ties with russia and influence with the ultra nationalists is strong and moves to extradite him could prove decisive al jazeera. be sure to visit our website, al jazeera.com. al jazeera.com for updates throughout the day on all the news. >> potentially life threatening conditions at severe weather across six states threatens to get worse. five dead, dozens missing and a dozen left homeless. houston rockets fans spent the night if the arena trapped from the flooding. >> a child or an american in secret in iran. a journalist accused of spying faces a closed court today 10 months after he was detained.
>> this is aljazeera america. good morning live from new york city i'm randall pinkston. at least 12 are missing this morning as flooding pounds the south central u.s. five have been killed. the governor of texas declared a 37 county disaster area. flash floods and tornado watches are in effect in texas arkansas oklahoma, louisiana and missouri. in austin, texas rescue teams evacuated people overnight because of rapidly rising water. 12 people are missing from two families between austin and san antonio, vacationing when their house was swept away. >> houston was under a flood emergency for the first time. the city got an unprecedented downpour of six to 10 inches of rain. people waking up for work and school in the houston area have
been advised not to leave their homes. officials want people off the roads, because many are impassable and dangerous. harris county officials say conditions are even potentially life threatening. more than 80,000 people are without power. many across the accident are posting on line about the experiences. these pictures are from houston taken by residents as they drove down flooded streets racing to get home to escape the rising waters. >> they didn't open it, it overflooded. >> parking lots were completely flooded. this is what drivers encountered when they tried to retrieve their cars, many unable to drive home. some people are still stuck now at the toyota center in houston after a rockets game last night. they have been posting videos and tweeting pictures all night. this is one rocket fan who joins us on the phone. he just left the toyota center. first, talk to me about last
night, when the game was over and you tried to leave the station, what did you find outside? >> we saw a river basically. the announcer got on and told us to remain in our seats for our own safety, there was going to be a wet ride home. >> you didn't actually go out. >> oh, no, we walked to the glass and once we saw what was going on, it was just crazy winds, a lot of rain coming down thunder and lightning and on top of that, we just saw the streets, so we stayed put. >> we understand that some cars were basically submerged. >> yes sir, yes, sir. yeah hour car was about four streets away. lucky, we didn't get submerged thank god. some other cars got stuck. i know some people from high school and other friends who left as soon as the game was over and by the time they got to their cars and tried to get
home some of them lost their cars and had to swim out. >> tell us about the conditions in the stadium. how many people, 300 400? what's your account of the folks who remained overnight. >> it was about 450 to start off and as the nice progressed, people trickled out. a lot of people got frustrated. people were sleeping in chairs, on the ground, sleeping in the corners. people were huddling up around the phone charging stations. it was pretty lengthy. >> how long ago did you leave and when you left, were there still any people in the stadium? >> oh, yeah, of course. of course, we left at 6:15. it was about 120-130 people still in the building. >> they'll have to get that building ready for a concert tonight. are you planning to go back? >> no. no. i'll catch the twitter and
instagram feed. >> one more question. what do you know about your neighborhood was your neighborhood affected by the flooding? >> not all that i know of. i know the exit ramp was flooded when we got off but we turned into the far left lane and kind of by passed most of it, but apparently from the news and the doppler radar and all of the just coverage that they had while we were at the stadium everything was flooded so i could see some of the aftermath. i saw a lot of the debris and sticks all in the road and you could just tell like it flooded. >> glad you made it out safely, thank you for joining us this morning on al jazeera. >> oh, man, thank you guys. >> san marcos the accident is one of the worst hit communities. the mayor spoke with us on the phone. >> with it being memorial day weekend, we had a lot of folks that were in town from out of town for vacation purposes, and to be a part of the memorial day weekend here in san marcos.
areas that were devastated were popular vacation areas and a good place to go and enjoy the weekend. a lot of those folks may have already just gone home, some we're still trying to account for. we're working to provide all the necessary data and information to document and be able to allow the governor to move forward to pursue fema funding which will be very much needed for our community. >> that's mayor daniel guerrero. flash flood warnings have been lifted for several counties but the threat is four from over. more rain is expected throughout the week. we have more. >> when you talk about flooding altogether, we are talking the accident arkansas, louisiana mississippi as well as into parts of tennessee and that is going to continue at least we think for the next three days. it's a lot of standing water in this area, and this has to move downstream to lower elevations. that could take days, sometimes
weeks across that particular area. over the next 72 hours we think we'll see heavy rain toward the northern part of the accident, as well as oklahoma, another five to eight inches of rain expected in that area. if you look down here towards austin towards san antonio this area right there probably seeing lighter rain. that's going to give those areas a little time to let that water recede and not look at an additional flooding threat in that particular region. >> in addition to the destruction is incident republicans of government services closed because of the severe weather. >> mexican officials are responding to a rare, deadly tornado that killed at least 13 people. the twister where he could the border town, destroying houses and upended vehicles and left hundreds injured. the city that 100,000 residents and is directly across the border from delrio, the
accident. >> there is tighter security than usual this morning at government buildings in afghanistan after several taliban attacks. 26 security personnel were killed also the taliban took over three army check points. they surrounded a district headquarters in hellman province. there have been other attacks. does this appear to be a coordinated effort by that the taliban? >> the taliban certainly are keeping the pressure up. in addition to that attack in he will hand province, very heavy fighting. there is a siege going on. in one province, four attackers
were killed. they attacked police. there were rockets fired at the district headquarters and north of that, we're seeing a lot of skirmishes between taliban fighters the afghan security forces, as well as local militias protecting their own villages. now, that fights been going on for about a month since the taliban spring offensive began in late april. >> since u.s. and nato forces withdrew most of their ground troops in afghanistan last year, it has been up to the afghan army to deal with the taliban. how have they been faring? >> they've been taking very heavy casualties. last two, they were losing about 15 police and army soldiers a day. the casualties are just as high this year. the head of nato forces tells us the afghan minister of defense doesn't release those numbers. we know the fighting has been very intense. it went through the winter
