obit wary. >> announcer: this is al jazeera. ♪ welcome to the news hour i'm darren jordan from al jazeera's news center in doha these are our top stories. captured the drug lord that once took over an entire state is now in custody. germany's parliament have backed an extension to greece's bailout, plus . . .
tears of joy, a woman who was born death is able to hear for the first time but must now cope with going blind. ♪ ♪ welcome to the program. police in mexico have captured the country's most wanted drug lord. he is the leader of the knights templar drug cartel. his nickname came from his career as a school teacher, before he game involved in drugs. he used the media to his advantage and became one of mexico's most well-known drug bosses. he was the president's prime target in his offensive against drug violence. arresting him is a major step in reclaiming one of the most
violent states in mexico. joining us now is john hullman. how significant is this capture and what more do we know about this man? >> reporter: as you say this is a significant capture, because the mexican authorities have been after this man for quite some considerable time. he has been moving from safe house to safe house apparently across the southwest of mexico while authorities have been chasing him. he has been giving interviews that seem to have sort of made a mockery at mexican authority's attempts to capture him. so they will be relieved that this long process has ended. the organization that he was one of the major leaders isn't the force that it once was. this year it has been steadily dismantled from a force that
used to ship iron ore to china, it has been crumbling. so although once powerful he doesn't have that same sort of power now, but federal forces will be glad they finally managed to close the chapter on this. the man himself, an ex-school teacher. he liked to give money in public cases and film that to meet with journalists. he did have a personality that enjoyed publicity. also at any same time his organization used extorsion, kidnapping, and murder to enforce themselves, so we're not talking about a jolly figure we're talking about a man that has committed a lot of crimes. >> john how much is this capture going to boost the president's efforts to retake control from the drug gangs and
stop this grizzly violence? >> reporter: well this comes at the perfect moment really for the president. he has come under increasing pressure and his approval rating had been lowering after crisis last week most notably after 43 students disappeared, a forced disappearance, that local authorities were involved in. and also corruption scandals so picking off this drug lord is a good moment for him. and his government has a good record at picking off high-level drug leaders. what they haven't done is to have an overall strategy for the violence in the country. last year the state where he was captured they took out most of the leaders, but violence and homicides continued to rise in that state, so they don't seem
to have that all-encompassing strategy to deal with the violence in mexico. >> john thank you. a american blogger who spoke out against religious extremism has been hacked to death. he advocated secularism, and had been threatened over his blog posts. natasha ghoneim reports. >> reporter: his family says the religious extremism he protested against may have lead to his death on this crowded sidewalk in bangladesh. he and his wife were ambushed with two men with meat cleavers. >> translator: i saw an unknown person bring out a knife and hit him on the head and shoulders. i shouted for people to help but nobody came.
