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tv   News  Al Jazeera  August 17, 2015 11:00am-12:01pm EDT

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>> there wilhello there, welcome to the news hour. coming up, a motorcycle explosion kills 27 people bomb squads are trying to diffuse a second bomb. we'll be reporting live from the scene where emergency workers are working hard to provide assistance to the wounded. >> i'm absolutely horrified by the total disregard for civilian
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life by all parties in this conflict. >> also the u.n. humanitarian chief calls for civilians to be protected after one of the worst single attacks of the war in syria. >> a new candidate announces he's running for fifa president, the frontrunner michel patini running for all bodies. >> a bomb exploded in bangkok. at least 27 people have been confirmed dead. dozens more have been injured. the intersection is in front of a very popular indo you shrine, which is also one of the city's main tourist landmarks. police have said that a second
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bomb has been found inside the shrine itself. bomb disposal experts are currently working to diffuse that now. meanwhile, thai defense minister said that it was aimed at founders and destroying the--it was aimed at tourists and destroying the economic scene. >> it was a desperate race to reach the scene. police try to secure the area. the bomb on a motorbike exploded minutes before, and closed circuit television shows the
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blast happening with people left running for their lives. the bottom went off close to a hindu shrine. bodies and metal strewn across the street. several foreigners are among those who are known to have died. survivors were rushed to hospital. government officials say those behind the attack were trying to destroy thailand's economy and tourism industry. but no group has yet claimed responsibility for this. al jazeera. >> just to remind you, 27 people have reportedly been killed on the streets of bangkok. this is at the intersection close to the shrine, a hindu shrine, very popular with tourists. we understand that chinese, this
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is very popular with chinese tourists and also popular with hindus. it's a very popular shrine. 27 people killed so far. we don't have the exact nationalities so far. and 80 people injured. horrific scenes described by witnesses. earlier i spoke to the chairman at the center of strategic studies at bangkok university, and he was there just a short distance at the time of the blast. >> i was having dinner a half kilometer away. i heard a very loud explosion. at first i thought it was the electrical junction explosion. but later on i see flames shooting up, but i was on the other side of the road, you know, traffic is building up so i left the area.
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later i found out that was a bomb. >> what is happening now? >> well, right now the police have cordoned off the area. what i have seen and i'm following very closely, this bomb was placed very, very near to the shrine, a very popular shrine especially for the chinese tourists, and it exploded about 7:00 p.m. as i heard right now 20 people were killed and 100-pounded. it's a big bomb, and it's aiming at maximum damage, this is no coincidence. at this moment i don't know the motive of the bombing, but naturally i think it is going to aim to cause maximum damage, also they want to announce their
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political viewpoint. >> we don't know who they are, obviously. we're waiting very closely and watching closely to see who is going to claim responsibility for that. i'm talking about the aftermath of this explosion. i've seen people describe how they were in a shopping mall. a bit of a distance away. even there the glass, the windows were blown in. what happened where you were. you said you were having dinner. were you helped away from the area? what sort of di recollection did you have from the police? >> i was about a half kilometer back earlier. i can just hea hear and see the explosion but i was not close enough to see the real damage. but what i would like to say is that this is a very, very busy
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location. and it is used by supporters of the faction and those against the faction. this would have a very important meaning for those who want to make a statement in that respect. >> you're describing how the area is the scene of a lot of popular political demonstrations it is very early to say who is responsible, but in terms of who you heard descriptions of the type of explosives that is being used, is there something new in bangkok, or would your decisions turn in one obvious direction in terms of who would have access to such explosives, and who would want to attack such a soft target. >> yes, this is what we've been
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discussing with my tame here. we're looking at all the possibilities. first of all, this has never happened before. it has been caused by tnt, 11 or 12 pounds of tnt, also the damage is very, very exten extense. this is a very big explosion, the biggest we've ever seen. during the height of the protest, the anti-factions or the anti-government protests usually the bomb would be a light bomb, but this time it is a reall real bomb wanting to cause maximum damage, and
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succeeded in killing more than 20 people, i think. >> a witness quite close to that blast site, also head of strategic studies. veronicveronica pedroza at the scene. people--the police cordon is in place. what are you seeing? >> we're seeing that the cordon has moved the la few hours further away as the police get to work cleaning up the debris. it is a grizzly task. there are parts of clothes, body parts that they've had to deal with. there was also a worry earlier on about a secondary explosive