months usually there is a lull, but this spring, the fighting has been difficult. the afghan security forces don't have the kind of air cover they had when nato was here in full force. that makes it a lot more difficult. in the north our al jazeera team was up there just a couple of peaks ago and we're seeing actual taliban front lines before. they used to be afraid to stand and fight because of being bombed from the air. that's not a problem in this fighting season and making it a much more difficult fight for afghan security forces. >> the taliban on the move. thank you jennifer glass in kabul. >> the trial of an american iranian journalist in iran is underway this morning. else accused of espionage. the trial is happening in secret. patty calhane has more on the case. >> for 10 months, jason has been held in an iranian prison, charged with spying, facing
charges behind closed doors. not even his family can attend the trial. his brother ali believes that is telling. >> now they'll have a trial and they want to keep it as closed as possible, so there's less information for people to say why have you held this person, he's totally innocent. >> he was raised in the u.s. but made a documentary about returning to the country his father left. >> getting to iran is the hardest part. not the actual journey so much, but the hoops i had to jump to, to get permission so visit. >> he received dual citizenship and took a job working for the washington post. >> the editor tried to get a visa to go into iran but didn't get anything back. they are making the case, unless our journalist is freed you can't expect ran to follow
through on at nuclear deal. washington is treating these as separate issues. >> jason has been in prison in tehran for nothing more than writing about the hopes and the fears of the iranian people, carrying their stories to the readers of the washington post in an effort to bridge our common humanity. >> the iranian foreign minister said he has helped him see his family but insists that's all he can do. >> this is a judicial matter, which the judiciary is involved. they believe that the charges against him are very serious but he will go through the judicial process with full access to his lawyers and he will go through a trial. >> his bosses in the paper hope that a judge will throw out the case tuesday but are more presencive now that they know the evidence will stay secret in a court hearing held behind closed doors. al jazeera washington. >> iraqi officials have launched an operation to retake anbar province from isil fighters.
the group took control of the provincial capitol ramadi last week. the state t.v. announced the operation today. the iraqi troops will be backed by shia and sunni fighters. >> at least 500 people were killed, 8,000 others forced to flee are ramadi to escape the fighting there. thousands are still trying to reach baghdad after the government waived entry restrictions. ramadi residents were kept from baghdad for fear isil fighters might infiltrate the crowds. >> investigators in china are trying to figure out what started a fire in a rest home. beds and wheelchairs remained. the fire started after many resident's had gone to sleep. we have details from beijing. >> details about this fire are still very few but the local government reports that on
tuesday morning, 38 people died in a fire at an old people's home and 44 were rescued. this had 168 residents so by the middle of tuesday morning it was fair to assume that many of those residents had not made it. the fire broke out at 528 on monday evening sometime after the resident's would have had their evening meal. it's a part of china where people tend to go to bed early so it's possible some were asleep when the fire broke out and of course would therefore have no means of escape. from the pictures i've seen on state television where meyermen are trying to wade through the debris to find people who might still be alive, it is pretty clear that this was a ferocious blaze. in china fires like this are not uncommon. it's a country that suffers from poor safety standards and also
very lax enforcement. >> adrien brown reporting from beijing. >> the grim task of removing body parts from suspected mass graves has begun in malaysia. the graves are believed to hold the victims of human trafficking found in an abandoned migrant camp in the forest near thailand. we have the latest. >> at about 200 meters from that camp was a burial site. around the camp, police found 37 suspected graves. today, they were working to exhume the bodies of one of graves and we saw the forensic team at work. it was a very shallow grave. they're digging only 30 centimeters to 40 centimeters in depth. they found remains wrapped in a cloth in a shroud, indicating that the person who died was probably did youried in accordance with muslim rights. now, having seen those camps and
those burial sites it really brings -- you really are able to picture the conditions these migrants and refugees were held in. by now we know how they operate, bringing people in trafficking them through the border with northern malaysia and they are held in camps until family and family members pay a ransom. seeing those camps today we're able to understand just sort of what conditions they were held in. >> >> the thai navy is sending a ship to rescue migrants adrift at sea. they will treat them in a small hospital onboard, then they will go to shelters in malaysia and indonesia. so far thailand that not agreed to house the migrants. >> a settlement may be in the works in cleveland. the latest on a possible deal that could close the justice democratic's investigation into excessive force by the cleveland
a look at today's top stories. residents in six states face unprecedented severe weather today. these are live pictures from just outside houston where flooding has effectively shut the city down. at least five people are dead, another 12 are missing after days of deadly storms. >> the f.b.i.'s trying to figure out who was behind a series of memorial day threats against flights landing in new york, new jersey and massachusetts. fighter jets escorted an air france flight after a caller claimed there was a chemical weapon onboard. the planes all landed safely, nothing suspicious was found. >> the trial of aurora colorado movie shooter suspect entered its fifth week today. jurors are set to hear about his infamous notebook he wrote before the shooting. 12 people were killed in the
shooting. >> settlements could be announced between the justice department and the city of cleveland. the police force has been under investigation for years resulting in away scathing report that details a pattern of abuse. john henry smith is here with more in the controversy surrounding the cleveland police department. what do we know about the report john? >> that department has come under scrutiny including for the 137 shot barrage against two unarmed people. the acquittal of an officer in that case has sent protestors to the streets. >> the report of a settlement between the d.o.j. and police comes after a weekend of peaceful unrest. hundreds turned out after a judge cleared police officer michael brolow in the killing of two. police fired 137 shots as the unarmed couple sat in their car after chased by police for
20 miles. the officer jumped on the hood of the car and fired at least 15 shots right through the windshield. he claimed he was in fear for his life. >> it is his perception of a threat that matters. >> it's a tragedy because nobody is being held accountable. >> while this was the incident that prompted the d.o.j.'s 18 month investigation, there have been other incidents most notably, the shooting by a rookie cop last november of a 12-year-old holding what wonder out to be a toy gun. police made arrests during this weekend's protest. everyone had charges reduced to disorder conduct and credited with time served instead of paying a $150 fine. the protestors say they have no regrets. >> we still have a long way to go to fight and i believe that we will win. >> no details of the reported settlement are yet available however it should be noted that the department's report on the cleveland police department allegedly alleged improper use of force and improper training.
