strike for the second time in a month because of a dispute over pay and conditions ahead of a new service next month. this is still working, aljazeera.com for all of our stories. aljazeera.com. ♪ u.s. trained rebels in syria refuse to fight when confronted by one of al-qaeda's allies in the region. and in cleveland tonight, ten candidates will face off in the first republican presidential debate. violence erupts in another american movie theater. this time in nashville. the investigation into the suspect reveals a long history of mental illness.
and a nation pauses to remember more than 100,000 people killed in hiroshima 70 years ago today. ♪ this is al jazeera america live from new york city. i'm erika pitzi. the pentagon says the initial deployment of u.s.-trained syrian rebels has become an embarrassing setback. many of the forces a are -- deserting after coming under attack. >> reporter: the pentagon is releasing very few details about the friday attack on troops in northern syria, but it is becoming increasingly clear that this was based on a massive miscalculation by the pentagon that sent some of those troops in an area where they would be
attacked by the al-nusra front. what the pentagon is saying is when these initial troops, the first trained and equipped by the united states were co-located with other syrian forces in the region, they came under almost immediate attack from the al-nusra front. they were able to call in u.s. air power to repel the attack, but the pentagon now admits it can't account for many of the new recruits. many deserted saying they hadn't come to fight the al-nusra front, they were coming to fight isil. now the pentagon is trying to regroup, but it is increasingly clear that this initial idea of sending these forces in to work alongside other friendly forces in the region has failed miserably on its first attempt. the u.s. is now going to have to
regroup. it calls into question the whole strategy the u.s. has for training and quipping these vetted, moderate, syrian opposition fighters and then sending them into the battlefield. in this case, it clearly did not work, and the pentagon has an embarrassing setback on its hands. when i asks a spoke person if this was a setback, he said no it's a challenge. >> is there a concern that some of these deserters are defecting to al-nusra. >> no it doesn't appear they are flipping. it does appear that they -- it's not what they signed up for, and so they have -- they voted with their feet. there's another large group, about 18, by the way, who never actually made it to the unit they were embedding with, the so-called division 30 of the new syrian army. those were the forces they were going to be working alongside. and the syrian moderate forces
there welcomed these addition, because they brought with them u.s. air power, as we saw on friday, when they were attacked they were able to call in effective air strikes to repel the attack, but again, they completely miscalculated thinking that the al-nusra front was focused mostly on the regime and not going to be interested in attacking these moderate opposition forces. that turned out to be a very flawed premise. >> all right. jamie thank you. all 17 republican presidential candidates will be in cleveland tonight, each trying to stand out in a crowded race for next year's nomination. the top ten will take the stage for the main debate in prime time. we begin with michael shure on why tonight's debate is taking place in cleveland. >> reporter: by holding their
convention and their first debate here in cleveland, the republican party is being anything but cavalier in their effort to win the swing state of ohio. this man is an analyst at the university of virginia stern for politics. >> are people going to vote for the republicans over the democrats because the convention was here? no, probably not, but maybe it helps in organizing and ginning up enthusiasm among t ohioans. >> reporter: ginning up enthusiasm amongst female voters is a big challenge for the g.o.p. concern over remarks by jeb bush hasn't helped the g.o.p. cause. >> i'm not sure we need a half a billion dollars for women's health issues. >> reporter: hillary clinton wasted no time responding via twitter:
the bush comments came days after senate republicans failed to get the 60 votes they needed to end federal funding of planned parenthood. nina turner sees this as a problem for the problem. >> for me by extension their war against planned parenthood is really that disrespect of women when you scale it down. >> reporter: the release of videos showing planned parenthood executives talking casually about fetal tissue donations has created a debate before the debate. >> the abortion issue is a line of demarcation between the parties, and the planned parenthood peace is part of that. >> reporter: for clevelanders we talked with, it already is. >> i have strong issues with planned parenthood and as much as i am for women's issues, my
religion beliefs would agree with them. >> reporter: and what about women's right and women's health issues do you want to hear that? >> i do. because it's important to me and other members of my family. >> reporter: do you think you are going to hear that from republicans tomorrow? >> i do not. >> reporter: from is that? >> i don't think they care. >> reporter: this may present an opportunity for the candidates tonight, a chance to stand apart from their opponents with a softer line, but that's risky. >> if you are a candidate particularly one who may already be regarded as being not sufficiently conservative, do you really want to poke your party in the eye on another issue that they care about. >> reporter: it has become an issue that there won't be a woman on stage. but women's issues almost certainly will be. michael shure, al jazeera, cleveland. fox news used national opinion polls to decide which
candidates got the prime time slots and which had to settle for the 5:00 pm forum. >> reporter: making the cut, squaring off in thursday's prime time g.o.p. debate, the top ten candidates for the republican nomination, determined by -- >> recent polls. >> reporter: a yardstick this season's pollster finds troubling. >> that's a bad use of public polls which are supposed to measure public opinion, not be involved in the determination of eligibility for debate. >> reporter: lee is director of theist ought to which crafted questions so they could not be used to determine which g.o.p. hopefuls would get the top debate spots. >> polls are an estimate. there is a margin of error. we're making real and big
