tv Weekend News Al Jazeera December 26, 2015 8:00am-9:01am EST
this is al jazeera welcome. you're watching the news hour in doha. 60 minutes of news and comment. today another setback for syria. the opposition says the death of a powerful rebel leader could undermine talks with the government. more than 100 homes are destroyed by bushfires in australia and it is still dangerous. inundated with flood waters, more than 100,000 people in south america have had to leave their homes. desperate to chase the american dream, but now there are complaints of abuse as mexico
stops migrants' progress. the death of a powerful syrian rebel leader could be yet another blow to the peace process. the opposition's interim leader has told al jazeera they will attend talks in geneva next month, but bashar al-assad won't have a future in syria. the latest threats to the government and opposition groups following the killing of zahran alloush in an air strike. the national coalition for syrian revolutionary and opposition forces is an umbrella group for the syria umbrella groups. it says what was carried out by russia is a victory for terrorism and d.a.e.s.h. it weakens the factions that confronts terrorism and undermines the foundations. it is also an attack to abort the u.n. efforts of a political
settlement. our correspondent joins us live from near the turkey/syria border. this was the result of a very much targeted raid. >> reporter: exactly. the syrian opposition says that it was a targeted killing of one of its to be leaders of the outskirts of the capital of damascus. i was talking a while ago to the prime minister of the opposition in 2013 and this is basically what he told us. prime minister says that he is sure that the attack against zahran alloush could be viewed against many top military commanders and politicians in the near future. he says that he is confident that - sorry, his concerns that russians and syrians are willing
to go after every single powerful person in the opposition to undermine the whole process this area that we're talking about, this suburb of damascus, do we know who is now in charge of gouta? >> reporter: there are basically two rebel factions operating in that area. the most important one is the army of islam which was led until yesterday by zahran alloush. there is another successor, a cleric, very prominent, very strong ties with different rebel commanders in the area. he is says islam is going to continue the fight. there is also another group based in that area which is very powerful and very well organized, but it also says that
if it is willing to unite in the different future in different factions, merge into one to continue the fight. he says the russian air strikes undermining the groups in different parts of the country, they only have one option, to turn the chapter, to stand united and continue the fight thchlt is a moment of substantial threat. basically the syrian government and the air strikes. they are confident that they can continue the fight, win it and then establish the old government. if they stay divided, they're concerned they might soon lose their fight thank you very much. let's stay with this story and talk to a senior fellow at the american university of beirut. does it really matter? some people say it was the russians, but even if it was the syrians, what happened, happened, and we have to deal with the reality of that.
>> that's right. what happened was that one of the most effective leaders of the syrian mainstream islamists but mainstream opposition groups was killed and this group played a very important role at many different levels of maintaining control of the eastern area near damascus. they fought against the islamic state. they were able to bring together 10/15 smaller groups when they were created a few years ago. they were represented in the riyadh conference, they were prepared to talk and negotiate with the government in geneva, vienna or wherever the talks were going to happen, and he was a very charismatic leader who had a lot of credibility and support on the ground. he represented five or six critical dimensions of the syrian opposition groups and
this was a particularly syrian group with no real foreign fighters, unlike many of the other groups like islamic state or others. knocking him off was a real blow to the mainstream nationalist, islamist opposition and we will have to see how quickly they regroup and how quickly the retransition to a new leader allows them to maintain that per role on the ground as well as diplomatically the new leader has been nominated and named. what does his presence do to the center of gravity of this particular group looking forward to, i guess, now geneva 3 because we've had gen eve' 1-- geneva 1 and 2. >> we will only know that when we see what happens in the next few weeks or few months. a lot of this depends on personal carrise ma, a lot--