randall. >> thank you very much, john henry smith. >> a police officer in fredericksburg virginia resigned after tasing and pepper spraying a driver that he shot he was responding to a hit-and-run. turned out the driver was ill and needed urgent medical care. >> put your hands up. put them up in the air right now! >> put your hands up! both of them, now! >> this police body camera video shows officers in fredericksburg virginia responding to complaints about a suspected hit-and-run driver traveling the wrong way on a main road. >> let me see your other hand right now! >> they are joined by a third officer. as he approaches, a warning from his fellow officer. >> watch his left hand, he is not making contact. get some cover. >> officer approaches the driver car and fires his taser.
>> i don't think it made connection. >> the driver, david washington, does not react. the officer pepper sprays him in the face. officers drag him out of the car and place him in handcuffs. washington then tells officers he can't breathe. >> oh, my god stop it! is to be it! stop it! >> the car not secured begins to roll over washington's foot. >> what are you on, man? >> i'm just sick. >> you're sick? >> yeah. >> sick how? you understand why you had to get sprayed? you weren't listening to us. >> an ambulance arrives. local media reports that he was suffering a stroke. fredericksburg police released this statement after a review of the incident. the use of force demonstrated in the incident involving mr. washington was not in
compliance with department policy or training. officer jurgens resigned by released this statement. in it, he details several reasons for using force among them that he thought washington was under the influence of drugs, he was a suspect in several hit-and-runs and that he was not responding to officer command. tony harris, al jazeera. >> $55 billion deal announced for charter communications to buy time warner cable. if it is approved by regulators, the deal would make charter the second biggest cable operator by subscribers. the proposed merger with comcast fell apart last month. >> on the healthbeat, depression could be bad for your heart. that is the finding of a small european study suggesting people with depression are more
>> parents in a somali community in minnesota are growing concerned their teenage sons could fall in with isil. six young men were arrested who officials say were planning to head to syria to join the fighters. one of the mothers is worried her children could be next. >> so you have a 13-year-old son. are you worried that he could be recruited by isil. >> absolutely. any parent would get worried hearing all these stories about
kids going back and all this, it's just worrisome. we're new to the environment and to the system and figuring out how things work. sometimes it can take a long time so imagine families who came to have a better life here, i mean to raise their kids, left their entire country to have a better life and now they're losing their own sons. it's horrendous and hard breaking to even think about it. >> you can see the full report tonight at 8:00 eastern. >> police are investigating the death of b.b. king as a possible homicide. he died earlier this month. two of his daughters claim their father was poisoned by two close associates. las vegas pleas say there is no evidence of foul play but they will look into it. autopsy results could take two months. >> pictures now of a volcano
>> a potentially life threatening situation in the accident severe flooding washes away homes from houston to austin leaving people stranded and the worst may be still to come. >> the iraqi army launching an operation to reclaim anbar province from isil. the. >> the trial begins in iran in secret for an american journalist accused of spying. >> a bounce house goes airborne
with children inside. this morning they're recovering from their injuries. >> this is aljazeera america live from new york city. i'm steph as i. parts of the south central united states are submerged this morning after days of unprecedented rain and flooding. at least five people have been killed. a dozen people in one the accident town are missing. 37 counties in the lone star state have been declared disaster areas. flash flood warnings and tornado watches are in effect in the accident arkansas, oklahoma, louisiana, and missouri. in austin, texas evacuations were going on through the night because of rapidly rising water and 12 people additional disappeared between austin and san antonio a vacation house was swept away by flash floods.
