the battle for sultan abdullah for control of the strategic village. hello there. i am julie mcdonald. this is al jazeera live from london. also coming up more violence and political turmoil in yemen as houthi rebels reject a unification agreement. >> israel's prime minister tries to justify cutting off critical tax revenues to the palestinians. looking to the future can russia return to the forefront of science, or are its glory days over?
hello. welcome to the program. in northern iraq kurdish peshmerga forces are battling fighters from the islamic state around the village of sultan abdullah close to the isil stronghold of mosul, an important defensive position for isil fighters heavy fighting in sultan abdullah for days now. peshmerga forces are gaining ground. there are still pockets of resistance from isil. the village is a source of water for the surrounding area. mohammed joins peshmerga fighters as they battled for control. >> this is a front line for kurdish peshmerga fighters one of many dotting the countryside of northern iraq. a few hundred meters away is the village of sultan abdullah. two days ago it was the sea of heavy fighting between the islamic state in iraq and
kurdish peshmerga forces. peshmerga now control the village, but it's still within the range of isil fire. we were advised against going in to the village. >> it's the front line. the mortars almost daily. every day, there is a mortar between us and them. >> unexploded bombs litter the area around the camp. they say isil has killed some of their men. a few kilometers blind the sultan abdullah front lines is the village of. alama, destroyed military vehicles and walls riddled with bullet holes are stark reminders of the battles fought here. >> in some of the villages recently overtaken by the peshmerga, life is slowly returning to normal as more people feel courageous enough to return to their homes. but they are facing many problems. this will family remains behind
when the rest of the villagers fled. he says they need urgent help. >> we have no food no fuel no cooking gas, no electricity and even more essentially, we have no clean water. we appeal to the authorities to bring us water and food. it's very cold and the children are suffering. >> he feels relieved that isil is no longer in control of their village. >> we are punished for even the smallest actions. if someone smokes cigarettes they say you are not a muslim. if a member of your family was a government soldier, you will be punished. so it was anyone who had links with the kurds. >> the peshmerga, too came with their own problems for the people of. alama. they accused some of "the sun"i airabs of supporting isil. >> my cousin is one of the 16 people taken away by the peshmerga. we don't know where they are. they accused them of being isil
members. but they are not. >> back at the front line peshmerga fighters take advantage of a lull in fighting to prepare their weapons. others clean their guns. they say they are out gunned by isil and unless this changes, their line would not continue to hold. mohammed adow al jazeera on the front lines of northern iraq. ♪ >> a crisis in yemen is deepening with a series of blows against hopes the country can somehow be held together. several people are dead after a bombing at the presidential guest house in damar city around 100 kilometers south of sanaa. the victims include four fighters from the houthi movement. >> controls large areas of the country as well as the houthi t.v. reporter and the yemeni army colon on el shot dead in a separate incident outside his
house in the city of yaka. are. on the political front, the houthi leader has rejected last year's agreement to divide the country into six federally organized regions. the houthi did have taken over large parts of yemen since that deal and control most of the army. he is also threatening to move his men into the oil-rich mareb prove incident. following events in the yemeni capital, sanaa. >> the first time that a houthi leader came out and announced the regression of his group to the idea of dividing yemen into six regions. he says this is a western scheme backed by regional powers to have a weak and divided yemen. the irony in this is that the houthis have agreed to dividing yemen last year in something called the national conference and it was attending by all of the key political players in
this country including the houthis. what changed, i think, is the fact that the houthis feel emboldened after take ugging over most part of the katetrine including the capital sanaa in september and i think they have the will or the power to impose their political world moving on. an ngo in this country, a research center based here in sanaa painted a grim picture for yemen in last year. it says, about 7,000 civilians or rather people died in the violence. it says the country's military is very weak. the army and military are divided and that the houthi rebels are now in control of 70% of the army's capability did. >> a suicide car bomb has killed at least four people in the somali capital, mogadishu. it targeted a convey carrying intelligence on the road to the international international
these men are at risk of losing their salaries. israel says it won't be transferring over a million dollars in response to the palestinians joining the international criminal covered. in sunday's weekly cabinet meeting, the israel prime minister had this to say: >> translator: the palestinian authority has chosen to launch a confrontation with the state of israel and we are not sitting idly by. we will not allow the dragging of idf soldiers and idf