distinctions where there are no differences. >> reporter: polls have a margin of error, usually a few percentage points. so if someone has favorability rating of 46%, it could be as low as 43 or as high as 49. now graph that margin of error on to a group of candidates vying for a coveted spot in a debate, and the percentage separating number 10 from number 11 could be no different at all. >> we will post the first debates of the campaign season. >> reporter: they narrowed the field by averaging five national polls that asked voters who they were choose if the primary were held today. but change the question to ask about favorability or which candidate voters leaned toward, and the final ten is different. >> people like rick perry actually in terms of
favorability, he scores higher than cruz or kasick or rand paul. >> reporter: marian gov is also concerned that using polls drove g.o.p. candidates to do things like this. >> i'm trying to kill the tax code. ♪ >> reporter: to pump up their profile and their polling numbers. >> we'll watch the debate like everybody else, but i think it's regrettable that the polls were in the mix this way. >> reporter: patricia sabga, al jazeera, new york. and with the ongoing war against isil and congress considering the nuclear deal with iran, foreign policy issues will likely to be a focus in tonight's debate. earlier we talked to senior reporter for foreign policy magazine, for his take. >> reporter: the republicans have rejected this as a false
choice, but uniformly the presidential candidates in the republican party have denounced obama's nuclear deal. the only difference is the type of theatrics and color they have used to convey how much they dislike this deal. hudson adds it is unlikely a the candidates will reveal what steps they would take. investigators say the suspect that attacked a theater has an crickal past. >> reporter: he had at least one arrest as well as multiple commitments to mental health facilities in his past. now two weeks after the theater shootings in louisiana, this man had movie goers in tennessee ducking for cover. [ gunfire ] >> reporter: that's the sound of
the latest theater shooting suspect being shot dead by police in tennessee. >> it was a lot of shots. it was coming from the side of the theater. >> reporter: police began receiving emergency calls just after 1:00 pm from the nashville suburb. witnesses say this 29 year old walked into a screening of mad max fury road, wearing a surgical mask and carrying two backpacks as well adz weapons. >> he was armed with a hatchet and a weapon that we found out was an air soft again. >> reporter: he was also allegedly armed with pepper stray. >> he released the pepper spray throughout the theater. as additional officers entered the theater, it was thick with chemical spray. >> reporter: officers arrived
within minutes and ended the threat. records show he was a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic who had been committed four times in the last 11 years. he had also been arrested 11 years ago for assault and resisting arrest. police say no one was hospitalized and three people were treated at the scene for exposure to pepper spray. the 58 year old man also suffered a quote superficial hatchet wound. >> i am very, very grateful that no one else got injured here today. >> reporter: given that his most deadly weapons were in fact fakes, and given that he attacked a theater room with only seven other people in it, there has been speculation that he did not appear to really want to kill anyone, although his true motives are unknown. police say his mother had reported him missing just two
days prior to wednesday's attack. back to you. john henry smith reporting there. and al jazeera exclusive. >> my son's life and death has a bigger purpose on it. he was too good for this wicked world. >> conversation with michael brown's mother, one year after her son was killed in ferguson. stay with us. ♪
a suicide bombing at a mosque killed more than a dozen people in saudi arabia. the mosque in the southwest was attacked this morning. at least 13 people were killed. the interior minister says ten were security officers. isil is claiming responsibility. back here in the u.s. firefighters have made some progress against the two dozen wildfires in california. the respite came from lower temperatures and higher humidity in the region. so far only about 20% of the wildfires are under control, at least 140,000 acres of land have burned across the state. congress is accusing the state department of playing politics on its report about human trafficking.
the senate foreign relations committee wrapped up a review of the report just moments ago. they were investigating a news agency report that the report was watered down to protect some countries and promote the administration's foreign pollties. rosiland jordan joins us life from capitol hill. roz land why is there so much outcry over the report? >> reporter: well it has become one of the so-called gold standards in assessing how countries are dealing with the problem of human trafficking, whether it's selling people into sexual slavery, or whether it's the matter of forced labor, sweatshops, people being hired and not being paid and being abused by their employers. this has become one of the critical human rights valuations that the u.s. government uses around the world. the conflict is this, there are
members who have been suspecting for some time, and there have been reports about this, that the report that came out just a week ago monday was going to basically elevate the status of some countries, notably malaysia and cuba, because of the obama administration's foreign policy agenda. the u.s. is trying to negotiate a trade deal with countries in the asia pacific region and malaysia is one of those countries, and there is a new law that would basically prevent the u.s. from negotiating with malaysia if it say -- stayed at the bottom of the list. so there are allegations that malaysia was raised just so the u.s. could continue negotiations. as for cuba, of course the normalization process is well underway, and there are allegations that cuba's status was elevated in order to keep the normalization process
moving. undersecretary was before the senate foreign relations committee and had to defend how the report was put together. she insisted that politics did not play a part in this year's rankings. but the members of the panel who took part in the hearing, both republicans and democrats were very skeptical, and now they are threatening perhaps more hearings looking into how this report was compiled. >> all right. rosiland jordan thank you. one family was dragged through agonizing heart break after learning their teenage daughter ran away from home and was then sold for sex. they say it should take more responsibility to stop the trafficking of minors. mary snow has more. >> reporter: gone for 108 days, raped, beaten, and trafficked by a 32 year old man she thought she loved. >> it was maddening.
