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tv   News  Al Jazeera  March 15, 2015 10:00am-10:31am EDT

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>> suicide bomb blasts at two church packed with sunday worshipers in pakistan, at least 14 people are dead. >> also coming up, the war in syria is in it's fifth year with the number of refugees about to pass 4 million. the human cast and affect on its neighbors. >> the true scale of the damage of cyclone pam still isn't
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clear. >> it's still 2015, but apparently. this is what the future will look like. noisy, isn't it? >> taliban fighters in pakistan claimed responsibility for two bomb attacks on churches packed with sunday worshipers. at least 14 people were killed and dozens wounded in lahore. victoria reports. >> the pakistani taliban timed attacks for maximum devastation, the two churches packed with those attending sunday services. there was chaos in the moments after the bombs exploded within minutes of each other. >> i was on guard inside, a small gate was open. suddenly, there was the sound of a blast and the gate was blown away. i turned around and all these splashes of blood fell on my clothes.
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we got busy with the rescue effort. the bombings were in the neighborhood home to more than 100,000 christians. >> today in lahore, our churches were attacked. we strongly condemn the act and wee demand that the government provide protection to all places of worship of all religions including muslim prayer places. minorities are insecure in pakistan and we want security. >> lahore is the capitol of punjab, the wealthiest province, generally considered peaceful compared to other areas of pakistan. attacks have been increasing after the government's failed attempts to hold peace talks with the taliban last year. >> christian community leaders say the government isn't doing
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enough to ensure their safety and that attacks like this show they're a target. al jazeera. >> we have this report from islamabad. >> the attack by the taliban focused on the churches in lahore is an ongoing strategy of targeting not just the security forces but also the minorities here. there have been deadly attacks against a feared community and also the christian community. the two bombers were not able to get inside the churches where there would have been even heavier damage and more loss of life. they were stopped at the gates. the explosions were so powerful that the gates were ripped out of their foundations and thrown several meters away. now, interestingly after the attack there was considerable anger. the christian community coming out on the street, the government then negotiating with
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them to try and diffuse the situation, but it shows that the taliban in pakistan is trying to say that it can strike soft targets across the country and also target the minority communities in pakistan. >> u.s. secretary of state john kerry says washington will eventually have to negotiate with bashar al assad to secure a political transition in syria. the united states has long pushed for the president to be replaced. we'll have more for you on kerry's comments just a little later. meanwhile, the conflict inside syria is now interesting its fifth year. a group of people in rebel held areas of douma abactivists saying as many as 20 people including children died in airstrikes on residential
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buildings just outside damascus. dozens more have been reported killed and injured in the last three days as the air force steps up attacks on that area. >> the united nations estimates at least 220,000 people have been killed in syria's war and the a very large number of people have had to flee their homes, many leaving the country altogether. we can show you now how the number of refugees that increased as that war has gone on. almost 4 million syrian refugees have fled the war up until this point. 1.5 million of them have gone to lebanon and al jazeera's zeina
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hodor joins us from the becca valley. lebanon has very much felt the strain from the in flux of refugees from syria. >> undoubtedly, one in every four people here is a syrian. 1.5 million syrian refugees live in this country. we are in one of the dozens of makeshift carp that is dot the valley not far from the syria border. people live in dire conditions. people are from many provinces people who have escaped the fighting and other people who haven't been able to make ends meet have moved here. while they escaped violence, they tell you that they don't feel welcome or secure here. like you mentioned lebanon really has been feeling the strain. the government asking for help, saying that its resources are being strained, but the lebanese people are complaining, saying that the syrians taking their
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jobs, so there is a lot of resentment. people here really are afraid even to venture out of these camps, because they don't have proper official papers. they say that we could be arrested or detained by the lebanese authorities. they were suffering in syria and life has been very, very difficult here in lebanon. >> what do they tell you about the possibility of them returning to their homes in syria? >> well, everybody here will tell you we want to go home. they are realistic. they've been here over the past four years and every time people had hope and now that is diminishing further, because according to them, there is no meaningful political process underway. yes, we are hearing now statements from diplomats saying that they want to revive the political tract but there's no tangible progress yet. people also people that the world i also really concentrating on the fight against the islamic state of iraq and the levant and forgetting about the civil war in syria that the civil war has
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been overshadowed by this global war. they want the world to remember especially on the anniversary of the uprising that there is a struggle for freedom and that people that was their initial demand and that's the demand that they still have. >> zeina, thank you zeina hodor reporting from lebanon. >> in switzerland there are talks for the iran nuclear program. the deadline has been set for the end of the march. john kerry said an extension of talks past that date is unlikely. the white house is asking the u.s. congress to stay out of negotiations with iran. crossing over to our diplomatic editor james bays, first tell us about the talks james how they're looking. >> well, the talks haven't really got underway properly here. john kerry's not here yet. he's on his way.
