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tv   News  Al Jazeera  March 12, 2014 11:00am-11:31am EDT

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welcome to al jazeera america. i'm del walters, these are the stories we are following for you. an explosion and building collapse in a five-alarm fire in upper manhattan. 15 people reported injured. no word on the extent of those injuries. ukraine's acting prime minister set to meet with president obama and secretary of state john kerry today. and congress taking a long look at u.s. military action in afghanistan. ♪ we begin with the breaking news story we have been
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following in new york city, a five-alarm fire in an apartment building in spanish harlem that collapsed around 9:30 this morning. now the new york city police department, the nypd reporting that 15 people have been injured. authorities say there may have been an explosion that caused the building to collapse. but that explosion would be consistent also with natural gas explosion. pictures of the smoke rising from the building. more than 150 emergency responders now on the scene. metro north service has been suspended until further notice. dwran mills is on the scene, she joins us by phone. what have the latest? >> police are confirming that there was an explosion followed by a building collapse. the officers tell me it appears
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that a gas main may have been ruptured, but they don't know that for sure yet, but it appears that that may be the case. i have also been hold that there are injuries, but i am not being told how many. i see a massive response here. i'm at 118th street and park avenue, literally a block from the scene. i see fire crews fighting this fire aggressively. it is so thick i still didn't even see to the other side of the street. they are holding the line. there are lots of people on the street that are curious, but no one is being allowed near until they can get a handle on what is going on. >> the smoke that you are seeing, and the people we have seen in earlier footage walking around with face masks on, that is because of the thick smoke it's a that you say is very, very bad in that area?
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>> yes, i am seeing people with masks walking around, but they do appear to be getting a handle on this scene. when i arrived an hour ago the smoke was thick and black, and now it is turning white which is an indication that they are getting a handle on knock it down. >> tanya this started around 9:30 this morning the police setting up a barricade close to 116th street. where you are right now has that barricade changed and if anything it appears that you are being allowed to move closer to the site. >> i was allowed to move closer, because i was with the media, but people have forced their way in a little bit further, but they are holding the line here on 118th street. because we literally a block or two away. i can literally see debris on to
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117th street and park avenue where i am. >> and because this is new york there is always the concern that there may be something more. we have been reporting that what we are seeing is consistent with natural gas explosions. is there anything where you are, that would indicate that there is a greater level of concern other than this being something that may have been a buildup of natural gas and something afterwards went terribly wrong? >> there isn't. a lot of times you would expect to see the dogs sniffing. from my vantage point, i can't see that. but i do know here in the new york market they will bring dogs into the scene, because they want to make sure that no one is trapped under the rubble and debris. i have not seen the dogs at this point, because i have seen a continued massive effort to get this fire put out.
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>> tanya mills being our eyes and ears on the seen there. and now we have been following all of the social media traffic. maria what are you seeing this hour? >> well, we're seeing quite a bit of pictures. i first want to give you an idea of the area where this took place. here you see manhattan. right up here 116th street and park avenue. so if we go to explore this area, we're just going to take a street view of it. this is the address that we're talking about. 1646. you have this piano shop here, this building -- this residential -- what seems to be a residential building here and here with the spanish christian church next to it. so you were just speaking to ion
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moments ago. he has been sending out pictures. he says progress here at harlem and 116th street. you also have this image that was sent out by chris. building explosion and collapse in new york. train tracks also danged. people report smelling smoke for files. hashtag harlem. you see all of the debris and firefighters at the scene. and obey says huge explosion uptown. close to 11 -- 116th street. and martin was in the area as well, just heard a big boom, and my apartment building shook. 118th and park avenue. and corey hoffman writes not your typical walk to work.
