aljazeera.com. >> announcer: this is al jazeera. ♪ >> welcome to the news hour, from al jazeera news center in doha and london. protests in the egyptian city leaving 13 dead. 30,000 people seek shelter in south sudan. i'm lauren taylor with all of the news from europe. green pieces say russia has dropped all criminal charges
against activists >> i'm in london, i'll be reporting on the impact of the storms on people's lives and christmas travel plans. ♪ welcome to al jazeera. there has been rioting in an egyptian city. the brotherhood has condemned the bombing saying it has renounced violence years ago. >> reporter: this was the biggest car bomb egypt has seen since the revolution of january 2011. a massive blast that tore through the police headquarters.
it went off around midnight. whoever sent the bomb may have had inside knowledge of the meeting to discuss security for next month's referendum for a new constitution. the interior minister called it a terrorist attack. >> translator: all of these incident are an attempt to create a diversion to terrorize people because of the referendum. but there is a plan in place in kwap with the armed forces to protection of the election centers at the highest levels. >> reporter: casualties overwhelmed the hospital. officials appealed for blood donors. doctors spoke of horrific injuries. outside demonstrators filled the street in solidarity with the
police. although no one group has claimed responsibility. the protesters blamed the muslim brotherhood. >> translator: everyone knows it is a terrorist group, and security forces have to work harder. today they attacked here and god knows where tomorrow. >> reporter: but the brotherhood and the anti-coup alliance have condemned the attack. regardless of who was behind the bombing. it has caused a nation that is literally divided. >> these are the scenes a short while ago in the city. clashes and violence there in the wake of the car bomb attack. let's talk to al jazeera's
correspondent in the city joining us on the phone. tell us what is happening on the ground there and why these people are protesting. >> reporter: well now before me [ inaudible ] people demonstrating against [ inaudible ] they are charging against the brotherhood as they feel the brotherhood is responsible. people [ inaudible ] to protect [ inaudible ] people asking the government to move ahead against the brotherhood, and we found now people in streets where [ inaudible ] in the streets chanting against the brotherhood and they consider the brotherhood a terrorist group. people now attacking the buildings owned by the brotherhood. now we have outside a lot of the
billings which are owned by the brotherhood is a terrorist [ inaudible ] brotherhood as the fear of the group -- >> we're seeing some of the latest pictures of the crowds outside that building with some find -- kind of fire in front of the building. have the security protesters tried to intervene? >> it is owned by the brotherhood and they consider -- they think a large number of the people that are members of the brotherhood are now outside this building [ inaudible ] chanting against the brotherhood [ inaudible ] coming out [ inaudible ] people are so [ inaudible ] for the brotherhood.
tensions are rising all over the city. and people want to take revenge from the brotherhood as they consider them a dangerous group to egypt. >> all right. thank you very much. now the united nations says it has found 34 bodies in a mass grave in south sudan. the corps were found in the town of bentu. at least two other mass graves have reportedly been dug up in the capital. so thousands more peace keepers could be on the way we understand to southland. what is it like with the change on the ground? >> people here are really hoping here that it does. the problem the unfaces is the [ inaudible ] go into the bush where people are hiding. there may be injured there or
dead bodies there, and people that need help. so they are helping to do those sorts of things. we have spoken to human rights workers. they have to find out how many bodies are there. who are they, how were they kills, and maybe find out who is responsible. we spoke to an army spokesperson and this is what he had to say. >> [ inaudible ] found a mass grave then we will be ready to go investigate. here we have [ inaudible ] death some criminals targeted some people. people have died but they are still in command. they have taken the control of the town and the command is investigating into anybody who had been targeted or killed based on his or her ethnicity. so they will be happy for that
information to help us in the investigation. that is a crime. south sudan belong to all of us. we are a national army. we will not allow tribalism to be mixed with politics. >> nearly 20% of the oil production has had to be shut down? >> yes, they are saying they are losing about 45,000 barrels a day of oil. that's a big concern. they need the oil for the country to function for the economy. that's how they survive to pay civil service for the government to function. so they really need to get things back up and running. so it is a serious concern for government officials here. >> just a final thought what is the latest now with the diplomatic effort to get both sides talking to try to end this
spiralling crisis? >> they are still trying frantically, there are still people here meeting with officials trying to get both sides to speak. we are hearing that the former vice president says he is willing to talk and the president is willing to talk. but there are some conditions. so they are trying to iron out the nitty gritty. >> thank you. a draft solution has been put forth by ban ki-moon. the un already has 6,700 piece keepers in the country. they want another 5,500 to back them up. they will be drawn from other
