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tv   News  Al Jazeera  May 5, 2015 12:00pm-12:31pm EDT

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saudi arabia closes schools and can sells flights in a region bordering yemen because of the fighting. ♪ hello, there. this is al jazeera live from london. also coming up. new allegations of war crimes against civilians in syria, as talks get underway to try to stop the killing. new protests in burundi where the constitutional court have cleared the president to run for a third term. scrambling to survive,
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dramatic video of migrants fighting to reach lines thrown from a rescue vessel. plus. >> reporter: i'm andrew thomas in brisbane on how the venn them in from spiders like these could lead to a whole new generation of pain relievers. ♪ hello. shelling by houthi rebels in yemen has forced saudi arabia to close all schools in the southern border region. all flights to and from the regions airport have also been suspended. and in a meeting of gulf cooperation council members, the saudi king announced that a humanitarian aid center would be established in saudi arabia itself. almost after of yemen's people have no access to safe drinking water. since the war escalated in
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march, the u.n. estimates more than 300,000 people have been forced to flee their homes. food and security has always worsened. the latest figures show that as many as 12 million yemenese don't have enough to eat. the u.n. says it needs more than 270 million in emergency funds. joining us on the phone line from riyadh is mohamed vall. and many other issues of course have been discussed at this summit one of which is iran. what has been aid about iran both in private and in public? >> yes, iran has among other issues have dominated the talks in the summit because iran is one of the major concerns of the gcc countries, lead by saudi arabia of course. iran because of its nuclear program and the deal there that was signed between iran -- the preliminary deal with european
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powers and the united states is -- the countries here in the gulf are concerned that any final deal there should give guarantees that iran cannot pursue nuclear weapons, because they perceive that iran is the major enemy in the region. they see what they term out [ inaudible ] across the arab world from syria, iraq lebanon, and finally yemen and behind. and they think that iran has an agenda in the region and it's an agenda of destabilization, and they want to make sure that it is now allowed by the european and western powers to pursue any kind of program that may lead to the build up of nuclear weapons, so there has been a lot of discussion there. and the french president was in their presence and they tried to convince him that this path is
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final, and they can't waiver in that respect. they, however, reiterated something they have always been saying that iran has the right to acquire civilian nuclear energy to have a program for civilian nuclear energy and even the gulf countries also have the right to develop civilian nuclear energy like any country in the world, but it shouldn't cross the line to nuclear weapons. >> there's some talk of possible conference being held in riyadh itself for opposition groups from syria? >> reporter: yeah this has been mentioned here for the first time today. however, there -- there are no details by the saudi authorities about the timing or somebody the agenda except those few words about the -- the -- what they termed as the after-effects,
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what is after assad. and that's an indication of a feeling here in the region that the situation in syria has shifted in favor of the rebels after they have unified their ranks, lots of groups came together unified their act and they have been able to push assad forces in many areas, and there is the feeling here in saudi arabia that probably preparations should be started now -- better now than later in the -- in the case of a sudden crumbling of the regime here the assad regime there should be a plan in place or a road map what comes next. because it is dangerous if the regime crumbles and there is a total vacuum there is no plan for the future in the view of those many factions with different persuasions, including groups that are described as extremists and even including eye -- isis there has to be the
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guarantee that there will be something to replace him. >> mohammed thank you. let's take you back now to yemen, because the u.n. humanitarian agency has called on the saudi-lead coalition to stop targeting sana'a's airport so supplies can be delivered. >> the coalition has targeted the -- the airport in sana'a so that the -- the landing strips are basically inoperable and no planes can come in. this is catastrophic. this is one of the only -- the only entry point for humanitarian aid to come into the country for hundreds of thousands of people urgently needing life-saving aid.
