tv Weekend News Al Jazeera August 29, 2015 1:00am-1:31am EDT
it's been a frustrating legal battle for al jazeera journalists facing retrial in egypt. a verdict was supposed to be announced. now the three journalists hope it will be the end of the long struggle to clear their names. >> for the past 20 months these al jazeera journalists have been waiting to hear the word not guilty. the judiciary has another chance to deliver the justice they say they deserve. they spent more than a year of their lives in an egyptian prison. the men's fight for freedom began when they were arrested in december 2013. they were charged with aiding the now banned muslim
brotherhood. in june of last year a court sentenced them to seven to ten years. then last january the court throughout their convictions and ordered a retrial. >> i'm just living day by day. i don't hope anything, i don't expect anything. >> in february he was deported to australia. mohamed and fahmi were released on bail. but they have been unable to leave egypt. with their lives on hold, they are still serving a kind of sentence. >> what really matters is what it would mean to the other guys, that there is still a serious danger that they could wind up back in prison. and that, for all of us, would be devastating. >> it's inspired a global campaign of support. >> issue of the al jazeera journalists in egypt, we have declared publicly and privately
they should be released. >> they called the entire court process a farce. the committee to protect journalists says there are more journalists in egyptian prisons. >> i will continue to fight for those still behind bars. >> they are hoping they will clear their names first. let's take a look back at the case. with the three journalists on trial who was arrested at a how it he will in december 2013. their first court appearance happened on the 20th of february, 2014. they were charged with spreading false news, helping a terrorist organization and operating without a permit. after many delays, the verdict was handed down in june, guilty,
seven years in prison and ten for mohamed. six months later, egypt's court throughout the convictions and ordered a retrial. fast forward another month, peter is released and then deported. then on february 12 mohamed fahmi said the judge ordered their release. it's dragged on for five months. closing arguments began on june 1 and the court has twice postponed the verdict. the prospect of a final decision brings hope that the long running case will be resolved. let's talk to a professor, a former ambassador to egypt. he joins us live from cambra. >> this has been a frustrating time with the trial now being adjourned ten times. why do you think the egyptians
keep postponing the verdict? >> well, we can only speculate as to the reasons for this. but i suspect that in part it's because the judiciary itself is unsure about the quality of the case it raised. but having embarked upon it, particularly in the climate that surrounded these events, the likelihood was pretty limited to acquit them. and then in more recent times there have been practical reasons, the ill-health of some members of the panel. and secretary of state kerry was going to be in cairo. that would have been thought of by the egyptians as somewhat inopportune, whether they acquitted, in which case they are accused of coming under
american pressure or found the defendants guilty in which case they would be accused of being insensitive to washington. so there was some relief with which they seized on the opportunity to adjourn and give the verdict later. >> that point of pressure that you make is very important. if the trial is adjourned again, is there any more international pressure that can be brought to bear on egypt and where do you think that pressure might come from? >> i really don't think that external pressure publicly applied can be helpful to the defendants. i think that there has been a great deal of good diplomatic work done quietly to try to influence the outcome. but within the limits that good diplomacy requires, sensitivity to context, the need to work with those who can see the
advantages of a positive outcome rather than criticizing from the outside, the clear dysfunctionality of the egyptian system. if there is a guilty verdict at this stage, i think we just have to go back to more of the same. working quietly rather than trying to overturn the outcome of the system which is going to be very defensive about its own prerogatives and has been so. >> let me get a final brief thought from you, professor. do you think the egyptian approach is being shaped by wider regional politics? >> the egyptian judiciary is hard to read on that. i think it's very sensitive to its own prerogatives, secondly to the popular mood and thirdly to what signals it picks up from government. it doesn't go out of its way to an taking nice the executive, shall we say. but on each of those fronts
there is not a lot that one can be optimistic about in regard to this particular case. there has not been any easying of the popular antagonism towards the muslim brotherhood. the government has been trying to draw connections between the upsurge of terrorism and the theforemer mowcy regime. >> thank you very much for sharing your thoughts with us. now, in just two days nearly 200 refugees have died trying to reach europe. police recovered 71 bodies from a truck and more than a hundred people have drowned. now the u.n. has weighed in asking the international
community to do more to help those making desperate attempts for new life. >> i have been told and how difficult it is. i commend those leaders and communities who have stepped up. but much more is required. i appeal to all governments to expend safe and legal channels of migration and act with humanity, compassion and in accordance with their international obligation. this is a human tragedy that requires a determined, collective political response. >> austrian police have arrested four people after finding the bodies. a syrian passport has been recovered from the vehicle and they are working to confirm the nationalities of the other victims. its owner and driver have been
detained. the saudi coalition has carried out more air strikes in yemen. there are reports that the houthi and their allies have been hit. more than 4,000 people have been killed in the conflict since march. government forces in yemen say the country will have a new professional army. opposition houthi fighters and army units loyal to the president will be disbanded. only civilians alike with tribesmen who fought with government troops will be entitled to join a national fighting force in the future. >> reporter: there were mostly militia men or civilian whose took up arms against the houthis in the south. now they have been recruited to join yemen's new army. the country's military is known for being divide along tribal and sectarian lines. some of these trainees were
