tv America Tonight Al Jazeera February 13, 2016 9:00pm-9:31pm EST
this is al jazeera hello. welcome to the news hour live from al jazeera headquarters. coming up in the next 60 minutes. >> we honor his extraordinary service to our nation and remember one of the towering legal figures of our time president obama is there talking about the justice that just passed away.
diplomatic disagreement about whether a pause in syria's war. just pope travels to mexico. will he trump them again. live at the debate ahead of the south carolina primary one of the u.s. supreme courts most conservative members, justice scalia has died. he was 79 years old. it has the potential to shift the balance and power in the court should obama manage to appoint a more liberal justice. we just heard from the president a few moments ago. what did he have to say? >> that's right. after his death we instantly heard from republicans who said they did not believe president
obama should name a successor to the supreme court, that that was a decision that should be made by the next president. well, obama came out and made it clear that he does not intend to follow their advice. he said i intend to fulfil my constitutional duty and the senate has plenty of time to approve that decision. the average time to previous supreme court justice is something like 70 days. president obama has nearly a year left. so he believes that he has the right to do this and he plans to do so. this is what he had to say. >> obviously, today is a time to remember justice scalia's legacy. i plan to fulfil my constitutional responsibilities to nominate a successor in due time and there will be plenty time of me to do so and for the senate to fulfil its responsibility to give that person a fair hearing and a timely vote.
these are responsibilities that i take seriously as should everyone president obama making it clear that he will go ahead with finding a successor to scalia, but the u.s. senate that has the job of approving the nomination . >> this will be an epic fight between the white house and capitol hill. the only way to avoid that is he he nom someone that was accepted by both sides of the political spectrum. that is a spectrum that has moved further to the right on the republican side and further to the left on the democratic side. that is a wide bridge to gap. this is a tough job to do. it is what ronald reagan did.
he finally pushed through justice kenney in 1988. that was his last year. that happened under a democratic senate. regan was a republican thank you. let's talk with bruce fine who joins us from washington. we will talk about the political implications of all of this in a moment. i want to talk about the justice for a moment. he was someone who engendered a lot of issues in people. how should he be remembered as a supreme court justice? >> reporter: i think he is require replaceable for the conservative view. i need to disclose i testify ied
in his position. the constitution should not be viewed as a living document that the justices can change as they perceive changes in culture, that it should be interpreted by the architects of the document and if you wanted to change it you needed to go through the amendment process. he thought the language shouldn't be resorted to the history, but rather to the spirit. he was an exceptionally gifted writer and i don't think that you can find anyone who has his stature on the conservative side that could have his influence that he was able to bring to bear because of his raw intellect what does this do for the potential shift in the balance of power on the supreme court?
>> i think it almost certainly means it will go more to the left because even if you have someone who is inclined on the conservative, they won't have the intellectual fire power that scalia brought. i would like to offer this as well. it remind me of the statement, be careful what you wish for, you might get it. the republicans seem very insistent that they won't go forward with a nominee. you need to remember that in 2017 there may be a hillary clinton in the white house and the senate, far more than houses, more than likely is to shift from the republicans to the democrats. when i was involved in the nominations of the supreme court that you've mentioned not only justice scalia but others, the difference between him and borik were simply, when they sat today, they voted together 402 out of 4 had 44 times.
scalia got 98 to zero. the next year when it filmed from republican to democrat, borik gets voted down. the republicans are mule headed and going to 2017 year in order to take up the nomination, they may end up with a candidate who is very, very liberal and gets through a democratic senate. they need to be careful here. the other thing i need to think about with regard to a successor that obama might name, if he chooses a u.s. senator, even a democrat, there is a very important atmosphere here. the importance of the hispanic vote in 2016 presidential elections, if he nominates an hispanic and they say they're not going to consider it, that may be a difficult choice to
take when that hispanic vote can be decisive in november. even though there is a lot of bluster now, if he plays this cleverly i think he could get a nominee through thank you for that. the u.s. has urged turkey to halt military strikes to kurdish strikes in syria. the prime minister is demanding the fighters withdraw from its borders. there has been shelling in northern syria. the y.p.g. said the positions were targeted. tur see says it was striking in retaliation under the army's rules of engagement-- turkey. >> translation: during the attacks by y.p.g. forces there have been actions against our border. retaliation was taken against
forces that represented a threat. to counter the efforts of these fighters who are clearly an offshoot from the p.k.k.'s efforts to gain their own area in syria our correspondent has this update now. >> reporter: turkish military confirming that they're targeting positions of the y.p.g. inside the northern aleppo province, clearly a message. over the past few days this group and their allies have been taking ground from turkey backed syrian opposition groups. as we speak, we know that the y.p.g. has been trying to advance towards two main rebel strong holds in the northern corridor of aleppo province. clearly a warning telling them not to advance any further or maybe supporting the opposition groups on the ground who are
trying to repel their advance. earlier today the prime minister warned that they would not hesitant to take action against the y.p.g. similar to other actions where p.k.k. have been targeted over the past few months. turkey consideration the y.p.g. an offshoot of the p.k.k. it is an ally of the u.s. and turkey made it clear that it is not happy with the alliance but saying its position will not change the attempts to stop the conflict in syria, even temporarily, appear to be going nowhere as the fighting continues. they have made further progress in aleppo. the bombing campaign shows no signs of ending. a report again. >> reporter: this high ground gives the syrian army and its allies an advantage.