charisma, on the ability of the leader to actually lead on the ground. zahran alloush's strength came from the fact that he was with his troops on the ground all the time and had tremendous credibility with ordinary people. it also dependss on his ability, the new leader's ability to work diplomatically with the saudis, with the western world, the russians and all the other players who will be involved in the geneva process. the russians and the syrians together, or one of them together, killed zahran alloush presumably because they don't want this kind of credible, powerful leader who wants to engage the way he does. by killing the leader they think they can knock out the whole group. again that remains to be seen. other groups have had their leadership wiped out and bombings. some of them regrouped and
continued to work. others just fell by the way side. so we would have to wait and see how he deals with this assassination thank you. iraqi forces have reached the center of ramadi. the latest in their advance to retake the city from i.s.i.l. they engaged in fights with the complex. they began the offensive on tuesday. the iraqi forces say 27 forces have been killed by i.s.i.l. fighters south of falujah. the military has be sights falujah for a year in an attempt to force i.s.i.l. out. thousands of displaced sunni iraqis say they need help to get home safely. they left their homes. live to northern iraq where our
correspondent is life for us. starting our conversation talking about ramadi. is it your feeling, your sources telling you will that they got in which is militarily a success for them, but can they sustain it, can they hold on to it? >> reporter: peter, it's still very early to say that they have got in and they've taken it because it is a very, very urban area where houses are. they're finding it hard to reach the center of the ramadi. they've been able to make some progress. they've been consolidating but necessity haven't haven't been able to take the city. the prime minister said he wants to take on the city of mosul after they take ramadi, but his critics say he may be taking a victory lap before the race is over. this is going to take a while before the iraqi forces are able to take the city of ramadi.
just because that is an urban center, it is guerilla war fire and i.s.i.l. is entrenched there, they are also using the people of the area as human shields. >> translation: this man used to be a soldier. he says he was fighting i.s.i.l. in the province and then captured on his way back home. his crime was being sunni. he showed us burn marks on his body when he was tortured for 10 days at a youth center which was used as a prison. he says his uncle, who was a police officer, died after being tortured by the same militia. >> translation: they used to hang us and 10 people used to hit me and used an electric torch on me. they used nylon, set it alight and put it on my body. they told me to questions and tell the truth. >> reporter: this is now a government town after tens of
thousands of its people were reportedly forced out of their home. those we spoke to says there were no i.s.i.l. fighters there. after militias took over, they've been denied entry back to their own areas. it's not the first time the government backed militias has been accused of this in the province. human rights watch says that militia are wreaking who have ago on the peek-- havoc on the people. everyone here has the horror store. the divide is everywhere in this camp. people here are afraid to go back to their homes. they want an international body like the united nations to guarantee their safety. rf is among those asking for guarantees and compensation. he says it was besieged for months and the army turned a blind eye to abusers. >> translation: i was surprised
to see the militia forces. they destroyed houses, took our belongings and cows and took everything. we trailed day and night without food or anything ems. >> reporter: they deny the accusations against them. >> translation: for us this issue is silly and has no effect on us. as we continue to make progress, we will get more accusations. we don't care about it. we expect it. >> reporter: the fear runs deep in this community and thousands who don't want to return are coming to terms with these as their new homes palestinians demanding the return of their dead loved ones have been attacked by israeli security forces. soldiers fight tear gas and hit protesters with batons in occupied west juries near the
old city. several palestinian youths have been arrested. the 57 bodies held by israel were held by security forces in recent fighting. earlier in occupied east jerusalem a palestinian man was shot dead. the border guards killed a palestinian woman who they say was trying to run them over. another palestinian man killed in clashes with israeli forces has been buried. 22-year-old was killed on friday for allegedly throwing rocks at israeli soldiers. a wave of violence that started in october has left 137 palestinians and 20 israelis dead. turkish military has bombed a south-eastern town as part of an operation against kurdish separatists. six kurdish fighters and one turkish soldier were killed in the attacks. turkish tanks have surrounded the town against the kurdistan workers party.
