Skip to main content

tv   News  Al Jazeera  May 26, 2015 8:00pm-9:01pm EDT

8:00 pm
>> hi everyone, this america. i'm john siegenthaler. underwater. >> homes have been completely wiped off of the map. >> new floods and record-setting rain in texas and oklahoma. the number of homeless missing and the dead on the rise. moment of truth. if s the newthe new offensive to beat back i.s.i.l.'s advance.
8:01 pm
shrouded in secrecy. an american journalist, tried behind closed doors in iran. the hidden proceedings and the judge. plus moving pictures, the compelling and compassionate photography of mary ellen mark. we begin tonight with a catastrophic flooding in texas. the governor calls it the worst the state has ever seen. the death toll is cliexg and cleemg and climbing and dozens are missing. heidi zhou-castro is in wimberly texas tonight. heidi. >> 46 foot tall wave of water
8:02 pm
came down the blanco river. lifted off its foundation. here in wem wim ber li wim wimberly is where this started before memorial day but is not where it is continuing. >> this will allow everyone to respond even more festival to the challenges you face. >> homes have been swamped. >> homes have been completely wiped off of the map. >> every part of the city hit.
8:03 pm
>> the defining feature of houston, is the many rivers that run through. and many of them overflowed their banks and overtook the neighborhoods. >> rescuers said they had to save over 500 people from high water. stranded in their vehicles. 2500 trucks and vans abandoned as drivers scrambled to higher ground. further north the search continues for two families whose vacation home was swept into the blanco river. fell apart into pieces. at the time the water was not only over my head but over the height of the bridge. in all several people from hayes county are unaccounted for, a body remains
8:04 pm
unidentified. >> it's scary i have small children. to imagine you couldn't help the children and don't know what happened, i can't imagine. so very sad. >> reporter: juna brown lives upriver, she never imagined this kind of destruction in her backyard. >> is that a slab over there? >> yes, that's partly of that -- part of that and all that's left is a rock fireplace. everything else is gone. >> with more rain in the forecast, texas is bracing for disaster to come. so we may get a few days of respite from prescription in wimberly but all of texas all the soil the rivers and lakes are saturated so any more drops of rain will only add more to the problem. >> all right heidi, thank you very much. jan guerrero is the is mayor of
8:05 pm
san marcos, texas. can you give us an update on the missing? >> certainly. the numbers we have at this time are still the same as we have had over the last 24 hours. we're still missing 13 people. we have resources going in all directions to try to identify and recover those missing people. >> give us a sense of the damage. >> the damage is -- it's unimaginable. this is our new flood of record. there is nothing ellis that has impacted -- nothing else that has impacted the city of wimberly ever, 1200 homes have lost right now we have a number of state agencies, nonprofit organizations, various businesses large and small that have really banded together to come and help those folks that are in need right now and we are so grateful for the support we have received from all of our community members
8:06 pm
throughout central texas. >> what are you telling people as they head home to their homes and businesses? >> we are encouraging people to be cautious. certainly we are getting a break from the weather some of the floodwaters have receded so people have a chance to go home and assess damage and get a sense what the plans are going to be for the days and weeks ahead. but at the same time we're encouraging them to be cautious, to make sure that they are working daylight, and doing our best to make sure that they somewhere accurate resources and support and help to be able to piece their homes back together. >> mayor, i understand that marcos texas is listed by the u.s. census as the fastest growing city three years running. what impact does that have on your city? >> i think if anything, what really has driven a lot of that growth has been our proximity to
8:07 pm
austin, san antonio institutions and agencies throughout central texas. people want to be in a beautiful place, a good economy good quality of life with low cost of living and that's what you have here. what this will do will require us to go back and reassess some of the financial priorities and making sure that we're putting forth the appropriate amount of funds to rebuild our fire station, to go back and repave some roads that were stripped, bridges here in wimberly that need to be replaced. so there will be new assets that we're going to have to acquire and priorities that we'll have to set. but it's business as usual at the same time. we will still have to provide our citizens with the services they expect from their cities and counties. >> mayor good luck for you in rebuilding. >> thank you sir i appreciate your time. >> the weather is far from over in texas. meteorologist kevin corriveau is here with that.
