tv Weekend News Al Jazeera February 14, 2016 12:00am-12:31am EST
>> we honor his extraordinary service to our nation and remember one of the towering legal figures of our time president obama and the republicans gear up for a political fight over who will succeed the supreme court justice zcalia. tributes are paid to the justice at the presidential debate. donald trump says it's a terrible blow to conservatism welcome.
you're watching al jazeera coming to you live from our headquarters here in doha. i have the world news here. also ahead. diplomatic disagreement about whether a pause in syria's civil war will work as turkey now targets kurdish fighters. plus >> reporter: faking his message-- taking his messages to the masses. pope francis is hoping to see the hard lives that millions of people are living in here in mexico our top story today is one of the u.s. supreme court's most conservative members justice scalia has died at the age of 79. his death has the potential to shift the balance of power within the supreme court should the president mag to appoint a more liberal justice. >> reporter: as the flag dropped to half staff over the u.s.
supreme court, the death of justice scalia could set-off a battle between the white house and the congress. >> he was a larger than life president on the bench. a brilliant legal mind, an energetic style, decisive wit and colorful opinions >> reporter: he was a consistent conservative who often tilted the scales of justice. he was elected and confirmed by a vote of 98 to 0 after promising not to transform the court >> i am not going onto the court with a list of things that i want to do. my only agenda is to be a good judge >> reporter: for 30 years he pushed on the death penalty and right to bear arms >> he will be meft remembered-- best remembered by a good
writer. >> reporter: he was against gay rights others >> you can not adevelop a theory that the constitution will evolving and the supreme court will tell you what it means. you cannot do that without causing the supreme court to become a very political institution. >> reporter: his critics say that's exactly what he did. his vote on decisions struck down decisions on campaign donations and help to sign the 2000 election in favor of george w bush. he set up a tie tannic struggle that could tip the balance. president obama says he intends to name his successor >> there will be plenty of time for me to do so and for the senate to fulfil its responsibility to give that person a fair hearing and a timely vote. >> reporter: it comes as the court faces weighty decisions on
union dues, the death penalty and having employers to pay for abortion. it is said the president named-- the president names the candidates and the senate votes in. obama can come up with a common ground which makes he will be likely to have one before the election. that could mean all three branches of the presidency, congress and high court are all in play in the november election our correspondent explains how the death of the justice could have global implications. >> reporter: the death of u.s. supreme court justice is not just going to impact people here in the u.s. but also on the broader globe. here is why. u.s. president obama recently helped make that deal in paris climate so that he came back to
u.s. and said there were new rules that states had to curb greenhouse gas emissions. the supreme court was seen that he was sending the message to the president said that those rules could not go into effect until the case had worked through the court. now that he has passed away, it is more likely that the spraem court is not going it be able to weigh in on his. however the lower court decides, if they decide that the president does have the authority, it is likely that those regulations will go into effect meaning it is likely that the paris climate talks are implemented the justice's opinions have influenced a generation. p.m.ed hopefuls have been speaking about their latest debate in south carolina. they have also called on the republican majority senate to block any nominee as proposed by president obama to replace justice scalia. >> for this year, for the senate, the senate needs to
stand strong and say we're not going to give up the u.s. supreme court by allowing obama to make you one more liberal appointee. >> i think he is going to do it or not. it is to mich mcconnell to stop it. it's called delay delay delay to alan fisher at the debate. just to pick up on what donald trump was saying there, delay delay delay, he wants, in effect, the senate to fight back and fight back strongly. >> reporter: he wants them to make sure that this does not go through. the longest period for a nomination to a confirmation, any supreme court has taken, is 108 days. so he wants to see the senate delay this even further than that but making sure that any suggestion that obama makes, if it's not a consensus appointment, is delayed not confirmed and has to wait until the next president.
that was the view of all six candidates on stage. they believe that this is something that should be done by the next president. there's no precedent for it, but actually there. there is a judge who sits on the bench at the moment called justice kennedy. he was appointed in last few months, nominated and confirmed at that point. so that's what democrats will go to. they will say it happened before and there are reasons to do this and we should continue on and allow the president to make the nomination. it is a sign of how polarized how politics are in the u.s. it is seen in such terms. those on the stage here insistent it should be the next president and automatic six of them believe that the next president will be a republican and all six believe that the next to be appointed is republican how does this fit into the campaign do you think? >> reporter: a new battled field
has been opened. when they talk about social issues, they have something very concrete to hang it on. they can look at the decisions made by the supreme court in the last few years. they can say what about the affordable health care act, bow be that as it may acare, remember when they tried to get that through. it was the-- obamacare, remember when they tried to get it through. remember in relation to same sex marriage and it went to the supreme court. they said it was perfectly legal within the boundaries of the constitution. now the republicans will be saying, look, when it comes to social issues, we can't afford to lose the supreme court and therefore we have to block this appointment for as long as we possibly can. then when the new president is in place, and they hope it will be a republican, they will make the decision. it has been a touchstone which has real consequence.
