france has the worst pollution in 17 years. >> hello, so the united states and the eu have imposed sanctions on more than a dozen people they blame for the break away vote in crimea. among them is the out offed president of ukraine, viktor yanukovych. and deputy prime minister. crimea has officially voted to join russia. after the area voted for secession from ukraine. patty culhane has the story. >> after crimea voted to join russia, the u.s. calling the celebrations and the vote itself rigged, illegitimate, illegal. >> as an initial step i'm authorizing sanction he against russian officials, individuals
who provide material support to senior officials of the russian government. and if russia continues to interfere in ukraine we stand ready to impose further sanctions. >> reporter: the european union announced they would sanction 21 people still unnamed by freezing assets and banning travel against their territories as well. the u.s. has gone so far as to call these people cronies much putin. called, within crimea, sergeia i axionov, and, on twitter, i think some pranks teter prepared this draft.
hoping by making life difficult for them they in turn will put pressure on putin who seems unphased as of monday. the european union is again calling on him to back down. >> we call on the russian leadership not to take steps to annex crimea and instead to take steps to deescalate this crisis. russia should withdraw its forces and begin talks with ukraine so a peaceful and negotiated solution could be found. >> reporter: the west is now sending a message with actions, putin is expected to respond when he addresses his parliament on tuesday in a fight with crimea that seems far from over. patty culhane, al jazeera, washington. >> denounced the sections as -- sanctions as, quote, political
blackmail. unprecedented decision and won't affect her assets. peter sharp has more from moscow,. >> president punt wouldn't have been particularly -- putin wouldn't have been particularly concerned, low level first tier sanctions that could be brought against russia because of its involvement in the crimea. president putin always knew there would be a price to pay, always knew sanction he were coming. these are first tier sanctions and i don't think he's going to be particularly concerned about them. i think people here were more worried when they got up this morning about a possible fall in the market, a possible fall in the ruble, but unlike this friday, the ruble actually strengthened a little against the dollar. i was speaking to one political analyst with good connections in the kremlin and he said the
kremlin is basically describing these sanctions as a pinprick. what good news president putin will take, 90% of people in moscow completely support and dorendorse his return of crimeao mother russia. >> and this coming through to us right now at al jazeera. we're hearing that france has postponed a visit to moscow by its defense and foreign minister. that visit had been planned for tuesday. so france is saying that it postponed a visit from its defense and foreign ministers and according to the france foreign ministry. al jazeera met one voter in crimea who says he saw evidence that voting was irregular. jackie evans reports from
simferopol about. >> reporter: from russia with love. a day after they voted to break away from ukraine. part of a $400 million aids package from moscow. the referendum produced the kind of results most governments can only dream of. nearly 97% in favor of russia. by and large the vote was fair. >> many things were rushed and improvised but it was to be expected under the circumstances. on the whole, the event passed what would call about natureabsence of exuberance and strong emotions. >> reporter: but ibrahim, a journalist tatar, set off on a
journey to vote early and vote often. a video shows him voting on three different polling stations. taking a casual attitude to the voting register. >> they ask why don't you go to your voting station? i say i'm working here and then they give me work paper and it was easy. >> reporter: these images are likely to fuel criticism from the west that the referendum was a sham. the united states says it has concrete evidence of various voting i irregularities. in fact a delegation from parliament is heading that way right now. crimea wants to adopt the russian ruble by next month and move its clocks ahead to russian
time. vladimir putin says he will respect the decision of the crimean people. jackie vernon, al jazeera, simferopol. seizing a libyan oil tanker, armed rebels filled the ship with oil, the morning glory and its cargo is being trowrnd a portrowrnd aportreturned to apo. >> u.s. navy seels move -- seale pentagon says no one was hurt in the operation, but that it was
essential to assist the libyan government in a crisis that basically had already deposed the interim prime minister, ali zedat. it's unclear whether the libbians are going to face prosecution but it's likely. >> and at least 9 libyan soldiers, have been killed. inning benghazi, military maneuvers when that attack happened. the hunt for missing malaysia airlines plane has can stretched into the ninth day and over 22 countries. 26 countries have asked to help find the plane. confirmed on monday it was the co-pilot who made the last known communication with air traffic controllers. investigators are increasingly convinced it was diverted