i didn't understand the amount of times that she was sold. i -- i think that was awful to hear. 15, 20 times a day. you know, i just couldn't imagine that. i just can't even . . . >> reporter: it was during one of those encounters that natalie was found. her trafficker posted anned a of her on backpage.com. the police answered that ad during one of their frequent stings. >> i discovered you could order a child online, like you can order a pizza from dominos, and she was sold there as a weekend special. >> reporter: and you can watch the rest of mary snow's report tonight on on target at 10:30 pm eastern. today japan marked 70 years since the u.s. dropped an
atomic.com on hiroshima. people remembered the day by sending latins down the river. more than 140,000 people died when the u.s. dropped the aatomic.com on hiroshima. many visited the epicenter to honor lost friends and family. roxana saberi has more on how they turned a tragedy into a push for peace. >> reporter: for one minute on thursday mourning, hiroshima stood still. with people here and around the world reflecting on the moment 70 years ago that tens of thousands of lives were lost. when the u.s. dropped an atomic bomb on hiroshima, this man was 13. she survived, but her sister and four year old nephew did not. >> they were swollen really
twice or three times than the normal body. and all they wanted was water. >> reporter: since the bombing, japanese families have mourned the loss of many others who died from cancer and other illnesses linked to the attacks. this history has sparked an anti nuclear weapons movement that united every year in hiroshima. these protesters have traveled here to mark the anniversary of the atomic bomb dropping on this city. we're going to ask one of them what her goal is here. >> translator: my wish is that the countries that arm themselves with nuclear weapons will abandon them entirely. >> reporter: japan's prime minister says his country has a duty to push for the elimination of nuclear weapons. >> translator: i am determined to step up efforts in order to realize a world without nuclear weapons.
>> reporter: japan's ambassador to the u.n. told us his country is working hard to make this happen. is this a realistic goal in >> we hope so. it has to be pursued in realistic and practical means. you -- it is easy to chant the total elimination of nuclear weapons, meanwhile it is not that easy in practical terms. >> reporter: today more nations have nuclear bombs than ever before, and those weapons are getting more sophisticated. >> one weapon could potential kill tens of millions of people. >> reporter: that's a concern of many demonstrators outside of the ceremony. they mark the moment the bomb dropped here, by dropping to the ground to symbolize the deaths caused by nuclear weapons. roxana saberi, al jazeera, hiroshima, japan. and we'll be right back.
a federal appeals court has struck down texas's strict voter id law, saying it discriminates against blacks and hispanics. the texas law was passed in 2011, and requires citizens to show photo id ts before casting ballots. the governor is vowing to reinstate voter id laws to quote ensure the integrity of elections. president obama has published an op-ed on the 50th anniversary of the voting right's act. he cautions the u.s. could reverse its progress. he wrote quote: president obama will speak soon on this anniversary of the
legislation. he will likely address a growing number of state laws, like the one just struck down in texas that often keep minorities and lower-income people from voting. this week marks one year since michael brown was shot and killed by a ferguson, missouri police officer. in an exclusive interview, tony harris sat down with brown's mother. >> they shot mike. and when i got there, i saw a hump in the street. with a sheet on it. and for probably the next 72 hours, i felt like -- i said i never moved, but i know i did. but i can't -- i don't know. i can't remember. >> what do you think when i mention the name darren wilson? what comes to mind? >> the devil. that comes to mind.
evil. you know, it's -- he is somebody's son, so getting a peak into his life with his mother is something i would like to know. he hurt my child. he -- he hurt him bad. >> he may be someone's son, but he doesn't think much of your son, even to this day. >> even to the day. so how was he raised? >> there was a new interview. >> uh-huh. >> that i don't even think you are aware of, with darren wilson in the new yorker magazine. >> uh-huh. >> here is what he said. do i think about who he was as a person? not really.
because it doesn't matter at this point. do i think he had the best upbringing? no. >> hum. >> not at all. take that in for a second. >> uh-huh. >> what do you think? >> just what i said, that he's evil. his acts were devilish. and we definitely know he didn't have the right upbringing. cause those are words that you just don't use, especially after you took somebody's life and you know you had no reason to -- you had no reason to do that. what he did last year, hurt me really bad. so his words mean nothing to me. >> have you forgiven him? >> never.
never. >> the news continues. >> you are watching al jazeera. also coming up, burying the dead, the civilian victims caught up in the fight for the an bar province. hundreds of refugees rescued from a boat that sank off the libyan coast on wednesday arrived in sicily. and why western food imimportants are being seized and destroyed in russia.