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device. rescuers told us that such a device has been found. and experts were trying to diffuse t but we have heard nothing about that since. this is an area that is usually very, very busy with people. not just tourists, but also bangkok residents and people from all over the country. it's a major draw. there are five-star hotels, flashy malls as well as market-like malls. it is an area where if you're coming to bangkok it is going to be one of the top three places that you visit. it is now completely cordoned off by the police. we're seeing a see of emergency vehicles, fire trucks, ambulance, police, and the military all converging on the place to secure the area and make it safe and deal with any
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injuries. >> veronica, what have people been saying. you've been standing close to the site itself. what have been people been saying to you? what sort of reaction have they had? >> i think there is a mood of shock, to be honest with you, as you've been hearing from various analysts, witnesses. this is unprecedented. this is like an attack--i grew up in london, and i'm very familiar with london. if you allow me to compare this, if someone placed an explosion near a statue in picadilly. this is central in the commercial direction. and there is a religious overtone for it as well. this is a golden statue of a
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brahma. it is a place where everyone would come and try to get a flavor of the local thai culture by offering prayers, going around the statue of burning incense, offering garlands of jasmine. a happy scene, professional dancers and musicians playing songs. >> okay, we'll leave it there. we're keeping a close eye on this, and we'll keep you update odd then particular story. this blast that is taking place in bangkok at a very popular shrine. the shrine a hindu shrine, and also a tourist spot spot which is why it has been described as a soft target. 27 people killed, up to 80--at least 80 injured. absolutely scenes of carnage have been described as body partie parts and terrible
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injuries. police and bomb disposal squads at the site as described by veronica pedroza. we'll have more on this one when we get it. >> okay, on to other news. there appears to be a breakthrough at the peace talks on south sudan. the president and his former deputy are currently in the ethiopian capital charles stratford is there for us. you've been watching this very closely. what is the latest on this? >> well, let's be careful in the language that we use to describe what we hear is happening in that conference room.
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a breakthrough. it's a bit early to say that that the rebel leader muchar has signed the details of that deal. we're hearing that western diplomats are currently trying to persuade him to sign that deal. he's apparently asking for 15 days of reconciliation talks back in jua in juba. they have been coming out with threatening language saying there will be repercussions if this deal is not signed today, the deadline that has been set up. certainly a moving story here. but still no peace deal signed
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by both leaders. >> okay, just remind us what is going on that makes these peace talks so key in getting those signatures on the dotted line? >> well, we have, as we've witnessed, and almost two years of the latest u.n. figures saying 70% of the population is in dire need of assistance, an economy in tatters. a terrible situation there. we are also hearing certainly from people i've spoken to today that the situation in juba is very tense. we have reports that the president last night, yesterday,
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certainly sacked four governors. there appears to be this deal that is not signed there would be a sudden escalation in violence. that's despite this threat of sanctions, of targeted sanctions and arms embargoes by the west. we've seen on our screen the terrible suffering of the south sudanese people over the months and we've seen the dire need for something to be signed here today. and there have been repeated efforts to get some sort of deal signed in previous months, and they've failed. perhaps one could argue that it was president obama's visit here to ethiopia that really kind of pushed for some kind of deal to be made. there are a lot of regional players involved here as well. the eight-member block, eight countries that have put this reconciliation proposal together
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have a lot to lose as well. and it's a first time, also, that you can really think of a great sense of unity certainly between the americans and the chinese as well. the chinese are very much part of pushing some sort of deal forward. there are a lot of diplomatic efforts. a lot of diplomatic pressure. a lot of face saving that is being done. meanwhile, as i say, millions of people in south sudan continue to suffer. >> charles, why would chinese be pushing? why would chinese have so much interest in this deal? >> well, as we know, china has a lot of influence here in africa. massive amounts of chinese investment here on the continent. there are big players on the economic side of things here on the african continent, and certainly they don't want to miss out on the opportunities as
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being scene to be doing the right thing in terms of ending this horrific war in south sud sudan. >> thank you very much for that update. some movement in those south sudan talks. more on that when we get it. mental, sri lanka has been voting in parliamentary elections. that could see the former president make a political come back. >> voters queued early to cast their ballots. in january they elected a new president, and on monday they returned to vote for 225 members of parliament. >> it is my duty to cast my vote for the person who can guide the country and the people. >> this election is important for the country in every aspect. i think people have used their
