>> welcome to al jazeera america. i am del walters. these are the stories we are following for you. a suicide bomber targeting a busy training station in the southern russian city of volgograd. a somber forecast for afghanistan's future after u.s. troops withdraw. military units on the move in south sudan amid a growing humanitarian crisis. the death toll still stands at 15, at least 15 people dead after a suicide bomber attacks a train station in the southern russian city of volgegrad.
the bomber dealtnated as they approached the metal detector. the blast 457ing six weeks before the winter games in sochi. peter sharp has the details >> reporter: the chaotic aftermath of the attack on a railway stale in volgegrad. a body lies on the ground as the emergency services scramble to street survivors. officials say a woman set off ex place near metal detectors at the entrance to the main strain station. the blast captured on camera. the station was packed with thousands of people leaving on the christmas holidays. >> everything was covered in smoke after 10 minutes, i was able to see again and there were bodies everywhere. inside the train station, itse f itself, everything is destroyed. >> the attack killed and injured dozens of people. >> according to preliminary information, the power of this explosion was the equivalent of
10 kilograms of tnt. there would have been more victims if it weren't for the so-called guarding system of the train station. it prevented the suicide bomber from getting through the medal detector into the waiting haul where, at the time, there were lots of people because three trains were late. >> in the same southern city in october, seven people died in a suicide bombing on a bus. the latest killings raise serious concerns ahead of february's winter olympics at the black sea resort of sochi which lies 400 kilometers of the troubled areas. >> preside president putin offe support to those killed and injured in this attack. security at the winter olympics will continue to be an overriding concern for the kremlin. it's already deployed more than 30,000 troops and security personnel into the region in an attempt to lockdown these winter olympi olympics. >> in an internet video earlier this year, the leader of
russia's separatist rebels urged supporters to use maximum force fodisrupt the sochi games. he said he was cancelling what he called his moratorium on stacks inside russia and warned of new vie he knew his group claimed responsibilitiesty for attacks including the 2010 moscow underground attack that killed 40 people. just two days ago, a car bomb killed three people in the southern russian city piatigost ordinary russians may wonder where the next attack will come. peter sharp, al jazeera n moscow. >> earlier, i spoke with charles hecker. he is a security expert who joined us from london. i asked him who he thought is responsible for this latest attack. >> well, doca amarav has gone public in saying he wants to do aggie he can and is calling on his troops and allies, if you will, to do everything that they can to disrupt the sochi olympics. he has branded them as an unholy
event. you have to assume he has something to do with the attack that happened in volgerad today. >> many americans will think of volgegrad as stalin grad during the old soviet union but why volgegrad? >> that's a good question. you are right. it was called stalingrad and was the scene of historic work war 2 battle. there could be any number of reasons. it is in the south of russia and is near to the caucuses region awe noel it's not the closest big city, but that's an important factor. it has to be in terms of a target slightly softer than, say, moscow. the maximum impact would be to pull off an attack like this in the russian capital but moscow is a more difficult to city to penetrate than volgegrad. here you have a combination of a city that's relatively sizeable, a big city. it's close to the caucuses and
it has to be that much easier to get into than moscow. >> many believe russian vladimir putin has been on a pr blitz as of late ahead of the sorbi olympics. what does -- sorbi -- sochi olympics? >> this is a bit of a warning shot. and a rye minder to the kremlin that there are indeed forces out there who can pull off an attack like this, even six weeks before the olympics. and there is some precedent around russia of terrorist attacks like this being staged in the rung-up to large federal events, large national events like e elections. we have seen that in the past. so what you have here is almost a warning shot saying that no matter house much security you are investing in sochi, there are a group of people who can pull off an attack like this. >> we sometimes think the olympics are about the current tree that is the host. we forget there are many, many
multi-national corporations that have a lot of money on the line in an olimpics games. what does that mean to those investors? >> i think you have to be very, very careful here there is no sign that this attack is at all aimed at western investors or international residents or international business in russia. this attack was not at a factory owned by a western company. it wasn't at a shopping mall. it wasn't at a residential complex. this is something that is calculated to cause maximum distress inside the criminallin, circle, but there didn't appear to be any sort of spillover into the business community. >> joining us from london. a new national intelligence report published said the taliban could have a resurge he he knew of power three years after u.s. troops withdraw.
