>> we have an exclusive story tonight, and we go live... iraqi forces say they are making gains in their latest offensive against isil fighters around the city of tikrit. ♪ ♪ i am jane dutton. these are the stories making the news on al jazerra. moscow prepares for the funeral of russian opposition liter boris nemtsov he was shot dead to the russian capital. my speech is not intend today show any disrespect to president obama. >> washington and israel play down tensions surrounding prime minister benjamin netanyahu controversial visit to the u.s., plus. >> reporter: i am veronica
pedroza in bangkok tie thailand. we will be are looking looking at tie ways to see if they can get out of debt and mack a soft landing. ♪ ♪ iraqi forces say they are making gains in their latest offensive against isil fighters north of baghdad. a very iranian commander is reportedly helping to direct the offensive. but the u.s. says it isn't providing air support because it hasn't been requested. around 20,000 soldiers and militia fighters are advancing on tikrit. it's been under the control of isil since june, jane arraf joins us from baghdad now. it seems to be going pretty well for the iraqi forces, talk us through what is happening join? >> reporter: it's going slowly. but they are continuing their march towards the city of tikrit. in the last few hours we recall
hold that iraqi forces and the shia partners with them are seized a box-making factory. in the down of al dor. it's significant because it's a hometown of the sadam hussein's former right-hand man still out there and said to be one of the allies of isil. when they rolled in to iraq last june. the iraqi military also says they have seized a key mountain range. around tikrit itself they are still fight to go get to within the city limits. basically they are being held back by all sorts of explosives, laid by the group. as well as snipers. it's a tough fight. and it could take sometime. jane. >> reporter: the assault iraqi forces have already recaptured towns in the northern province
from the islamic state of iraq and the levant but the prize is at that treat for the rememberer berth day of sam hughes and heartlands of the sunni community. >> thiscommunity. >> translator: this is prepared for the isil contracts, we will crush them all over the state. >> reporter: it was seeingsed during a blitz attack last summer i'm force of around 20,000 backed by fighter jets and helicopters has stormed tikrit. shia militias 22,000 sunni fighters have joined in massive army operation. but it's feared that the largely shia-led attack could unfairly target sunnies in this region. returning to parliament after a two-week boycott sunni politicians say threats have been made against people living inside the province. army says it has recaptured a town from a group loyal to aisles. they are getting significant report from iran.
this video from iranian state tv is said to show the offensive. the commander of iran's elite revolutionary guard the general is heavily involved. tikrit is the biggest challenge so far to iraq's military. it's also a test as the country prepares to take back mosul in the coming months. the strong hold of isil in iraq, al jazerra. >> and jane, the fact that iran is there and the u.s. is not? >> reporter: interesting, isn't it? the u.s. says that it wasn't asked to provide air support for this but clearly it is providing military advice. this fight is so complicated and with so much potential for things to go wrong and to deepen the sectarian divide is something that the u.s. is quite squarewary of. but it also doesn't want to be
scene as taking sides here. now, the prime minister told parliament yesterday in trying to reach out to the sunnis, that anyone who wasn't with the fight against isil was l a helping ice it's. not really a conciliatory message but an indication of how deep the divide here is still. and particularly around tikrit. >> thank you for that, jane arraf. activists say at least four people have been killed no government air strikes in syria. they reportedly hit the town in the countryside. ooh-rah jim air strikes also hit another town north of
there. the u.n. says political parties are returning to the negotiating table in yemen. previous talks broke down when some parties protested against what they call heavy-handed tactics by the houthi rebels in the capital sanaa mohamed reports. >> reporter: these women are marching against the houthi coup. they are calling for yemen to be ruled again by an elected
government and for all political prisoners to be released of a u.n. announcement that talks have resumed rekindled some hope hope. >> translator: everyone has returned to the negotiating table and this will help us move forward without any delay to reach a political solution. >> reporter: all political powers are is are said to be taking part, including those who refused for participate in the negotiations that followed the take over by the shia rebels. since the coup last month the houthis put the president under house arrest, dissolved apartment and improved ties with iran.
the fact that all sides are meeting is seen as a breakthrough. but expectations are a solution are low. these are negotiations before substantive talks can begin. among other issues, the fate of this man hangs in the balance. hadi's detention by the houthis he moved to the southern port city of aden with withdrew his resignation and demanded the
return to legitimacy. >> translator: they do not flow that the dialogue will bring those oppressed for 10s of years, the results of the dialogue support a united yemen. >> reporter: hadi got support from gulf countries and elsewhere, saudi arabia promised help and the u.s. says he is the legitimate president. >> we strongly support those who are speaking to lead yemen to implementation of the national dialogue outcomes and completion of the task of the gcc initiative. >> reporter: taking power back from the houthis is not going to be eads i their leader has accused a key political party of colluding with al qaeda. his fighters still hold the prime minister and other yemeni politicians in the capital sanaa. on the other side yemeni leaders called the houthis iran's thugs for hire. the separatists among them are dozens of factions who are unclear whether they want to be part of yemen.
