[cheering] >> china's show of might as it pledges to cut 300,000 troops from its military. welcome to al jazeera live from doha. in the next half hour, we'll be covering these stories, death and despair off the turkish coast. a boat carrying refugees sinks. a judge orders the arrest of guatemala's president. and president obama gave congressional support to secure
the iran nuclear deal. china's president will reduce the size of the country's military by 300,000 soldiers. he made the announcement as 12,000 troops marched to mark 70 years from world war ii. china's neighbors are likely to see it as a message for the future. >> translator: we will make sure that we can build a new international relationship based on mutual respect and peace. china will reduce our military number by 300,000. >> adriane brown has more. >> reporter: he appeared not as president, but commander-in-chief of the
people's liberation army. he used this occasion, this first military parade since becoming head of state more than three years ago to announce a 50% cut in the size of the pla. currently it's 2,300,000 strong. it's now going to be reduced by more than 300,000. analysts say there are a number of reasons for this. he wants an army that is fit and modern. and also he wants to concentrate more on the air force and also the navy. it has implications for the current dispute in the south china and east china seas. china is also sending out another message. we were on the winning side in the war against japan 70 years ago. and we will win again should any country dare to attack us. china has been showcasing its latest military hardware including missiles that can reach guam. china is currently the world's third largest arms exporter and
it hopes as a result of this parade there will be many more sails. >> we have a professor of history and chinese politics. thank you for being with us on the show. china has been slowly reducing its troop size over the last few years or so. beijing said it wants a leaner army. it has a large defense budget. what will it focus on now? >> well, actually, commensurate with the reduction of 300,000 troops from the ground forces, there will be an addition of about 50,000 troops for the navy. so, in other words, shift focus from the ground forces whose ranks have been bloated in the past decade to boosting the naval and military forces for the consumption mostly of countries which have territory disputes. >> it's interesting you say the
numbers will go towards the navy. this is beijing sending a message to its neighbors, particularly those as you mention who had are in territorial disputes in the south china sea. >> definitely. what we are seeing is a projection of power, particularly the missiles, the jet fighters and so forth. not so much for japan's consumption as that of the u.s. because obama is heading to the u.s. toward the end of the month. the message he has for obama, the pla is determined to narrow the defense capability with the u.s. within the coming one or two decades. >> china is a passivist nation. beijing says its military might is a parade of peace. now, the irony is not lost on anyone here. is this a case of beijing
speaking softly but carrying a big stick? >> well, we have to remember that nationalism is one of the remaining potent pillar of legitimacy for the communist party. the economic numbers are not looking good. it's likely economic growth will slide to 5%, 6% in the coming years. the administration needs to stop nationalism to keep the country together and above all to boost the communist party's perennial ruling party status, its own power as th the undisputed straw man for the 21st century. >> thank you very much. we move on to other news in
europe struggling to deal with the huge influx of refugees. the prime minister is expected to meet with european officials to discuss the refugee crisis. in the past 24 hours more than 1,600 people have been rescued from boats in the mediterranean sea. 4,000 others have arrived in greece from turkey. there is frustration among hundreds of thousands of refugees. they broke through the police cord and tried to enter the country. hundreds have remained stranded outside the main train station. they were stopped from entering germany. >> reporter: the demonstrations have been getting more heated. one group has run across a main road. the next minute police moved to the scene and scuffles broke
out. it's the demonstrators themselves. the police standing by. but it's getting closer and closer to direct conflict. no police take chance as one group tries to calm the situation by trying to form another line between the police and refugees. eventually the police pushed forward clearing the road and the demonstrators backed off. it didn't come to all out confrontation. throughout wednesday protests have been getting louder. hungarian railway staff have been ordered not to sell tickets to anyone without visas or the right passport for their destination. it's a an excruciating situatio. one level down from the
station's main approach, this is called a transit zone. it's been in place since the crisis began. but it's never been as full. >> we stay here. in this station. i will not move. i will stay here. i will sleep in the street. i just want to go out of here. >> does not make us to go by train. we see another way. >> what he means is being smuggled across the border. although he wasn't sure if he could afford that option. there are warnings of hard line policy on refugees will only encourage more people smuggling. >> they do not want to stay in hungary. they want to go to the rest of the european countries. [indiscernible] they will opt for the services of few ma human smuggleers.