the main rebel supply line from the west to the northern countryside of aleppo is now within their range of fire. disrupting the supply line is not their only objective. it is not far from the only entrance to the opposition controlled enclave and the divide city of aleppo. opposition fighters are trying to keep the roads open where tens of thousands of people live inside the city. a pause in the fighting will only benefit the government. >> translation: the battle for aleppo was carried out by the international community who call themselves friends of syria. we will not stop fight fighting. >> reporter: the people of aleppo have come together to prepare for the possibility of a siege. doctors, activists, lawyers, journalists joined a revolution
front. a call to arms has been answer episode by civilians. men of fighting age are receiving training. >> translation: these men will join their brothers in the free syrian army. they will hold positions and join offences. we will teach our enemy lessons they won't forget >> reporter: for those in the opposition the campaigns across the country and recent battle field gains will not force them to lay down their arms. there is an opposition plan to pause the fighting within a week. rebel commanders say it is unrealistic because russian air strikes can continue to target i.s.i.l. and al-qaeda linked al-nusra front. the russian back government offensive have weakened groups. they're strongest around aleppo
and homs. for the first time in years the opposition risks losing its heart land in the north and its life line of the turkish border. the fall of aleppo won't be the end of the war instead of direct confrontation they plan to resort to irregular warfare to loosen the government's grip on the ground saudi arabia has confirmed its military personnel and jets have arrived. the base is used by the u.s. led coalition in the fight against i.s.i.l. >> translation: the latest deployments when it comes to the land forces or increasing our land campaign emphasize that saudi arabia is continuing to work with the international coalition to fight i.s.i.l. today we are reinforcing our compare campaign and we will wait for military details. teams have arrived at the air
base. some planes have arrived and the rest will arrive in hours at least 20 people have been killed in russian air strikes. the attacks happened in the town in the homs province. the video posted online which we cannot independently verify shows people crying over recovered bodies. >> translation: for god sakes we are being exterminated. we are displaced. where can we go? we wake up to massacres and we sleep to more massacres there has been plenty of talk about ending the conflict in syria at an international security conference in munich. husband has been amongst-- russia has been amongst the most sceptical voice in this. dominic kane reports from munich >> reporter: only a short while after the agreement on syria was
reached in this city. the u.s. secretary of state was back in munich for a security conference. although some politicians had hailed thursday's deliberations as a step forward, others had expressed extreme scepticism. in his address to the conference, john kerry addressed that scepticism by expressing how critical it is to make the cessation of hostilities work. >> this conflict will still require a political solution at some point in time in order to make peace, no matter what happens. this is the most. this is a hinge point decision. decisions made in the coming days and week and few months could end the war in syria or it could define a very difficult set of choices for the future >> reporter: quite how difficult is becoming clear this weekend in munich. the french prime minister has
accused the russians of bombing civilians in syria, an allegation endorsed by the u.s. government. the russian prime minister has said comments like these are making his country feel increasingly isolated. >> translation: one could go as far as to say we have slid back to a new cold war, almost on an every day basis we are called a threat to nato or to europe or the u.s. >> reporter: the russians stress that they have national interests in syria and that they have no secret agenda. they have repeatedly denied that they're bombing civilians there. the humanitarian tragedy syria has suffered for the past five years has been highlighted by aid agencies and human rights groups alike. hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and millions more displaced both inside and outside syria >> i think the underlying crisis we're dealing with is a leadership crisis. when you talk about the refugee
crisis, you have to remember the only time it became a global refugee crisis says is when the refugees went to europe. it has been going on for give years. it is in different parts of the world. what needs to happen, we need to give the international protections that these people are entitled to. >> reporter: while there may be international support for a peaceful way out of the syria crisis, at the same time there are signs that turkey and saudi arabia are readying their forces for ground operations still to come, efforts are stepped up to get rid of the virus ahead of the rio olympics. plus haiti still without a president. in sport we will hear when
manchester united's manager had to say after his latest defeat. >> the presidential candidates a currently taking part of a debate in south carolina. that state due to hold a primary next week, and polls are showing donald trump and ted cruz as the front runners. alan fisher has more now from greenville, south carolina. >> the death of justice scalia will no doubt be one of the questions that are asked and how republicans would act to filling that vacancy. ted cruz said he believes it should be left to the next president. he believes he'll win the nomination and he'll be that next president. but these debates have been important. remember one week ago marco rubio entered the debate in new hampshire on the back of a good performance on the iowa caucuses. he was going in with momentum and then he had a dreadful night only realized how badly he had done when he came off stage and
saw the reactions to social media. with that his numbers began to fall, and he didn't do terribly well in new hampshire. he said i had an about a night. it won't happen again. there is jeb bush, john kasich and marco rubio, and they're fighting with one another. and both sides are fighting against each other. they debates hugely important. hugely significant, and we expect it to be the angriest debate yet. >> pope francis has been celebrating mass at the basilica of the virgin of guadelupe in mexico city. earlier the pontiff urged mexican leaders to provide true justice to the victims of drug violence. adam raney has more from mexico city. >> pope francis finished off his official day with a five-day trip to mexico with a mass and
