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tv   News  Al Jazeera  May 27, 2014 12:00pm-12:31pm EDT

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go, go, go. do it. >> they regain control of an airport from proceed russian separatists. at least 40 people are killed. hello from al jazeera's headquarters in doha. i'm jane dutton. ahead, battling against low voter turnout. reports egypt is extending polling in the presidential election for an extra day. back at base but it was a close call. a team of chemical weapons inspectors come under attack in syria. the western hemisphere
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oldest rebel group is commemorating its 50th anniversary. i'm in the stronghold, and coming up, i'll explain how colombia's rebel group has managed to survive this long. pro-russian separatists say at least 40 fighters have been killed in ukraine after government troops fought to retain control of the country's second largest airport. on monday armed men stormed the terminal stopping flights and leaving passengers stranded. it was a day after the new president vowed to tackle terrorists in the east one hours and not months. nick spicer reports. >> many bodies were missing limbs, a sign the government used heavy firepower in the biggest defensive yet on pro-russian fighters. scores of separatest are reported killed and others are brought to hospitals. this man said around 100 fellow
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fighters were killed around him. >> translator: there were not many injured left. most of us were dead. a lot of us were dead. >> reporter: the precise number of fighters killed may not be known for days after jets and attack helicopters strived missions on the move. they continued to chase militia fighters, leaving some of the dead behind. it began in the early hours of monday when the separatists seized control of the airport. it shut down. ukrainian authorities set a deadline for separatists to lay down arms. it came and went with no surrender. the crackdown came quickly. reinforcements of militia fighters could not turn the tide. many were killed as they were moved around in trucks. one al jazeera crew got caught up in the crossfire. we were on the road to the
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airport when shooting broke out. the crew escaped unharmed. the government said on tuesday it had no choice but to act in a region where separatist fighters declared independence and prevented most voters from going to the polls on sunday's presidential election. >> translator: we just reacted to the situation. the seizure of the airport and the shooting of a civilian plane. the result is the airport is absolutely under our control. the other side has serious losses. no one was killed on our side. the operation is still ongoing. >> the man expected to be named ukraine's new president in the coming days compares the fighters in the east to somali fighters, outlaws that can't be invited to the negotiating table. with the government defensive continuing in the region, it may be a while before any talks can take place. nick spicer, al jazeera, kiev. the organization for security and cooperation says it has lost contact with a team of monitors in ukraine. the vienna-based security watch
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dog said the group of four was last heard from on a routine patrol on monday evening. they have asked the ukrainian government as well as regional authorities for help finding the team. to egypt where low voter turnout has prompted authorities to extend voting in the presidential election for a third day. tuesday was supposed to be the second and final day of voting. the interim government has already declared a national holiday to encourage people to vote. it's all part of a drive to ensure a strong show of support for the front-runner the former army chief, abdul cissi. we have the report. >> polls opened across the country on tuesday morning with voters trickling into polling stations like these. the government has declared the public holiday to encourage more people to vote while extending the hours until 10:00 p.m. local
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time. some think that media outlets suggest that millions of people have voted describing monday's voting as a great response. >> translator: this day is like a holiday to celebrate the spring and liberation of egypt from the muslim brotherhood. >> reporter: around 50 million are registered to vote, but since polls opened on monday it appears the youth were absent. >> translator: there is fear of what will be the repercussions of this in the near future. there will be further polarization among the people and it highlights the resentment and negative stance among 60% of the egyptian people, which are the youth. >> reporter: the former army chief who led the coup against the first elected civilian president is expected to become the next head of state. he urged egyptians to come out in large numbers. his critics say this election this meant to ledge miez his grip on power. >> translator: he's relying on his ability to mobilize a large
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number of people. if millions come out to vote, it would give him legitimacy and the coup would be valid. thaepts that's not happening. >> the only other candidate urged the youth to vote. egypt is divided, but those who are heading to the polls believe this election will bring much-needed stability, but many boycott the vote while others are declaring protests. they have been out in the streets of alexandria against what they call a legitimate election with the position supporters insisting that morsecy is still in charge. security measures have been around polling stations across egypt. the results are expected in a few days, but there have been accusations of fraud and irregularities. this is egypt's second presidential election in two years, and it's outcome is likely to keep egyptians divided.
