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tv   News  Al Jazeera  January 2, 2015 9:00am-9:31am EST

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>> only on al jazeera america. coast guards scramble to rescue another migrant ship found off of the coast of italy without a crew. ♪ i'm shiulie ghosh with the world news from al jazeera, also coming up. [ explosion ] the battle for northern iraq kurdish forces fight to hold off isil. kenya's high court suspends a controversial new security law. plus -- a brawl in india with
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police drills with targets dressed up as muslim fighters. ♪ a cargo ship is being towed to italy after its captain and crew abandoned hundreds of migrants on board. it cost power about 65 miles off of the coast. it is now being taken to the italian coast. well that's the second migrant ship found abandoned by its crew off of italy's coast. more than 700 syrian migrants were captured days ago. despite the dangers of a perilous voyage across the mediterranean sea, migrants continue to risk everything.
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>> the turmoil of the arab spring has caused an increasing number of migrants to risk their lives, crossing the mediterranean in over-crowded routes. another popular route involves traveling to yemen and saudi arabia before continuing the journey to europe. according to the italian interior ministry 60,000 migrants arrived in the country in 2013. but last year that figure almost tripled. many were escaping syria and the country's civil war, and their journeys are dangerous. in 2013, the u.n. estimates 600 migrants died at sea. last year that figure increased to more than 3,000 as more my grants attempted the journey.
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kurdish peshmerga forces are battling with isil fighters. mohammed reports. >> reporter: heavy fighting at the village. 80 kilometers outside of erbil, the capitol of the region. it's one of the few villages kurdish fighters recaptured from isil. isil has battled to recapture it, and as the fighting intensifies, the peshmerga zero in on one of the houses. [ gunfire ] >> translator: there are some isil fighters behind in that house. they have remained behind after the others retreated. >> reporter: more kurdish fighters moved closer to the house. they spray it with bullets. [ gunfire ] >> reporter: there is nothing to confirm their bullets have hit their targets, so some of them
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move a bit closer. [ gunfire ] >> reporter: it's a mistake, bullets come in from the house. one of the peshmerga fighters has been shot. gunn -- [ gunfire ] >> reporter: he is dead. overcome with grief one of the fighters weeps over the body. in another part of the village a huge explosion whips over the village. it's a car bomb. more enforcements arrive. the kurdish forces decide it's time to bring the fighting to an end. rocket-propelled grenades are their weapons of choice. detecting no movement inside, they set what he mains of the house on fire and for now, it
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is back in peshmerga hands. >> translator: this is a very important village as it is on the banks of the river. the highway to mosul also stops here. >> reporter: peshmerga fighters have made modest gains against isil in recent days but they are not yet underestimating their opponents. they say they will have to stop isil from advancing further or they will enter major towns in the kurdish region. 20 fighters have attacked a village here the syrian border. they say they were trying to rescue women in the village. the fighters are also accused of
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abducting several people. more than 17,000 civilians have been killed in iraq in 2014. that's the biggest death toll in seven years. the organization, iraq body count, says the number of deaths last year was roughly double the number recorded in 2013 which in turn was double the number from 2012. the average number for the second half of 2014 was more than 1500. it peaked in june with other 200,000 civilian deaths. 118 were killed by coalition air strikes, while 1,748 people were killed by iraqi military air strikes. 4,325 were killed by isil. the highest number of deaths were recorded in bagdad and other provinces. syrian activists say more people were killed last year than at anytime since the conflict began four years ago.
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76,000 died in 2014. more than 17,000 were civilians. 3,000 were children almost 2,000 were women, and rebel groups lost more than 15,000 fighters. the u.s.-lead coalition jets have again targeted isil tighters in syria. it is the biggest city under isil control, and it's main power base in syria. the high court in kenya suspended a new security bill. parliament passed the bill last month. harrah reports from nairobi. >> reporter: jamal says he plans to leave nairobi soon and take his son and daughter to one of the refugee camps. he feels the new security laws
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make him an easy target for police because he is a refugee from somali living in kenya. >> translator: we are afraid of these new laws. we can easily be arrested if police suspect you are terrorists. if i'm arrested who will look after my children? >> reporter: the high court has suspended parts of the anti-terrorism law. the judge said objectives raised over the law being unconstitutional should be investigated. the kenyan government say that officials need more powers to fight what they kalas lammist fighters. the group al-shabab has claimed responsibility for most attacks. police raids here are nothing new. over the years a number of people have been arrested for different reasons, especially
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when a terror incident occurs. some families fear the new security laws will make things worse for them. it require journalist obtain police permission before investigating and publishing reports. they also give security and intelligence agencies the right to retain people for up to a year. some people this gives security forces too much power. >> the way the laws are being presented right now is an attempt to give government an authority or upper hand to actually decide when they feel somebody has been involved in terrorism. so they are saying we are not going to use anything to deny people their fundamental rights. if there is a problem, yes, people should be detained but within the confines of the constitution. >> reporter: a three-judge bench will hear the matter and decide