commanders to the international criminal court at the hague. the ones who should face justice are the heads of the palestinian authority who entered an appliance with the hamas war criminals. >> reporter: he is referring to a unity government formed last year between abbas's fa. . ah party and hammats which israel considers a terrorist organization. ♪net says they have more to fear in their decision to join the icc. it's a statement dismissed by the palestinian leadership. >> it will be an amazing historical case where the victim becomes the murderer. for the israelis to claim that we are the ones who are actually the criminals and that we should be, i don't think anybody will ever take this seriously, and everybody knows that the only sort of acts of aggression that has been committed are done by the israelis against our people. >> mohammed s. iher resigned during the last round of talks with israel. he says after the failure of
multiple peace talks and the recent regression at the u.n. where they tried to set a time frame to end israel's occupation taking the legal option at the icc is the next step. for all of the political bother many palestinians say they have lost confidence that any lasting solution will be found. for them there seems to be no end to israel's occupation. people here believe going to the international criminal court is the only way to put pressure on israel. >> this is a step we should have taken before. we are weak and we have no other option. president abbas tried to do this to protect his people and his country. israel is trying to pressure us and the americans, too, to not join the icc. >> joining the icc was a move made by the palestinians for mansion maximum impact. it's been a major concern for israel. it's not clear where it leaves any political solution on the ground. stefanie dekker ramallah in the occupied west bank. >> the oslo accord makes it easy for israel to withhold
palestinian tax revenue as punishment crippling the already struggling economy. victoria explains. >> reporter: this is not the first time israel has frozen monthly tax transfers to the palestinian authority n may, 2011, israel withheld $100 million over a palestinian unity deal that brought together hamas with its secular rival fattah. in 2012,itsis withheld more than $120 million in response to the overwhelming vote at the u.n. general assembly to recognize the state of palestine and it imposed a similar punishment in april, 2014, after p.a. president mahmoud abbas applied to join a series of international treaties and conventions conventions. itsis should transferred about $100 million a month to the pal tin scans. it accounts for two-thirds of the budget. without the money, the pa cannot pay the 165,000 public sector workers it employees, people
like policemen, doctors, nurses and teachers. pas' sals support one quarter of the population and because it is government depend event, these employees and the monies they spend form the economic backbone of the occupied territory. >> the program director of international relations and social sciences a lot regent's university in london. you a warm welcome. explain to me why it is that israel collects taxes on behalf of the palestinian authority. ? >> william, it's part of the economic arrangement going back to the 1990s at the oslo agreement which because the palestinians for instance, don't have polls post of the info is going through israeli polls. if they sendend in the palestinarea then you add a tax, actually collected by the israeli and supposed to be put in palestinian hands.
the same for palestinians purchasing israel goods and the va. >> talking about quite a large amount of money. aren't we? who is affected by this move? >> well because it amounts to around two-thirds of the palestinian budget it affects all of the services. if this money doesn't come in it means the teachers policemen, health service, welfare, everything is basically come to a standstill. and they can survive a month or two without it, can be replacement to the substitduties for this money but at the end of the day, this is crucial for the palestinian authority. without it the authority might collapse all together. >> what do you think it will take for things to return? i use the word "normal" loosely in this situation. what do you think it will take for that money? >> it's an abnormal situation. >> yeah. >> at the end of the day, i think the israelis are bluffing. they are trying to pressure the palestinians not toapply and join
the icc. however, they don't want to bring to the collapse of the pa because what is going to be instead of the pa? it will anger hamas to more extreme. om today, theisitsi found a cell of is youis in hebron. they need the pa. in way, they know the israelis need them. they creates a vacuum political vam vacuum, that more extreme elements will enter or it will force the israelis to bring back to 1993 and a full-blown occupation everywhere and running the plates and showing that there is law and order and health and education. those, the israelis don't want. >> was this the right move strategically for israel? what is the grander plan here? >> unfortunately, they don't have a grand plan. they move from it day-to-day and
they are in elections times and this bravado has a lot to do with elections. in many ways both sides are using the doomsday scenario. the isis seems things that the israeli did are afraid of because they don't want to see any politicians or generals indicted by the icc. and they say, minister maybe we should just dissolve the pa. so they keep threatening each other with kind of the doomsday weapon. however, both know that this won't bring them better. it might be the collapse of the pa and the fattah movement all together to make israel's position worse. at the end of the day, nothing can substitute and replace peace negotiations that will be a more reasonable and rational way. this doesn't prevail right now there. it will if it happens, it will have to wait after the israeli elections. >> thank you very much for joining us with your thoughts. appreciate it. >> my pleasew. thank you.
