Skip to main content

tv   News  Al Jazeera  March 9, 2015 3:00pm-3:31pm EDT

3:00 pm
joining the fight against boko haram, 200 fighters reported dead as troops from chad and niger take back two nigerian towns. ♪ hello there, i am barbara sarah, you are watching al jazerra live from london. also coming up on the program iraqi forces stepped up their fight against isil moving in on three areas held by the group. talk less and do more, greece's prime minister signs a warn to go his high-profile finance manager as europe tells
3:01 pm
both of them to stop wasting time. >> you can receive calls on your watch. >> and watch this. apple decides the time is right to move in to wearable technology. ♪ hello there, thank you for joining us. troop are troops from chad and niner have made their first gain since launching their joint offensive at the weekend to fight boko haram. they recaptured towns. 10 chad soldiers died and up to 200 boko haram fighters are said to have been killed. niner and chad's military vehicles were seen crossing the board never to borneo state on saturday. and on friday the african union approved a regional force with 8,000 troops.
3:02 pm
in the nigerian capital for us. ahmad, first of all tell us how that strategically important is the capture of these two towns especially with troops from chad and niger. >> reporter: well, it's strategically important because these two towns are not very far from where you have an air force base, you have a military base, a lot of military bases there close to the town. as well as an airport there which could be very crucial if boko haram, which has been trying to capture the city, succeeded in getting their hands on the city there. now, for the regional forces, this is a big boost in their offensive against boko haram. a lot of territory has been taken or reclaimed from boko haram so far. officials here in nigeria are talking about at least 35 towns now reclaimed from boko haram. and for the troops from chad and niger, as well as those from
3:03 pm
cameroon, within being the war is very, very important because militarily, they are afraid of the ambitions of boko haram to expand its area of control outside the nigeria. we'll see they have attacked cameroon chad, as well as niger. the other strategic reason of course is economic. much of the trade and africa's biggest economy has been stifled by years of boko haram activity. so there is little flow of goods and services from nine year i can't in to these three -- nigh year i can't in no these three countries. >> over the weekend we saw boko haram pledge allegiance to isil specifically asking for foreign fighters to go to nigeria and fight with boko haram. do you think that is urging not only nigeria but all the making states to really ramp up the pressure boko haram? >> reporter: a lot of them are really concerned that probably isil or fighters affiliated with isil will do to nigeria and join
3:04 pm
bocaboko haram in its fight and expansion in to territories i don't understand nigeria. i spoke to a government official a short while ago and said as a nigh areanigerian he is worried and the government is worried that boko haram may try to gain the support of isil in its fight. but he's confident that the military the regional military force is capable enough to do the job. >> ahmad idris joining us from the capital abuja. ahmad, he thank you. now we can speak on the phone to nick schifrin who is in northeastern nigeria for us nick, just tell us the rereaction to where you are to the recapture of these two town and the increasing pressure boko haram. >> reporter: i think across northeastern nigeria both in major cities and also outside of it a real sense that there is some progress on the ground. i think people have been waiting a long time, many years for that progress. as i am saying the neighboring countries are take this is
3:05 pm
seriously in the last few months with boko haram launching some of its first attacks in niger and chad. we have seen not only two countries but also cameroon, and bilateral agreements in addition to a multi-lateral effort that those countries made with nigeria. also within nigeria, new weapons coming in. more political will. so clearly the motivation or the momentum rather is against boko haram. but there is no sense that this fight is going to be over quickly. many internally displaced persons across the north and northeast say that they will not go back to their town that his have been liberated even though the nigerian military is telling them it's safe. in cities there are still a curfew every night. so very much a sense that the war, this conflict is continuing. >> and also, nick, there is meant to be upcoming elections there at some point. do you think as things stands right now that is feasible at
3:06 pm
all? >> reporter: well, i -- you know i think on the ground, there is certainly an excitement for the elects, a momentum toward the elect certainly nobody in the nigerian government says this will be delayed again. and then in towns whether whether it's whatever town, you see posters every 10 feet. everybody talking about the election complaining worrying that they are not going to be able to vote. a real sense across the north of course, with dissatisfaction with president jonathan and excitement for the opposition candidate of the a.d.p. polls here say that 80 or 90% of people up here will be voting for the general. but there is, of course, a sense over here that there might be some violence after that vote. not related to boko haram but related to the election. but very much a desire that i have certainly sensed for that
3:07 pm
vote to go forward. >> nick schifrin with the latest for us from northern nigeria nick, thank you. ♪ there has been a major push against the islamic state of iraq and the levant on three front. the armed group currently occupies the cities of tariq fallujah, and areas around the kurdish held city of kirkuk. on monday iraqi forces and shia militia advances towards at that creek took back the nearby downs. this as kurdish forces drove isil fighters back from kirkuk in an attack backed by coalition air strikes. and the iraqi troops have massed outside a town in the anbar province part of a push towards the city of fallujah which has been under isil control for several months now. meanwhile the influence al shia cleric says his militia will help in the planned offensive to
3:08 pm
recapture mows ill from isil. he comes from a family of shia scholars and is the son of the late grants ayatollah who was allegedly killed by sadam hussein's government. he rose to prominence in 2003 when his militia began a violent campaign against the u.s.-led invasion of iraq. since then the controversial cleric has built strong political support and was instrumental in the election of former shia prime minister nouri al-maliki. he was an islamic democracy. his blends of iraqi nationalism and shia ideology has taken root among iraq's poor shia communities. the iraqi army's advance against ice is forcing a growing number of people from their homes and it's a situation that aid agencies say is only going to get worse. jane arraf reports from baghdad. >> reporter: a man has been trying to get by on her own since she had to leave her home in anbar province. the mattresses from the u.n.
