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tv   News  Al Jazeera  June 17, 2015 3:00am-3:31am EDT

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>> brittany didn't wan't to die the brain tumor was killing her, she simply took control over how that process would go. >> now see what her husband is doing to keep his promise to change "right to die" laws nationwide. america tonight only on al jazeera america. 27 people are killed after the syrian government uses improvised weapons in a rebel-held city of douma. notes ♪ ♪ you are watching al jazerra live from our headquarters in doha. also coming up, protests in hong kong as politicians debate how the city's next leader should be elected. the only thing that really count is have we stopped the boats? and the answer is a resounding yes. >> australia's prime minister evades questions over a bribery scandal despite growing evidence. plus. >> reporter: i am rob reynolds
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at the e3 gaming and electronic entertainment convention in los angeles. where virtual reality is one of the big showcased items this year. we begin in syria where the government forces are being accused of using improvised weapons against civilians. at least 27 people have been killed in a so-called elephant rocket attack in douma on the outskirts of damascus. president bashar al-assad's regime has already been condemned for using barrel bombs and chlorine gas on civilians just a warning you may find some of the images in car line malone's report disstoushing. >> reporter: it's a desperate scramble to rescue a brother and sister trapped in the rubble of a building in douma. the they have been under attack by forces loyal to president bashar al-assad for three years.
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his palace is only 12-kilometers away, this time they used elephant rockets named after the distinctive noise they make when they are launched the improvised weapon is made by attacking motors to larger bombs increasing their effect. the effect on is clear in the local hospital where scores of children are among the injured. across the world u.s. secretary of state john kerry summed up what much of the international community thinks about such attacks. >> i think everybody's patience is wearing thin with respect to the extraordinary depravity of the weaponry and mechanisms follow delivery which assad has used against his own people. >> reporter: the question is what can be done to stop suffering from the attacks like this? and from the continued use of chemical weapons despite a u.n.-backed deal to get rid of the government's stockpile two years ago. mechanics of the syrian medical
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society expected to give evidence to u.s. foreign affairs commit on wednesday that shows assad is using chlorine on civilians. the u.s. ambassador to the united nations is the u.n. security council is considering another resolution to stop it. >> to make it very clear to the world just because chlorine is a household product doesn't make it not a chemical weapon when it is put in a barrel bomb and drop odd civilians 67 the u.n. envoy to sear is syria is meeting assad. he is trying to push a resolution to end the conflict. and also urged assad to stop hitting civilians. since 2011 human rights groups have documented 230,000 deaths in syria. half of those are people not involved in the fighting. victims such as those in the attack on douma. this time there were shouts of joy as a girl was pulled alive from the rubble of a building blown up by is sad's air assad's air
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force while underneath her brother could still be heard calling for help. ca lawrence malone, al jazerra. >> syrian doctors will testify in front of the u.s. congress on wednesday, here is what one of those doctors had to say. >> translator: toes unis gases mostly chlorine the i'm not to kill because barrel bombs and war planes kill much more. rather it's to drive the people out of their neighborhoods. the assad forces are always repeating and quite writing on the walls that is assad or no one. assad or we incinerate the country. >> meanwhile, more than 20,000 syrian refugees have fled to ticker in the past two weeks as kurdish forces captured a town from isil. some welled from syria have accused the kurds of forcing out arabs and turk men from the
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town. the former turkish president has died at the age of 90. he was the head of state from 1993 to 2000. at the end of a political career spanning nearly five decades. earlier he served as prime spinster five times. he was twice overthrown by the military. he died following heart failure and a respiratory tract infection. u.n. negotiators are urging direct talks to end the conflict in yemen. all sides are meeting in geneva. but they are negotiating through mediators. high on that agenda is an immediate ceasefire. >> reporter: these are the houthis and allies of the deposed president saleh. they are in geneva for crucial talks aimed at stopping violence in yemen. the united nations has called on all of the parties to agree on a two-week humanitarian truce.