talks with the group collapsed earlier this year. an independent security analyst in istanbul, he says ankarar has had to change its tactics. >> this is a new conflict for them in terms of the case. first this is an urban warfare. they were well adopted to those neighborhood mostly the ghettos of on those city centers which mostly poor people living. pkk copying i.s.i.s. tactics and techniques in these streets has been trying to imperlite this where ankar remarks. i don't see a clear road map on how ankara will translate this into a victory. there is an urgent need for a
ceasefire and they should look for venues to initiate peace proce process. it will be very grim for both plenty more to come. we're on lesbos, one of the greek islands. it used to be a holiday designation but that has changed because of the refugee crisis. plus three years of leadership in japan. what does his report card look like today. in sports news, the cleveland cavalier's in the finals. that and all the other sports news in about half an hour the after garden nation army says 21 of its soldiers have been killed in the last 48 hours in the helmand province.
fighting is continuing there, particularly heavy fighting around sangin. >> reporter: it's very difficult to know what exactly is going on in this moment because it changed every few hours. we heard a few hours ago that afghan government now control the district whore building and the police whores-- headquarters building and the police headquarters. we talked with residents of the area and also with some soldiers who are fighting for afghan government in the battle field. the soldiers are complaining about lack of leadership. they're complaining that there is not enough support by americans to them. there are some, but they say it's not enough. this war cannot be won without support. also they're complaining about logistics supplies.
remember, it's sangin is almost 70 kilometres away from capital, from the main army base. any supply needs to go by road. the government does not have a big force. getting to sangin in 70 kilometer is all stronghold area and that's what it makes-- why it makes it difficult for afghan security forces to gain supply for their forces in sangin bushfires in the australian states of victoria have destroyed more than 100 homes. fire crews battled for hours on friday to control the flames at a popular tourist estimation. more fires to come. >> reporter: an eerie silence hangs over the australia's great ocean road. this is usually parked with tourists. it is off limits for now after
bushfires swept through towns along the coast. >> there is significant property losses. today is assessment day. whether it is assessing damage to property, the safety 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 conditions. >> reporter: over night rains helped to get the 22 hectare blaze understand control but the area is still not in the clear. >> this fire doesn't go away. this fire is a fire that will remain with potential to burn in january and february of this year. the forecast for a long, dry hot summer is there. >> reporter: firefighters battle into the night on friday. water bombing aircraft were brought in, but the flames continued to engulf trees and homes. many people spent their holidays in the evacuation centers.
>> i thought that plume was getting close to home. i got to home and looking out my back door it's just, yeah, looked apocalyptic. >> reporter: australia is no stranger to bushfires. they strike every year in summer in the southern hemisphere and each time the losses are no less painful. gerald tann it's very much a different story in the northern territory in australia where there is flooding because of severe storms. annie vacuum ewation order is in place for hundreds of people living west of darwin. the nearby catherine river is expected to flood surrounding the countryside. rescuers are still searching for a man swept away. heading flooding in south america has force more than 150,000 people to leave their homes. paraguay has been hit hard and other areas have also been
affected. our correspondent reports. >> reporter: severe flooding in the southern part of south america driving more than 150,000 people from their homes and spending christmas looking for higher ground. in the city of concordia it has been called the worst flooding in half a century as nonstop overnight rains forced the river to flood its banks. thousands forced to evacuate u >> translation: the level of water was high in my house. >> reporter: the nearby dam was nearing capacity as it tried to contain more flood waters. >> translation: above all the priority today is related to getting control of the situation, helping the 6,000 evacuees and containing situations like in con card i can't. >> reporter:-- concordia >> reporter: water covered buildings. people crammed into shacks not
yet engulfd by water. they tried to support each other as best they could. >> translation: we have already run from the water four times. now we don't know where we will go. the water reached the places that we escaped to. we're now on the side of the road and the water keeps coming. >> reporter: around the capital, at one point more than 100,000 people were without power. the effects of the flooding reaching far and wide. >> translation: the situation is very bad. the children and also us, we were all sick. we had diarrhoea and in the medical centers there's no medicine. >> reporter: the exceptionally high rainfall in the region is due to an el nino weather pattern but few expected it to be this bad the u.s. state of albe that as it may ahas declared - alabe that as it may a-- alabam a has had an emergency. it has been a week of extreme weather in the south.