3:09 pm
refugee agency will help cover her bare floors. it's not easy for a widow with four young daughters. and with a growing number of iraqis displaced as the iraqi government takes on isil, there is less and less aid. iman is a bit luckier than most, after being helped by the iraqi military toy leave the town of baghdadi, she found work as a school janitor. the teachers there give her money to help pay the rent. more than $200 a month for this converted kitchen in a house. but she says she had no choice but to leave home. >> translator: no one came to tell us to leave. we left because there was no water and no electricity. there were a lot of families who left. i was afraid for the children. >> reporter: her husband was a border guard, he was killed in an attack on his post three years ago. her father and her husband's
3:10 pm
parents stayed behind. she hasn't been able to reach them since. after school, she helps the girl with his their lessons her daughters are able to attend classes here. but 10s of thousands of other displaced children don't have access to schools. the iraqi military and kurdish forces are making gains against isil. but as they do, there are actually more civilians displaced by the fighting. aid agencies thought it couldn't get much worse than it was last june when more than a million people were forced from their homes. but it has. the united nations is making plans for helping residents of tikrit and of mosul once that battle starts. but it's running out of money. >> we are very worried about getting access to the people who are in areas that are controlled by isil. we know that a number of communities are in serious trouble. they haven't had access to regular assistance for a long time and therefore we have to assume that their conditions are very serious. >> reporter: in tikrit alone fighting over the past week has
3:11 pm
uprooted almost 30,000 people who remain behind when the rest fled. theythere are now 2.25 million iraqis across the country who can't go home. along the battle lines iraqi soldiers and their shia militia partners are replacing isil flags with their own. but winning the military battle is just stay first step in helping the growing numbers of iraqis displaced from their homes. jane arraf, al jazerra baghdad. the u.s. press barack obama has declared venezuela's government a threat to national security and announced new sanctions for human rights violations. he expressed concern over the venezuelan government's treatment of political opponents. and the white house spokesperson says seven prominent venezuelan officials will not be welcome in the u.s. and their assets may be frozen. al jazerra's roslyn jordan is at the state department for us. first awful, why ban these
3:12 pm
people and why ban them now? and why does the u.s. consider venezuela a threat to national security? >> reporter: very briefly they say the way they are treating opponents of the president nicholas maduro is simply unacceptable. and that is the underlying reason why the u.s. has declared a national emergency with respect to the venezuelan government. now, why these seven people? the department spokesperson jen sack i toldpsaki a short time ago is that these seven people, namely members of the national military and also the lead prosecutor have been instrumental in cracking down on free speech and, political opponents to press maduro and being responsible for human rights abuses and so this is why their assets here in the u.s. have been seized. why they are not allowed to travel to the united states. and perhaps just as important
3:13 pm
u.s. persons are not allowed to do any business with them. now, does this mean that this is going to somehow improve relations between the two countries? have already been strained for some time? probably not barbara. in fact, right now venezuela is demanding that the u.s. cut back drastically the number of its diplomats in that country. and the u.s. is trying to negotiate with them in order to keep their diplomats in venezuela saying that pulling out the vast number of u.s. diplomats would essentially hurt venezuelan citizens but it's hard to see tip whether or not the venezuelan government might be thinking about the needs of their citizen to his travel to the u.s., for example in light of these sanctions that were just handed down about two hours ago. >> ros jordan with the latest from the state department. thank you. still lots more to come on the program including the rising cost of conflict as prices go up in eastern ukraine. and taking clean energy to
3:14 pm
new heights. the solar-powered plane aiming to be the first to fly around the world without a drop of fossil fuel.
