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tv   News  Al Jazeera  October 9, 2015 10:00am-10:31am EDT

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the u.s. says it is overhauling its failed training program for syrian rebels. ♪ hello, you are watching al jazeera live from doha. also ahead, tensions are on the rise across israel and the occupied palestinian territories after more stabbing incidents, we're live in ramallah. the nobel peace prize for 2015 is to be rewarded to the tunisian national dialogue
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coordinates. >> they are honored for helping pave the way to a peaceful transition after the revolution. i'll be telling you why the rare oil from these trees is big business for poachers and how it affects indigenous communities that depend on the forrest. the u.s. says it plans to overhaul its program aimed at training and supporting syrian rebels. ash carter has admitted the program needs to change. >> we have been looking for now several weeks at ways to improve that program. i wasn't satisfied with the early efforts in that regard, so we're looking at different ways to achieve, basically the same kind of strategic objective, which is the right one, which is to enable capable motivated
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forces on the ground to retake territory from isil and reclaim syrian territory from extremisms. >> rosiland jordan joins us live from washington, d.c. ros a stark admission for a program that was doomed from the start. >> that's right. the u.s. wanted to train upwards of 5,000 or so moderate syrian rebels per year for three years, that would be about 15,000 if the plan had gone off as intended, but to fight isil, well the moderates wanted to fight the government of bashar al-assad in their ongoing civil war, so the motivation wasn't there from the beginning. clearly after two rounds of training of these forces the first one which basically fell apart the minute it was deployed and the second one, which some of them turned over their
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weaponings and basically pledged loyalty to other groups in the fight, the u.s. military and the entire obama administration had to say that the plan needed a serious rethink. so we're expecting more details here in washington in the next couple of hours about what those changes will be, but suffice it to say, the half billion dollars program to recruit, vet, and train moderate syrian rebels to take up arms against isil fighters, well, that program is pretty much done. >> what does this mean, then, ros, for the u.s. strategy against isil in syrian and iraq? >> well, basically this was just one part of trying to go after isil. the u.s. will argue that it had nine differ pillars and the military component is just one of them. the air war against isil targets continues and that is being done
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perhaps with a more vigorous participation in recent days with french fighters. but in terms of trying to get local fighters involved they are simply going to change the way they include them in this fight against isil. >> thank you very much, ros. now iran's revolutionary guard have confirmed the death of a top general in syria. he was killed near aleppo. zana hoda is in lebanon with more. >> reporter: iranian state media saying he was killed by quote, terrorists. they do say that he was killed in the aleppo countryside, but no details of where and how really. where in aleppo, but we understand from the syrian
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observatory for human rights is the general was killed in fighting near the front line. iran we do know has advisers on the ground, they acknowledge that. but iran categorically denies that troops are fighting alongside the army even though the opposition says otherwise. iran -- the syrian government doesn't just get help from iran, it gets help from the lebanese shia movement, hezbollah who has thousands of fighters fighting in the war. and the syrian president himself said they are suffering from manpower problems and the army is overstretched and now the syrian government getting air support from the russians. the information coincided with an offensive on the ground launched by isil. isil has taken ground not from the syrian government, but from the rebels, in a very important location in the eastern
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countryside of aleppo. they have taken positions from the opposition basically cutting their supply line from turkey to the city of aleppo. a big gain and a big blow to the opposition. but right now isil is just two kilometers from a syrian government position, a very complicated picture on the ground, but what is clear is that the conflict really is intensifying on many fronts. russia says it has struck the headquarters of a rebel group in syria, killing 200 fighters, including two commanders. at least five people were killed in a russian air strike in a camp forinternally displaced people. the french defense minister says more air strikes are being planned on isil targets in syria. french fighter jets targeted a training kamp in raqqa, which is
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a isil strong hold. 80 to 90% of russian strikes in syria are not targeting isil. france expanded its campaign last month after. in other word news at least five palestinians have been killed and dozens more injured in fighting with israeli soldiers along the gaza border tensions have been rising in correct days, and there is unrest in ramallah after the funeral of a palestinian who died last week. let's go to hoda abdel hamid. very, very tense situation. tell us about what has been happening. >> reporter: well there is still confrontations going on between the palestinian youth and the israeli soldiers.