perhaps thousands of miles off course. satellite communication was lost as the plane crossed malaysia's northeast coast and headed over the coast of thailand, a search is underway from the caspian sea in the north and deep into the indian ocean. australia's prime minister has been talking about his country's role in the operation. >> we will do our duty to ensure that our search and rescue responsibilities are maintained and upheld. and we will do our duty to the families of the 230 people on that aircraft who are still absolutely devastated by their absence and who are still profoundly, profoundly saddened by this as-yet unfathomed mystery. >> for more on australia's part
of the search, andrew thomas in sydney. >> take control of the search along one of the two routes the so-called southern vector that the plane may have taken. that air corridor would have taken the plane over indonesia and across the indian ocean largely in an arc, a thousand or so kilometers off the west austiaustralian coast. if the plane went down anywhere along that southern route, it would be in australia's search and rescue zone anyway. because of australia's size, that search and rescue zone that australia is responsible for is huge, about 10% of the world's ocean area in total. together have clocked up about 50 hours of search time. they will be deployed along that southern vector. australia's prime minister has said, discussing with the
malasian military chief, what additional resources should be used, the specifics as to what they will be or exactly where they'll go along that southern route isn't clear yet. >> plenty more on this news hour. warnings by the united nations that millions of sudanese do not have enough to eat. all dried out, drought in sri lanka,. and the luck of the irish strikes on st. patrick's day on the world 2020 cricket day. sports with robin. first, the syrian government says it controls the last stronghold near the lebanese border. they say it's just one step in a coordinated military campaign to
defeat rebels across the country. hasham. >> a fighter fires in this aisle, rebels say the fight is far from over. but for the government, the recapture of the city is just another sign rebels are losing the war. here, syria's defense minister with top military commanders visit what was for months the rebels' biggest stronghold in southern syrian. there's no time for celebration. he's shown a map of rebel positions and gives orders to launch an attack. with rebels losing ground in the center this is where the next battle may take place. joba and the west of the suburbs of damascus.
these are major rebel strong holds. but this time, armed groups may not get enough weapons and fighters to hold out. as rebel fighters plan to attack a military base in adra, a rebel town north of damascus, this commander is asking his men to shell the area. tanks join the fight, but the government is massing thousands of soldiers in the area with unmatched fire power in the army takes the suburbs the rebels will be left with few choices. open front lines at the risk of more casualties or retreat north to adleb and aleppo to await the size of the battle that will decide their future. hashima barrak al jazeera.
>> predominantly shia village, moments after a car bomb went out, a local leader from the shia group was killed in that explosion. the area of the strong hold which has been fading on the government side in syria. three al jazeera english journalists have been held for 79 days. mohamemohamed fahmy, baher moha, and peter greste have been held. also in custody, abdalla al shami, already held more than six months. president mahmoud abbas has
already stated, message delivered directly to u.s. president barack obama at that time white house. the two disclosed a framework of negotiations at,. >> their message stand firm and don't yield to any more israeli or white house demands. >> we tell him, don't be intimidated, don't let the arab, american or israeli pressure scare you. all the people are with you. >> welcome president abbas to the white house. >> as abbas sits down for a critical meeting with president obama, who will deliver a draft framework that the u.n. hopes for a deal. territory occupied by israel
since 1967, through land swaps, israel could keep most settlements, palestinians would be compensated with with equal land elsewhere. after 20 years of talking they have given all they can and in that time, they say israel has continued illegal settlement building. they would rather see talks collapse than yield to any more demands. including the latest condition by israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu. he does want a recognized can palestinian state. jerusalem is another obstacle. palestinians want east jerusalem as a capital. israelis have objected.
international law demands compensation and right of return of palestinian refugees. this is a sticking point for israel. netanyahu is be insisting a position between israel and the west bank. the differences seem insurmountable and hopeless for palestinians. >> i wanted to be hopeful but i know i should not be very hopeful. because this is about not give up this hope. >> reporter: and there's little time left for peace making. the draft framework has a nine month deadline. that means differences created over decades may have just a month to resolve under this latest plan. exerl halkett, al jazeera in the occupied west bank. >> are crr paris has its worst pollution in 17 years.