3:15 pm
3:16 pm
>> the stream, >> your digital community >> you pick the hot topics and express your thoughts the stream it's your chance to join the conversation only on al jazeera america ♪ ♪ a reminders of our main stories on al jazerra. up to 200 boko haram fighters are reported to have been killed in a joint offensive between niger and chad in nigeria. reports suggest a town has been recaptured from boko haram in fierce clashes. iraqi and during dish forces are pushing forward on three front in their fight to take back areas currently controlled
3:17 pm
by isil. this includes the taking control of thes. u.s. press barack obama has ordered economic sanctions on seven venezuelan officials accusing them of human rights violations and also declared their government a threat to u.s. national security. a close ally of the murdered russian opposition leader boris nemtsov are skeptical that those arrested for his death are actually blamed. five people have been at the detained over the shooting. but one of nemtsov's opposition colleagues is unsure the right men are in custody. in a tweet he said that those that pulled the trigger will be blamed while those that ordered the killing will go free. and the man suspected the fatality poison be the former russian spy has been given an honor in russia. he has been awarded for his contribution to developing russia's parliament.
3:18 pm
a public inquire any to the death is ongoing in london. a director of the ukrainian mine where does innings dozens of workers were killed in a blast last week has been arrested. the man who hasn't been named is accused violating mining rules. 34 miners died in the explosion on in donetsk on wednesday investigators say a buildup of gas was to blame. the conflict in ukraine is having a devastating effect on the economy. official inflation now stands at 34%. but the financial hardship is being felt more harshly in the east where food surprise are dwindling, and prices are rising. john hendon reports now from the separatist' held city of donetsk. >> reporter: in separatist eastern ukraine, one price of independence is half empty shelves. angela yaps grocery store went from 10 suppliers all around ukraine to one here in donetsk. >> translator: it's impossible to find new suppliers. as for the few he should we just
3:19 pm
live one day at a time. >> reporter: at this grocery shane not far away, you can still by meat and fish, but the choices are slim. what's left, you can still buy if you can afford it. since january eggs have doubled in price. tea has tripled. this fish was 45 then, 95 now. separatists might consider themselves proudly independent but they are not happy about rampant inflation. >> price have his increased and salaries andsalariessalaries and pensions haven't. cooking oils used to cost 19, now it costs 32. >> translator: things are getting worse and they won't get better until kiev understands you shouldn't kill your own people. >> reporter: the official inflation pays for ukraine is an annual rate of 34.5%. but here in separatist donetsk it's much higher. and that is for those who have access to their money. pensioners, the unemployed and former government workers who remain here have to travel outside separatist territory to collect their money. for many, that is pro tib till
3:20 pm
expensive and can take days. with inflation and no real banking system everyone here is poorer. and that's turned once bustling shopping centers like this one in to ghost towns full of shuttered shops. donetsk separatist minister of economic development says all new republics go through birth pains. here she says trade with russia will help replace lost trade with ukraine. >> reporter: does that mean things will get better here in terms of prices? >> of course. it will get better. much more better. it will be two changes, first of all, it's a range of goods and the second is it will be changing in the price. >> reporter: before the economy here can stabilize it's likely the fighting will have to stop and the borders between ukraine and itself describes separatist neighbor will have to settle. despite the latest fragile east fire neither appears within reach any time soon. john hendon, al jazerra donetsk eastern ukraine. europe has told greece to stop wasting time in talks on
3:21 pm
its bailout program. the euro group chief made the comments as finance ministers gathered once again in brusselss to discuss athens' reform proposals. he said serious talks need to begin on the bailout which has been expensed until june. greece has warned of on possible. >> referee: done if the euro zone rejects athens' propose think. let's go live to speak to john. on february 20th the sort of two groups the greeks and euro groups seemed to come to some kind of agreement based on reforms that greece is going to presents and implement. it kind of all seems to have deteriorated since then. >> reporter: well, athens is quick to points out that it appreciates this as a first step towards climbing back to viable finances and normalizes its relations with the euro zone, hailing it as a positive beginning following the 20th of february agreements with the
3:22 pm
euro zone, which is just a framework agreement, of course. but this does appear to be a second concession forced upon athens after they were effectively rail roaded in to accepting a four-month extension of the loan agreement together with the package of austerity mesh theirs it carries. this now appears to be a stepping down from the greek position that the government in athens will speak only to the heads of the institutions, rather than to the inspectors and the technical teams. this now what we have now, is a return of the technical teams to athens but also technical discussions in brussels. it appears that the heads of the euro group the finance ministers of the single currency block, only discussed greece for 20 minutes and greece was notably absent from the euro group statement at the end of that meeting. it doesn't appear as though greece really has the political-level agreement that it hoped for at the end of this meeting. what it has is a nonrejection.
