yemen's vice president calls for the houthis to stop their attacks and lay down their weapons. ♪ hello, i'm richelle carey, all on the program, syrias government stepping up air raids on opposition territory. a rights group says 220,000 people have been killed in the conflict. angry protests against south korea's government force a
memorial to be canceled. plus russians are given a rare chance to question their president. ♪ we begin in yemen, where it seems both of the main warring sides are calling on the other to stop fighting. a senior houthi official is demanding an unconditional end to the saudi lead bombing campaigns. the vice president meanwhile is calling for the houthis to stop their attacks. he says his priority is to deal with the urgent humanitarian situation. >> translator: the international community and the region have to intervene urgently to pave the way for the citizens to live in a suitable manner and in order to put an end to the crisis. we need to stress that the utmost priority of the government is to deal with the
urgent humanitarian situation yemen. >> the vice president called for the forces to support those in exile. >> translator: i call upon the security and the armed forces to support the legitimate regime and to protect everything in this country, and we urge everyone to go back to the rational path. >> and he stressed the only way forward was diplomacy, we also praised russia for not blocking a u.n. security council bill on tuesday. >> translator: i welcome the resolution of the security council yesterday that stress the international community's support for the options of the yemeni people for stability and to continue our political path
according to the outcomes of the national dialogue. >> mohamed vall joins us from saudi arabia. mohammed, the vice president covered a lot of bases, he seemed to have a big agenda. how would you characterize the audience he was trying to reach? >> reporter: yeah he seems to be confident that he is going to make his words heard across yemen. he knows by -- the experience when he was prime minister and he knows many yemenese showed support for him as prime minister. many people had a lot of praise for his conduct during that time. his ability to talk to everyone. he's -- his willingness not to
demonize his opponents when you listened to what he said today, he actually gave leeway to the houthis, he said that should now at this moment withdraw from aden and there will be negotiations, but he did not put as a precondition that they should return to sana'a they strong hold. he knows his powers and his strengths. he has been appointed at hadi at a very critical time. the president wants to make sure there will be no vacancy of the government which is in exile, which already has a lot of weaknesses because it is in exile, and if the president dies and he doesn't have a vice president, then the speaker of parliament takes over. and the speaker of parliament is in sana'a and he is also said to be loyal to former president
saleh. so he has his strengths, and he knows about them. and he is seen by many that he is probably the man who will save yemen. >> if that's the case if he could save yemen, mohammed should we expect to hear more from him and more of the type of tone he seems to be trying to set? >> reporter: yeah of course he has offered dialogue and he said once the houthis put down weapons, everybody is welcome to have dialogue. he has appointed this high [ inaudible ] to coordinate humanitarian affairs. so he is going to be seen almost on a daily basis, he is going to be able to speak to everyone. and it seems he is urging us to act, and that he is going to be in the news almost every day, trying to end the crisis in yemen. >> mohammed thank you.
the u.n. refugee agency says more than 1200 people fleeing yemen has arrived in somalia in the last three weeks. it is makes plans to receive more over the next six months. but there's no end in sight to the fighting that has forced so many to flee. our correspondent has the latest on the battle for yemen. >> reporter: on the offensive and pushing forward. fighters loyal to yemen's president continue to make gains in the port city of aden. they manage to capture a tank used by houthis, destroyed another and reportedly killed at least ten fighters on wednesday. the gains made have also lead to the defection and surrender of 50 solders formally loyal to
former president saleh. opponents to the houthis have also suffered losses. three of their fighters were killed in a battle near the airport, as they managed to force their enemies to retreat. video has also emerged of residential areas being shelled. homes were destroyed. the saudi arabia-lead coalition continues to pound the houthis and their allies from the air. among their targets a metal factory allegedly used as a base reduced to rubble within seconds. al jazeera has been told a ground offensive is being considered. >> [ inaudible ] we find that we have the necessity to go to the next step of the offensive.
