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tv   BBC World News  BBC America  December 24, 2014 9:00am-9:31am EST

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this is bbc america. and now live from london, "bbc world news." hello. our top stories, islam being state militants in syria say they've shot down a warplane from the u.s.-led coalition and captured the jordanian pilot. >> and police shoot dead a black teen-ager near where another was killed in august by a white officer. >> president obama welcomes the announcement by sony pictures it will now release its film "the interview" in a limited number of cinemas on christmas day. >> and to many he's the great
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jolly guy with the white beard who brings us presents, but what are the origins of father christmas? we go to turkey to find out. let's go straight away to the breaking news coming to us from syria. more details, more reports that a jordanian fighter jet has been shot down by islam being state militants. the militants say they've downed the plane near the town of raqqa, one of its strongholds. they are claiming they have captured the pilot, first lieutenant, posting a photo of his i.d. card. let's get more from jonathan marcus, who is monitoring this story.
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more developments principally coming out of jordan itself. >> absolutely. principally relating to the identity of the pilot. also, his father has been speaking to a news agency there and the father is quoted as saying that the jordanian authorities have told him that his son has been captured by islam being state. still no indication yet as to what brought down the aircraft. we believe it was probably an f-16 of the jordanian air force. we don't know if it was a technical failure or whether it was brought down by islamic state fire. >> and of course i.s. has posted that picture and his father making a direct appeal to i.s. as well. >> it's a grim picture, isn't it? it looks as if he's been taken out of the river there, he seems to have jettisoned his uniform.
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he's probably in his vest and little else. mean he was trying to evade capture. the photos are of him surrounded by large numbers of islam being state militants, raqqa the effective capital of the area controlled by islamic state and a number of targets we know have been struck in and around the city over the air -- during the air campaign over the past few weeks. >> jonathan, do military experts think that i.s. had the sort of weaponry that could bring down a fighter jet or has that come as a surprise sm. >> young it's an all-together shock. they have been assessed to have basic air defenses. i think the interesting thing will be if this plane was indeed brought down ant didn't just suffer some sort of malfunction, what brought it down. we know islam being state has brought down in the past islamic and syrian aircraft and
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helicopters. they've overrun large number of syrian air defense bases. now whether they have any trained personnel who could operate those rather more sophisticated systems, russian and soviet supplied missiles, we simply don't know. if that were to be the case, that would have to be fed into the planning of air operations and perhaps some tactical changes, perhaps some different particular specialized aircraft might need to be isn't in. >> just to underline the significance of this, if this transspires as it appears to be this jet has come down and been shot down, that would be the first coalition fighter jet to actually have been shot down and the first pilot to are been captured. >> it's the first aircraft to go done in any circumstances over islamic state controlled territory. as i said, we don't know yes whether it suffered a malfunction or whether it was shot down. but certainly as well this is the first coalition pilot to be captured to fall into islam
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being state hands. >> all right, jonathan. i know you're going to continue to monitor developments on this story. thanks very much for the latest on that. thank you. >> let's turn to other breaking news emerging from the united states. there is more anger in st. louis in the suburbs there where an officer has shot and killed a black teen-ager. crowds of people have gathered at a petro station in berkeley where the shooting took place. riots apparently have broken out and many people have been arrested. police say the officer shot and killed an 18-year-old man after he drew a handgun and pointed it at him. the team has been namd loced lo as antonio martin. his mother has been talking to reporters and she says she is waiting for answers. >> they won't let me see my baby. >> how did you find out about it? >> his girl friend came and
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picked me up. it's been like an hour or two hours. they just got my baby laying out there. he's been laying out there for two hours. >> that's antonio martin's mother, just hours away from where michael brown was killed in ferguson, missouri. his death fueled mass protests across the country. today's shooting happened northwest of there in berkeley at that petro station on north hanley road. so just some of the local geography, just a pointer, we will talk to a journalist at that petro station. we'll talk to her in a couple of minutes' time. now, president obama has welcomed the announcement by sony pictures it will release its controversial comedy "the interview" in a limited number of u.s. cinemas on christmas day. the president had criticized decisions to withdraw the screening of the film.