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whether the clauses do indeed violate human rights. there is still a chance the clauses may not have gone away. let's go back to our top story now, the cargo ship being towed to italy after its captain and crew abandoned hundreds of migrants on board. lawrence lee joins us now. lawrence what is happening with the ship now? >> reporter: well, it's -- it's being towed shiulie by an icelandic ship. in a sense it's a different sort of drama to the ones we have seen played out in the mediterranean in recent years. the refugees aren't really in immediate danger. they have got food and water. the boat is not going to capsize or anything like that and it will be several more hours until they get to port. we think probably midnight
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italian time which is almost nine hours from now. they are going to take the ship to somewhere -- there's more shelter, because it hasn't got any power and is basically bobbing around. and you can probably see the sea is very rough and it's very windy, but it doesn't look like anybody is going to die. the really really worrying news is is this now a new tactic by the traffickers, because this is the second in four days where they basically just let an enormous ship go and leave it to people to try to clear up the mess. is this something they are going to try to do over the winter this industrial-scale trafficking. >> i guess the fear is they are going to be finding more and more of these so-called ghost ships sailing around in the mediterranean, and of course that could become more common as
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the conflicts continue around the world. >> well yeah and i don't think for a single second to be honest, that agencies could have ever predicted that a trafficker might try to buy or lease a freighter -- this is a cattle freighter from turkey set it out to sea and just let it go for someone to figure out what they are going to do with it. it's shameless, frankly, in its treatment of people but they are making so much money, when we interviewed the migrants on the first ship they paid almost $6,000 per head. that's $6 million for traffickers. and you are not going to get anybody to go in a dingy in this weather, but if you say to them we'll put you on a freighter that won't sink and someone
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will come and rescue you at some point, then people will do it. and for fronttex they are going to have to go to places like turkey and figure out who might be buying these ships, how difficult or easy is it to spot 500 people moving on to a freighter? it's a complete shift from what we have seen over the last couple of years. the question is whether these two things are an isolated incident, or whether this is going to be the new normal in the middle of winter. >> yeah it's an interesting turn of events. lawrence thanks very much for that. coming up here on the program, is it bad luck or bad habits. the u.s. study is changing the way we look at what causes cancer. plus why buying a packet of cigarettes in south korea has
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become an expensive drag. stay with us. ♪
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♪ welcome back. i'm shiulie ghosh, you are with al jazeera. let's take a look at the main stories, a cargo ship off of the coast of italy is being towed after its captain and crew abandoned hundreds of migrants on board. [ gunfire ] in northern iraq kurdish peshmerga troops have been
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engaged in house-to-house battling with isil fighters. they recaptured a strategic road on the way to mosul. and the high court in sennia has suspended parts of a controversial new security law which caused a fight in parliament when it was passed. the law gives police sweeping powers to deal with terrorist suspects. opponents argue it violates human rights. in sweden hundreds of supporters are reaching out to the muslim community, after the third attack on its mosque in a week. it comes over a time of heightened debate over race and immigration. >> reporter: this is the mosque in the town not far from stockholm, where on new year's day on arson attack took place by a person throwing a molotov
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cocktail. there is a police presence here and also the presence of large number of non-muslim swedish people, who have turned out to show their support. on the doors of the mosque just this morning, dozens as dozens of messages of support and solidarity have been left. >> that everybody can believe in everything and anything. it doesn't matter where you come for. >> i don't know what to say, really. people are so rude these days. i can't -- i don't know how can you do something like that. i just consider like we not you, you, and you. it's just we you know. muslim -- it doesn't matter you know you are all from the same. >> reporter: it was the third such attack in december, and it comes at the end of a year which according to police there were more than a dozen such attacks. and it comes at a time of
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intensifying debate here in famously tolerant sweden about immigration. >> translator: the members of the community are very sad and at the same time very very worried. it's not only what happens here but all of the incidents in the whole country. >> reporter: sweden takes in the largest number of refugees and asylum seekers per capita of any country in the european union, and that's a pretty popular thing with 60% approval according to a 2013 survey. but not everyone is happy, the far right sweden democrats did pretty well in september's election, they want immigration cut by a full 90%, and their support is growing. many of these arson attacks have taken place in areas where support for the far-right party is strong. police in the indian state have caused anger after carrying out a security drill with mock
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targets pretending to be muslim fighters. two videos have emerged. >> jammill, joins us from new delhi. this certainly hasn't gone done well, has it? >> reporter: no, not at all. when this first video came out, the one where we saw people wearing the skull caps you know there was a lot of controversy, even within the governing party here. the chief minister was quick to say that -- quickly to apologize that this happened but said it was an isolated incident. but now on the second we have other video that came out, one