he said look it is an important issue and we can't let the supreme court fall into the hands of liberals. we need to make a stand. it is important that people realise they're voting for who is going to hold sway in the supreme court you're at the debate. if you had been at a democrat debate last night local time, your time rather, how would the democrats have been handling this? >> reporter: i suspect they would have said that president obama has to make a nomination. they would be behind the statement that he made just in the last few hours. they would say it's in the constitution. it's essentially a three-pronged constitution. there is the supreme court, the presidency and the branch of congress.
the president has the power to appoint and he must be allowed to do that. he will face a nomination process in the senate. a few weeks ago john roberts the chief justice of the supreme court said it was a shane that people who were good candidates were voted down in political fights. no-one was looking whether they would stand by the constitution or whether they were very good jurists, but looking at their political bent and stance on social political issues. now the senate will be under the spotlight to see whether or not, first of all, if obama can appoint someone who is well qualified who would meet the support of many, many people on both sides of the party and who can get through. i suspect that that is a three-bar test that not every single one of his suggestions might pass thank you very much. a public policy professor joins
us. how do you think mr scalia will be remembered? >> as a staunch conservative and someone who really set the tone for conservatives on the supreme court and they want more justices exactly like him what are the chances do you think that an appointment will be made in this very important election year given the back story about the republicans and what we suspect the democrat candidates will say about the process and also about the person who might go through the process if obama has his way? >> i imagine that obama has 100% chance likelihood of nominating someone, but that's not an appointment. then it has to be confirmed by the senate. i think there's a 100% chance that they will not confirm anyone he nominates. so it is likely to go to the
next president surely the republican candidates that we've seen talking last night, they have to remember it might be president clinton, it might be president bernie sanders in the oval office, it might be a democratic majority on the floor of the house this time next year. >> it could be. the democratic majority in the house, the house doesn't matter. it's the senate that matters. republicans can do their part to hold things up. i think the republicans are willing to take that chance because there is a possibility that a democrat will win the white this year. he can put forward one because that's his right. they think no democrat could possibly be worse than president obama as far as they're concerned i can see you're having problems with your ear piece.
we will carry on with our conversation assuming it lasts. mr obama has got to be seen to be going for a candidate. what does this mean to the voters, is this another layer of the election process that they will really want to engage with? >> no. they don't want to engage with it. this escalates the stakes-- engage with it. they want to take the supreme court into account. the supreme court occupies the center stage. that escalates the stakes for people on both sides because it is not only the supreme court appointment, but the majority on the court. four of the justices who remain on the court are conservative, four are liberal. many of the key decisions have been five to four, and so everything is at stake here.
the supreme court is the voice of the constitution. this is the highest stakes you can ever imagine for a presidential election for those supreme court justices, mr scalia says you cannot p oshgs lshdoliticize th court. >> of course. it is. they decide on the most divisive issues on the american political agenda. those cultural issues, abortion, affirmative action, immigration, labor rights, obamacare. they're all decisions that have been made on the five to four basis, the decision to same sex marriage. they're the most divisive decisions in the country.
they're at the top of the agenda. there couldn't be more at stake and both parties will be driven to come out in large numbers by the high stakes of this election thank you for that. >> thank you the u.s. has urged turkey to stop military strikes on kurdish targets in syria. it comes as the prime minister asked for their withdrawal. turkey carried out shelling in the north of the country. the kurdish armed group the y.p.g. says its positions were targeted. ankara said it was striking under retaliation under the armies rules of engagement. >> reporter: during the attacks there have been actions against our border. retaliation was taken against forces that represent a threat in the surrounding area, and to counter the efforts of these fighters who are clearly an offshoot of the p.k.k.'s efforts to gain their own territory in
syria and ensure that the refugees can remain in that area safely plenty more to come, including these stories. hopes that peace in the philippines can be secured after the government signals a 2-year-old agreement with rebels could be ratified. plus the buzz created on the challenges of dating in saudi arabia at the berlin film festival.