for the first time, houston was under a flood emergency after 10 inches of rain came down last night. right now people are still stuck at the toyota center in houston. they were at the rockets game last night but told not to leave because of the dangerous conditions. several hundred chose to ride out the storm at the arena. with daybreak, many people find themselves in situations like this. their cars are completely submerged like this one near houston. many roads are underwater in houston this morning. hide joe kass is live in the accident. >> you can see behind my the san marcos river that saw catastrophic flooding over the weekend. there were fears of renewed disaster overin it with more
rains. >> what the missing people? >> the town where they were staying is just about 10 miles from here and sadly emergency workers declared overnight that that operation has shifted from rescue to recovery. these 12 individuals reportedly are from two families that were sharing a home for the memorial weekend on the banks of the river which saw catastrophic flooding over the weekend. early sunday morning witnesses say they saw the home swept off its foundations and that the river waters made it crash into a bridge where it split into pieces. one man was swept 12 miles from that home. he is the sole survivor. his family and friends are still
missing and tragically, officials predict that bodies will be found rather than the families. >> we are looking at some extraordinary live pictures right now of what is going on in that region. there are rescues that i understand are on going, also evacuations throughout the state. >> 30 counties are under emergency state. you're right it's happening everywhere. rain has been on going for more than a month now and this flooding is unprecedented putting an end to five years of extreme drought in one month. the precipitation in austin, that's where we saw overnight rescues and in houston this morning, people are waking up and told to stay home, not risk the roads where flash flooding may happen going into the schools or to their home, so they're being told to remain
home. >> heidi zhou castro, thank you. >> the mayor of the city spoke to us about what's happening in his community. >> with it being memorial day weekend, we had folks from out of town for vacation purposes and to be a part of the memorial day here. areas devastated were popular vacation areas and a good place to go and enjoy the weekend. a lot of those folks may have already just gone home. some we are still trying to account for. we're working to provide all the necessary data and information to document and allow the governor to move forward to pursue fema funding which will be very much needed for our community. >> these pictures are taken by residents in houston as they drove flooded streets. they were racing home to escape the rising waters.
>> they didn't open it, it overflooded. parking lots were flooded. this is what drivers encountered when they tried to retrieve their cars, many unable to drive home. some are still stuck right now at the toyota center, as we mentioned in houston after a rockets game last night. they've been posting videos and tweeting pictures throughout the night, as well. >> mexican officials are responding to a rare deadly tornado that killed 13 people. the twister where he could the border town and destroyed houses and up ended vehicles and left hundreds injured. the city has about 100,000 residents and is located across the border from delrio the accident. >> three kids are expected to be ok after their bounce house went flying into the air.
a water spout up rooted the inflatable sending it 50 feet into the air. three people inside were dropped out on to the sand. it crossed a parking lot and over four lanes of traffic. one of the children talked about what happened. >> i was about to die. i was in a bounce house and then the bounce house flew out then i fell in the dirt. >> the water spout had winds of 60-85 miles per hour. police say the bounce house was properly secured. >> iraqi troops are on their way to one of the largest areas under control in anbar province, planning to retake the area. u.s. defense secretary ash carter said iraqi forces lacked the will to fight isil. the iraqi prime minister said his troops are dedicated to taking back ramadi.
>> i'm sure he had the wrong information. i assure you, we can bring it back soon. >> you say soon, what are we talking about months? >> no, no, i'm talking about details now. >> iraqi troops entering ramadi will be backed by shia and sunni fighters. iwe have more. >> there will be more coordination between the various forces. let's look at exactly what different fores we have. we have the regular iraqi army, shia militias supported by iran, so iranian supporters and coalition airstrikes led by the u.s., so you do have a situation where iran and the u.s. will be working together. it's a big operation to take back the west of anbar.
there's still anger and fear from many people. i was just down at the last safe border crossing from anbar into baghdad, speaking to people there. they were telling me look, there are still a number which sunni people who want to fight isil, but the government around giving us help or weapons and we feel isolated and without that, you're not going to get the rest of the people left in anbar who are sunni to turn against isil and that's a concern. >> al shabab has killed 25 police officers in kenya close to the somali border. kenyan officials did not confirm the deaths but say several police officers are missing after an ambush overnight. al shabab killed hundreds, mostly students in an attack on garissa university in april. >> there have been multiple taliban attacks in afghanistan today, prompts tighter security than usual at government buildings. twenty security personnel were killed as the taliban took over
three army check points. they surrounded a district headquarters in hellman province. there have been other attacks in afghanistan, including one at a court. what else can you tell us? >> >> in helmand province, attacks in three areas and on going fighter there and now in three others where at least 20 security forces have been killed that attack on the court happened this morning here. four attackers first a suicide bomber tried to get into the court building, then three other attackers. they managed to kill two policemen. it's part of fighting going on around afghanistan and central afghanistan. we have rockets fired on the district center there and north that have, fighting going on for more than a month continuing.
there the taliban is standing off against afghan security forces and local militias in many areas around that strict center so a lot of pressure on afghan security forces. >> there has been an increase in taliban attacks since u.s. and nato force witness drew last year. how are the security forces dealing with the attacks? >> they are taking casualties. last year they were losing about 15 soldiers and policeman a day. the nato commander tells us that the number is about the same this year if not higher, the casualty rate very high. they don't have the air support that they had when nato forces were here. the afghan air force is a small fledgling force with very little air capability. that means the taliban instead of moving forward and attacking and retreating like they do when nato forces were here basically moved forward are more aggressive and are actually
taking villages and making moves on district centers. these attacks we've seen in the last details are very much more serious attacks because they are attacking district centers. in the past, the taliban have only been able to control roads and check points, make small attacks on small unfortified areas like police check points that don't have backup. now, they're making larger coordinated attacks not just in the south and east where we saw the majority of fighting last year but also in the north and very sustained coordinated attacks, in some cases hundreds of taliban fighters attacking afghan security forces, so a very serious security situation around the country today. >> you're saying that this may represent sort of a new phase in the fighting. what roll role are the remaining international troops playing in afghanistan right now? >> there are about 12,000 nato
forces here. they are here essentially to train, advise and equip the afghan security forces to help with things like organizing logistics, to help them learn how to do intelligence. there is also about 5,000 u.s. forces here. they are in a counter terrorism mode. they can get in more active fighting, they can call in airstrikes, they can help in a more active role, but a far cry from the nato forces that were here at the height of the surge just a couple of years ago the nato forces that are here and u.s. forces here are mainly in a support role, trying to support more than 300,000 afghan secures forces around the country now responsible solely for the security of afghanistan but of course they lack a lot of the resources that they had when nato forces were in control not only that air power that i talked before, but also some of the intelligence, logistics and medical capability. so a very, very difficult fight for the afghan army and police, very much at the fore front of
the battle here against a resurgent taliban. >> jennifer glass for us in kabul, thank you. >> on the agenda today the supreme court is expected to announce if it will take a case out of mississippi on a law that would close the state's only abortion clinic. the law requires all abortion clinic doctors to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. egypt will open one side of the rafa crossing. the crossing has been closed for 75 days. >> e.u. foreign minister meet to discuss the migrant situation. they will talk with u.n. general ban ki-moon today. >> veterans fighting a new battle. >> we are disabled from our service to our country. >> why they say they are not getting the help they need from the government. >> a fast moving fire sweeps through a home for the elderly in china. dozens are dead. investigators are trying to figure out the cause.