lauren taylor in our european broadcast center. >> thanks jereen. france has snore are enforced. ,. >> it's one of the world's best known thoroughfares, ieps'oops famous for having no lanes. >> but urlier in the morning at the ark de triomphe, try to bring down soaring levels of pollution. motorists coming in with the wrong plate face a $30 fine with police placed at dozens of locations. >> if people need or want to take their call, they will. 22 euros won't change their mind. >> i think it's a very good idea
to fight against pollution. i'm a saleswoman, are fortunately we're one of the ones that are allowed in. >> by the end of last week, paris's most eye could bic landmarks were barre barely vis. there have been complaints though that some drivers are being unfairly targeted when the real problem lies elsewhere. >> translator: it's unfair because it will penalize people who have efficient engines. the only solution was obviously to stop polluting vehicles entering the city center. but that's not case today. a four by four or large diesel vehicle can drive around as long as it has an odd-numbered plate. >> paris has introduced measures like this one before. back in 1997. then it's reported to have
brought down the level of pollution by around a fifth. there has been a noticeable reduction in traffic. but the kind of fine-particle pollution at play here doesn't just come from vehicles. it comments from heating systems and industry, too. and they can be more difficult to police. along with a change in the weather, the car ban might help bring this period of pollution to an end. paris though, like other cities, may be forced to consider what it can do to keep people moving in the long term. emma hayward, being al jazeera in paris. >> and there's been a shift on france's policy in paris, the alternating ban will not why credit are continue on tuesday. john seropolis reports. >> athens used to be one of the world's most polluted cities in the 1970s and 80s.
but 30 years ago, it started to can crj restrict -- being restricted. >> since 2000, it has replaced a third of its fleet of diesel buses like these, with 620 buses running on compressnatural gas bought from the -- compressed natural gas can engines bought from the french can why car makerrinmaker renault. as part of its successful window to host the 2004 games athens also acquired a tram and a light rail line circumventing the city. recently it's the crisis that has been a force for the environment.
road tax and petrol tax, traffic in the center has fallen by an estimated 20% and many people prefer to use bicycles instead. john seropolous, scrk athens. deal aims to expand vodafone's interest in europe and comes just six months after it bought a stake in the cable tv, two million customers in spain. serbia's ruling center right party is vowed to fix the struggling economy. >> katy: why ruling party,alexay target to overhaul credit laws on privacy.
let's go back to doreen in doha. the girlfriend of the rolling stones front man mick jagger has been found dead. found hanging from a scarf in an apparent suicide. a spokesman session he is completely shocked and devastated by the news. in the past hour, scientists in the united states have found evidence of the big bang theory. believe they have found signal left in the sky by the super-rapid expansion of space. they say it must have occurred just fractions of a second after the big bang. beinkristin saloomi is there wih more. >> doreen we're talking about what happened a trillionth of
a trillionth of a trillionth of a second after the big bang. there was this rapid expansion of the universe known as inflation. and while there has been growing support for this theory, of inflation over the past decades, there hasn't been any direct evidence until now. scientists from the harvard smithsonian center, have been looking at bicep 2, and they say light waves date back to the beginning of time almost, light waves from that period just after the big bang that support this theory of inflation. this is a huge deal for scientists, the smoking gun that they've been looking for to stand up the big bang theory. >> so kristin must be quite a significant discovery then.
>> absolutely. the scientists there will of course need to continue their studies, like any scientific theory, it needs more study, more review and a repeat of the results. but scientists all over the country and teams have been working to find this kind of evidence, and other scientists are working on the same problem, finding evidence of these gravitational waves in space, so they do expect to have supporting evidence in the coming months and years. everyone that i talked to there including people who weren't directly involved in the study itself say that this is a landmark discovery, and the evidence is really strong. so they do expect that it probably will be repeated. and when that happens and if that happens, they're saying that a nobel prize is very likely. this is a discovery that really opens a new chapter in is
astronomy and cosmology and physics. >> all right kristin saloomi, al jazeera in massachusetts. now recording artist wants to light up africa. all the colors of the political spectrum are at play in this year's holy festival. coming up in sport, real madrid loses one of their champions. in just a moment. >> scared as hell... >> as american troops prepare to leave afghanistan get a first hand look at what life is really like under the taliban. >> we're going to be taken to a place, where they're going to make plans for an attack. >> the only thing i know is, that they say they're not going to withdraw. >> then, immediately after, an america tonight special edition for more inside and analysis. >> why did you decide to go...