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del? >> thank you very much. we are following several developing stories this hour. among them the situation in ukraine. crimea now has a declaration of independence. they say they are ready to use it if the people this weekend vote to secede. nato is sending surveillance aircraft to the scene. phil ittner joins us. >> del first and foremost is the economic situation here in ukraine. the united states has offered $1 billion in loans, but the situation here financially in ukraine is absolutely in dire straits and it is estimated that there are some $70 billion
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missing from the coffers here because of the former president and his cronies who apparently spirited away a lot of money. so they are going to be looking for some sort of help on their balance sheets. but aside from that there is a military situation on the ground in ukraine. and they will be looking for help on that as well. they are looking for surveillance protection things that will secure the borders. keep intelligence coming in, counter intelligence as well. the surveillance planes that nato put up in the air, well, ukraine wants to do the same thing. because they are deeply concerned about russian infiltrate fors sowing instability in this country. >> phil no matter what comes out of today's meetings, nato and
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the u.s. are already involved. so what is at stake? >> yeah, this is already a bigger situation than just ukraine, and they are looking at a wider picture from western europe. nato being involved, and others being involved. we had a chance to speak to a member of parliament here. and she said they will be carrying a very clear message that this is more than just about ukraine. >> translator: today security of the whole world is under threat. the reason is if western states who become guarantors of ukraine's security do not follow their obligations to protect ukraine, why would other states such as korea of iran give away their nuclear status? >> so clearly the message then being brought to wyoming right now by the ukrainians is don't think this is just about a small
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country on the border between russia and europe. >> phil thank you very much. the president's meeting with ukraine's prime minister is intended to show symbolic support for that interim government. mike viqueira is live at the white house, and mike, any idea what we can expect from today's talks. >> as phil was just saying if ukrainians want to remind the west and the united states that there is more at stake than just the future of ukraine, i think the american government recognizes that, but the question is what can they do about it, and more to the point what will they do about it. we got some late-breaking news about a meeting happening in london. secretary kerry will again meet with sergey lavrov to continue to find a way out even as russia continues to tight its hold on
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ukraine. you are right, arseniy yatsenyuk will be here 2:45 meeting with the president, the vice president, the secretary of state, the white house has an aide package on the table trying to get that through congress. that is having problems now as well. there have been problems when you talk about sanctions not only among the europes, but even on the american side, which is much less so, a disagreement about that. they will be talking about economic aid to ukraine, they are going to be putting on a public display of solidarity with this interim government. >> mike earlier today we fonted that ukraine's government acknowledged that it won't use force to keep crimea from joining russia, so that being
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said what other options remain? >> you are right. this is something the president and secretary of state have encouraged ukraine not to do, not to pick up on what they term russian provocations, and give them a pretext not only to take over ukraine with live fire exercises, but the larger concern all along crimea is a huge concern, by even larger is eastern ukraine. some not very subtle warnings coming from the obama administration. the suspicion is russia has designs on that larger area there, that has a majority of ethnic russias in eastern ukraine. they have kicked russia out of the g-8 as least for the time being that meeting is now on
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hold calling for russian troops to go back to their precrisis bases. del? >> mike, thank you very much. the malaysian airlines jet and the 235 people on board has now been missing for five days. officials in malaysia saying they have now expanded their search as tensions amongst those rescue teams is rising. meanwhile vietnam suspending their rescue operations accusing malaysia of providing confusing information. >> 42 ships and 39 aircraft have now been deployed to search. 12 countries have joined the search with india, japan, and [ inaudible ] being the latest to join in. so afghanistan now, u.s. intervention began in 2011, but
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when it ends is anybody's guess. the president hasn't signed the security deal, and now the white house is threatening to withtroops all together by the end of this year. libby casey is live, she is on capitol hill where the senate armed forces committee is meeting today. and libby what is the goal of the hearing. >> secretary kerry is here on the hill speaking before the house appropriations committee that deals with the security budget, and this is very interesting, because it's a chance to talk about ukraine and other items, and for the house to drill down on what the state department plans to do over the next couple of weeks. secretary kerry will be meeting with sergey lavrov later this week. and secretary kerry will be talking about that with house
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members, and they have a lot of questions for him regarding sanctions and any sort of aid to ukraine. now the senate passed a bill last week -- rather the house, excuse me -- passed a bill that would give $1 billion in loan guarantees to ukraine, the senate things are really held up. for one because of an issue with the imf. conservative members of the senate are pushing for one angle, whereas other members have other interests. so there are two competing issues here. two different competing interests are trying to get riders on to this bill. house members, conservative ones, don't want to see the imf dealt with here. so they are saying, look, secretary kerry, go back to your buddies in the senate, get them
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to pass a clean bill before they recess. afghanistan is also an interesting issue, as secretary kerry talks about what will be happening over the next weeks and month. syria, and what the u.s. has planned in terms of aid and helps to syria. so all of these issues will be addressed today. libby thank you very much. the worldwide remember is turning 25 today, but not everyone can use it. and they live in the desert in africa, but they can still farm. we'll tell you how they do it. and we continue to follow the developments out of new york city right now. a building collapsed at 116th and park in upper manhattan.
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100-plus firefighters on the scene. we'll have the latest when we come back.