>> welcome to al jazeera america. it is 8:16, eastern taking a look at other top stories the f.b.i. is trying to figure out who was behind a series of memorial day threats against flights landing in new york, new jersey and massachusetts. fighter jets escort road an air france flight after caller claimed there was a chemical weapon aboard. nothing suspicious was found. >> senator bernie sanders will hold the first major rally of his 2016 presidential bid to today with a campaign event in vermont. he announced he was running for president last month. >> the trial of a aurora colorado movie theater suspect james homes enters its fifth week today jurors set to hear about his note back. he wrote in it the weeks before
the shooting and talks about his hatred of mankind. 12 people were killed in the 2012 shooting. >> the justice department has reportedly reached a settlement with the city of cleveland. last year, the department accused of police force there of a pattern of abuse. john henry smith is here with more. john the agreement could be announced as soon as today, i understand. >> that's right the cleveland police department has come under scrutiny for incidents including the 137 shot barrage against two unarmed people three years ago the acquittal of one officer involved in that case has sparked protest. >> the report of a settlement between the d.o.j. and cleveland police comes after a weekend of mostly peaceful unrest. hundreds of protestors turned out after a judge cleared police officer michael brolow, one of 13 officers reported to have fired 137 shots as the unarmed couple sat in their car after being chased by police for more
than 20 miles. the officer jumped on the hood of the car and fired at least tin shots right through the windshield. he claimed he was in fear for his life. >> it is his as herception of a threat that matters. >> it's a tragedy because nobody is being held accountable. >> while this was the incident that prompted the d.o.j.'s 18 month investigation there had been other incidents most neat ply, the shooting by a rookie cop last november of 12-year-old tamir rice, who was holding what turned out to be a-day begun. everyone who pled no contest had charges reduced to disorder conduct and were credited with time served instead of paying a $150 fine. the protestors have no regrets. >> we still have a long way to go to fight and i believe that we will win. >> no details of the reported settlement are yet available however it should be noted that the department's report on the cleveland police department
alleged improper use of force and improper training. >> started a nationwide conversation, thank you. >> the trial of an iranian american journalist is underway this morning in iran. jason is accused of espionage. the trial is happening in secret. we have more on the case. >> for 10 months, jason has been held in an iranian prison, charged with spying, facing charges behind closed doors. not even his family can attend the trial. his brother, ali, believes that is telling. >> now they'll have a trial and they want to keep it as closed as possible, so there's less information for people to say why have you held this person, he's totally innocent. >> he was raised in the u.s. but made a documentary about returning to the country his father left. >> getting to iran is the hardest part.
not the actual journey so much through, to get permission so visit. >> he received dual citizenship and took a job working for the washington post. >> the editor tried to get a visa to go into iran but didn't get anything back. they are making the case, unless our journalist is freed, you can't trust iran to follow through on a nuclear deal. washington is treating these as separate issues. >> jason has been in prison in tehran for nothing more than writing about the hopes and the fears of the iranian people, carrying their stories to the readers of the washington post in an effort to bridge our common humanity. >> the iranian foreign minister said he has helped him see his family but insists that's all he can do. >> this is a judicial matter which the judiciary is involved. they believe that the charges against him are very serious
but he will go through the judicial process with full access to his lawyers and he will go through a trial. >> his bosses at the paper hope that a judge will throw out the case tuesday, but are more apprehensive now that they know the evidence will stay secret in a court hearing held behind closed doors. al jazeera, washington. >> she was the longest serving correspondent in tehran for the u.s. times and author of the lonely war, thank you for your time this morning. did you ever have problems with authorities when you were reporting from iran? >> yes, good morning stephanie. yes, i have problem consistently when i word in tehran president the worst was 2009 when i was covering the uprising, i started getting threats people close to the government were calling me and making threats that if i
covered the protest i would get shot and eventually, my amount building came under surveillance and i was forced to leave the country. >> are there genuinely actors in the iranian legal system that believe american journalists are spies. this is not the first accusation or is jason the latest pawn in u.s.-iran relations? >> unfortunately i think jason is a pawn, because as you said, this has happened so many times repeatedly over the past several years. many dual nationals working for american news outlets are arrested, charged with quite vague security charges and most of them have been released eventually. it looks like the iranian government or at least the hardliners are constantly using dual citizens, especially the
ones who have american or canadian citizen ships as bargaining chips. they tried them according to the iranian laws, but want to use them to get leverage either from the moderates inside the country or from foreign governments. >> possibly for the nuclear talks is what is being suggested. he works for the washington post like you, one of the most high profile newspapers in this country. >> absolutely. absolutely. yeah i think iranian moderates who are trying to move ahead with the nuclear deal, they have to be aware of the harm that his continued arrest is causing and how it's damaging the country's international image. >> so the trial begins today and it is secret, but we do know a little bit about the judge. tell me about him and how much appear he has in determining jason's fate. >> well, unfortunately this judge is one of the most notorious ones. he has a lot of power.
