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tv   Weekend News  Al Jazeera  September 6, 2015 1:00pm-1:31pm EDT

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this this this al jazeera live from london. the pope calls on every european parish and religious community to take in at least one refugee family this as more boats arrive in greece. coming up on the program: saudi-led coalition forces kaesh
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out more airstrikes in sanaa. a hospital is damaged. why nigeria's illegal mineers say a government threcrackdown threatens their livelihood. >> the catholic pope has called on every european parish and religious community to take in at least one refugee family. thousands of people are continuing to make their way towards western europe. many are now at the border between hungary and austria. the austrian chancellor said it's time to phase out extraordinary measures allowing the um impeded flow of people. there are thousands waiting to make the trip near the hungarian southern border with serbia. police are moving people into a new transit camp. hungary says it will seal the crossing with a new high fence in less than five days. for many, though, the fltrip ist last over as refugees arrived by
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train and bus, many were met with cheers and applause. rob reynolds has more now from munich. >> reporter: destination, germany, another train carrying refugees pulls into munich's central station. men, women and children tumble out. many have escaped a civil war in syria. even the youngest gets a warm welcome from a volunteer. the refugees area weary as they made their way under police escort to a reception area. we asked in arabic how they felt to be in germany thank god, we are in a country as developed as germany. >> this woman said they made nearly all of the journey on foot. i come to germany to -- because
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germany -- >> and she said her dream is to stay in germany and to get her end of her life in germany because germany is a land of country of blessing and humanity. >> volunteers helped brimming the lang barrier and shepherd the refugees through the station. >> germany, by itself, can't do it all. we need all of the help we can get. every voice counts. >> as refugees took their first steps in a process that for most will ultimately lead to official refugee status, european politicians fretted over their next moves. german officials met to streamline rules for asylum and al indicate funds for refugee shelters. austrian chancellor called for an emergency european summit meeting saying his country's decision to allow thousands of refugees to enter from hungary was only a temporary measure.
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but germans who turned up at the station seemed happy to see the refugees reach safety and glad that their country had thrown opitz doors. >> i have strong feelings about all of this. i reached out my hand to one of them, and it just made me cry. >> germans are also helping out by donating essential items. german volunteers say so many people have come forward to offer clothing, toys, blankets and other items to the refugees that they have to turn away some donations because they just don't have room for them all weeks doing ago during the greek debt crisis. german's apologized were seen by many as harsh and unyielding. now, the country at the heart of europe has shown the world its heart. >> we can speak to rob live. he is still in munich for us. we have seen the incredible welcome, i guess, amount much these refugees have had in
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germany so far. what happens to them even tonight? what happens to them now? >> well, tonight, they will all have aplace to stay, in fact, the bavarian authorities explained to reporters they have worked out some plans for housing refugees in schools and convention centers, rec vation facilities. there is even a big gymnasium, sort of a municipal sports center not far away. a group of refugees was led by some fire fighters to that facility. so they will be comfortable there tonight. but as far as where they ultimately wind up, barbara, that is really the big question, and it is still unsolved. there are these ad hoc solutions, the premier of finland said some refugees are welcome to live in his house. the pope, as you mentioned, has asked all churches and religious communities in the catholic
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church in europe to take in at least one refugee family. but is that does not -- that is not a common refugee policy make and the european leaders are divided very seriously over this idea of taking quotas of refugees. so at the moment germany and austria are being welcoming. other countries, less so and even currently trees on the periphery like the u.k., for example, are not the exactly throwing out the welcome mat and saying we will take as many refugees as we can. >> rob, i guess german, itself, though, has said or at least it's expecting around 800,000 asylum applications. when it comes to those asylum access, do we know exactly when they will be processed? is there anything in place in germany specifically in munich maybe that you have seen? >> reporter: well, we have seen in berlin, for example, a
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welcome center as its called, which has usually in front of it, crowds of people, hundreds, even maybe 1,000 or two all waiting to go through the bycratic process. it's fairly cumbersome. it requires paperwork. it requires interviews by municipal or state or federal workers and all of this does take time. so some people say in berlin at least that they have been waiting for weeks to get their asylum applications finished up so that they can move on. as far as this influx into munich, weather the government will, as it has been talking about, streamline the application, the asylum process, remains to be seen but these refugees as happy as they may be to have finally reached the end of their journey in munich still have a long way to go in many
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ways. >> rob reynolds with the latest in munich, thank you. the u.n. refugee agency has put a figure on the refugees who have made the dangerous mediterranean sea crossing so far this year. nearly 245,000 people have arrived in greece italy has taken aroucrossings. >> the hcr spokeswoman melissa fleming explains how the refugee statistics are actually taled. >> we work very closely with the coast guards, the authorities in the front line countries, greece and italy, but, also, in all of the countries where refugees are arriving in europe, so, we get those figures on a daily basis. we put them into our statistics. unfortunately, we have to add to our statistics that there are many, many deaths crossing the mediterranean. almost 2,600 so far this year.
