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tv   News  Al Jazeera  January 23, 2015 9:00am-9:31am EST

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leaders gather from across the arab world to pay their respects after the death of saudi arabia's king abdullah. hoouz ♪ welcome to the program. you are watching al jazeera live from doha. saudi arabia's new king salman is promising unity. at least 5,000 people with killed in ukraine since last april, and the fighting is escalating. and former thai prime minister says democracy has died in
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thailand after she is banned from politics for five years. ♪ arab leaders have gathered in saudi arabia for king abdullah's funeral. his body has now been moved from the mosque to its final resting place. the elderly ruling died in hospital after being admitted last month with a case of pneumonia, his half brother, salman is now the new king. >> reporter: the world learns of the death of one of its few remaining absolute monarchs. the pass to power was shaped from his birth by tradition and conservatism conservatism. >> translator: the problems of the world are caused by people rejecting the principals of
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joust advertise. >> reporter: he was taught religion and science by islamic scholars. his mother desended from bedouins. as crown prince he took control of the country in 1995 when the king had a stroke. ten years later abdullah became king. there were hopes that the fiercely conservative kingdom would at least open up. >> during his reign he has inspired an openness in two particular areas, for women and in freedom of expression. there is an outburst of criticism in saudi arabia that has happened with the -- let's say tolerance to some something of the saudi government. >> reporter: unemployment and accusations of corruption.
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he encouraged more private enterprise. but that failed to address the prospect of jobless young saudis. he granted women the right to vote and to run for office and they were allowed to do without involving a male guardian. but domestic concerns gave way to global ones when the united states was attacked on september 11th, 2001. 15 of the 19 attackers were saudi citizens. his record on human rights however, has remained controversial. activist who demanded change ended up in jail and political parties and public demonstration demonstrations were banned. king abdull la's next major challenge was iran. the king's foreign policy focused on efforts to contain
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what the sunni monarchy saw as the increasing influence of the shia-lead government of iran. he supported regime change in libya, but by sending troops to support bahrains protesters he may have showed signs of fears in iran. he spent $130 billion in housing, jobs and other special benefits. his critics though believe he could have done more to help his population. rob mathisson, al jazeera. of course there has been reaction to the king's death from around the world, president obama is among those who have paid tribute to the late saudi leader. how have politicians and the media there in the united states been treating the death of king abdullah?
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>> reporter: it's very interesting as you would expect of course, the political leadership has been effusive in its praise of king abdullah. president obama calling it a serious and warm friendship singling out the failed peace initiative with israel the arab peace initiative that was to normalize relations with the arab world. that didn't work but that keeps being singled out as a great achievement of king abdullah. we understand the president will not be going to saudi arabia but the vice president will be leading a delegation to pay the u.s.'s respect. the death was come at an interesting time. saudi arabia incensed by president obama's willingness to engage with iran over its nuclear program. we now have the u.s. cables that
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were leaked which show that saudi arabia urged the u.s. to invade iran. and indeed the u.s. has been more critical of saudi arabia just a few weeks ago, the state department rebuked saudi arabia to its sentencing of a thousand lashes to a political blogger. and there has been some speculation that as the u.s. becomes less reliant on saudi arabia for oil, the relationship may change. but across the media, a very respectful tone. you won't have the sense that the late king was such an opponent of democracy, that they had such a criticized human rights record. having said that though there
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is some mention about the health of the successor, king salman, and the reports we have heard sporadically over the last few years that he suffers from dementia. but overall, king abdullah being remembered as a force of reform and moderation in the u.s. today. >> thanks very much indeed. now the united nations human rights see says more than 5,000 people have been killed in ukraine since last april. this as the conflict is intensifying against in the east of the country. charles have been you seeing signs of that escalation nato is warning about on the ground there? >> reporter: well certainly we have seen signs of that potential escalation, and it comes at a time -- on the same
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day, actually that the rebel heard has warned that he is not interested in anymore attempts at truce talks. he has threatened what we describes as a major offensive here from donetsk out to the edge of the donetsk province about 60 kilometers east and north of here. he says attempts to for peace talks will no longer be taken. we pushed out about 30 kilometers from donetsk to a new front line. we headed north out of donetsk. the rebels of this check point said we could go no further. ukrainian military has retreated only hours before we arrived. the rebels were in control here now. this is about 30 kilometers north of donetsk, and up until yesterday it was onning pied by
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the ukrainian army. the pro-russian rebels have taken over in the last 24 hours, and all that remains is the bunkers and the dead. ukrainian military equipment, a few personal longings are squattered around the trenches. >> it's my motherland. i fight for it. this shows us a video, he says he shot of ukrainian soldiers they had taken as prisoners of war. >> translator: i want to put this on the internet so their families know they are still live. >> reporter: he takes us to a house and shows us graffiti that reads, russian alcoholics get out. most are reluctant to talk. >> translator: i don't support either side. i just want peace. >> reporter: rebels tell us that
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the military retreated to 3 kilometers down this road as we prepared to leave, explosions could be heard in the distance. the rebels say they expect ukrainian forces to try to retake the village at anytime. and charles has this tussle between the pro-russian separatists and the ukrainian government continues i guess it's easy to lose sight of the fact you have ordinary people in the area trying to live their lives. how is all of this affecting them? >> reporter: well as we saw in that report those villagers incredibly living right on the front line some of those people heading towards the ukrainian forces. having to try to get on with their lives. as we drove out of that village there were groups of people standing by the side of the road literally trying to flag us down. there was automatic weapons being fired close by as well.
