going home hundreds of syrians return from turkey as soldiers celebrate victory from i.s.i.l. in tal abyad. >> you are watching al jazeera lie from our headquarters in doha. also coming up u.n. brokered peace talks between warring factions in yemen are on the verge of collapse. we show you the money saying this is the cash the australian government bribed them with to turn back migrants fears of a famine as north korea faces its biggest drought
in a century hundreds of syrian refugees in turkey are going home. it follows is a kurdish victory over i.s.i.l. bernard smith has more from the town in turkey where there has been a steady flow of families carrying their belongings across the border a few hundred residents from tal abyad crossed the border from turkey na their town taking the opportunity for return of peace to go back and see if they have homes to go to. now, the situation in tal abyad is different to that of kobane. that battle finished early in january, after four months fighting between the syrian kurdish y.p.g., kobane was all but destroyed. the town is in rubble. this town was a 20-day battle. while there has been destruction
from the u.s. air strikes, it's nothing like the scale of kobane. while the refugees are being well looked at here in the - welled looked after in the refugee camps, it is not home and these people we have spoken to want to go home. most are syrian arabs turning to tal abyad, but we have spoken to a couple of kurdish families that fled two years ago when i.s.i.l. took control. they have decided they feel it's safe to go back home after nearly three months of saudi-led air strikes and over 2500 people dead it seems peace is no closer. u.n. sponsored talks in geneva aimed at ending the war are on the verge of breaking down. let's go to hashem ahelbarra much who is in geneva with the latest on on what is happening
with the talks. >> i have been talking to g.s.t. representatives, and they held meetings with ambassadors from the e.u. and are talking to members of the united nations. they said they have not come to progress and if they don't get anything in the coming hours they'll have no other way but to leave tomorrow. they have been critical of the way things are handled and says everyone has to understand this is a critical moment for the yemeni people and we need to come to a genuine truce with the houthis. if that happens, for that to happen, we need the houthis to pull out of the area. we are not going to sign an agreement saying that there's going to be a ceasefire. it's obvious that they are having a serious problem. at the same time the houthi delegation has not come here they've been telling the united nations envoy that details need
to be pinned down before they agree on starting the talks, and they have no problem with talking to the government for a humanitarian truce, but from a houthi perspective a truce means the saudis should stop the air strikes. the government says no it's not just the air strikes, the houthis have to stop shelling residential areas. it's a delicate situation as we talk. the international community, the united nations are trying to save these talks from collapsing. >> i wanted to ask you about the united nations. sounds like crunch time what is going on in geneva. what is the united nations going to do to salvage the talks in any way, shape or form? it is a difficult situation. yesterday the houthi leader was critical of saudi arabia and
what is happening saying that international players are trying to undermine the talks and influence the united nations envoy. i think the next coming hours will be crucial in the sense that the united nations will have to come to an agreement with the representatives to move forward, and start genuine talks about the humanitarian truce, and the elements of that truce. is it going to be an end of hostilities across yemen, with security arrangements or is it just going to be a stop of the fighting on the ground much the government representative insists that it is not just a gampt it has to be simultaneous and the air strikes accompanied by uty from the areas controlled.