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and those deaths unfortunately show that it's extremely dangerous to cross. many of them unfortunately don't have a name, and people still may be for that reason keep coming. >> we had one day last week where 14,000 people arrived in greece on the greek islands. these are eislands that are use to receiving tourists and not, you know, tens of thousands of refugees. so obviously but the only way to mover from the greek island to the man land is if you have a registration document. that's how we know how many people are coming what nationality they say they are. we have the same en massedonia. they need a transit document to move through the country. same in serbia and to a certain extent, also, up until now in hungary that's why we are getting all of the numbers. >> melissa fleming from the u.n.
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hcr. in lesbos, when we were speaking there was a boat arriving behind you. i would love for you to paint a picture of what's going on there. but, also, just to explain how different the reality is. from what we were hearing from the spokeswoman from the unhcr as she was talking about a registration document to move in the islands to go back on the ma mainland is there ne kind of sense you are getting inlesbos any of that is actually in place? >> well, that process is very, very slow that's why people are so frustrated here refugees are on their knees so some have been sleeping on the streets. you have children who haven't had a shower in two weeks. you have parents who are extremely worried. they say we have run out of mic. they come up to us, asking us: what should we do? please go speak to the greek
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authorities. where is the u.n.? why is no one helping us? it's a dire situation. the numbers are huge. it's very plic indicated. authorities here to deal with that and on the other sued refugees were very unrulely. i have to tell you we have been watching for the past hour. a boat that is stranded in the middle of the channel. we could see them earlier with binoclars waving, trying to attract any kind of attention. now, we see them flashing their torches but they are stranded there. there is very little wind, verimentings currents. it will take awhile for them to reach this coast. now, speaking earlier to volunteer from hop land who is here on this beach, spent a whole day on this beach and she said there were about 10 boats who had arrived in the past few hours alone. so just about 300 people in a tiny little beach here she was also telling me know one is actually allowed, no private
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citizen is allowed to go and save those adrift in the seas. only the coast guard and they wait about an hour to an hour and a half simply because so me of the engines are so fragile that water comes in and sometimes if the engine is shut about half an hour, it can work again. so, the coast guards don't want to spend time running around the channel for that. but i have to say it's a lot to take in knowing it's at least 30 people stranded in the dark in a boat in the middle of the channel. we don't know b they will arrive and probably, many others like that. >> was the situation at least last night. >> hoda, you reported extensively on this refugee crisis on both sides of the mediterranean, spent time in sicily and lampadusa, others that have felt the brunt of the refugee arrivals. how would you you say the situation for the greek islands is different fowhat we have been seeing for months and years on islands, for example, like
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lampadusa. i think islands like lampadusa, things are much more organized. maybe because the refugees or the my grants get picked up from the middle of the sea and when they arrive, when they land, there are all sorts of ngos waiting for them. there is some sort of a process. italians have put forward a lot of reception centers for them, at least to spend the first few days whereas here when they arrive, these, if these people arrive in the next few hours, it's pitch dark. there is absolutely no one except a couple of volunteers who came here from holland. they have to walk by foot fill kilometers to reach the capital of lesbos. over there, it is complete chaos, whether it's at the port where thousands and thousands of people are. some are camped inside the port. or in this camp that the authorities have put -- tried to put together a bit outside of the town, there is no sanitation. people sleep on the streets. they are not allowed to go into
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hotels even if they have money, they are not allowed to check in unless they have this registration paper and it takes days and weeks. you see children stranded on the floor. women that are completely desperate. i had fathers come up to me and say, listen, i brought my kids here i wanted to save them from. i would rather have died there, one barrel bomb would have killed us all in one go whereas here, we die every day. it is extremely difficult situation and having a huge emotional toll on these people and they come from already a very difficult situation and they still have a very long trip ahead and many of them don't realize that they will be -- there will be stumbling blocks all around the road. a few weeks ago at the border en massedonia, there was this other stumbling block. people were very tired, even more tired than now. it's extremely difficult situation. and it's very harrowing. the greeks were not veried for
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that. as you said earlier, they have their own problems. the country is going through a political comic cal crisis. so probably refugees were not the priority. now, it has become an emergency. >> it has indeed. hoda with the latest thank you. >> and we will have more coming up on the war in syria that is in part leading to the current refugee crisis. we will be asking how many russian military personnel are in syria and what they are doing. also coming up, iraq air lift, the challenges of getting aid to the people of a citin entirely surrounded by isil.