>> reporter: police found the meat cleavers but they haven't arrested anyone or said who might be behind the tack. his family and friends say they have no doubt his beliefs made him a target. his family says he has been threatened before. >> translator: these [ inaudible ] that was learned from the blood sacrifice as now turned into a band of militants. >> reporter: activists gathered to express their outrage over the prominent bloggers murder. some painted themselves red. roy is the second blogger to be murdered in the last two years. he has been called a courage oust and eloquent defender of religious freedom. in afghanistan rescues are struggling to reach villagers
that have been buried by avalanches. there are fears there could be more avalanches as the snow starts to report. >> reporter: the police chief and the governor say that there are dozens of villagers that they simply can't contact at the moment. these are isolated villages high up into the mountains, much further down in to pan geeia. now afghanistan security forces have tried to reach these areas. helicopters have flown in but they have been unable to land. we have seen a large convoy of some 600 vehicles entering in to pangia today. there is only one road into to the area which is a big part of
the problem. afghanistan security forces are also hampered by the fact that they don't have all of the necessary equipment they need or the expertise. afghanistan's president will be visiting this area at the moment. the government is under a lot of pressure to try to do something, to try to help the situation and get supplies to people who desperately need it. it is an area that a lot of the political elite in kabul come from and that's putting extra pressure on the government. this government video is said to show an attack in western iraq. hospital staff say at least nine civilians and many isil fighters were killed in the attack >> the u.n. is condemning the destruction of ancient artifacts. around 1800 sites are currently
under isil control. >> reporter: the ancient statutes from assyrian palaces are an inspiration for this man. as a soldier in mosul in the 1980s, he would hide a camera in his packet to take photos of them. he says he hasn't slept since he saw the video of their destruction. >> translator: what is this statute? it is just stone. but it's what it events. any citizen will consider this statute as his ancestor. >> reporter: this is near the heart of baghdad's cultural center. many here know firsthand mosul's significance as the center of history and culture. isil took over the museum in june when it seized the city. these were wrapped to protect them from the elements, but there was no protection from
these men who smashed artifacts. nearby they used power drills to destroy these statues which have stood at the palace gates for almost 3,000 years. the image of the winged bull are so iconic you see them wherever in iraq. these weren't just lifeless statutes. most iraqis see them as part of their legacy stretching back to the beginnings of the world's first civilization. this is an art student. he says the loss of the statutes is incalculatable. >> translator: this is my identity. when i travel outside of iraq i say i'm a son of the bib loanians. >> reporter: east of mosul was another capitol of the huge
asirian empire. the gold found here was one of the biggest archaeological treasures every unearthed. carvings told of empires created and lost. >> these statutes they are unique. and destroying them -- i wish they a lotted them because one day they would come out, in a hundred years, let's say. but destroying them they are gone forever. >> reporter: they were excavated by the british and others in the past century. many were taken to foreign museums. still to come here on al jazeera . . . >> they are incredibly impressive hardworking, dedicated, courageous --
♪ cuba's dancing defectors why these young people moved to the u.s. and what they think of warming relations between these two countries. and it's a record-breaking day for the cricket world cup. that's all still to come. ♪ now the german parliament has overwhelmingly blacked a four-month extension of greece's bailout program by international creditors. the yes vote was expected after the ruling party and opposition parties voiced support. first let's go to nick spicer. the german government has now backed this extension. tell us why they voted yes. >> reporter: i think there are
three big reasons, first there is a recognition that germany really has no choice. if greece were forced to leave, the effects would be catastrophic for the euro zone and germany in particular. second would be history, the finance minister evoking the second world war, and the weight of german responsibility to its neighbors. and angela mer call and others got what they wanted. so the germans feel they can move forward. >> nick stay with us. we're going to cross over to john psaropoulos. john the german government got some concessions, but there are many who are still unhappy with this deal. >> that's right.
because the greek government went back on a stipulation that it would not accept an extension of the current bailout agreement. it caved in on that particular issue. in that makes the left wing within the ruling party very unhappy. and at least one minister the energy and environment minister has declared that he for one is not going to abide by the terms of the bailout, and will not be privatizing any of the private concerns including the gas and power corporation, two key parts of the economy here because they are a major chunk of the energy industry which affect all construction industry. the communist party is also unhappy. it may only be 5.5% of the vote of the moment but they are
seating themselves as the anti-austerity alternative. like caesar did long ago. so the communists are clearly heading for a long-term strategy here of taking over the left wing if they can, and then moves perhaps more broadly within greek society. there are lots of fringe left parties that you don't tend to hear about who would also join the communists possibly in such a quest, so there is unhappiness on the left side here. >> okay. john psaropoulos in athens. let's cross back to nick spicer in berlin. this sets the tone for the rest of the euro zone doesn't it? >> that has been the story really since the beginning of the sovereign debt crisis in
europe but i think it has gotten slightly more complicated in this instance. germans don't like deficit spending, and they long feared that europe would lead to a fiscal union, which means tax euros raised in germany could be spent on social programs in greece. that's something they don't want to see. they just don't want that to happen. what has happened however, is -- well there has always been germany pushing for a hard line backed by the netherlands and finland, but now you have countries who have gone through austerity programs who are backing germany, namely spain and portugal. so it's countries in a similar situation to that of greece which think that greece should follow through with its bailout program as they did. >> nick thank you.
