy of the relationship. >> what can the administration expect from the new king the king half-brother. >> we know the crown presence well. he was a governor of riyadh.
we total with him while he was the governor in 2011 he took on the portfolio as the minister of defense, and the crown prince. so we had been dealing with them - him, on a routine basis. in the last year year and a half. he has taken on much more of the portfolio. >> the king is committed to the u.s. saudi arabia relationship. and we have been working with him for many years. >> good to have you on the programme. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> quick reaction from the oil market to the death of king abdullah being 2% higher. ibm trading above $47 a barrel.
a stark contrast when it was above $100. patricia sabga is here. >> this is a swing producer. i heard o.p.e.c. described as saudi arabia and the 11 dwarfs. it is a huge impact on the press of oil. it has tumbled about 60%. bench mark crude has tumbled. a combination of two factors. the other factor is that there's a lot of supply. saudi arabia could influence the oil if they want to cut production. but it's keeping the task open. >> we talked about the lack of transparency in saudi arabia. what we know and don't know. what do we know about how
important it is for saudi arabia to continue a smooth relationship with the united states when it comes to oil. >> it is hugely important for saudi arabia to point relations with the u.s. >> you have to look at the relationship not in terms of common values because there are not. what you have is common interests. this is real pol tick. this is basically - we need each other. the u.s. needs saudi arabia and saudi arabia needs the u.s. how do you think his death in the transition will play out? >> well again, when we talk about saudi arabia it's a black box. no one knows what goes on inside the royal family. we know what they want all of us and the world world to think, is that it's business as usual. they want everywhere to think this will be a smooth and orderly transition and signalled
that last year. now he is the crown prince and they want is to be thought that the success is orderly, it's sorted. that is the image they'll project. what is going on inside the saudi arabia no one knows. no one knows what power and jockeying will go on there. especially with regards to what will happen. don't forget solm ark n is 80. lucram is 70. these are old leaders, and what's after lucram. this is where we get out of the immediate sons who founded saudi arabia. once we get out of sis sons we are into a branch of the family and it's a massive family. >> to the other story, yemen in turmoil. president hadi resigned.
pushed out by houthi fighters who seized control of city of sanaa. the houthis make up a part of shia population in northern yemen. they issued a call gathering in huge numbers. they have been fighting for a bigger role in the government. our special correspondent in yemen, we talked to them about how the people are reacting. >> people are extremely worried. there are a number of worrying parties. you have shia houthi fighters in control of the capital. they didn't control the capital over the last two days they controlled it last year in september. they are a powerful force. you have the supporters of the former president. he is very very influential. he has a huge influence over the
tribe and the military and the first party you have. all of that is a recipe for disaster for the country and it is a worry for everywhere. >> yemen is home to one of the strongest branches of jordan allen. the u.s. carrying out drone attacks. jamie mcintyre is in washington with more. >> the pentagon is standing by in case americans have to be whisked to safety. for now the u.s. is trying to figure out the best way to respond. >> reporter: with shia houthi fighters in control of the capital. the president hadi agreed to share power with the rebels and briefly it appeared the crisis was easing. >> this is potentially a positive step to de-escalate violence. >> the department was applauding the overture the agreement was
collapsing. the president was informed of the latest developments as he flew back to washington. he told reporters - we are still assessing the implications on the transition. and we urge the parties to pursue a peaceful institution. the u.s. risks using a key ally in the war against al qaeda. the unrest had prompted the pentagon months ago to rule out yemen as a destination for a guantanamo prisoner cleared for release, maybe of whom were yemeni. yemeni is in no position to guarantee detainees that return to the battlefield.