among all of this the people of yemen are faced with a deteriorating political and security situation. this protest by medical staff was against the kidnap of their colleague and a french woman. the hope and the resolution of the crisis hinges on the ability of those wielding power to talk to each other. mohamed, al jazerra. aden. libya's internationally recognized parliament has agreed to return to u.n.-brokered peace talks with its rival government following a meet with this u.n. an say stojakovic to libya. they say they will meet for talks only if it's recognized as the sole government. it suspended talks last week in trip three after a series of suicide bombings. in the coming hours israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu will address a joint sitting of the u.s. congress, he's expect today layout why he opposes the terms of a potential nuclear deal with iran. netanyahu gave a preview of his controversial speech on monday. when he spoke at the pro israel
lobby a peck's annual conference in washington, tom ackerman reports. >> reporter: as in previously reports, netanyahu received a warm welcome before aipac the american israel pab lick affairs committee. one of washington's most powerful pressure groups this, time netanyahu took pains to assure his difference with his president obama over iran should not split democratics from republicans in their traditional staunch support in israel. >> i regret some people perceive my visit here as doing that, israel has always been a bipartisan issue and it should always remain a bipartisan issue. >> reporter: nevertheless many in the u.s. jewish community are describing as a tactical mistake netanyahu's accepting the republican invitation to speak before a joint meeting of congress without first notifying the white house. they say he's forcing democrats to choose between israel and obama. just as the negotiation to his reach a framework nuclear
agreement reached a crucial phase. u.s. secretary of state john kerry signaled that netanyahu should not leak any specifics of ideal that israel may find unacceptable. >> now, we are concerned by report. that suggest selective details of the ongoing negotiations will be discussed publically in the coming days. i want to say clearly that doing so would make it more difficult to reach the goal that israel and others say they share. in order to get a good deal. >> reporter: well, obama will not meet netanyahu here, the president said their current dispute should not be exaggerated. >> it's been a distraction. i think that in the meantime negotiators are going full speed ahead. ultimately what's been remarkable is that the international unity we have been able to maintain. and saying to iran, you have to show the world that you are not pursuing a nuclear weapon. >> reporter: but netanyahu indicated that iran should be forced to dismantle its nuclear
program well before it can weaponnize. >> israel and the united states agree that iran should not have nuclear weapons. but we disagree on the best way to prevent iran from developing not weapons. >> reporter: the israeli leader says he has no intention of getting caught up in domestic american politics but that perception may be hard to avoid especially if his speech on tuesday helps to push congress to adopt everybody tighter sanctions against iran in die fines of obama. tom ackerman, al jazerra washington. thousands of mourners in russia have filed past the coffin of the murdered opposition leader boris nemtsov. he was shot in moscow on friday. rory challe challands has the latest. >> reporter: long, long lines of people waiting outside the center here in moscow. the they are bringing flowers and candles waiting to get in to the building where they can
leave their offerings at the coffin of boris nemtsov. not just ordinary people here, of course, but a very high level delegation coming from all 28 countries of the european union. i saw john major the former british prime minister arrive here a short while ago. we have heard that the polish senate leader was barred entry to russia, because of being on the russian sanctions list. but as i say representatives of all 28 european union countries here. after the memorial service the body of boris nemtsov will be taken to a cemetery also in moscow where he will finally be laid to rest. now, as to the investigation itself the investigative team are saying things like they are examining cctv footage, they have confiscated various pieces of evidence and they are opening various lines of examination. but we haven't heard anything particularly conclusive,
particularly substantive coming out of the investigation so far. the girlfriends of boris nemtsov has been finally allowed home to kiev ukraine. anna was held for a good amount of time after the killing on friday. not a suspect but obviously the most significant witness in this killing. but, of course if you speak to people close to boris nemtsov his friends his associates, they are certainly not expecting that this investigation is going to lead to anything in terms of justice. still more ahead on al jazerra, including accusations from both sides of the conflict in eastern ukraine that they are not fully abiding by an agreed ceasefire. and calls for better treatments of nigh grant in the u.k. some say they are treated more like criminals than victims.