15 people have been killed across tennessee, are ken saw and mississippi. we have got wind, rain, to tornadoes. is it going to calm down? >> reporter: we have particularly high temperatures across southern parts of the u.s. and we've got cold weather, low temperatures across canada. it is where those two have come together where we've got the unsettled weather. you can see where the area is at its most unstable. at least bright white cloud tops here. the thunder heads showing up nicely. across alabama will make its way east. here is our warm front. here we're drawing up. looking north, there is the really cold air in place. minus 19 here. look at the temperature contrast. that's the key thing. we're looking at temperatures of around 16 celsius in washington dc, 15 degrees in new york and
into the low to mid 20s further south. so a massive contrast in temperatures. that's ideal conditions for breeding tornadoes and severe storms. a similar picture through sunday. this is what that looks like. those massive down pours across a good part of the central plains over towards the mountains. north of the border, northern planes, here is where we've got plenty of snow. that has been spilling off the rockies. as we go through sunday, further severe storms and tornadoes. then you go, further snow towards the mid-west thanks very much. in western china 18 workers are still trapped in a collapsed mine. 11 workers have been rescued so far. miners are being communicated
with by footballs with messages. the cause of the collapse not yet known. in the city of schegen, those responsibility for the mud slide will be punished. people are still missing. a pile of construction waste collapsed onto an industrial park damaging or burying more than 30 buildings. the government investigators say the disaster was caused by safety breaches. emergency teams in myanmar are trying to fine mine workers who have been buried by a mud slide. it happened in the northern remote town of pacunt which has several jade mines. it killed more than 100 people. dozens of people have been injured after an earthquake hit afghanistan. tremors were felt in various areas, collapsing houses and walls caused the injuries about
300 kilometres from the quake's epicenter. hundreds of people in thailand have been remembering the victims of the 2004 tsunam i. they gathered at the memorial park. it is built on the site of a fishing village that was destroyed by giant waves. it killed more than 230,000 people in 14 countries. in the japanese prime minister swept to power three years ago, he promised to revive the economy and restore the country's image as a power house. unpopular policies leading to a decline in sport. from tokyo our correspondent has the story. >> reporter: amidst the hustle and bus el here, these people gave their opinions about the prime minister's performance. >> translation: i didn't like him from the start. >> translation: i see the economics working, but there are
issues too. >> translation: i think he should listen to the people more. >> reporter: a few months ago many people had much stronger messages for the government over legislation that allowed japanese troops to assist allies in combat for the first time since world war 23. despite the opposition, the laws were passed by the parliament in september while the anger still simmers in many quarters, the approval rating has inched back >> he talk is a lot but there's no movement. moving forward it is to implement the policies he has been talking about, especially with structural reform. >> reporter: he became prime minister in 2012 with a mandate to fix the stagnant economy. on that front he has had hits and misses. the share market corporate
profits and economic growth are up, but there are still major problems with the economy such as a huge debt dwindling birth rate and falling productivity. >> the japanese government has to show continuously to the nation, to the business community, that they are committed, they are single-mindedly dedicated to bring about change and that's what he must do. video japan will vote in upper house elections in july next year and the ruling coalition is hoping to win a two-thirds majority across both houses of parliament. this would fast forward his plans to revive the constitution. the prime minister is also benefitting from weak and disorganized opposition parties. the people we talked to found it very difficult to name an alternative leader. >> translation: i can't think
of anyone. >> reporter: this might mean that he is safe in the top job for now still to come here on the al jazeera news hour. >> reporter: no place to call home. i'm at a camp on the haitiian dominican border where people have resettled having to leave their country some of the world most famous opera singers. shortly in the shorts news, details of the dramatic start in the sydney to hobart yacht race. .