>> hello again, you're watching the al jazeera news hour. here are the headlines. the russian president vladimir putin we're hearing has signed a decree recognizing crimea as a russian sovereign state. russian president vladimir putin signed a decree recognizing ukraine's crimea region as a sovereign state.
sanctions on a number of people, the region's leader, sergei axemof and russian deputy prime minister are among them. and france has postponed a trip to moscow planned on tuesday. credit seizure of a libyan tanker. the hunt for the missing malaysia airlines plane has entered its ninth day. co-pilots make the last communication with air traffic controllers. let's turn to the fall outof the crimea vote. who has most to lose? well, for now the eu is focusing on isolating moscow
diplomatically. 21 individuals involved in the crimean referendum. but economic sanctions could really hurt. russia pumps hundreds of billions of dollars into the european economy annually. worth over an estimated $370 billion, that was in 2012. but russia has gas and lots of it. and europe needs it. the eu pays more than $150 billion for that gas in 2012. now, the sanctions could be disastrous for the already weak russian economy. according to russian finance minister alexei kudrin, it could los millions a quarter. are first tell us, how much these sanctions actually hurt russia? we're talking about the sanctions against the individuals.
>> well, in short term really it's a slap on the wrist. it's not really going to have a significant impact in terms of the trade volumes or commercial relations between eu, u.s., and russia. but i have to emphasize that even the talk of assassinations and the current -- talk of sanctions and the current tanoff has -- standoff has a effect on the economic standoff. >> we understand that more diplomatic sanctions will come if russia doesn't deescalate. is the eu really willing to go ahead with more sanctions, when the eu really needs russian trades and needs the gas, as well. >> well, indeed. and this is why eu particularly, that has so many commercial
relations and ties with russia has been almost dragging its feet and hoping and leaving that door for moscow open to take the opportunity for a diplomatic resolution of the situation. and russia as well, there is a reckoning and there are already statements emerging from within the government, suggesting that the economy's not necessarily looking strong. there is also talk of stagnation in 2014. so there is this inter-dependence that both sides are potentially considering. and to answer your question, indeed, eu will be reluctant to go into harsh economic sanctions because it's interconnected as would russia because they will suffer as well from those sanctions. most likely russia will mirror them. >> talk to you about the russian
economy. some of the sanctions also target ukrainian individuals but the economy as a whole has been in real trouble over the past couple of months and now there's a political crisis as well. >> to be honest, the sanctions do not really have significant immediate impact on ukrainian economy per se. but what we're seeing is the ukraine economy is deteriorating. and this is because of the ongoing political standoff. russia is a very important economic partner for ukraine. ukraine totally depends on this country for its energy input. and now seeing parts of ukraine, crimea splitting away, this is a loss that is only deepening the political crisis. for ukrainian economy to start healing it needs to deal with the political crisis to start with. it also has to deal with the
internal political crisis with the eastern regions. the country's unable to borrow on capital markets, effectively. it solely relies on this promised help from imf and other international donors, but again, this will come when there is some sort of stability and there are austerity measures attached to it. to implement these austerity measures you need the political unity and stability within the country and some sort of normalcnormalcy within ukraine. >> thank you for joining us. now a new solar project is helping light up remotes part of kenya, katherine soy has this report from a village. >> millions of kenyans who don't
have electricity. thanks oa new initiative, she is given a solar pod lump for free. when it's time for bed, they take their lump to the life stock shed. it scarce away predators. >> translator: sometimes i have no money for kerosene but i'm lucky i have this light. my children get to study. >> this is the woman behind the project. she raises money for project online. since december, she has distributed 90 lamps. her goal is 5,000 by december. >> when growing up i used to see kids struggle at night. your day ends at sunset, at 7:00 at 8:00 you just have to sleep because there's nothing much of you can do.