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sony made that decision after its computer system was hacked by a group calling themselves the guardians of peace. >> reporter: there have been plenty of surprises in the story of "the interview" which turned from a christmas comedy to quite a drama for sony pictures. first it was pulled but now it will be shown on about 200 screens after the company backtracked. in a statement sony picture said it would have a limited theatrical release in the united states on christmas day, adding they were proud to make it available to the public and to have stood up to those who attempted to suppress free speech. most cinema goers supported sony's decision. >> to be honest, it looked interesting. i didn't pay that much attention but now because of what's happened, i'm going to go see it. >> people should be able to
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express themselves. >> it got really bad reviews. i'm not interested in seeing it. >> i'm not scared of no hackers. >> texas based al a moment drafthouse took a stand and vowed not to bow to threats and to release the film. >> i think it's the outpouring of people all over the u.s. and the world who want to support freedom of creativity, freedom of express and support cinema. >> it's been a tough month from sony, still reeling from one of the worst corporate hacks in history. but pulling the film brought questions of freedom of speech. the studio says now it will continue to do everything it can to be sure the movie reaches the largest possible audience. >> severe thunderstorms and a tornado have torn through the u.s. state of mississippi, leaving authorities there to declare a state of emergency.
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four people have been killed in the severe weather and thousands have been left without power. well, the weather damaged homes and businesses throughout the south of mississippi and hail the size of golf balls have also been reported. the weather warnings have also been issued across a number of other southern states as forecasters predict more rain, sleet and snow, which can bring travel chaos at one of the busiest times of the year. residents were stunned by the scenes of chaos. >> it was a pretty harrowing experience. you drive in there, everything is pitched black. but can you still see on all sides damaged businesses, damaged homes, people walking around being looking for their belongin belongings, trying to figure out what to do next. not a lot of words exchanged. i think people were still in a
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state of shock from what happened. >> some of the world's oldest christian communities are preparing for their first christmas as refugees. many have now gone to jordan where churches are providing them from shelter. >> reporter: spending time in church at christmas is normal for this young woman and her family who are christians from iraq. but this year they're not just coming to pray. they've also been forced to live in these church grounds in jordan. her mother has helped prepare breakfast in the kitchen. everyone here is in mosul. when islam ic soldiers took ove their village, they led. these extremists don't act like
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human beings, they chop their heads off. we left behind our house, our home, our whole existence. we took our girls and we ran. and across this year, can you hear a lot of similar stories. that's because over 5,000 iraqi christians have moved here in just the past few months. charities are doing what they can to help but there are real feelings of despair. most of these refugees can't see any way they're going to be able to return home any time soon. she celebrated her engagement in mosul earlier this year. now she's getting married in amman. her wedding day is bittersweet. it's brought loved ones together but only briefly. "we won't go back to iraq," say the groom, "there's no future for us there." the couple want to leave this
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troubled region and start a new life. and they're not alone. hundreds of thousands of christians have emgrigrated in recent years. the trend worries church leaders. >> it's very important for christianity for the principles, the ideals and the teachings of christianity to have jesus christ in this part of the world. this is the birthplace of christianity. it's so important. ♪ ♪ >> reporter: the church is packed for an iraqi service. the christmas message is about peace and hope. but right now in the middle east, there's a shortage of both. bbc news. >> in other news, the former u.s. president george bush, sr. has been taken to hospital in houston.
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a spokesman said the president was experiencing a shortness of breath. he was taken by ambulance to the houston hospital where he'll be under observation. >> and arrest warrant was served for a korean air executive. she may be charged with breaking aviation safety law, requiring them to turn back and forcing cabin clerks who annoyed her to disembark the plane. >> still to come -- >> i remember everything. >> a decade after the devastating asian tsunami, we hear from a sri lankan train guard who shares his incredible story of survival.
