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tv   News  Al Jazeera  May 3, 2014 3:00am-3:31am EDT

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arkansas landslide in northern afghanistan - more than 2,000 people are killed. hello, you are watching al jazeera. these are the top stories - kiev launches a new military operation in eastern ukraine. moscow condemns the death of pro-russian demonstrators in odessa. a ceasefire or surrender - syrian rebels may be about to give up the fight for the city of homs. on trial for going their job - three al jazeera journalists head back to court
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in cairo on world press freedom day. more than 2,000 people have been killed in a landslide in northern afghanistan. large parts of a village were buried after a mountainside collapsed following days of rains and floods. the u.n. is at the scene, helping teams in the remote area. we have this update from the capital. >> reporter: local police are doing what they can for the survivors in afghanistan. they are handing out food and water. on saturday morning rescue teams were struggling to reach the people buried under the mud. roads to the village is open but unstable for heavy machinery. >> translation: we can only help
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the displaced. those under the landslide and who lost their lives, it's impossible to do anything for them - they are dead. >> reporter: rescue operations have been hampered by the difficult conditions, due to the heavy rains in northern afghanistan. some 180 people, and 1,000 homeless. president hamid karzai ordered emergency relief immediately to reach the poor village. u.n. representatives say roads to the village were opened, passage was not suitable for heavy machinery. syria's government is set to regain control offer homs after a possible ceasefire to allow hundreds of trapped fighters to leave. civilians were allowed out of the quarters. armed groups remain. a 48 hour ceasefire agreement was reached on friday to let fighters leave the old quarters and surrounding areas - a last
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remaining stronghold in the city. homs is the third-largest city and has been called the capital of the revolution. it was one of the first cities to rise up in 2011. much fell to opposition forces. the government laid siege to areas once home to tens of thousands of people. by the start of 2014, only the old city was still held by armed groups. if the deal holds, it will fall into government control. al-qaeda leader has reportedly ordered the group's syrian branch to stop fighting rival rebel groups. the al nusra fronted has about in conflict with the islamic state of iraq and levant. the i.s.i.l. has been disowned by al qaeda. in an audio group they were told to concentrate on fighting the syrian government and its
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allies. a troop launched an offensive in the east. ukranian's interior minister said they will not stop, they are trying to retake government buildings seized by separatists in kramatorsk. it comes a day after government forces launched a major operation in slovyansk. paul brennan is live in donetsk. tell us what the situation is in kramatorsk, and if the government has been able to retake the buildings. >> reporter: well, it's an ongoing situation, what the kiev administration is describing as an anti-terror operation began friday morning, continuing friday night into saturday. at kramatorsk, a town some 10 miles, 15-46km south of slovyansk there was an it tower on a hill. the separatists took the tower,
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stopped broadcasting ukranian tv channels and put russian tv channels on. what the ukranian forces have done is retake the tv tour, take off air the russian tv change and reinstate the ukranian tv channels. the importance is obvious. information is a vital tool in this battle for the east of ukraine. getting information out to the people who are in their houses - very important indeed, and so they made that tv tower an important strategic target. other things that we have been hearing as the morning progresses is that two people two ukranian troops, were killed near slovyansk, late last night. the thinking is that that was by - in a counterattack by separatist elements near that town, and also that a railway facility near slovyansk has been retape. now, that is another major
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strategic target. it was a facility which controls all the railway lines in and out of eastern ukraine. it was tape by separatists -- taken by separatists, it's been retaken by ukranian troops, opening up the railway lines for the ukranian military, so an important target there. the other thing is that russia, the kremlin backed channel, the 10 residents were killed during the operation to take back control of that tv tower - obviously we have no independent corroboration of that before, that's what russia today is saying this morning. >> the interior minister said he will not stop. what do you think he means by that. >> well, i think - listen, he's something of a maverick. he makes official statements via facebook rather than the official ministry website. i think his sentiment is