large rally is underway in the maldives in support of the president who has been detained on charges. the protests will continue until the charges against the president are dropped. >> these are all trumped up politically motivated charges. they initially charged him, but just in a surprise trial that has been suddenly manipulated i think to terrorism, and the current -- the two judges presiding over his case they have actually provided witness statements, and the person who fired the charges in the criminal court is the prosecutor general. he has always provided witness statements. they are all the same. they are all manipulated and
controlled by [ inaudible ], and the judges [ inaudible ] are extremely unqualified. one of the chief judges who is presiding over the case is [ inaudible ] so he are absolutely sure that he is [ inaudible ] a free and fair trial. the protests have been peaceful. we have thousands of people in the streets calling for resignation. calling for [ inaudible ]. we have seen out on the streets only for less than an hour actually, and the streets are completely full at the moment, and these protests have been going on on a nightly basis for weeks, and this will go on until we find a solution, until the president is released until the charges are developed against him. a court in hong kong has sentenced a woman to six years in prison for abusing her maid. she has welcomed the judgment
but insists more reforms are necessary. she was convicted of 18 charges ranging from assault to not paying her wages. >> reporter: this has become a symbol for the plight of domestic workers. for eight months her employer treated her like a slave. >> translator: i was tortured and beaten. i was never paid. i was allowed to sleep for only three hours in the afternoon. i was forced to sleep on the floor. i was very seriously abused. >> justice for ariana! >> reporter: ariana's case lead to protests in hong kong the internal bleeding and injuries all over her body she was admitted to hospital for over a month. the judge found her employer
guilty of abuse. >> translator: my case became well-known because of the protests otherwise i would have been just another case like so many. i really hope my case will not be the only one that gets attention. all of the other maids who are still quiet, and don't dare to speak out, should be brought to court. >> reporter: to prevent more abuse, the president has announced that he wants to stop indonesians from going abroad as domestic workers. only skilled workers would be able to seek work elsewhere. the president says he wants to preserve the country's dignity by banning maids from working abroad. but critics say that violates worker's rights. migrant workers organization urge the president to focus on protecting workers instead of banning them from working
abroad. >> translator: the government indirectly legalizes this modern slavery and human trafficking if you look at our current laws. in our laws it is not written that migrant workers are human beings who should be able to defend their rights and determine their conditions. >> reporter: most of the estimated 6 million indonesian workers are domestic works in other countries. the government insists this has to stop eventually. >> translator: what we want is that those working abroad can skills so they can fulfill job requirement. that will make our workers more competitive in job market. their rights will be more respected if these two conditions have been met, then what the president means with dignity will be fate. >> reporter: ariana hopes that
her case will be a warning for the thousands who leave indonesia every year to make some money for their families. earlier we spoke to elizabeth tang the general sec tar for the international domestic workers foundation she says more needs to be done to stop domestic worker abuse. >> i think in hong kong will now get the message that if they don't treat their domestic workers fairly they -- there will be consequence. but however our government so far has not taken up any measures to stop future similar cases to happen and i'm afraid that employer will still think that, you know this is the isolated case and it's not about me and -- and they will not really look at how they are doing with their domestic
workers. because domestic workers all stay inside private homes with their employers, and they are very worried -- difficult for them to -- to -- to tell others outside of the homes about their experiences, so -- and also many of them especially the newcomers have to pay back loans, which they have borrowed to pay the agency fees which can be as high as six month's wage so they would rather keep quiet, and they will endure even illegal treatment of the employers, most of them don't speak up. thousands of filipinos have protested in manila demanding the resignation of their president. they say they he has failed to implement reforms in a country where the majority of people earn less than $4 a day.