>> the details - there are things to be pinned down by members of the international community. >> thank you for that update. as hashem ahelbarra said the talks are faltering in geneva and what is going on in yemen, the situation is dire and dire. crisis in contested areas -- praises in areas like tiaz skyrocketed and people are struggling to prepare for the muslim month of fasting. we have this report. >> reporter: these are a quintessential part of ramadan. at this market in yemen, they are struggling this year. the market used to be so crowded that people struggled to walk. now there are hardly any buyers. >> translation: markets in tiaz don't have enough goods. >> we couldn't get enough goods. the important ports are closed. it increased the fighters. there's 35% of the 40% hike in rates. >> reporter: people are coming
here not like the previous years. we see people coming to do shopping, everything is expensive. it's not affordability. there are fewer people and those that could afford to leave have left. more than a million have been displaced because of fighting between the shia fighters and pro-government forces. this year the flow of yemenis to the markets are not like the previous year. the situation is different. it's due to the fact that several families have been displaced to other villages. the security situation and the siege on the city of tiaz. >> we can see people shopping. markets are empty, not like the previous years. >> translation: the cost of doing business has gone up because of no electricity and limited fuel. shopkeepers can't just stay indoors. >> translation: we are struggling to find food stuff, especially now at the beginning of the holy month of ramadan. people have fears, we hope
they'll get better soon. >> taiz has been hit hard as many support the government in exile. fighters and loyalists have been trying to take control. it's not just tiaz. businesses suffered across yemen. from the spice markets to the local areas. everyone is affected. the u.n. called for all parties to ceasefire and yemenis can only hope that it happens in indonesia al jazeera filmed bank notes alleged to have been handed over by australian officials to people smugglers at sea. australia government is still refusing to answer questions on whether the payments took place, sparking a dispute between the two country. andrew thomas reports. >> reporter: the money shot. on the indonesian island of roti, al jazeera 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 make sure they returned their human cargo to indonesia, and this is the captain of the asylum seekers boat. >> i told the australian man we needed money to return to our wives and children. he said okay, we'll help you. as captain i got $6,000, the five crew $5,000 each. >> reporter: the captain, now held by indonesian police claims his boat was escorted by two australian vessels over a 2-week period. eventually passengers and crews were transferred to fishing boats that the australians provided and once paid, sent in
the direction of india. - indonesia according to our law, this is according to our law, this is c bribery, it is illegal. this will let the community decide what the punishment will be. in australia the prime minister was dodging questions. >> the only thing that counts is have we stopped the boats. the answer is a resounding yes. >> the prime minister insisted too, officials acted legally, despite experts saying paying smugglers to take people anywhere is against international and australian domestic law. there were questions for the main opposition party. did people smugglers get paid by australia while they were in government. not at sea the leader said, but stonewalled about whether payments were made to smugglers on land. >> you know it doesn't matter what political party the politician is from, when it comes to security matters, we don't comment. >> reporter: australians paying smugglers could have happened for years. australian opinions are mixed. >> if there's nothing to hide on it. they should be answering to the question. >> stop the boat coming. it's a good state for the government.
>> true. >> they should be crook. >> reporter: crook? >> yes, to pay the smugglers. >> most australians are pleased that boats of asylum seekers have stopped coming to the country, but most are uncomfortable with the secrecy by which it is achieved. there are legal questions of how long this has been going on . >> let's speak to graham tom, amnesty international australia spokesperson, joining us from sydney via skype. when abbott says he was confident that at all times australian agencies acted within the law, do you agree? >> well clearly not international law, and it's very grey in terms of australia domestic law as well. where we had severe penalties
for people smugglers, but at the same time australian law allows our officials out on the water to do pretty much as they please and, you know this is what we are hearing. certainly under international law, under the protocol against smuggling, australia is clearly breached international law. >> not according to abbott when he says the government actions from not only legal, he goes on to say but absolutely moral. >> well it's neither legal nor moral, it's a clear breach of the protocol against smuggling, allowed to aid and abet. you are supposed to engage with other countries that signed the protocol indonesia, and supposed to put the safety of victims of people smugglers first. clearly that has not happened. and morally, how can australia be holding people for eight days, including women and children, and put them back into
the hands of smugglers, put them on separate boats, and push them back towards indonesia. this is all happening at the same time as we had thousands of rohingya and bangladesh stranded in the andaman sea dying. we are trying to save lives at sea, according to the australian government. where are our resources going, is it going to rescuing people at rick or is it going into the hands of people smugglers. it's been alleged - as we have seen in... >> so allegations, if it's true what would the implications be for australia? >> well this is unfortunately where international law has been replete. it is causing irreparable dodge with neighbours in indonesia. and highlighted hastiness.