neighboring countries. more equipment is also expected to be transferred. three attack helicopters, three utility helicopters and one transport military aircraft are all planned. kenya airways have suspended all flight to and from south sudan. >> dead bodies only -- >> they are rotten. >> they are rotten. >> reporter: terrified and traumatized kenyan women telling their ambassador they didn't believe they survived. >> no food! >> nothing. >> reporter: they say they were air lifted by a un helicopter. >> it was a miracle. those guys had not come to pick us. they had come to pick the u.s. citizens. that's when they discovered the u.s. citizens had already been
evacua evacuat evacuated. so they gave a chance to only so women. >> reporter: they shared horror stories and spoke of widespread looting that left many of them with nothing. >> [ inaudible ] and my passport nothing else. here i am. that is all i got out with. but i don't care. >> reporter: even though in the relatively calm capitol want out. there are some 30,000 kenyans in south sudan, at least two have died as a result of the violence. and 10,000 kenyans have applied for emergency travel documents in the past week. >> kenyan military officials say their priority has been to get women and children out. >> reporter: they have been
delivering food, milk, and water. the government says it is doing what it can, given the circumstances. those who are financially able have been getting on commercial flights. survivors say there are many kenyans that remain missing. some are thought to have fled to the bush. experience leaving an imprint even on the younger ones. >> fighting is not good. it is killing people. >> reporter: desperation sets in as the planes fill up. while those who have made are grateful, they say the world needs to remember those left behind. now through out this year, we have reported on refugee
camps. >> reporter: as syria's refugee crisis continues there are 2.3 million refugees across the country. also within syria itself there are 4 million internally displaced people. that's a huge number of people who effectively refugees within their own country. most of them live in camps like these. this camp is home to about 13,000 people. and the aid people are trying to give them a sense of spirit. they are doing that by employing residents. like all towns it needs an economy and infrastructure to survive. the winters are incredibly harsh
here. flooding if not controlled would wash away this camp. one aid agency is working with a french non-governmental organization and the norwegian refugee council, they are helping to protect against flooding by build tour fs. >> i'm the soul provider so this is a great opportunity for me to work, and i'm proud i can provide an income for my family. >> reporter: it is hard work. it's a basic low-cost solution, but incredibly effective. tom robinson, the manager of the program takes a hands on approach. >> the people are unemployed,
the kids have nothing to do during the day, so we try to actively involve them in the projects we have. and it helps the whole community engagement, and gives them a far greater sense of purpose. the guys and families involved in this project take a real sense of pride in what they are doing. >> reporter: as the children imitate the workers, people in the camp develop a community through such programs. about 13.5 thousand people live here, many with very little to do. while they are building this camp there is a lot of work to go around, but this is a short-term solution. what we have seen is when the work dries up there is a sense of frustration that kicks in. and that can lead to anger and violence. and managing that especially
when dealing with refugee communities of this size is going to be crucial. >> reporter: there are camps like this across the region and the longer the conflict goes on the more anger there will be. lots more to come here on the al jazeera news hour, including top military commanders meet to diffuse tensions in cashmere. plus why the combination of gar banal, infected rats and flies is putting fear in people in mad -- madagascar. now winter storms have brought havoc to some areas in
europe. over to you. >> yes, almost 250,000 homes suffered blackouts in northern france affleck triesty went down. and in the uk flood warnings have been issued across much of the country. >> reporter: this is what people woke up to this morning in southeast england. their gardens turned into muddy ponds. the impact of a night of torrential rain. and things are no better for people hoping to travel by train with water on many railway tracks. at one of the busiest airports in the country, a power outage in the north terminal is causing delays. people are being asked to check flights before they set off. in london cancellations at many
train stations there is confusion here as people try to work out how to get home. >> not much you can do. you know, i don't think it's anyone's fault. it's just the water and we just have to cope. >> reporter: and in northwest france more than 200,000 homes have no electricity. ferries have been canceled because of winds. this is the example of the impact of the wind here in london. tens of thousands of people in the region have been left without power. the stormy weather is heading towards northern ireland and scotland. >> the next storm is on the way for friday, and that is set to bring another spell of wet and
windy weather with more than an inch of wind in places and further damaging wind. >> reporter: people are preparing themselves for more bad weather and a very wet christmas. green peace says russia has dropped criminal charges against three of its activists, but they are still unsure when they will be able to leave the country. they were protesting against drilling in the arctic and arrested on board in september. now to st. petersburg to ben stewart. can you give us a bit more information about the three who have been released, when you think they might be coming out, and what about the rest of them. >> yeah, it's actually only one person, not three. heing went to the investigative committee today.