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a reminder the top stories here on al jazeera. thousands of people continue to make their way towards western europe, the pope has called on every catholic patience issue in europe to take in at least one refugee family. overnight, more than 10,000 people have arrived in germany. the vast majority are refugees fleeing the war in syria. diplomatic efforts is that end the war in syria seem to be going nowhere with russia and the u.s. hashedening their positions for and against president assad. u.s. secretary of state john kerry spoke to his russian counter part on saturday to express concern about reports of an increased russian military presence in the country. pictures released by syrian activists show russian forces backing syrian foersz. some say the images released
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show soldiers at a russian-based antartos where syrian soldiers are trained. joining us live now is a visiting fellow at chatham house in london. thank you for joining us here on al jazeera. just yesterday, the u.s. secretary of state john kerry expressed concern about this russian missed build up in syria. do you think those concerns are justified and do you think there is, from what you are hearing, a russian military buildup? >> i would be cautious about making any immediate judgment about the russian presence in syria. definitely what we can say is that the russians are increasing the military supplies to the regime and some experts even in russia, they admit that the russians are upgrading the quality of the equipments they are supplying. it basically becomes more sophisticated, more probably dangerous but at the same times it's too early to speak about the ness of most of the deployed
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forces on the ground. politically, this move won't be justified in the eyes of the public opinion in moscow just a few days ago, the saudi king went to the united states, spoke to the president. it was interesting at the press conference afterwards, the saudi foreign minister emphasized the u.s. and saudi arabia want the president assad gone from syria for any kind of resolution. do you see any kind of wavering support on behalf of russia b it comes to the support of the assad or not? >> well, there was quite a lot of speculations about russians changing their position on syria. and especially on the support of the assad. but i will say that most of these speculations, they are baseless because what we can see from the visit of russian foreign minister, foreign affairs lavrov to the gulf in august and as well as from the statements he made recently, russia speaks to the supports of
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assad and still see the current regime as the only guarantee of the syria will not follow the lebanese. >> what is russia's interest in syria? >> the russian interest in syria, they have been changing during the last three years of the conflict. currently, the main russian concern is a security threat posed by the presence of the jihadi forces on the ground as well as by the fact that there are at least 2,000 russian speaking foreign fighters currently struggling in syria against the assad raj e-mail on the side of d.a.s.h. and other radical groups. it's important to understand that syria is determined not exactly by the real situation on the ground, by how the kremlin sees it. in the eyes of the kremlin represent a certain threat because the people in moscow believe that sooner or later, these people will be returning
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back to the caucuses and. >> in light of that, a stable syria, i guess, would be everyone's favored solution. so could you ever foresee a future where perhaps the russians and the west or the rest of the securities counsel would be united in coming together and truly discussing a way to push this conflict onward now in its 5th year? >> the problem is that all forces, all external forces are interested in stabilizing syria and the situation in syria. at the same time, the problem is in the details because. >> they wants it done in their own way? >> yeah. it's important to preserve the structures and they believe assad is a person who could guarantee the survival of these structures. >> nikolai at chatham house, thank you for sharing views. saudi-led coalition forces have carried out more airstrikes on
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sanaa. fic forces headquarters were among the targets crowleyed by h out. thi forces. fem living in hadifa have been left with no where to go because of the continued fighting in their region now surviving on food supplies. more now on how conditions are getting worse this is the only way to reach hadifa. the roads are too dangerous for the military and civilians to use. >> that's why the government needs to air lift supplies into this town. this will air base in nearby al bad daddy is the only lifeline. it is surrounded by isil fighters. many have left because of the armed group has repeatedly launched offensive to capture