al jazeera continues to demand the immediate release of our three journalists who have been imprisoned in egypt for more than a year now. they were wrongly convicted of broadcasting false news and helping the outlawed muslim borrowerhood which they and al jazeera deny. an appeals court in cairo ordered a retrial that could begin within a month. lawyers have filed requests for them to be deported from egypt. still ahead on al jazeera: not dead or alive. the cemetery in france with no room for a roma baby. we will have the latest from buenos aires where the dakar rally has just got underway. >> pan am flight 103 explodes december 21st, 1988
was the right man convicted? >> so many people, at such a high level, had the stake in al-megrahi's guilt >> the most definitive look at this shocking crime >> the major difficulty for the prosecution that there was no evidence >> al jazeera america presents lockerbie part three: what really happened?
>> about issues that impact your world. >> infectious diseases are a major threat to health. >> "the week ahead". sunday 8:30 eastern. only on al jazeera america. welcome back. a reminder the top stories here on al jazeera. after battletion isil fighters for several days a kurdish peshmergaforce have taken control of a strategic village. abdullah provides water for the area and an important defensive position for isil. yemen has slipped further into chaos with a leader of the houthis rejecting a longstanding plan to split the country into six federal states. it comes as violence in the country continues. the five houthis killed in a bomb attack. is is threatening further action against the palestinians in response to their bid to join the international criminal court. israeli government has already frozen tax revenues it collects on behalf of the palestinian
authority. a mayor in france is being accused of racism for refusing to allow a baby from the roma community to be buricked. it's quoted as saying local tax taxpayers should have priority because of the shortage of plots. ari smith has the story. >> reporter: on monday a baby girl will be buried here in the paris suburb of woussiu. she died of sudden infant death syndrome at the age of two and a half months. her family wanted to lay her to rest in champan where she was born and lived with her parents and two siblings who go to school in the town. the local mayor refused permission because he said there were few plots available. he also told the paris newspaper that priority in the cemetery in champlan is given to those who pay their local taxes. am the implication being that the dead baby's family do not
because they are roma. campaigners for the roma community in france say the decision is racism. >> it's clear they don't want them dead or alive. the family is suffering just as much pain as any french family who lose a baby. it's exactly the same thing. how can they refuse this? it's disgusting unjust inhuman. >> the mayor in woussiu is a doctor who has treated the family but said even if he never met them he would still have offered them a burial place. >> you just have to put yourself in the place of this mother of these parents, to understand that they have just lost a piece of their world, not being allowed to have their child rest in peace. it's not acceptable. it's not human. when i heard about the refusal, i am not trying to judge. i am not trying to express any point of view. my reaction was we will accept her in you our village. >> the mayor later apologized saying his remarks had been misinterpreted and offered his
condolences to the family who haven't been named. the case has raced once again the treatment of france's 20,000 roma who have long suffered discrimination, poverty and unequal access to public services. harry smith, al jazeera. thousands of police officers along with dignity terri and an our mourners have attended the funeral of a new york city policeman. he was murdered along with his partner last month. the killer said he was seeking vengeance for unarmed black men at the hands of white. it has deepened the rift of the mayor and members of the 40s. courtney keeley has been in new york. let's go live to kourtney now. hi. what has been happening? >> reporter: it's blen an incredible, bone-crunching terrible day. what you are seeing here behind me is a moment of levity. now, the police officers have been put at ease.