and he was given a peace of paper confirming that the investigation for him at least is now over as a result of the amnesty passed a few days ago. he then went to the federal migration service because he needs a stamp on his passport to leaf the country. the reason he needs that stamp is because he was illegally seized after the green peace guys committed a peaceful protest. when gets that stamp in his passport he can leave. so it could be a relatively long process, but we're very much hoping that they start to leave the country in the next few days. >> obviously green peace got a lot of the publicity out of the
action. but it has it made any difference? was it worth it after all of this? >> i think ask the protesters themselves. and almost all of them they don't regret what they did. because more people than ever know about the problems of drilling in the arctic and how difficult it would be to clean up an arctic oil spill. you look at shell who is now under enormous pressure because of the publicity to break that deal. and the company needs that investment into the company to explore the russian arctic. so it has been an extremely difficult three months for the people in jail, and a very difficult three months for the organization, and us trying to get them out. but they are saying they don't regret it. it has been a remarkable moment that people are talking about
arctic drilling in away they never before. >> thanks very much indeed for talking to us. apologize for the break up on that line. also two members of the punk band pussy riot have been reunited. they dismissed the amnesty law that set them free as a propaganda stunt for the russian president. now back to doha. iraqi security forces have raided villages in two provinces looking for members of al-qaeda. they seized weapons and explosi explosi explosion -- explosives.
the treason trial has been delayed. authorities decided to delay it following the discovery of an explosion if device here his house. many groups have threatened to kill him. his trial will resume on the first of january. pakistani and indian commanders have held their highest talks in cashmere in more than ten years. tensions have eased recently. soldiers along the border have exchanged fire several times this year. the escalation has effected live on both sides of the effected border in the region. >> reporter: it looks quiet and peaceful, but life here can be hard. these children may not know it, but things can change quickly here. something that these people know
for themselves. shelling, cross-border shooting, and land mines have injured many, including these men who traveled from the border areas to this hospital for treatment. this man lost his right leg to a land mine a few years ago. while his brother lost his left leg in a separate incident. news of a meeting that might stop the fighting. >> translator: we are poor people. we live on the border. if we don't stay on the border, what will india do. >> reporter: this man also knows the pain caused by fighting. in 1998 he had to leave his village in the area. then in 2004, a year after the last ceasefire he has -- had to
move again because of shelling of several people. >> translator: only god knows if anything will come out of the meeting. they have yet to resolve anything. >> reporter: this bus service between india and pakistan is one of the few connections between the sides. there is still hope that like these buses goodwill will flow freely between the two sides. coally is one of those people hoping things will change ooze a result of the two sides meeting. >> translator: everyone here is happy that they might be able to go back home. we're very happy there could be peace. >> reporter: whatever the outcome of the meeting, coally is still along the lucky ones who have money. the ones who don't are left behind. >> translator: what can we do?
if we aren't in our homes hungry and naked. what can we do? this is life for the poor. who looks after us. >> announcer: snow has fallen on g gasmere. there is hope that whenever peace descends on gashmere, there will be peace in the end. people who live in jesus's birthplace are struggling. and we talked to katy perry about her new role. and we'll find out why these players may find the league a lonely place to be. more on that. stay with us. on august 20th, al jazeera america introduced a new voice in journalism. >> good evening everyone, welcome to al jazeera.
