Skip to main content

tv   News  Al Jazeera  August 28, 2015 1:00pm-1:31pm EDT

1:00 pm
hungarian police arrest four people after the bodies of 71 refugees were found in a truck in austria. and 105 people are dead and 100 still missing after a boat capsizes off of the coast of libya. ♪ hello there i'm felicity barr and this is al jazeera live from london. tight security for anti-corruption protests in baghdad. we'll have the latest from the
1:01 pm
iraqi capitol. government forces in yemen say they will soon have a new professional army. and hope for children in nigeria orphaned by the violence of boko haram. hello, latest events around europe and its borders have highlighted its growing refugee crisis. four people have been arrested including the owner of a truck in which the bodies of 71 refugees were found. 105 have died and 100 are still missing after a ship sank off of the libyan coast. and refugees fought for food and water in belgrade. and a hungary police say they arrested 21 suspected human traffickers in budapest. but we begin with this report
1:02 pm
from barnaby phillips in austria. >> reporter: we know the 71 people who were crammed into the track of the truck must have suffered an agonizing death, probably by suffocation. and the police can only look for scraps of evidence as to who they were. >> translator: of course we are sure that these people were refugees and more precisely probably a group of syrian refugees. >> reporter: austrian is a transit country for people hoping to reach germany, but it has become a destination in its own right, the number of asylum seekers this year, already almost three times total of 2014. this is outside of vienna, the refugee reception center is overflowing and the streets are full of people from the middle east and africa, somalia, nigeria, iraq, afghanistan, and of course syria. this man is here with his wife and five children fled from
1:03 pm
dara. >> we find here nice people. good people. always give us food, medicine, water. very nice people here in austria, yes. >> reporter: this extraordinary wave of new arrivals has provoked sharp divisions in austrian society. the freedom party is expected to do well in elections later this year. but we have also met austrians who have come here specifically to help people in need. like katie who has come with her boyfriend and mother to hand out, toys, clothes, books to whatever wants them. >> i think it's the least we can do, because these people have been through things that we can't imagine, and they have been through hardships, and so the least we can do is try to make it easier for them to be integrated and make a new life. >> reporter: austria's government says there must be a
1:04 pm
coordinated european response to treat these people humanely, to determine who should have the right to stay, and to prevent more tragedies at the hands of human traffickers. barnaby phillips, al jazeera. at least 105 people have died after a boat carrying refugees capsized off of the coast of libya on thursday. authorities are still searching for bodies. our correspondent has more details. >> reporter: the mediterranean sea has become a dark reminder of people's -- desperation. thousands have been killed so far this year. in the latest tragedy another overcrowded boat sank shortly after leaving libya. >> translator: we are migrating. our boat sank. it was in a bad condition. people died. the libyans saved us. may god bless them. we have been forced into this route. it is called the route of death,
1:05 pm
the grave of the mediterranean sea. >> reporter: libya is one of the main transit routes for people fleeing conflict and poverty to make it to europe. international smugglers take advantage of the country's lawlessness. libya is struggling to cope. people are forced to live in poor conditions and lack basic medical care. in another tragic incident a swedish vessel docked in the initalian port after rescuing hundreds of people from their boat drifting at see, but dozens of others weren't so lucky, their bodies found in the hull of the boat. >> this is one of the tragedies we have seen a lot in the mediterranean. it is the first time for the swedish crew and the swedish ship. unfortunately it's one of many in total. >> reporter: the u.n. estimates that more than 2,400 people have died trying to cross the
1:06 pm
mediterranean so far this year. hundreds of thousands have made the crossing into europe so far this year in a desperate attempt to improve their lives. many are families traveling with children. the european union is still trying desperately to establish a coordinated strategy to resolve this latest crisis. in the meantime the people keep coming. lesboz island is one of the gateways for people trying to get to europe. but they are struggling to accommodate them. jonah hull reports. >> this is the letter to the greek prime minister, asking -- saying that we are dealing with a major humanitarian crisis. >> reporter: in the mayor's office, the chief of staff explains that the island is
1:07 pm
sinking under the weight of refugees. they have promised help. how much help have you actually received? >> to be honest we haven't received yet a single euro. >> reporter: with what appear to be the best of intentions the municipality is doing what it can be minimal resources and expertise to house and process refugee numbers that are now a third of all arrivals anywhere in the e.u. every month. are you phoning your family? >> yes. >> he talking with his family that he's safe and no problems until now. >> reporter: dishing out food in the camp is this man. until recently feeding the homeless in athens. now feeding the correctly stateless. >> translator: it's not just the greek government. it's also the european union. the european parliament. ngo's. where are the ngo's?