>> conditions in yemen are not different to what they have been and we don't send them back. >> there are two ships in the read sea ready if needed. they are equipped with hospital facilities. for now, there's no need to rescue american diplomats. late today the state department said due to the situation in yemen, it is further reducing staff at the u.s. embassy, saying nonessential embassy were sent home. the u.s. embassy is open and operating. it's subject to constant reassessment. >> the u.s. and yemen have an important and complex relationship. paul beban is here with more. >> since september 11th yemen is an important partner it is with a troubled country that is
violent, unstable and unpredictable. >> if, as it appears, this was an act of terrorism, it was despicable and cowardly. >> october 12th when suicide bombers blue a hole in a ship docked in the port city of aiden, it was the first time many heard of yemen. >> we'll find out who was responsible. the attack are events that befined u.s. relationship with yemen, centered on stories about the threat of attacks on the u.s. and allies emanating from the poor war torn and troubled country. home to al qaeda, and the arabian peninsula. since 2002 the u.s. has gone after a.q.a.p. yemen with drones air strikes and other operations operations that have killed scores of civilians. in 2011 a drone strike killed
anwar al-awlaki an american citizen accused of being the al qaeda recruiter mobilizing the fort hood shooter and the underwear bomber. at least one of the gunmen that carried out the attacks in paris is believed to have trained with a.q.a.p. in yemen. as recently as june the u.s. touted tactics in yemen as a success story. >> you look at a country like yemen. impov reshed country, and one with its own sectarian or ethnic divisions. we do have a committed partner. we are able to go after folks that may hit our embassy or export terrorism into europe or the united states. >> now the government of that committed partner collapsed under pressure from a rebel
group that had no from in working with the u.s. leaving a billow in seriously peril. >> the un raf lipping situation is causing problems to the president. earlier this week things deteriorated in yemen. senator john mccain sent off a tweet saying the president's success story was unfolding politics at home causing tension with a key u.s. ally. the white house says president obama will not meet with israeli prime minister binyamin netanyahu when he visits. senior washington correspondent mike viqueira has more. >> it is an open breach now, not only between president obama, the white house and house speaker john boehner, but between the president and
binyamin netanyahu, of course the leader of a key american alley in israel. no secret there's no love lost. it's well documented. it stems from john boehner's defiant invitation to binyamin netanyahu to come to washington and address a joint session of congress. john boehner, nor binyamin netanyahu informed the white house. the white house says he will not be invited to come to the west wing and sit with president barack obama for a bit lateral meeting. a statement was put out reading: house democratic leader pell r took out after binyamin netanyahu directly on the same point. >> i don't think that's appropriate for any country that
the head of state would come here within two weeks of his own election in his own country. >> john boehner's invitation comes a day after president obama threatened to veto legislation tight thing sanctions against iran as the talks enter is sensitive stage. those talks between united states and iran on other, seeking to turn back military youse of its nuclear programme. >> the president's chief of staff says the white house will rise above all of this and not get involved in partisan politics surrounding the issue of iran and the issue by john boehner. >> thank you. coming up this hour - japan up against a deadline two hostages held by i.s.i.l. japan says it cannot reach the group. >> the public flogging of a
pass pass pass in saudi arabia the publish lashing of a blogger is postponed. raif badawi was scheduled to be beaten on friday for insulting islam. the government called off the punishment. raif badawi's wife living in canada is fighting for his release. >> reporter: raif badawi wanted freedom of speech in his country. first he got this. 50 slashes, the first of a thousand. doctors postponed the flogging
for a second time citing health concerns. it's a small relief for raif badawi's wife. and their three children refugees in canada since 2013. in a tiny basement flak she works to keep her husband's case in the public eye and raise the family alone. >> translation: i need to be a positive person think positive thoughts. if i cry and do nothing. that will not help i nor my kids. i have to be strong to tell the world about raif badawi's flight. >> stop the flogging. >> reporter: so far there has been a lot of public support and weekly demonstrations organised by amnesty international. in quebec and the capital outside the embassy. the canadian government criticized raif badawi's treatment. it's said it's not enough and a
big arms deal could be tying ottawa's hands. a canadian based arm of u.s. dynamic company will sell nearly $15 billion to riyadh over the next 10 years. canada's arms prohibits using anything that may be used against civilians. ottawa is not saying whether it asked for and got assurance. >> what is the point of having standard, control policies and setting human rights thresholds if you, in the end, the decision will be driven and dictated by commercial interests. >> for this woman, it's about ending her husband's ordole. >> translation: all i can do it raise my voice and make others
the leader of one of america's important allies is dead. saudi arabia king abdullah passed away. he suffered pneumonia. he ascented to the throne 10 years ago, but had run the country since 1995 when his brother passed away. succeeding him is half-brother. in a statement president obama says he would always appreciate the king warm friendship adding: but the relationship between the saudi arabia king and the american president has often been tested. amedy coulibaly reports. -- patty culhane reports. >> the past two decades shows a little too much deference.