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>> translator: the fighting on the ground is an issue but the biggest problem is the saudi-led air takes the different sides can agree on a ceasefire went the u.n. and international community to put pressure the saudis to stop the air strikes. >> reporter: the houthis and forces loyal to saleh have the upper hand on the ground in certain areas. they have recently taken new areas on the border with saudi arabia. >> translator: yemen has been destroyed by all sorts of weapons. children and the elderly have been killed. this is why we want the war to stop and the blockade to be lifted. people are starving. there is no medicine no, fuel and no food. >> reporter: the ongoing fighting raising concerns of more instability. the u.s. is monitoring the talks in geneva. it's been fighting al qaeda for many years. now it's concerned al qaeda might take advantage of the ongoing political divisions to
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expand across the country. the u.n. has been working for weeks to bring yemen's warring factions to start political talks. for now the chances the government and the lawsuit is meet face-to-face are unlikely. they remain largely divided over the future of yemen. the united nations has been trying for years to reconcile differences between yemen's key players. that didn't work. it's hope now is to start a new process based a ceasefire as the first step based on a houthi pull out from the main cities and work on a power-sharing deal. but that could take years. security has been stepped up in hong kong as legislators are debating a plan that could allowed voigters to directly elect their top leader but all candidates for chief he can executive will have to be approved by china first. this had led to mass protests last year for activists camping
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out on major streets. in march 2012 the city's third chief executive elected by a panel of 1200 businessmen and politicians. unhappy at having no say over who runs their city, 10s of thousands of protesters took to the streets last july. in august, bay jinx said it would allow direct elects but only candidates it approves could be on that ballot. and this led to more protests and demonstrators held out for about three months before riot police moved in. let's find out what is happening right now and cross over to aidan brown who is joining us from hong kong with more on that story, adrien. >> reporter: well, it's hot, humid and noisy in this corner of hong kong behind me is the legislative assembly where the debate is underway. there are 70 legislators and each have a chance to speak for up to 15 minutes so this will be a marathon session.
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what they are discussing is a decision by china's national people's congress back in august which eventually said that china could select its next chief executive in 2017 so long as there were no more than two or three candidates and candidates had to be approved by a committee. well, that was, of course, triggering an enormous debate in hong kong a reason why so many people came out to the streets in october. in a place as polarized as hong kong it's hard for find an independent voice but aim joinedded by rachel who was a civil serve servant in hong kong for 34 years and knows this place up matily. how significant is this moment? >> some some what significant fant but no, sir at perhaps as one might think superficially. it's obviously significant in that there is the crunch boat a constitutional development the method of choosing the chief executive.
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you could say it's insignificant because unless something entirely unexpected hands we already know what the outcome will be. the democrats will vote against the motion so it won't get the majority that it meets and hong kong will think back in to a state of stasis with no progress towards any change in the political system. >> reporter: so this resolution is likely to fail, if that's the case does it many hong kong has lost its best and only chance of getting even a measure. did he is a? >> i would say no. it's been a very complex debate over very complex issues. what it boil down to in local terms they call it to pocket or not to pocket. do you take this advance or not? in british terms the phrase would be it's half a loaf better than none. even the most very vent advocates accept this is not the
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best method of choosing the chief executive because of the limitation on his the choice of candidates. however those in favor will say it's better than nothing. you'll all have an opportunity to vote. those who are against it, the democrats, say no, it's completely useless, we will just be voting between one candidate chosen by by jinx and another. we don't want to participate in such a charade. >> reporter: are you surprised that the crowds here are so small compared to what we saw back in october? >> somewhat. i think what has happened is partly people know what is going to happen. i think partly the police are better prepared this time. and the demonstrators know it. and also i think what happened with the occupy movement last year was that it was tremendously fueled by youthful passion, helped by social media it didn't really achieve as much
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as it might have hoped. >> reporter: thank you very much indeed. that's rachel offering us an independent perspective on this important historic debate which is likely to continue for several days. back to you. >> all right adrian, we'll speak to you a little later on. thank you adrian brown reporting from hong kong. still to come on al jazerra egypt's justice system is under fire after a court upholds the death sentence for the deposed president mohamed morsi. also ahead. rushing in to retirement as the clock ticks for greece to reach a deal over its debt. workers are cashing in on pensions while they can.
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arrested... >> ground breaking...