some officials say there are at that many things uncertain to make this particular claim. earlier, i talked about it with al jazeera tom ackerman. tom, first of all, explain the estimate. does that indicate that all was for naught in afghanistan? first of all, a national intelligence estimate is a report which is a consensus of the 16 intelligence agencies on the outlook, their estimation of an outlook for a particular policy question which probably is impending and probably in this case, the american posture in afghanistan which may or may not have 34,000 or 10,000 or maybe zero troops by the end of 2014. currently being conducted with the afghan government. now, this is a report that you are talking about is actually a leak and these reports, these
nis are always included and emerge in the media as a product of the leak. you can pretty on if i had ent one side or another feels that the feels that they are responsible for this. in this case, it feels like it's the civilian intelligence agencies which their voice comes through in this nie. >> this has been a thorny thicky wicket in the obama administration site. how might this particular nie flew policy? >> as you can hear from the back and forth with the government of hamid karzi, the american his government at least are fridgid. the ongoing threat if they do not concluded a agreement, because karzi does not have
another term. he cannot succeed into another term that the united states is threatening the afghan government with just pulling out completely because there is no understanding as to the status of forces in afghanistan at the end of 2014. so the question here is: for policy makers in the united states, how does this intelligence estimate which talks about the how much that would inch the way the americans should conduct with the afghan stance. >> traitor, michael hayden on face the nation this morning talked about leaks by former contractor edward snowden and how his opinion recently changed. >> i used to say he was a defector and there is a history of deinfection to moscow.
he seems to be part of that stream. i am now kind of drifting into direction of more harsh language. >> such as? >> such as traitor. >> based on what? >> in the past two weeks, in open letters to the german and the brazilian government, he has offered to reveal more american secrets to those governments in return for something. and in return was for asylum. >> meanwhile, snowed deny's legal advisors appearing on "meet the press" this morning says the government's charges against snowden don't allow for a proper legal defense. >> the law under which mr. snowden is charged, the 1917 espy onnage statute doesn't distinguish between leaks to the press and the public interest. i think we can agree some of this information has been in the public interest. someone who sells secrets to an enemy for personal profit. the department of of justice has argued it's worse, a worse violation to leak to the press
than to sell to an enemy all get to see it. the he took an oath not to disclose it? >> he took an oath to follow the constitution. he signed the same "star-telegram" standard classification agreement his oath was to the constitution. if the law allowed him to make a public interest defense, if it shrewd him to come here and say look at the good from these disclosures, sure, he would face trial in that kind of system but for now, he doesn't believe and i don't believe that the cost of his action should be life behind bars. >> since june, he has been in russia where the government is granting him asylum for at least a year. there are con flu you canning reports out of south sudan about an aerial attack of the white army. traveling to the government controlled city of bor, that white army is about 20,000 strong and is loyal to the former vice president there. their name comes from the white ash they spread on their bodies
to protect themselves and strike fear into their enemies. in the town of bor in the state of south sudan indicate that some of the white army militias, thousands of them who have been marching on to the town of bor the government defense has disbanded. michael mcquaid states the militia disbanded after tribal leaders requested them to abandoned their mission and go back to their home. there were aerial bombardments carried out around the place where they were. they say these bombardments were to serve as a warning to the militias not to advance to the town. some are marching to the town of bore. they are taking a position in and around the town of bore to
defend the town from the approaching militias. the white army as they are known as brings from the white ash the members of this militia usually apply on their face to protect themselv themselves. they are from the they are from the tribe that the former vice president belongs to. >> al jazeera mohammed adul reporting from juba. we will have an update. our top story that explosion in southern russia. a u.s. peace envoy going back to bell fast. a look at some of the tough issues facing north earn ireland. change everything. >> we found that the model was just incredibly accurate at predicting the times and
locations where these crimes were likely to occur. >> alright, where are we going? >> put your hands behind your back. >> can science predict crime before it happens? many worry that the gains made in education will not stick in the future. aljazeera's jane ferguson takes us to a school in kandahar city that was long considered a success and is now facing closure. >> it's a place offering more than these girls know, a quality education in real tangible skills, a path away from positivity and early marriage and towards university and a career. since 2002, the modern stud has been teaching women languages, like management and computer skills. that they are skills that speak of ambition which in the heart of tallle ban country is remarkable.