>> if somebody did something to my girl, i need to know that. >> was is a case of discrimination? >> we had no help from the police. >> a family pleads for answers. "stolen sisters", an "america tonight" special report. tomorrow, 10:00 eastern. only on al jazeera america. ♪ ♪ hello again, the top stories on al jazerra. iraqi forces say they are making gains in against isil fighters. a senior iranian commander is reportedly helping direct the iraqi offensive. the u.s. says it's not providing air support because it hasn't been asked. the u.n. says political parties are return to this negotiating table in yemen after they broke down, president hadi says he wants the talks to room in the saudi capital. mourners in russia are lining up to view the body of the murdered opposition leader boris nemtsov. you can see live pictures coming from there now the kremlin
critic was shot in the back this a drive by shooting in moscow on friday. new leaked recordings alleged are you will he veal howie just ahowegypt military and president were going to take money from buildings. speaking to his chief of staff about how sisi apparently discussed taking commission from a residential project. >> translator: i will collect collect to fee for election these at this. >> he will take it. >> he will take it but we will take 50% that's the reality you see what i mean? >> the tape is part of a series indicating leaks with the united united arab emirates. senior lecture and you are study of islam at kings college in london he said the conversations were probably leak today embarrass the government. >> what makes the tapes interesting, is of course, the timing. why these leaks come to the surface right now.
and at this points in time. it was already known for quite a while that the uae was a very important player in propping up the egyptian economy ever since the take over by the military and subsequent election of jenny to the presidency. the interesting questions now are, of course, who leaked it and with which objectives. if we look a little bit at the context, there are still parliamentary elections that need to take place in egypt. and they are due to take place this month although last week it appeared that because of a court ruling they might have to be postponed. so it's quite possible that certain political players in egypt have an interest in making this kind of news coming in to the open right now to embarrass the government. the leaders of russia, ukraine, france, and germany have held a telephone conversation on the ongoing crisis in eastern ukraine. both ukraine and the rebels say
they are acting in line with the deal made in minute of course last month. but the u.s. says pro-russia separatists have only withdrawn weapons from some parts of the front line, john lend ron reports from rebel-held donetsk. >> reporter: the machinery of war keeps rolling through a fragile ceasefire. >> reporter: the silents is broken baby lie small arms fire and mortars. that's ours he says. >> translator: in principle the ceasefire is holding but there is regular small arms fire so complete ceasefire can't exist. before you arrived here, several small shells land odd our side. before we fired back, there were grenade launchers fire at us. >> reporter: as occasional volleys routinely violate the tenuous ceasefire a report released monday by the united nations found 6,000 people have died so far. separatists say it is ukrainian forces who are violating the ceasefire. >> translator: the ceasefire from our side, we are not just
trying, we are upholding it completely. the firing yesterday was because the ukrainian side again violated the minsk agreement and started to open fire. >> reporter: a year in to the conflict in eastern ukraine the death toll continues to rise on a landscape transformed by the war. and with each passing day the frontline continues to shift. in weekend fighting, three were killed. three here expect the ceasefire to hold. >> translator: we are strengthening our defenses in preparation for the next offensive. wewe are briefs paying to deflect their attack. >> reporter: if that happens with accept sift tops appearing to want to expand the gains they have already made, the front lines could shift again,. pakistani police have arrested hundreds of parents accused of refuse to go vaccinate their children against polio. nearly 500 people have been jailed in the northwest of the country on charges of
endangering public security. widespread arrests for vaccine refusal are rare in pakistan, but local officials say it shows how determined the government is to irradicate the disease. health workers have also been the target of taliban attacks in the past. india's foreign secretary is it lamb bad for two days of talks with his pakistani counterpart. it's their first meeting since india called off talks last year which were aimed at easing tensions between the nuclear rivals. in a moment we'll hear from faiz jamil but first let's go to islambad with kamal hyder. >> reporter: it's given importance because of the fact that relations between india and pakistan have dipped to an all-time low. even though his visit is connected to promoting connectivity at this as well as trade within the regional states, pakistan is going to be asking india to talk about the
contentious issues such as the issue you of kashmir and water distribution. now, although nobody expected any substantive talks on those key obstacles between the two there were an he expectation that they would perhaps promote the resumption of dialogue between new delhi and islambad. pakistan has shown its concern at a time when it says that it is operate on the ground its western border against the taliban pakistan and united states it not want to see an escalation on the country as eastern frontier with india. importantly the visit is also seen as perhaps a ray of hope for resume that go dialogue. but too many problems still remain between the two countries. and for more we go to our correspondent in new delhi faiz jamil. >> reporter: kamal, relations between india and pakistan appear to be warming up last year after a new prime spinster was elected and up righted
