Skip to main content

tv   News  Al Jazeera  October 29, 2015 10:00am-10:31am EDT

10:00 am
china abolished its controversial decade's old, one child policy. i'm sami zeidan in doha. these are the top stories. the scenes off of the coast of greece, a rescue mission to save dozens still missing. plus -- >> i'm malcolm webb in kenya,
10:01 am
where these corn husks are being turned into electricity which is going into the national power grid. ♪ we begin this news hour in china, where the government has abboll libbed its decade's old one-child policy. all couples will now be allowed to have two children. it's calling it a proactive response to the country's aging population. in just 15 years, china will have the oldest population on the planet with more than 400 million people over the age of 60. in that will burden healthcare and social security any government fears the economy will struggle to maintain growth since the working age population is drastically shrinking. and after 36 years of
10:02 am
artificially altering birthrates, china has created a general gap of more men than women. an associate fellow at the asian associate. >> i think the importance of this measure is not so much demographic, in terms of encouraging vast new numbers of children to be born, but it is the lifting of a highly restrictive and at times extremely cowe are sieve policy. there are underlying demographic trends in china that point to a
10:03 am
continued slow rate of -- of population increase. the problems of china's aging and graying population will persist no matter what population policies they lift. the greek coast guard is still trying to find 38 people missing from a boat that sank off of the island of lesvos. three people are confirmed dead. john psaropoulos reports. >> reporter: for these survivors a life in europe may become reality, but it comes at a high cost. dozens of their fellow passengers may never be found. and a further dozen children at the hospital are not yet out of danger. they are still looking for survivors and fishermen joined the search on thursday.
10:04 am
>> those who people who embarricaded, those 2.5 thousand people that came yesterday in the island, they can criminals. they just get money to put those people on boats to get -- to be dead. >> reporter: survivors say the boat capsized when its overcrowded upper deck collapsed on the people below. the smugglers had already been taken off the vote by another vessel, and they were left to steer by themselves. the people donated clothes, and some put refugees up overnight in their homes. the grim post-script is likely to be more bodies, not more survivors. no time to be lost. iran's foreign minister says he wants talks with the united states this evening on syria's future. his comments come as
10:05 am
international discussions begin in vienna about the war in syria. u.s. secretary of state john kerry says the challenge to end the conflict is nothing less than to charter a course out of hell. mohammed jamjoom has the latest. he joins us from vienna. it sounds like the iranians are hitting the ground running. what is expected tonight? >> yeah, that's absolutely right, sami, in fact there are reports now that the foreign minister of iran may have actually landed here in vienna and may be en route to the hotel just behind us where the talks will be held. the iranians initially were expected to be present at meetings tomorrow, whereas today was just supposed to be setting the scene and just include the americans, the saudis, the russians and the turks. we're hearing from the state department that mr. zarif may
10:06 am
have a bilateral meeting with u.s. secretary of state john kerry in the next few hours and then perhaps there will be a photo opwith both men here at the hotel. there are a lot of plates that are spinning right now. there is a lot of diplomacy going on. it's very interesting that the iranians may get here before the saudis do. one of the things discussed most about these talks is it's not just the first time the iranians will be in the talks, and also in the same room with saudi's foreign minister. so this certainly be make for interesting meetings today and tomorrow and as i mentioned, it looks now as though perhaps the iranians have arrived maybe en route to the scene here, and it will be interesting to see how that changes the dynamics of the talks that are supposed to happen here, which were supposed to be bilaterals today between
10:07 am
the four main countries. >> the iranians there and i think 19 other countries are there. and is it clear if the syrian opposition, for example, is represented? >> reporter: it's not. and sadly that's not really a surprise. oftentimes leading to talks like this, it's not been known even the day of the meeting whether or not the syrian opposition or the syrian government would be included. we have seen some reports today in which there were members of the syrian national coalition. that's the primary opposition group in the syrian opposition in which members of that group have stated they have not been invited and they are unhappy about that. we are also not aware if anybody from bashar al-assad's regime would be present. clearly that is going to make it more difficult to effect a political solution, when you
10:08 am
have the two primary members of the conflict not involved in these talks, but it also goes to show how much the syrian conflict has grown in that so many world powers will be here, and you will have the primary backers of the syrian opposition in the same room as the primary backers of bashar al-assad. but, yeah, that's is a glaring hole that neither side probably be here. even more concerning is if these talks have any impact on the dire humanitarian situation in syria that continues to spin out of control. sami. >> thanks so much. mohammed jamjoom there. as you heard iran will be talking part in the talks along with the united states, they also include russia, saudi arabia, and turkey. >> reporter: this is a town after it was hit by an air
10:09 am
strike. thousands of civilians face this every day. this attack between opposition rebels using artillery and rockets, government forces dropping barrel bombs and u.s. and russian drones and fighter planes in the sky above them. the rebels have been fighting the syrian government backed by russia, iran, and hezbollah. russia is providing military advisors and air support to bashar al-assad forces. the u.s. has been demanding president assad steps down. it is supporting rebels that it considers ideologically moderate. saudi arabia insists bashar al-assad must go or be removed by force. us assists syrian rebels and has been calling for safe zones along the turkish border. a position that turkish supports. and the most important ground support for the government comes
10:10 am
from iran. it is providing military and financial assistance. large parts of syria and its economy have been destroyed. hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and millions wound ed and displaced in a conflict that is now in its fifth year. this cautious optimism about direct talks in vienna which has iran involved for the first time, all sides agree continuing to fight is not the solution for syria. >> the view of our partners in this was that we should test the intentions of the iranians and the russians about the seriousness in arriving at a political solution in syria, which we all prefer. >> translator: iran's stance on syria has not changed. we have always said that the solution of the conflict lies in political solution found through
10:11 am
negotiations. >> reporter: this syrian child tells his crying mother, don't worry, it's a just a little blood. millions of other syrians can only hope there is an end to the bloodshed. israeli forces have shot done two palestinians after separate attacks in hebron. the israeli military says in both incidents the palestinians stabbed israeli soldiers. one serviceman suffered minor head injuries. results have come in for the election in tanzania. the president elect took 58% of the vote. catherine soi has more. >> reporter: he has garnered a little more more than 8.8 million vote against his closest rival who got 6 million votes. that's a 39% of the total vote.