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that hasn't fallen foforces. those in the town are largely cut off from the rest of the country. weekly deliveries of humanitarian aid helps them survive. >> one sack of flour costs around $900. most of the time we sleep without eating because we can't afford to buy food. >> these people are poor. they prefer to stay in their homes than to enjoy the millions of iraqis who have been displaced by war. life here, however, hasn't been easy. >> we are thankful for the aid but there is a lack of electricity. we ask the government to help us. >> hadifa has long been al target for isil, surrounded by desert. it hasn't been easy surrounding this town. in one offensive, isil used 39 suicide car bombings. the enemy tried to advance and attacked more than 100 times in the last year and a half. isil has not beenabled establish a foot hold in the region the
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road is an important supply line. it has been vulnerable to attacks. it links the air base to one of iraq's most important structures the haditha dam constitutes at least 1 third of iraq's needs. it could be used as a weapon of war if isil decides to flood neighbor be areas. when the area was at risk of falling in september, the u.s. extended the air campaign against isil. since then, u.s. assistance has been one of the main reasons isil hasn't been able to capture haditha and it's dam. it's close to the air base where it's nilt advisors are training sunni tribunal fighters. for now, those ground troops are in no position to use this area as a staging ground to take on isi will: the armed group controls mostly of anbar
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province. >> the nigerian government is planning to exploit its solid mineral resources to offset the decline in global oil prices. but it says it's losing millions of dollars in revenue every year from illegal mining and now wants the miners to pay tax on what they earn. a report now from the town in northern nigeria. >> mohammed has been working the mines for 17 years. he dropped out of school because he says his parents couldn't afford the expenses. but soon, he may have to look for another job because the authorities are planning to crack down on illegal mining and he is not amused. >> this is my life. i can't do anything else. if anyone wants to take this job away from me, he must give me a home, and all of the comforts of life. most of the gold prospecting may
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be smile scale but the people like him is huge. a good day come fetch hundreds of dollars. those are the dollars the government also wants. for a long time, enforcement against illegal mining has been weak but not anymore. now the authorities want him and hundreds like him to pay taxes on their earnings. the resources we have, the miners that are coming, should be development. >> the federal government with natural resources said tight regulations are underway. gold processing units like this litteder the northwest of nigeria. most are unlicensed. as such, they hardly pay taxes. the biggest challenge to get the
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mine mining companies to pay. >> the miners say they are willing to pay taxes if the government could end corruption. >> wick pay more taxes than before because we kept the government for the mining, and leave the nigerians only to enjoy its wealth. >> for now, that is not what the government wants to do. it wants to stop illegal mine can and bring in investors with the capacity to generate revenue and jobs in the sector, which means more difficult times are likely ahead for small-time miners. >> mohammed yadriz, al jazeera, nigeria. >> china issued a report saying tibet is now in its golden age. it set up tibet as an autonomous region 50 years ago after an
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exing the territory. state media says the tibetan military has had a makeover. china said it has helped tibet prosper. critics say it has tried to violently stamp out religious treatment. many have set themselves on fire to protest against china's rule. >> right now, people in guatemala are voting to choose a new president. it's an election over shadowed by a major corruption scandal. the presidentsed was arrested. many are boycotting the contest as a result. competitors if from all over the world are in the u.s. city of san diego for the sand sculpting front. four come ppetitors from as far afield as russia to work magic over the four days of the event. the theme of this year's event is the 2016 olympics. they look amazing.
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find out much more on that and saefrlings we have been covering here on al jazeera on our,sight. the address on your screens right now, aljazeera.com. see our top story there. the refugee crisis in europe. >> [ ♪ ] hello, i'm richard gizbert, and you are watching a special edition of "the listening post", it's not the verdict most expected, not the one that the al jazeera three and supporters wished for. the 3-year prison sentence facili pa handed down to mohamed fadel fahmy, peter greste and mohammed badr, and another six al jazeera journalists convicted in absentia. it was another twist. repeated postponements, charges that defy ef

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