only on al jazeera america [ shouting ] protests across yemen after a saudi coalition launches attacks against the houthi rebels. ♪ welcome to al jazeera live from our headquarters in doha. also coming up families of those killed in the germanwings air crash arrive at the scene as the french prosecutor says it was a deliberate act. last-minute talks from swizland to try to reach a zeal
-- deal on iran's nuclear plan. plus after 500 years, king richard iii is formally laid to rest. we'll begin in yemen and the latest on the saudi-lead air strikes on houthi targets. let's bring you up to date with the latest developments. according to al jazeera sources, the strikes have destroyed iranian made missile sites. and saudi arabia has strengthened security at its borders and oil facilities following the strikes. the strikes are to support this man, yemen's embatted led president, who was driven out of sana'a last month by the
houthis. mohamed vall has the latest. >> reporter: this is a show of support for the saudi arabia-lead air strikes on the houthi rebels. the city fell to houthis earlier this week. popular protests like these against their presence have continued. but there's a different scene in the capitol sana'a which is under houthi control. houthi supporters there march to protest against the strikes. saudi arabia says it has launched the air strikes in yemen with the aim of reversing the houthi coup and restoring legitimacy. >> abide by the process, or they will not -- but they certainly will not be allowed to take over the country. >> reporter: operation decisive storm started in the early morning hours of thursday. they have the aim of reversing the houthi coup and restoring
legitimacy in yemen. reports suggest 100 jets were involved in the air strikes. the saudis say they have only targeted houthi military positions in strategic locations around the country. they say they want to restore yemen's deposed government. at least four other gulf nations have joined the campaign. they say they have sent fighter jets to saudi arabia for this gurp. egypt has also expressed its willingness to join. the u.s. has announced support for the audi-lead action. it has created what the white house calls a joint planning cell with the saudis to coordinate intelligence and military support. it has triggers fears in saudi arabia and the majority sunni gulf situations that iran might be trying to spread its influence across the region. the houthis say civilians were
killed in the air strikes. >> translator: it's necessary for all military action to end as soon as possible and for dialogue to resume towards reaching a solution. we believe these military actions can only plunge the region further into turmoil and will have no benefit for any of the countries who enter into such actions. >> reporter: they held the president under house arrest in sana'a until he fled to aden mast month. earlier this week the houthis began to march towards aden in an attempt to remove the president from his last strong hold. it's not clear yet how far the saudis and their arab allies are going to go in their campaign and whether the air strikes will be followed by a ground invasion. let's move on to other news for a moment now. u.s. secretary of state john kerry has been speaking with gulf ministers to discuss the military operation in yemen, but he is in switzerland where he is
meeting with his iranian counterpart for talks over tar ran's nuclear program. let's go to our diplomatic editor, james bayes joining us from there. how have the saudi-lead air strikes in yemen affected talks between the parties who support different groups in yemen? >> reporter: well, i don't think they are affecting the actual talks, because i think they have been very strict throughout this whole long series of negotiations to focus only on the nuclear negotiations and the key deadline, or a key deadline is coming up at the end of the month, just days away but it has meant a different atmosphere, because in the sidelines of this meeting, people have been talking about this. they have been talking to reporters, and making phone calls. let me tell you what both sides have been saying. the iranians obviously with close links to the houthis,
their foreign minister told reporters we believe there is an urgent need for dialogue without external interference. john kerry obviously a key ally of saudi arabia says he supports the action. he has had a conference call with foreign ministers from gulf countries, and he has told them that america will provide assistance, i think notable, though, the statement they put out about that conference call also said that the u.s. ultimately wants a political solution to the situation in yemen. so yemen affecting -- what is happening in yemen affecting the atmosphere if not the talks themselves. what progress has been made at the talks, james? >> well everyone knows this is a very, very tough negotiation. it has been going on for a very long series of time. and i think they know when you get to the end of a negotiation, key deadline coming up on tuesday at the end of the month, that it gets very, very tough
indeed. having said all of that they are telling us the last round of talks made more progress than any other round during this long series of protracted negotiations, both sides seem pretty optimistic. it's very hard to get firm details of exactly what points have been agreed around the negotiating table. so sometimes we look to other things. and one of the other things worth looking at is this is not just a negotiation between the u.s. and iran other key players are involved and a key sign i think they are getting very close to the final tough stages of these negotiations are when other fundamentals join the u.s. secretary of state and the iranian foreign minister and we're getting indication that that probably is going to happen this weekend. we're hearing that the french foreign minister on his way to new york to preside over the u.n. security council is going to be here on saturday. other foreign ministers could
soon be here over the weekend too. i think that shows you that we can getting pretty close, but when you get to the last bit of a deal that's going to be the toughest bit. >> james thanks for that update. james bayes joining us live. french prosecutors says the co-pilot of the germanwings plane crashed the plane deliberately. he is accused of gaining complete control of the plane after the pilot left the cockpit. angela merkel says the news was beyond any imagination. >> translator: today's news is a horrible weight for the victim's relatives. in this time of suffering, we especially think about them. i would like to repeat my promise, especially to all of the families and friends from all of the countries who lost
their loves ones in this disaster, the federal government and german authorities will do everything possible to support the investigation. we owe this to all of the people who lost their lives and we have an obligation to the relatives who very much suffer now. >> let's go to our correspondent who joins us at the base of the crash of the recovery crews. and i believe the families of those 150 victims making their way to the crash site. >> reporter: yes, the lufthansa put on two planes one from germany and one from spain, and that brought in families who have now arrived. the press are being kept very much away. these are families who are of course grieving. on hand are translators, psychologists, medics, but i think what they really want to know is answers. and that's news of revelation