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over the past few weeks the people to the south of the capitol have been battling against the houthis. >> reporter: this man canvassing the land with his men. their aim to keep houthis out. he is an elder. defending his home has come at a heavy price. >> translator: four of my sons were killed one was injured. we will fight to the last day to protect our land and honor and country. the houthis came to our land. many members of our tribes were killed. we fought them so hard and we will fight them until the end. >> reporter: the houthis say they are advancing to flush out al-qaeda-linked fighters. but people here deny there is
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any such presence. the men here say they are determined not to let their city fall. >> translator: i'm sending my message to the houthis, you will not occupy any of our land. we are here to defend the countries and not be fooled like the houthis have been >> reporter: intense battles have taken place here in recent weeks. the saudi-lead coalition has always carried out multiple air strikes in the area. >> translator: my sons were martyred in a matter of an hour or two. they died defending their land honor, and country. we were attacked. we had to depend our country. >> reporter: it has been a fight to the death, but for he and his
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men, one to keep his area. ♪ a leading human rights group sayings war crimes are being committed on a daily basis in aleppo. barrel bombs have killed more than 3,000 civilians in aleppo alone last year. they have also been criticized for using weapons such as mortars. u.n.-backed talks to try to end the conflict in syria have begun in geneva. the u.n. envoy is meeting representatives of the government and regional players. the al-qaeda nusra front and
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isil have not been asked to take part. >> we must redouble efforts in search for a political process. this view is shared by the wider international community. russia helpfully refocused the attention on the political track earlier this year through moscow one and two. there was also a useful meeting in chi -- cairo, and the security council announced to me last week that another attempt should be made even if even if odds of success are, indeed low. the only way is to test the willingness of the parties to narrow the gaps and if they are ready to narrow the gaps. burr rendy's constitutional court has cleared the way for the president pierre nkurunziza
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to run for a third term. protesters have been demanding he back down. critics say his plan to stand in the elections defies the constitution. rights groups say a dozen people have been killed and more than 30,000 have fled to neighboring states. >> reporter: this man says he is terrified by what is written in these letters. he says they have been pushed under the doors of people in his neighborhood at night by members of the youth wing. he belongs to the ethnic tutsi minority and the letters say tutsi, men, women, boys and girls will be killed if the president does not run for a third term. >> translator: they come at night chanting songs that threaten us saying that will smash anyone who stands in their way. >> reporter: and it's because of these threats, he says that thousands of people have fled to
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neighboring rwanda and kong go. but the government says it is because of misinformation. a family of seven was living in this house and left about two weeks ago. it is from here you can see some of their clothes and possessions that they left on the floor. we have spoken to several more people who say that they want to leave, but they are still trying to get the money together for the transport. we met the area leader outside of the ruling parties' meeting place. he denied their party sent the letters. >> translator: this is a lie. there are no names or signatures on the letters. the opposition may be writing those letters to make us look bad, because they fear our popularity. >> reporter: whoever wrote the threatening letters seems to want to create ethnic tension. but the protests and the
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political standoff are not along ethnic lines. the ruling party was once a houthi rebel group, it now includes a small number of tutsis. opposition politician lead another of the largest houthi-rebel groups in the civil war which was largely fought against ethnic lines. he says his and his supporters' lives are in dangerous. >> he's a hutu. i'm a hutu but what kind of treatment am i enduring from him and his governor -- government. >> reporter: back on the countryside this man is a member of another opposition group. he has been hiding here in a friend's house and now he is leaving for rwanda in secret. many hope ten years on from the war this ethnic hate speech won't watch on. but many more feel the threat of
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ethnically and politically a -- targeted violence is very real. still to come we're going to examine why foreign policy has been largely ignored in the lead up to the u.k. general election. coming up i'll explain why tunisia is no longer a crossing point for migrants hoping to cross to europe but it is playing a important role in the rescue efforts in the mediterranean sea. desperate, hungry and risking it all... >> these people wanna get as far away as they can >> the migrant crisis sweeping europe, are governments turning their backs on those that need help the most? >> compass with sheila macvicar
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♪ a reminder of the top stories here on al jazeera,
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shelling by houthi rebels in yemen have caused saad -- saudi arabia to close all schools. human right's group amnesty international says the syrian government's use of barrel bombs amounts to war crimes. and there has been more protests in burundi after the constitutional court ruled the president can run for a third term. critics say his efforts to stay in power are illegal. all right. to the migrant crisis in the mediterranean now, new video has emerged of a dramatic rescue operation to save people crammed into a rubber dingy which appears to be sinking. it's believe to have happened on sunday in the sea between libya and sicily. it's still not known how many were saved or whether anyone
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drowned. meanwhile hundreds of other migrants have been brought to shore in southern italy. nearly 7,000 people have been pulled out of the mediterranean sea in just the past few days. hundreds of migrants have also been pulled by the sea by tunisian fisherman and coast guard. from the south, our correspondent reports. >> reporter: they tried to reach europe by boat. now they are back where they started, in africa. these people are among almost 500 rescued by tunisians since march. the u.n. is helping those from syria, eritrea, or somalia, but these people are west africans and registered as economic migrants. that makes it difficult for them to claim asylum. >> our country is no good.
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we are from ghana. there's no work. that's where it is. that's why we need help. >> reporter: tunisia is no longer an escape route for migrants because their borders are securer. but they are worried that lawlessness and fighting in libya will send more people out to sea. these fishermen are concerned too. they are trying to make a living but often end up rescuing boats in trouble. >> translator: each trip costs $5,000 but we have to stop our fishing and return to shore with lost souls. >> reporter: the european union wants to tackle the problem of migration at source mainly in africa. it plans to target the smuggling rings south of year in the desert. a controversial idea is to try to persuade transit countries like morocco, egypt and tunisia,
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to help register and process people. tunisia red crescent is one of the few organizations helping. >> translator: it can work but there are limits. there is high unemployment here and most of these people are not happy here. they want to be in europe. >> reporter: many here walked through the desert to reach libya, for some this is their second or even third failed attempt at crossing. this is why they keep trying. >> there's big difference in africa and in europe. i be watching the difference. when you get to europe everything will be okay with you. >> reporter: they now have a choice. go home with nothing, or return to libya. risking their lives again to reach a new continent.
