>> the devastating violence in south sudan left hundreds of people dead, and forced thousands to flee. now the united nations is looking to double the number of peacekeeping troops. one extra day. the white house extends the first deadline to enrol in health care after a record 1 million logged on to healthcare.gov. >> a big winter storm cancels hundreds of flights and complicates travel in a dozen states. >> taking the stage behind bars. the inmates using acting to start a new life.
ksh >> hello. welcome to al jazeera america. i'm david shuster in new york. >> 150 u.s. marines are headed to south sudan deploying there from a base in spain to protect and evacuate american citizens. the growing violence in south sudan claimed hundreds of lives, and an estimated 40,000 are trying to escape the deadly fighting by pouring into u.n. refugee camps. the u.n. security council held a meeting and samantha power, ambassador to the united states said something must be down quickly. >> the future of south sudan is in jeopardy and demands urgent leadership to stop bloodshed and restore stability. leaders face a choice - they can return to the political dialogue
in cooperation that helped to establish south sudan or destroy the hard-fought gains and tear apart their newborn nation. >> u.n. chief ban ki-moon is asking for 50,000 more peacekeeping troops to be sent to sudan. >> haru mutasa is in juba. >> this man said he was attacked by men carrying machetes. the government said it was a coup. young people started to attack civilians with pangas, that looked like machetes. >> i fall down. i didn't know what was happening. >> more people are expected to get hurt. president salva kiir says the
army is ready. >> the army's duty is to protect the citizens and the army is bound by the duty to protect the towns and bring them under the control of the government south sudan. army concentrations are on their way. there are fears things could get worse. that's why this woman won't leave the u.n. compound. >> there's no water or food. when we hungry and we want to find food we can. >> officials say tens of thousands of people are crammed into u.n. bases across the country. >> it does not include the people looking for shelter in churches, in the theatre, in the bush. i had countless calls from our own staff members who told me leaving the city center and going back to the villages or hiding between villages in the savannah is where they feel the safest. >> this camp is stretched to
capacity. >> u.n. soldiers used to live on this side of the base. they have to move out and make way for thousands who are too scared to go home. the violence is taking its toll on people. an escalation in fighting between soldiers and rebels will worsen the humanitarian crisis. >> the french ambassador to the u.n. says a vote to expand the peacekeeping course could happen as early as christmas eve. >> a strong explosion near a police headquarters in egypt killed a dozen people and injured 120 others. the bombing happened in mansoura along the niger delta. sections of the buildings collapsed and emergency workers are sifting through the rubble. it was suspected the blast was caused by a car bomb. >> helicopters are being used to drop barrel bombs on their own
people. they are filled with dynamite, metal debris. human rights groups and witnesses say they are being dropped on crowded markets and bus stops in neighbour hoods controlled by rebel forces. 80 people were killed in attacks, and 300 were killed over the weekend. >> the obama administration is giving an extra 24 hours to applicants who want health insurance through the new exchanges starting january the 1st. the deadline was monday night. it's been extended to 11:59pm tuesday, christmas eve. there has been a flood of interest in the healthcare.gov website. jennifer london has the story. >> while today is, in fact, the deadline for anyone wishing to enrol in benefits, to have the benefits go in effect on january the 1st, the administration is saying if you start the process today and you are not able to complete registration for
whatever reason, and it is not completed until tomorrow, you'll be considered enrolled it and the benefits will go in effect on january the 1st. it's confusing. it's not an extension, and perhaps the best way to think about it is voting day, when you leave work and get in a long line. the polls close. the pole workers go home and allow you to stay and cast your ballot. the barack obama administration understanding that this will be a last-minute rush to enrol in benefits and want to ensure that the people trying to enrol by the deadline to have the benefits go in effect on january the 1st. that they are able to do so. the first family is here, enjoying their vacation. we understand that the president did enrol for health care, and signed up for a bronze plan through the washington d.c. exchange. it's a symbolic gesture, the
president showing support for the health care exchange. if you don't enrol today, you can get benefits, you can enrol for a health care plan on healthcare.gov, but they won't go into account on january the 1st. consumers have until march 31st to plan before they incur penalties. >> al jazeera's jennifer london in hawaii. >> the women from pussy riot have been released from prisons in russia. the duo does not plan to stop activism. maria alyokhma walked free from where she was serving a 2-year sentence, freed under amnesty which she didn't ask for or want. >> translation: i was going to reject the amnesty.