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and also looking at the kind of impact in terms of new regulations that have been set by the ukrainian government only yesterday a new law that says that any civilians wanting to come in and out of donetsk now must have paperwork by the -- signed off the ukrainian government and solid reasons why they need to come in and out of this region. the ukrainian government saying they are protecting civilians from what they describe as terrorist activity. more than 5,000 people killed since april, and very worrying signs militarily with these threats by the rebels. also threats from ukraine, talking about a buildup of troops and a promise to take on this renewed fighting very seriously. we saw yesterday the battle for the airport, and ukrainian forces leaving the airport. a victory that seemingly the rebels have taken are very proud
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of here, and coming out with these statements of pushing further forward. and the impact on the civilians is increasingly being made very -- evident here. still to come the flip side of north dakota's oil boom. how falling oil prices have hit the native american population. only on al jazeera america
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>> sunday night. >> 140 world leaders will take the podium. >> get the full story. >> there is real disunity in the security council. >> 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. you are watching al jazeera. our top story this hour. arab heards have gathered in
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saudi arabia for king abdullah's funeral. his body has been moved from the mosque to its final resting place. the elderly monarch died in hospital after being admitted last month suffering from pneumonia, and the new king has been the crown prince since 2012. king salman promised to maintain the same approach as his predecessors. houthi rebels in yemen are calling for the formation of military to run the country. >> reporter: a dawn attack in yemen's capital sana'a. shia houthi rebels take stock of the damage. across the country, people have been reacting to what they see
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as a houthi takeover. some in celebration. overs in angry. in this city they demonstrated a besieged president resigned. >> translator: we say to the president he must not run away from taking responsibility. he must complete the peaceful transition of power. we the people will stand with him. >> reporter: but his decision was made under pressure. he has been hold up in his home since the houthis stormed the palace earlier this week. the houthis signed a u.n.-brokered deal after taking control of large parts of sana'a. but they are demanding a bigger say in government. >> reporter: i want to assert again that the crisis can't be resolved other than what you agreed upon through the outcomes of the ndc. i call on you all to have wisdom and national spirit and use the dialogue and political action to
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resolve any disagreement. >> reporter: with the insecurity comes concerns. separatists have called for a split in the north. and supporters there the only line of security against al-qaeda are saying they will no longer take orders from the capitol. some activists view this as the unraffling of hard-gained reforms. >> reporter: they destroy all of the -- the news of our peaceful revolution and the most important thing that they destroyed is the peaceful [ inaudible ]. >> reporter: backed by iran and in control of the capitol, the houthis are also accused of colluding with the former president saleh. a confluence of forces showing who now has power in yemen.
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sons of the former egyptian president mubarak was fridayed on monday morning. they have been sentenced to four years in prison for embezzlement but those charges were overturned earlier this month. egypt's president said he would like to see the case against three al jazeera journalists resolved. our colleagues have now been imprisoned for 391 days. mohammed fahmy, peter peter, and baher mohamed were falsely accused of colluding with the outlawed muslim brotherhood. charges they deny. thailand's former prime minister has hit out at the country's military-backed ruler, saying this marks the end of democracy in the country. scott heidler reports from bangkok. >> reporter: the vote that removed one of the most
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recognizable names in thai politics for five years. they voted friday to impeach her as prime minister. an overwhelming 190 out of 219 voted to kick her out of office. but it's a position she hasn't held since last may, that was the crux of her failed argument that the hearing was illegal. she twice addressed the assembly during the two-week hearing, nearly half are members of the military. the basis for the impeachment, she ignored corruption within her failed rice subsidy program. but some observers feel it was a move to oust her from politic, regardless of the process. >> translator: impeachment is illegal since we no longer have a constitution. the military government did this for political reasons. they want her out of politics and now they are working on a
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criminal case. >> reporter: just before the impeachment vote took place, thailand's attorney general confirmed he will file a criminal case over the rice subsidy program. if convicted she will face at least ten years in prison and not will allowed to re-enter politics. with the news of the impeachment, what of the red shirts the supporters of her party. they said they still take their cues from the party. >> they do not want to rock the boat. they want this military government to function because -- and to let the people judge for themselves but i'm sure they are itching to come out. >> reporter: while her legal team says they will appeal the legality of the impeachment, they con tend the impeachment was legal. >> without achieving both
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accountability and rule of law, i don't think reconciliation will come. >> reporter: but one thing both sides agree on military rule cannot drag on. a path that returns thighland to democracy needs to be revealed soon. indonesia is preparing for a second round of executions despite objections from the international community. six people including five foreigners were executed by firing squad on sunday. liberia is about to receive its firstship of the ebola vaccine vaccine. it's the first ship of initial 300 vaccines will be the first to arrive in one of the three affected countries. [ inaudible ] of democratic