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>> hello, i'm del walters. we want to update you on the breaking news that we have been following since about 9:30 this morning, the explosion and collapse of a building in harlem. we are now receiving word from the new york city police department that at least one person is dead. there are as many as 15 others that have been transported to local hospitals. we do not know at this hour the extent of their injuries or what the cause of the building collapse was. however, several people in and around the area, say they heard a large explosion, and police telling al jazeera america that it was an explosion, although the nature has not yet been defined. modern technology making it possible to farm in of all
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places the desert. but not everyone is pleased. >> reporter: growing tomatoes in the desert. it's an oh way sis powered by the sun. it draws water from pumps underground. >> translator: it's a miracle. we haven't seen rainfall since october, and yet we have all of the water we need. we're growing all sorts of vegetables. >> reporter: 74% of senegalese have no electricity. >> it's less costly now to organize some irrigation using solar energy than pumping of the water with other energy. >> developed countries promise
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to raise $100 billion by 2020 to fund projects like this. there is a growing eagerness to bring in new forms of technology such as wind turbines, but the government here is cautious and less enthusiastic about the alternative form of energy. the government has signed a half billion dollars contract to build coal-fired projects. >> it is too costly, that's why we have invested in this power plant. >> reporter: but anti-corruption campaigners are not convinced. they accuse government officials of taking kick backs and say energy from coal cost more than solar. >> translator: we want the government to make the contracts public. they need to clearly justify why they are investing in goal mines rather than solar energy.
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>> reporter: solar power could pose a serious threat to the government's ability to make money from power. the sun is reliable, free, clean, and available all year-round. investing in this green energy is giving power to the people who need it the most. it has been 25 years since the worldwide web was created for communications and cars, but there are still 4 billion people in the world who don't have access it to. >> reporter: robin considers himself lucky. not many bangladeshy's in this part of the country have work. >> translator: i heard they were building a clinic here, we saw
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people here from daca, and they asked if any of us could use the internet. i said i could, so they asked me to take photographs. >> reporter: for people like robin getting online has created opportunities. an estimated 2.7 people were reached at the end of last year by the web. the increase in development in developing countries has also been noticeable. >> we're seeing the adoption of smartphones and feature mobile phones, having internet access is enabling a lot more people to be able to get online. >> reporter: and the fact that more than 4 billion people are still not online is not lost on technology giants like google.
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it is exploring theed in of beaming down internet access to those in remote areas from balloons. facebook too wants to spread the net having just bought the company behind these high altitude solar planes. >> on balance the worldwide web is bringing power to the people or to the man, but the value of being able to control the web is so great that any government or any company in countries in which you can distinguish between them that wants to try to -- to control -- control the internet obviously has a huge incentive to do so. >> reporter: but the end of the year there are expected to be more than a billion websites online. this is the result of the technology that anyone can freely use without paying
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licensing or royalty frees. that spirit of openness has been the pattern of the success of the worldwide web, and likely to define its futures in the years ahead. and stay with al jazeera america. we'll have the latest on that building collapse and explosion in harlem in new york city. one person now dead, 17 others have been injured. that and your national forecast up next.
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welcome back to al jazeera america. i'm dell, here are your headlines at this hour. we continue to follow that breaking news coming out of new york city. one person is dead. another 17 injured when a building collapsed in east harlem. the building is located at 116th and park. more than 150 emergency responders now on the scene. the search for that missing malaysia flight has now entered its fifth day and still no clues
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as to where it might be. dozens of ships and planes are searching east of where the plane lost contact. when the plane went missing it was en route to beijing on saturday. the interim prime minister of ukraine set to meet with president obama today. ♪ i'm dave warren. big changes here in the eastern united states as a storm takes shape. big area of low pressure intensifies and developing across the mideast. cold air, a lot of snow, to the south it is rain and even severe weather. this line developing as this front moves through. temperatures in the 60s and 70s
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and then quickly drop. here is the heavy snow. inches of snow with winter storm warnings and blizzard warnings in effect. now this is where it is now this afternoon. severe storms are possible in this area. the storm will lift out and be followed by very cold wind chills a dramatic drop in temperature is expected. it moves through pennsylvania. by 9:00, 10:00, it is pubbing through the cities along i-95. there could be the possible that the temperatures drop so quickly that you could get a quick freeze. it should dry out just to the south. by tomorrow morning it is off the coast intensifying. wind chills is what it feels like. 10 to 20 below throughout this
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area. dry but much colder by the end of the week. del. >> dave thank you very much. and thank you for watching al jazeera america. i'm del walters in new york. "inside story" is next, and throughout the day we'll update you on that explosion and fire in east harlem. one dead, dozens injured. >> the man who used to run ukraine tells the country's army don't follow the orders from the new guys in charge. developments in ukraine continue thick and fast. it's the inside story . >> hello, i'm ray suarez. ousted ukrainian president viktor yanukovych continues to speak to the country from next door russia.

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