8:08 pm
kevin. >> that's right john, normally you would see this kind of destruction if you had a tropical hurricane or tornado making landfall. but as it made its way over towards houston we do have a little bit of a break for texas and oklahoma. a lot of that weather has been moving up here towards the east. but unfortunately this evening we are beginning to pick up a few thunderstorms to the western part of dallas. we're going to be watching this very closely towards the west we do have tornado warnings in effect right now. flood watches and warnings are still in effect for the earn part of texas. over the next couple of days we'll watch this area very carefully because the rain is expected to come back. even though we have a little bit of a break tomorrow, the rain will inch its way back as we get towards thursday and the weekend, it's really going to expand and as heidi said earlier, any rain that we get now is just really going to
8:09 pm
exasperate the problem. because we're looking at very very saturated soil, not just for one or two communities but all the state of texas and oklahoma. >> kevin thank you. president enrique penna pena nieto nieto, has promised to help. there's a tornado that hit the area of mexico. a major effort to retake the key strategic city of ramadi. that's iraq's largest problems of anbar. fell to i.s.i.l. fighters during a devastating push last week,
8:10 pm
there are those look towards baghdad. >> iraqi security forces gather on the edge of ramadi, for ibaq hussein, named for an imam in iraq. be sent iraqi soldiers running for cover. >> translator: the area for which the lebaq hussein will cover, all the way to ramadi. an area where i.s.i.l. is present. >> but there are concerns the operation's code name could stoke deep rooted fears of sectarianism among them sunni sectarianism. >> war is war you lose some with fighting but you have to win the war ultimately and we are embarking on winning the war against i.s.i.s.
8:11 pm
>> for thousand, sunni and shia are united against a common enemy, fighting under one banner. >> we are fighting a psychological war. we have been accused of retreating, we are not. we are backing up our troops here and preparing for fall of ramadi. >> reporter: with i.s.i.l. in control of ramadi, securing baghdad just an hour and a half away is a priority. but that has brought its oafn own challenges. thousands of ramadi residents are crossing this bridge into baghdad to escape the fighting. >> they entered killed and explaiseddisplaced people. this man is sick and might die and we had to stay in the street. >> there is no telling how long this bridge, the only safe place to cross into baghdad will remain open.
8:12 pm
and it is feared that i.s.i.l. fighters will hide amongst the civilians to sneak into the capital. >> also facing criticism on the u.s. doubled down on comments by defense secretary ash carter. he said ramadi fell because iraqi soldiers lost the will to fight. jamie mcintire is at the pentagon jamie. >> the blame game is if full swing over the embarrassing loss of ramadi. inadequate and ineffective u.s. air strikes and also a lack of support from the shia government in baghdad for the sunni fighters in the field including a shortage of things like ammunition. but pentagon sources tell a much different story. they describe an iraqi force in ramadi that was demoralsed, demoralized
8:13 pm
dazed and confused oops. >> eight powerful truck bombs that killed 100 an ambush that overwhelmed a small patrol and sand storms that iraqi forces falsely feared would limit air supports. thousands drew out of ramadi in face of an advance from only hungs ofhundreds of i.s.i.l. fighters. it's what ash carter was talking about. >> they withdrew from the site, and that says to me, and i think to most of us, that we have an issue with the will of the iraqis to fight i.s.i.l. and defend themselves. >> reporter: pentagon sources say the iraqi forces in ramadi outnumbered i.s.i.l. 10 o1, enjoying what the pentagon
8:14 pm
termed a substantial advantage over the enemy. there were 10,000 holding ramadi including 3,000 federal police and special operations troops that folded in the face of only 1,000 i.s.i.l. attackers. after a year of fighting, the ramadi soldiers were war weary and badly led by commanders who weren't communicating well with each other and had a flawed understanding of the war space. if iraqi troops hadn't cut and run, what began with some elite troops pulling out turned into a stampede. >> their morale had slipped leadership was not up to par they believed they did not receive the support they needed to receive. >> john dempsey told people traveling with him the isf wasn't driven out of ramadi,
8:15 pm
they drove out of ramadi. among those recently trained by the u.s. >> we would e-expect thatexpect that forces that are augmented by local fighters from local sunni tribes and from the popular mobilize able force, would be able to improve the performance of the iraqi troops on the ground. >> now de demoralizing vehicle bombs putting american troops on the front line together with air attacks would not be effective. iraqi forces there psyched
8:16 pm
themselves out despite what should have been an overwhelming tactical advantage they became convinced that i.s.i.l. was winning and once that mindset took over, there was a lack of leadership that would have inspired iraqis to hold their position. >> jamie mcintire, thank you. debate over one person one vote how states draw political maps, whether they can count people in the u.s. illegally. this is how texas draws its state senate maps. the districts are divided equally regardless of voter eligibility with each holding about 810,000 people. a lawsuit argues some districts have significantly more eligible voters than others. they say that's not fair. the decision could impact the political power of latinos especially in large states like texas, california and florida. the supreme court will hear this
8:17 pm
