the afghan taliban confirms for al jazeera its spiritual leader is dead. ♪ i'm shiulie ghosh with the top stories here on al jazeera. israel passes a law allowing force-feeding of prisoners on hunger strike a practice condemned as a form of torture. egyptian security officers say the verdicts of three al jazeera journalists have been delayed. and we report on why the humble potato has a bad reputation in china, and why the government is trying to improve
its image. ♪ the afghan taliban has confirmed to al jazeera it's spiritual leader mullah omar is dead. and it has always elected his replacement. the afghan government said it had enough evidence to confirm that he died two years ago, but the taliban refused to confirm. there is still some conflicting reports from the taliban about where and when exactly he died and whether they have in fact chosen a replacement. >> reporter: shiulie, in the past 15 minutes, though we have received a statement and tweet from official taliban spokesman that confirmed the death of
mullah omar. but now it's confirm by afghan taliban in afghanistan too. let me take you to the impact of his death. if we believe he died two years ago, in the past two years taliban has gained a lot of afghanistan war. they have achieved a lot of military and politically in afghanistan like -- if we compare 2013 with now, taliban were -- in 2013 only focusing on the south, now they are more splitting the war in the past two years to northern afghanistan. just in the past 48 hours taliban captured another district in the southern afghanistan. heavy fighting is going on in the northern afghanistan. so it looks like mullah omar was more of a symbolic leader than active leader for taliban. >> okay.
so we're getting reports that his deputy has been elected as the new leader. if that's true where does that leave the prospect of any peace talks with the afghan government? >> he was an acting leader in the past three years especially in the political decisions the taliban were making. he was head of a very active taliban, he was in afghan government sources, and telling us here he was in favor of talks. and they are quite optimistic now that we don't have mullah omar as leader of taliban, maybe it's easier to deal with his success or and they believe he is in favor of talks in this country. >> thank you very much for that. now the taliban were in
power in afghanistan until 2001 when the u.s.-lead invasion forced them out. neave barker reports. >> reporter: a conservative movement born in rural afghanistan, the word taliban means religious student. in the power struggle that followed the soviet withdraw of afghanistan in the 1980s, they began the movement of a pure state. they sided with foreign fighters to defeat sthoef jets, among them a young osama bin laden. they wanted to rid afghanistan of corrupt war lords vying for power, and to restore security a message that was greeted with optimism at first, but in reality meant strict laws. music and television were banned
and girl schools were closed. and afghanistan's ancient buddhist past was erased. by the late 1990s, the taliban controlled almost the whole country, but the 9/11 attacks on the united states in 2001 lead to u.s. air strikes against al-qaeda and the taliban who had given sanctuary to the airline hijackers. as taliban fighters were pushed into the mounce the regime quickly collapsed. as the u.s.-lead war in afghanistan continued, key taliban leaders have been killed and there is reports that the group has fractured into rival factions. but their presence in pakistan has grown, such as here in the port city where they have reportedly been gaining support. the death of mullah omar is being seen as a blow to their organization but the naming of a new leader insurances their
network of influence remains. >> israel's parliament has legalized the force-feeding of prisoners on hunger strike. force feeding is considered as a form of torture and full of medical risks. >> translator: israel is gen continuing with crimes and aggression towards the palestinian prisoners under the guise of what it calls laws. it is threatening their lives. the global union of doctors condemned this law, and even the doctor's association in israel called on their doctors not to deal with it. >> stephanie decker has more from west jerusalem. >> this hugely controversial bill is now law, and what it means is that security prisoners, prisoners that israel has convicted or suspects what
it calls ing law. most of those on hunger strike are in administrative detention. that means they are being held without charge. in that can be done up to six months and is renewable under military court. so most of the cases of hunger strikes are those who haven't been charged. and they said to solve this rather than force-feeding hunger striking prisoners, either charge them or release them. and a huge backlash from israel's medical community, they say this amounts to torture. one doctor actually equated it to rape. we put all of this to one of the men involved in drafting the bill. he said this is about medical help we do not want these prisoners to die, but if you
look at the numbers on the ground over the last years really here no prisoner has ever died from a hunger strike but there have been cases where prisoners v died because they were force fed. turkish military says flee soldierings have been killed. helicopters and a commando unit were dispersed to the area. kuwait says it has uncovered a network of isil workers. five of them with kuwaitis. there are reports that eight members of a u.s. group of fighters have been on abducted in northern syria.
this is video, which is meant to show fighters -- there you go -- fighters entering syria after they received their training in turkey. the u.n. envoy to syria has put forward plans for a political solution to end the country's four-year civil war. all sides have been invited to join a series of working groups aimed at restarting peace talks. the verdict in the retrial of three al jazeera journalists in egypt has been postponed until august 2nd. mohammed fahmy, baher mohamed, and peter greste are accused of colluding with the outlawed muslim brotherhood. charges they and al jazeera deny. >> reporter: al jazeera english journalists say justice has been delayed again. they arrived at a cairo court hoping to hear a verdict reflecting the truth, that they are not guilty.