president bush did this. president obama was seen as bowing. >> what is clear to everywhere is president obama was soft. almost subservient to the muslim world. >> that, from a conservative commentator, but it is felt by many that u.s. foreign policy is too dependents on saudi. mostly was of hoil. the american public grow aware and concerned about the september 11th attacks. a former terrorism official said there was a reason to worry until saudi faced its own attack. >> there's no doubt that the feeling change from just exporting the problem to one where they felt they had to
tackle themselves. >> the arab spring tested the relationship, the saudi arabia copying urging the continual bagging of hosni mubarak. president obama dropped support but stayed quite as troops rolled into bahrain to quash those protests. >> the two leaders cemented their relationship brokering the single largest sale of arms. agreeing so sell 50,000 worth of fighter vets and attack ammunition. the second term led to complaints from saudi arabia. when the president shifted and decided to ask congress for prime ministers to strike syria, the saudis were caught off guard. it led the president to visit the kingdom for a second time. a relationship built over the
decades on a need for oil and defense facing an uncertain future more so now. >> the u.s.-led coalition fighting rebels in iraq and syria is gaping. that's a what secretary of state john kerry said. he said said that the u.s. and international partners helped iraq take 300 square miles from i.s.i.l. and weakened the ground's leadership. >> there are commanders 50% have been eliminated. hundreds of vehicles and tank captured have been destroyed. 200 oil and gas facilities have been eliminated from their capacity to sell and get revenue from them. >> secretary kerry's comment comes as japan leads a deadline to free two nationals.
the mother of one had been given until friday a deadline to pay. that is set to expire in less than two hours. tokyo says it's been unable to munt with i.s.i.l. the lead hostage negotiator the c.e.o. of the black swan group is in los angeles. welcome. thank you for having me on. >> thank you for joining us. can you give us a sense of what can be going on behind the scenes. >> a number of things. first of all if i may, i would like to point out that the two japanese men they are facing this courageously. i'm impressed with how courageously they are facing this, and the reason is in the videos there's no clips of them converting or betraying ideals
or ask the the government for anything. if i.s.i.l. got that out of them it would be. what is going on behind the scenes is they are trying to make contact with i.s.i.l. and it is clearly making it a point not to respond. this is linked to the deadline that i.s.i.l. decided what it was going to do. i think it will continue to orchestrate this behind the deadline and hold the world's attention. >> do you think there was an attention to negotiate with the hostages? >> in this case they are looking for both. they are always looking for money, they love money, and they are trying to move the dial on the market for international hostages to a higher figure. this is just bargaining 101 on their part. it's commodities, and they've come in with a high anchor that will affect everywhere else. >> is what i hear correct, that
japanese hostages are more valuable. >> unfortunately there's a reputation in the international community that japanese business people pay high and quickly, and it makes them a viable commodity. there'll be that impression out there that they are worth more. >> what negotiating tools - con the u.s. get involved. can they help in the negotiations? >> the u.s. offered to help but it is going on tweem the government and the intermediaries. same people that have been you involved looking to broker a deal here. this is what you focus on. give us a sense of what you think. satly we'll see more hostages like this.