>> there is the same problem here. dangerous and legal electricity connections. this is just an example. people have been electrocuted, homes burned to the ground. power outages are quite frequent. people use candles and kerosene lamps. his answer is solar bottles filled with water and attached to a an iron strip. the bottles reflect light into the cramped and always dark shanties. >> the solar bottles have reduced that. >> here there are 7,000 homes and schools and use bottles. >> playing around with loose connections and things like that it has been quite safe so far. >> roughly 70% of kenyans are not connected to the power grid.
many of them live below $2 a day and cannot afford to buy a $10 solar lamp or even $3 to install the solar bottle. unless they can get it for flee. katherine soy, al jazeera, nairobi. >> one hip hop singer and record producer is hoping to change through initiative, acon has teamed up with give one project and global project and together they have developed the acon lighting projects. aiming to bring electricity to a million locations in africa. thanks for being with us on al jazeera, we'll discuss in a moment whether you're closest to are credit your goal. when you hear statistics that
seven out of 10 in subsaharan africa don't have credit electricity? >> ultimately i was a child growing up in senegal and i didn't have any electricity growing up myself. years and years down the line when i became successful we're dealing with the same situation. still no electricity. energy grid unfortunately doesn't reach out that far outside the city. so ultimately that was the cause of me thinking about how i could come and create a coalition that could bring electricity to those local areas. >> how exactly do you plan on doing that? >> we're doing it through solar energy. i teamed up with a company out of china, cgi, the solar
manufacturing group out of china, we actually drew up a great situation to where they can prefinance all the solar system and prepayment plan per se so that way, they can afford the system. i used my own finances just to serve the villages, to pick a village that we could light up just so show them how real the situation was. >> you say, as you know, in africa, and a lot of african countries, the real problem is the infrastructure. it's a constraint when it comes to doing business there. how do you go around that? >> absolutely. you know infrastructure has been one of our biggest challenges. because as you know a lot of earchg doesn'africa doesn't havo electricity. i don't know how infrastructure can be built without electricity
to begin with. that way at least the infrastructure process can be started. >> from what i understand, you've gone to nine countries, you aim to bring electricity in the next few years. >> before 2014 for sure. >> thanks very much for joining us from new york, that's acon speak speaking to us. the worst affected areas they have lost all their crops and facing mounting dwebts and our face have it why,. >> a failed harvest, has walked this land for over half a century. but the lack of rain since november last year has destroyed his entire paddy crop. >> the rains were late.
the paddy grew 6 to 8 inches but we had no rain and all of it was destroyed. >> over 30 years since he's faced such a devastating dry spell. one of the worst affected regions. >> translator: normally, these families would have been busy harvesting laiden paddy fields, getting ready for the new year celebrations in april. that seems aworld away now. >> translator: i couldn't even harvest a single stalk. to be honest, we swroant enough to eat in a couple of days. >> normal crops like corn and pulses haven't been compared. villagers have scoured the field in help of getting some money. farmers are struggling to come up with mowrnting debts.
they have taken loans to get money for their fields and have no means of paying back and the worst is not over. authorities say the lack of rains will badly affect the next planting season as well. government officials estimate national paddy production has fallen by around 20%. they say the effects may be worse on the next planning cycle. some areas are struggling for drinking water. rainwater tanks have been depleted. many people now have to travel a long distance to collect water or buy supplies. the immediate department says rains are likely to beginning by the end of march. but for thousands of farmers like him, it will be too late. >> much more to come on the al jazeera news hour, including how
forces. the author of a u.n. report which crimes north korea, with crimes against humanity, leaders from two countries are set to have high level talks for first time in years. >> engage in dialogue, by disclosing the whereabouts of those who have been forcibly abducted from japan. from the republic of korea and from other countries. allow separated families to communicate with each other through mail and telephone and to permanently reunite. >> let's get more on the developments coming out of russia with reports that president vladimir putin has signed an order recognizing crimea as a sovereign state. let's cross to peter sharp joining us on the telephone from moscow to tell us more about
what you're hearing on this peter. >> it's moving very, very quickly. we didn't expect as you know, president putin will be addressing the full houses of parliament tomorrow. in the afternoon. and we thought he would use that moment to bring the country up to date on where he is in terms of russia and the crimea. so he has said that basically, he signed the decree to recognize ukraine's break away region of crimea as an independent state. now, what we understand, this does not mean that necessarily becomes -- crimea becomes a part of the russian federation, but he is certainly moving towards that and the expectation is that he will add a little more to this at the address of parliament tomorrow. there is a taste for this. i mean after the war in georgia in 2008, he recognized the break
away republics of opkazia and esetia without are including them into russian federation, just because he recognizes this decree doesn't necessarily mean it becomes part of the federation. the eu and the united states will be watching this very, very closely over the next couple of days. >> peter, was this an expected move on the part of president vladimir putin so soon? >> no, it wasn't. he normally keeps his counsel after things like this. and after the move on crimea, he disappeared for almost a week and didn't make any public statement. and the great expectation was that he would make these announcements can in the federal parliament tomorrow. on tuesday. but this has taken us all i think a bit by surprise.