instead they were told the case has been postponed until next week. >> it is really disappointing. we were expecting a verdict today. >> reporter: they have all come to accept delays but they hoped there would be positive outcome at last. >> the only thing any of us are concerned about at this point is the verdict. that is what will define our lives from that moment on. >> reporter: the legal troubles have dragged on for more than a year and a half. in 2014, they were convicted of aiding the now banned muslim brotherhood, and sentenced to between seven to ten years in prison. they spent more than 400 days behind bars. then in january in this year dhoert of cassation through out their convictions and ordered a
retrial. in february greste was deported to his native australia. the other two were released from jail in the next month. analysts have criticized the evidence against the journalists. >> we have seen prosecutors present open court footage of family photos avenues reels and pop songs as proof that these men were somehow involved in an armed group and aimed at overthrowing the egyptian government. >> reporter: an al jazeera network spokesperson says --
>> reporter: the men say this case is not only difficult for them it's taking a toll on their families too. now they are hoping this delay is nothing more than that and not a sign of bad news to come. natasha ghoneim, al jazeera. still to come here on the program, accusations that u.s.-lead trade negotiations on an ambitious deal with being too heavily influenced by corporation. we'll get a view from down on the farm in the u.s. plus tens of thousands of people in burundi fled the country because of political violence and a few are now starting to return. stay with us.
welcome back. i'm shiulie ghosh, the top stories on al jazeera. afghan taliban sources have confirmed to al jazeera it's spiritual leader is dead. it has also chosen his replacement. afghanistan said on wednesday omar died more than two years ago in a hospital. the verdict in the retrial of three al jazeera journalists in egypt has been postponed until august the 2nd. baher mohamed, mohammed fahmy, and peter greste are accused of colluding with the outlawed muslim brotherhood. charges they and al jazeera deny. and israel's parliament has legalized the force-feeding of prisoners on hunger strike. the bill was passed with the majority of just six votes. the iraq yay government is denying allegations that it tortures prisoners. officials are being
investigated. iraq ratified the u.n. convention against torture in 2011 but rights groups say torture is still widespread. the iraqis are facing very tough questions. they have denied the charges, they said we do not torture people and there is no evidence provided to contradict that. however, there is a legal problem when it comes to the iraqi constitution. torture isn't clearly defined. some say this has been a deliberate measure to allow them to get away with torture. there is plenty of publicly available evidence on this. we have seen reports from human rights watch, amnesty international, and other groups about these secret prisons. there have been plenty of testimony from people who have been inside the prisons alleging they have been tortured.
when abadi took power, he said he was going to clean house. we haven't seen a huge amount of that cleaning house going on particularly when it comes do the ministry of justice and these allegations of torture that is going on. the iraqis as i say have denied all of that. but various human rights groups have put out evidence that those torture techniques are still being used. back to our top story the announce of the new leader of the afghan taliban. a journalist says there are no decisions within the taliban and their agenda is very different than that of isil. >> they have two completely ideologies. taliban is only concerned about enforcing sharia law within the borders of afghanistan, and they haven't claimed any -- any
objectives -- other objectives. actually, the -- the new leader i -- i met him briefly once in 2000 -- in 1997, and there was another very strange situation in which i heard his voice talking to the acting prime minister while i was interviewing him back in 1997. he was over the phone. he was the governor of kandahar and head of intelligence in charge of the southern provinces at the same time and he was calling the prime minister to ask him for permission a security clearance for osama bin laden to move from kabul at the beginning of the winter -- very cold winter -- down to the south to the province he was governing, which was kandahar. and to my astonishment the
prime minister refused to give such permission and the reason he gave me at the end of this strange conversation is that we have to send a message to everybody, including osama bin laden that we the ashraf ghanis are the masters in this country, and the rest are just guests. burundi's main opposition leader has been named as first vice president in the newly elected parliament. the election could signal the government and opposition are willing to work together. he had earlier condemned president pierre nkurunziza's decision to run for a third term. families from burundi are starting to come back. but the european commission is releasing almost $5 million to help the refugeess haru maatta sa
reports. >> reporter: this woman says she went to a refugee camp because she was afraid. she and others have now started to return home. >> translator: there is no war, so i came back. the camp was not good. but i am scared. i heard some people are being harassed by those who stayed. they are angry we ran away. >> reporter: neighbors say thieves took advantage of the situation, they broke down the door and came inside. they then went through room by room looking for whatever they could steal. they took things like furniture and appliances. a voter's card is a reminder of burundi's first election after the civil war when the president won his first term. he recently won a third after months of violence and despite a constitutional rule limits him