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brains and they'll vote wisely. >> people across sri lanka gather at schools and temples. security has tightened around polling centers. this as close we can get to gauge what is going on. >> election observers say this constituency has drawn more attention this time around because sri lanka's former president is one of its candidates. they've been watching proceedings closely. >> not far from here offices of all political parties are still open. apart from this we have not seen any other election violence or violations so far. >> the results of this election are not only expected to determine the futures of a few
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scry lan can politicians but also the direction of the country. >> what is the latest than count? >> we've heard from the election commissioner that up to 75% of counting has started, 22 elect traditional districts. this is one of two here in the colombo district. the first results will be the results of the posal ballots, people cast their vote earlier this month. that result is likely to break around midnight indications arrest that the election has gone smoothly. there are agencies, representatives of political parties that are allowed to come
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and watch the counting happening around the country. each party is allowed a certain number of representatives to watch the counting happen, and just to make sure that they're happy with the process. essentially we're hearing that the results, the counting is going smoothly and initial results will start breaking in a few hours from now. >> okay. we'll leave it there for now. thank you very much. >> now it's one of the worst single incident in syria's war. we know that 100 people have been killed when planes attacked a marker place on sunday. humanitarian chief stephen o'brien said that he's horrified. from neighboring lebanon, we have our reports. >> the plane dropped the bomb in a crowded mortgage place.
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it is all an too familiar scene. this area is regularly targeted by airstrikes, but sunday's attack was the worst yet. civil defense workers gathered to help move the wounded when more air raids hit. more than 100 people were killed and dozens of others were wounded. doctors at the field hospitals struggled to help those survive. many of them were critically injured. according to activists on the ground the victims were civilians, women and children were among them. the attacks coincided with a visit were humanitarian chief stephen o'brien to syria. he has condemned the strikes. >> i'm horrified by the total disregard of civilians.
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attacks on civilians are unlawful, and must stop. i appeal to every party engaged in violence and fighting to protect civilians, and to respect international humanitarian law. >> the syrian opposition said that the attack was a war crime. >> i think that the response from the regime, it's not willing to go through and engage in a solution. a solution means to let go of power and to negotiate himself out of power, he's not willing to do that. >> syrians state media did mention the attack on douma but did say that the air force deered out strikes that targeted the headquarters of the rebel group the islam armies. a day earlier the rebels
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captured a army base. fighting has escalated in recent days. douma has been out of government control for years, but the government still control the skies. sunday's attack is being seen as a message to the people. the government will consider them responsible for the actions of the opposition. al jazeera, beirut. >> now the organization for the okay of chemical weapons say that it is seriously concerned over reports that isil has used chemical weapons in iraq. kurdish fighters were attacked by isil in northern iraq. they believe it was mustard gas. while the government of the region said that it has evidence that isil used chlorine in a car bomb attack in january of this year. and research groups say that the group targeted peshmerga fight
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necessary northern reak with a projectile filled with an unknown chemical agency in june. well, from the organization of the prohibition of chemical weapons. he joins us now from the hague via skype. lots of instances where chemical weapons were used. >> i think when you mention it, it tends doing back over the years in the region. it brings to light the use o the allegations of the use of
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chlorine. as we've mentioned in a press release put out, the organization is deeply concerned about these reports, and would like to acquire more substantial information about these allegations. >> let's say that they've got--isil has been using chemical weapons whether they be chlorine or mustard gas, both have been mentioned. where would they get these from? could they be produced locally? well, chlorine is used in many dilutions. it is a detergent. in some sense. and you know, it can be acquired by anyone.
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that's not difficult. but the issue is that there are many other toxic chemicals, also, but there are international laws these are used only for purposes for which they are made, and not to amen injury or guests in this population, especially. >> okay, thank you very much for your time. >> thank you. >> still to come on the al jazeera news hour. we'll be live in the thai capital bangkok with the latest of that bomb blast that has killed 27 people.