10:12 am
just a little over 50 million voters voted in this election and like i said it is a very controversial election. the main opposition coalition who feel the candidate has rejected this [ inaudible ] did not sign off on them. they say the results have been doctored what the electoral commission was announcing is not tallying with results with figures that they have from the polling stations. the electoral commission has denied that saying that what they have been announcing has been factual. the opposition has been having crisis meetings all day today, and want to know what the next move is, very soon. still ahead on al jazeera, we'll report on what is being billed as the most ambitious trade and diplomacy event in
10:13 am
10:14 am
10:15 am
>> we're here to fully get into the nuances of everything that's going on, not just in this country, but around the world. getting the news from the people who are affected. >> people need to demand reform... >> ali velshi on target weeknights 10:30p et ♪ welcome back. let's recap our head -- our stories here on al jazeera. china has abolished its one-child policy. china is calling it a proactive response to the aging population. the greek coast guard is involved in an ongoing rescue
10:16 am
operation. hundreds of people including children were in the sea after an overcrowded boat sank and swamped smaller vessels. iran's foreign minister says he wants to talk with the united states this evening on syria's future. his comments come as international discussions get underway in vienna about the war in syria. amnesty international is accusing australia's government of criminal activity by paying people smugglers to turn around boatings carrying asylum seekers. an incident in june sparked a parliamentary inquiry. andrew thomas reports. >> reporter: did australia's government pay people smugglers this money for a lawless venture with evidence of criminal activity. that's what amnesty international says when may the australian military intercepted a boat off of the coast. there having interviewed the crew and passengers, $32,000 was handed over by australian
10:17 am
officials who demanded the passengers be taken back to indonesia. >> it is really shocking that a democratic country like australia -- that this kind of thing could be happening in the name of the australian public. >> reporter: they say this mobile phone footage was shot on board the boat. it's report does back up what al jazeera was told by the boat's captain in june. >> translator: i said we needed money so we could return. they said okay, we'll help you. >> reporter: amnesty says it amounts to a people's smuggling crime but australia's government won't go after its own. on thursday it reacted angerly to the whole report. >> our australian officials operate in accordance with
10:18 am
domestic australian law and in accordance with our international obligations. >> reporter: so what is your reaction to the report sfl >> i reject. it. >> reporter: but they do no explicitly deny payments at sea took place. amnesty international is calling for a public inquiry into what australian officials do to stop boats. secrecy about tactics is part of the government's strategy. the overwhelming plan is to keep boats from reaching australia. >> they are part of the problem, according to them, and australia is a very wealthy society, and many people probably do not want to share the burden attached. >> reporter: the tactics are tough, they may be criminals, but the boats have stopped
10:19 am
coming. for australia's government the ends justify the means. the u.s. house of representatives will sit on thursday to vote on who will be the next speaker of the house. republican paul ryan is tipped to take the spot. john boehner resigned last month. kurds go to the tolls again after yooun's election failed to provide an overall winner. even after a turbulent five months of attacks, the election outcome may not be much different. bernard smith reports from istanbul. >> reporter: for the next time in five months, turkish politicians are out looking for votes. but campaigning this time around is more subdued. this man is second in command of the secular opposition republican people's party. along with the prokurdish hdp, both parties have canceled their
10:20 am
rallies because of security fears. >> translator: the climate is not right to stage rallies. every day we don't know what sort of sad news will be brought to us. these are not ordinary times. can you imagine massing a big rally when we would have news of martyrs and deaths. >> reporter: earlier this month the worst attack in turkish history killed 102 people. but the political divisions are so deep in turkey that the political parties couldn't even unite for a period of mourning. 37 people died in bombings at two other public gatherings, and a seize fire has broken down between the government and pkk kurdish separatists. >> translator: for the first
10:21 am
time in 13 years, we see terror and security moving up to be the main issue before the elections. the economy is still important as it was in the last election, but it's not the main issue anymore. >> reporter: despite everything that has happened, the latest polls suggest that the results will be broadly similar to june's election, which means the coalition government looks inevitable. there are, perhaps less than 5% of the voters who are undecided. it seems like the politicians are just going through the motions. so turkey looks like an increasingly polarized country. political views are entrenched, the only thing turks seem to be able to agree on is they have never been more divided. the saudi blogger has won the european union's prize for human rights. he is in a saudi jail sentenced