welcome back. top stories here on the news hour. syria's opposition says the death of a powerful rebel leader may undermine long awaited talks between the government and groups. zahran alloush is the armed group, the biggest group. the afghan national army says 21 of its soldiers have been killed in the last 48 hours in the province of helmand. it is fighting the taliban for control of the area. the fighting has been particularly heavy around sangin. emergency sievess in australia are warning that more bushfires may break out in the south-east. more than 100 homes have been destroyed in all. more on our top story. the former general in the lebanese army and analyst says the killing of the syrian rebel
leader is a blow to the regional powers when it comes to negotiating peace. >> first you have to ask the question who is the beneficiary from this killing. the regime as well as the russian today. the regime doesn't have such kind of pinpointing advanced technology. it seems that although the russians are not declaring that they have really done it because according to zahran alloush considered the russian presence as occupation and was going to fight them in the future. this is the context for who is the beneficiary, the regime hezbollah, iran, as well as the russians. the mitigation is political as military at the same time. from the political point of view he agreed to talk negotiation. it's a major hit for this political process. it is like a hit for saudi arabia and, in particular, after the riyadh conference. it is like the russian order
regime are preparing the ground, shaping the military situation in order to really weaken their opponents in any table of negotiation in the future. this is major blow for the region protesters have ransacked a muslim prayer hall. they broke down the door and tried to step copies to the quaran. it is an unacceptable desercration. thousands of people forced to leave the dominican republic are facing an outbreak of cholera. they were deported six months ago in what was said a clamp down on illegal migrants. adam rainey went back to the camp that he last visited in july. he found that conditions there have worsened. >> reporter: close quarters for those stuck here in haiti near
the dominican border. six months after fleeing or being deported from the dominican republic, they have received no help. hungry and penniless they remain for help while children keep their spirits up somehow. many are weakened after being struck with cholera. >> translation: i was vomiting and i had diarrhoea. >> reporter: he like many here is more fluent in spanish than haitian creole. he said he was born in the dominican republic. he left a home and horse behind. here he has nothing. he showed me an meagre packet of rice that he is sometimes given to eat. we first filmed here in july a month after the country began a sweep possessing crack down on migrant workers who lacked proper documentation.
many long established residents have been caught up in the sweep. some fear for their lives and came here on their own. others say they were deported. things are bleaker at this camp than they were in july. there have been dozens of cases of cholera. at least nine people have slept here. they breathe in dust that makes them sick and they have little to eat and drink, but despite that every day there are signs that people keep showing up. this woman survived cholera too. alone here her son and husband are back in the dough minimum country republic. >> translation: i hope the government helps me move to another place. that's what i'm asking god for. >> reporter: the camp is noun as gift park. there are no signs of presents, though, at christmas. a water filter supplied by the
haitian government arrived just a day ago. >> we were here in gem. it's now sick months-- gem. why does it take six month to get these people water? >> we thought this was temporary. now we have to do something. >> reporter: other projects like the reception center on the border have been promised, but so far have not been built. back in the camp, cleaner water should aarrive soon, but what people are really looking for is a way out of here. adam rainy, al jazeera staying with that kind of story, also looking for a new start in life, other migrants tried to cross through mexico to reach the u.s., but a government operation has made that journey much more difficult. it is not only resulted in a huge increase in deportations, but also complaints of human rights abuse. in the first of a three part series john holman reports.