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at the moment you can see that the palestinian youth are still there, even though we have been watching the soldiers trying to push them back. the israeli soldiers closed in from two sides, from the downhill road and then from the road behind me here. they tried to push back the youth. they actually fired quite a volleyball -- volley of tear gas, even though the tear gas has actually been going back in their direction. they have also used rubber-coated steal bullets. we heard the pops of that, and the pops of what people hear tell me is live ammunition. the israeli soldiers were not able to keep their position, which was in the middle of this road just below us, so they have pulled back to that juncture, but this was a situation that was sure to intensify in the
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next five minutes or next half hour, but this happens all the time. >> and there have been clashes elsewhere, including in the gaza strip. >> reporter: absolutely, we just heard there are also clashes in villages around ramallah city, and other areas of the west bank, like hebron and bethlehem, and the most dramatic are apping on the eastern board we are gaza. we heard five palestinian youth were killed there, and more than 20 had been wounded. the youth had gone to the border earlier in the morning, throwing rocks, burning tires, in solidarity with what has been happening here in the west bank for the past few weeks. israel retolerated. it's not clear whether they were hit with live ammunition or rubber bullets, but we do know
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the death toll is at five. >> thank you very much. four stabbing attacks three by palestinian and one by an israeli have taken place across the west bank. mike hanna has the latest from occupied east jerusalem. >> reporter: a number of attacks still occurring in the occupied west bank and indeed israel proper. but some are different from what we have seen in correct days. a palestinian-israeli woman attempted to stab an israeli soldier. she was shot, police say moderately wounded. then in an israeli 17 year old attacked four arabs, two of them residents of the west bank, they were moderate to seriously injured. the israeli attacker has been arrested. and one is seeing a pattern in
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an increase in israeli right-wing activity in west jerusalem overnight a crowd of demonstrators gathered shouting insults towards arabs, insisting they were going to march on occupied east jerusalem. however, police dispersed them. so continuing tension in various parts of israel, and the occupied west bank. police say very difficult to deal with these stabbing attacks because they are unorganized and they are random. the nobel peace prize has been rewarded to a group of tunisias who helped bring their country back from the brink of civil war. they have been honored for helping build democracy after the revolution four years ago. >> reporter: the announcement a surprise to be sure. >> the nobel peace prize for
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2015 is to be rewarded to the tunisian national dialogue quartet for its decisive contribution to the building of a democracy in tunisia in the wake of the revolution of 2011. >> reporter: while many nobel watchers had tipped pope francis or angela merkel to win, in the end the nobel committee sent a powerful message on the importance of pluralism and dialogue. while other countries were hit by violent conflict, tunisia's political process has been more peaceful. it was a democracy group made up of four key organizations. the tunisian general labor union, the industry of trade and handicraft, the human rights
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league and the organization of lawyers. formed in 2014 when the process was in danger of collapsing. this was a period of social unrest and political assassination. the quartet helped pull the country back from the brink of civil war. they went on to pass a new constitution and held successful presidential and parliamentary elections. the nobel jury said they hoped the prize would contribute towards safeguarding democracy in tunisia and be an inspiration to all of those who seek to promote peace and democracy in the rest of the world. inspiration that is still needed in a country that has suffered from major attacks that devastated its tourism industry. this prize may have been unexpected but it has given hope to be tunisians in these difficult times.
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still ahead . . . >> [ inaudible ]. >> al jazeera obtains exclusive evidence that european governments have been paying ransoms to free hostages abroad. plus tensions between north korea and china ahead of a major military parade. ♪
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♪ welcome back our top stories on al jazeera. the u.s. says it will make
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changes to its training program for syrian rebels fighting isil. in may the u.s. military began training for up to 5,400 fighters a year, but the program was troubled from the start. some of the trained fighters came under attack from al-qaeda syria. five palestinian have been killed and dozens more injured. tensions have been rising in the region after a series of stabbings in israel and the occupied west bank. and the nobel peace prize has been rewarded to a group of tunisians who brought their country back from the brink of civil war. european governments often deny they pay ransoms for hostages, but the resent safe return of italian captives from
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syria has lead to information that there may be more to the story. our correspondent reports. >> reporter: italian citizen and his girlfriend, released by somali pirates linked to al-shabab in 2012 after nearly two years in captivity. >> welcome home. >> reporter: the media was told that the couple's release was secured by a combination of diplomacy, and intervention by western-backed somali forces. but secret documents obtained by al jazeera reveal that this was a lie. the italian government paid over half a million dollars as a ransom. bruno's sister was told to keep quiet about the details of her brother's release.