>> we are a unique school, preparing women to go to jobs. our school is preparing women to go to universities. >> we continue to follow or top story, a bomb blast killing 15 people in a train station in volgegrad, about 550 miles from the capital city of moscow. reports indicate a suicide bomber detonating explosives as they approach the metal d detectors happening six weeks before the winter games in sochi. >> it's cold so i thought i would come to the train station. it's warmer there. as soon as i walked up to the station entrance all hell broke loose. people, flesh, with shards of glass in the air, all doors action windows scattered. i received a concussion and smoke billowed from inside. yes understand at first what was going on.
steven fishe is an expert at ucla. he joins us from tampa, florida. mr. fishe, thank you for being with us today. >> my pleasure. >> everyone is saying it can't happen at sochi. they say it is hard, a security gauntlet is there any evidence that what happened today can't happen there? >> certainly sochi, site of the olympics will be much better guarded than a typical train station in a large city that is some ways away from sochi. so, it was of course a terrorist act could happen. it could happen in sochi, but it's less likely to happen there than for example to happen in volgegrad in the train station. >> we have seen similar attacks by this group. is the russian government doing enough to crack down on these attacks? i point out an article that and in james defense weekly that said in october, soft targets would be hit and transportation would be vulnerable.
>> well, you know, everything is always vulnerable to terrorism. this is a very difficult problem. all governments that have a problem with terrorism face it. the russian government certainly does. the russian government has invested enormously in trying to prevent this kind of thing. certainly they have deployed the resources, human resources and t thetol to try to present these things. they can happen. i think it's you know likely it would happen it in sorbi. the attacks of this type have been going on russia for many years for a decade and a half, almost 20 years in some places. there was an attack in volgegrad, another attack a couple of months ago. this is kind of low intensity, underlying civil war going on russia between insurgents from the north caucuses, people from chechnya and some terrorists from the region and the russian government. this has been going on for a long time. so the russian government has a lot of
experience. >> mr. fishe, i have been asking this question of all of our experts but if you are tolding a ticket to the games, the winter games in sochi, do you get on the plane plane? >> absolutely. this could happen anywhere. terrorists acts happened in the olympics in the united states as you recall. and i still would have gotten on the plane to go to that, to the olympics after that. look, this is the kind of tragedy that could happen under any circumstances. this will be a very well guarded olympics. the whole olympic grounds will be much better guarded than a typical train station as i say in the city. so i would certainly go. >> one other thing, i read you believe we may see blow back. it could be impacting the things that we are seeing. what types of things are they doing in the caucuses right now that might be causing belowback? a long history of conflict in the north caucuses involving the
russian government starting in 1994, 1995, '96, moving into chechnya with overwhelming force. that war was restarted then root before president putin became president in 1999. since there then, there has been conflict. the russian government has oftentimes used brutal methods in that region and inc. cited a great deal of haste tread. to give an example of some metal that are not so brutal but i think questionable, russian authorities have been asking police in some cities in the north caucuses to take saliva samples from women who appear to be religiously observeant muslims so they can track them and see if someone committees a terrorist act they can identify them more easily. this is the kind of thing that of course irritates the local population since the overwhelming majority are not only not terrorists but are 4
square against terrorism themselves. this kind of tactic, i think, is i will advised. that said, in a war with terror, we see all kinds of things. >> steven fishe joining us, an expert from russia. thank you very much. >> my pleasure. >> activists on the ground in syria say more than 20 people are dead there after an air strict in the town of aleppo. they say the strike was carried out by government forces who dropped barrels filled with explosives on civilians at a vegetable market. relief brought the united nations from north ten iraq. two weeks after helping thousands trapped inside the war torn country. one lifeline is in danger of being cut off. imran kahn reports. >> the palettes of cargo are loaded final preparations begin. >> carrying much needed supplies of blanket, sanitation and closing to some of syrias 4
million internally displaced people people who are effectively wretch huge ease within their own country. the flights began on the 17th of december, the u.n. refugee agency. they say it's taken a massive effort. >> we had to transport here and now we are transporting it to syria. all of the permission to run aid flights has been a difficult business involving the regional government, the federal government and the syrian range e-mail. part of the talks and says the kurdstan government is doing best to help facilitate the it. >> back at the headquarter offices in geneva, united nation sfsz syrian officials. an iraq and syrian agreement.