>> reporter: the rode to the u.s. has been barred as never before. this is mexico where deportations have gone up by 70% in the last year and a half. they send hundreds back every day to honduras, guatemala and countries suffering brutal gang violence and desperate poverty. >> translation: we are poor and that's why we look for the american dream. unfortunately, they catch and send us back with debt and what can we do apart from trying again? >> reporter: the clamp down began with the u.s. crisis. record numbers of child migrants turning up on its doorstep. mexico stepped forward to help stem the rush enroute. rather than focusing on the root causes that are forcing people to flee from central america, the u.s. is instead giving more money and more equipment to cut off that flow at its southern border. it has worked. roving check points and a
constant watch on the cargo train migrants jumped on to go north has meant this mexican detention center, the biggest in latin america, is full to bursting. as migration officials have closed the net, accusations of extortion and fishing abuse has soared. this is what happened to his arm when he was run over by a patrol who saw his injury and left him pleading on-- bleeding on the road sigh. >> translation: other people would have helped me, take me to a hospital, but they didn't care. it was as if i wasn't even human. >> reporter: to avoid authorities, migrantss are often forced to travel through isolated areas where gangs of robbers and kidnappers lie in wait. the protection office say they're acting against the criminals and also against corrupt officials. >> translation: we have shown clearly that we don't tolerate impunity in the state. we have had accusations against officials and we've cog and
tried them. that's the best proof that migrants can trust us. >> reporter: that trust is far from errands yet. the - earned yet. the vast majority of the migrants we talked to in mexico feel authorities is just another threat in an increasingly hostile land in the next part of that series. port augusta letters-- people smugglers. more in hondur aas. that's sundays 13 hours gmf. still to come in the sports news, liverpool prepare for surprise visits. we look forward to that in about five or six minutes or so. so.
two african migrants have drowned trying to enter and some have tried to climb barbed wire borders. red cross treated others. some had injured themselves crossing over. others suffered hypothermia because of the water temperature. greece estimates it could spends up to half a billion dollars on the refugee crisis this year. most of that has is to be reimbursed the by the u.n. much is lost by tourism though.
>> reporter: this man used to be at the bottom of the hospitality industry. she parks her her food van and waited for occasional business. the refugee crisis has now put her at the top. >> translation: in summer we made up to 2,000 euros a day. now about 50. before it was 500. here refugees can warm themselves by her stove, eat and reach out to their cell phones. refugees and migrants have set up a tent city in the surrounding olive groves with vendors supplying the hardware. those with money have moved into small hotels dotting the coast which would normally be closed in december. a breakfast with police and aid workers. in town they buy credit for cell phones. here too they can buy boat and bus tickets for their journey out of the greece.
>> reporter: the refugee windfall ask evident from out of town. this may prove only a partial and temporary replacement of the tourism industry that migration seems to have chased away of the. an industry greek islands spent decades building up. lesbos hotels experienced a 3.5% drop in business for the last time last august. charter companies cut down flights. they expect a drop in business >> translation: it depends on how visitors will react. will they come as volunteers to help? this will be positive. if they will see sad things we will take a loss. >> reporter: the e.u. defrays the government's migration costs but not always true for local government. >> translation: this month i won't pay all the salaries. the burden is enormous. the taxes paid by 90,000 people are covering the cost of 440,000
migrants arriving. >> reporter: there is no doubt that lesbos is seeing the losses and benefits of becoming a global refugee capital. at the end of the day people here say it is the loss of life that touches them and that is the main reason they want refugee flows to end as we approach the end of 2015, al jazeera is looking back through the eyes of five families whose lives have been affected by some of this year's most significant events. that includes the war in syria which forced over one million people to seek refuge in neighbouring turkey. one elderly couple spoke with our correspondent bernard smith. >> reporter: just 50 kilometres from this church in turkey across the border, open christian woreship is now impossible. there i.s.i.l. is in control. so this man and his family fled
here seeking refuge with its small community of fellow syrian christians. his wife is bed-ridden. getting treatment has been hard in a country where they don't speak the language. >> translation: when we came to turkey, we stayed in the monestry for four months. it was too crowded with refugees. so they put us in this house, gave us blankets, pillows, a fridge, everything we need. >> reporter: like hill i don't knows of syrians of all-- millions of syrians with all faith, they have been torn apart. two of their sons have gone to europe. >> translation: they were working here for just 15 euros a day. it wasn't enough for the cigarettes and phone credit, let alone to help us. we sold our home and used it to send the boys to europe. >> translation: evidence day just 15.