forced to retire under the former president. under his administration there was inherent mistrust of people from southern yemen. they fear they might form a break-away stage. >> translator: we formed this battalion a few weeks ago after we defeated houthi fighters. there are 4,800 soldiers. they have been drawn from the civilian whose fought off the invaders. >> reporter: across the country plans are under way to build support for exiled president hadi. but his return to power depends on an army that is loyal to him. this is a gathering of tribal leaders in a province on yemen's border with saudi arabia. some of these tribal leaders had links with the houthis. now they are switching sides. they are joining with government forces to recapture the province. >> translator: we are 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'll hunt them and defeat them and seize their strong hold. >> reporter: but the new army has a long way to go. lacking training and resource, it remains outnumbered and outgunned by forces aligned with the houthis. some of these fighters are more loyal to their tribal leaders than the army. in the past few months many military units defected and joined the rebels. for now there are two armies fighting for control. the one in the fort in the norty shia. the one in the south is mostly houthi. >> much more to come, popular political parties join in protest pushing for reforms.
egypt. they were arrest in 2013 and charged with aiding the now banned muslim brother hood. in january their convictions were thrown out. the houthi rebels says strikes are killing enemy civilians. 60 iraqi soldiers have been killed in the isil killed city of ramadi. two suicide car bombs hit vehicles. the bombings happened near the an mar university. the militia are helping the military to take back areas from isil in ramadi. meanwhile, thousands of people have protested in the capital of baghdad demanding an end to government corruption. the demonstrations have been backed by the top shia cleric.
>> the momentum is growing. the most powerful political parties has joined what began as a spontaneous movement. he was backing the prime minister's push for reform. it didn't bother some civil rights activists even though he has members in government and parliament. >> we need support from different people in iraq. instead of certain members, it's important to us, they actually is too much. maybe about 50/50. >> reporter: people are no longer asking for better services. they want corruption officials to leave office and reform of the political system. they say they won't back down. >> translator: no one can stand in front of the iraqi people. the people taking the wealth of the country won't be able to do that any longer. >> reporter: but that won't be
easy. he has announced reforms, but hasn't done anything but reduce the size of the seats and cut spending. >> translator: the commander-in-chief, he has power in his hands, but he can't change things quickly because corrupt officials are in the government and they are strong. >> reporter: this is one of the biggest challenges yet in postwar iraq. the power struggle among the shia is out in the open. this is not an antigovernment protest, not yet. the people here are throwing their weight behind the prime minister h. the challenges come within the ruling alliance. reforming the system would ignite powerful forces against him. at the warning that politicians who will be hurt by reforms won't give up privileges easily. >> the demonstrators should not
allow anyone to divert them from objectives, especially those hurt by their reforms. they may try to further their own interests. >> reporter: they have made a point to display the iraqi flag. while this may have overcome the divide, it is dividing the majority shia community. activist in lebanon are calling for protest against the government. they are angry that authorities failed to clear the streets of mountains of rubbish. it's been building up following closure a mainlan main landfill. >> the upper class neighborhood, the rubbish cans are empty. but a few minutes, and you have to start holding your nose.
the rubbish is piled on street corners. after weeks of antigovernment protests, authorities are trying to resolve the problem or at least make it go away. waste has been taken off the streets, but the question many have been asking is where to. since the main landfill is closed. take a look at this. meter after meter, rubbish as far as the eye can see. the capital's waste is being dumped by the sea next to beirut's port. a symbol of romance is now being lined with rubbish. beirut is surrounded by mountains and greenery from mounted lebanon, the nature is breath-taking. but that, too, is under threat. we are on top of one of the dozens mountains around beirut. the natural habitat attracts tourists each year.
i'm going to put this mask on. the reason i have to do this is because of this scene. piles of rubbish that authorities have been dumping here for several weeks now. it's important to know that just a couple of days ago the amount of rubbish was three or four times as much. locals tell us some was burned, other was dumps in the sea. the amount is huge and this scene is replicated across several other mountains around beirut. that's what's putting lebanon's environment at real risk. this is one of the activist calling for people to protest against the government's failure to deal with the rubbish. he's hopeful that it will not only help resolve issue but issue in a new phase for lebanon. >> this is not a good system. this is something that even though who belong to political parties know it clearly. we want to show them they can
demand for something new, they can demand for their rights as a lebanese citizen. the basic system you have in most developed nations. it's as simple as that at the end of the day. >> changing the political reality could take years if not more. result now, however, a solution has to be found to deal with the country's rubbish because the environmental damage that condition caused could rewell be irreversible. a coalition of rights groups in malaysia is organizing protests against government corruption. these are live pictures where protesters have started to assemble. it's the latest from a group that's trying to push for reforms. we plain who they are and what they are trying to achieve. >> reporter: the protest is being organized by a movement that translates to clean.