is his constitutional responsibility to fill the vacancy left by the death of justice scalia, the u.s. supreme court's longest serving member. he was nominated in 1986. republican presidential contenders want the u.s. senate to block anyone nominated by mr obama. they have been trying tribute at their latest presidential debate in south carolina. the u.s. is urging turkey to stop military strikes in syria. the prime minister has ordered fighters withdrawal from the area. turning your attention to mexico where the pope francis has been celebrating mass. he is on a five-day trip to mexico, home to the second largest roman catholic
community. >> translation: god awoke and awoke the hope of the lowly of those who suffer of the displaced and discarded and all those that feel that they do not have a dignified place in these lands. in the storm god comes closer and closer to the suffering but strong hearts of so many mothers, fathers, grandparents that have seen their children lost or strachd criminally-- snatched criminally he will hold a mass in what is the largest municipality in mexico and one of the violent areas. >> reporter: this poor suburb on the edge of mexico city. it represents the problems and promise of mexico, and, perhaps, that's why pop francis is coming here to say mass. hundreds of thousands of people commutes to the capital to work every day. they work hard and scrimp to
save. they're often held back. this man moved here from mexico city 25 yeahs old. land was chief and heap wanted to be his own boss. he succeeded, but after being beaten and kidnapped by police, a current occurrence here, he is afraid they will target him again >> translation: we're their prisoners. we're more afraid of the police than criminals. if a patrol pulls you over, you don't know if it's a legit stop or they're going to rob you >> reporter: robberies on buses are common. there has been a rash of lynchings. victims groups are hoping to meet the pope and tell him about the violence and corruption that is endemic here. >> translation: the government is absent. it puts a false face. reality is much crueller here. i don't want my country to have this image. we want international attention
so government looks at the people and works to resolve the huge problems. >> reporter: meanwhile the local government appears to be doing its best to make good the area look clean and safe, at least for sunday's mass. >> reporter: i asked him why they're out painting. they say they're out painting bushes and trees to look nicer for when the pope arrives. >> translation: the local mayor from the ruling part sees opportunity in the pop's visit. >> translation: a big boost for the community and it motivates us to move forward to give it our all and to make the area better. >> reporter: residents say it will take more from its leaders to truly make the area safe and hope the pope's visit provides the spark for change they need more than 5,000 pregnant women in colombia now have the
zika virus. total cases in the country have passed 30,000. the disease has been linked to a brain condition where babies are born with an abnormally small head. the asian parliament is said to elect an interim president. there has been violence in the past few days with many people unhappy about the process for an interim leader. the president left his post on february 2 without a successor to follow. a poll was called off over protests. the search for survivors from a building collapse in taiwan has been financially called off. it came down during an earthquake just over a week ago. the death toll at the site is 114. financials say all of those believed missing in the golden dragon building have now been accounted for. 289 people were rescued.
the magnitude quake was on the new year holiday. one topic high on voters minds in philippines is security. two years ago a conflict same to an end when a deal was signed. the greater autonomy promised to the region has not been ratified. our correspondent reports from catabato. >> reporter: they are united in grief. over the last 40 years each woman here has last lost a male relative during the trubs between rebels and the state. this woman's husband died when an explosion hit their community in 2008. >> translation: my home was burned down and now i run a small street stall. it is not enough to support me and my five children. no permanent home in a very uncertain future. >> reporter: each told me they
longed for lasting peace, one that the entire community can embrace. a deal was signed two years ago after more than a decade of negotiation. the peace agreement obtained legislation known as the basic law would have been given more autonomy. this stalled when 44 police commanders were killed. the vote to ratify the law never happened. yet there is hope. this man who is a law maker involved in the peace negotiations says that one provision in the agreement for a more dievulved issue was the sticking point. the largest group have signed the accord and it is not in jeopardy they say >> these are important for the next generation. we're struggling.
hopefully there will be a start. we are aspiring for it >> reporter: some christians here are nervous about more autonomy nor the area which they believe would weigh things in favor of the muslims >> translation: i am happy that the law was not passed as i don't want to be under the control of muslims. >> reporter: this is a va brant and historical area, seen as a potential tourist attraction. keeping the peace legislation alive is paramount for all of the major stakeholders concerned. there is resistance to a peace settlement. a few days ago bomb disposal teams had to diffuse another explosive device at this police station. stability and a chance to rebuild her sthat erred life is all that this woman wants. she hopes her calls for peace which seems to be echoed by so many on this island be heard
along the shores of the area a man has been killed after a fight broke out at an asylum center in sweden. at least four people were involved in the incident. no staff were hurt. it is the second such incident in a month. sweden reversed its open door policy for asylum seekers late last year after a record 16 #,000 people crossed over. -- 160,000. businesses in the u.k. are to reveal what they pay their women and men workers. this will begin from 2018. this will be calculated a year ahead of the tables being published. women earn around 20% less than men, a gap the government wants to see being closed. when it comes to cinema, saudi arabia doesn't have much of a tradition, but a group of young independent movie makers are
hoping to change that. >> reporter: boy meets girl and tries to date girl, but this is saudi arabia and the challenges are enormous. this is the point of this film. despite it being presented as a quirky comedy at the berlin film festival >> since saudi has become so much limited, limited in the face of young, the liberals and the more progressive, the women, the minorities. they are less visible in the street. so no-one want to watch a film maybe on public space. so i had to make a love story and then, you know, in the background there is the story of the city, of the public space >> reporter: if you're wondering how much interest there is in the film, like at this. it is a complete sell out as it gets its international premier. the young team who made the film
financed it themselves because there is no film industry, let alone movie theatres in saudi arabia. apart from getting around the censors, they had to explain to people what they were doing. >> i had this realisation that it was, of course, a different character, but for other people it was still me. when someone walking down the street or driving by recognised me, they would recognise me as fatimah and not the character. i was like. >> reporter: the movie which got a great reaction here is careful to show traditional culture in a positive light, but it doesn't pull its punches about society's problems. >> i was surprised about how in your face it was and how likely it was very, very serious matters >> matters >>
>> thanks for joining us on "america tonight." i'm joie chen. the steady drip drip drip of robs for the water supply in flint, michigan has turned into a flood. the latest. a boil order because of a main break. who is going to pay or the those fixes and on top of everything else, increasing evidence that the city's water now known to be contaminated witle