>> start with one issue ad guests on all sides of the debate. and a host willing to ask the tough questions and you'll get... the inside story ray suarez hosts inside story weekdays at 5pm et / 2pm pt only on al jazeera america welcome to al jazeera america. i'm del walters. these are the stories we are following for you. ukraine goes on the offensive in the east, but pro-russian rubbles quickly shoot down two helicopters. and a lot more of your working this month as the u.s. sees its biggest drop in unemployment numbers in five years. also sadly more bloodshed in
syria, children once again the victims. two massive car bombs explode. two helicopters in ukraine shot down by pro-russian separate advertises using surface to sar -- aramis ills. kiev was trying to retake the city of slaviansk. now two people are dead and tensions in the region are once again on edge. >> reporter: video pop popes -- posted on the internet pur ports to show what the citizens in slaviansk woke do at dawn. the ukrainian army launched what it describe a large-scale anti-terrorist operation.
the apparent objective for now, not to overrun the city but to form a blockade around it. some separatists said they were ready to fight. >> translator: i will fight with whatever i have. it's not a rifle, then i'll fight with my hands and strangle them so they won't mess with my land. >> reporter: two helicopters were shot down allegedly using surface to aramis ill, something kiev points to as evidence of russian involvement on the ground. this man is said to be a vur vooif your. a ukrainian soldier seep badly injured and apparently being cared for by separatist supports inside slaviansk. >> translator: there was another helicopter shot down, we tried to approach it, but then he decided to save at least one pilot. he was abandoned by his people.
>> reporter: in the city center, the mood was extremely tense. the self proclaimed mayor of slaviansk offered a message of support. >> translator: our town has been stormed. there are losing. i'm asking children, women, and pensioners not to leave their homes. and men who have weapons to be able to do what they can. >> reporter: defenses were reinforced at times it seemed with the help of civilians. >> translator: in case they break through our road blocks, we're trying to build a different line of barricades around the center. >> reporter: this is video released by ukraine's ministry of defense purportedly in preparation of friday's dawn assault. it is unclear how much ground the army has taken around slaviansk or how effective its
attempted blockade of the city is, and unclear also what it plans to do next. meanwhile russia has called for an emergency meeting at the un security council. the best hope for ukraine could come from meeting taking place in washington. today angela merkel is making her first visit to the white house since the nsa scandal broke. libby casey has more. ♪ >> reporter: president obama and chancell chancellor merkel will meet for four hours at the white house. >> they will say publicly we have to go together and when it comes to ukraine, we have to work together to put more pressure on putin. but the interests are different. >> reporter: the latest round of sanctions by the u.s. and european union stopped short of hitting russia's oil and gas
industry. trade between the two countries amounted to $100 billion last year. >> we work very closely with russia, we are to some extent even dependant on russian gas, so we're hesitant to put more pressure on russia. >> reporter: since the start of the ukraine crisis, chancellor merkel has spoken more than any other word leader with president putin. >> she right now is the link of communication with putin. in that respect, being here in washington the day after she just talked to putin, it's very symbolic. >> reporter: the german leading is known for taking small steps. >> she is seen as someone who likes to lead by consensus.
>> reporter: that cool demeanor may keep the german chancer will from hitting president obama with a skwaiting public critique. this is her visit to washington since the revelation of the nsa monitoring her moan calls. >> she will talk very openly, i think to president obama about this issue, but she will not talk about that issue on the press conference, or if she is going to do that, she is going to be very polite. >> reporter: merkel's visit is a chance for president obama to e ring kindle the friendship between the two. a surprising new jobs report
showing unemployment at the lowest rate in 5.5 years. 288,000 jobs were created in april, the unemployment rate falling to 6.3%. that's the lowest since 2008. but the labor participation rate is just 63%. that is the lowest it has been in 35 years >> secretary of state john kerry is in south sudan announcing both the president and the rebel heardings are now willing to meet. kerry says without an mediation solution that country could be facing genocide. >> reporter: this conflict began back in mid-december. it was a power struggle that overspilled into conflict when the president and the former vice president split. now what started at a political conflict then quickly spread out across the country, and has now
taken on a very ethnic complexion. people are being killed along ethnic lines. the whole situation is escalating rather dramatically, and that's what has brought john kerry here today. he told the media the president has agreed to meet with the vice president. the president said he is willing to meet the leader of the rebels to discussion a transitional government. we didn't know whether the rebel leader would agree to this meeting. but john kerry was hoping to talk to him later today. there's a united nations peace-keeping force that has been in the country for several years. they are looking at increasing that peace-keeping force by several thousand soldiers, but secretary of state john kerry said there needs to be a new un
mandate before these troops could come into the country. he said he hopes this could happen very quickly, in the next few weeks. well another day of bloodshed in syria, 18 people killed when two car bombs exploded. 11 victims children. their deaths now the latest in a series of attacks across that country this week. an air strike in aleppo left another 33 people dead >> still to come, alarming new details about that kidnapping of the girls in nigeria. and i'm robert ray live in louisville, mississippi where an ef-4 tornado have hit this area earlier this week. how will people move forward?