1:08 pm
here there are only volunteers. >> reporter: when you look around you, do you wonder whether you made the right decision to leave syria? >> it's hard. it's very hard to leave our country, syria, great syria. but no -- no -- not a choice. it's a war there. and here we are safe. >> reporter: there is another camp run by the police and we don't get inside, but we're told the conditions are much worse. they refer to it as the detention center. that's what it was originally designed to be, a detention center for illegal migrants who have been arriving here for years. these are refugees and their numbers are growing rapidly now. an estimated 3,000 crossed the water from turkey in just the last 24 hours, and there's no
1:09 pm
hiding them, not in the port or the public parks where they wait for ferries off of the island not in the local cemetery where they lie in anonymous numbered graves. and there have been desperate scenes in the serbian capitol. chaos broke out at a breakfast organized by local people. our correspondent described what he witnessed. >> reporter: this morning it had to be some kind of a breakfast that citizens of belgrade wanted to organize for the refugees and there were some 1500 of them coming every day from macedonia to belgrade, and it was supposed to be a peaceful breakfast but it all turned chaos -- chaotic when the citizens brought food
1:10 pm
and water. the people hurried to get to the food and there was chaotic situation there. some of the children were crying, and those volunteers that are helping the refugees in central belgrade, they are saying every day, every hour, somebody brings water there, somebody brings food, and in seconds the water and food is gone. refugees are taking them, and you have to know that refugees when they come from macedonia to belgrade they are left on their own here in belgrade, and volunteers of ngo's and some other organizations are helping them, providing them information, but they are just waiting for the bus or the train to get to the northern border of serbia to cross to hungary. ♪ we're going to take you to iraq where the country's top
1:11 pm
shia cleric has voiced his support for protesters who are demanding an end to government corruption. he says the government must show it's serious about adhering to their demands. al jazeera's zana hoda is in baghdad and joins us live now. tell us what is happening on the streets right now, zana. >> reporter: well, felicity, really, the momentum of this protest movement is only growing. we just came back from the square where the protesters have been gathering over the past few hours. there is -- there was a very, very large crowd, and the numbers, really much more than what we have seen in -- in the past few weeks on every friday. we have to remember that this started as a grassroots movement, almost a spontaneous movement by people who were really frustrated about the lack of services and electricity.
1:12 pm
but now we have an influential political party in iraq, the cleric throwing his weight behind this movement, calling on his supporters to join. we know he has millions of supporters just here in the iraqi capitol, and they were out in force. throwing his support behind the prime minister who has promised reforms. now this protest movement really is not an anti government protest in the sense that these people are giving the prime minister a chance. they are giving him time to implement these promised reforms, but people who we spoke to, really, have told us that they believe that the prime minister is going to place a lot of challenges. first and foremost, the challenge he faces is from within the ruling alliance, and there are powerful forces in the government who do not want to lose power. now what do these people want? they want an end to corruption, they want to reform iraq's post
1:13 pm
2003 political system where power is distributed among sects and ethnic groups. frustration is growing. i can tell you that people are losing their patience. but -- but they are giving abadi time. and the very fact that the influential shia cleric, the highest iraqi shia cleric is throwing his weight, you know, behind abadi, this makes abadi strong, but this really touches at the heart of the shia political establishment. they rule this country. and there are divisions among them. and we have to remember an important fact that some of them -- some of their political and security factions are even stronger than the state. so abadi has a lot of challenges, but people are growing increasingly frustrated. and the protests were also in a
1:14 pm
number of southern cities as well. >> zana, thank you. and still to come on the program, environmentalists have that sinking feeling, warning that industry and human consumption are pushing the dead sea towards ecological disaster. and the protesters who forced australian police to call off plans to randomly check immigration visas. ♪
1:15 pm
♪ ♪ ♪ get excited for the 1989 world tour with exclusive behind the scenes footage, all of taylor swift's music videos, interviews, and more. xfinity is the destination for all things taylor swift.
