host: welcome back. this is "france 24," live from paris. our top stories this hour. donald trump's pick for america's senior lawyer says he is no racist. sessionsians -- jeff denies having sympathy for the ku klux klan at a top congressional hearing. the streets of tehran as the body of the late president passes through the city before he is buried alongside the leader of the 1979 revolution.
and afghan translators who helped the french army protest ofkabul after dozens applications for asylum are rejected without explanation. we begin in the united states where senators have been grilling donald trump spake for attorney general -- donald attorneyic for a tenne general. alabama senator jeff sessions is considered one of the most conservative lawmakers in washington. today, he fervently denied holding racist views. reporter: this is how the first
started,ion hearing protesters heckerling jeff sessions, trump's pick for -- heckling jeff sessions, trump's attorney general. he is in the spotlight, in particular to defend a career blighted by claims of racism. senator sessions: i understand systemicfic impact the discrimination and denial of voting rights has had on our african-american brothers and sisters. i have witnessed it. we must continue to move forward and never back. reporter: the first session will be followed on wednesday by up to five hearings. they include that of russia friendly former mobile boss rex tillerson for secretary of state.
junior, billionaire, is also set to go before congress. democrats want to block up to nine cabinet picks made by trump. the top democrat is seeking a delay in the confirmation hearing for cabinet nominees. senator schumer: to spend an extra day or two on each nominee, even if it takes a few weeks to get through them all, in order to consider their nominations carefully, that is well worth it. reporter: trump is confident his picks will be confirmed on capitol hill before his inauguration on january 20. few hearing coming just a hours before barack obama makes his final speech as the american president. is in chicago. a word on jeff sessions, first. he worked very hard today to get rid of the racist tag, allegations that have dog tim for decades. did he manage it?
him for decades. he did he manage it? reporter: will he ever? that is the question. these charges will follow him even if he is the attorney general of the united states. excuse me. it is raining quite a lot here in chicago. it makes for some pretty bad driving rain. here we go. little bit you a about what happened to jeff sessions in a city where i think there is less rain and wind than here. he had a relatively hard time, relatively complicated time on capitol hill, but what was interesting was he did distance himself from quite a few of donald trump's stances, including the ban on muslims entering the united states. it includes an opinion from jeff sessions that waterboarding is
illegal. donald trump on the campaign trail called for more waterboarding, as more rain comes in here in chicago. this is the weather that awaits barack obama as he comes over from washington in just a few hours time for his last speech as u.s. president. host: you are in chicago where he will be speaking. what can we expect, philip? it will be indoors, that's the good part. it will be at mccormick place, right next to lake michigan, where barack obama celebrated his 2012 victory. right next door is grant park, where he celebrated in 2008. everybody will be dry indoors. there will be quite a few tears, because there will be a lot of members of his campaign teams with him in the convention center here in chicago. the whole family will be with him as well, at least first lady michelle obama has been announced on stage, and vice
president joe biden and his wife will be there as well. it will be one of those speeches where president obama will be talking about what he believes are his nature achievements -- achievements, health care, the iran nuclear deal, the new diplomatic relationship with cuba, the paris climate agreement. all of those achievements are now in serious danger of being undone by a trump administration. a lot of people in the crowd will be hoping barack obama shows them some hope and change going forward. hope and change are the big words he used when he got elected in the first place. it will be a message for those people who are rather afraid of what might happen in the next four years. we will be going from a democratic presidents he for eight years, into a republican one for at least watch wrote -- for at least four.
soon, the supreme court will be veering to the right as well. these are very difficult circumstances for democrats, and for barack obama as well. he will try to end this on as positive a note as possible. his last trip to chicago, his trip on, and his last air force one. it is the last time he will be in one room together with so many of his supporters as president. host: hundreds of thousands of people have been paying their respects to iran's former president, who died on sunday. his coffin passed through the streets today. he will be laid to rest beside the leader of the 1979 islamic revolution. alexander hirst has the story. reporter: tens of thousands gathered at the university of to honor the former
president. on monday, iran's current president paid tribute to his current mentor. a religious moderate, he won support with his help. former president. >> his bravery and bright thinking showed young people the right path. fortill had several wishes the honor of this country, the glory of the system, and revolution. we are all hopeful we can continue in his path. reporter: nicknamed the shake of moderation, his death that sheikh of moderation, -- nicknamed the sheik of comes as a his death blow to his followers. the u.s. state department offered its own condolences, calling him an eminent figure in history.