but as i say, just to reinforce this, it doesn't necessarily mean that crimea's joining the federation but certainly a step towards that. >> peter sharp reporting from moscow. now it's time for the sports news. robin is here. >> very happy st. patrick's day for island cricket, in bangladesh. solid 163 for 5 from their 20 overs. kevin o'brien had island on track and they needed just four runs to win for final over, the two irish wick et cetera then declared one dram of the final ball. island go top of 3a. scathing attack on the
contradiccrictcricketassociatio. all part to bring another player who suddenly became available on his team to his expense. >> yes, i have for years, to have learned how to deal with it, making a way into the 2011 t-20 world cup. it is a fact that i have never been forced to go, if tom coop had not been available. i had an injury would not have been stopping me playing. it's clear the dutch coaching staff decided to misuse the rules, we got tom cooper in for me. it's a disgrace, to cheat. can i don't want to be part of it. >> the icc meanwhile has can
dismissed crater's claim. cooper picked up two wick wicke, scoring an unbeaten 34-26 balls, dutch team chasing down victory with seven balls to spare. football, real madrid are expected to spill into the finals of uefa league,ons against miss the mass after injuring his league in why over ma lalaga. >> the team is fine. we didn't play a good match. we have to for several reasons. it is a champions league match, very important. we have to continue to play very
well, the best way to play for next sunday, doing a good can game will help us more confident. >> can also mark the return of former chelsea didier ya drogba. novak yol djokovic was serva dramatic encounter with roger federer. deciding set, a series of crucial mistakes allowed djokovic to claim victory. that's djokovic's 42 nld careerr title. >> i'm proud of my achievements. i've played three, four matches
in three sets, couple matches had to come from set down. and mentally, this definitely helps for my confidence. >> that's less than two months before the first major cycling event of the year, the jira d 'italia. , sprint finish from allesandro pataci. 9.1 kilometer time trial will conclude the race on tuesday. then, the miami heat are run away leaders in the eastern conference but recently suffered back to back losses. they bounced back with a victory over houston rockets and led most of the game. lebron james, king james wasn't miami's main man this time. after getting behind in the third they had to rely on old
heads, duane wayne, and arc beating 14 of his plays, 113 to 104. the nhl stanley cup champions, also have ended a two game losing streak. the black hawks thrashing, power play goal, detroit then equalized but that was as good as it got for them with the black hawks adding three from there. the scoring once and got into assist as they end up 4-1 winners. go to our website, aljazeera.com/sport, credit that is where we leave it for now. >> thank you very much robin. indians celebrate the are festival of holy.
lidy dulidy dutt reports. >> this is one of india's oldest markets. indians are gearing up to separate are po-lly. buying the colors of their favorite political parties. >> i'm doing well, colors are selling well, particularly green and are orange. >> the elections explain why the colors and symbols of india's political parties are everywhere. that excitement has rubbed off on holy celebrations too, that traditionally mark the start of spring. a touch of politics, of course. >> it is narinder's time.
my children ask credit to get water guns. >> before the first burst of color is sprayed, the old must be burned. across new delhi, good-bye to the old and welcome the new. holy sums up the mood of credit be politics. new era of governance. so this year, holy and politics mix. and as they do, the country's politicians will be hoping that this year's festivities will mark the start of an election campaign that's prosperous and bright. lidy dutt, al jazeera, new delhi. >> celebrations get underway, irish mark the day by dying the river green. more news. in just a moment.