i'm hope. that he would realize that 10 months i also already a long time that jason has been held. he's actually the longest dual citizen who's been held, as a journalist there are other citizens who have been held a long time, but previous live, the government had held a journalists for three months, four months and then reds them, so 10 months is already a long time as the judge unfortunately has very -- >> you and jason were in tehran at the same time. what can you tell us about what he is like as a person and as a reporter. >> jason was a very responsible reporter. i followed hills coverage. it was very cautious, very fair, and when i wasn't in tehran, he was working as a freelancer, he
was working for various publications mostly for san francisco chronicle back then. after i left, he started working for the washington post as their tehran-based correspondent. i never came across anything that was controversial or any analysis that might offend the iranian authorities. >> the former new york correspondent in tehran, thank you for your time this morning. >> new violence in burundi left one demonstrator dead and two wounded. many are trying to flee. >> mothers and children boarding boats to leave burundi. thousand us have fled in the past months. many are children who have lost
their parents like this 16-year-old. after they landed in tanzania, she and her siblings were taken to the stadium for shelter. >> the security situation in our country is getting worst. we had no parents or anyone to protect us. people were being killed or beaten up. that's the reason we decided to leave. >> 1,200 unaccompanied children have been registered in this camp alone. >> this is largely a crisis facing children. 83 of the population on the move that had been registered in tanzania are children. >> cholera is a major problem in tanzania's refugee camp. more than 30 people have already died in the past two weeks. aid groups are racing to provide sanitation medical supplies and psychological care. >> unicef is deplaying on the ground 37 social worker officers
that have been trained in child protection. the identification, documentation and the alternative care options for these children is what they will deal with. >> burundi has had a at your lent pass of ethnic tension and mass killings. for many refugees, this isn't the first time they've been the victim of violence back home. her parents was killed by militias when she was just nine years old. she and more refugees want to do what they can to make a new life here because they have little reason to return home. >> the recent unrest in the middle east traced back decades. our patty sabga explains why that was rooted in a power grab. >> paying off student loans. older borrowers are defaulting
>> welcome to al jazeera america. it is 8:30 eastern, taking a look at today's top stories. historic flooding in a big partly of the south. these are live pictures out of the accident. the flooding is happening in the center of the city. at least five people have been killed, 12 people are missing in texas after their vacation home was swept away. evacuations have been going on in austin. 37 texas counties have been declared disaster areas. >> a series of attacks in afghanistan has killed at least 20 security personnel including police officers and afghan soldiers. the taliban says it was responsible for the attacks. the group has taken over three army check points and surrounded a district headquarters in helmand province. a major operation in anbar province the area has been
under isil control since last week. iraqi state t.v. announced the operation today showing u.s. forces handing over weapons to the iraqi army. the troops will be backed by shia and sunni fighters. >> the latest tensions and violence in the middle east can be phrased back to a time when colonial governments divided up the region. it was all about power and influence to help western nations get more control. >> the genesis are today's middle east map dates back to world war i. as allied and access powers battled each other diplomats agreed to carve the post war middle eastern provinces into french and british spheres of influences. it didn't wash with either side when the war ended. >> by the time they got to paris and the peace negotiations, the british and french looked at
what was done and were horrified by this. the british did not want the french to control. >> the british wanted an iron grip over lands leading to the persian gulf, a crucial by way to the british empire's economic crown jewel india. with its coffers detained by war, britain couldn't declare the provinces protect retes of westminster. then colonial secretary winston churchill headed to cairo and hammered out a a deal that kept lebanon and syria under french rule and palestine as a british protectorate. the provinces of mosul, baghdad and mass are a were corralled
into a new country iraq. >> he would do the british bidding in iraq and as a result, they would save themselves the considerable expense of declaring iraq or mess sow poe tame i can't a full blown protect rete of the british empire. the map continued to evolve through the 20th century. as for iraq, it's monarchy was overthrown on july 14 1958, setting the stage for sadaam hussein to seize power until he was ousted by the united states in 2003. ethnic and sectarian tensions in iraq flared, creating an opening for sunni in is your
generalities of the islamic state to gain a foot hold in iraq where they hoped to undue the borders laid down 100 years ago. >> thank you so much for your time. isil's goal is to undue the borders established 100 years ago. why does it concern isil so much today? >> i'm sorry i missioned the first part of the question, that? >> why does it concern isil undoing the borders, it was 100 years old that agreement.
for isil it's a way of saying we don't acknowledge any nation states that exist. it actually fueled the arab uprising so this contempt with the existing nation states, that fueled as with existing governance systems in the region and that fueled arab uprisings to start with. they're capitalizing on existing grievances in order to push forward their own ugly agenda. however, i just want to point out one thing that came through in the documentary that just passed is that i wouldn't argue, i want say that the genesis of the breakup that we're seeing, the sectarian conflicts we're seeing today in the reason is due to the putting together of he's artificial states after the end of world war i and the agreement.