how does the world respond. what is the best way for it to respond. the interesting thing is here are two courageous common who haven't done any of the violations that they were possibly accused of. they have not assaulted islam our harmed i.s.i.l. yet the i.s.i.l. murderers will kill them. as soon as the world recognises what i.s.i.l. is doing, is they are running commercials of murders of people who have not insulted realliageon or violated laws. what they'll do will be seen as violating islam. >> voss r, good to have you on the programme. thank you for your insight in argentina, the country's
president under fire for the death of a prosecutor who was investigating her. the question of whether the prosecutor killed himself or as a result of foul play brought prosecutors into the streets. stephanie sy has that story. >> reporter: the detail reads like a crime mystery, ripe for conspiracy. before being found dead of a gun wound to his head. he was accusing president christina kirschner of conspiring with iran to prohibit the identity of the first attack. >> translation: argentina lost a prosecutor investigating the most horrific terror attacks, because 85 killed in the bombing are crying out for justice. >> it was a suicide bombing on a jewish center in buenos aires in 1994. no one was convicted. he was hours away from presenting hits findings saying he'd uncovered a deal that
argentina would offer immunity to iran which had long been suspect, and hezbollah. in exchanges for oil and trade. according to the "new york times". intercepted phone calls between argentinian and iranian officials, which he believed proved a government. the kirchner government has been trying to discredit the investigation. >> translation: the allegations are week and make no sense. none assistance. ex-agents, parallel agents sold him a conviction. >> reporter: the government sent mixed messages saying everything points to suicide. thursday president kirchner saying it wasn't suicide, and his death was part of a conspiracy against her. mysterious details have been leaked. he was threatened. a happened gun and a single
bullet was next to him. this was no gunshot revenue. highs door was locked. there may have been other ways in including an airconditioning duct. there was no suicide note. his ex-wife, a judge was asked whether she thought he killed himself. >> no. >> reporter: all questions eroding trust in the government. spurring calls for justice. calls not only for the victims, but now for the man who believed he had cracked the case. he knew the risks of his work, and had a 10-person security detail. they were quite against assertions before the government and the day before his death he said "i might get out of this dead." >> stephanie sy thank you. robert is a contributing writer for global voices focussing on
latin america and joins us in our stood yo -- studio. welcome back. how big of a deal has this become. >> we had the military in argentina 30, 40 years ago. what they are seeing now is an intervention from the government fearing for their lives. among the loopholes that we see is why is the secretary of security - what did they have to do at the time. crime scope, before the judge and attorney who were taking care of this case. there's a lot of things fitting into the story. >> what incentives do two presidents have to let iran off the hook. >> there seems to be a challenge
between iran and argentina. what they are seeing what the investigation found was that in change for the energy market in iran they wanted to safeguard five iranians involved in an attack in 1994. that is what we have seen so far in the investigation. it's very curious. this is no cartel. two hours before he agreed to testify, he was found dead. >> what exact has had had on the presidency. and her ability to rule? >> i think she did not see this coming. the army or the phantom haunting her administration. he was sure that she was going to win the elections for her
party in object 2015. this is going to harm the possibility yes of her party to rule the country. now people wants solutions. how do they get solutions. the prosecutor is gone is he the only guy that had the evidence. here is a cazy fact. he was going to file a complaint in iran in 2005. his wife ratified that claim in 2009. in 2013 argentina and iranian parliament declined the cree sayings of a commission of truth. what hospital that made an 180
degree change. we'll see the opposition taking advantage to say foyed the party -- avoid the party continuing in power. this is the implication. people are asking questions and want a solution. >> and they are protesting out in the streets he's the unofficial spokesman of anonymous. barrett brown was sentenced to more than 5 years in prison and raises questions of freedom of speech in the digital aid. heidi zhou-castro joins us with more. >> this is an unofficial spokesman for the hacking collective anonymous. brown pleaded guilty to three charges, including hiding the
identity of anonymous associates. including the hacking of the intelligence company. >> that's why his life is over. if i ruin his life it ruin's [ bleep ] his. >> he was a drug addict and threatening the fbi and engaging that was bad. >> the ruling is not the 5-year nor the 890,000 institution. rather it was a court finding that contributed to the sentences length and the finding. that brown's act of reposting a lipping to a when -- link to a
website involving illegal information was trafficking. >> members of anonymous hacked a website. brown had put a link on his wib site. he said he was not aware that credit card information was part of the documents. >> you can be held liable for data behind a link. you can be trafficking in stolen data merely by reposting a link to a public website. >> how many thousands of people do that. that's why we are worried. >> in a 15 minute statement to the court. brown says he had some regrets and said: the prosecution declined to
comment. as part of a plea deal brown waved his rites to appeal mexican smugglers are trying to get drugs into the u.s. using drones. one crashed south of thest border. it's a challenge in the battle between drug gangs and law enforcement. adam rainy has more. >> there was about 3km of methamphetamine on a drone when it crashed into a u.s. supermarket. it was close to a busy crossing between mexico and the u.s. near san diego. it's not the first time that cartels or drug smugglers used drones to get over the boarder. but they were resourceful in their ways to get drawings in the hands of consumers. a popular strategy is for gar
tells -- cartels to dig tunnels. they'll put drugs into the tunnel. walk it over the border. methamphetamine is profitable for cartels in mexico who have set up labs in the country, and smuggling operations. there's a resurgent heroin use, and most comes from mexico grown in poppy fields processed in labs into gums into heroin and these two drugs are two of the biggest money makers for cartels in mexico an update on our al jazeera colleagues gaoled in egypt. the country's president says his country is looking for a way to release them. >> translation: we don't have any interest to put any citizen under detention, journalist or
otherwise. but there is a point that i would like to highlight here. which is we are trying very hard after four years of turbulence to regain the rule of law and uphold the independence of the judiciary. peter greste, mohamed fadel fahmy and baher mohamed have been in prison for more than a year. earlier this month an egyptian court agreed to hear their appeal. they were convicted of theping the outlawed -- helping the outlawed muslim brotherhood. charges that were false. al jazeera demands their release. >> next... ..the growing outrage and health concerns over tap water in michigan plus what tom brady is saying about the alleged cheating scandal and how much air is in the football.