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the iranian foreign minister is here and lower level talks negotiations with the chief negotiator of the iranian and u.s. side are back in the last hour underway again. a crunch moment for these talks because the deadline is supposed to be the end of the month. the iranians making it clear it would be almost impossible to extend the deadline again and also crunch because of those comments out of congress, a letter from the 47 senators saying that a new president of the united states could just rip up any deal that is done, particularly if it's a republican senator the iranians say that the u.s. when john kerry comes here, that should make him stronger in his desire to get a deal. they are very, very close closer than they have ever been before on this, but of course, if there are outstanding issues, they are the hardest ones to solve. >> john kerry james, has been making some comments about
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syria, as well, before his arrival in lausanne. >> absolutely. he is saying that in the end the obama administration will probably have to sit down with the assad regime. that is important news, but do remember, there is the geneva process, and the assad regime that sat down with parts of the opposition backed by the u.s. government and for that geneva process, the u.s. and russia were the guarantors, but this would be a little different. i think the reason he's talking about this now is they have had a lot of faith in the plan focusing on aleppo, trying to get a freeze or ceasefire in aleppo. over the last week in new york at the united nations diplomats believe that plan is stalled probably dead. instead that have bottom up approach they know believe it's back to trying for a talk down approach getting all the key actors around the tail. that's where the two things
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we're talking about could become linked, because if they reach an historic deal here on the iran talks, there's a possibility that iran could be at that table, negotiating about syria in fact in the last few days, the eu high representative described it as a unique and historical opportunity to remake the framework of the middle east, if they got a deal here. of course that remains a big if. >> it does. thank you, james bays reporting from lausanne. >> the first a teams have reached the widespread destruction in the wake of tropical psych loan pam. eight people have been confirmed dead. humanitarian agencies warn that toll will likely rise. we have the latest. >> this wall is a sturdy, traditionally built house in port vila and this is all that's
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left. it had with stood two previous cyclones, but after cyclone pam this family is homeless. it's a scene repeated over and over across the capitol, port vila, the roof of this home has been torn off completely. from the hill position, the scale of the devastation becomes clear. this family owned what was once a waterfront shop. everything has been destroyed. >> the winds started to come in and everything, the glass windows smashed. >> thousands are homeless now focused on trying to survive. >> one aid agency believes up to 90% of homes in port vila had
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been damaged but the worst damage is thought to be on the outer islands. rescue workers warn the death toll is likely to rise. >> absolutely critical that we make contact as soon as possible so we can really get an idea of the sense of the devastation that these outer island communities have faced. what we've seen in fort villa and how it is affected gives us a good benchmark and we can only assume yeah, complete devastation. >> now that the winds are dying down, help is start to go arrive. with 65 islands to assess, the task ahead is daunting. >> it's going to descend into a quick reconnaissance flight over the runway there to have a look at how badly that small island has been hit and then on down to port vila. >> thousands spent a second night in emergency shelters often saturday, but more who have been made homeless are expected to arrive. this tiny island nation is coming to grips with what's called one of the worst
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disasters in the pacific. al jazeera. >> lots more to come on the program and security issues usually dominate early election campaigns, but the rising cost of living is high on the agenda. >> a not so rosy assessment about the chinese economy. we'll tell you what else china's prime minister has to say.