killed 13 people. the un says it has found a mass grave in south sudan. rebels of the former vice president have been battling the authorities driving thousands from their home. russia has dropped criminal charges against three graen peace activists. now christmas mass in the philippines is a somber event this year, after the devastation caused by typhoon haiyan. more than 6,000 people were killed by the typhoon in early november. >> reporter: the church bells have rung just as they have ever year at christmas for the last 400 or so years in this area. this is an historic church
behind me, and it is filled with worshippers. the mood is extremely solemn. a community is coming together after devastation from typhoon haiyan. the ambassador to the philippines has come here to celebrate with the parish priests. it was absolutely silent in there, as the rain fell through the roof, which has enormous holes in it despite the tarp they have tried to put over it. it is just a symbol of the restriction that is seen across this island, only one of the islands that has been effected by typhoon haiyan. humanitarian terms it seems that community services are quickly getting back, threw there are still urgent needs. the humanitarian community
launched an appeal to help people here. it is only 32% funded. this is a christmas during which the community members that we have met are marking abscesses, people they have lost, thanks have they lost, christmas has a very different meaning this year. christians around the world celebrate christmas mass on christmas eve. palestinian leader and others are expected to at ten the ceremony. as christians celebrate the birth of jesus, people who live in his birthplace are struggling. israeli security measures discourage tourism. but as nick spicer explains those who do visit may be in for a $50 million surprise.
>> reporter: christian school children kiss the very spot where many believe jesus was born. this area hasn't been repaired in 500 years, so several groups put together part of the $50 million needs to give new life to a building who's oldest stones date back to the 4th century. >> translator: we hope the res er to ration of the church will help bring more tourisms to the city. >> reporter: many christians believe mary and joseph walked down this street on the way to the manager where the bible says jesus was born. but for many merchants in this town business hasn't been good recently. some 2 million tourists come
here every year, but rarely stay for long. >> they go back to jerusalem. and get a hotel there, and just travel one day and go back. >> reporter: bethlehem lies within site of jerusalem but behind the israeli separation wall. it is mostly under palestinian rule, but on land occupied by israel. >> translator: it will be better for tourists stayed overnight and spent more, but they don't stay. >> reporter: there is hope that the repairs and the decision to make this a world heritage site will bring back higher tourist levels, but even then the celebrations and the businesses in the celebrations are somewhat like a christmas tree surrounded
by a cement wall. >> what do you expect to happen in bethlehem today? >> reporter: there have been prayers behind me throughout the day, however, the highlight of the ceremonies will be the midnight mass which is due to happen at 22 g in a new hours. that will be attended by the palestinian officials, represents from the international community and diplomats here. they are all invited to church here to -- attend the midnight mass. however, there are thousands of foreigners who will be gathering here trying to get one of the very few spots that they can to attend the midnight mass. as i mentioned most of these
seats are given to dignitaries. so the highlight will be the midnight mass at 22 g. >> why is bethlehem so important for christians? and what are the challenges its residence face? >> reporter: bethlehem is important for inches christians all around the world because it is believed to be the birthplace of jesus. so it is understandable that christians everywhere would want to be here to celebrate christmas at this time. however, bath la ham is also a palestinian city that is under heavy occupation. what is left is only 13% of the original area before the israeli occupation. israel has confiscated palestinian land in bethlehem to build the separation barrier, which is an 8-meter high wall.
it is an attempt to confiscate land in bethlehem and from the churches in bethlehem. the remaining area is also being reduced by israeli check points. that has made life really difficult for christians who live here, and many of them over the years have chosen to immigrate to western countries in search of a better life. >> thank you. all right. lauren is back with more news from europe. >> thanks, darren. ukraine has received $3 billion from russia. the first step of a financial rescue plan. this is the number of anti-government protesters has dwindled as attention turns towards christmas. >> reporter: this is the heart of the movement in independence
square. as you can see people are living in tents keeping warm around oil drums here. it's much less crowded than certainly we have seen in the earlier days, people being counted in the hundreds rather than in the thousands here. it is a weekday morning here, so a lot of people are at work, and on the evenings and weekends, the numbers do get bigger. we're certainly not seeing the kind of turnout that we saw in the early days. the demands have remained the same that the people want the government to resign, and the government to make concessions towards europe. they would like to see the police apologize for attacks that occurred here. but the government has shown no signs of making any concessions. the opposition leaders have called on people to stay here through the new year. here we are on the main square. this is where the main protests have been happening, the heart of the protests, and just a few hundred people here on this
morning. it is a, woeing day. the real question will be what will happen here when the holiday season starts. ukraine is an orthodox country, so the holiday season begins at the new year, and christmas happens in january. opposition leaders have called on people to cam out and celebrate new years here on independence square. we may see then how much momentum this protest still has. but as you can see now not the huge numbers we were seeing. greece's shipping industry remains competitive. the go hopes the flagship business can help turn the economy around. >> reporter: the 115,000 ton tanker noses its way through the area of athens.
even this ship is too large to dock at one of greece's largest refineries. the only reason it can do so is it is sailing with its tanks only half full. greeks today operate the biggest mering chant fleet in the world. vessels like this one carrying 15% of the world's cargo. they generate business worth $18 billion a year at home. that's more than 6% of the greek economy. but this is a success story written by greeks not by greece. flewer than a thousand greek ships fly the greece flag because they lose out on related business. the government wants to concentrate these in a shipping cluster. the owner of this ship says greece used to be closer to the goal. politicians moved it backwards.