thousands of people in an eastern montana city were told that the water is safe to drink after an oil spill. 40,000 gallons leaked from the pipeline on saturday. residents relied on bottled water after levels of ben zone was found in the drinking supply. the environmental protection agency told home owners to hope their taps to flush the system.
e.p.a. showed that the danger is over. >> in mirfe gan, res -- michigan residents are in a fight. a year ago they stopped using water supply. for the first time in 50 years they used the flipt river. now the city says it may not be safe. more from bisi onile-ere in flint >> reporter: in flipt -- flint frustration over drinking water reached boiling points. hundreds of residents packed a town hall meeting last night. >> people feel that there are well booption are being jeopardised. >> what does it taste like to you. tastes like you are drinking out of a pool chlorine. >> this is a mother of three.
they endured a series of boiled water last summer. panic didn't set in until she received a city-wide notice stating that flipt was in flil -- floint was in violation of the federal act. i am sure you can smell it. >> reporter: the city said testing revealed in may, august and november the water supply showed excessive amounts of a chemical. a by product of using clor reen so disinfect drinking water. the city didn't warn residents until this not that: some residents reported developing rashes after drinking the city as water. stuart said she stopped using it because it was affecting her autistic son's health.
water issues ignited protests. after hearing concerns we tracked down howard croft, the director of public works. >> how can you say the water is unsafe and on the other hand say it's okay to consume or bathe in. people are seriously confused and scared. >> again, that's another reason to bring in experts to separate fact from fiction. >> expert at michigan state university tried assuring resident that the water is improving. this despite numerous failures. >> are you okay to admit that somewhere down the line someone dropped the ball. >> i think we have done everything we can to ascertain good information. i think we have engineers here that have done a good job. >> croft says the city plans to
two super stars heading to the super bowl are denying allegations of treating. mooefs r reports. michael eaves reports. >> i didn't alter the boy. >> reporter: a quarterback playing defense. tom brady denying that he knew anything what is dubbed deflate-gate. >> i feel like i always played within the rules. i would never do anything to break the rules. >> a few hours earlier head coach bill belichick did the same and passed the buck to tom brady. >> i have no knowledge. tom's personal preferences on his footballs is something he can talk about in better detail. >> the new england patriots headed for an 8th super bowl appearance suspected of cheating in a below outs. it 11 of the 12 footballs supplied by the patriots were
under inflated commented on whilst joking about a team-mate. deflates the ball. i love the deflated ball. >> the games staff officiated the ball. league officials say they could have been tampered with before kick off or on the side lines during the game. >> for the first or second half i didn't think twice. once i approve the ball. that's the ball i expect on the field. >> it is mandated that they be 13.5 per pound of pressure. >> i like them at the wait i like them. 12.5. that's a perfect grip. i would never do anything outside the rules of play. >> most analysts say the patriots would have won.
it's not the first time they have faced accusations of cheating. indiana made similar calls. and bill belichick was charged for having a video of an opponents hand signals. >> leaves r reporting. that glowing or is the sun. it's a mile stop. the 100 millionth picture taken by an observatory. scientist are alternativing photos like -- using photos like these to study solar flares and magnetic fields. that's the broadcast for tonight. thank you for watching i'm john seigenthaler see you tomorrow night. "america tonight" is next.
on america tonight, the most likely race to die at the happens of police, may not be what you think. a death, an officer, and doubt. the police said this was not racism. what do you think. >> what would he just come to a native right away you have to pull out a gun? you can't do nothing else but shoot us. >> our in depth look at crime justice, and the american indian's tough questions do native lives matter. also tonight, the fears of another community under threat.