it's been typical of what happened. will there be sanctions against australia, it's doubtful given the way the rest of the world is fleeing. certainly very embarrassing for the australian government. it's coming so strongly saying the people smugglers business modelled, yet here we have allegations that it is paying money, the people smugglers. it's extraordinary. >> we'll leave it there, thank you for speaking to us from sydney. controversy in australia as we see. pope francis is adding his voice to the debate appealing for migrants to be respected across the globe. in his weekly address he said those closing their borders to refugees should ask for forgiveness. a number of countries stepped up
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talks in yemen are in verge of breaking down. the houthis call phone an end to saudi-led. and the government calling for houthis to release areas they hold. the two are meeting through mediators. hundreds of refugees are going home following a kurdish victory in tal abyad. it's a major defeat for i.s.i.l. cutting their supply line. pope francis calls for migrants to be respected across the globe. those closing their borders should ask for forgiveness. security has been stepped up in hong kong as legislators debate a controversial reform package. if the candidates are briefed the people will get to vote. only those approved by beijing will stand.
protesters say that is not fair or free. >> protests camps outside the legislative building in hong kong never really went away. crowds are smaller, the mood is nevertheless similar to what we saw in object. this is a defining historic moment for hong kong. essentially a vote on the political future. everything since the handover in 1997 leads up to this moment. the legislators in this building here are essentially right now debating a proposal that was approved by china's parliament the national people's congress that basically said hong kong could choose its next chief executive in 2017 so long as there were no more than two candidates vetted. many rejected that. one, young, said it's better to have no democracy than a little
democracy. >> do you call that real choice real suffer ridge, how can people not do our own bosses which was promised since the 1980s. many outside are from parties that want the political reform package to pass. it will be a very long debate. there are 70 legislators, each can speak for up to 15 minutes. it could be friday before we get a vote. the pro-beijing group says that it is better for hong kong to have the political reform package, because a little democracy is better than none and represents the best and last chance of getting the real democracy. >> translation: and we have got to support the reform because back then during the british colonial era, we never had a genuine democracy. >> there's an irony in all of this. china, the world's last great communist superpower implored
hong kong to accept democracy, it's a fake democracy that we vote against. >> north korea is facing its worse drought in a century. that's a warning from state media. it is reporting that a third of the country's rice paddies are drying out. with 2 million dependent on food aid, there's fears of starvation. in the 1990s, a series of droughts and famine killed hundreds of thousands. bj king is a professor at hancock university, and says the drought is a serious problem for north and south korea. >> looks like this is considerable here. judging from what we in the south of korea experience here looks like the drought seems to be extensive. here in south korea, we are going through the doubt. this is a small peninsula, so there are, there's no doubt that
north korea is suffering the same thing. the draught - here it is serious. we can defer from that fact that the drought situation is serious. >> in south korea, what we go through is the serious drought in 30 years. the thing is north korea had a history of foreign aid in terms of in the past. i am sure that the government on their level, the foreign aid could continue to flow unless they take an action to stop it. i have little doubt, as long as they have the willingness to continue the way they are doing, i am sure they'll receive it from our side. in the past in a year or two they have kicked out the workers in the past. if they go back the details i don't have at this point. they'll be able to receive it from overseas.
including south korea the u.s. is among several countries to express concern over an egyptian court decision to uphold the death sentence against deposed president mohamed mursi. the sentence was passed in may, but was confirmed after confirmation with the egypt grand mufti. >> reporter: hundreds gathered outside the egyptian embassy in ankara denouncing the court's decisions. turkey's president scribed the court's decision as a massacre of justice, called on the world to intervene, the u.n. secretary-general warned against the sequences of the rulings on egypt's stability, and qatar expressed deep concerns and called for the release of mohamed mursi. >> reporter: in washington d.c. the whitehouse was alarmed by the verdict. >> we understand that mohamed mursi's attorney intends to appeal the sentence.