how can you live on that? >> translation: they're in some refugee camp somewhere. we're not sure. >> reporter: too sick to get to church, the previous comes to her-- priest comes to her >> translation: i used to walk a little. but now it is difficult. now all i can do is go to the bathroom and back with this frame. there is only us. we have no friends here and no family. >> reporter: a proud couple, they now face a retirement dependent on charity. >> translation: we want to go back to our life as it was before, but it is hard. >> translation: believe me, there is no place in all the world better than syria. rich or poor, everybody had a life. there was work. now syria is destroyed. >> reporter: but still he says
he prays that next year he will be able to take his family back to a peaceful syria. bernard smith time for the sports news. >> reporter: thank you very much. there was a real christmas treat for nda fans as the warriors were in a repeat of last season's final series. six months ago it was them who were crowned nba champions for the first time. they were again in a similar pattern. they led by 10 at one stage. a lady rally cut that just three points going into the final minutes, but despite the best efforts of one, it was the warrers that took it 89 to 83. that is the best start in nba history. meanwhile, the miami heat won
again. they hit 19 points who has an nba all time christmas record. bosh was the stand up performer with 30 points in ten rebounds. the pelicans pushed the heat and could have won it, but davis missed again. over time was needed to decide it with it was won by 94 to 88. in the other results on friday, the chicago bulls beat the oklahoma. the rockets beat the sturs. the clippers beat the lakers at 94 to 84. basketball is one of the sports that form part of the daily fantasy games industry or dfs as it is known in the u.s. similar games are popular around the world, in the u.s. fantasy sports is a big business with huge sums of move involved. it has called for some in the industry to be closed down.
>> reporter: 2015, the year fantasy sports grew up. bands like rick anthony has picked players and following success on imaginary teams. >> yes. it is good to see a swing, but to also make some money along the way, voting to or teams and other players makes it more exciting. >> reporter: the winner of his league takes home hundreds of dollars at season's end. when 2015, a new way to play sports exploded. >> one week, they're pay 75,000 $a week >> reporter: daily fantasy sports or dsf leagues offer the chance to win cash prizes of anywhere from a couple of bucks to over a million dollars, all for an entry fee as little as a dollar a week. >> i won to date so far profit almost $5,000. >> reporter: companies like rap
kings ran around 8,000 ads per week by the start of the n.f.l. seaso season. >> paying out up to one million dollars every day. >> reporter: in the second full week of october alone they took in a record 40 million dollars worth of entry fees, but all those ads drew more than just those entry fees. politicians asking if dfs is illegal gambling. officials all over the country began coming to the same conclusion, representative frank paallone came to >> how is it any different to sports betting? because you call it fans see? >> reporter: the companies maintained it wasn't gambling because by law gambling is defined as a game of chance while dfs, they say, should be considered a contest of skill, but for the scandal and legal action that called the very
fairness of the games into question. nevada moved to restrict the sites and class action lawsuits were filed against an insider trading scandal in october. the most damning accusation was that employees used their inside information to place bets with their competitors. the new york attorney-general told them to stop accepting those fees. saying daily fantasy constitutes illegal gambling under new york law. then in december an appeals court said the two companies could continue operating until january 4 of the new year. in the meantime, significant damage to the industry has been done. according to legal sports report.com, entry fees have plunged since their record highs in october and corporate partners like esvn and the ncaa have begun to distance themselves. john henry smith. al jazeera football and manchester united are taking on stoke in
the first of the boxing day fixtures in the english premier league. winning in six games, they haven't got off to the best start. they're currently currently two nil up. >> reporter: a much different story for leicester city. they were bottom of the table this time last year. now they're top at the christmas in the first time in their history while they travel to liverpool later on saturday. they need to make up some ground after picking up one point from the last nine on offer. leaving them ninth in the league. they face three games in eight days beginning with the game at leicester. >> it is a difficult game. it is the lead off the table, leaped off the premier league. it is not easy, but it is possible. i don't need more. no, let's try to do it. i don't we have to discuss that often about things that happens