case in the fall. michael lee is a lawyer with the brennan center for justice. his work centers on redistricting and voter rights. michael break down the plaintiff's argument for us. >> that every vote should be equally weighted. if there are 400 people in the district your vote is one out of 400. if another district has only 100, your vote is 1 out of 100. that vote matters more because in texas a lot of people are not citizens, you end up with districts that have fewer actual voters and their argument is the district should have the equal number of voters. >> is that how most states do it? >> it is the way most states do it. long the practice pretty much everywhere. >> if the supreme court were to change how that is done how would it impact elections?
8:18 pm
>> it would first of all redraw districts. right now minority districts have a powerful tool in the minority voting act which they could use to draw districts. if there are polarized districts. changing the rule would mean you have to have a higher number of people in the district and that means that oftentimes you would have to go further out to find people. and that would make districts larger and harder to draw. >> so that would assume that there are more undocumented people in big cities? >> there are. and in places like dallas and houston and up to half of adult hispanics are not citizens currently. it varies from place to place but that's a significant driver of this debate. >> how significant is this for elections going forward and the way -- i mean if you're drawing -- this has an impact on not just local elections. it could have an impact on national elections as well,
8:19 pm
right? >> it could. you know the rule for congress is a little bit different but if the supreme court changes it for these elections, it probably would change it for congress, as well. it really does have a lot of impact because -- >> you see it as significant. >> i see it as very significant. if the court rules reverses the decision below. >> you want to make any bets on what they're going to do? do you think there's a likelihood they might change the way these districts are drawn? >> i don't know that that's the case. i think that this is a little bit of an unusual case because it's a case that the supreme court had to hear because it's a direct appeal. that means this they might just be waning to get briefing on this before they hear the case a little bit further. but you know the court has -- redistrict cases are very hard because they come up every decade and you never quite know why the court takes them. >> it's probably not a good idea to guess what the court's going to do in any case. michael good to see you.
8:20 pm
thank you very much. >> thank you. >> coming up. a major overhaul for the cleveland police as part of a settlement with the justice department. plus a legendary photographer, a look back at the life of the photographer mary ellen mark. mark.
8:21 pm
8:22 pm
interchange is coming to the cleveland police department. the city announced a settlement with the justice department today, it deals with a range of issues including the use of force policy. last year justice department report found a pattern and practice of excessive force by cleveland police. bisi onile-ere is in cleveland. bisi. >> john, cleveland police officers will have to follow new guidelines when it comes to use of force. there will also be a stronger emphasis put on community relations and anti-bias policing. the mayor said this plan will be
8:23 pm
expensive and it will likely take years to implement. >> today may 26th, 2015, marks a new way of policing in the city of cleveland. one built on a strong foundation of progressive change, sustained trust and accountability. >> cleveland mayor frank jackson putting an optimistic spin on the settlement with the department of justice. found cleveland pd engaged in a pattern of unconstitutional policing. among the worst examples of excessive force are police officers shooting at people who pose no threat, hitting people over the head with guns and using stun guns on handcuffed suspects. >> the challenges that caused this agreement that this agreement addresses they didn't arise in a day. and we're not going to get rid
8:24 pm
of them overnight. >> reporter: under the agreement cleveland police will face new guidelines on using force. they emphasize community policing accountability, and training on bias-free policing. >> you put your lives on the line each and every day and ensure the safety of communities. our investigation revealed you were asked to do this terrifically difficult work without training guidance or supervision, or adequate equipment. >> just before the announcement, hundreds took to the streets. >> we won't wait. we won't wait. >> members of about 40 area churches marched over their disappointment in the not guilty verdict for cleveland police officer michael brelo the police officer was cleared on saturday for shooting 49 shots that the vehicle two black people were riding in including
8:25 pm
17 shots he unloaded on the hood of russell's car. >> everyone is talking about it, we've been doing it for 400 years. >> peaceful demonstrations turned aggressive after dark. over 70 people were arrested. >> i'm deeply optimism that transformation is coming to cleveland. to rebuild trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve where it has eroded but it can be done. >> reporter: it is a long road ahead in cleveland to make sure police play by the new rules. and it's important to note that the way is still on for two high profile cases involving police, one being the death of tamir rice while he was playing with a toy gun. >> bisi onile-ere bisi, thank
8:26 pm
you. amtrak last determined to install cameras to monitor the action he of its engineers. after the deadly train derailment of last week, eight people were killed, 200 injured in that crash. coming up next, a washington post reporter goes on trial in iran behind closed doors. plus somali parents living in fear that their sons will be recruited by i.s.i.l. what that needs to be done to stop. stop.