this movement is a coalition of rights groups who are demanding transparent government and institutional reform in malaysia. it started back in 2007 when thousands of people took to the streets amidst allegations of vote rigging during elections. since then the movement has expanded its focus to include corruption and poor governance. they organized a number of rallies and each of them have attracted tens of thousands of people. this time they clearly have their sights set on the prime minister. over the past few months he's been accused of embezzling $700 million of public funds and of mismanaging the country's economy. the malaysian ring has hit a 17 year low against the u.s. dollar. the prime minister denied any wrongdoing. he's refused to step down
despite criticism from his own party mes. in fact, the government has come out to say this rally is illegal raising fears there could be clashes between protesters and the police force. >> the governor of the u.s. state of florida has declared a state of emergency as tropical storm erika approaches. 25 people were killed on the caribbean island. heavy rains caused flooding, mudslides and destroyed roads. former u.s. president george bush says it's time to celebrate the resurgence of schools. he was in the state of louisiana to mark the ten year anniversary of hurricane katrina. he was blamed for slow response to the disaster. the process of rebuilding is far from over.
>> reporter: when hurricane katrina hit new orleans, it was too much for the city's aging levy system. it led to the submerge yens of almost the entire city. ten years later, new orleans has invested $14 billion in new pumping stations and higher flood walls. the system is supposed to offer a hundred years of protection and it's a project many are proud of. >> it's been done here. it affords us a greater protection than we have ever had before. before what we had was a system in name only. am i happy with it? absolutely happy with it. >> reporter: outside the relative safety, it's a different story. fred grew up in the wetlands of louisiana and says it's a unique landscape that's changing fast. >> that little point right there was a ditch, you couldn't fit this boat in all that was land. that was all land back there. all they had was one little
ditch that run through here, run through that pass over there. this is all gone. it's destroyed. >> land loss is a critical issue. the state is home to almost half the nation's wetlands. erosion is blamed on oil exploration, storms and bad management. it could have more deadly consequences. billions of dollars are spent on coastal restoration projects. but they can barely keep up with the pace of land loss. these barrier islands act as a buffer to storms, if they go, it leaves new orleans exposed. this family has been working the waters for generations, but feel like their way of life is under threat. they have lost 200 acres and say this may be just the start. >> the land, it will be a while, but it will go. there's nothing to stop it. >> new orleans has a state of
the art levy system. what's happening beyond these walls could be the biggest threat in years to come. a thick stream of lava erupted from a volcano on hawai'i's big island. the lava from th volcano has reached forests. >> it's called the thread and its ambition is to widen the appeal of modern art away from london, new york and berlin. >> this is a top fashion designer. she's now a resident artist at the thread, an art center in a remote village in senegal. she didn't know what to expect, but became inspired by the local fashion. she started knitting hats and
muslim skull caps. then the unexpected happened. curious young men joined in. >> why not knit my own hats? we are all practicing muslims. we need this to cover ir our he. >> no words, no judgment, just letting inspiration do the talking. >> my favorite anything, there is hardly any phone reception, no internet. you can have a hundred percent focus on just being. >> reporter: development workers have come and gone. the art center is a brain child of this village doctor. he says people need less aid, more art. >> we have lots of young men uninspired who are tempted to
migrate to europe. i hope the art center will remind them adventure can be found at home. >> reporter: she's a filmmaker. a passion she wants to share with the villagers. this community is not accustom would to visitors let alone contemporary artists. but the people behind the thread believe this might bring attention to this area and perhaps elicit some inspiration. at first villagers didn't know what to make. the village doctor asked for his support. known for his sense of humor, he laughed at the idea that an artist would want to come here, but he gave his seal of approval. the thread has been opened for a few months. there hasn't been that very much visitors. most come for the power outlet to charge their phone.
but now and then, young men strike a conversation and quietly start knitting. a quick reminder, you can keep up to date with all the news on our website. there it is on your screens. the address, of course, www.aljazeera.com. that's www.aljazeera.com. >> i'm yferl. "on target" tonight, losing ground. new orleans remains vulnerable to another hurricane because the wetlands are disappearing. there's plenty to blame but little to fix it. plus, are men accused of sexual assault getting a fair hearing on college campuses? there is no doubt that new orleans its leaders and the city's residents have made huge progress in recovering from the devastation and death brought by hurricane katrina ten years ago.