many were students angry at proposed increase in fees. >> translator: he didn't fulfill his promise. where is the promise of jobs? of opportunities? the current situation is abusive to millions of mill peen knows. when a video of an english woman hearing for the first time was posted online last year the clip went viral. now she has written a book about her experience. jessica baldwin went to meet her. >> it's all right. it's a big, big life changing day today. >> reporter: this is the moment that her cochlear implants were turned on and she could hear for the first time. [ sobbing ] >> can you hear your own voice? >> yes. >> for a lifetime 39 years, joe had been deaf until last year when she had a small electronic
device put into her ears. birds, music, her mother's voice, they all came rushing in. but more importantly, being able to hear has helped jo cope with going blind. he has progressive tunnel syndrome another symptom of her rare disorder usher's syndrome. >> i can hear things that i couldn't hear before. and then with regards to being blind, i feel less blind, because i feel like i can hear the world around me. >> reporter: she was born deaf wore a clunky hearing aid, and worked hard with our grand sfat father to perfect her speak. >> i was so determined to try to get it right, and i can remember trying to pronounce my word
perfectly. >> reporter: jo would dance with others and try to hear music through vibrations. >> music has probably been the most exciting thing. >> reporter: but the world is not all beautiful music, and jo has been surprised by angry sounds she once was oblivious to. >> i was very unaware of the bad side of them. and i think that's what probably shocked me the most. people arguing. >> reporter: jo is determined that her progressive blindness will not distract her focus on raising awareness of usher's syndrome. lots more still to come on the news hoir, including, it has been a battle ground for two years, and now the city of duma has seen the heaviest attacks
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>> monday, a climate emergency. >> so a species could not be here in ten years. >> nasa steps in to help protect the future of the planet. >> the tropics regulate our climate. >> "techknow" heads to costa rica to see how one rainforest is fighting back. >> wow! some of these are amazing. >> "techknow's" team of experts show you how the miracles of science... >> this is my selfie, what can you tell me about my future? >> can affect and surprise us. >> don't try this at home. >> "techknow" where technology
meets humanity. monday, 5:30 eastern. only on al jazeera america. ♪ welcome back a quick reminder of the top stories here on al jazeera. mexican police have captured one of their country's most wanted drug lords. he was the prime target of the president's drive to regain control of one state. a bangladeshi blogger has been hacked to death. he advocated secularism and had apparently been threatened over his blog posts. and the german parliament has backed an extension of greece's bailout program. the yes vote was expected after
the ruling coalition and smaller opposition parties voiced support. the ukrainian president has confirmed that heavy weapons have been withdrawn from the front lines in the east of the country, but his fighters are ready to return if necessary. >> translator: as you know yesterday in fulfillment of the minsk agreement, we started the withdrawal of some heavy weaponry from the front line. however, the agreement is still being violated by think enemy. that's why our servicemen are ready at anytime to return to their positions and repel the enemy. as those troops pull out in eastern ukraine, the undersecurity council is meeting in new york to discuss the
southeast fire. james bayes joins us live now from new york. what has been said so far? >> reporter: the security council has been listening to an open session to a briefing about the situation on the ground in ukraine. months ago that open session ended and they are now discussing it behind closed doors. they are discussing it with the osce, the organization on the ground. one is involved in running the mission on the ground and the other one is the ambassador who has been getting the talks going. getting the minsk talks together and shuttling between the two sides and getting them to sit down to come to an agreement. and what has come out of this briefing so far, is in the words of one of those two ambassador the fact that'sern ukraine right now is at a cross roads. it has seen about 6,000 people
killed and 1 million people displaced and it has seen fighting just in the last couple of weeks, but they are saying the situation right now has improved. and they are confirming that the heavy weapons are being pulled back that some detainees have been released and there is a significant reduction in violence. they say it is better right now, but will it stay like that or will it again descend into blood bloodshed bloodshed. they say the heavy weapons have been withdrawn, but they are not being told where they are being taken too. >> and james, in terms of the wider diplomacy, how is all of this playing into events on the ground like the recent minsk agreements and the ceasefire that you just mentioned? >> well as i say, we're at a moment where everyone is somewhat hopeful, but we have
been in a place like this before, and the -- the -- the agreements have broken down. as i say, they don't really know where the heavy weapons are going now, and it's possible this conflict could flair up again. that's what the osce is asking for more help. they want more access to satellite imagery, so they can see where the heavy weapons are being moved, and they also want more drones. they had four drones at the beginning of their mission. one was shot down and they want many more. >> all right. james thank you. . in syria at least 12 people have been killed and dozens injured in a car bomb attack in a town northeast of the capitol damascus. the bomb detonated after people were leaving friday prayers.