8:27 pm
8:28 pm
>> hi everyone, this is al jazeera america. i'm john siegenthaler. behind closed doors. an american journalist accused of spying, international outrage as a secret trial opens in tehran. call to arms. >> it's not even clearly identified. we don't know who they are.
8:29 pm
>> fighting violent ideology in the u.s. heart land. citei.s.i.l. look for recruits among america's immigrants. >> biblical art a look inside its breathtaking final show. plus eye for detail. street wise and sophisticated the stunning photography of mary ellen mark. >> the trial of a washington post journalist got underway in tehran today. jason rezaian jonathan betz has the story. >> jason rezaian's appearance before an iranian judge was brief and private. closed to the public and even his family. >> he knows he hasn't done anything wrong that he's
8:30 pm
innocent. >> rezaian only met with his lawyer once but is facing one of the most difficult judges in iran. growing more worried about his health. >> i think it's taken a toll on him physically, being isolated the way he is. he has got a roommate but doesn't interact with anyone else. he doesn't have access to other people and i think that really weighs on him. >> the washington post reporter was arrested in his tehran home in july, accused of being an american spy and working with hostile governments. >> what we've heard seems absurd and ludicrous to us. we are confident he did nothing wrong. >> the case put pressures on u.s. iranian relations as the two sides try to reach a deal to end iran's nuclear program.
8:31 pm
rezaian's case sounds like it falls into a pattern using them as bargaining chips. >> they want to use him to get leverage either from the moderates or from foreign governments. >> reza yan is an iranian american who has lived in iran for almost a decade. >> getting to iran is the part, not so much getting there but the hoops i had to get to, to visit. >> now he's in jail, facing serious allegations while his family grows confused and frustrated. >> to hold an innocent journalist an innocent man in prison for now ten months without any basis of evidence at all. >> rezaian could face up to 20 years in prison. iran is holding at least two other americans john and they've been in prison for years now. >> jonathan thank you.