the former president is now buried next to another founding father of the islamic republic, the ayatollah khomeini. the founder and president of the national the rainy and american council and the author "losing an enemy: obama, iran, and the triumph of diplomacy." supporter of the green revolution but managed to stay on the site of hardliners. what is his death mean for the movement in iran? >> i don't think the green movement failed. it was their candidate at the end of the day and their vote that ensured that the president was elected in 2013. one of the things people were shouting at his election is that they had taken back their vote, which was a play on a chance
they had in 2009, when they said where is my vote? at this point, the loss of ross sanjani in theraf short sense might give them a bump in the may elections. in the long run, i think it is going to be very challenging, because there were few people in the system who could challenge a conservative, question taboos, push the limit, while still being able to get away with it. few people in the audience will have that capacity. whether some people can step up and fill that void remains to be seen, but in the medium-term, i think it will go to the reformers and the moderates. host: he also influenced who would succeed the supreme leader -- who would succeed the supreme leader when he died. >> absolutely. that was always involved in
conversation. he helped mastermind ayatollah khomeini becoming supreme leader . one thing he has tried to do is reform the institution, counsel instead of one individual, he propose term limits, 10 years, instead of lifetime. that did not succeed. there is going to be a succession question in the next few years. be part ofrafsanjani the conversation is likely to be to the detriment of modern forces. play how big a role did he in negotiating with the united states, culminating in the nuclear deal? a critical role in the election of the president, which ensured that deal being struck in the first place. thisps more importantly, is a person who as an iranian
the longest track record of trying to find some commonality with the united states. he was the key person on the iranian side in the 1980's when the united states did have secret negotiations that led to the iran-contra scandal. the 1980'sve in because he wanted to find a way to improve relations with the u.s. host: thank you for speaking with us. at least 38 people have been killed and dozens wounded after a suicide and car bombing in the afghan capital. the parliament building in kabul was the target. employees who were leaving work were killed. it is the second deadly attack on the government in two weeks and the taliban has claimed responsibility. meanwhile, the french government has been accused of abandoning afghan translators who helped french forces fighting in their country.
there were protests today in both harris and kabul, with some people trying to gain access to the french a bit -- paris and kabul, with some people try to gain access to the french embassy there. hundreds of applications were denied without explanation. reporter: these afghan men worked as an turp orders for the theban -- interpreters for french army when it was fighting the taliban. when they gathered outside the embassy to ask for help, local police pushed them away. ask the, we are here to french authorities why we are still here in kabul, why we have been refused visas. we are under great threat. we live in a fragile invulnerable situation. -- and vulnerable situation. >> we were working with the french army. we were under threat. one day on our way home, that
taliban attacked us. one of my brothers was killed. injured.ne was the french government accepted one of my brothers. two of us are still here. they werewhile protesting in kabul, other .nterpreters mobilized in paris most of these men were fortunate enough to get a visa because the state recognized their lives were at risk. they are pleading for those still in afghanistan. >> our lives were in danger it we broughthelp french forces. our friends in afghanistan are in danger for the same reason. they assisted the french. about 130 interpreters have asked for visa's successfully. some have fled to europe without valid papers. he can play video games,
watch tv, and exercise in his cell, but to the norwegian mass murderer is trying to sue his over mistreatment in prison. he was sentenced to 22 years after killing 77 people. he claims his rights are being violated because he is being kept in solitary confinement. >> it has reopened one of norway's deepest wounds. the neo-nazi mass murderer once again finds himself before a judge. this time, he is not the one on trial. on tuesday, a norwegian court again hearing his appeal. decision inking april found the government guilty of file his rights. the district court judge ruled -- guilty of violating his rights. the district judge ruled his
conditions inhumane. in the last five years, he has only been allowed contact with guards, lawyers, and doctors, and only through a glass pane. he is serving a 21 year sentence , which can be extended as long as he is considered a threat. he is being kept in a complex where he can play video games, watch television, and exercise. the trial rings back painful memories, especially for the 77 victims, most of whom were teenagers attending a youth camp on a small island. he compared himself to nelson mandela. this time around, families were warned to prepare for the worst, a new wave of media frenzy. people have died as a result of subfreezing temperatures across central and eastern europe. poland and romania are the worst hit countries with
migrants and the homeless the most vulnerable. the death toll is 71 since november. six more people have died and remain in recent days as well. , this weekend brought moscow its coldest orthodox christmas night in 120 years. it has divided the football world for years, but now the ifa hasody of fe announced it is changing the structure of the world cup. 2026, it is adding 16 spots. 48 teams will be able to participate, in stead the current 32. >> behind closed doors, fifa leadership plodded changes to the world cup. currently, 32 teams play over the course of 32 days in 12 stadiums.