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♪ ♪ the headlines on al jazerra in syria at least 27 people have been killed in a so-called elephant rocket attack by the government. in the city of douma the president bashar al-assad's regime has already been condemned for using barrel bombs and chlorine gas on civilians. hong kong looking for vote for its own leaders but candidates have to be approved by beijing first. the united nation says is calling on all sides in yemen's conflict to observe a two-week truce. houthi rebels and the government in exile are attending talks in geneva but they are negotiating through mediators. al jazerra has been given exclusive access to bang notes allegedly handed over by australian officials to indonesian people smugglers. the australian government is refuse to go confirm or deny
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whether payments were made straining relations with its asian neighbor. andrew thomas reports. >> reporter: the money shot. on the indonesian islands al jazerra was given the first exclusive access to the bank notes at the center of a major diplomatic dispute. this cash indonesian police say was given at sea by australian officials to people smugglers to insure they return their human cargo to indonesia. and this is the captain of the asylum-seeker boats. >> translator: i told the australian man we needed money so we could return to our wifes and children. he said okay, we'll help you. as captain i got $6,000, the five crew got 5,000 each. >> reporter: the captain now being held by indonesian police, claims his boat was escorted by two australian vessels over a two-week period. eventually passengers and crew
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were transferred to two different fishing boats at the australian -- that the australians provided and once paid sent in the direction of indonesia. >> translator: according to our law this is bribery. this is illegal. we will let the international community decide what the punishment should be. >> reporter: in him australia on tuesday the prime minister was stick dodging questions. >> the only thing that really count is have we stopped the boats? and the answer is a resounding yes. >> reporter: the prime minister insisted too that officials always acted legally despite legal experts saying paying smugglers anywhere would be against international or domestic law. there were questions for australia's main opposition party. did people smugglers ever get paid by australia while they were in government? not at sea it's leader said, but he stonewalled when it came to payments ever made to nuckle smugglers
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on lands. >> when if comes to security matters we simply don't comment. >> reporter: australia paying strugglers could have been happening for years. australian opinions are mixed. >> if they have got nothing to hide on it the government, they should be answering the question. >> stopping the boats coming, it's a good state for the government. >> doing this way i think is. [ inaudible ] >> reporter: crook? >> yeah, to pay to pay the smugglers, because they are crooks themselves. >> reporter: most australians say they are pleased that most of the asylum seekers have stopped coming to the country but most feel uncomfortable through the secrecy by which it has been a cheered. there are legal questions and questions of how long it's been going on. al jazerra in western sidney. a decision by an egyptian court to uphold the death sentence for the deposed president mohamed morsi has been
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pet by wide suppress condemn station. the u.n., european union and amnesty international have all come out against the ruling. the u.s., egypt's military ally said it's politically motivated. >> the united states has repeated will he raised concerns about the detention and sentencing were a variety i of political figures in egypt. and we are concerned that the proceedings have been conduct ed in a way that is not only contrary to universal values, but also damaging to the stability that all egyptians deserve. >> the death sentence for mohammed erred morsi is just the latest in a long line of hard line judgements handed down to muslim brotherhood lead nurse egypt. >> reporter: death by hanging this judge upheld its previous decision to hang morsi. >> translator: the court has ruled, firstly that in presence, first and with consensus of opinion to punish each of the following defendants
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by execution by hanging. >> reporter: morsi, along with other top leaders of the muslim brotherhood were sentenced over a mass prison break during egypt's revolution in 2011. the muslim brotherhood says the case is politically motivated. [ inaudible ] decided by. [ inaudible ] and it's come from a judiciary who is subservient to the military. i am surprised because this. [ inaudible ] has known the charges are groundless. and there is no chance for any of the defendants to defends themselves. >> reporter: in a separate case, morrisey and senior muslim brotherhood members were sentence today live in prison on charges of spying for hamas hezbollah and iran. but many in egypt and abroad question the independence of egypt's judiciary. just before reading his verdict
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the judge accused morrisey of pursuing satanic goals and demonized the muslim brotherhood. some politicians say the case is a trial of the january revolution in 2011 which toppled hosni mubarak. >> translator: these triers are not delivering the justice we are truly hoping for no one should be above the law. what is happening now in my opinion is a form of a political revenge and this will complicate the crisis even further in egypt. >> reporter: after morrisey's overthrow, egypt designated the muslim brotherhood a terrorist group in 2013. mass trials and deaths sentences were handed out to hundreds who support the group. rights groups, the u.s. and the e.u. have condemned the sentencing and questioned its credibility. egyptian's president says the judiciary is independent and he can't i understand fear. egypt is divided. many still support the muslim brotherhood but many others back using the iron fist against an
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outlawed group. al jazerra. a united nations panel is recommending a swing overhaul of u.n. peacekeeping missions. the panel was conducting the first major review of peacekeeping operations in over a decades. it says peacekeeping forces face chronic challenges, a lack of leadership, taking too long to deploy and not enough resources were all cited as problems. it also calls on the u.n. to address sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers. here is our diplomatic editor james bays with more. >> reporter: no one can doubt that the system of u.n. peacekeeping is creaking. a record number of 125,000 peacekeepers and the panel concludes that there are chronic challenges. it says one of those is getting the peacekeepers deployed fast enough. currently it takes between six and nine months after the u.n. security council authorizes a mission before they are up and running. the panel says it wants to see