1:16 pm
♪ hello again a reminder of the top stories on al jazeera. hur gainian police say they have
1:17 pm
arrested four people over the discovery of the bodies of 71 refugees in a truck in austria. at least 105 people have died and 100 are still missing after a ship sank off of the libyan coast. and iraq's top shia cleric has voiced his support for protesters demanding an end to government corruption. he says the government must show it is taking their demands seriously. government forces in yemen say the country will eventually have a new professional army. opposition houthi fighters and army units loyal to the former president saleh will be disbanded. only civilians along with tribesmen who fought with government troops will be entitled to yoin the future national fighting force. hashem ahelbarra reports. >> reporter: there were mostly militia men or civilians who took up arms against the houthis in the south.
1:18 pm
now they have been recruited to join yemen's new army. the country's military is known for being divided along tribal and sectarian lines. some of these trainees were forced to retire under formal president saleh. there was inherent mistrust of people from southern yemen, a fear they might form a breakaway state. >> translator: we formed the battalion a few weeks ago. they have mostly been drawn from the civilians who fought off the invaders. >> reporter: plans are underway to build support for exiled president hadi, but his return to power depends on an army loyal to him. this is a gathering of tribal leaders in a province on the
1:19 pm
border with saudi arabia. some had linked with the houthis. now they are switching sides. they are joining with government forces to recapture the province of sa'dah. >> translator: we're making preparations to start a military campaign to liberate the province. we regret not taking up arms against the rebels in the past. now we will defeat them and seize their strong hold on sa'dah province. >> reporter: but the new army has a long way to go, lacking training and resources, it remains out numbered and outgunned by forces allied with the houthis, and some of these fighters are more loyal to their tribal leaders than the army. many military units defected and joined the rebels. now there are two armies fighting for control the one in the north is mainly shia, and
1:20 pm
the one in the south is mainly sunni. the u.n. envoy to libya says peace talks must be completed within two weeks. libya has two rival parliaments. the tripoli delegation didn't go to meeting, because a chief member of the negotiating team resigned. at least nine people have been killed after indian and pakistan yin border guards traded gunfire in the disputed kashmir region. members of the national panthers party are angry at what they say is continuous firing by pakistani troops. police in australia have called off plans to randomly check immigration visas after public outcry. imran khan reports. >> reporter: it was supposed to a be a flagship policing mission but instead operation fortitude
1:21 pm
became operation ineptitude. police forces had to admit the plan to check people's visas on stleets was handled badly. >> i find it frankly orwellian. >> this is not nazi germany, and we need to fight against it now. >> reporter: australian border forces were due to be deployed, sparking fears that they might racially profile. once again it was social media that spurred a protest movement, a call was put out on twitter and hundreds gathered. the reaction was such that the australian border force had to issue a blunt statement and cancel the operation. >> it has been misconstrued and shouldn't have been worded that way. >> reporter: the protesters celebrated their success but also managed to bring the city to a stand still on friday. local politicians likened the operation fortitude to an action
1:22 pm
by a fascist government. for now it's a win for the protesters and a loss for the state government. there have been mass protests in guatemala calling on the president to resign over a corruption scandal. he has become increasingly isolated and most of his cabinet have already stepped down. from grew city, david mercer reports. >> reporter: tens of thousands of people packed into guatemala city's central park. they want an end to government corruption and harsh punishment for those involvemented. there is wide-spread anger and frustration at a political system people say has failed them with calls louder than ever for the president to step down. >> translator: we have tired, but we know that now is the time to raise up. the government has the stolen from us. we need to rise up, because we
1:23 pm
want to show the world that the people united can achieve change. >> reporter: the president's televised denial on sunday of any involvement in the scandal only served to bring more people to the streets. many schools and businesses were shut to allow students and staff to take part. they were joined by groups from rural guatemala who have been blocking roads around the country for days. guatemala might be a country of sharp divisions with rich and pour, urban and rural, seldom coming together, and that's what makes this protest so unique, people from across the country and different social backgrounds uniting forces for a final goal. the president watched from the safety of a government office. just days ago a judge indicted the former vice president for fraud, bribery, and illicit