the prison received an order. that's why i was brought here. now i'd like to meet human rights activists. >> the final member of the punk band-nadezhda waz released, calling for nothing less than a boycott of the winter olympics. >> translation: european countries can revisit their decision to attend. i call for boycott, honesty and not to tell yourself for oil and gas. >> both were serving a 2-year sentence for taking part in an anti-putin performance. it will be their last gig for a while. a flash gig deemed obscene. the punk care mother of god chased putin away. the court case carried on around the world. three members were child. sentenced to two years after being found guilty of hooul
gannism. amnesty listed them as prisoners of conference. last week putin announced they'd be freed, as part of an amnesty involving 25,000. >> i feel sorry for pussy riot, but the disgraceful behaviour. >> the women served their sentences at a labour prison colony hundreds of miles from their family and children. both suffered during their imprisonment. maria had been subjected to physical abuse and requested solitary confinement. nadezh did, a went on a hunger strike. >> 30 greenpeace activists are expected to be freed. >> floods and mudslides in brazil killed 20 people and
forced more than 20,000 to flee their homes. officials say many displaced resist dents are seeking shelter. brazilian national guards men arrived sunday to help bring more people to safety. >> unless you have a sleigh and reindeer getting home can be tough. a wild mix of winter whether is impacting travel in the air and on the roads. we report on the dangers and delays. >> new yorkers ice skating in short sleeves where it was a record 71 degrees. a different screen in other parts of the country. five died in kentucky flooding. a tornado in arkansas river killed one -- in arkansas killed one, because of a storm system producing a mix of wild weather.
in louisville a highway was shut. heavy rains in indiana, including this cemetery. holiday shoppers run for cover as sheets of ice fall from the roof of an outlet mall in okay okay la hama. >> in mich -- oklahoma. >> thousands in michigan were left without power. forcing many to work in the cold. >> it's an effort to get the crews lined up. >> the storm caused hundreds of flights to be delayed. the disruption stretched all the way north to canada, with ice and snow pounding the eastern part of the country. in toronto you tilty companies described the damage as catastrophic, prompting a warning from mayor bob ford. >> it could get worse.
>> for thousands this weather is turning into the nightmare before christmas. >> we are seeing an end to the bad weather that we had this past weekend causing problems in terms of ice, snow and flooding. the front is making its way off the eastern sea board, lingering in certain locations to the north-east. towards the north-west we are seeing showers coming into washington, and the mix of snow as well as frozen precip. same across idaho and into montana. as we go to the rest of the day. most of the snow is in wyoming. we don't think it will be too much in terms of accumulation there. our forecast looks like this. christmas eve will be 45 degrees, cloudy, same as wednesday, no rain in the
forecast. towards the south most of calf looking nice. showers to the north. snow to the higher elevations. up here to salt lake city. clear conditions to the south. tuesday a high. as we go towards the rest of the week the temperatures climb to about 79 degrees. quickly across parts of the south, texas - snow. lingering to northern arkansas. no accumulation. temperatures into the mid 50s. no rain at all. >> just ahead - mission accomplished. edward snowden's evaluation of his efforts to leak and make public the n.s.a.'s public surveillance program. french troops brought in to keep the piece. now they are facing violence in
six months after leaking more than a million documents to the press, edward snowden says mission accomplished. his leaks exposed details of the n.s.a.'s massive surveillance program. in an interview with "the washington post", he said all he wanted was the public to have a say in how they are governed. >> dennis rodman just left north korea. unlike the previous trips, he did not see leader kim jong un, who he called a friend for life. rodman is planning an exhibition game for his birthday, including a dozen n.b.a. veterans and local players. fighting between christians and
muslims killed nine people. peacekeeping troops from the african union and france are struggling to maintain control. we have the latest from bangui. >> misca says a civilian with a handgun opened fire. christian demonstrators opened fire and the chadian was lynched by an angry crowd. the central african republic interveneded, opening fire into the air. add to that a peace keeper, a congolese hacked to death and the french killing three people - and it's a dangerous mix. it's unclear whether the anti-french sentiment will decrease. it's mainly confined to the seleka.