staying with syria, a rebel-held suburb of damascus has been under siege for three years. more than 100 people were killed by syrian government air strikes in the first week of this month alone. zana hoda reports. >> reporter: this baby was just over a year old. she died of malnutrition. she wasn't the first victim in duma. the capitol has been under siege by government forces for almost two years. during that time activists say 264 civilians died, 188 of them children. >> translator: we couldn't find medicine. we couldn't find milk and when you do it is very expensive, and we cannot afford to buy it. >> reporter: duma has been a battle ground for years, such of it has been razed to the ground. it's just 7 kilometers east of
the capitol damascus. it was the first area in the damascus province to see anti-government protests. four years later, it is the main opposition strong hold surrounding the government-controlled city. in the first week of february more than 100 civilians were killed in what was described as one of the heavy aerial attacks on the city that lasted for days. this mansur -- man survived but his wife and daughter didn't. the intense air campaign was in response to a rebel attack on central damascus. >> translator: on that day my wife was scared to stay alone, because of the air strikes. so i took her and my daughter and left them at my sister's house. i came back to find the house
destroyed. >> reporter: some people in the opposition questioned whether causing civilian casualties in damascus had any military benefit, he was one of them. he still believes that the struggle should continue. zana hoda, al jazeera, beirut. now close to 1700 syrian refugees are returning to what is left of their homes in kobani. the border town had seen some of the worst fighting between kurdish forces and isil fighters. now the isil fighter known by some as jihadi john has been identified. he appeared in several videos showing hostages being beheaded. yet some describe him as a once beautiful person. >> reporter: by the time reporters turned up in the
family home they were long gone. reports had emerged that their son was a murderer. >> we have proudly donated 100 million to kill our women and children. >> reporter: it has been some weeks since voice recognition software helped them identify the man who newspapers called jihadi john. this was the man involved in beheading several captives people who could not defend themselves, and who had not gone to fight. he became the [ inaudible ] of the aims of an organization which tore through iraq and syria as much of the world looked on in disbelief. the question is already being raised as to what if anything the british security services knew of him, but neither they nor the police would comment.