>> in the '80s, we had the strongest ship repair industry in the mediterranean, anybody who wanted a good job done, quickly, would come to greece. progressively, with overtaxation, and with unions and the communist party played a very big negative role in this respect, effectively the repair zone was destroyed. >> reporter: said it is a dead zone. some passenger ferries put in, but not the ongoing fleet. local unions take a different view of this failure, they draw support from the greek communist party who's icon is joseph stalin and the managed economy. >> translator: the first and most basic problem is that no government had a strategic plan for ship repair. the second problem is that the repair zone doesn't have the
proper tools. dry docks need reinvestment. >> reporter: in requisition, ship owners volunteered to trouble taxation for three years to help the government climb out of its debt hole. to be globally competitive, greek owners have to shop around. if greece wants a bigger piece of the shipping pie, it has to follow where the industry leads. british scientist has been given a royal pardon nearly 50 years after he committed suicide. his skills helped britain win the second word war, but was homosexual which was inlegal at the time. that is all of the news from europe for now. back to darren in doha. thank you.
the bubonic plague known as the black death it is almost unheard of in the developed world today, but it is still a problem in parts of africa and asia. madagascar is one of the worst-effected areas. >> reporter: many from madagascar with superstitious about the plague, some say it is a curse. but a week and a half ago this woman's son started complaining of a headache and fever. three weeks later he died in agony. >> translator: the doctor tested blood from my son's stomach. it tested positive for the plague and ordered every out of the house. >> reporter: the plague normally
hits rural areas but this village is only 30 kilometers from the capitol. >> translator: if it comes here, it will be very difficult to manage, as it is so populated and so crowded. >> reporter: in the country's north 20 villagers tied of the more virulent mnemonic plague which is spread from person to person. the people are at even greatest risk after the government stopped collecting rubbish in the capitol two weeks ago. it has run out of money. this is a common site now. it's a magnet for flies and rats, and a breeding ground for disease. >> reporter: recent elections should mean international aid
singer and actor david kay was unicef's first ever goodwill ambassador. now the singer katy perry has taken on the job. james bays explains. >> reporter: out there its existence the un has been trying to help the most needy people in the world, and has constantly been looking for ways to highlight their plots. 60 years ago it tried what was then a novel approach. it was in 1954 that danny kay then one of the world's most famous actors and singers became the first-ever un ambassador for unicef. his path was followed by many others over the years. singers and sports stars, acting as celebrity ambassadors messengers of goodwill, and even one special agent. >> my name is moore, roger moore
our incite, but not her impact. and it's here that the idea of celebrity ambassadors is getting a new boost. katy perry has 49 million followers on twitter, 60 million likes on her facebook page. >> when she tweets, she'll get something like 5 to 6,000 engagements. and i think unicef has come out to say that they want to engage a younger audience, and katy perry is the perfect person to do that, because her following tends to skew younger than the traditional following. >> yay! [ applause ] >> reporter: so in this new age of communication, the celebrity's social media reach gives the un a big boost. just compare katy perry's followers on twitter with old media. 60 million people is almost five times more than the print circulation of the best-selling
newspaper in the world. all of the sport now, andy is here. >> liverpool will lead the english premier league at christmas for the first time since 2008. arsenal held to a goalless game. and they weren't rewarded with anything like a good footballing spectacle. precious few chances for either side in this 0-0 draw. >> [ inaudible ] is unbelievably focused. a great desire. we go for a period where it is a be it more difficult, but with that spirit we'll come out of that. >> we want to win. we don't want to lose. very important not to loose. because if we lose we are five points behind the leader. and we are two points behind
both leaders and that's a completely different picture. >> so this is how the premier league is looking with the next round of games coming up on thursday. the standout fixture, liverpool away at third place manchester city. [ inaudible ] has appointed tom sheer as their manager. he replaces the man who was sacked last week. the 44 year old guided the club to a 3-2 win in south hamilton on sunday. another man happy to be guaranteed his job for now at least? . >> he was told to resign or be sacked. >> all along, i will not resign from the football club, and i love my job, and i'm proud to
have that team, yeah. and that's -- that's something that i was still had a determination to look after that group of players there. and that will not change. what will change is not in my hands. the spanish league is now starting their winter break. and he warns his team will return in even better shape. signing a three-year extension. they have done it despite injuries to some pretty key players. >> translator: we shouldn't forget in the end titles are won by the whole team. we all win them. no doubt if we have the whole team in good shape, things are much easier, but if one of us is missing then we all have to try to overcome that obstacle.