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expressing what is in line with the ukranian kiev government has been saying for days. i came from kiev yesterday. the acting president there, mr oleksandr turchynov was insisting that the cheest would not be a -- east would not be allowed to slip away. he introduced conscription for 18-25-year-olds across ukraine. they could be getting september out as early as monday next week. there's a determination in ukraine and in kiev in particular, of course, that the east of ukraine is not just going to be allowed to be taken over by what kiev says are professional mercenaries, directed by russian intelligence agents. they are adamant although there has been calls for constraint and containment, the kiev government has its own red line, and cannot allow the situation in the east to slip out of its control. there has been a lot of
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criticism of the way the police stood by in certain circumstances here in the east, and allowed pro-russian demonstrators to attack unarmed pro-ukrainian demonstrators. that has not gone down well with the administration in kiev. the feeing was that action had to be taken. >> let's talk about russia and how it condemned ukraine for what is called the criminal use of force, allowing the death of activists in the black sea city of odessa. 31 died, 100 arrested. the southern port of odessa is far from where the fighting has taken place in don ect. we have this -- donetsk, we in this report? >> translation: a trade union -- the referee: a trade union building was set on fire. the intensity of the smoke sent some jumping for their lives. dozens of others were
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suffocated. the building has been the headquarters of pro-russian protesters for over a month. ukranian police have been deployed earlier but were unable to restrain either side. >> the clashes underlined the challenges that faced the interim government, happening on the same day ukrainian forces launched an offensive in the anti-terror operation in the town of slovyansk here in the east. the black sea town of odessa ukranian paratroopers continued their operation throughout the night. it started in the morning. ukranian forces destroyed several checkpoints north of town. the ministry of defense confirmed two helicopters were struck down, it claimed by portable surface to air missiles. proof of russia's involvement on the ground. this man is said to be a ukranian pilot who survived from
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a helicopter. he's cared for by separatist supporters in this pro-russian stronghold. >> translation: there was another helicopter shot down. we tried to approach it. we tried to save the one pilot. he was abandoned by his own people. >> ukranian forces seized the tv antenna. it was taken in a bid to control the channels. ukranian channels had been taken off the air. the message of both sides has been given throughout the country. it is a sign of ever-increasing divisions are putting the entire country at risk of the the question is how close is the russian direct military intervention now that many of its supporters lost their lives. african leaders and
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documents are converging on south sudan hoping an end to the crisis may be within reach. the head of the united nations peacekeeping operations may be arriving in juba. the internet -- the president agreed to direct talks after a conflict between him and riek machar. a member of the largest group, the dippinga, and riek machar is from the knewar. thousands have been killed and nor than a million fled their holmes. the u.n. -- homes. the u.n. security council has discussing the matters. this update from new york. >> reporter: the crisis from south sudan is in the spotlight. the u.n. security council is hearing a briefing from the high commissioner for human rights and the advisor on the trench of
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genocide. some figures mentioned are staggering. 80,000 people sheltering in the u.n. camps, and across south sudan. it's believed 9,000 child soldiers are operating. among security council members, discussion of a number of different types of action, including sanctions. >> there are helpful steps that the council and the disagrees hl community can take. the president of the united states issued an order providing for targeted sanctions determined to have atracted to atrocities for taken actions harmful to peace and stability in sudan. this country should decide whether to put in parallel sanctions to deter the outrageous attacks on civilians on the kind in bor and bentiu. >> in your view, which will be the level measures to prevent genocide. >> what is needed is to end the
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hostilities. what is important that both leaders sit together and face to surveys. define a new way of dealing with the situation. >> reporter: i'm told the united nations has a draft for a cuff security council -- tough security council resolution, and negotiations will start next week. back to our lead story. the landslide in northern afghanistan. over 2,000 has been killed. joining me from kabul is mark bowden, the united nations humanitarian coordinator for the country. thank you for joining us. can you update us on the situation and what you are hearing about those killed. >> my latest understanding is that there's a question of whether 2,000 died or not. that's under arrest. >> okay.