3:23 pm
it's the first euro group now in over a month that hasn't ended in some sort of acrimony or controversy. >> john, well, still obviously tensions between the greeks and the rest of the euro group but actually bizarrely internal tensions as well between the prime minister and the finance minister in greece. >> reporter: the finance minister has garnered a lot of criticism over the last 10 days because he did agree to that extension of the austerity package and loan agreement on february the 20th. that is a major concession compared to preelectoral positions. so the left wing of this left-wing government has been particularly unhappy with him. and there has been a movement within the party to try and replace him. there have been some ho-profile interviews by left wing economists in the party who may be positioning themselves as potential successors. on the other hand, there has also been a lot of criticism
3:24 pm
from the opposition. which has said that you really haven't achieved all that much for all of your pain to his trigger an election, an early election in january, and not to allow the conservative socialist coalition that existed up until december to carry on with its work through 22016. there has been a lot of criticism therefore aimed at him. not least because of all of his media exposure. he is said to have done 18 interviews in the last 10 days, so we shall see. we shall see how long this goes on. john with the latest from agent ends, thankathens thank you. let's go yemen now. it was short-lived a counter attack by the army managed to push the fighters out. the armed group seized the city council building and several army checkpoints but after an 8-hour conflict the fighters retreated. province is a former al qaeda
3:25 pm
strong hold. the situation in yemen is high on the agenda for arab league foreign ministers meeting in cairo. the talks come ahead of the arab summit due to take place at the end of march. joseph, sr. commentator at the gulf news believes the arab league will encourage negotiations between the rival groups in yemen to begin. >> reporter: the consensus throughout the arab capital is his that the national security requirements of yemen the territorial integrity of the country may be maintained at all costs. we are going toe say long period of negotiations between president hadi and the houthi leadership to find out whether or not some kind of negotiations could be started once again but both sides are holds on the ground to very strong positions and not willing to concede. the league of arab states will probably encourage the negotiation to his occur someplace in the region. but that's a toss up at this
3:26 pm
point. nobody really knows what is going to happen. a fan group. egyptian football club has held protests in egypt over deadly clashes at a match in cairo last month. the ultra white nites knights are demanding just for 19 people crushed to death in a stampede after police fired tear gas to stop fans from entering the stadium. protests were held at universities in cairo. egypt is looking abroad to help revive its ailing economy. and they'll be doing a big sale at an economic development conference being held in the red sea resort. a new report accuses the country of putting foreign investors before the interests of the egypt people. natasha ghoneim reports. >> reporter: egypt is hoping foreign investors will pump money in to its struggle economy. the ministry of investment produce third degree promotional video, for its economic development conference that begins on friday.
3:27 pm
>> it's good. we are welcoming investors. >> reporter: but a new report from the egyptian center for economic and social rights says egypt's quest for foreign money is violating human rights, damaging the environment and allowing companies to get away with threat and tax evasion. the report says new laws give multinational companies a kind of immunity. they shield them from pass cushion in the courts when allegations of corruption and embezzlement arise. the egyptian center for economic and social rights says egypt allows foreign companies to crush workers' rights. whether stopping efforts to unionize or failing to adhere to health and safety regulations. the government's message to potential investors is, despite the turmoil since the 2011 revolution, the country is a safe bet. >> it's stable and back and ready to receive investments. >> reporter: but bombing have become an increasing threat for egyptians. once confine today targeting police stations and military
3:28 pm
posts. armed groups are now attacking commercial areas willing and injuring civilians. egypt has implemented some reforms. all foreign companies will now have to pay a 25% tax on profits. but the report says the country must tip the balance in favor of its citizens so they can begin ring more of the benefits of foreign investment. natasha ghoneim, al jazerra. first there were digital cameras, then digital music players, smart phones and now smart watches. and in the last couple of hours the much-anticipated apple watch has been unveiled. now, it will pay your bus and train fares order you a cup of coffee and pay for it at the till. the company expects to sale between 16,000,040,000,000 watches in the year ahead. let's hear from apple ceo tim cook as he launched the product a short time ago.
3:29 pm
>> the apple watch is the most personal device we have ever created. it's not just with you it's on you. since what you wear is an expression of who you are, we designed apple watch to appeal it a whole variety of people with different tastes and different preferences. the one thing consistent is we crafted each one of them with the care that you would expects from apple and used incredibly beautiful materials. now two pilots attempting to fly a solar powered plane around the globe have made their first stop over. after around 10 hours in the air it has landed in the iman i capital. earlier it soared in to the sky above abu dhabi with the help of 17,000 solar panels. the world's first june i is due
3:30 pm
to last five months and cover 35,000-kilometers. and you can find much more on that and all of the other story that his we have been covering on our website, of course you can see it on your screens now the address >> i do get angry when i think of, you know, the unsustainable lifestyle of so many of the materialistic culture. >> jane goodall is famous for her trailblazing o with champ pan zees. the subject of her latest book isler love ofnator chimpanzees. >> she has been called the woman who redefined man as we think about chim