pakistan's prime minister for the swearing it. it was seen as a bold step and a possibility breakthrough in relations. but it was short lift. india canceled talks scheduled last year after they accused india of violating a line in kashmir and met with kashmir-y separatist leaders here in new deal a after that delhi. until then neither side was interesting in talking until president obama owe came here and suggested they speak. new here are being cautious about the outcome of today's meeting. a group of poll ties in the u.k. is strongly criticize the the country's detention system for refugees, it is the only european country that doesn't have a limit on the amount of time migrants can be held. while their applications are processed. lawrence lee reports. >> reporter: the critics say they are more like prisons
which can hold people indefinitely while they wait to find out if they are going to be thrown out of the u.k. so the fact that the committee of politicians from all three major parties has acknowledged that there is a problem does mean something. >> i think the problem with the system at the moment is that it is completely ineffective. and we hold people for far too long and we hold people who are extremely vulnerable in detention and their anxiety levels rise and rise and rise and causes he norm he is distress, if you have a culture of disbay leave and lots of stressed people it's inevitable you are going to get mistreatment of people on the ground and it's not good enough. >> reporter: michael was born in ghana, but group and went to school in britain yet still they tried to deport him. he spent three years in detention. >> detention broke me. it broke me to the core. i mean, the uncertainty, i cannot -- unless you have been and lived through it, the uncertainty is unimaginable. i mean, i went through stages
where i thought, you know, i have had enough. >> reporter: campaigners for leakpeople like michael hope they can step toward treating people with more humanity. >> one of the most important things about this report is it does call for a a systemic shift in the whole control of migration and removal as way from this knee jerk enforcement as a first resort towards engaging with migrants in the community. >> reporter: the committee says it wants people like rape victims or pregnant women to be spared detention entirely but time limits aren't the only issue, there are persistent suggestions of mistreatment of people inside the wider immigration system. this man died while being restrained by two guards as they put him on a plane out of the country. abusive, racist texts were discovered on the phones of the guards that, sorts of obligation isn't a one off. it's certainly significant that politicians are finally
acknowledging what migrant rights campaigners have been saying for years, which is that there is a brew taillight taye about the descension tims. less good news, perhaps, is that national elections are just two months away and it's genuinely difficult to imagine any of the mainstream party leaders thinking that there are votes to be won in better rights for immigrants. lawrence lee, al jazerra in central london. fire fighters in south africa are battle to go put out wild fires in cape town. strong winds and hot temperatures are challenging effort to contain the bases. the fires are causing widespread damage to thousands of hectares of lands. hundreds of shanties have been destroyed in a fire in the philippines it happened at a compound in the capital of manila. some accuse the fire services of being too slow in their response. in me myanmar police have blocked students protests. in response people in the town
staged a sit-in. they want the government to scrap a newly-passed education law that she say curbs academic freedom. police have warned tell take action to restore law and order if the protesters try to bring their rally there. thai airways as been operating a at a loss the government is considering improving a restructuring plan. thousands of jobs are at risk. now more from bangkok. >> reporter: thailand's main international airport seems to be busy as ever, but last year there was an almost 7% drop in the number of travelers. thai airways the national carrier is in trouble not just because of a drop in tourists, but also its $6.1 billion debt. it's been reported the airline may be technically insolvent with debt out stripping assets and insufficient debt coverage.
so what is the plan? and how did it come to this? the sixth thai airways president since 2000. >> the environment changes. the competitor changes. but we did not. efficiently i believe we can compete in the continental side. but admittedly on the low cost side which is the domestic and regional, we still have a way to go. but it is possible as we have seen our competitors of similar size are doing it. >> reporter: thai airway is his a listed state enterprise that's been operating at a loss for six quarters. now, how the government decides to deal with that and manage the process is a key test at a time when the economy is struggling. already three routes have been axed and governments officials say assets like planes will be sold. perhaps most painfully as much
as 20% of the workforce who thought they had jobs for life as government workers are to be let go. the tough decisions will be made by eye new body in charge of reforming state industries called the super board. >> this is probably the first case of the super board to show that they are doing something to reform state-owned end prize. and for them they probably have to think about thai airways as a company that is competing in the international aviation industry. as well as a company that is representative of thailand. >> reporter: the biggest expense for the company has been identified as employees' salaries. yes, the government want to trim expenses but that's not going to be much comfort for the 25,000 employees uncertain of their
future. veronica pedros, a al jazerra bangkok. that story and so much more canning found on our website we are leading with the funeral taking place in moscow of the murdered opposition leader. the website address aljazerra.com. this is tech no . this is a show about science by scientists. tonight, techno journeys into the jungle. this is one of the iconic animals of costa row