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>> we know 1,000 families are affect affected. 300 houses were destroyed. we know that we are expecting 4.5,000 people to be displaced. [ inaudible ] . >> it's a bad line. forgive me if i repeat anything that you have said. you said several thousands people have been displaced. can you tell us what the situation is now, and how challenging the rescue operation is, considering the mud that is everywhere - all right, we have last mark bowden, unfortunately. we'll try to get him back to get more information on the landslide in afghanistan. still ahead - south africa's opposition party hold final
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rallies, are they fighting a losing battle? plus 13 years in captivity a former ugandan child soldier prepares for an emotional return to his home village.
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the top stories on al jazeera - we have reports that more than 2,000 have been killed in a massive landslide in north-east afghanistan. the united nation, who has just spoken to us, who is running the rescue operation, has not been able to confirm that. part of a mountain collapsed
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following days of heavy rain. ukranian troops launched an offensive in kramatorsk, days after the death of 31 pro-russian separatists in the black sea city of odessa. syria's government is said to regain full control of the city of homs, following a deal to allow hundreds of fighters to leave the quarters, the last rebel area in the city. the trial of three al jazeera journalists retained in egypt is due to resume in a few hours. the 7th court appearance coincides with international press freedom day. mohamed fadel fahmy, peter greste and baher mohamed are falsely accused of providing a platform to the muslim brotherhood, now declared a terrorist operation. for more than three months,
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liberties have been withheld. peter greste, mohamed fadel fahmy, and baher mohamed will appear in court. >> those of us in the world are worried. >> i appreciate this. our president sent letters to the families of two of the accused. >> i'm aware of that. >> because he - each though he's a judge, he wanted to assure them, one, that there would be due process. he said that he couldn't intervene in the process. but, again, the cases are before the court. i can't legally comment on it until it finishes the appeal process. i tell you again, if a journalist commits a crime, he does not have. >> the prosecution have not been able to prove wrongdoing offed. >> the evidence shown is uncontroversial unfinished news report by al jazeera, and some footage that has nothing to do with the case.
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footage of peter greste in somalia when he was with b b.c. audio recordings that are barely audible and couldn't be made out in the court room. this is the landmark evidence that the prosecutor presented. >> the next appearance coincides with world freedom day. a fourth sournal rift abdullah al-shami has been -- journalist abdullah al-shami has been detained since august and has been on hunger strike for over 100 days. >> this is unprecedented. a government going after a national news network for doing their work, and using terrorist-related charges to keep them in kust without evidence -- custody without evidence. al jazeera rejects charges and demands the immediate and unconditional release from the government. it orders the egyptian
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government to take advantage of world press freedom day to free colleagues and journalist deprived of their freedom for doing theirons. joining me on the set -- their jobs. joining me on the set is peter townsend from the doha center of media freedom. let's start with our journalists, back in the dock for the 7th day. ironically it's world press freedom day. what are your expectations? >> we are hoping to see a better outcome than in other proceedings. some of the evidence shown has been, as you know... >> laughable. >>..laughable. yes. we are hopeful. the case has been dragging on. we are hoping there may be a positive resolution. >> considering the response to the evidence suggested, and the fact that people could not believe they were putting together such evidence. do you think they may change
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their tack six? >> i don't know. i think the important thing is the international support has been shown. their press freedom award presented to a journalist recently helps to show that they are professional journalists, and that they were there doing their job. and for them to be detained is unexpectable. >> we are expecting elections. it seems a given that abdul fatah al-sisi, the army chief will take obvious, as said in the predictions. >> do you think the situation will get better or worse as far as media freedom is concerned? >> we try not to get into politi politics. it has been a country where media freedom has been a concern. we hope the case sees a positive resolution. and that could set a good precedent because at the moment it's setting a bad precedent. >> sorry for interrupting. i talked to some of my
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colleagues. they say the situation is so bad, worse than they have seen for a long time. so much is happening on the streets, human rights abuses. it's hard to get a clear picture if there's a clamp down on press freedom and journalists. >> the other major problem on world press freedom day is to recognise that as world information. the huge increase in platforms and new technology,st it's so apparent to people who are media ileterrate are misinformed. >> thank you for coming in and talking to us. we are going to go back to afghanistan, and the landslide there, and we have managed to get mark bowden back on the phone, the united nations humanitarian coordinator. you were telling me about the situation on the ground there, and what sort of rescue operation is underway including
