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tv   Weekend News  Al Jazeera  December 26, 2015 6:00am-6:31am EST

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>> syria's opposition says the death of a powerful rebel leader may undermine ongoing talks with the government. welcome to al jazeera, i'm richelle carey in zha. also ahead, more than 100 homes are destroyed by bush fires in australia. inyour honor dated with floodwaters, more than 100,000 people in australia are displaced. >> we have no friends and no family. >> a family torn apart. a report on the plight of an
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elderly couple forced from their home in syria. syria's opposition says the death of a powerful rebel leader may undermine long awaited talks between the government and the government, saran alouseh. aloush. carried out by russia represents a clear victory for terrorism in daesh. it weakens the foundations. the attack is also an attempt to abort the u.n. attempt for settlement. hashem ahelbarra reports just across the border from syria on what aloush's death means. >> he was the most powerful
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rebel commander in damascus suburbs. his headquarters were only a few kilometers away from president bashar al-assad's palace. sarad aloush was released from prison in a general amnesty. many of his jail inmates would come rebel commanders. he rose to prominence in 2013 when he convinced many armed groups to form jashel islam, an army of 20,000 well trained unarmed fighters. he attended a military parade. it was the biggest show of force by the syrian opposition. unlike most rebel factions with units across the country, the army of islam has one base on the outskirts of damascus with one task, waiting for government
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to collapse to march into the capital and secure it. this is where aloush was killed. waiting for fighters from jashal islam, killed in an air strike carried out by a syrian fighter jet. the syrian opposition says his debt will undermine the chance for internationally brokered talks between the rebels and the syrian government. he was not only a military commander. he was also a prominent preacher with many followers in the damascus area. with his death the future of the ample islam is uncertain. in 2013, the syrian command
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killed, many leaders were killed in idlib. the key rebel groups never recovered from the defendant of their founder. >> he was a commander that really built the organization from a small company back in 2011, mid 2011 to now an organization with 26 command centers, 64 battalions and more or less somewhere between 45,000 to 50,000 fighters. >> this is zahran successor, who has been in charge of an elite unit in the army of islam. the syrian opposition says that zahran allouch was his death
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will pave the way to launch and ordinancive to capture the outskirts of the capital. hashem ahelbarra, on turkey's bother with syria. >> former general in the army and a political analyst. he says the killing is a crush to trying to negotiate peace. >> the regime as well as the russian today. and regime doesn't have such kind of pinpointing advance technology, it's seen that the russians, though the russians are declaring they had really done it because according to zahran allouch he considered russian he occupiers. the mitigation is political and
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military at the same time. from the political point of view, he agreed to talk negotiation. it is a major head for this political process. it's like a hit for saudi arabia in particular after the riyadh conference and like the message or like the russian regime shaping the military situation in order to really weaken their opponents in any table of negotiation in the future. so this is major blow for the regional powers especially saudi arabia. >> iraqi army forces have told al jazeera that 22 iraqi soldiers have been killed. i.s.i.l. fighters ambushed a convoy east of the city of fallujah. 22 other soldiers have been injured. part of an ongoing offensive to take back from i.s.i.l.
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the tribes fled their homes in the province of salah udin during fighting of government backed forces. osama ben javad reports from sulemania. >> then captured on his way back home which shia militias. his crime he says was being sunni. he showed us burn marks on his body when he was tortured for ten days at a youth center which was used as a prison. hamid said his uncle died after being tortured from the same militia. >> they used to hang us and ten used to hit me, set it to light and put it on my body. they told me to coffin fess and tell the truth. he told them i am an iraqi
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soldiers. if i.s.i.l. finds me they will kill me. >> those we spoke to say there were no i.s.i.l. fighters there and punished by shia militias on the suspicion they might be harboring them. after militias took over they were denied entry back to their own areas. it is not first time shia backed militias have been accused of abuses. slie militiashe blish yasshia md of torture. they want international group like united nations to guarantee their safety. he says the area was besieged for months and the iraqi army toournd blind eye to the abuses. >> we were surprised to see shia
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militia forces. when they came they started to kill indiscriminately. the militia destroyed houses took our belongings, cattle and burned everything down. we traveled day and night without food or anything else. >> reporter: shia militias are an important part of the iraqi government fight against i.s.i.l. >> translator: for this issue this issue is sill y and has no affect on us. as we continue to make progress we'll get more accusations. we don't care about it, we expect it. >> the sectarian fear runs dean in this country and thousands who don't want to return are coming to grips with the results. osama ben javad, sulemani, iraq. >> battle against the taliban
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with heavy fighting in sangen. >> qaib hasimi reports. >> it changes every few hours. we heard a few hours ago that afghan government now controls the police headquarters. taliban control of this area, now we talked with government officials here with is residents of the area, and the soldiers are complaining, they're complaining from lack of leadership among afghan security forces. they're complaining that there's not enough air support by americans to them. there is some but they say not enough. this war cannot be won without air support. and also, they're complaining about logi logistical logistic .