8:32 pm
jason stern is with the committee to protect journalists in new york. i asked him about rezaian's trial and the judge in the case. >> the judge has a reputation before him. he has presided over numerous political cases before involving dissidents and involving journalists in the past. now of course the iranian government promises that there will be due process in this trial and hopefully they'll live up to that promise. >> how does this case compare to other cases cpj has tried to support where they've tried to support journalists in iran? >> some things in this case are very exceptional most notably nowhere else has iran held a person for so long over 300 days. 30 journalists are in jail, vast majority are held on espionage charges or propaganda against the state little or no due
8:33 pm
process in their trials, so in this case the jason rezaian trial is a run of the minimum trial for iran. >> he's facing espionage charges but there's no proof. >> no there's no proof. i don't expect to see proof. again the iranian government promises due process. let's look at the evidence of due process or not. the iranian journalist held for over 300 days, not due process. not allowed to choose his own counsel, that's not due process and only met with his lawyer one time that's not due process. neither his employer the washington post nor his family can go to the trial. that's not due process. do you know how we know if he gets acquitted of all charges because any other outcome is not justice. >> what do you do to support something like that? >> our main role is make sure
8:34 pm
journalists like jason are not forgotten, make sure the discussion of his case is framed in a productive way and most importantly to make sure that his case does not let us forget the other 30 journalists who are currently in jail in iran, make sure we raise all their cases and make sure they all come home to their families. >> we're told the united states government has put pressure on iran hasn't helped right? >> i think it has helped. maybe if we hadn't raised his case so much he wouldn't be facing the charges he faced today, he would just be held without a trial at all. certainly we've been raising his case the u.s. government has been raising his case, his family has raised his case. >> is there anything more the united states government can do? >> i think president obama recently spoke at the white house correspondents dinner, i'd like to see his rhetoric a lot more often not just about
8:35 pm
jason's case but all journalists imprisoned all around the world. i love for president obama to have such a vocal voice in searching for their freedom. >> jason stern it's good to see you. >> thank you for the time. >> a texas man has been accused of trying to join i.s.i.l prosecutors say he also helped a friend go to syria to fight with the group. khan returned home from istanbul after a family member tricked him by saying his mother was sick. he faces 15 years in prison if he is convicted. in some american communities, anxiety is growing about i.s.i.l.'s influence on young muslim men. minneapolis is one city. city saps home to the country's large isest somali population. last month the fbi arrested six men there who are allegedly planning to head overseas to join i.s.i.l.
8:36 pm
diane eastabrook spoke to somali mocts who worriedmothers who worried about their sons being recruited. >> reporter: the somali american mothers say they live in constant fear that i.s.i.l. and groups like it could target their sons. >> this just hits home when it comes to your own city from your own community and it's all boys. >> reporter: anxiety has grown up in minneapolis's somali community since six young men five shown here, were arrested on terrorism in april. >> what has happened to the community since these guys were arrested? >> shock. shock beyond shock beyond shock. >> federal agents say the men all friends recrueltied each other to travel to syria to join i.s.i.l. >> do you think it's unsafe for your kids, in this community is it unsafe?
8:37 pm
>> another mother, wondering what she's doing for her sons this summer, she says oh yes there's this summer program and this guy that is teaching in all that and of course the first thing that comes to my mind is, is it safe? sit safe, do you know them? because there are these elements in the community bad elements in the community. it's not even clearly identified. we don't know who they are. >> here in mogadishu you'll find somali born parents who are deeply connected to their culture but their kids identify more with america. is shy's three kids come home each day to a traditional islam ick home. but her kids embrace peanut butter and jelly sandwiches,
8:38 pm
television and video games. she ovens why some somali americans feel disconnected. >> you have kids going to school not understanding they lost a lot, and they go outside and they don't belong. >> many somali moms say apart from soccer and a small community center there aren't many resources available to their kids in minneapolis. so shy heads to the state house daily, lobbying for somali youth. >> has it been hard to get the ear of legislators here in minnesota? >> well absolutely. it's not easy, especially when it's your first time. >> governor mark dayton told us a few weeks ago he supports the funding. >> we need to do everything possible to give young somalis that this is the place to make a
8:39 pm
significant difference. >> however on saturday dayton vetoed a bill that included $280,000 for the program but still backs the program and awaits an amended bill. both shy and fer rfertionaerra says the situation has made them more vigilant. >> i'm not different from any other mother but sometimes to world is just so cruel. >> diane eastabrook, minneapolis. >> yesterday, the senate left for recess without renewing a provision used to justify several nsa surveillance programs. that includes the controversial collection of phone records from millions of americans. the provision expires midnight sunday. if that happens the president says there's no backup plan. >> this needs to get done. and i would urge folks to just
8:40 pm
work through whatever issues can still exist make sure we don't have on midnight sunday night this task still undone because it's necessary to keep the american people safe and secure. >> the president asked the senate to pass a house bill that would cut back the collection of phone data by the nsa. the senate will hold a rare session on sunday. one of the authors of that bill is jerald nadle yrveg. he spoke to tony harris and said no matter what the senate does, the house will not budge. >> we want to stop this. the house after working for two years, passed a very good bill at least i thought it was i was one of the authors of it. >> the u.s. freedom act. >> doesn't go far enough i would agree with but we got a very
8:41 pm
good bill which is a compromise. senator leahy introduced the same bill in the senate. they want to continue all the dragnet surveillance which goes against our tenets in the constitution. and the section is due to expire may 30th. senator paul filibustered in annal attempt to extend it. it will not be extended a day an hour. >> not weeks or -- >> not a second. >> student loan debt in the ultimates has now reached $1.2 trillion. that number is rising even though number of americans with student loans is falling. now one group is giving borrowers some new option he for paying off that debt. john hendren has more from
8:42 pm
chicago. >> melissa abad found a way to beat the student loan problem. she did it by counterintuitive advice. >> more be institution he have more grants to go away. >> she qualified northwest earn and the university of chicago for graduate school at a cost of nearly $50,000 a year. now 32 years old she still owes about $35,000 in student loans but they are deferred while she's earning her ph.d. in sociology at the university of illinois in chicago. but hers is a rare story. for many students big loans is the only way they can make it onto a campus like this but once they leave the loans are crippling and the hard he it is to pay those loans off. increasingly, students are paying off those loans later in their 30s 40s and 50s.