that the co-pilot deliberately crashed the plane is going to be extremely stressing for them. some of the family members are giving dna to help speed up the process of identifying the body parts of the victims of this flight. and some of the family members may also want to see the crash site. this crash site is two hours by foot, you can probably hear the helicopters flying overhead that's really the only other way to get in by dropping people down into the crash site. they might be able to fly over the crash site to see what happened. >> and while family members absorb this news charlie, what do we know -- what is being said about the co-pilot and the last minutes before the plane went down? >> reporter: well, all of the information we're getting is from that black box recorder that was found on tuesday, and
that contains the voice recordings from the cockpit, and prosecutors went through in detail what happened. there was a very normal conversation between the two pilots, then one got up think they to go to the bathroom, and at that point he was locked out. that's when the co-pilot took control of the plane and put it into a discent, when the captain tried to get back in he received no answer. in fact there was not a single word utteredly beco-pilot for the rest of that flight eight minutes before it crashed. he didn't respond to calls from air traffic controllers, nor respond to the airplanes alarm that went off, telling the pilot to pull up immediately. distressingly the passengers could be heard screaming in the final moments of that flight but we don't think they were aware of the situation until those last few seconds. so lots of questions about who this co-pilot was. he was 28 years old.
he was a german national he was from a town near frankfort. but apart from that very little is known. lufthansa says they carry out examinations of their pilots but they don't put psychological tests to them. >> charlie thank you. still to come on al jazeera, find out why venezuelans will now only be allowed to do their grocery shopping once a week. plus -- i'm in malaysia meet the women breaking stereo types and succeeding in an aggressively macho sport. ♪
♪ good to have you with us. i'm in doha. these are the top stories on al jazeera. iran is calling for an immediate end to saudi-lead air strikes on houthi targets in yemen. they lunched an military campaign to support the embattled president hadi. secretary of state john kerry is meeting with his iranian counterpart trying to reach an agreement on how to limit the iranian nuclear program.
let diabetes more on our top story now, the strikes in yemen. arab league foreign ministers are meeting in egypt to describe the crisis. the egyptian foreign minister says his government fully supports the joint military strike against houthi forces in yemen. >> translator: we are supporting the legitimacy of the yemenese state so it can carry out its national responsibility to keep the integrity of the yemeni territory. they are witnessing disturbances that brothers in the gulf are trying to bring back yemen on the road to stability and democratic transfort makes. syrian rebels have launched an offensive on government-held positions in the city of idlib. fighters from the al-qaeda linked group, the al-nusra front helped launch the operation. they are among other rebels who
have taken over 17 government check points. at least 23 people have been arrest interested in tunis in connection with a deadly attack on the bardo museum. security has been tightened across the country in the wake of the assault. two gunmen were also killed during the incident. nigeria's president and the opposition heard have sign pledge calling on voters not to engage in violence during the election. security has been a big concern in the build-up to the vote. ballot papers and result sheets have been sent under police guard to an electoral commission depo in bah lou ja. the niger delta is where almost all of nigeria's oil comes from. but the region is one of the
nation's poorest. >> reporter: they know what they are doing is illegal. but they don't care. young unemployed men steal crude oil from pipelines and then refine it in the creek of the nigher delta. they say this resource belongs to the community, not the nigerian government or oil companies. >> they are eating our money, so when you have something and somebody is eating it you will be unpleased with it so we're looking for how to get back at it. >> reporter: the main claim to produce around 60,000 liters a day from the improvised refineries. look at what this business is doing to the environment. this place used to be lush and green. there are more than 200 refinery theres the area but they say they need the money so they can look after their families. falling global oil prices mean less money for them. prices of basic commodities are
rising. >> when you go to the market to buy [ inaudible ] you cannot buy what you want to buy. >> reporter: a well-armed joint task force patrol the creeks. oil accounts for about 15% of nigeria's gross.com domestic product, but makes up to 60, 70% of the government finances. >> it has been very tough. almost 40% of the revenues we get wipe off. and, i mean with the amount of developmental work this particular administration has gone into we have had to look at so many cost cutting strategies to help us continue to keep afloat and to also pay salaries. >> reporter: for those struggles to get buy, this cheap often low-quality fuel is affordable. one use for it powering up
generators. despite being one of the largest oil producers in the world, nigeria is still battling to meet its oil needs. the u.n. security council has voted to reduce the number of peace keeping soldiers in the deaf cat -- democratic republic of the congo. the government is anxious to end the u.n. mission which has been in the country for 16 years. to sedan, now, last month the united states eased some of its restrictions ahead of the upcoming presidential elections. and that decision is already having an impact. >> reporter: to most people there's nothing extrordanaire about these store shelves, but in sudan this is a sign of change. customers can now purchase u.s.-made products and
americans can send smartphones, radios, and digital cameras to sudan. >> translator: we hope lifting the ban will be helpful to us. >> reporter: the u.s. has had a trade embargo since 1997. last month it lifted some of those sanctions. saying the goal was to promote freedom of expression. >> translator: we hope they will look over the rest of the sanctions that have an impact on the lives of people. >> reporter: but the president is wanted by the international criminal court. he's accused of genocide crimes against humanity, and war crimes in darfur in april he is running for reelection. most of the mayor opposition groups are planning to boycott. for most here life continues to be difficult.