to two terms. the government says people are coming back because security has been restored. >> translator: a lot are come back. many have walked from neighboring rwanda. it's true after the election people started coming back. >> reporter: but the united nations says more than 100,000 people are still in refugee camps in the democrat republic of congo, tanzania and rwanda. >> so far though in urban areas are now returning. so the government may have the definition that these are refugees, but for us we take as refugees those who had asked for the protection of other countries as refugees and for those we are not having signs that they are coming now. we are monitoring the situation. >> reporter: many people in burundi know the crisis isn't over, the proposed unity
government and some opposition leaders may not work. it may be a long time before everyone who has left returns home. haru mutasa al jazeera. malaysia's prime minister hayes the wing found in the ocean is likely from a boeing 747. they will find out if it belongs to mh17 that disappeared last year. greece's prime minister has called for a bailout vote within his syriza party. he has also suggested a party referendum as early as sunday if leftist opponents wanted quicker action. greece struck a last-minute deal earlier this month. but many members of this ruling
party are opposing the agreement. ministers from a dozen pacific rim countries are locked in talks in hawaii to try to reach a deal on an ambitious free trade agreement there it is being lead by the u.s. and supporters say it will unlock markets promoting investment and boosting sales, but people have been demonstrating on the eye land of maui saying the talks have not been transparent. tom akerman has been meeting dairy farmers from the state of ohio for their thoughts on the deal. >> reporter: three times a day, the milk gets pumped from the 700 cows here. the high-tech operation is one of thousands that make america the world's foremost milk producer. 15% of that output sold and consumed by other countries. frank is well aware that worldwide sales have an impact
on the prices he gets from his local dairy customers. >> where you are at in the country and whether it's your milk being poeshthsed or someplace else it is still the same supply-demand situation. >> reporter: that's why they are watching closely the talks going on in hawaii. he sees the prospect of boosting production as important to more than just his own family. >> as dairy production increases or other agricultural commodities, that means more jobs, so it's a boost to the rural economy as well. >> reporter: joe raises cows too, but he takes a skeptical view of the trade deal. >> we have these deals set up to
benefit these corporations that can do very well for themselves by maximizing the amount of global commerce that occurs regardless of the impact upon the consuming public or the producing public. >> reporter: and logan points to issues crucial to farmers which he says the treaty negotiators are bypassing or fails to give enough attention. >> you have currency vat taxes, labor standards, environmental standards, you are making a really really heavy lift for american agriculture. >> reporter: there is just one economic sector out of many that will need to be satisfied with a deal that determines the course of 40% of the world's trade. tom akerman, al jazeera, ohio. the man convicted of financing india's deadliest bomb attack has been hanged. he was executed hours after his
final mercy plea was rejected. a series of blasts in mumbai killed 257 peopled, and injured more than 700 others. myanmar says it will release many prisoners. beijing filed a diplomatic protest after the verdict was announced. a landslide triggered by heavy rainfall killed at least 15 people in nepal. two villages in and around the area were buried under the landslide. 13 people were injured. a sim bop wayian judge has granted a [ inaudible ] of the
killer. the american a minnesota dentist who paid $50,000 to kill the lion said he believed the hunt was legal and the necessary permits have been issued. he apologized to his parents in the incident. he says i don't often talk about hunting with my patients. i understand not everyone shares the same views on hunting. experts are gathering for a conference in beijing to talk about the humble potato. how important is the potato as a food source? well it's the world third most important food crop after rice and wheat. it can help guard against illnesses. more than a billion people eat potatoes worldwide.
50% comes from so-called developing countries. rob mcbride reports. >> reporter: this has everything to do with potatoes from every conceivable way of consuming them to better science for growing them. the chinese government is on a mission to convince the people on the wonders of the potato. >> translator: here in china we have good quality potato varieties that give high yields. it will provide more options for us as a stable food. >> reporter: facing ever-more pressure on farming land from urbanization and industrial pollution, it could be the potato to the rescue. underpinning the great potato debate is the issue of food security. the hearty potato requires far less land and water than rice, but it faces a serious image
problem in the eyes of chinese consumers. look around traditional street markets and it's hard to spot what is seen as a peasant food only for those who can't afford rice. >> translator: it's like a substitute food. >> translator: we will have it like an extra vegetable, but it's not the basis for a whole meal. >> now more westernized younger people they will eat a lot more potatoes. >> reporter: and that's part of the problem. potato consumption is on the rise largely thanks to increasing amounts of french fries in fast-food restaurants. the challenge is getting the chinese to learn healthier ways of having their daily potato. >> translator: in mongolia we have been eating potatoes for a very long time. there are lots of ways of using
them like potato noodles. >> reporter: hopefully this congress will have shown new ways of putting potatoes on chinese tables. don't forget you can keep up to date with all of the news on our website, aljazeera.com. a former police officer pleads not guilty in the gilling of an unarmed black man during a traffic stop. possible new clues as to what happened to malaysian airlines flight 370. investigators looking into part of a wing that washed ashore. and how three young women swindled isil out of thousands of dollars. ♪