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>> tuesday on "the stream". >> the annual south by southwest festival has been a breeding ground for some of the biggest tech innovations in the world. we'll take you there, giving you a glimpse into the future. >> "the stream". tuesday, 1:30 eastern. only on al jazeera america. >> top stories on al jazeera taliban fighters in pakistan have claimed responsibility for two bomb attacks on churches
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packed with sunday worshipers. at least 10 were killed and dozens wounded in lahore. >> activists in syria say as many as 20 people including children have been killed in airstrikes on rebel held areas just outside damascus. the conflict with syria is entering its fifth year with no end in sight. the u.n. said it will have to negotiate with president bashar al assad. iran's foreign minister arrived in switzerland for talks over its nuclear prom with the u.s. the framework for an agreement is set for the end of march. an extension past that date is said by john kerry to be unlikely. >> the high cost of living and increasingly important issue for many voter in israel. in a country where security typically dominates elections political parties are struggling to address the latest concerns.
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>> they put together gift packs for family and friends, the treats handed out during the jewish holiday. the carefully chosen sweets are more expensive this year. >> everything costs so much now. you go to the market to buy something and you have to stop yourself, because if you buy this item or that, you'll be short of money the following week. >> he isn't only struggling with the rising cost of food, but also his rent. >> according to a recent government survey, four out of 10 israelis struggle to make ends meet every month. part of the problem is a shortage of affordable housing. >> we are showed around the families 40 square meter apartment, which is about to get more cramped with a new baby due in five months. >> my wife and i both work. we make average income, but our rent is so high. even if we made more money, it would still be difficult. we can't even think of buying a
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place and getting a mortgage. >> the high cost of living has led to small street protests in cities like tel-aviv in the weeks ahead of the march 17 general election. it follows massive protests in 2011, when hundreds of thousands of israelis rallied against rising costs. since the campaign began, the labor parties have struggled to offer voters an clear economic reform plan while staying focused on the key issue of security. >> this has become a symbol of government ineptitude, of how the bureaucracy here is unable and perhaps unconcerned with meeting the needs of everyday israeli, the average israeli. >> economic analysts put blame for rising consumer costs on israel's high import taxes.
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the lack of housing is blamed on land reform in israel while the government spends billions of dollars on expansion of illegal settlements inside the occupied west bank, somewhere many israelis don't want to live. whatever the case, until major parties offer a solution to these many problems, people like he and his young family will continue to struggle to make ends meet. al jazeera, west jerusalem. >> investors have committed nearly $11 billion to projects egypt on the last day of the economic summit. prime minister al sisi -- the president, excuse me, has pledged to fix egypt's economy and said foreign investors key to doing that. some of the deals made include the power and terrorism sectors but sisi wants more investors to come onboard.
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>> we need at least $200 billion to rebuild to give a real hope to the 90 million people of egypt to live and work. still, we are waiting for more. that's why i urge the developed countries, the european countries, the americans and china to participate in long term projects egypt and the egyptians will definitely repay the investment. >> oil production could be returning to parts of southern nigeria more than 20 years after people are decided they've had enough of pollution. oil giant shell was kicked off the land after massive environmental damage. local companies will soon be ail to bid for licenses and resume operations. not everyone is happy as we report. >> emmanuel used to fish here. the fishing waters were destroyed by oil spills caused by the oil company, shell. they kicked shell off their land more than 20 years ago, but now the government is issuing new
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licenses to nigerian companies to operate. some worry they could cause damage, too. a nigeria oil company might get the license. >> it is important to our people to have this place cleaned first before they come to do their operation here. soon, the water will be clean and when our people come to fish, they can fish where not polluted. it mess up as shell, we know -- >> oil installations like this are a constant reminder of the devastating pollution caused by shell. this one has been abandoned by the company since 1993. locals received no compensation. shell say they will clean up and have agreed to pay compensation, but they are divided about
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production should resume before the cleanup. the ruler said it's the only way to fight poverty. >> the people are yearning for the activities of oil exploration to commence. there are a lot of benefits. >> 2,000-barrels of oil a day could be produced from the oil in this area. it promises to give 10% to the community, that could mean hundreds of millions of dollars every year. >> they take full responsibility of whatever is on the ground and i will not blame shell or any oil company that has been there before. we will have to take full responsibility of fixing the soil, fixing things up, because this is my region. >> oil companies have broken promises before. the hope is that because the new companies are nigerian, they
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will be more accountable. production will start next year. al jazeera, river state, nigeria. >> the world's second biggest economy is struggling to meet its growth target, and china's premier says the government has failed the people in the fight against smog. we've opinion speaking to reporters at the annual end of the session of china's parliament. from beijing, we have more. >> in the great hall of the people, another sober assessment of china's economy by the man who runs it. he has set a target of 7% economic growth this year, the lowest in a quarter century. now he says even meeting that will be difficult. >> we estimated growth rate for china's economy of 7% this year.