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>> this is a social professor of public policy at harvard university and also writing a book on this election in egypt. so voting has been extended by another day. it's not going very well, is it? >> the reason voting is extended is because voters who live in cairo, usually there is special places for them to vote, even though they were in cairo. now they were forced to go back to their governor, so a big swath of the egyptian electorate didn't get a chance to vote. there are arguments made like that. of course, the cynical interpretation is what they're trying to do is goose turnout and increase turnout. >> what do you believe? we are hearing reports of government employees being threatened that they'll have money taken away, and they're getting threatened if they don't vote.
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>> they're not threatened exactly. the egyptian law actually stipulates, jane, that voting is a compulsory. voting is mandatory. we've seen this before in past elections. the election from mubarak to the presidency in 2005. you would see cars with loud speakers go through villages and say you have to vote or else you pay a fine in order to increase turnout. officially this is just encouraging people to comply with the law. of course, the interpretation, the only sensible interpretation is they're concerned that turnout is very low and that this sends a bad message about the egyptian people's attitude towards the ouster of morsi and the political road map. >> are you surprised? keeping that in mind, sisi is supposed to be quite popular. a lot of people say they look towards him for change, and that he's a man to bring it about. >> certainly i think probably it's still true that sisi is far more popular than the person
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he's running again. you're absolutely right that this low turnout is a far cry from the days in which sisi was seen as invincible when people were baking cakes with his photograph on them and selling them. he's been scratched up a bit in this election. >> if he doesn't get the numbers he wants, what sort of impact will it have? >> people are have focused on how low turnout plays into the hands of the muslim brotherhood, but low turnout in this election, sisi not doing as well as he thought will send all kinds of strange signals within the current governing coalition. there's people in the current coalition will look at sisi and realize his coattails are not what they thought they were. when he tries to push through controversial policies, maybe he won't get all the arms of the state. they'll say, we're not quite sure everybody loves you as much
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as you said. >> good talking to you. al jazeera is continuing to demand the release of its journalists detained in egypt. they have been held in prison for 150 days. the trial has been adjourned until june 1st. they're accused of conspireing with the outlawed muslim brotherho brotherhood. another journalist has been held in a cairo prison without charge for more than nine months. his attorney filed a third grievance and wants a medical report. we have breaking news coming to us from nigeria. reports that 24 people have been killed by boko haram fighters at a military base. the attack happened in the northeastern town of buni-yadi.
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what happened? >> reporter: actually, reports from the area say gunmen suspected to be members of boko haram attacked some people in the town, including a military facility. some residents are also telling us that the fighters attacked probably the palace of registry and some government offices setting them on fire. in the process more than 20 were killed in the attack. residents are saying that the attack initially was from other security forces, and then when the security forces opened fire and retaliated, a long gunfight ensued between the fighters and the security forces. some say that the fighting took at least three years. >> it's quite extraordinary this is happening at the moment, isn't it? we have a dramatic increase of attacks, boko haram claiming they're behind them, considering how much of the international community is there and how many people are hunting for them
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after the capture of those schoolgirls. >> reporter: absolutely. absolutely. what is worrying is that the boko haram fighters are becoming bo bolder. they're becoming more and mo more -- the attacks are more and more deadly. this is not the first time the city was attacked and this is not the first casualty they suffered. in february gunmen forced themselves into a college and set the college on fire killing at least 59 students in their sleep. so people are wondering what is actually happening in the northeast. >> the latest attack, another one in nigeria. chemical weapons inspectors will continue the fact-finding mission in syria following an attack on a convoy of u.n. staff. they were investigating an
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alleged gas attack. >> reporter: the team of six u.n. inspectors and five syrian drivers were on a mission. they were investigating allegations that the syrian government had used chlorine gas to attack the village in hama province. there was supposed to be a cease-fire in place between the government and rebels so that the inspectors can get to their destination and carry out their mission. it was not enough. one of the u.n. cars was blown up. everyone on the u.n. team is safe and back to base. the attack shows the difficult circumstances these inspectors have to work under. the inspectors have to access and travel through areas controlled by the rebels and the government. as the fighting goes on around them. >> the fact-finding mission will continue. we really do need to get to at least one or month of these sites where our inspectors can get in and get up close and detailed view on what allegedly
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happened in order to prepare a detailed report. >> reporter: across the city, people were killed during an overnight bombardment. residents struggle to pull bodies from the rubble working with primitive tools trying to save as many lives as they could. at the edge of the city, seven members of the same family were killed. there's been an escalation of violence in the aleppo and dura in southern syria ahead of the presidential elections inspected on june 3rd. still to come here on al jazeera, a very public arrest. former thai cabinet minister comes out of hiding to criticize the military coup. it may look like any old handshake, but this one is pretty special. a rare meeting between india and pakistan.