i think it would be one of the options. >> reporter: it appears that the houthis and ali abdullah saleh's forces are on the back foot. they have a proposal which would guarantee him a safe exit. but they say that saleh cannot be part of the political solution. >> they are not welcome of the plan. the plan is the yemen, now we are facing the same [ inaudible ] they are in the same boat. they should find the same end. >> reporter: even if a military victory appears eminent for the saudi-lead coalition, the political conflict remains. finding a solution to that will require consensus from all sides, not victory by one. in the past 36 hours, there
has been an increase in syrian government air strikes over aleppo. more than 220 strikes have killed 40 civilians. al jazeera's correspondent is monitoring developments from neighboring lebanon. >> reporter: over 220,000 people killed in syria. that's a horrifying number. they say over 65,000 killed since the fighting began in syria were civilians, and over 11,000 were children. they also reporting that clashes have intensified especially in idlib province. the second capitol to have been overtaken by rebels. since then there have been more air raids according to the activists in the area. over the course of the past 36 hours, we're told there has v been over 120 air raids, that
dozens of barrel bombs have been dropped in that area and civilians are really really suffering. human rights watch released a report in which they accused the syrian regime of using chlorine in barrel bombs that were dropped in idlib over the course of the last two weeks in march. grieving parents have snubbed south korea's prime minister and president on the first anniversary of the ferry disaster. 304 people mainly students were killed and the government has been on cued of obstructing an official investigation. >> reporter: a year since the president came to the port which was the center of the rescue and recovery effort to offer condolences, and to grant one of their key demands. >> translator: i now believe it is time for us to seriously prepare for the ship's salvage,
we will quickly take necessary measures to salvage the ship as soon as possible. >> reporter: but the parents decided not to meet her. first the prime was denied access to the main memorial and when the time came for a ceremony supposed to have been the focal point of the day's events the families called it off. deep grief that a year has done little to heal. >> translator: i have a recurrent dream. i wish someone could make a time machine, so i could go back to 10:00 am on april 16th. then i could tell them to get out quickly, and they would all be out in five or ten minutes. a year has passed but nothing has changed. >> reporter: the images burned into the collective memory of this country. the mobile phone footage that came later hurts still more. those children showing obeying
repeated instructions to stay put as the ferry overturned. meanwhile the captain was one of the first to be rescued. he and others have been convicted. but the family say the full story of corruption of the botched rescue hasn't been told accusing the government of putting restrictions and attempting to undermine an independent investigation. the families say a memorial event would have been meaningless, while they fight on to find the truth behind how their loved ones died. some believe it's time to move on that the families should accept generous compensation and allow the nation to heal. but on this anniversary evening, evidence of support for their fight, thousands gathering to mark a day when other young people were failed by their
to stop fighting. thousands of refugees have escaped fighting. the u.n. is preparing for another 130,000 to arrive there and neighboring somalia within six months. a rights group says the number of people killed in syria has passed 220,000. grieving parents have snubbed south korea's prime minister and president at memorial services on the first anniversary of the ferry disaster. the government is being accused of obstructing an official investigation into why 304 people were killed. russians have been peppers president vladimir putin with questions during his annual call-in show. russia's sagging economy and the crisis in ukraine were major talking points. putin denied sending troops for
fighting in eastern ukraine, and said the economy could bounce back in the next two years despite sanctions dragging it down. >> translator: we should use the opportunity of sanctions and turn it around for new developments. so for instance we replace certain imports, and that will stimulate our own economy. and it encourage us to develop high-tech industries. ukraine's interior minister says a man was found shot dead he was a former member of parliament during the term of the former president. the current president has ordered an inquiry. and just a few hours before that a ukrainian journalist also known to be pro-russia was killed in kiev as well. he was shot dead by two masked
gunmen here his home. witnesses report seeing the men drive away in a dark blue car. south african's president has called to an end of violence following a series of attacks. police fired rubber bullets and tear gas during an anti immigrant demonstration. thousands of foreigners are seeking shelter in police stations and refugee camps. at least six have been killed in the attacks. attackers have been telling immigrant shopkeepers to get out of south africa. but there are many more south africans who want peace. our correspondent has been at a rally where protesters are asking for an end to the violence. >> reporter: a lot of people are asking what is the government doing to stop these attacks on foreigners. so they organized this peace march. where they have people coming together showing that it is not okay to kill people because
just they aren't from south africa, or you think they may be taking your jobs. can i ask you why you think it's important to be here today? >> well because south africa is for everyone. so there is no need for this. we need peace, and we need to carry on with our country. that's what we need. >> there [ inaudible ] we don't want any trouble now. >> reporter: there are some people from other african countries here but many immigrants chose to stay away. they say what they don't need is march. they want the government and the police to protect them. other african countries say they are sending in buses and trucks and they will repatriate anyone who wants to go back to their homes. but they are trying to send a message that south africa is open for business south africa
is welcoming to everyone and they hope this march will help aleve some of the tensions that still exist not just in durbin but in other parts of the country too. in [ inaudible ] thousands of people are escaping political violence and crossing into rwanda, ahead of the elections in june. malcolm webb has been following the story from the kenyan capitol. >> thousands have crossed into neighboring rwanda, where they are staying in camps. they have an election coming up in june and the president says he is entitled to run again after serving two terms. the youth wing of the party have been accused of political violence, disappearances and killings.