prayed alone for some time in front of the image of this virgin martha appeared according to catholic tradition to a poor indigenous peasant in the 1500s. he said it was the most important thing for him to do on this trip. the most important thing is to pray in front of this symbol of mexico. he had strong words for a group of bishops at the cathedral in mexico city. he said they must do more to help mexico's poor, the people caught up in the ongoing drug war where violence and corruption reigns and these people need the support of the church, and mexico will not be able to truly cleanse itself without the church taking some sort of leadership in it, and church leaders need to be concerned less with the wealthy and powerful being much more concerned with the poor among
their flock. he spoke for a first-ever for a pope. this was the first time the head of the vatican had entered that palace because relation has not been established between them and the vatican until 1992. they needed to be concerned with ruling effectively, getting rid of corruption and imposing the rule of law to make sure that millions of mexicans do not live in these areas of the country where there is no rule of law, where they see more corruption and they see nor violence than they see justice. he's ending a very busy day. one that came with a lot of pompous. he came in and ended on a spiritual note as he celebrated a mass at this basilica as tens of thousands 6 mexicans looked on outside of the basilica. >> 5,000 pregnant women in colombia now have the zika virus. national health authorities say
total cases in the countries have pasted 30,000. the disease has been linked to microcephaly, a condition where babies are born with an abnormally small head. more is known about the mosquito carrying the zika virus. troops are handing out leaflets of how to destroy habitats where the insect breeds. they're urging all brazilians to achieve zero zika. >> more than 200,000 personnel from the brazilian army, navy and air force were deployed across the country. they handed out leaflets warning of the dangerous of still or stagnant water. because where the mosquito breeds. >> this is truly a war against the mosquito. and the army forces are looking to use its credibility in this campaign. as the population begins to see the size and scale of this
operation, with so many soldiers in the streets, the population will realize this is a serious issue, and everybody will do their part in their homes. >> the zika virus has been linked to the birth of hundreds of babies with a brain defect microcephaly. the same mosquito carries dengue and yellow fever and other viruses. >> i'm three months pregnant, and here i am with warm clothes and repellent, of course. >> rio de janeiro will host the olympic games in august, and some athletes are warning of pulling out if the mosquito is not contained. president dilma rousseff wil, certain cities will be prioritized, one of which is rio de janeiro for obvious reasons.
>> the president sent her ministers to other parts of brazil to lead the education campaign. they will continue with troops visiting 3 million homes to identify problem areas and distribute pesticides. similar operations are under way across latin america. wherever the zika virus has been found. al jazeera, buenos aires. >> now haiti is due to elect an interim president after elections there were postponed. parliament is right now debating how their vote for a standing leader will be conducted. there has been violence in the past few days with many unhappy about the election process for an interim leader. michel martelly left his post on january 7th without a successor. a ballot was called off because of violence. we have this report from port-au-prince. >> they have been waiting until
a few minutes ago there were 60-50 people here demanding that the candidate be elected today. there was heavy security, so the national assembly is trying to take the country out of the worst crisis since 2004 when former president was ousted from power. the session started four hours ago, and since then they have been discussing about the agenda about how the voting will take place. there was some tension, for example, where they ask anyone that was carrying guns to leave the room. so there was tension there by as we seek they're still discussing there were 13 candidates. now they've gone down to three. two former senators and a president of the senate. we're expecting this assembly to go wall into the night. >> there are plenty more still ahead on al jazeera. when we come back including bangladesh's government sets up a training center to prepare its citizens for the challenges of life as a migrant worker.
>> this is one of the most important sites in the century. >> this linked the mafia and the church. >> why do you think you didn't get the medal of honor? >> i can't allow you not to go into that because that is your job. >> we gonna bring this city back one note at a time. >> proudest moment in my life.
>> hello again. you're watching al jazeera. our pop stories, u.s. president barack obama said it's his constitutional responsibility to fill the vacancy left by the death of antone is a lea scalia. he was nominated by ronald reagan in 1986. the u.s. has urged turkey to halt military strikes on syria. turkey's prime minister has demanded fighters withdraw from its border. and republican presidential hopefuls are currently taking part in a debate in south carolina. the state due to hold a prime minister this week. polls show donald trump and ted
cruz the front runners. now more than 25,000 people are hoping to use the crossing to enter egypt from the southern gaza strip this weekend. we have reports on that. >> these palestinians have been waiting patiently to leave the gaza strip for months. some for years. >> we have over 25,000 registered humanitarian cases in the gaza strip. our best estimate, there will be 24,000 people in need of help still suffering. >> this keen imaginer is in need of medical attention. he lost his leg us during the gaza war. >> he needs surgeries and therapy. we've been trying to get help for more than a year. we've been applying for permits and renewing them. >> the economic realities in the strip worsened after that w