the flight, to the airport. >> back on the prone, the old russian cargo plane dating back to the '70s, the ukrainian crew are allowed to go. we are allowed to film this part of the journey. >> the syrian authorities won't lot allow us to get on to this flight. that shows how politically charged this is. it has been an initial experiment. all of the players will discuss whether to try to keep what they are calling the humanitarian corridor open for more of these flights into syria. >> these flights have been even allowed to take place is a success with the u.n. refugee agency. continuing them getting aid into syria is the focus. >> that's going to take political will. political will that needs to come from damascus, baghdad and the kurdistan regional government. imran kahn.
>> meteorologist mainly rain, snow yet to come. across the mid atlantic, northeast. the shape of the tail of moisture to the south and dry air coming in, intensifying and eventually run into colder air. right now, mostly rain. here is a little snow mixing in. west seisn't tral pennsylvania,p through new england and through maine. as the storm intentionfies, that areas of snow grows oftentimes you sigh that with these storms where they intensify and the cold air comes in. this is heavy snow from maine up through eastern canada on top of areas that don't have power and have had that ice and snow from the last storms. not exactly what we need. this will be followed by some very cold air about 10 to 12 inches of snow possible in the dark blue area here, mainly rain to the south. temperatures into the 30s now but will be dropping some very cold air coming in from the
>> welcome back to al jazeera america. i am del walters. these are your headlines at this hour. at least 15 people were killed when a bomb exploded in volgegrad officials say a suicide bomber detonated explosives as they approached the station's metal detector. a new assessment says that pulling u.s. troops out of afghanistan could make the country more vulnerable to thetable. the findings say the taliban could re-emerge three years after those u.s. troops withdraw in 2014. for years, belfast northern ireland were synonymous with bomb blasts and ongoing battles. then came a rather fragile
peace. now a u.s. diplomat is back in belfast keeping to keep that peace together. this time, the issues are much smaller but nonetheless significant. >> reporter: they are calling a final effort to reach an agreement between northern ireland's political parties and talks in belfast, he admitted it may be difficult. >> by noon we would have had 12 hours of plenary sessions or plenery if you prefer. it will be hard at that point given everything that will have dom before to argue that the missing ingredient is more time. >> the issue that's reportedly been toughest to crack is flags. bell fast city council voted today only fly the british flag from city hall on certain days. that marked street protests in which more than 100 police officers were injured.
national analysts say no. 47 are catholic nationalists so we feel you shouldn't rub our noses in it and we want to fly color flown sometimes. >> one recurring source of tension between the proof ince's communities is the marching season. praised, most organized by property stant groups take place. most pass off peacefully. praised through catholic areas often provoke antagonism and clashes. they have seen progress as well as another key issue dealing with decades of violence, the troubles proceeding 1998, good friday agreement. more than 3 and a half thousand people lost their lives, but in most cases, nobody was ever brought to justice. >> the reports of victim's groups, the studies done by civil society, the conversations that have been had about dealing with the past >> all of those things have
influenced this process. so that is, you know, yet another example of how we weren't starting from square 1. we were start from a very well-developed conversation. >> even if the talks lead to an overall agreement, it could be a long time before northern ireland deals well years of resentment and misunderstanding, n nadine barber, al jazeera. >> stuck in the ice in the antartic about a week, now 74 passengers could soon be free. it has been trapped since christmas eve. it's about 100 miles east of a french research station and australian ice breakers are making progress at reaching the russian vessel. a chinese ship with sixnot nautical miles away couldn't get closer because the ice was so thing. the russian vessel is there as part of a scientific expedition. thanks for watching al jazeera america. i am del walters. "real money" is next. go to aljazeera.com where the
news continues 24 hours a day, seven or days a week. we will see you then. manufacturer. plus how shamalon got schooled. the education gap in america. i am david shuster in for ali velshi and then, here is "real money." >> this is real money and you are the most important part of the show. for t for the next half hour on twitter at