sure the agreement was one of the agreements that through which the british and the french were trying to negotiate and subdivide the region up into their own spheres have influence, however these existing areas did become, i mean all nation states are artificially created to start with. in time, something did become iraq syria polls that were being conducted in these countries up to a year ago when people were asked how do they identify they talk about themselves as iraqis, not sunnis or shias or any of the other different sects. i think it's very important to keep that in mind. the sectarian construct is now being superimposed on a conflict that's more about the power struggle. >> what you were saying is a great point, which is that
pluralism is possible. when i was in iraq, which is many years ago there was a relatively strong national identity among a lot of iraqis. >> certainly there was and there continues to be i think to some extent a strong sense of national identity amongst iraqis amongst syrians. they're greatest sense of loss today is that they feel that they're losing their home, their national home in many ways. the problem with the way the post independence arab elite functioned or successful government actually is that they did not succeed in building nations that were based on the rights and obligations of citizenship. they used actually different regimes used identity politics in order to further their own
agendas, so sadaam hussein attacks the kurds. the muslim brother hoard was attacked. they that consolidated their own spheres of influence. one of the triggers for the current uprising is the sense that people were not treated equally. this does not mean that they are more shia than ires. >> identify politics may be something we're seeing isil exploit now. >> a tragedy in china this morning, at least 38 people were killed when fire began in a rest home. we have this report from beijing. >> the details about this fire are still very few but the
local government reports that on tuesday mornings, 38 people died in a fire at an old people's home and that 44 were rescued. this old people's home had 168 residents, so by the middle of tuesday morning, it was fair to assume that many of those residents had not made it. the fire broke out at 5:28 in the evening after the evening meal. it's a part of china where people tend to go to bed early so it's possible some were asleep when the fire broke out and would therefore have had no means of escape. from the picture i'd seen on state television, where firemen have been trying to find people who might still be alive, it is pretty clear that this was a ferocious blaze. now, in china fires like this are not uncommon. it's a country that suffers from
poor safety standards and also very lax enforcement. >> adrien brown reporting from beijing. the grim task of removing body parts from suspected mass graves are taking place in malaysia. they were found in an abandoned migrant camp in the forest near the border with thailand. we have the latest. >> at 200 meters from that camp, there was a burial site. today, they were working to exhume the bodies of one of graves and we saw the forensic team at work. it was a very shallow grave. they're digging, only 30 centimeters to 40 centimeters in depth. they found remains wrapped in a cloth in a shroud, indicating that the person who died was
probably buried in accordance with muslim rights. now, having seen those camps and those burial sites, it really brings -- you really are able to picture the conditions these migrants and refugees were held in. by now, we know how they operate, bringing people in trafficking them through the border with northern malaysia and they are held in camps until family and family members pay a ransom. seeing those camps today, we're able to understand just sort of what conditions they were held in. >> u.s. veterans are fighting a new battle after the vietnam war, they were left sickened by agent orange. the government won't pay their medical bills. >> he has been fighting the department of veterans affairs for years. >> i wanted to go to vietnam. i wanted to go, and i did. >> he was an electric i guess on a floating repair shop called
the uss prairie sailing the blue waters off the vietnam coast, he is known today as a blue water vet. paul says he got sick. >> the doctor did blood work and came in the room and said how long have you been a diabetic? i said i didn't know i was. >> with no family history of the illness. palm blames his diabetes and the prostate cancer he was treated for 18 months back and the crippling burning sensation in his hands and feet on agent orange a demole quantity the u.s. used to clear forests and jungles to better see the enemy. they sprayed 20 million gallons during the war in vietnam. paul would department of veteran affairs won't help him pay because it has no record of the u.s.s. prairie ever being issue vietnam. >> 43 years abnothing was entered in the deck logs and it
baffles me and my shipmates to know why. >> paul was a sailor at sea rather than a soldier with boots on the ground. the v.a. points out that agent orange wasn't sprayed at sea. he said ships picked up the chemical through sea water. >> navy ships pull in the salt water and desalinize it. there's studies that show the chemical still obviously stays in the water and it becomes thousands of times more concentrated than what they were exposed to in boots on the ground. >> the v.a. says those who served on water were not exposed. >> we were exposed. they do know it, because from 1991 until 2002, the blue water navy veterans did receive from the v.a. benefits for disability and their illnesses from agent orange. >> in 2002, the v.a. changed its
rules and exclude blue water veterans from claiming for ill unlesses that may have been directly linked to agent orange. senator gillibrand is sponsoring a bill to extend coverage to the blue water vets. >> agent orange did not discriminate between those who stood on boats on rivers or off shores. >> the v.a. said it will continue to accept and review on a case by case basis all blue water vietnam veteran claims and work to ensure that veterans serving on blue water ships that operated on inland water ways for sent crew members ashore are identified as such. >> my goal is to right this wrong as quickly as possible. >> former u.s. navy vice admiral said these blue water vets are being left behind, but the head of the v.a. has the power to act immediately. >> with the stroke of a pen today, he could say those
veterans who served on ships are eligible for medical benefits. >> as he heads to work, the bumper sticker on his car says all you need to know. he's very proud of his service in vietnam and now he just wants his government to step up to the plate in the same way that he did over 40 years ago. >> we served our country and we are sick from a chemical that was used during the war. we need to be taken care of. >> john terrett, al jazeera manchester connecticut. >> on the money beat, a $55 billion deal announced this morning for tarta communications to buy time warner cable. if approved, the deal would make charter the second biggest cable
