ban ki-moon calls for an end to the violence between israelis and palestinians once again. but there's no clear solution on just how to do that. ♪ hello i'm adrian finighan live from doha, this is al jazeera. also ahead, syria's president makes an unannounced visit to moscow. students with sent running from tear gas. ♪ and a winning performance, a 21-year-old from south korea
wins one of the world's most prestigious music competitions. ♪ u.n. secretary general ban ki-moon has met with palestinians president abbas in ramallah and has once again called for calm. he is in the region trying to end weeks of unrest. in the latest violence a palestinian has been shot and killed in the occupied west bank. the israeli army says he attacked one of its soldiers with a knife. >> the situation in the west bank also deserves renewed attention, settlement activity by israel is illegal and only inflames the tensions while reinforcing the sense that the viability of the two-state solution is disappearing.
we cannot ignore the sense of desperation that comes with the slow evaporation of hope. >> stephanie dirk was at that press briefing and sent this update from ramallah. >> reporter: the undersecretary general has now spoken to both sides. he met with the palestinian president in the occupied west bank on wednesday. he reiterated the need to calm what he called a dangerous escalation. he said the palestinian had a right to their own state, the also said he gave the message to the israeli prime minister that a real change needs to be seen on the ground for perceptions to change. abbas also said the palestinian had a right to defend themselves, but they wanted to get back to the negotiating table. he'll be bringing that message to u.s. secretary of state john kerry. he says we need settlement expansion to stop, it's illegal
under international law. also crucially, he said we have no more choice but to ask the u.n. for international protection. i asked him what exactly what does that mean? and he said, well, we are looking at it. i will be briefing the u.n. security council later on wednesday, it's up to them to see what this means. he spoke of an international force. i asked him if he meant the al aqsa mosque, and he said yes. this is an extremely sensitive situation. very difficult to find common ground in how to solve really anything, an occupation that has lasted for over 50 years, so we'll have to see how this plays out in the next few days and the impact that that may and could have on what is an extremely
volatile situation on the ground. >> benjamin netenyahu is expected to mete with angela merkel in berlin. let's go to the german capitol. what is on the agenda for mr. netenyahu there in berlin? >> reporter: he has a meeting, adrian, as you were saying with angela merkel due to take place in a couple of hours, and then perhaps more importantly tomorrow morning here in the german capitol he is also due to meet the american secretary of state john kerry who in theory at this stage at least will then travel on to the middle east later in the week and meet president abbas, perhaps in r ramallah and remay travel to jordan as well. with regards to what the germans are saying, they are saying all of the kinds of things you could imagine, that both sides need to de-escalate the situation. in that israel has the right to
protect its citizens but any measures it takes have to be proportionate. >> germany has responded to those remarks that mr. netenyahu made about palestinian involvement in the holocaust, hasn't it? >> reporter: yes, that's right. there is an extraordinary irony that this whole row has blown up on the day that benjamin netenyahu flies to germany itself. he said as you said controversial marks that it had been the grand mufti who incited adolph hitler to carry out the extermination of jews before and during the second word war. remarks which have been strongly condemned internationally, at least implicitly i would say by the german government.
the statement that has come out of the chancellor this afternoon, said we, the germans bare full moral responsibility for the holocaust. it was the murderous race policies of nazi germany, and that's why we continue to educate our children about it. what we have seen over subsequent decades that one reason why germany has tended to be more searchthyic and perhaps the most reliable ally of israel is because germany has been so vehement in acknowledging its responsibility for the holocaust. >> barnaby phillips thanks. live in berlin. syria's president has made a surprise trip to moscow to meet with his russian counterpart vladimir putin. it is believed to be his first trip abroad since the war in syria began in 2011.
the topic, of course, the war in syria and russia's military involvement. >> reporter: it was one of the political surprises the russian president so loves to pull. bashar al-assad who hasn't left syria since his country's up rise began four years visiting moscow unannounced. >> translator: the terrorism that is spreading today would have spread to even more territories and states not just in our region, but to other regions too. >> reporter: russia's air strikes in syria have allowed president assad's army to go on the offensive after months of setbacks, they also according to the syrian observatory for human rights killed 370 people, 127 civilians, and 243 fighters. but russia seems increasingly eager to find a political solution to the war it is now militarily involved?