>> top flight domestic football is returning to egypt. the league was canceled in 2012 after a deadly outbreak of violence. but they'll be coming back with one key ingredient missing. >> reporter: egyptian premier league football will be a lonely pace this season. ask this fullback after the league was canceled and the club cut his wages. the fans have been banned. heinie will miss the game but not the hollow atmosphere. >> translator: the relationship between the players and the supports is like the musician to the music fans. i play to them. so for me football is like music. >> reporter: the football authorities canceled the league in 2012 after the riot excited in the early days of egypt's
revolution. police stood aside, 74 supporters died in the violence. the red-shirted supporters believed the ban wasn't just about sport. their most radical supporters were also on the front lines of the protests that toppled the government of mubarek. no football has meant no customers for this waiter. >> translator: we can't wait for the league to return. there will be more work. lots of people will come. but without football there will be no people and no work as you can see. it has been hard. >> reporter: so the world's loneliest league will kick off after a two-season break. the players clubs, and fans all desperate for it, but no one is
excited. let's move on to the nba where lebron james lead the heat for their fifth straight win. in denver the golden state warriors beat the nuggets. golden state lead by david lee and his 28 points and 10 rebounds. denver did have a chance to win, as robertson made it 15 points to put them in the lead. the former nugget who sealed the win for the warriors. in the nhl, the chicago blackhawks continue to make their way back to the top of the western conference table with a win against new jersey, the game was tied at 1-1 when patrick kane put home the rebound and made it 3-1. patrick sharp then took the game beyond the devil's reach. 5-2 blackhawks was the final score.
the team the blackhawks are chasing, the anaheim ducks took on the washington capitals. koivu tied the game, and then 3-2, and that is their ninth straight victory. now england cricketer kevin petersson has made light of the talk that he was the result of gossip. he described certain players as quote up their own backsides. but he said he wasn't describing anyone on the england side. >> you should come on field with me on thursday or friday, and see what i get called on the boundary. there are a lot worse things i have been called.
the only energy i have left on this tour is for melbourne on the 26th, training today, training tomorrow, and sydney. >> the match between england and australia gets underway on thursday. plenty more on our website, aljazeera.com/sport. okay. more sport later on, but that is it for now. andy thank you very much indeed. many people will be traveling over the christmas holidays, but few will be going as far as these two. there they are, making the second christmas eve space walk in history. the two astronauts are floating out the international space station to make the walk. that's it. more news for me at the top of the hour, stay tuned to al
jazeera. thanks for watching. bye for now. ♪ >> al jazeera america is the only news channel that brings you live news at the top of every hour. >> a deal in the senate may be at hand and just in the nick of time. >> thousands of new yorkers are marching in solidarity. >> we're following multiple developments on syria at this hour. >> every hour from reporters stationed around the world and across the country. >> only on al jazeera america. here is more. >> beneath the fluorescentsun in a former meat packing plant is the latest trim in farming. they call it "vertical farming."
these fields grow on floors on at industrial park and farmer john adel and his staff agrees user. >> my shipping proceed did you say 1500, 2,000 miles to get are. >> the plant of the indoor -- as the indoor formers call it doesn't grow corn or soybeans but mustard, high end micro greens on the plates of white-napkin restaurants. these fish supply the vert liser that number issues the
welcome to al jazeera america. i'm richelle carey. here are the stories we're following for you. the united nations is expected to vote to increase peace-keeping troops in south sudan as the bloodshed escalates. visited by millions each year, it's one of christianities most sacred shrines, it's getting a makeover. and the christmas eve space walk as two astronauts hope to wrap up cooling repairs on the international space station. ♪