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you're watching "bbc world news." islamic militants in syria have said to have shot down a jordanian plane and captured the pilot. >> and in st. louis, a black teen-ager has been shot and killed by a white officer. >> karen was working as a guard on board a plane when the tsunami wave swept thousands of people away, however, he managed to survive. here's his story. >> i'm a train guard. that day i came to work as
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usual. being a holiday, the train was overcrowded. it was a regular day and the train was running fine. then it suddenly stopped. a wave came and went across the train, wetting our feet. at first i thought it was the tide, but it was quite unusual that it was across the train. when i looked outside, everything was being dragged by the water, cars, shops, and i saw people drowning, desperately trying to survive. after a while, a second wave came, a big tide, that tore my train apart. i saw the train carriages floating like match boxes. the entire low line area had become a part of the sea. i never heard of tsunami until then. i knew this was something big. i helped people, so many were dead. after that i returned to the
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train to check on my colleague. the engine was overturned. the driver and assistant were dead inside. they must have thought nothing can happen to the engine. it weighs tons but the waves were stronger. i've been traveling this route regularly since then. this is the area where the tsunami hit my train. i remember everything. that day when i leave home at 2:00 in the morning, my family was discussing my funeral. first they had to find my body. so many people lost their lives that day in tsunami, and every time i pass this road, i remember how lucky i am to survive. >> just one of the stories. all of this week we're bringing you special coverage marking ten years since that devastating
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tsunami. there is much more on our web site. we'll have a range of special reports from throughout the region here on bbc world news. straight to breaking news and it's breaking news linked to our man story because the jordanian army has just spoken for the first time about these reports a downed jordanian jet over raqqa. the jordanian army saying one of its pilots has been captured in syria. that's the picture of his i.d. card the i.s. has released. but the statement from the jordanian army going on to say that islam being state bears responsibility for his safety. so confirming that one of its pilots has been captured. this is the film i.s. has posted on social media. the jordanian army saying a
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pilot has been captured and the islamic army bares responsibility for his safety. the jordanian authorities said to his father they were doing everything they could to ensure his safe return and his father appealing to i.s. not to harm his son. those the latest official reports coming from the jordanian army. >> now, in the democratic republic of congo, the unemployment rate there is extremely high. one of the safest career paths is to become a priest or pastor but it's no easy endeavor. it's become being increasingly competitive. several worship schools have emerged and they teach what has little to do with theological
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knowledge and more about show business. >> reporter: if you don't possess pastoral talents, go to teaching school. it helps them also how to put on a great show. >> there is competition because churches know that part of the reason why people come in to church is to sit up, there's music going on and the best it is, the more people come. and actually now people know that skillful is the leader and skillful is the pastor in terms of public leading and the more people will come. >> reporter: the school has its own recording studio in which students are taught to use the equipment and record their own religious music albums. ♪ >> reporter: another crucial part of the curriculum is the
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so-called intimate prayer, in which followers speak out directly to god. sessions like these used to happen only in evangelical churches. but now they've become so popular that any pastor or priest is expected to know how to conduct them. >> now wednesday night is the time children m much of the western world are waiting for a portly man in red in white, to fly in on his sleigh and climb down the chimney and leave them presents. father christmas lives in the north pole but you might not know he's originally from turkey. we've gone down to demre to chase santa's roots. >> reporter: behind the musical master piece, a familiar face. we all know who he is, but do we know who he was? thousands of miles from the north pole in demre, southern
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turkey, they venorate st. nicholas. pilgrims come from across the world but his bones were stolen in 1087 and now lie in italy. this is the man who inspired the legend of father christmas. >> for the people in the west today and nowadays seem to maybe earlier had a lack of love and so we want someone to give it once again and visit us and give us that love that we need to have. >> reporter: santa claus from turkey, who'd have thought? back then it was lithuaniaia. amazing tales were told of nicholas helping the poor, like a father who couldn't afford the
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dowry, and stories of nicholas throwing coins down the chimney. notably the dutch took the legends with them. as they arrive in the new world, as poems about him were written and cartoons drawn, his modern image was drawn and his name was changed, st. nicholas to santa claus. hang on. did he just -- nah! ♪ st. nicholas, you're the one who jumps for jolly ♪ passes by, spreading spirit with the look of an eye ♪ >> i guess i thought santa claus was just the commercial business. i learned here today that he was a real man that did great things and his legend continues.
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>> he help a lot of people. he help us now. he helps me every day. >> reporter: so now you know whatever you wish for this christmas, you better send it to the ho-ho-holy man from turkey. ♪ have a happy christmas day >> great stuff. now, let's just return to that major breaking news that we started the program with because a jordanian spokesman from their army has confirmed in the last few minutes that one of its pilots has been captured in syria during coalition air raids and go on to say the islamic state bares responsibility for his safety. and developments and detail emerging through the last few hou hours. we have that image posted by
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i.s. of the pilot surrounded by militants and we also had his i.d. card posted. all of that detail coming in. that is our major story. do stay with us on bbc world news. we'll have plenty more on that story. bye-bye for now. you owned your car for four years.
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hello. our top stories. islamic state militants in syria say they've shot down a warplane in the u.s.-led coalition and captured the jordanian pilot. >> fresh anger in st. louis where another teen-ager is killed near where a black

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