the united states has repeatedly raised concerns about the detention in sentencing. a variety of political figures in egypt. and we are concerned that the proceedings have been conducted in a way that has not only conflicted with universal values, but damaging to the stability that all egyptians deserve. >> after the judge upheld the death sentence against mursi, there were mixed views on the streets of cairo. >> the judiciary in egypt has never been just. god knows if the judge was just. i see that different things happened to the former president. >> if the ruling is based on evidence, the judge has trusted the judicial ray. >> mohamed mursi, along with other top headers of the brotherhood, were sentenced over a mass prison break over egypt's resolution. the case is politically motivated. in a separate case the muslim brotherhood members were
sentenced to life in prison on charges of spying for hamas, hezbollah. after mohamed mursi's overthrow egypt designated the muslim brotherhood a terrorist group. mass trials and death sentences were handed out to hundreds who support the group. rights group, the u.s. and the e.u. condemned the sentence and questioned cretibility. egypt's president says the judiciary is independent and can't interfere. egypt is divided and would remain so for time to come. greece's central bank says the country will face a deep recession if no deal is reached with bail out creditors by the end of this month. alexis tsipras says he's pushing to a deal that will keep greece in the eurozone. greece is set to defought on $1.8 billion by the end of june unless it receives new funds. a sticking point is pensions. as reported they have been put
three times already over the past decade. >> reporter: this person retired at 57. under different circumstances, she'd still be working. >> i didn't want to retire. i like my work, and was capable of doing it. i needed the money, we can't make ends meet on the pension, not with loans to pay off and unmarried children. >> renewed insecurity over pension terms, sparked a rush to retire. an estimated 400,000 have applied. >> translation: every time there's a discussions about reforming social security people rush to apply for a pension. the reason is insecurity, in case worse terms come along in retirement or money. people are prepared to take a reduced pension, another reason is a threat of lay offs. >> reporter: the sticking point is greece's creditors want pension costs cut by 2 billion. pensions are the biggest
government expense, 30% of the budget. creditors believe the government should start by doing away with early retirement. the government wants to phase it out over several years, and is against the cuts in principle saying they'll trigger a new recession. >> this complicated negotiation has become more difficult. the highest administrative court ordered the government to reverse pension cuts made in the last three years, saying they are unconstitutional, adding 1.3 to 1.7 billion to the costs. >> the real problem is lack of work. 40% of greeks are considered an active population, and only 30% are working. crisis-era government has been promising a gold rush of investment to boost employment. they are achieved an old rush of people seeking refuge, fearing that matters could become worse. now, good news perhaps for choco holics scientists in
scotland discovered a link between people that eat up to 100 grams of chocolate every day and the lower risk of strokes and hard disease. >> reporter: so decadent, so delicious and not so bad as we thought. it's thought eating chocolate is linked to lower heart disease and strokes. looking at the eating habits of 21,000, researchers discovered those that ate more chocolate exercised more, were less obese and likely to have type 2 diabetes, putting them at less rick than cardio vascular disease. they are not saying eating chocolate makes you health yes, buts there may be no need to give it up to protect your heart. >> up to 100% of those eating chocolate are safe in terms of cardio vascular events, there's a little reduction in the risk.
that is the law. we can't say it's because of chocolate. >> reporter: the study focused on british people a nation of choco holics the fourth largest consumer in the world is chocolate. they under the power of what they sell. >> there's studies suggesting there's a pay off when you have chocolate. you tend to get a bigger payoff. >> this is some of the highest quality chocolate. in the recent studies subject were not just eating dark chocolate, but mass produced brs and had a 11% less risk of cardiovascular disease and of stroke. dieticians warn people not to take up a chocolate habit. >> there needs to be a moderation, fact, calories and sugar, if you are trying to watch your weight, eating a lot will not be good for you. >> before you reach for another
mind, bear in mind more research needs to be done. just a reminder you can keep up to date with all the latest news on the website. there it is on your screen. aljazeera.com. >> preparing for the worst tropical depression bill batters the lone star state with heavy rain and risk of flooding. >> syrian refugees making their way back home after a battle with isil. >> the palestinian government is at a breaking point crisis