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you saw with the people shouting islamic slogans. this was during a mock terrorist attack. and people are saying this shows that the police are doing this on a regular basis, showing that muslims are terrorists, and even doing it in the training. the police are targeting muslims and in their mind thinking that any muslim is a terrorist. >> so these security drills are common place, are they? >> reporter: they have become so, ever since the 2008 mumbai attacks where pakistani gunmen allegedly killed many people actually it has been since then many of these drills have been practiced across the count think, and this is a particularly sensitive time because in the area itself they are having an international summit, which is one of the reasons to hold the drill at
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this time. also public day ceremonies will begin on january 26th which is why mock drills are happening all over the country. and the worry is that this is just one police force in one state, but it could easily be happening in other countries. >> faiz thank you very much. a pakistanian fishing boat loaded with explosives has blown up in the sea killing all of the people on board. new delhi says the boat was bound for india. in 2008 gunmen from pakistan entered mumbai from the sea to launch an assault that killed 166 people. the family of peter greste is callingptian president to release him to go
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back to australia. on a thursday an appeals court in cairo, ordered a retrial for all three journalists detained in prison. >> i think it's a positive step the decision by the court of cassation accesses the first step was flawed and it is a step towards seeking just advertise for peter. office there is always an initial air of disappointment because there was rumor that they might have been released but really when your loved one is locked up in prison and there is any kind of opportunity that they may be released, and it's dashed it's an an initial shock, but once we have had time to digest the decision and take stock of it, we think it is a positive step because it does acknowledge that the first trial was flawed, and now peter
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becomes an accused person. he is still innocent so it allows the president to step in under the guise of the presidential decree announced in november, and we'll be seeking application to have peter brought back to australia under that decree. egyptian security forces have opened fire on anti-government protesters killing one person and injuring a dozen others. the protest look place in three areas. fighting in eastern yemen has killed five soldiers and two tribesmen. it happened in a province when tribesmen tried to stop a large convoy. and the death toll after a suicide attack in sana'a has gone up to 26 people. israeli prime minister benjamin netenyahu says the international criminal court shouldn't allow palestine to be
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a member. the application was signed by palestinian authority, abbas on wednesday. they want to pursue war crimes against israel and challenge illegal settlement building by israel. the remains of at least three victims of the airasia plane crash have been returned to their families. indonesian authorities and the ceo of airasia were at the ceremony with grieving relatives. 30 victims have so far been recovered from the sea. the search for the more than 152 people on board is being hampered by poor weather. smokers in south korea are getting used to the near doubling in the price of cigarettes. the tax rise is aimed at cutting the country's high smoking rate but health complainers are skeptical. harry fawcett reports. >> reporter: outside any office building in seoul you will see them. sizable groups many men on one
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of many daily cigarette breaks. they have the high est smoking rate of any developed nation. they now have to get used to an 80% tax rise. >> translator: it would have been better if the prize had been increased gradually like 5 to 10%, but without any warning the government just announced that the price would be nearly doubling. >> reporter: the announcement in september lead to panic buying among those what wanted to stock up. shops were limiting customers to one pack per person. cigarette packets in south korea do carry warnings but the language is relatively mild. some anti-smoking campaigners said the government should put pictures on boxes like this. such a move in under
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consideration. campaigners apprize rises aren't enough to cut korea's sky high smoking rate. >> translator: if people can see the impact of smoking on health causing various diseases i think it could reduce smoking by 20 to 30%. >> reporter: smoking in restaurants and cafes is now illegal, special smoking areas now stand empty. and there has been a surge in the numbers of people visiting quick-smoking clinics and looking at e-cigarettes. if even some are yet to be convinced. >> translator: the effect is a bit limited compared to regular cigarettes. >> reporter: if the government has its way plenty more will be feeling the same thing. it's target is a 15% reduction
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in the smoking rate over the next five years. a new study says many cancers could be the result of bad luck. >> reporter: as with all living things, our cells naturally divide and replace themselves with copies. some tissue types divide more often, and sometimes when a mistake or mutation occurs the cells become cancerous. breast prostate or lung cells are more likely to become cancerous. while others become cancerous very rarely. why? the causes aren't clear. scientists look at 31 tissue types notably not breast or prostate cells, but in essence cell division process is like roulette, the more frequently the tissue divided the more likely they were to develop cancer. what then of the other nine
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types? these showed an unexpectedly high rate of cancer. the result is believed to be environmental or inherited factors. these include lung cancer, skin cancer, which is associated with exposure to the sun. the researchers say what emerges is that you can reduce your risk of getting some cancers, through lifestyle factors like not smoking or eating a healthy diet, but for other cases it's a case of bad luck. >> the speed of the replication of cells with the probability of getting cancer so this is a measured piece of work which does not negate the huge scientific evidence we have that links if lifestyle and environmental factors. we have to stop smoking, avoid heavy drinking avoid obesity,
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and lead a healthy lifestyle. all of the day's news and developments of course on our website. check out >> he shoots, he scores. and basketball fans around the country go wild. the shot at the buzzer did not win the game, but it covered the spread. it's inside story. >> hello, i'm ray suarez. all the big team sports in america have taken great pains