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>> [crowd chanting] hell no gmo. >> they're slamming a technology that could be used to solve problems for people who desperately need it. >> they get exited about technology whether it's in their phone or in their car, so why is it so weird on their plate? >> something's going into food that shouldn't really be there. >> techknow investigates. >> you could not pay me to fake data. >> welcome back. you're watching al jazeera. our top stories. a motorcycle bomb has gone off at a major intersection in the center of the thai capital bangkok. at least 27 people have been
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confirmed dead. that's according to the routers news agency. dozens more, up to 80 people have been injured. the intersection is in front of a hindu shrine, also one of the city's most popular tourism landmarks. the police have said a second bomb has been found inside the shrine. the. bomb disposal experts have been working at the site to diffuse it. also thailand's defense minister said that it was aimed at the country's vital tourism industry. veronica pedroza is at the scene of that plasmati. veronica, things are quieter now. >> the emergency vehicles that
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were swarming the place have left, and the area is cordoned off from the public. that means that a major intersection has been cut off. major thoroughfare has been cut off, disrupting movement around the city. i want to bring clarity to the casualty toll. to let you know that the initi the national police chief has said that the official number of deaths is 16, and among them there are filipinos and chinese fatalities. local television networks have been reporting higher-er death toll. the official death toll remains 16. the british embassy has put out a warning to british citizens
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telling them to monitor the situation and keep an eye on news reports and that the british embassy itself is also monitoring the situation. as we mentioned this is a major tourist destination. people of all nationalities come here. this is a very big a very popular place for people to come and visit. >> the scene of that blast in bangkok. we'll leave it there for now. on the phone i'm joined by a government adviser on national security. so we're starting to hear from various governments around the world where we would have tourists, they would have nationals in bangkok. the british embassy issuing a warning for its nationals. this is not something that the
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thai government can afford, is it? >> no, to make sure that everyone in thailand, including tourists and thais are safe. this is why the security agencies are very much working around the clock to make sure that the area in question, they'll be monitored very closely. of course, we ask for a cooperation from the public. we'll keep the situation under control. >> this is something that the thai government never thought would happen in bangkok.
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in terms of you know we've got this very soft target, thailand is very well thought of. it's a very calm, peaceful nation. >> indeed, but we are still a long way to. in certain areas you need to work harder. this area, of course, as you already know, and already reported to the audience, it's not only a last commercial area.
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so you have a lot of stake holders to work with. it was almost impossible to have a very strict-- >> what do you think about the motivations that leave the aid defense minister who said it was an economic motivation. they wanted to hit the country's tourism. does that seem fair enough to you? >> the country is now back on track. it's on the road map to
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elections. then the country's referendum is expected in the next few months. >> as far as those parties that don't want this to move forward, would there be anything in the fact that there are talks coming up soon in the muslim splinter group. would they be one of the groups that don't want the con steady wentcy to move forward? >> well, on that front? >> there have been various
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groups, as we already know one of the major leaders have been released from britain after having been--the rest of the country is very much stable except for a few pockets, especially in bangkok, where you have assorted groups that are very much active in destabilizing the situation. >> okay, thank you very much for your time. our correspondent has spent many years covering thai issues. he's on the line now from kuala lumpur. just listening to what the doctor had to say there, it does seem that there is something of a challenge for the government now, isn't there. >> i think there is a challenge for the government. i think veronica on the ground there would concur that at the
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moment it is too early to say who could be behind this. the investigation obviously spun off--pointing a finger at opposition group within the north of the country, there is a possibility that that's splinter group looking for the agenda has been the attacking from the south, especially with fatalities in july when i was last there in thailand, were beyond the army itself. there are talks going on possibly next week between muslims or islamist groups, and the thai government, it is all very top-secret. it's normally held behind closed doors and not much disclosed to
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the press. the location itself lends itself to getting the headlines. you want to hit thailand hard, you hit it in a location where there will be foreigners, where it abou it will be very busy. >> just looking at it, at the junction, it's a very wealthy area, isn't it. is there any political importance to this site at all? >> well, i think from the daytime images i think we can show you this is very popular location, as veronica said, this takes the public both at work there and the sifting public to many of the high class, high-end shopping malls, and they can get there from ground level, but
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also through the sky walks, which are above road level. when the sky walks are connected to the metro station, so people are often moving down to floor level. where the shrine s there is not a metro station where it is. thit is on both sides of the shrine. it is very busy, and people in the morning are offering prayers. and then of course in the evening shift people are also visiting the shrine. it is a very popular location. there is an application not far away as well. lots of five-star hotels. it's a very popular location not
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just for local types but foreign visitors to the area. >> thank you very much. just talking us through the location, the target of this blast that we understand has killed 16 people. that figure having been revised by the national police chief. 16 people, and a number of foreign casualties, fatalities are expected, and it has been said that they are involved in the death toll. we don't know exactly who they are, but we do know that there were chinese and filipinos that were hit as a result of this blast. so 16 people dead, several dozen injured that follow this motorcycle blast in bangkok at a shrine in a very popular district with tourists and locals alike.