meanwhile the u.n. human rights group speaking in the capitol was very critical. >> this militia, which openly supports the government appears to be operating increasingly aggressively and with total impunity. >> reporter: the country is at a cross roads, he said. he said the other route will take the country back to what he described as a horrendously violent past. there was a peace deal in 2005 that brought the president to power ten years ago. the size of the search area of malaysia flight 370 will be doubled if no wreckage is found by the end of the month. the disappearance of the boeing 777 and 239 people a year ago is one of the biggest mysteries in
aviation history. tensions are simmers over disputed islands between japan and china. the u.s. is sending equipment to the philippines as china presses its claim to the south china sea. >> reporter: this 71 year old has been a radio enthusiast his whole life. he likes that it connects him to the rest of the world, and radio fans are bound by an honor code. one of his biggest triumphs setting up a transmitter on the shores in waters claimed by both china and the philippines. >> all radio lovers in the world have good relations. >> reporter: but relations between china and her neighbors aren't too good right now, with many of the smaller countries
accusing china of bullying them. they say china is building installations and creating islands on nine separate sites in disputed waters. waters where $5 trillion worth of u.s. trade passes through every year. china it's for regional development. >> translator: the relevant construction which is reasonable, justifyied lawful is within china's sovereignty. >> reporter: it's what most people in china believe. from a young age the chinese are taught to be proud of their heritage, that they live in the center of the world. part of that heritage is ownership over most of the south china sea. little here give importance to the tensions brewing among their
waters. >> translator: of course the islands are china's. >> translator: yes, they are china's. we have been told this since we were kids in school. >> reporter: this man too believes the waters belong to china, but hopes his government keeps talking to his neighbors to find another way to deal with the situation. >> if china say, put oil on the fire then we have a dispute we cannot find to solve at the moment and the best way is to cool down -- to make it cool down not to put oil on the fire. in that is not good. >> reporter: but with chinese activity continuing in this disputed waters many find it hard to believe china's stated intentions to talk and find a common solution. half a million mexicans have had their drinking water supplies cut off because of an oil spill.
water treatment centers were shut down after vandals damaged a mrien. the cleanup is expected to take at least two weeks. tens of thousands of workers across the united states are demanding the federal minimum wage be doubled to $15 an hour. the push started a year ago, but the movement is now expanding. kristen saloomey reports. this woman has a long commute to her job as a home health aid. she spends $10 and as long as four hours getting too and from work where she makes just $10 an hour. she says she hasn't had a raise in a decade. >> we are really struggling. so we need the $15 an hour. the cost of living gone up. though transportation gone up. food went up.
rent went up. so we need the $15. >> reporter: the fight for 15 started with fast-food workers, but has expanded to include other frustrated low-wage earnings like agnus. >> we need to put a demand on the table that is real and would enable us to take of our families? so a lot of groups started to coalesce around $15 an hour. >> mcdonald's announced on april 1st that it is increasing average pay by nearly a dollar to just under $10 an hour. but the workers are saying that is not nearly enough and the raise will only impact a small minority of mcdonald's employees. so they continue to do battle rallying across the country on wednesday outside of big-name businesses who say they can't
afford the increase and will either have to cut jobs or raise prices. >> $15 an hour sounds like a reasonable thing to do until you realize somebody has to pay for it. but the vast majority of these people who start at the jobs move up into higher-paying positions in many cases within a year. >> reporter: butting a gus has been doing her job for 27 years. >> that is the biggest myth. they are families. they are mothers. they are fathers. they are not just teenagers. >> reporter: and like agnus, they are willing to take to the streets to make their voices heard. japan has overtaken china as the largest foreign holder of u.s. debt. it's the first time in six years that china has been knocked off of the top spot.
both countries own the most american government bonds and recently swapped places. china's slowing economy means it now needs to use the money at home. and third place is a group of banks, and pension funds based in the caribbean. belgium is fourth. the real number one spot belongs to the u.s. treasury. it is the overall largest holder of u.s. debt. meaning the u.s. is effectively loaning it's a the most money. one expert says this shows the strengthening of the u.s. economy. >> i think what this really reflects is just the difference in direction between particularly the u.s. economy and the japanese economy. just because in the u.s. things are improving over there, we're looking towards a hike in interest rates, whereas in
japan, the central bank has a very aggressive policy of actually buying its own government bonds much like the u.s. was doing, and so as a result. interest rates in japan are really low. so japanese savers are just moving out of japan into the u.s. in order to earn a higher interest rate. this is an endorsement of the u.s. recovery. it has gone through a bit of a slowdown in the first quarter. we have to look at things on a relative basis. things in china are weaker. so it does look like the federal reserve is going to raise interest rates this year where the people's bank of china is going to be engaging in a more aggressive ease -- ease -- easing-policy. it is not quite the same incentive like in japan to buy
as many treasuries and i think that's why they are holding the money back and using it for their own economy. for updates on stories you have seen in the newscast today, be sure to check out our website, aljazeera.com, including the latest on the situation that continues to develop in yemen. change in direction, the u.n. envoy to yemen resigns as the rebels and government demand an end to fighting. russian president vladimir putin is defiant defending his government's economic record and its actions in ukraine. a new arrest today after an alleged sexual assault on a florida beach in the middle of a crowd during spring break. ♪