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that time reduced to between eight and 12 weeks. the high-level pam which has been chaired by the former president of east identity more has also addressed recent allegations of sexual abuse by u.n. peacekeepers. >> they used rocks and under mined the post important power the u.n. possesses its unquestionable integrity. their actions are few and undermined morale and stigmatize all others. it will take firm leadership and an enormous effort to overcome this dark chapter. >> reporter: the panel is emerging more transparently in investigations in to allegations of sexual abuse. and it says a special fund should be set up by the u.n. to competent victims. nato has condemned russia's plan to modernize its nuclear arsenal calling it dangerous and uninjured. vladimir putin says 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles will be put in to
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service this year. following reports that the u.s. is planning to bulk up its military deployments in eastern europe. the greek prime minister alexis tsipras has accused them of trying to humiliate their government. shares on the greek stock market fell for that i a third day in a row as both sides struggle to find a solution tsipras says he's still pushing for a deal that will keep greece in the euro zone. >> translator: the time has come for our up to talk seriously. not just about greece's future but also the future of the euro zone. will it insist on leading a country and a people in to hugh mail milwaukee yags and poverty. or do they want to pave the way for democracy and solidarity within its territory. >> greece is set to default on the $1.8 billion it owes the
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i.m.f. it owes in june unless it receivers new funds by then. biggest ticking point is pensions, john reports. >> reporter: she retired at 57. under different circumstances she says she would still be working. >> translator: i didn't want to retire. i liked my work and i was perfectly capable of doing it. and i needed the money because you can't really make end meet on the pension. not with loans to pay and married children to support. >> reporter: renewed and security over pension terms have spark aid new rush to retire. an estimated 400,000 people have applied here at the social insurance foundation and other funds. >> translator: every time there is a discussion about reforming social security, people rush to apply for a pension. the reason is insecurity. in case worse terms come along later retirement or less money people are everybody prepared to take a reduced pension another reason is the threat of layoffs. >> reporter: the sticking point is that greece's creditors want the government to put pension
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costs by $2 billion per year. that's because pensions are now the government's biggest expense. 30% of the budget this year. creditors believe the government should start by doing away with early retirement immediately. the government wants to phase it out over several years. and it's against the cuts in principle. say they trigger a new recession. this already complicated negotiation has just become more difficult. greece's highest administrative court has ordered the government to reverse pension cuts made in the last three years. saying they are unconstitutional and that will add between 1.3 and $1.7 billion to the government's costs. the real problem with greek pence is his lack of work. only 40% of greeks are considered an active population. and only 30% are actually working. crisis-era governments have been promising a gold rush of investment to boost employment. what they have achieved is an old rush of people seeking refuge from the labor market
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fearing matters can only become worse. u.s. real estate mogul donald trump zip the latest candidate seeking the republican nomination for a president of the united states. trump made the announce to him a group of supporters at trump tower in new york. the 68-year-old billionaire hinted on the how he plans to deal with majorrish you ares. >> i will build a great great wall on our southern boarder and have mexico pay for that wall. mark my words. nobody wok tougher on isis than donald trump. nobody. thousands of gamers are in l.a. for the e3 entertainment expo it's the biggest show not world for the latest in video game, virtual reality and game technology. rob reynolds is there. >> reporter: the biggest video gaming and electronic entertainment show on earth is off and running to the delight of thousands of fanatical
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gamers. e3 ho cases the latest hardware and software in a fast spin creasingly popular electronic entertainment industry. >> when you get to an e3 where franchise like call of duty, halo, tomb raider, gears are war, you know, these are the big kind of blockbusters, you know, the summer misere is of our industry i guess you would call them. so when you get all of those rolling out at one time, that's what makes an e3 really, really special and really exciting feed audience. the biggest flash in the gaming pond this year was made by sony. japanese electronics electronics giant is bringing out new versions of classic games for its play station platform, include final fantasy seven. gamers could barely contain themselves when sony teased them with awith trailer for the last guardian a game that's been in development no seven years featuring a boy protagonist engaged in adventures and escapes along with his giant pet a kind of bird cat griffin mix
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and match type of creature. this year's e3 has been something of a coming out party for virtual reality devices. now, these machines have been talked about for years but now finally some of the biggest names in technology have devises that are just about ready to hit the consumer marketplace. facebook has oculus, sony has moore fee us, and microsoft has hello lens which is a new twist on v.r. >> rather than taking you in to a virtual world what it does for microsoft is protect the virtual world on to the world you see around you. so appearing like holograms so you can be staring at your coffee table and then all of a sudden a virtual world will appear in it and you can move things around on it. it's very exciting stuff. >> reporter: exciting for gamers and incredibly lucrative for the big corporations that dominate an industry that rakes in $93 billion a year. bigger than the movie and music businesses combined. rob reynolds, al jazerra, los
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angeles. you can keep up-to-date with all of the news on our website find out more about the e3 going on in l.a. on our website there it is on your screen. that's all at al fast-track his asian trade treaty has been closed down by his own party, and troubled waters. tension builds as china builds island bases in the middle of a trade route. stop me if you have heard this before. president obama has a plan, it's considered crucial to his legacy, but kapt get it passed by the house of r