when south sudan gained independence in 2011, it took most of the oil revenue with it. there are reports of shortages of bread, flour, and fuel. the military continues its fight with rebels. and anti-government protests have frequently turned violent. as the president runs for another term his biggest challenge may not be winning, but improving the lives of sudanese isn't its. natasha ghoneim, al jazeera. supermarkets in venezuela will introducing sweeping new measures to try to combat food shortages. virginia lopez reports. >> reporter: private supermarkets have introduced a new system to try to curb food shortages and also the hour-long queues affecting the country. the idea is that venezuelans can limit their shopping to just one day according to their id.
so for example, on a monday people who's id ends with a one or two, would be allowed to buy the items that have gone scarce. they are also planning to introduce fingerprint scanners. the idea is to stop what has become a rampant contraband problem with people shipping out close to 40% of what the country imports across the borders to brazil and columbia and even to the caribbean. people who's id ends in two and three have hit the jackpot. they have come to the supermarket to discover there are two of the items that have gone missing from most shelves, soap and fabric softener. cage fighting is known for its violence and draws millions
of fans around the world. it's also attracting a growing number of women. >> reporter: is mixed marshall arts too violent for women? don't argue with ann osmond about it. she is smashing stereo types as malaysia's first professional female cage fighter. >> people do say that oh just another female fight, just another eye candy for the show. in that really hurts. >> reporter: the 28-year-old has earned her fair share of critics in malaysia a country increasingly known for its conservatism. >> i may not be the perfect muslim, but i try my best and sometimes to me what i do is just a job. >> reporter: and success is inspiring other women to take up the sport like delma.
>> she is really tough and strong brave. she's superwoman. >> reporter: in the malaysian state they train another the tribal squad where women are breaking other boundaries as well like ann's training partner nat. a lot of people would say being a fighter does not go with being a mother. >> it's not true. [ laughter ] >> i think i'm a good example for that. i'm a mom, i'm a wife, so i'm a fighter. >> reporter: have you seen mom fight? >> yes, on youtube but not in real life. >> what do you think when you see her there. >> like yay, mom, win. >> reporter: self-defense is one of the main reasons women take up mixed martial arts. ann started four years ago after being followed home in her car. she has become a role model for women across asia.
the promoters say that 35% of fans are women, and that more women are signing up to get into the cage. >> there's definitely a lot more male fighters still all around the world, so i think we're in the early stages but fighters like ann osmond are really good inspiration for other female fighters to consider this an opportunity. >> reporter: and once you are in that cage it actually reveals your true self. are you a fight or flight kind of person? and for me i'm a fighter. >> reporter: and a winning one at that. and her program, "101 east malaysia's woman warrior" is on al jazeera. australia has beaten defending champions india to storm into the finals of the
cricket world cup. steve smith score 105 runs off just 93 balls. aaron finch also chipped in with 81. india lost 4 wickets for 32 runs, and fell well short on 233. now forgotten for 500 years. the bones of england's medieval monarch richard iii have now been reburied. neave barker reports. ♪ >> reporter: a 21st century burial for a 15th century king. leading the ceremony the head of the church of england. >> as we return the burns of your servant richard to the grave, we beseech you to grant him a peaceful and quiet resting place.
>> reporter: royals and celebrities joined people of all faiths to witness the end of richl ards 500-year journey. there was also a specially written poem read by the actor who is due to play the king on screen and is also a disimportant cousin. >> my skull scarred by a crown, emptied of history. ♪ >> reporter: visitors queued for days to see king richard's coffin. many bringing a passion for the past with them. king richard was the last english monarch to die in battle and on guard around his coffin, veterans of more recent wars. some people had hoped for a full state funeral, but of course this isn't a funeral at all. it's a reburial. it comes with all of the glitter
and panellingenry that befits a king. the simple oak and ewe coffin was made by the most direct descendant of the king a carpenter who's dna helped identify the remains. >> this has stirred an interest in history, and i think anything that makes people read more about their own history or even the history of other countries is a very good thing. >> reporter: this is the car park where the king's bones were found three years ago. excavations reveal a hastily dug grave. the scientists involved could scarcely believe their luck. >> i'm looking at the analysis and i'm going oh my goodness there is actually a match here. i did get up and do a little dance around the lab, when i was getting those first results coming back. >> reporter: in many ways