after the game. >> reporter: ten matches in total in the premier league on saturday. chelsea take on wattford. it is their place after the interim coach who admits it won't be easy to turn the season around >> it is not easy to fix in p if you sometimes after a championship you might relax a bit as a team, and then - but then you get a wake-up call somewhere, somewhere in september, but the situation is that they were down to last week, to one point after, which was frightening for everyone inside the club. it is not easy to say i'm here and tomorrow the problem is solved. >> reporter: russian world champion weight lifter has been suspended for failing a dope test. the 26-year-old, 105 world record holder, had traces of the
banned substance in his sample. it comes just days after the i.a.a.f. announced that they were sending a task force to russia. >> translation: we will support him in any way possible until the athlete is accused and the decision is made. he had a very serious major injury, torn lying meant and, of course, he was given certain medications. >> reporter: a ram blur is leading the sydney to hobart yacht race. a record ninth win in this event was chased. they did get off to a great start until splitting a sail. comache was first into the open sea but the american boast has been forced to retire because of a broken rudder with winds gusting up to 44 knots. the freed is down to 100 boats. staying in australia, the
aussies are on top in the second test against west indies after ending the opening day on 345 for 3. already one up in the best of three series. australia were put into bat at the mcg and bashed them around the ground. joe burns had 198 and another 144. england have lost early wickets against south africa in a rain interrupted day at the first test month in derbin. they quickly removed the openers. england are 121 for 3 at tea. staying with cricket, pakistan's one day captain and another could face disciplinary action according to the chairman of their cricket board. the pair refused to attend a fitness camp ahead of next month's tour to new zealand due to the selection of convicted player. they spent three months in prairies after implicated in a
spot fixing case. it also involved others. another was eligible to play for pakistan once again. that's the sport for now. more later many thank yous. the metropolitan opera in new york has hosted some of the world's most famous opera singers but these days is attracting a different kind of crowd, kids. it is teaching inner city school children to appreciate this art form. >> reporter: these school children may be more many familiar with anything other than this. a trip to the metropolitan opera house in new york never fails to impress. >> we were, like, gasping. >> it was just like watching on television, but in real play. >> reporter: for many city kids it's their first formal exposure to a classic art form. attending a dress-rehearsal is just one parliament of a
comprehensive opera-based arts program, sponsored by the opera gild. the gild represents artists, such as a world performer who has spent time teaching children. >> i made them realise that how opera was already in their lives, so i said to them bugs bunny cartoons, i said you hear, figaro, figaro, you hear that, right? they said "oh, yes". so they understood that. >> row row your boat, gently down the stream. >> reporter: in the classroom the children learn to tell a story with music and lots of drama. >> this is opera so it has to be something like epic. they're escaping from the police >> reporter: they even write
their own story line. the class may be all about opera, but the lessons applied other subjects as well. a four-year study by the metropolitan opera gild found that students who participated in the program did better in maths, science and english than those who didn't. at a time when many schools are focused on improving test scores, teachers say the class is a fun compliment to their lesson plans >> the big thing for third graders is being able to tell a story and find all the parts of the story. we do a lot of work with it in reading and writing, obviously, but it is so nice to have them see that show up in drama. >> reporter: with more than 15,000 students already taking part in the program, it is no wonder schools are singing praises do stay with us here on al jazeera. another full bulletin of news is straight ahead. do checkout the website, al
another setback for syria. the opposition says the death of a pourful rebel leader could undermine talks with the government-- powerful. welcome. you're watching al jazeera live from doha. also ahead this hour. >> reporter: i am at the camp for displaced iraqis. i will tell you why some sunni tribesmen are afraid to return home desperate to chase the american dream, but now there tre complaints of migrants