the ceremony has just finished. and the body has been taken, the officer lui has been taken to cypress hill cemetery nearby. there is seemingly, at least hundreds of police officers escorting that casket slowly through the streets. there was a lot of pomp ceremony bulls playing taps the national anthem and it was just the end of what is a terrible two weeks for the nypd because these two officers were killed two weeks ago saturday. they were killed in what the police commissioner called an assassination, sitting in their patrol car outside a housing project in brooklyn targeted by somebody who wanted to kill police officers. and the reason he did was there had been numerous episodes in receipt weeks and months across the country of unarmed black men being killed and then not seeing justice served. there have been protests in the streets in places like ferguson
cleveland and we saw them here in norma month ago. but we had officer ramos funeral last week last sunday vice president biden was in attendance. tens of thousands of officers came out from across the country to support the nypd in their time of trouble and to pay tribute to this officer. officer liu was a different story. he had an american story. he was a chinese immigrant. he was pursuing the american dream. he had married two months ago. his father spoke a local dialect from southern china and it was just a tragic tragic scene today. >> courtney keely, thank you very much. now, at least three people have been seriously injured as they were caught up in fighting between reynolds and ukrainian forces despite a cease-fire in the area rebel fighters engaged with the army in the embattled city. it is unclear who fired first. locals say that rebels broke the
truce. the rebels put the blame on government soldiers. meanwhile in luhan separatist security fors say rebel commander has been killed as they went to arrest him on murder charges emergency teams have called off the search of the 8 man crew of a cement chip missing after it capsized off the north coast of scotland. four lifeboats have been at the scene since the crew of a passing ferry spotted the partially submerged hull on saturday. no distress call was heard from the ship which was encountering heavy seas. 7 of the crew are polish the the other missing man is from the philippines. >> at the vatican action pope francis has picked 15 new cardinals from 14 different countries to join the high ranks of the catholic church. they include cardinals from cape verde and tsonga. pope francis says the clerics tie the church of rome to the chefrnlingz of the world. all 15 will be eligible for the pope's successor.
the russians were the first to put a man in to space. the country's reputation for scientific excellence has collapsed in recent decades. now, efforts are being made to restore former glory. but as rory challands reports in the first of our two-part series on russian science, the country is facing an uphill struggle. the opening roof let's in early winter chill into the observatory. barice is used to this. he is young, a potential future star but the 569 ron mer is already well aware of the challenges faced by russian scientists. challenges that go beyond having to wrap up warm. >> there is this gap between us and the developed countries. this requires a lot of resources. i think the main policy is that science is not very important. >> this observatory here was built in the 1950s, which was a golden period for soviet science
lasting through until at least the 19 sents. the collapse of the soviet union dealt a crippling blow to research here all that money and prestige that had been lavished on signits just disappeared. it drove many of the scientists who had made soviet science world beating to leave for the west. hour are the ones who stayed and their protocol jays doing now? a spanish firm that monitors monitors academic journals puts only russia's dominance academy of sciences in the world's top 100 scientific institutions and last year ranged the country 15th for scientific research. the problem, say some are not just about money. they are cultural and structural, too. >> really i would say kind of careless that these programs but it's very unclear actually what they want at the very end. so money invested but then it
disappears and we come back. they are not approaching in my opinion, some goal. >> vladimir putin had a decree saying institute should compete for it and stop assuming they would just be handed cash. another policy sea change for russia's scientists to cope with when they just want to reach for the stars. rory challands, al jazeera, moscow. >> it's billed as the toughest motor rates on the planet the 37th dakar rally is underway in south america. over the next 13 days more than 400 vehicles will face 9,000 kilometers of some of the worst terrain in the world, a loop which inc. corp rates argentineargentina, chile and bolivia. from buenos airies. >> extreme motor support is what it is about mark koma looking 4 his 5th win. the company that has dominated the motorcycle category for 13 years in succession.
>> we are many riders here but only one can win. let's hope that we would be the winner. let's see if we are lucky. well there is a lot more to this event than luck although it's needed in good measure. winner of last year's car category driving a mini is fellow spaniard nani roma. his team could be under pressure with the return of rivals pugeo. and their winers is former winner stefan peter hanzel. some of the toughest king he knows are faced by the private entrance and motorcyclists like this italian who used to race yach. s competing for the first time. >> i used to make a lot of regularat rega. . a with boats that are similar. >> deserts and mountain rages present extraordinary risks whether you are on a motorcycle a quad bike driving a car or a truck. the dakar rally's natural home
is on the african continent but it moved in 2009 because of the security situation in the sahara. the crowds need no warming up whatsoever. south americans love their mo. or sport particularly here in argentina. since this rally came from the sahara. they have truly adopted this race. >> they want the race to stay here to bring more tourism. it should alternates stay here. it can strengthen the unity between latin americans. >> the rally director says even if they could return to africa south america could still be a venue. >> one year, in south america, it could be to best balance between the two and it's a dream. i hope one day i can do it, we
will do it. >> for now though people are used to the extreme motor sport fever here andrew simmons, al jazeera, buenos air eshingdz. >> look at our website, aljazeera.com. >> ...i come around that corner... >> you don't want this? >> no, i think we should do it how we would normally... no exceptions >> should i also be in the picture? >> yeah [laughs] are you alright