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al jazeera' america presents, the system with joe burlinger >> these protestors have decided that today they will be arrested >> these people have chased a president from power, they've torn down a state... >> what's clear is that people don't just need protection, they need assistance.
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i'm jane button to doha. the top stories on al jazeera. ukraine's government says forces are now in control in the donetsk airport in the east. pro-russian separatists stormed the building early monday morning. at least 40 have been killed in the fighting. low voter turnout in egypt has prompted authorities to extend voting in the presidential election for a third day. tuesday was supposed to be the second and final day of voting. the interim government had already made tuesday a national holiday to encourage people to vote. we're getting reports that 24 people have been killed by
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boko haram fighters at a military base in nigeria. the attacked happened in the northeastern town of buni-yadi. rival palestinian groups hamas and fatah have agreed to a nutriti nutritional coalition government. it's the most significant step yet towards healing their seven-year rift. the palestinian prime minister has been appointed to lead the new cabinet. hamas, which rules the gaza strip and fatah that controlling the west bank agreed to unity back in april. at least 19 people have been killed in baghdad after gunmen opened fire inside a mosque. moments later there was a suicide blast in the same building. the attack happened as shia muslim worshippers started the midday prayer from baghdad. iman carr reports. >> reporter: this is an indication of how powerful the bomb was. at mid-day a gunman opened fire at a doorway in central baghdad.
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then another man walked into the packed hall wearing a suicide bomb vest. seconds later utter panic as worshippers run in every direction. some deaf from the noise of the blast and others in shock. as the smoke cleared bodies could be seen strewn closer to where the bomb was. even in their mourning, there was anger from many here. >> translator: the man that looked after me is dead. he stood near the bomber. >> reporter: despite baghdad attacks, this one shocks many here. the islamic state in iraq did make a threat they would attack shia mosques and shia pro sessions. now questions are asked. how was a man with a gun able to get so close to the mosque and was able to shoot a police officer and how was a suicide bomber able to get inside? those questions won't be answered anytime soon. every day attacks like these happen across iraq. so far this month 800 people
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have been killed as a result. thailand's former education minister has been arrested after denouncing the military coup. he said the army take-over was unconstitutional before being taken into custody in full view of international media. we have the report from bangkok. >> reporter: he knew he was going to be arrested when he decided to come out of his hiding place. he was the education minister under the administration for almost a year. immediately after the military took power last week, they summoned him. he refused to show up because he said the coup violated the constitution. he defended that decision at a briefing at bangkok's foreign correspondenting club. >> i made it very clear i had no attention to escape. to resist, or to go underground to fight. but i would be ready to be
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arrested when the time is right. >> reporter: he was still addressing the international media when soldiers entered the building and arrested him in front of the cameras. >> coups are not a solution to problems for conflicts in thai society, but it will make the conflicts even worse. it is also of grave concern that if those with authority cannot handle the problems well, it may lead to violence and greater losses. >> reporter: protesters gathered once again at the victory monument to show their anger against the coup. people are defying the order to demonstrate, but anger is building up and the risk of more violence is increasing. the military has threatened to use violence if demonstrations continue, but it doesn't look like opponents of the coup will back down anytime soon.
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just before his arrest he stressed that if the military doesn't allow people to protest, they would continue their fight underground. al jazeera, bangkok. vietnam and china traded accusations on tuesday who was the agresor in a clash that led to the sinking of a vietnamese fishing boat in the south china sea. ten vietnamese fishermen have been rescued after their boat was rammed by a chinese vessel. vietnam says the incident happened close to a chinese oil rig near the disputed islands in the south china sea. china state media reported that they were harassing the chinese craft. there's been a standoff in the area between rival ships since the rig was installed in early may. beijing says relations with hanoi could be damaged. adrian brown has more. >> reporter: this is a reminder that tensions between vietnam and china aren't going away. in this latest incident there are different versions of what happened. china says that a vietnamese
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fishing vessel simply bumped into one of its fishing vessels, capsized and sank. hanoi says that's not the case. they accuse beijing of attacking the vietnamese fishing vessel and causing it to sink. now, this all happened in an area where china has been drilling for oil close to islands which are claimed by both china and vietnam. the drilling operation began at the beginning of month and china deployed a sizable armada there to protect it. of course, two weeks ago we had those serious anti-chinese riots in vietnam that affected a third of the country's provinces leading to the arrest and detention of more than 11,000 protesters. 700 will be on trial or fined. two have already been convicted and jailed. the issue for china now is compensation, because up to 16
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taiw taiwanese and chinese factories were set on fire and many others damaged. the prime ministers of india and pakistan have committed to moving forward with peace talks. we describe the meeting in new delhi as a historic opportunity for the south asian neighbors. we have more from the indian capital. >> reporter: this is the most significant handshake for over a decade on india soil. the prime minister welcomed his pakistani counterpart to the house for a cleesed door discussion that lasted for almost an hour. after the inauguration of him on monday, it was a chance for both leaders to discuss issues such as trade security, specifically cross-border attacks and the trial for the mumbai attackers dragging on in pakistan. both sides hope to improve relations between the two nuclear-armed neighbors. as a gesture of goodwill, pakistan released 150 indian fishermen it had in its jails.