>> they have designated places where they should stay and wait. >> reporter: for now everyone has to struggle with the reality of their situation. many say they have been through worse danger and hardship than this. meanwhile, 11 syrians, including three children drowned when their boat sank. the boat went down near the resort town. a warning to viewers, you may find some of these images disturbing. >> it's become a symbol of the desperation facing thousands and an image synonymous with the crisis unfolding. the lifeless body washed up on the beach in turkey. he and his five-year-old brother were among a group of syrians
who drowned trying to make the crossing to the greek island. the boy's mother and sister survived. the trauma was overwhelming. the mother fainted. another wpt. it'pressure is mounting. not only is a policy crisis, but also a moral one. >> we had to deplore a team to greece and to the three neighboring islands where about two-thirds of the refugee refugt have arrived have landed. what they are telling me is horrifying storieses of people losing brothers, husbands in war and having children abused on the passage to europe. and seeing people that are on
boats drown on the way to the shores of europe. >> in the last week turkey's coast guard rescued more than 2,000 people. there are stories of survival. but also increasingly death and despair. a judge has ordered the arrest of the president of guatemala. on tuesday congress voted unanimously to strip the 64-year-old of his immunity. we have this update from guatemala. >> congress decided yesterday, guatemala time, to strip him of this order from 6:00 in the morning tomorrow, thursday. he could be picked up and taken before a judge. if the judge decides to send him to prison, that could be the end of his presidency.
it's all happening at a very fast pace. this follows months of protests. he said many times he has no connection to this multimillion dollars tax fraud, corruption scandal. but it's now looking like he's going to be taken to the test. >> still to come, once outcast from their families, these women accused of witchcraft in ghana, are returned. >> it could be a bad year for pollution in the great lakes.
>> you are watching al jazeera. here are our top stories. china's president is reducing the size of the country's military by 300,000 troops. he made the announcement as a military parade marking 70 years since japan surrounded in world war ii. hundreds of refugees remain stranded in budapest. the hungarian prime minister is expected to meet with european officials to discuss the crisis. a judge in guatemala has ordered that the arrest of the president perez over corruption allegations. congress voted to strip the 64-year-old of his immunity. u.s. president barack obama secured enough votes in the senate to support the iran nuclear deal. it means that obama will be able
to stop congress from overriding his veto on any possible resolution opposing the accord. from washington, patty cohain explains. >> reporter: they tried to stop the iran deal. israeli prime minister lobbied congress. >> congress should reject a bad deal. >> reporter: the pro israeli government spent tens of millions of dollars on lobbying. hosting rallies like this one in maryland urging its supporters to get involved. >> we spoke with our members of congress, we reach out to their office. >> reporter: it didn't work. on wednesday the senator from maryland announced her support. that guarantees the president can keep congress from overriding his veto in an
attempt to scuttle the deal between the u.s., other nations and iran. they launched their own unprecedented lobbying campaign. >> i'm enjoying this iran debate. >> reporter: he did press conferences and interviews. >> building a nuclear weapon. >> we could be forced into a war with iran. >> reporter: they spent a fraction of those opposed to the deal. this defeat will impact apac. >> it's in a more difficult position. members have felt freer to move away from the apac line. will that change? apac is going to continue to be devicive. >> the administration is still selling the deal. the secretary of state john kerry gave one of his longest speeches and the consequences of congress intervening.
>> it's hard to conceive of a more self-destructive blow to our nation's credibility and leadership. not only with respect to this issue, but i'm telling you across the board, economically, politically, military and even morally. >> reporter: the administration is pushing to get a handful more of votes. arguing that would send a wrong message to the world, the fight now over the symbolism of the deal because the substance of it will not change. the u.s. is now expected to honor its part in the historic agreement. >> the u.n. special envoy put together a proposal to end the civisyria's civil war. for this to occur, a cease cease
would need to be implemented. a joint military council will be established. the draft doesn't mention what role president assad will have in this process. we have the special representative to the u.n. he says that while the plan is a step in the right direction, a number of issues need to be addressed before the conflict can end. >> the main problem with this plan is that it doesn't tell us how to get there. [indiscernible] they refuse to agree during the geneva talks [indiscernible]. to them the main focus should be a discussion of terror.
the biggest challenge is how to get the other side to agree to such a plan which eventually will exclude some high figures from that, you know, transitional. [indiscernible] this will never happen. >> fighters have claimed responsibility for two attacks in the yemen capital. 28 people died in the bombing. the first explosion was inside the mosque during sunset prayers. the second was a car bomb that went off outside. a gunman shot and killed two staff members of the red cross in yemen. the red cross says the attack happened while the victims were traveling in a car in the western province. both are houthi controlled
areas. the organization says a vehicle was clearly marked. last week the agency stopped operating after an attack on its offices. the former rebel leader has pleaded not guilty to 18 charges of murder and rape. he's a trial at the international criminal court in the haig accused of killing 800 people between 2002 and 2003. >> reporter: he was a feared war load who went by the nickname of the terminator. but now in an international court, he only has his lawyers to defend him. >> murder and attempted murder of civilians, crime against humanity t. >> it took 15 minutes to read out the charges against him. a litany of gruesome crimes. >> do you plead guilty or not guilty to each of those 18 counts you are charged with?