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that number is much slower compared with the years before but in fact will be by no means easy to hit the target. >> at his only news conference of the year, the prime minister had another target in mind, the government's own bureaucrats. in blunt language, he said reforms to reduce the state's role in some of china's biggest industries will be painful. >> this is not nail clipping. this is like taking a knife to one's own flesh. pain is only natural, but however painful it might be, we are determined to keep going until our job is done. >> the job of china's national people's congress has been done for another year. at the finale of this gathering, the prime minister's economic
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plans were approved. >> it's rare for journalists to be given access to the parliament. this is not a rubber stamped outcome. >> there were two dominant themes, the continuing campaign against corruption and pollution. the premier vowed to punish factories responsible for excessive emissions and said everyone needed to do more to clean up the environment, as well. his strongest words were on the economy. we're in the new normal, he said, although to many, china's economy feels anything but. adrien brown, al jazeera beijing. >> myanmar is denying chinese accusations that one of its war planes crossed china's border and dropped a bomb killing four farmers. chinese fighter jets were put on alert saturday. myanmar promised full cooperation with beijing in its
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investigation. myanmar's government has stepped up fight against ethnic chinese rebels in the border region. >> anti-government protests are underway across brazil. in rio de janeiro, they are calling on the pot to resign. a political corruption scandal and weak economy have made the president more unpopular than ever before. also in brazil, a number of passengers died when a bus plunged 400 meters off a mountain road and now that death toll stands at least 49. it's feared more bodies may be found in the wreckage. >> while accurately predicting the future remains as impossible now as it was thousands of years ago, it is at least possible to describe how the world may look, like never before. commuter models can help assess future water shortages or rising prices. phil has been to the future fest in london where they're trying to work out what life will be
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like in the future. >> welcome to the future. it's noise, you can say that at least, but will we really be strapped into chairs like this in coming years? virtual reality masks on our faces? who knows. at the moment, it's just for fun. >> people are limited by what their bodies can withstand. in the future, i speculate we're going to go inside people's brains to take them to the next level. >> here's the verdict on this one. >> the whole world is around you. >> this is the future fest in london, a look at how lives will be in decades to come. robots take on their owner's faces, a world of color. this is not just a look at how bright the future will be. it's also asking serious questions about problems the
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world will face, for example global water shortages, global food shortages. imagine the world one day where the price of cocoa has risenso much that a bar that chocolate this size costs $20. >> we are looking at water and water shortages. these are thirst globes, what inside this is based on that theory that water will be in short supply and we can't trust is. inside these is powdered fillings made of mostly vegetable. you're saliva mixes with that. >> this has a dystopian feel. >> sometimes we leave it to local business leaders about what our city witness our government.
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>> part of the reason is that they hang on. you can have a little bit of power and little bit to say over that future. >> the question here, what kind of future do you want? something there to focus on. al jazeera, london. >> there's more on our website the ghosts of men and women fill the wards of government hospitals across india. they stare silently - suspended in limbo between the living and the dead. these patients are the infected - victims of a contagion so lethal it kills almost one and a