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the french parliament has approved a new law that proposes wider intelligence gathering powers. it will force innocent companies to monitor users. it has gained wide-spread support from across the political political swek trum. neave how decisive was the vote? >> reporter: we sounding support in the parliament for this surveillance bill. you are 438 for and only 86 against. that really sums up the change in mood politically here in france since the paris attacks four months ago. shortly after the violence here in the french capitol, more than 2 million people came out across the street from across the political spectrum many
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demanding the government do more to protect them. the french government responded in a number of ways including this bill. it gives greater power to the authorities to tap individuals crucially without the need for any kind of legal backing from a judge. it would require internet companies to also monitor suspicious behavior require them also to attach black boxes to their communication infrastructure to monitor suspicious traffic. it would also allow for the use of cameras, microphones, and other espionage devices, as it were things more akin to james bond than you would imagine being used on a public state level. but they are also recruiting more security more intelligence officers, all part of a
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broadening and deepening of current surveillance laws. the founder of the french nation -- national front party has disowned his daughter who is the current party leader. he says he hopes she will lose the presidential election. his comments were made after he repeated his view that nazi gas chambers were just a detail of world war ii. the u.s. president barack obama has announced the man he wants to take over as the country's top military officer. he has been nominated as the next chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. he has lead the afghanistan war coalition since october last year. [ applause ] ♪
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well a british navy ship is starting operations to help with the mediterranean migrant crisis in coordination with the italian navy. but the u.k.'s foreign policy has largely been out of the picture as voters consider who to vote for in thursday's general election. >> reporter: this office is having some work done on it. it's a good time for it. the civil servants work goes on hold when politicians try to get themselves elected. but who will become the leading diplomat? foreign policy hasn't played much of a role during this election campaign. it's mostly been about the economy. but there is a question about the extent to which the two main parties here continue to have a big strategic vision for the u.k.'s place in the world, and indeed the extent to which the rest of the world values the u.k.'s opinion on many of these things. consider some of the biggest
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issues in the middle east both labor and the conservative parties have ended up opposing an iranian backed government in damascus while supporting an iranian backed government in baghdad. the conservative party gets rid of gadhafi in libya, but either party anticipated that revolutions usually leads to an exodus and doors to people like the syrian refugees remain closed. the conservatives wouldn't offer a single politician to interview. the labor party had this to say. >> many talk about the role britain played in a series of international crisis. unblair and brown. some mention the iraq war as a positive develop, but certainly the role in afghanistan in helping to get rid of the taliban. >> reporter: if isil such a threat why is the u.k. shrinking its army and yet spending
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$150 million on nuclear weapons. these things have become a gift to the new insurgent party. i'm sure an smp could help free the labor party, or so many people in the labor party from their recent flirtation frankly with a tony blair, new labor, center right approach which is what they have done in recent years. >> reporter: if you the palestinian ambassador to the u.k. you wonder why haven't the politicians done it. >> how democracy could work when you see the public is for something, and the government is on the other end? you know. there's no synchronization in the system that is considered to be democratic. so this we cannot understand it and that's why we have become so reticent in accepting, you know, the western -- democracy,
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because it's full of contradiction. >> reporter: the criticism of the u.k. is that it no longer guides events and looks to richer countries to help with investments rather than making its mark on the world. certain spider bites can cause excruciating pain but scientists in australia think spider venom might revolutionize pain relief. andrew simmonds reports. >> reporter: spiders are more commonly feared than admired. but stein advertises in australia think venomous species could hold the key to developing a new generation of pain-leaving drugs. tarantulas are being milked. >> we put them to sleep a little bit first by making them cold
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and exposing them to a little bit of carbon dioxide. >> reporter: it's delegate work for tiny amounts of liquid. a single spider can be milked every two weeks for about five years. in that time the total venom collected is about half a teaspoon full. but that's all that is needed because spider venom is exceptionally poent. >> i cannot think of anything as chemically complex in nature as spider venom so they are the most complex of any of the venomous animals. >> reporter: within those chemicals are some that effect the nerve system blocking the channels that deliver pain signals to the brain. working out which molecules do it, could revolutionize pain relief. mandy nielson has suffered pain for years. it's not associated with an
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underlying condition. it's simply chronic pain. hundreds of millions suffer from similar. they can't take drugs because long term the body develops a tolerance to them and the side effects can be delilbilitatingdebilitating. that believes people in pain. the lack of hope can exacerbate the problem. >> to think that you live with that forever, it's not surpriding that people can become quite suicidal. suicide thoughts are not unusual, so to have some hope there that things may be better that can be enough for people to keep going forward, i suppose. >> reporter: the spider research is in early stages but scientistings have narrowed down a few molecules they believe target the channels with pain sensing nerves. isolate which molecules do the job, and they may be able to
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replicate them artificially. andrew thomas al jazeera, brisbane. apologies if you suffer from arrack that phobia. you can catch up with all of our news and sport on our website. that's >> a damming report on the war in gaza. israelis speak out against their own military command. ♪ ♪