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the challenges. >> that's right. well, we have 4,500 people displaced, apart from those that we are still trying to estimate the number of dead in the area. as i said. 300,000 - 300 houses were destroyed. now the operation is ramping up. assessment teams have been in. there was an attempt to get heavy equipment in last night. but the roads have been too difficult and covered in mud. so at the moment we are focussing on getting shelter materials, nonfood items, and food and health facilities into this place. the government have been making available their helicopters. they have also - we have, from the international forces here,
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three c130s moving in with more equipment and supplies. medical teams from the afghan red cross society and irm are on the ground. i feel that we will be able to provide assistance. our long term concerns really are for the reconstruction and support needs of these communities. and perhaps i should also say that this year has been the worst in terms of flood that we have seen for many years, and the affects of that on the afghan population. >> what about those that remained there. i heard that the weather will not clear up soon, there may be more mudslides and action that we have seen, are you trying to get people out of there? >> yes, people will be moved to safer areas locally. and then there'll be movement out of those. i think the immediate needs are
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to provide some temporary shelter so that they don't suffer hype thermia from the - from rain and the poor weather conditions that are there at the moment. >> sorry, excuse me for jumping in. tell me about the missing and what numbers you have there. do you have any idea where they are, and what sort of challenge it's going to be to find them now? >> well, i'm afraid there are varying reports, and those are being looked at at the moment. the highest estimate was of up to 2,700 deaths. i understand that that is now being questioned as people try to clarify the situation. the governor last night, i think, said that any hope of recovering more people from this was remote, if not impossible. and i think experience from other landslides, due to the
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nature of the catastrophic event is that any likelihood of recovering people alive from the situation is now - has now disappeared. >> thank you very much for talking to us, and i certainly wish you the level of luck in your rescue operation there. after 13 years in captivity a former child soldier in uganda returned to his home village. he's one of hundreds kidnapped and forced to fight for the lord resistance ma resistance army, malcolm webb reports. >> reporter: when he was 10 years old he was abducted in his village in uganda by reg eps from the lords resistance army. that was in 2001. he was forced to become a child soldier and commit atrocities. it was 13 years before he could escape. >> translation: many children were beaten to death. you have to follow orders, else they kill you. children that tried to escape
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were killed. you have to follow orders until a chaps comes to escape -- chance comes to escape. >> this rehabilitation center run by world vision has been his home in recent weeks. at the peak of the war hundreds of child soldiers came through. murals painted are here. 10,000 are missing - most of them will never come home. a trickle of former child soldiers escape, now grown adults. it's this woman's job to coups them. >> such killing is a problem. psychologically they recall it. >> dennis completed his counselling and is trying to go home. he was a boy when he last saw his family and neighbours. since then he was forced to march hundreds of kilometres across four different countries. he escaped in the central african republic, where the remaining lra units attack civilians and attack people.
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he said he has seen and done things he didn't want to talk about. many killed former family and neighbours. many are scared to come home. they don't know how they'll react. 2km from dennis's village people come running. he's made to tread on an egg. a ritual of reconciliation. there's no grudges here. he is safe. all of the people from the surrounding villages have come to join in the celebration. people are sipping and waving -- singing and waving branches. almost everyone is seeing that dennis - his parents carried out a funeral ritual. now that he is home and alive after 13 years in the bush, people are delighted. >> then he arrived. thousands were killed. no one thought he'd make it. now that story ends this
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bulletin, and we have the headlines up in a couple of minutes. remember, if you want to find out what is happening regarding that mudslide in afghanistan and what is mapping in other parts of the country, all you need to do is log on to the website. we update it all the time. the address in ukraine things sped past the stage where two groups of heavily armed men glare at each other of the now they are killing each other and eastern ukraine is looking more ungovernable. it's "inside story." ♪ music ]