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remember sangen is a distance away, any supply needs to go by road, the afghans do not have big air support. it is difficult for afghan affairs to bring supplies. >> occupied east jerusalem, israeli military says he stride to stab an israeli. 137 palestinians and 20 israelis dead. bush fires in the australian stayed of victoria have destroyed more than 100 homes. fire crews april battled for hours, an emergency services are warning the threat of more fires
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remain. gerald tan reports. >> an eerie silence, scenic route outside the city of melbourne is usually packed a tourist magnet but off limits for now after bush fires swept through towns along the coast. >> there are significant property losses. today's really assessment day. whether it's assessing damage to property, the accessibility of roads, power, water, environmental issues, the other issue today of course is smoke and what impact that will have in terms of those who have got underlying cns. conditions. >> yoarovernight rains helicopto get the braise under control. >> this fire has potential to burn in january and february of this year. the forecast for a long hot dry summer is there.
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>> firefighters battled into the night on friday. water tanker were brought in. family and tourists spent their holidays in evacuation centers. >> said that got close to home. looking out my back door it's just yeah, apocalyptic. >> australia is no stranger to bush fires. they strike every year during the summer in the southern hemisphere. and each time, the loss he are no less painful. gerald tan, al jazeera. >> still to come on al jazeera. >> no place to call home. i'm adam rainey at a camp on the haitian border. thousands have been forced to leave the admin kahn republic.
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>> now attracting a different kind of talent.
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>> welcome back to al jazeera. let's take olook at the top stories now. syria says the death of zahran allouch. emergency services in australia are warning that many bush fires
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may break out in the southeast. several blazes there destroyed more than 100 homes. the afghan national army says 21 of its soldiers have been killed in just the last 48 hours in helmand province. there is an ongoing battle against the taliban for strategic areas and leaf fighting in sangen. bombed the southeastern city, as an operation against kurdish separatists. six kurdish fighter fighters anh soldier were killed. matin gurgan is an independent security analyst. what he describes as urban warfare. >> this is a new conflict for
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ankara, the type of pkk militants involved. first this is an urban warfare not a one that ankara is used to. pkk, copying i.s.i.s. tactics and techniques. imposing its will over ankara. but unfortunately i don't see a clear road map on how ankara will translate this military victory into a political one. there was an urgent need for a ceasefire and ankara and kurdish politics this look for a venue to push for ceasefire. if not, consequences will be very grim for both ankara and
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pkk. >> as the end of 2015 approaches al jazeera is looking back through eyes of five families whose lives have been affected by some of the year's most significant developments. that includes of course the war in syria which forced almost a million people to seek refuge in turkey. and elderly couple spoke to bernard smith. >> just 50 kilometers across the border open christian worship is now impossible. there, i.s.i.l. is in control. so shimon eonon yousef and hi se fahima is bedridden. >> when we came to turkey we stayed in the camp for almost
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four years but it was too crowded. they put us in this house. gave us blankets, clothes, a fridge, everything we needed. >> with little work in turkey two of their sons have gone to europe. >> translator: they were working here for just 15 liras a day. i.t. was not enough for phone credit let alone something to help us. so we sold our home and used the money to send the boys to europe. >> just 15 liras a day, how can you live on that? >> too sick to go to church, the priest now comes to yousef. >> i used to walk a little. now it's difficult. all i can do now is go to the
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bathroom and back with this frame. there's only us. we have no friends here and no family. >> reporter: a proud couple, the yousefs now face a retirement dependent on charity. >> we want to go back to our life as it was before but it's hard. >> translator: believe me, there is no place in tall world better than syria. rich or poor, everybody had life. there was work. now syria's destroyed. >> but still, shimon yousef says he praise that next year he will be able to take his family back to a peaceful syria. bernard smith, al jazeera, midiat, in southeastern turkey. heavy flooding has snored more thaforced100,000 people tor
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homes in yeu yowrg. homes in uruguay. >> it's being called the worst flooding in a half century. as nonstop overnight rains forced the uruguay river to leave its banks and thousands to evacuate. the nearby dam was nearing capacity as it tried to contain more floodwaters. >> above all the priority today is rel gated to get crowing of the situation helping the 6,000 evacuees and containing situation like that in concordia. >> the state of emergency in neighboring paraguay, evacuees