1:24 pm
involvement. and congress has taken steps for impeachment. this analyst says the president has few choices available to him. >> translator: guatemala might be a country with sharp divisions with rich and poor, rural and urban seldom coming together, but that's what makes this protest so unique. people from across the country uniting forces for a common goal. >> reporter: guatemalans will have a chance to vote for a new president in just over a week, but with the leading candidates all dogged by controversy, people here say their fight is far from over. david mercer, al jazeera, guatemala city. one of the last survivors of the world war ii break out that inspired the hollywood movie "the great escape" has died at age 101. he was part of a group of 76 men
1:25 pm
who broke out of a german prisoner of war camp. royal was one of the few who made it home. hundreds of children left orphaned by boko haram's violence in northern nigeria have been given a chance at a new start. one school is helping them graduately deal with the trauma they have experienced. >> reporter: this is what boko haram doesn't want them to have, an education. these children are orphans whose parents are among thousands of people killed by the armed group boko haram. their school and home for now, offers them a new start, but the transition has not been easy. >> we are trying gradually to bring them out of the bad experience, at least let them forget about some of the bad experience. we can't say it's a drastic process, no, it's a gradual process, and they are coming out
1:26 pm
gradually from the bad situation. >> reporter: it has been six months since they have been here trying to adjust. the children may be making progress, trying to be kids again, but most will live with the trauma they experienced for the rest of their lives. some of them have seen what no child should ever see. many are still in shock. this young boy's story was particularly sad. boko haram fighters becapitated his father in front of him. the traumatized boy says very little and is deterred from the rest. he tells me he wants to be a doctor to help people in pain. his adjustment to life has been particularly hard. the impact on this little boy is physical and psychological. he was shot in the face, and he is having nightmares and behaves
1:27 pm
abnormally. they have 100 children and more are expected. >> it's not that big of deal for us to take care of these children in the primary school. it's a matter of will, and determination. and we have the determination. we shall not allow these children to be disadvantaged in terms of normal growth as individuals. >> reporter: back at the school, it's playtime. at least to help take their minds off of what they have been through. their teachers say they keep asking when their parents will come for them, and when they are going home. one of the world's most famous mineral-laden lakes is at risk of drying up. more than a third of the surface area of the dead sea has disappeared over the last 50 years. >> reporter: it's one of the most popular tourist destinations in the region. but environmentalists say the
1:28 pm
dead sea which borders israel and the occupied west bank and jordan is shrinking rapidly. the ancient salt lake, has been losing a meter of its waters every year. this israeli tour guide says the decline of the dead sea and apparent indifference of neighboring government has been shocking. >> i see the dead sea as an international property. it is really one of a kind in the world, and it should be a international world heritage. and instead of we're destroying it and it's being degraded from day-to-day. >> reporter: the dead sea is shrinking because 70% of the water sources are being diverted by mainly israel, and jordan, and to a lesser degree syria. the rest is caused by potash
1:29 pm
mining prayings. and the environmentalists are also worried about the hundreds of sinks holes that have opened up around it since the 1980s. swallowing up roads and power lines, resulting in the closure of several nearby beaches and businesses. >> actually the basic reason for the sinkhole development is the drop in the level of the dead sea, and associated with that drop is a drop in the ground water level, and that causes areas that were previously within salty water to be flushed by sweet water, fresh water. >> reporter: some projects have been launched to try to saef the dead sea, but environmentals warn it could take decades to repair the damage, and until neighboring countries stop diverting waters to the ancient
1:30 pm
lake or put an end to their mining practices, it's all but certain to dry up. you can find much more on many of our stories on our website, the address is ♪ nsa phone day collection backed by the appeals court. florida's governor prepares for tropical storm erika. and hurricane katrina, president bush returns to new orleans today, a decade after the storm destroyed the city. ♪