the christians vent their earning at the chadian contingent because they make up a lot of seleka rebels. right now the situation for the peacekeepers, five days into their mission, is getting more hazardous. >> back in the united states the debate over end of life care erupted in california following a minor surgery that went wrong. 10 days ago a 10-year-old girl went in for a tonsilectony, and there were complications leaving her brain dead. on monday her family went to court against the hospital trying to take her off life support. jahi mcmath went into cardiac arrest after surgery. the hospital says her condition is irreversible. the girl's family is not sure and are asking the public for help. >> please, don't give up on my
baby. she will wake up. i don't have a doubt. she will wake up. the doctors don't know. they don't know. god has the last say so. >> hundreds of people gathered in oakland to show support for the mcmath family. >> federal prosecutors are looking into the credit card breach at target. the justice department is conducting an investigation. target says it's teaming up with the secret service for an internal probe. investigators are trying to figure out how hackers stole data from 40 million debit and credit card customers. 11 customers have filed lawsuits against target. the security breach is impacting the customer's bottom line. customer traffic is down. the timing for the debacle couldn't have been worse, the holidays marking the biggest shopping season for the
retailer. >> millions of americans are giving up on a dream for home ownership and are turning to renting. affordable housing for the poor and middle class is vanishing. we are shown how some are feeling the squeeze. >> 62-year-old william rome is a disabled painter, spending his time at the public library searching online for affordable places to live. he's homeless, sleeping in a men's shelter. he's been on a waiting list to get into the subsidised housing for three years. >> the scarcity of affordable housing for low income people is happening not here, but in cities across the country. the joint center for housing studies reports the number of low income lenders has gone up and the number of options for them is going down. renters making $19,000 a year or
less surged from 3 million to 12 million. the number of affordable rental units steadied, and a third are occupied by higher income households. >> when they are competing for a rental unit, from someone working at amazon who can play a higher first and last month's rent. people in lower socioeconomic places are not the winners. >> lisa heads the seattle society. her office opened up a waiting list. there were 2,000 lots available. 20,000 applied. >> when you look at the projections for the rental markets. supply and demand is flat. i don't see that we'll come out of this any time soon. as the demand for rental housing soars, middle class americans
are feeling the squeeze. >> i feel like the amount paid is absurd. i feel like we have a good deal. >> the family competed with others for their $1500 a month rental. less expensive apartments were snapped up withins hours of listing. >> i don't know how anyone can break out of the cycle >> william rome is hopeful. >> i'll be back on top some day. >> and out of shelter he calls home. >> with a spike in cost seattle was rated as one of the most affordable big cities for renters. high anxiety, astronaut on the international space station are getting ready for a walk following a scrapped first attempt. >> how shakespeare is helping inmates in a mexican correctional facility, and
>> the astronauts on the international space station are preparing for the second christmas eve spacewalk in history. the walk was initially scheduled for monday. the crew had to prepare a backup suit because of a slight malfunction with the one used over the weekend. the astronauts are hoping to use the walk to repair a space station cooling pump. >> from behind bars the center stage, a couple of stars from mexico city's foro shakespeare theatre are prisoners. the program designed to help inmates break a leg, instead of breaking the law. >> confronting one of lit ritures greater villians, inmates are learning about drama and gaining personal insights. >> king richard force us to face
our dark side, the parts that are false and hypocritical. everyone had a bit of richard the iii inside of them, including the audience. >> for men like cesar david garcia, serving a life sentence for kidnapping, playing king richard is close to home. each actor writes monologues based on the original play. rehabilitating and facing personal demonstration is one objective. the other is to discover and question their own assumptions about prison life. >> people come with the idea that we are terrible and have no redeeming qualities. when they see as perform, they see we are passionate, and want to transform and create.
>> for many of the people entering the prison is an intense experience. not only do they have to ore come fears, but stereotype of the men. >> the play begins on a bus ride to the prison. a former inmate, a member of the theatre company is a warm-up act. >> he intim dates the audience, sharing his own experiences while he was in gaol. it's this woman's second time seeing the show. for her the experience humanizes people behind bars. >> as you watch the play you forget they are inmates and commit a crime. you see so many emotion and see them as people. >> in the theatre, she and family members and other prisoners watch as the play unfolds. but one person in the audience is missing. >> i wish my victim could see me
perform, so he could realise we all make mistakes, but can change. trash can be recycled, why not a life? >> a challenge these criminals turned actors hope more and more mexicans will accept. >> the theatre program gives the inmates a rare opportunity to work on self-discipline, dedication and social skills. >> every year hundreds of thousands of children write letters to santa. around the united states teams of u.s. postal workersar trying to make the wishes come true. brian rooney talks to one of santa's helpers. >> this is operation santa. for several week people have been able to come to the central post office. and 16 other major post offices, they can read through the letters to santa, go out and buy the gifts for children who wrote
a letter and bring them back to the post office. people are turning in the gifts to be sent. we spoke to several people who have done this, a man named chris blakey. >> it's meaningful. it matters. it's something that will matter to people. it's not just doing stuff for myself. deer santa, thank you for all you do and all the help from everyone. i'm a 63-year-old grandmother of several kids. my wish is to give my grandchildren a nice gift and something special from my father. feels good. feels like christmas is more than getting stuff, and it is. >> here in los angeles, they are only accepting gifts, but in new york you can pick a letter and send a gift. back to you in new york. that will do it for this edition of al jazeera. i'm david shuster.