but these people did know him. he had told them he had been repeatedly harassed by the security services who blocked them from returning to kuwait where he was born. the man who knew him described him as a beautiful person enraged at his treatment by the british authorities. >> this is the problem that we are have created here in the u.k. an environment in which the security agencies can act with impunity and destroy the lives of young people without any resource to being able to challenge them in an effective way. >> reporter: to add to it all, he was linked to the killer of the british soldier, lee rigby as men who had been angered because of their experiences at the hands of british security. they say they can't talk about specific cases, but their efforts to maintain safety in the u.k. are also proportionate to the threat. whether they tried to stop him from returning home to kuwait
from london they certainly seemed to know who he was. the question is how dangerous they thought he was. because after all this appears to be a successful young man, far removed from the stereo type of the isolated loser apparently at risk of radicallizing influences. >> he was educated. and a lot of the research we have done in terms of the profile of people who go to syria, they are well educated socially mobile people. >> reporter: the media has by and large made its mind up that this is him. though when he takes his hood off, it won't be for certain. his parents don't believe it's him. but that's understandable. david cameron has defended the country's security services while vowing to continue to fight against isil. >> in my almost five years as prime minister i think they are
incredibly impressive hardworking, dedicated, courageous and effective at protecting our country. all of the time they are having to make incredibly difficult judgments, and basically they make very good judgments on our behalf. and while we're in the middle of this vast effort to make sure british citizens are safe the most important thing is to get behind them. in egypt two people were injured when police opened fire on protesters. the protests started after friday prayers in giza. police used tear gas to disperse them. supporters of the muslim brotherhood have been holding protests since the overthrow of president mohammed morsi in a military coup in the summer of 2013. israeli soldiers have fired tear gas and rubber-coated steal bullets at protesters in the occupied west bank. there have been similar protests
in a village where four people were injured. a growing number of people from a tribe in ethiopia say that they are marginallized and persecuted so many are migrating to sew -- somali. our correspondent reports. >> reporter: the message is clear, they are not welcome. somali soldiers are being to enforce this with force if necessary. every vehicle is searched for migrants. >> translator: most of them come by foot because most vehicles refuse to bring them here. we have deported many of them and we will continue sending
them back. we cannot hope with this number of migrants. >> reporter: but these men told me the threats of deportation will not stop them from trying their luck. this person walked for four months to get here. along with ten other ethiopian migrants, he has found a job on this farm. >> translator: i chose to move here for security reasons. and because i found a job. i'm staying here. >> reporter: this ethiopian a neighborhood, just ten years ago this neighborhood was exclusively inhabited by somalianings. while many of these migrants help boost the local economy, some local leaders want to see them deported. >> translator: we are not happy with their presence they have brought many problems in terms
of health. we don't know what health issues they have. they brought criminals to this town, like people smugglers, and they are putting pressure on the job market. >> reporter: this man is not home, but he is not going anywhere. soon he will save enough money to bring his wife and children. matt is the director of a somali gno. he says the crackdown will not stop the flow of people. >> there has been a steady stream of migrants from eat epia, mainly looking for work as labor, as domestic workers, and of course there are very active human smuggling roots. the administration has a very close relationship with the government of ethiopia so from time to time we see these types of operations many migrants are
topped and returned to ethiopia but the authorities have a lot of other problems on their hands. there are people that benefit from the people-smuggling trade, so i expect the crackdown is likely to be as in the past short lived, and we will continue to see migration into and from towards yemen and saudi arabia beyond. nigeria's president has made a surprise visit to towns recaptured by the army in the northeast. he inspected weapons his soldiers took from fighters. and then he went to a key town ceased in january. last week the army managed to push the armed group out of the town bordering chad. >> it is good as a president for you to appreciate yourself
through a village in india's west state. they were in search of food. villagers and rangers came together to try to drive them out. [ shouting ] >> at least ten people have been killed in stampedes in the area since january. rangers say deforrestation is forcing elephants into residential areas. where they are destroying fields and banana plantations. now it's time for sport. it has been a day of record at the cricket world cup for south africa and their cap dane in sydney. they stored a big total against the west indyies. sarah coates has more.