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>> we were told not to disclose that they actually paid. >> we were debriefed on certain things that we were not allowed to speak b. >> vieira is convinced the italian government saved his brother's life. >> they would have died there. >> reporter: despite the denials, al jazeera has discovered these same tactics was used by the italian government to secure the release of hostages held in syria. there were again rumors of a ransom payment. al jazeera has spoken to eyewitnesses who saw the cash handed over. >> translator: i was present when the money was delivered. it was me and the italian person who brought the money. >> translator: the money consisted of packs of $100,000
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each in a separate plastic bag. >> reporter: the italian government said the $4 million ransom was provided by the familiar list of the hostages. but pierre insists his family did not pay, while dominique says he is unaware of any family payments. al jazeera has always obtained exclusive evidence that the italian government is even willing to pass millions in ransom payments to al-nusra. these aid workers were released in january 2015. these exclusive pictures show the $11 million handed over to representatives of al-nusra for the two women. the italian go declined to comment on our allegations saying their policy is not to pay ransoms. simon bozeman, al jazeera. you can watch the first
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documentary on monday 2000 gmt and online. now the u.n. security council is due to vote on a draft resolution authorizing european union nations to interce intercept smuggling vessels. james i understand that meeting is just getting underway. >> reporter: yes. looking at these live pictures you can see the president of the security council, the spanish ambassador, and we're expecting a vote very soon. you can see the libyan ambassador there. the reason this has proceeded to a vote is the libyan ambassador and the tobruk government gave its consent to the e.u. operation in the high seas off of its coast in a letter a couple of days ago. before they had been concerned
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about this operation, which the e.u. is calling operation sophia. the idea of intercepting those boats in the mediterranean where so many people have been dying to try to deal with these problems by having an e.u. naval force. in that in a moment is what the security council will vote on. we believe the spanish ambassador is about to put that to the vote in just a moment. we may get a speech. times we do from the person who put forward the resolution, and in this case on behalf of the e.u. it was proposed by the united kingdom. so not clear if we're going to get the vote right now or a speech, and they are voting right now, foley, and it looks like it has passed. we know the russian objections were lifted to this sometime
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ago, a couple of weeks ago, and that seems for me, at a quick look, the security council chamber now and the horseshoe table, hands raised, i didn't see if it was unanimous, but i think certainly all of the permanent five are on board, and that means the u.n. security council has endorsed this e.u. naval operation off the high seas -- in the high seas off libya. what i want to check from one of my colleagues, because we have live people in the chamber, is what venezuela did, because i couldn't see on the screen here, because venezuela had signals that perhaps it would abstain. >> james thank you very much. in effect we'll come back to you next hour to find out how this vote went down. but in the meantime, the u.n. security council has approved this resolution authorizing european nations to intercept and seize people trafficking
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vessels in the mediterranean. there has been a sharp rise in the number of refugees arriving on boats in greek islands in the past week. 7,000 people have been landing every day this month. that's 2.5 thousand a day more than at the end of last month. refugees are trying to reach europe before winter sets in. now in guinea, in the run up to sunday's presidential election, at least two people have been killed in fighting between supporters of rival political parties. one person has been killed and three others wounded in a shooting at a university in the united states. police were called to northern arizona university in early this hours of friday. the attacker officials say has been arrested. in guatemala, families are
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still burying their dead a week after landslides killed more than 200 people. >> reporter: juan and his family are trying to come to terms with their grief. last week a deadly landslide on the outskirts of the city buried his sister and 11 other family members. the bodies of eight relatives have been identified and laid to rest in this cemetery. >> translator: it brings great pain to my family. we have such sadness in our hearts. we ask god to take this pain away. it hurts so much to hear the tears of so many people. >> reporter: weeks of near constant rain brought down part of this mountainside, burying 125 homes under a million cubic meters of earth. more than 220 people have been found dead, and hundreds more are still missing. in recent days, authorities have
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identified fractures that could lead to more landslides and some people have been evacuated. >> this house beside me is on the edge of a ravine and in guatemala city alone many are living in shelters. now there is hope there will be more protection for people living like this. but the municipal authorities who were warned in 2008 that this ravine was a risk zone say there is no simple solution. >> translator: the people living in the ravine arrived here before there were the types of laws we have now. there are people who live here and consider this their home. it's very difficult to tell them they have to leave their houses. >> reporter: with the fourth highest risk of natural disasters in the world,
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authorities say it's crucial that better systems are put in place. >> translator: we have to about now. unfortunately this disaster needs to be used to strengthen our institutions and laws to prevent more people from becoming victims. >> reporter: a tragedy that could have been prevented and left some of the country's most vulnerable to pay the ultimate price. david mercer, al jazeera, guatemala. poachers in cambodia and thailand are threatening hunters in malaysia and the trees they depend on to survive. our correspondent has been there to see how a way of life for people and the trees they seek out are in danger. >> reporter: two thirds of malaysia is covered by forest. indigenous tribes have lived off of the land for generations.
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tribesman such as this know the forest well and now to harvest without causing permanent damage. this kind of tree is plentiful. it is infected with a naturally occurring fungus. when it is processed it is used in a perfume that is especially popular in the middle east. it takes a trained eye to locate the right trees. but others don't care about the trees, only the profit to be made from them. >> translator: we feel very sad when we go into the forest and see poachers cutting our trees because people from far-away lands come and take the trees and we have very few left. >> reporter: after 80 members of the community harvest the resin that comes from these trees, but that's not the case for poachers that enter malaysia and fell these trees whether they have
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resin in them or not. one kilo of the oil can be worth as much as $30,000. >> how much? >> $1,000 plus, 2,000 sometimes. >> reporter: it's very expensive. >> yeah. >> reporter: the malaysian government needs to crack down on foreigners poaching this wood. it needs to come up with a scheme so that only genuine malaysian collectors are allowed to collect the wood. >> reporter: the malaysian government didn't respond to our question for an interview. it is hoped that farms like this one will deter poaching from the forest. local people like this one is depending, as his tribe always has on the forest to survive,
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despite the new threat from poachers to their traditional way of living. and a reminder that you can keep up to date with all of the news all the time on our website, ♪ president obama travels to roseberg, oregon to meet with families of the shooting victims at umpqua community college. the pentagon is changing its program to train syrian fighters. and crop concerns, how flood waters are taking their toll on farmers in south carolina. ♪