2026, 48 teams will play 80 matches. ,> there is not a big change except for the format and giving the opportunity and the chance to many, many more teams in the .orld to participate 's first expansion since 1998, when they increased the number of participants from 24-32. 16 participant teams will take in an initial pool stage and then progressed to a knockout stage. it makesization says the world cup more inclusive, giving more countries access to the tournament. >> it seems like a fantastic idea to me. it would give more teams more , countries that
have never been able to play at that level of competition. grexit would be fantastic -- >> it would be fantastic. the more teams can participate, the more fans will be able to enjoy it. >> i think it's better. but not everybody is on board. some say it is a money grab. estimates it will add more then one billion euros to its takings. the german football association against theut changes, fearing the quality of play will suffer. toicials are still trying figure out how to distribute the 16 new spots among the confederations. been music fans have paying tribute to the late rock legend david bowie, who died one year ago today. london, several memorial events are taking place today, as well as in new york.
there are concerts and film showings. david bowie died after a secret battle with cancer. he will be remembered as one of the most influential musicians of all time. let's get an update on the business news. we are going to start with another look at post brexit britain. >> clearing its position ahead in march.tions it does seem increasingly likely the eu will impose tough conditions on the u.k., cutting off access to the in march. it does european single market. the u.k. is already looking for new partners, which could include the incoming american president. >> a chance for a fresh start with the incoming administration. boris johnson was optimistic about transatlantic relations. there is a huge fund of goodwill for the united kingdom on capitol hill and a large
thatre of understanding now we are trying to do a free trade deal. they want to do it. >> the u.k. government is trying to decide the terms on which the u.k. will leave the eu. negotiations are set to begin in march. the prime minister said the u.k. is set to break with the eu completely, and could curb immigration. >> i don't accept the terms hard and soft brexit. is getting theng best possible deal for the united kingdom in terms of trading with and operating with a single european market. >> more than six months after the leave the vote, the government is still struggling to find a clear exit strategy. angela merkel has warned the u.k. cannot cherry pick its way through negotiations.
the pound sterling is at a three 20%h low, and has dropped against the dollar since the vote in june. snapchat will book revenues from all international sales in the u.k. and have to pay britain's 20% corporate tax rate. countries usually -- companies usually choose countries with lower tax rates like ireland for their home base. apple, for example, has been slapped with a 13 billion euro tax ill. .ll of that -- tax bill all of that makes the u.k. more attractive as it leaves the eu. on the markets, the pound sterling has continued sliding on reportsssible --
of a possible heart brexit. the pound is at a three month low after another session of record highs. wall street is also turning mostly higher this session, although we are still seeing some losses on the dow jones. nasdaq has continued to , notching another record during this trading session. moving on to other business headlines. volkswagen has confirmed a $4.3 billion settlement with u.s. regulators to resolve issues related to the cheating scandal. global funds and penalties linked to the scandal are now billion that $18 volkswagen set aside. affected 10.3
million vehicles around the world. european regulators approved a injectionn of capital to the energy giant areva. travel chaos has continued in the u.k. on tuesday. drivers for the southern rail service went on strike. hundreds of thousands were left just a day after drivers on the underground walked off the job. disputes over safety and pay after planspril to use fullyd automated trains requiring only one driver. a 1.2 billion euro boost is how much the french economy benefited from hosting the 2016
euro foot wall tournament. the tourism industry saw -- football tournament. the tourism industry saw the greatest boost. brian quinn reports. brian: french football fans were fired up to cheer on the national team during last euro championship. they were left disappointed in the finals, but the competition's planners saw their dreams realized. researchers had predicted the championship would bring a 1.2 billion euro boost to the country's economy. a new report on the tournament's ultimate economic impact puts that estimate just about right on the money. in the final count, over half a million tourists visited france, spending roughly 100 50 euros each per day over an average eight a stay, adding up to over 600 million euros.
spending by the football association, accredited personnel, and sponsors made up the rest of the 1.2 billion euro figure. publix ending on the tournament -- public spending on the tournament was commercial in france, amid increased terror threats and spending on buildings and renovated venues. take intodoes not account indirect benefits in the future, but the office is feeling confident. >> the sports networks are doing pieces on what goes on in the fun and interesting parts of the city. -- job growth.er the increase in activity is said to have led to the creation of over 9000 jobs, an important boost for the sluggish french employment market. host: finally, he is about to leave the white house, but barack obama is already being recruited. music streaming service spotify has posted a job opening for president of playlist.
the role requires strong speaking skills and a nobel peace prize. ceo tweeted the job description after obama reportedly joked about cultivating his love of music and playlists once his tenure ended. i believe this is a tongue in cheek job offer. it does not mention a possible salary. host: funny that. thank you very much indeed. stay with us.
01/10/17 01/10/17 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! > we have an opportunity to stay -- tueuesday, it may be the lalast opportunityty we have foe people''s voicto b be heard. you have asked f for 30 years ad politicicians haveve promised f0 years to fix illllegal imimmigration. hahave they done it?