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>> of the lives that were lost in the desert >> this is the most dangerous part of your trip... >> an emotional finale you can't miss... >> we got be here to tell the story. >> the final journey borderland continues... only on al jazeera america we have another angle of that incredible baltimore mud slide to show you. >> oh, my god! [ screaming ] >> oh, my god! >> as you can see an entire car dropping into the ravine. this is after continuous rain came down on tuesday. 19 people forced to flee their homes. it's an indication of what happens when mother nature dumps a lot of rain in a small period of time. rescues continuing in some states. and some states still on flood watch. but even in the places where the
skies have cleared the struggles are enormous. robert ray is in louisville, mississippi. and you have been talking to families there, a lot of them losing everything. >> reporter: del, good morning. search and rescue operations are done here in louisville, mississippi, but the state of mississippi emergency management has put out some unbelievable numbers. 23 of the 82 counties here in the state have been effected by this severe tornadic outbreak earlier on monday. 14 people have lost their lives, 10 alone in winston county here, unfortunately a little boy was the number 10. his parents died as well as in the tornado. this is what was once a medical center, we are told. if you look at some of the debris -- here is a pair of pants just laying here. medical equipment all over the
place, an american flag you can see is hoisted as there are so many places around town and so many disaster zones. it makes people feel comfortable. but the question is now, can some people accordly afford to rebuild? and how will they move forward? in the pour estate in america life just got even tougher. >> reporter: moore than a third of louisville, mississippi residents already lived in poverty. paralyzed on one side, dennis relies on a disability check to pay his rent, just $300 a month. >> reporter: in the last ten
years, two other tornados have touched down here, each time, dennis stayed, thinking it could never happen again. >> reporter: so much of louisville, mississippi looks like this. most of the people here in this apartment complex are scattered around town in shelters. they have no other place to go. two people lost their lives here. one was crushed to death, another was thrown 100 yards into a field and passed away. at a red cross shelter we met yolanda who lived in the apartment complex. now she is sleeping on a cot and grieving the death of her neighborhoods. >> some of them didn't make it,
though. >> reporter: yolanda is one of dozens here unsure how they will afford to start again. while the shelter is temporary, state and federal aid is on the way, along with plans to set up a multi-agency service center. >> we're trying to work with them to help make a plan for their recovery. >> reporter: a recovery that dennis deere desperately needs with no savings, no renter's insurance and no prospects. he is clinging to the life he almost lost. >> reporter: del, sad stories here, and you could see in the poor estate in the country, mississippi, even though state and federal aid will help folks in the short-term, what is their
long-term prognosis? i mean you look at the pile of rubble that i'm standing on here -- this window frame, it seems like -- how do you clean all of this stuff up? and the question is how long will it take? i was in joplin three years ago. at that point when you looked at the mess, the miles of destruction you wondered how will they actually clean all of this up, and get this town back in order. a year later i returned, and i amazed at the progress, the power of people. i'm assuming the same thing will happen here, but in the meantime people are grieving the loss of 14 that are dead across any state and ten here. >> robert thank you very mump. crews are trying to contain wildfires in southern california before the strong winds return. a blaze began on wednesday scorching more than 1600 acres.