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they were released through the border. they crossed into india on foot and by bus relieved to be back home, but there were concerns for those left behind. >> translator: i tonight feel much, but i would be happy if all our colleagues were here and released. >> reporter: while many others continue to celebrate on the streets of india, the new prime minister had back-to-back meetings with other regional leaders including the afghan president karzai. pakistan's leaders visited some of the new delhi's important sites. it was an opportunity to meet locals and civil society. >> we're willing to discuss all issues between our two countries in the spirit of cooperation and solidarity. after all, we all want our people to overcome the legacy of
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mistrust and misgivings. >> reporter: the newspapers say it all. it's a coup for indian diplomacy and they know it. they hold that politicians can see the opportunity to improve the relationship with pakistan. whether they can is something that depends on pakistan. politicians in islamabad say they want to be friends with india, but cross-border attacks from pakistan and a powerful and suspicious military often derail any potential progress of a lasting peace. al jazeera, new delhi. u.s. president barack obama is due to announce plans to leaf some u.s. troops in afghanistan. they stay on after the countdown at the end of the year. we're live in washington, d.c. why, patty? >> reporter: well, we've been waiting for this announcement, jane, and the president will come out and say combat will officially end in 2014, and the numbers he's decided to leave and this is just u.s. troops. he's going to say in 2015 there's 9800 u.s. service
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members that will operate in different parts of afghanistan. the following year, 2016 that number is cut in half to 4900 and they focus at the airbase and kabul. after that he hopes and he says by 2017 the war is pretty much over, only u.s. personnel secure the embassy left behind. of course, he won't be president in 2017 so that's his goal. i have to point out this is contingent on the bsa. karzai has refused to sign it. his potential successor said they will. if they don't, the u.s. says no agreement, no u.s. troops. >> what i was going to say, how will this go down? >> reporter: well, it looks like the president actually is following the advice of his military advisers. they said they need 10,000 troops to fulfill the mission he laid out. this isn't about defeating the taliban anymore. what the president says the goal of these troops to stay behind is simply to secure and try to
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help the afghan security forces and train them and also to conduct limited counterterrorism missions. the military put out there they needed 10,000. we know advisers close to the president said that was too many. make it 5,000. the american people want out of the war. the president is siding with his military advisers for that. >> thank you for that live from washington, d.c. u.s. musician pharell williams is commenting on the arrest of six people in iran who posted a video of them dancing to his song "happy." [ music ] the song sparked tribute videos all over the world with people smiling and dancing down the streets. iranian laws ban women from dancing in public or appearing outside without the head scarf. >> i was saddened by it, but i was like, man, they're just dancing. at the same time, i don't live
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in that country. i don't know the laws. i in my heart of all hearts just thought they were dancing, and they should be able to express their happiness. >> it seems iran's president rouhani agrees with that. he tweeted about the incident saying happiness is our people's right. we shouldn't be too hard on behaviors caused by joy. all six were arrested and they're believed to have been released. an update on the breaking news from nigeria. there's reports that at least 20 people have been killed by boko haram fighters at a military base in nigeria. the attack happened in the northeastern town of buni-yadi. it is close to where boko haram gunmen fired at a high school in february killing at least 59 students. this, obviously, comes after the catcher of those over 200
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schoolgirls. the international community and army looking for them. they seem to be gaining a large number of these attacks as the confidence growing, the boko haram. we'll have more on that in the next bulletin. keep up to date with all the news on our website, the address aljazeera.com. you're in the stream. has the enter brought us closer to owing or pushed us farther apart? it's one of the most defining cultural questions of the past decade. one family took a year to put it to the test deciding to live like it was 1986. rotary mphones and paper maps ad all. what they learned from forfeiting it. the growing number of households choosing to go off the grid. how some hide theirso