8:43 pm
while those in their 20s owe on average just under 20,000, those in their 30s just owe under 30,000. the reason can be explained in two words. >> compound interest, right? so the older you get and the less able you're to pay your loans, that compound interest is going to build and build and build, which makes it a lot hard he. >> hi company links skilled graduates in washington d.c. and chicago who pay off their student loans companies like blue 1647, a nonprofit technology center. >> we have a lot of students that are really talented but they are one digital skill away from highly employable. we want to try to reduce their debt so they can start companies so they can take on more risk. >> with one in four graduates in the u.s. behind on their loans
8:44 pm
melissa abad says her loans will impact her lifestyle for years to come. >> not placing value on material things plus learning how to manage a very small budget for a long period of time like there's certain things i can continue to do without. >> and the job she takes after she finishes her latest degree she says will determine how she pays off her student loans. john hendren, al jazeera chicago. >> now to a problem about concerning the elderly and the court appointed guardians appointed to protect them, taking advantage of a dirty and lucrative business. "america tonight's" sheila macvicar reports. >> at this nursing home, preston is trying to visit an old
8:45 pm
acquaintance. he was moved here begins his will in 2010. >> a legendary texan. >> stout was a legendary chaplain during the race to the room. be he convinced are neil armstrong to take be bibles to the moon. before stout was made a ward of the state he was active on the internet mealg friends and writing letters -- e-mailing friends and writing letters but an apparent disagreement with how he was dealing with some of his assets leads to his guardianship. >> one bible sold at sotheby's for 56,000. if there were even 60 in that apartment which we feel they were do the math, he's worth
8:46 pm
millions. >> keeping him in isolation using his money to pay for lawyers. in 2012 depositions in a lawsuit over ownership of some of the lunar bibles, texas department of aging and disability services personnel conceded stout was not allowed to use the internet, mail letters or use the phone. and that all in-coming communications are screened. kirk says the state guardian won't allow visits from him or others. >> they say it's for his own protection. what are you protecting him from? >> we asked the state about stowt's case -- stout's case. in general we were told, the most important job of any guardian is to protect the individuals he or she serves. as such, there are times when a guardian must make difficult decisions such as restricting visitors for certain individuals. >> only the son and daughter-in-law have been allowed to visit in the last
8:47 pm
four and a half years. and they have since moved to missouri and have no contact. >> inez russell is executive director of the texas guardianship organization. >> i think it's incredibly important to the quality of their life to have visitors. >> she supports visitors but admits its a system with flaws. >> we have some great people in guardianship who work very hard to make sure that the people that they take care of are well cared for. but texas has 254 counties. there is not enough money in most of the county governments. >> kirk tried to see reverend stout when we were there but was told he'd need the guardian's permission. permission always denied. sheila macvicar, al jazeera fort worth text. >> and you can see more of sheila macvicar's report on
8:48 pm
"america tonight" tonight at 10:00 eastern time. now to a show of military might in russia. massive air defense drill. russia says even bigger exercises are on the way barbara serra is here with that, barbara. >> amid perceived threats by russia, in the days since russia's military has begun large scale drills in siberia. all of this is concerning to russia's neighbors which lack the military might of the much larger country. in our next hour we're going to be joined by the foreign minister of latvia. should russia make a more imposing move. the country relies heavily on moscow for trade and has a large russian speaking population all of which puts it in a bit of a tight spot.