more high winds are predicted for today. 900 firefighters are battling that particular blaze. the number of policing girls in nigeria has grown. 276 girls are missing kidnapped last month from their school. it happened in a northeast state. a military-lead operation is underway, but officials still don't know where the girls are. >> reporter: there has been a lot of misinformation and confusion since this attack took place on april 15th. initially the military said 129 girls had been abducted, but within hour that's were contradicted by family, parents and some of the school teachers who said actually it was much higher. it was 230 girls that were missing. and now the police saying that in fact more than 300 girls were kidnapped and 276 are still
missing. why the confusion? the police say at least on their part it's because there were students who came specifically to that school to sit examines. they are not normally students there. and they were still trying to identify how many were attending the school full-time and how many showed up for exams. we have one civil right's organization claiming that the girls have been taken across the nigeria border into countries like cameroon and chad by their abductors. the same organization says that the girls -- some of them have been forced into marriage, that some have been sold for as little as 12 usd. but that has not been dentally verified with any official sources. we do know having spoken to some sources in the military that there is an operation underway to try to find them, and there's a search going on in the forrest
which is not far from where the incident took place. but no official lines about exactly where they are. dozens of people have been injured in a subway accident in south korea. a train was stopped at a station in seoul when a second train slammed into it from behind. the impact causing some of the trains to jump the tracks. none of the injuries is life threatening. more than a million commuters use the subway system each and every day. still ahead a medical mystery that is plaguing some kids. >> they'll say i have taken care of hundreds of kids and this case is different. >> up next the symptoms that are leafing doctors scratching their heads, searching for answers.
this one nobody saw coming. >> exactly. this thing has been a roller coaster, certainly since it began. the "new york post" and espn reporting that the 80-year-old is battling prostate cancer. the news comes to light days after the nba banned him for life. some of the clipper players reacted to the revelation. >> i honestly had -- didn't know that, but, you know, if -- if that is true, you know -- you know, my thoughts and prayers are with him. >> yeah, that's the first i have ever heard of that, and that's truly unfortunate. >> meanwhile the nba has taken another step towards forcing sterling to sell the team. the ten nba owners who make up the league's advisory finance
committee voted you - you -- unanimously voted to work toward forcing him to sell the team. so far his wife has stood by her husband. and then there's this, the man behind the l.a. chapter of the ncaa -- excuse me -- decision to bestow a lifetime achievement award has resigned. he has come under fire for authorizing what would have been sterlings second-such award in five years. the first came in 2009, the same year he paid a settlement in a house lawsuit. the ncaa says it is developing guidelines for its branches to
help with future award winners. >> and in the meantime there was a game. >> there was. the l.a. clippers had a chance to advance in the nba playoffs, but the golden state warriors managed to stay alive by beating l.a. 100-99. saturday night the clippers will host the first winner take all game 7 in franchise history. so this has been one of the most successful years ironically in the donald sterling legacy. doctors are trying to figure out why healthy children are seeming to have developed psychotic symptoms almost overnight. lisa bernard reports and a warning that some of what you are about to see is disturbing. >> reporter: at first glance anyone even a trained
psychiatrist might assume these children are suffering from a mental illness but even aggressive drug teementd hasn't work. test sa was a happy playful 13-year-old when overnight her mother says she became psychotic. >> she kept repeating the same sentences over and over again. >> she spent the next two years in and out of mental health systems. eventually doing doctors figured out she has an autoimmune disease that attacked the part of her brain that triggers frightening symptoms. test sa had one of the most extreme cases of a newly defined
condition called pans. this hospital opened the first pans clinic in the country 18 months ago. dr. jennifer treats diseases in which the body attacks itself. she and others work together to diagnose and treat pans. psychiatrists consult them about puzzling cases. >> they'll say i have taken care of hundreds of kids and this case is different. something else is going on here. er >> reporter: some researching believe there are variations of pans that are triggered by strep infections, but tessa's case was so extreme she needed medical procedures and powerful drugs. >> so i think having a general clinic set up to treat kids who
seem to have pans with an aggressive, expensive designer drug that has a black box warning is a dangerous clinical practice. >> reporter: the treatment apparently worked for tessa. when we finally decided to this route, all of the kids get better. >> reporter: pans is so new, there are no guidelines for doctors to treat the disease. there are only three centers in the country that treat pans patients, and there's a five-month wait to get an appoint. teresa says it is worth the wait. and for now their biggest concern is getting to school on time. lisa learn -- bernard, al
jazeera. >> the sun has been missing over parts of this week. and now that it has returned to places like the plains, 30s this morning, into the 70s by this afternoon. finally temperatures are nudging warmer. cool slightly in the next couple of days and that helps with the fire danger that we have been seeing. otherwise a lot of the rain has moved off. just some spotty showers northern tier of the country, but not really widespread. most of the system has moved out. the one place we still have that lingering frontal boundary through parts of florida this is where we could still get another 2 to 4 inches. so watch for that, and then starting to taper off a little bit more as we get into the day on sunday, but look at how much of the country stands under dry skies today and tomorrow.