>> translator: we assume the long-term solution may be reached on the basis of the latest military developments and political process with participation from all groups. >> reporter: the west insists that assad should tep down soon. but putin still shows no signs of abandoning his long-time ally. but what about the russian people, how do they feel? recent polls show that a clear majority of them support the air campaign. state tv is pushing that russia's primary objective in syria is defeating international terrorism. this video made by a state-media-linked production house is going after the computer gaming generation. drone footage from the ruins of damascus has been matched to a dance music soundtrack. but most people here say they
still have no desire to see russian troops in syria. they have always been told that long messy wars in middle east are what the united states does not russia. riot police in south africa have fought can protesters in cape town. they tried to storm parliament. the nationwide demonstration was part of a campaign against hikes in tuition fees. our correspondent is in the location where one of the demonstrations taking place. we'll talk about what is going on there in a moment, but first, what is the latest you are hearing from cape town? >> reporter: well, at this point, adrian, as you mentioned there, protesters did try to storm parliament trying to make their way to the national assembly, where the finance minister was making his address on the medium term budget.
in side parliament we heard about the economic freedom fighters, one of the opposition political parties, they did start chanting that they wanted fees lowered, they were later ejected. and those protests continue, of course, riot police being brought in to disperse protesters there. >> and there is paer toia, what is the mood there? >> here in patoria, protesters have just begun dispersing. we saw at least a few thousand protesters here demanding no increases be implemented come next year. they say they simply can't afford them, and while they are making their way out of the youths -- university now, they say they will continue in the morning. that is also the case at the
university in johannesberg. they have had sit ins through the evening, and students say they will continue until their voices are heard. we have seen the minister of higher education who covers the tertiary institutions in south africa address the media. the minister has gone on to say that this is not a crisis, but a challenge, and they have mechanisms by which to deal with the situation across the country, despite how intense these protests have been in the last few days throughout south africa. >> many thanks. police in northern india have arrested four men over an arson attack that left two children dead. it is alleged that the men set fire to a house belonging to a lower-cast family. give us the background to this horrific case. there's obviously a cast element
to this story. >> reporter: that's absolutely right. a big cast element. in fact a cast element to this story that goes back some years from reports coming out of the area this morning, we're hearing today this issue of cast-based tension, or cast-based violence isn't new in this area. it has been the two casts against each other for sometime now. just a top line for you in the last few moment as well, after the four arrests of some of the accused, we're hearing the family has carried out the last rights of the two children who died in this incident. >> what has been the community's response to all of this violence against people from different -- different casts? >> reporter: well, there's been -- there's been a big response in the area more
locally. the community has lead a blockade throughout the day. the bodies of the two children were put out on to the highway in the area, protesting against what the community and the family were saying was an action on part of the police and local authorities. more widely it has again brought into focus the debate about cast-based violence in india, and the cast structure of many communities across the country. and that has been a key talking point throughout the day. we have also seen the polittization of this, saying what they think of the situation. and the situation remains tense. >> many thanks. stay with us here on al jazeera. still to come. . .. >> i'm florence looi on patrol
called for calm. syria's president has met his russian counterpart vladimir putin in moscow. his visit is believed to be his first trip abroad since syria's war broke out in 2011. south african riot police have fought with hundreds of protesting university students in cape town. protesters tried to storm parliament where the finance minister was delivering the budget. they are complaining against a hike in tuition fees. desperate people living in east asia are taking advantage of the end of the monsoon season to seek a better life overseas. the calmer waters give them a chance to travel. but they still risk everything. many are rohingya muslims. thousands make the dangerous journey across the sea, trying to reach, malaysia, indonesia,
and thailand. florence looi reports. she has been on patrol with the thai navy as the so-called sailing season gets underway. >> reporter: shortly after setting sail, the thai naval crew stop a fishing boat and prepare to board it. it's part of a procedure to intercept undocumented migrants and refugees. >> translator: if they wish to come to thailand, it's our job to explain they will be charged with illegally entering the country. >> reporter: they conduct a search for weapons, while another treats the fisherman who has cuts. the thai government is trying to prevent a refugee crisis like the one six months ago when thousands of people were left adrift at sea. their smugglers had abandoned them. survivors spoke of beat earni s
earnings, near starvation. some more economic migrants. but many more were rohingya, escaping persecution. this man escaped 20 years ago by tracking over land to thailand. >> translator: the myanmar government took away the proof that we are citizens, then they say we are illegal migrants and tried to push us out of our land. >> reporter: it wasn't until thousands washed ashore in indonesia and malaysia this year, that regional countries were forced to act. the crisis prompted a 17-country meeting, but little has been achieved. >> that is what is lacking, a coordinated response, where the countries are talking to each other, that's exactly why the task force is required. it's a bit peace meal. it's a bit ad hoc.
it's a bit driven by it withing in the media. >> reporter: the u.n. high commission for refugees says it believes there have been test runs, human smugglers trying out new routes. the thai navy wants to prevent them from landing in thailand, but many say until conditions improve in myanmar and bangladesh thousands more will risk their lives for a chance at a better future. china is to finance one third of britain's new generation of nuclear power plants. the project which is scheduled for completion in 2025 is expected to be finalized in the next few weeks. china's president is in the u.k. on a four-day state visit. more from sonya guy goes.