>> reporter: this was always going to be an exciting match. south africa set the tone bringing up 50. riley chipped in for the pro he is, with another half century, but this buzz -- was just the beginning of a full-blown batting assault as the captain came to the crease. [ cheers and applause ] >> reporter: striking boundary after boundary to hit the fastest 150 in one-day history of just 64 balls. [ cheers and applause ] >> reporter: there was no stopping them finishing inbeaten on 162, south africa scored 408 for 5, the highest total on australian soil.
they never even got close. three days after a double century, chris gael gone to 3. samuels bowled for a duck as the west indies crumbled as they conceded a world cup record 257-run defeat. >> it's good to see a team like that. the odds were almost open really to -- to fight. and it was a great turn around after the disappointing loss. >> reporter: south africa will next take on pakistan. sarah coates al jazeera. fifa president has proposed that the 2022 world cup final in qatar shouldn't take place any later than december 18th. his comments come just days after a fifa task force recommended moving the event
from the summer to november and december. the dates will be confirmed by fifa's executive committee next month. final europe league match was stopped twice on thursday after supporters hurled objects on to the pitch. first a giant plastic banana had to be removed. and the home fans reacted angrily for a player being red carded. dutch police had been on alert. they detained 17 locals and one italian, before the second leg even kicked off. roma eventually won the round 3-2 on aggregate. >> again it -- it helped -- >> translator: this is not helping the club actually these
incidents are damaging the club. players are trying to do their best, and then this happens. these incidents really can only damage [ inaudible ]. the international cycling organization has called for [ inaudible ] to be stripped of their title. it follows an audit ordered by the uci that found a number of anti-doping infringements to astona. rory mcelroy had to battle windy conditions. he did manage to get birdies on the final two holes. still finished with a 3 over par. he is already back on course.
controversial new york yankees batter alex rodriguez has been welcomed back by his teammates and fans as he joins his team for spring training. he hit three home runs during practice, as 500 fans turned up in florida. his team manager says rodriguez has to prove his place for the opening day. >> i think the most important thing that comes back is his offense, and hopefully that's the quickest. it's hard to say, you know, when i watched him take ground balls, his hands seemed to work fine. his throws seemed to be fine. when he took bp that seemed to be fine. but it's at that faster pace that you have got to see. can i predict which one is going to come back the quickest? no. aide dreeian peterson will be reinstated back into the nfl
after a judge lifted his suspension for child abuse. he missed 15 games last season after he admitted to striking his young son. despite 39 points from russell westbrook. oklahoma city thunder had a tough game in arizona. morris scored 29 points for the suns. westbrook forced the game to overtime to make it 109. bledsoe took the total to 29 for the night. darren that's all of the sport for now. back to you. >> thank you very much richard. we'll see you later. a u.s. embassy could open in cuba this spring.
diplomats are meeting again on friday. andy gallagher talked to three cuban dancers who defected to the u.s. >> reporter: this is the city ballet in central florida, a small dance company with big ambitions. it's autistic director wants to bring ballet to the masses. he defected from cuba more than ten years ago, and is keen to note the talents of others who have been through similar experiences. dancers like this 23-year-old who came to the u.s. alone. most of his family is still on the island. and he is nervous talking about u.s.-cuba relations. he tells us he hopes any changes are positive for both countries. he especially wants change for cuba, its people and his family.
like ricardo, this dancer made the difficult decision to defect to the u.s. she has a clear goal in mind for the future. >> translator: my ultimate hope and dream is that my family joins me here in the united states. even if the situation were to get better in cuba. but i realize it is a personal decision, and i would understand if they didn't want to leave their country. >> reporter: the ballet is home to three cuban dancers who recently defected. they all came to the u.s. for a better life. but they are realistic about the pace of change. >> it's going to take time from both countries, in my humble opinion, to get to a good relationship, and, you know, something that can be really good for the -- for the cuban people. all three of these cuban dancers are watching the process
carefully, but with caution, but all three of these young people now have bright futures tempered with expectations of what might happen in the months ahead. finally, two run away llamas have caused quite a stir in the u.s. state of arizona. they were part of a mobile petting zoo visiting people in phoenix. and they decided exploring the neighborhood would be more exciting. so the quick-footed pair dodged traffic. perhaps they thought they were llama-genis. it took several attempts by police and residents to finally bring an end to the llama drama. both animals have since been returned to their owners. stay with us here on al jazeera, i'll be back at the top of the hour with another full bulletin