operator. >> college students have been graduating this month but it does not mean their school responsibilities are over. many find themselves weighed down with student loans and it could take decades to pay off. we have this report. >> melissa found a way to beat the student loan system by following a piece of simple counterintuitive advice. as a strong student from a low income household she qualified for grants in some of the most expensive university in the u.s. at a cost of nearly $50,000 a year. >> i came back to chicago. >> now 32 years old she still owes about $35,000 in student loans, but they are deferred while she is earning her p.h.d. at the university of illinois in chick. hers is a rare story. >> big loans" the only way to
make it on to a campus like this for many, but once they leave the loans become crippling. the older they are the harder it is to pay the loans off. >> students are paying off loans later in their 30's, 40 says and 50's and owing more. while those in their 20s owe an average just under $20,000 in their 30's, they owe over $30,000. that trend holds in canada and the u.k. >> compound interest, right the older you get and less able you are to pay your loans that compound. >> rest is going to build and build, making it a lot harder. >> his company links skilled graduates in pittsburgh, washington d.c. and chicago with companies that pay off their student loans directly and you have their sallies like blue 1647, a non-profit technology center. >> we have a lot of students that are really talented, but one small digital skill away
from being highly employable. we work on that side of making them more employable, we want to reduce that debt so they can start companies take on more risks. >> with one in four graduates in the u.s. behind on their loans melissa said her loans will impact her lifestyle for years to come. >> i think the combination of growing up in a low income household, not placing value on material things, plus learning to manage a small budget, there are certain things i can continue to do without. >> the job she takes after she finishes her latest degree, she says will be determined largely by how it helps her pay off her student loans. >> in today's environmental impact report, a critically endangered bird in syria may go exbe tinge because of isil. there is a small colony of the bald igress.
one group is offering a cash awashed for information about the only female bird in the flock. they are the only ones that know the migration route to ethiopia where the birds travel in winter. >> up close and personal, the experience for performers providing an audience of one. >> why some in b.b. king's family say his death was no accident.
>> taking a look at today's top stories. a heatwave sweeping india killed 600 people so far. most of victims are poor workers who spend hours at construction sites in the scorching heat. it is 150 in new delhi right now. there are multiple reports of power outages throughout the country. the b.b.c. reports there is an agreement between the countries finance minister and wholesalers, the crisis threatened to shut down cell phone service which relies on diesel generators.
>> picture of a volcano in ecuador, lava seen pouring out of the one i'm high wolf sol contain know. it had been inactive for 33 years. it is inside a national park, threatening a unique species of pink iguanas. >> on the culture beat this morning, a stunning art show is drawing big crowds to a small new york city museum. 23 pieces in all is getting praise. when the show wraps in june, the museum will close its doors. >> take a good long look at the masterpieces by the sculpture. it's the first time they've been on exhibit in america and the last time they will be seen in the museum that brought them here. >> this striking life like work called st. john the evangelist is one of 23 pieces on display
at the museum of biblical art one of new york's smallest museums. the pieces assembled not just to show their beauty, but biblical inspiration, sculpture in the age of don tell low marks a crowning achievement for the museum. it's a swan song of sorts because when this exhibit closes, the museum's doors will soon follow. later i'll explain why it is being forced to go out of business and why it's such a big loss. >> you can watch randall's full report tonight as 8:00 eastern. >> police are investigating got death of b.b. king as a possible homicide. he died at age 89. two daughters claim their father was poisoned by two close associates. las vegas pleas say there is no evidence of foul play, but they will look into it.
autopsy results could take up to two months. >> talk about an intimate theater experience, imagine a one man show performed just for you. kristin reports on what that's like. >> amid a bustling commercial center in new york, a chance to experience theater up close and personal just follow the red carpet to see one of five free shows each last be five minutes written by a well known playwright and performed by a seasoned actor just for you. >> i was very badly injured. shot four times. >> it's called theater for one. >> the space is designed to feel like a traditional theater albeit a very small one. there's red velvet house lights and music. the idea is to come together in an intimate environment.
>> >> i thought the actor was amazing, drawing me in. >> this was fun really interesting. he is very good, very good indeed. >> backstage the staying manager runs the show through grants from the property owner. christine jones came up with the idea. >> when you go into a booth with someone, it's like holding a microscope or magnifying glass up to that person as an individual. we thought it would be really interesting to be in this very kind of busy place and then bring an audience member into this portal where everything slows down, becomes intimate and focused and suddenly, you zoom into this stranger in front of you. >> the actors perform their
pieces anywhere from 12 to 20 times a day and never know what to expect from the audience. >> there is no other chairs, it's not that communal feeling you get when you go to a traditional theater. it's just you. number one do i participate do i pull back because i don't want to get in the way but we've had varied experiences where people want to speak with us. >> i can see you weren't expecting me. >> each play is inspired by the phrase i'm not the stranger you think i am, and by the end of the show, you can't help but know each character incident mali. kristin, al jazeera, new york. >> coming up in two minutes from doha, more on the new iraqi operation to retake anbar province. that's it for us here in new york. i'm stephanie sy. thanks for watching. have a great morning.
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>> part of our month long look at working in america. "hard earned". >> welcome to the news hour, here's what's coming up over of the next 60 minutes. >> iraq's army launches a military operation to retake the western anbar province from isil. a month after attacking a university in northeast kenya al shabab gunmen return to target police forces. >> malaysian police teams