>> reporter: the nitty-gritty of the visit is starting now. it's all about getting the trade and financial deals signed off. they are set to cover areas from the financial industry, automobile industry, and also healthcare. china also is looking at expanding its property portfolio. they already invest heavily in the u.k. market, but also it's keen along with the u.k. government to showcase the more cultural and the technological projects they have been cooperating together with. one of the most controversial investments, however, is that focusing on nuclear power plant in southwest england. now there are some in the intelligence circumstance calls who say that having chinese investment could pose to be a bit of a security threat, given china's history in hacking. also china's very cheap steel
industry already in the last few days, you have had announcements of steel plants in the u.k. having to be shut down, one of them owned by an indian company, has blamed flatly chai for this, saying because china has flooded the international market with cheap steel it cannot afford to keep up. but the prime minister david cameron says it is an issue he will be raising with the chinese president. but clearly for those workers who are about to lose their jobs in the steel plants, it has come at an extremely insensitive time. a tropical storm is left many dead in the philippines and had a devastating impact in the farming industry. as our correspondent reports. >> reporter: this scene from almost every road here in this province is similar. thousands and thousands of
hectors of rice fields now turned into swamp. for three days, crops here were submerged in flood waters and mud. the damage to rice farms is unprecedented. this typhoon couldn't come at a worse time. this is support to be harvest season and now there's almost nothing left. this is what is left after months of back-breaking work. their crops are now worth almost nothing. more than 90% of the farmers here do not have money to start on their own. they borrow money from lenders despite the inability to pay high interest rates, and with more than 60% of their crops destroyed, they say they are forced to borrow money again. farmers are among the poorest people in any community here, because agriculture has been neglected for the last 20 years. >> translator: the funds that the government should used to support us, doesn't go to us, it
goes to buy imported rice. >> reporter: this province is considered the rice-growing heartland of northern philippines. even before the typhoon hit, rice production was already reduced. farmers say they have become vulnerable to extreme weather conditions brought about by climate change. the weatherern patterns are different, and that means the harvest coincides with the arrival of strong typhoons. >> translator: it's not acceptable that in every disaster we give out seedlings to recuperate. we really need to study which plants can and can't grow. what is more agriculturally sound to grow? what kind of infrastructure should be there? >> reporter: initial reports from the agricultural office put
the damage to crops at around $900 million. and that number is expected to rise. farmers say for decades they have found ways to cope, even with barely any help from their government. mexico says it will relaunch an investigation into the disappearance of 43 students last year. the original inquiry was criticized. the students disappeared after being held briefly by police in the state of guerrero. nigeria has begun to rebuild communities in the northeast of the country destroyed by boko haram, but the armed group is still carrying out attacks in the area. our correspondent reports now around 100 kilometers from the capitol of borno state. >> reporter: this is a community trying to get back on its feet,
brick by brick. every government building in this town has been destroyed. schools, homes, and hospitals have been attacked. those who can, have left, but many still call it home. this 80-year-old and his family live in a detroyed government building. >> translator: boko haram destroyed my home, members of my family have either been killed or displaced. i don't know where else to go or what to do. >> reporter: the government is planning to spend $5 million reconstructing the town. bombs are still exploding in northeast nigeria, but there is optimism. boko haram fighters attacked this town several times destroying most of it. it's not only the community that is in a rush to rebuild. the regional government is also
pouring millions of dollars into infrastructure that once again could be targets of boko haram attacks. the damage is massive. with more than 75% of the state requiring help, government leaders say they are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on reconstruction, but it's clear it's not enough. >> the initial damage done has been huge. in such a way that the [ inaudible ] government alone cannot cope. and this is not the first time. >> reporter: now they are starting anew, military commanders say troops will provide some level of security. >> we [ inaudible ] confidence by deploying our troops, but as i -- as a reality, okay, we cannot be in every of this [ inaudible ]. however, we can be in the
most -- to the nearest of the [ inaudible ] and towns. >> reporter: peace and confidence is gradually returning to some areas. but it is on a major transit route for boko haram fighters. in townspeople know very well, that one attack is all it takes to erase all that has been done. a south korean pianist has upon a top honor at a piano competition. the contest is held once every five years in poland's capitol warsaw. gerald tan reports. ♪ >> reporter: the piano concerto, the winning performance for this 21-year-old south korean. >> first of all, i couldn't believe it, and now i feel a
little worried, because about the future concerts. i don't want people disappointed. first being famous is also good, but i just want to make good music. ♪ >> reporter: he outplayed 77 other contestants to sweep the gold medal and the $33,500 prize. it's one of the very few contests in which musicians play pieces by a single composer. ♪ >> canadian charles richard came in second place. he selected the concerto in f-minus. running since 1927, the competition has launched careers of many young class call
pianists, opening the doors for them to play at the world's leading concert halls. gerald tan, al jazeera. [ cheers and applause ] fantastic. much more real news from alvaz, along with analysis and comment on our website, aljazeera.com. ♪ house republicans gather to talk about elects their next speaker after paul ryan changes course and agrees to take the job. a surprise meeting in moscow. syrian president bashar al-assad talks with vladimir putin about the russian air strikes that could help his government regain control of the country. and searching for