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>> in other news, people whose homes in tianjin were damaged in the explosion are demanding compensation from the government. 114 people were killed in the blast at the site where there was stored highly toxic chemicals. >> it was spontaneous but defiant, a ply more than a protest. buy back, they want the government to purchase their homes. [ sobbing ] >> five days after multiple explosions killed many, emotions remain raw. some are still traumatized. many lived in apartments less than a kilometer from the area.
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and said they had no idea that dangerous chemicals were being stored there. >> we didn't know that there were chemicals there. i don't think we--we don't know who to blame because who allowed them to put dangerous stuff around our houses. i have no idea. >> the gathering of this size would normally make the authorities uneasy. >> well, it's quite interesting you have soldiers here, they're allowing this demonstration to take place, and it is quite a sizable protest. now some of the protesters are holding up banners which say things like we love the party. we support the government. but we want them to buy back our damage damage apartments. >> but some have lost more than homes. chin chou lee's father is missing. >> i don't know if he's still alive. i don't know what happened to him. i can't get hold of him. >> at the blast site specialist
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teams of firefighters appear to have succeeded in wringing the smoldering fires under control. on monday journalists were invited by government officials to witness the start of what will be a very long clean up. and those officials condition to insist the air quality outside of the affected area is no threat to health. >> results from several mobile environments outside of the evacuation zone showed there were no signs of new pollutants. >> but many here tonight know what to believe. some are returning to what is left of their dormitories to collect anything of use. unsure when or if they'll return. inside the exclusion zone a few people remain oblivious to the health risk, preparing for the time when this area will return to normal. a prospect that still seems a very long way off.
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adrian brown, al jazeera, in tianjin. >> have you ever thought about the precious metals residing inside your smart phone or laptop? some of them come from illegal mines in countries like indonesia where miners toil in mud and sand. and as stephanie dekker now reports, the mining has a devastated affect on the island environment and it's people. >> caked in sand it's almost as if they became one with this pit. it's an illegal tin mine, and you can find them everywhere on this island. it's dangerous work. an average of 70 to 100 miners die every year. >> sometimes they are buried for days before we can recover the bodies. sometimes four to five people die. if you dig deeper then there is sand falling on us from much higher. >> this job is the best paid on the island, so they're willing
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to take that chance. young children often help their parents. some have died around these mine pits, too. they end up with companies such as apple, samsung and sony. it's used to make our phones and laptops work, one of your gadgets possibly include tin from here. the free-for-all means that the island is being torn apart. you don't get a sense the damage the tin mining has done to the ground. but take to the sky and the consequence of the world demand for tin becomes clear. the landscape scared by abandoned and active mines, we're just showing you a small part of it, but it's like this along large parts of the island. >> there are so many old mine pits almost 20,000, and then they started mining the sea in 2006. so now we have noted we have lost at least 75% of coral reef
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around the island. >> it's low tide allows them to mine at sea. mining in water is reputed to be morgans. here, too, the sand walls collapse. there is a difference. they can't see it coming. >> if you're asking whether it's worth the risk, which is our life, then no. but what else can we do? other jobs don't pay well. even for our daily needs. with this job i can even save some money. >> the diverrers can make three times minimum wage, but there is no compensation if something goes wrong. that's something that the government wants to highlight that they're losing a lot of money. >> by legalizing the mines we can save money for the miners and for the environment. then we can manage the mining properties. >> with you we're told, as we've seen little is being done by the government, the companies or the
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people to fix the land after the mines are abandoned. the damage at sea could evening harder to fix. the tin will run out one day. the question is what will be left of this island to provide for future generations? >> well, plenty more coming up on the al jazeera news hour, including... [singing] >> name that tune. we'll tell you why this left the champion embarrassed on the podium.