8:49 pm
john. >> thank you barbara,. >> the museum of biblical art will close its doors in june. despite its success the museum has had struggles with funding. randall pinkston has the story. >> it is a breathtaking collection, 23 works of art three by donnatello, considered the greatest sculptor of the renaissance. and this sculpture of st. john the baptist and this lazucone, this is the first time that they left their home in florence's museum. their biblical inspiration that dovetails perfectly with the mission of their new york host, the museum of biblical art or
8:50 pm
mobia. >> not just a sculpture on a sped petd stall how beautiful this was sculpted by such and such or this depicts abraham and eye sac. >> emphasizes that mobia is not a religious institution. >> we have no religious agenda. we simply want to make it as accessible as possible, great works of art inspired by the bible so they understand the underpinnings of wrern culture. >> throughout its ten year existence mobia has struggled surviving, thanks orent free space in the american bible society. described by the new york times as soul steering, attracting hundreds of patrons a day. but the success is birth sweet. when this exhibit ends in june
8:51 pm
the museum will close because its principal sponsor is moving to philadelphia. when the american bible society decided to sell its building the museum of biblical art was confronted with a familiar issue, finding real estate it could afford. mobia's demise is the latest of many institutions squeezed out because of a hot economy. the american folk art museum was also forced to move after selling its 53rd street building and before that, the museum of hispanic contemporary art moved for good. >> what you're describing is a danger for small institutions. >> i think so, if they don't come in with a trust fund, if they can't expand their patron base. >> he hops mobia's inspiration
8:52 pm
continues. even if they're out of museum space. >> to discuss spiritual and religious works of art in their care. >> but on june 14th after bringing so much history to new york the museum of biblical art will become a part of it. randall pinkston, al jazeera new york. >> coming up on the broadcast the passion of mary ellen mark, her passing. we celebrate her art and her work. work.
8:53 pm
8:54 pm
>> in new york a new theater is open where the best seat in the house is the only seat in the house. kristin saloomey takes us inside. >> amid a bustling center in new york, a chance to experience theater up close and personal, five free shows each lasting around 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. >> designed to be like a traditional theater albeit a very small one. house lights and music the idea is to make you very comfortable
8:55 pm
in what can be an uncomfortable environment. >> intimidating because you don't know how to react not to detect them. >> it was very nice not what i expected at all but i thought actor was amazing drawing me in. >> it was fun really interesting, he is good, very good indeed. >> backstage the stage manager runs the show funded by 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 a magnifying glass up to that person as an individual. we thought it would be very interesting to be in this kind of busy transient place and bring an audience member into this sort of portal where everything slows down, becomes much more intimate and focused and suddenly you zoom into this stranger in front of you.
8:56 pm
>> the performers perform their pieces anywhere from 12 to 20 times a day and never know what to expect from the audience. >> sitting there there's no other chairs, it's not that communal feelings you get when you go to a traditional theater it's just you. so number one do i participate? number two 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 intimately. kristin saloomey, al jazeera new york. >> we learned today that one of the greatest documentary photographers of the 20th century died. mary ellen mark's work was published in dozens of books and
8:57 pm
magazines. her pictures hang in museums all over the world. but you can't grasp the impact of her work without seeing it. the pictures. intimate startling. confrontational. heartbreaking. for more than 40 years mary ellen mark traveled the world to reveal humanity's forgotten people. children living on the streets of seattle. prostitutes in mumbai. women in a mental hospital in oregon. she documented the grim reality of street life. and the fantasy world of movie sets. and movie stars. she would spend weeks even months living with her subjects. earning their trust. so she could photograph their
8:58 pm
troop. that's the news, thanks for watching. i'm john siegenthaler. see you back here tomorrow night. the news continues next. next.
8:59 pm
9:00 pm
the counteroffensive in iraq. >> there are a variety of contributors to what happened in ramadi. >> as the iraqi government launches a major military operation in anbar province the u.s. is left to explain why isil captured ramadi. a city under siege. >> the defining feature of houston is the small rivers that run through the city and many of them went over their banks. >> record flooding hammers houston, and texas braces for more rainfall and dangerous storms. an american on trial.