>> translator: not guilty, he said. >> reporter: he fought and led armed groups in the eastern congo for more than a decade. the prosecution alleges his troops raped and murdered. >> justice for the people of the democratic republic of the congo. justice for the innocent lives lost, ravaged and destroyed. >> reporter: they are being charged with crimes that took place from 2002 to 2003. the icc doesn't have the resources to investigate further. the icc have looked at the possibility of holding this trial in the eastern congo so that people there could see justice being done at close quarters. but that raised several practical problems, including guaranteeing the safety of
witnesses, some of whom have already received threats. so it was felt safe tor safer te trial here. human rights groups say this is an important moment for international justice. >> we hope it sends a strong warning to other armed group leaders in congo who are still today involved in serious crimes. we hope they hear loud and clear at a justice may catch up with them one day. we hope to influence them in stopping the crimes. >> the icc is often criticized, for focusing only on africa and for failing to bring more prominent leaders to justice. for many people in the eastern congo who felt so powerless and neglected by the outside world for so many years, the trial is a very well comed development. in ghana, women accused of
witchcraft face abuse and threats to their lives. now the government is teaming up with leaders to stop these women from being ostracized. >> reporter: this settlement is known as coocoo camp. this woman has been here for three years. today her daughter has come to visit. she left her home after he was blamed for her niece falling sick. > >> translator: the crowd attacked me. >> reporter: this is one of the minority who have been accepted back into her regular community. she's now living with her brother and his family after 20 years of being in a camp.
>> translator: being home with my family has helped me. now that i am with my brother, he's there to see it. if i have any problems, he is there. i am happy here. >> reporter: the government is working to reintegrate more women back into their communities. there are still five camps left. > >> because it's cultural, it's been difficult to do away with it. what we do is use it as a means, working with the community, working with civil society, and also particularly working with the traditional leaders to get them to appreciate and understand that it is totally wrong. it's a human rights violation. >> some of these camps have been around for more than a hundred years. the idea that a woman can be a witch is deeply engrained. any woman can be accused.
it's often those who can't have children, elderly or outspoken. the government's plan is to close the camps or transform them into regular communities. she's afraid of returning home because of the trauma she went through. like all of the women here, she wants to be accepted. the u.s. justice department criticized police procedures during protests over the shooting of an unarmed black teenager last year. reports found that bad communication by the police an take gonized the protesters. the findings cited a lack of coordination between law enforcement agencies. michael brown was shot by a white police officer. french farmers are staging a nationwide protest over falling produce prices and high taxes.
the farmers will be calling for more financial support from the government and the european union. the protest comes ahead of a u.n. meeting in brussels next week. one of the largest lakes in north america is under threat from pollution. blooms of toxic algae are hindering fishing. >> reporter: each summer a growing underwater forest of toxic algae suffocates lake erie. he's doing everything he can to stop that. to prevent fertilizer and other runoff from his family's farm from feeding the algae, he plants tall grass. he uses corn that doesn't disturb the soil. >> it doesn't erode like bare ground does. >> so that's specifically designed to keep everything from
washing off the soil? >> exactly. >> when the city declared its water unsafe for drinking, conservationists put much of the blame on farmers like him. they estimate that two-thirds comes from farm. >> it upset me personally. i'm trying to do all i can. and agriculture is part of the problem, i'm not going to deny that. but urbanization, industry, there's other people that dump things into the river. >> i'm going grab a sample. >> he might have a point. when we watched this conservationist test the water, it was 5 parts per million. after the plant, the level tripled. >> this one is 15 on the phosphate. first reading was 5. this one is 15. >> the problem is none of the states along lake erie require
any disclosure of the sources of the pollution. that is required in the fox river and the chesapeake bay. >> you can't put raw sewage in the watt we are and think that's good for the water. we have to look at all those resources and see how we can get reduction to bring the lake back to health again. >> heavy rains have not helped. this might be a particularly bad summer for algae blooms. early summer rains have washed over the side of the river. the water has encroached into the tree line, that has taken soil into the river and it feeds into lake err i that's where the algae blooms have grown the worst. this system supplies 20% of the world's fresh water. until the surrounding states start reporting where the
sources of the pollution are r lake erie will continue to choke on the algae. >> you can always keep up to date with all of the latest news and analysis. that's our front page on our website. the address, www.aljazeera.com. >> today, after two years of negotiations, the united states has achieved something that decades of animosity has not. a comprehensive long term deal with iran that will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon. >> america and iran two old enemies in the middle east have shaken hands. in