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republic of congo have backed down on a bill that triggered deadly protests this week. they voted to remove the call for a census. malcolm webb one the family of one man who died in the demonstrations. >> reporter: this man's 17-year-old nephew had no interest in demonstrating. they say the president is trying to stay in power beyond the constitutional limited two terms. they were watching police arresting protesters from this upstairs window. >> translator: we heard boom! we both went down. i got up but he didn't. i tried to wake him. then i saw he was injured in the neck. a lot of blood was coming out of the wound. >> reporter: he died here on the
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floor. luke thinks the shot must have been named at him. his family say they want to take legal action against the government. here at the high court, the government has been quick to begin proceedings against the people it says are responsible for looting and organizing the protests. police arrested 300 mostly young men who will be tried here. the first suspects were brought here in this truck. they sat here for hours. this man says he is innocent. he didn't do anything. and lawyers arrive and the first trial begins. the two suspects are charged with looting. one of them says he was a bystander who was arrested by police. the political opposition who called for the process condemned the mass arrests and said the detainees should be released. meanwhile the government denies planned controversial changes in election laws are intended to
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extend the president's rule. >> translator: it's disorder the demonstrations calling on people to cause civil disoh beadance are acts of barbarism. we are in a legal process of improving electoral law. how can that leave the opposition to send youth to destroy people's property. >> reporter: back at the house his family comes together to mourn. his mother told us she has no money and she was depending on him to look after her in her old age. meanwhile the opposition plan more protests but the politics won't bring him back. thousands of people in haiti have protested ahead of a visit by u.s. diplomats. they are calling for the president to step down. he has been ruling by degree since parliament dissolved.
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james bayes reports. >> reporter: an angry crowd mars through the streets of port-au-prince. in recent weeks the prime minister here has resigned and parliament was dissolved. these protesters say the new cabinet supposed to event all political groupings is stacked with loyalists of the president. the so-called consensus cabinet as not stopped the turmoil. protests like these have become an almost daily occurrence. they are not just angry at the president and his cabinet, but also at the international community and the united nations. >> translator: the u.n. mission here only causes problems. we see a lot of soldiers every day, and we don't know what they are here for. they brought cholera to our country, and they rape our women. >> translator: they have been in our country for 11 years and
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nothing has improved. >> reporter: one prominent activist says the under-- u.n. is now hated in the country. >> whenever you have soldiers stepping in a foreign land you are going to have abuses. this is kind of part of it. but the real trouble people have with the u.n. has been this cholera outbreak. i mean you know, it killed more people than all of the so-called insecurity in haiti has done. >> reporter: the u.n. mission costs more than $30 million a month, but if the am bahs ors of the security council speak to ordinary haitians while they are here they may well discover most would prefer they packed up right now and went home. now plunging oil prices are taking their toll on communities around the world.
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in north dakota native american populations control vast expanse expanses of land. but now they are feeling the pinch as john henrin reports. >> reporter: for native americans in north dakota the oil boom has become as much as a curse as a benefit. >> some are just saying i done want to live there anymore. and they are moving. >> reporter: the oil beneath the ground here has earned the nation a billion dollars since the boom began in 2008. the minority of landowners about 4,000 of the 14,000 members profit from drill sites on their property. but for most lifestyles have gone down crime, traffic deaths and cost of living have gone up. >> there is money always but
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the con is drugs, the main one. especially meth. heron -- heroin is becoming a big one. >> reporter: many of the nation say they wish oil had been left in the ground. >> it made it worse, you know? but people liked the money, but, you know i think they are destroying mother earth. >> reporter: then there's the corruption, the last chief was voted out in november accused of enriching his own oil business and partners with an outsider now accused of murder for higher of two business owners. this yacht now standing as a symbol of an era of excess. >> regulation was not a priority here. there were a few select people profitting, you know through the economy, through tribal
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organizations, through contracts, through -- and it was through the support of the chairman, and at the time i had no home there was guys getting $50,000 bonuses for doing no work. >> reporter: the new chairman says he wants the nha nation to make its government more accountable, spread the wealth and revive traditional values. >> we have got to build for the future for our children because this boom will be over one day. it will be. that could be the greatest catastrophe for us. that we allow this boom to occur, and we wake up 25 years from now, and we look back and life is worse, our lands are destroyed. our social unity in disarray. >> reporter: with the sunsetting on high oil prices and tribal revenues expected to drop from $400 million to $300 million this year the mha nation will have less to work with to turn its fortunes around.
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