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>> welcome back. we'll catch up with sport. we have news concerning fifa. >> fifa has confirmed an alleged dossi er that is said to have come from headquarters. michel platini is said to be r running against sepp blatter. several letters have arrived describing an unfarthering picture of the former leader. the former vice president made announcement in president and pulled no punches plating
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blatter for the corruption allegations that have plagued fifa. >> the real reason because the same person has been running it for 40 years. thafter decades of ever widening corruption, fifa is the leader who can bring back common sense transparency and accountability. i can change fifa in four years. this is my to all the football fans around the world. >> the honorary president of fifa, he's major shareholder of. he's now in charge of fc go wao.
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it is michel platini who is the frontrunner. the uefa ha president has been considered one the greatest in football history. he led europe to championships in 1948. 1984. we'll find out who replaces blatter in january. there are only two candidates in the running for record-breaking pole vaulter will take on seth ko.
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he has the support of some of his ukrainian supporting staff, saying that the battle against drug cheats should be top priority. >> we try to use scientific knowledge. we rest in more than any other federation, and we will continue to with being in favor for four years, and this is--we'll continue, but we must do it according to the rules and regular gas station. if we strengthen, we'll strengthen. >> well, he has been a long-time bridesmaid in golf majors. but now jason day has been celebrating his first title break through. claiming that the championship in record style. a moment waiting for jason day,
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finishing top in a major, and the australian was finally champion. >> i have not had time to think about what i had just accomplished, and i guess you take me off the best players without a major now. so i mean, it's good to be a major champion. >> the 27-year-old began the final round with the lead and with five birdies on the front nine. he never looked likely to be beaten. leading the chasing pack was jordan spieth, bidding to become the first man to win all three u.s. majors in a year. he would finish in second place three shots behind the consolation prize the 22-year-old replaces mcilroy at world number one. >> ultimately a lot of positives come out of today to be number one in the world is a team that is fantastic. and certainly was a lifelong goal of mine.
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>> but this day belonged to one man alone. there were blips on the eighth and 15 holes. but another birdie on the 16th and the win was secured. the australian finished at 20 under, the lowest over all score surpassing tiger woods. the first time major winner working with long time caddy who had been with him since the death of his father. >> there has been a lot of hard work put into this game, to have a shot a glory, a shot of greatness. that's what we all work towards. it's a good feeling. >> the fifth u.s.a.en to get his hands on the u.s. pga championship trophy, jason day also is the new world number three. al jazeera. >> badminton chief have apologied for playing the wrong
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spanish anthem in indonesia. [ music ] >> she had just defended her world title but as she stood on the podium, they played the fascist-era anthem which has not been used since 1978. it was dropped since the death of general franco. >> thank you. just to remind you of the main news story here on al jazeera a bomb has gone off in bangkok, in the thai capital. killing 16 people, up to 80 have been injured. the bomb went off at 7:00 p.m. local time, it was a motorcycle bomb at a popular hindu shrine popular with locals and tourists, too. there have been no claims of responsibility so far. stay tune. we'll have more coming from our
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team in london. you're watching al jazeera. it wasn't science at all. >> there's a lot of lives at stake, a lot of innocent people. >> how many are still locked up? >> the integrity of the criminal justice system is at stake, plain and simple. >> "faultlines". >> what do we want? >> al jazeera america's hard-hitting... >> today the will be arrested. >> ground-breaking... >> they're firing canisters of gas at us. >> emmy award-winning, investigative series. >> we have to get out of here.
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>> more than a dozen killed 37 many more injured as bomb targets a busy intersection in the thai capital of bangkok. i'm lauren taylor. this is al jazeera live from london. also coming up. south sudan's leaders are on the brink of a compromise deal that one side said needs more time before signing. u.n. humanitarian chief calls for more protection for civilians after one of the worst single attacks in the war in syria. >> i'm o on an indonesia island, and i'll t