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cram into shacks not yet engulfed by water, they try to support each other as betts best they could. >> translator: we have now already run from the water four times. now we don't know where we're going to go. we're on the side of the road and the water keeps coming. >> around the capital of acuncion. the effect of the water are far and wide. >> all week we've had diarrhea and in the medical centers there's no medicine. >> weather forecasters say the exceptionally high rainfall until region is due to an el nino weather pattern but few here expected it to be this bad. gabriel elizondo, al jazeera. >> tornadoes and storms swept through region of southern
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united states. it has been a week of extreme weather in the south, 15 people have been killed across tennessee, arkansas, and mississippi. thousands of people forced to leave the dominican republic are now facing a cholera outbreak in their makeshift camp in haiti. they were deported six months ago in what the dominican republic said was a clamp down on residents. adam rainey reports. >> six months after fleeing or being deported from the dominican republic theach receivethey'vereceived no help e from government of either country. hungry and penless they hope for help. >> many are weakened after being struck with cholera. >> i was vomiting, i had
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diarrhea, i went to the clinic. they gave me medicine, i got out but now i am weak. >> born in the dominican republic, he left a home and horse behind. here he has nothing. he showed me a meager packet of rice that the local priest sometimes gives him and his family oeat. we first filmed here in july a month after the dominican republic began a sweeping program against migrant workers, appeared to have been caught up in that sweep. some here say they feared for their lives and came here on their own. others say they were deported. things are even bleaker at this can camp than they were when we visited in july. there have been dozens of cases of cholera. a local priest says that at least nine have died from that illness in camp.
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they have little to seat eet little to drink but despite that every day there are signs that people keep showing up. >> this woman survived cholera too. alone here her husband and son are back in the dominican republic. there i hope the government helps me move to a better place. that's what i'm asking god for. >> the camp is known as park cavo, or gift park. there were no signs of presents though on christmas. a water filter supplied by the haitian government arrived just a day ago. we were here in july it's now six months. why has it taken six months to bring these people water? >> we thought this was temporary. now we have to do something. >> reporter: other projects like a reception center on the border have been promised but so far have not been built. back in the camp, cleaner water should arrive soon.
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but what people are really looking for is a way out of he here. adam rainey al jazeera, haiti. >> imagine someone dialing your number by mistake? that happens. but from outer space? that is exactly what british astronaut tim peek did and he has apologized for accidentally calling the wrong person from the international space station. he says asking her if he'd reached planet earth was in fact not a prank. new york's metropolitan opera has hosted some of the world's most famous opera singers but these days is attracting a different kind of crowd. kids. unique spra program is teachingr city program to appreciate art. kristin saloomey has more. >> a trip to the world famous metropolitan opera house in new york never fails to impress.
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>> me and my friend were like gasping. >> it was like watching on television but in real play. >> for many city kids it's their first formal exposure to a classic art form. attending a dress relersa reheas just one part of a comprehensive program sponsored by the metropolitan opera guild. the guild represents artists like haralin blackwell who in addition to being a world class performer has herself spent time teaching children. >> i made them realize how opera was already in their lives. so i said to them, bugs bunny cartoons. i say you hear fig roe fiaro, f,
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figaro. said yes, they understood that. >> in the classroom, the children learn to tell a story with music and lots of drama. >> this is opera so it has to be epic. they are escaping from police. >> they write their own story line. the lessons apply to other subjects as well. a four-year-old study by the metropolitan opera guild showed that students who participated in the program did better in math, science and english than those who didn't. and at a time when many schools are focusing on test scores, teachers says it is a big complement to their lesson plans. >> to find all the parts of the story, we do a lot of work with it in reading and writing, obviously, but it is so obviouslobviousto have them parn
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drama. >> no wonder schools are singing its praises. kristin saloomey, al jazeera, brooklyn, new york. >> when you get a moment, visit our website, aljazeera.com. i'm ali velshi. on target tonight. homeless on the home front. let's get those who fought so bravely for america off the street and into stable housing for good. 49,933. that is the government's most recent estimate of how many american veterans are homeless on any given night in this country.

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