10:22 am
to ten years and a hundred lashes for content on his website. charlie angela reports. >> reporter: the prize this year will go to the saudi arabia blogger. [ applause ] >> translator: i call on the king of saudi arabia to grant mercy on him, and to free him, so that he can accept the prize. [ applause ] >> reporter: a standing ovation at the european parliament for the 31 year old who's online writings about free speech were met with a jail sentence and public flogging. he criticized senior religious figures. following death threats his wife and three children fled saudi arabia, now living in canada, they campaign for his release. his wife says she will tell him of his award in their weekly call. >> translator: i'm sure he will
10:23 am
be happy. we hope it will have an impact on his legal case. he is in a very bad psychological and physical situation. he has been jailed for three years away from his kids and family. he has been flogged in a public place. he has a ten-year prison sentence, a ten-year travel ban. >> reporter: the remaining 950 floggings have been postponed as his wounds were slow to heal. he suffers from hypertension and may not survive. there have been protests outside of the embassy, but campaigners say this prize will shine the light on saudi arabia's human rights record and be a blow to its global image. >> there are people in the saudi
10:24 am
regime who recognize this is a very bad move what they are doing to he and other political prisoners. and hopefully that may encourage them to push for change. >> reporter: the prize is award for individuals for their contribution to human rights. but it's unlikely that he will be free to receive it in person in december. the united nations is accused north korea of sending its citizens abroad to work as slave laborers. a report found the government is earning up to $2.3 billion from the trade. more than 50,000 north koreans are employed in foreign countries. they work maining in the mining, logging, and construction industries. leaders from more than 40
10:25 am
african nations are in new delhi as part of the third india, african summit. india wants access to the continent's vast natural resources. >> reporter: it's described as one of the most ambitious diplomatic events india has hosted in recent times. leaders from across africa have converged in new delhi. the indian prime minister has assured them the long trip was worth their while. >> [ inaudible ] india will offer [ inaudible ] credit of $10 billion over the next five years. this will be in addition to our ongoing credit program. we will also offer a grant assistance of $600 million.
10:26 am
>> reporter: until now india's relationship with africa nations has largely been about trade. but meetings have also focused on strategies to fight armed groups, defense, and anti-piracy operations. and there are other reasons why india is aiming to strengthen its ties across the tonight innocent. >> they feature in virtually all of the meetings, and india and africa are exactly on the same page. both feel the current structure of the united nations is outdated and it needs to accommodate africa and india. >> reporter: the indian government seven reaching out to leaders other countries have shunned. including this man who is wanted by the international criminal court for war crimes. but these photo opportunities are all about increasing india's presence in a region teeming with opportunity. india lags behind china when it
10:27 am
comes to investing in africa, but where beijing has focused on big public projects like infrastructure, india is looking to provide assistance in areas like technology. but it may be some time before africans acknowledge india's push. since coming to power last year, the prime minister has aggressively sold india to the world. but many say the real test of his policies will be real changes on the ground. the first biogas power plant in africa to provide electricity to a national grid has come on line in kenya. it will consume tons of organic waste from a neighboring farm. >> reporter: peter and his
10:28 am
family never had electricity before. he has finally paid to get power, and everyone is excited. >> translator: i am very happy. i have waited for so long. there has been power in this neighborhood since 1985, but before i just couldn't afford it. >> reporter: it's among a steadily growing number of households being provided with electricity. just across town there's a new source. these corn husks and broccoli leaves are feeding a biogas power plant. it's the first if africa to put electricity into a national grid. the farm waste is mixed with water and bacteria which comes from the insides of cow's stomachs. it makes quite a smell. it spends a day in this tank,
10:29 am
before being pumped into the digester, then it is pumped to a power station over year. meanwhile the liquid and solid waste goes into this tank where it is turned into compost and taken back to the farms and used as fertilizer. the farms use about half of the electricity generated here. the owners say its financial involvement guarantees the fuel supply, and they hope in six years they can make back the plant's cost, nearly $7 million. >> in our case, because half is for our own consumption and we're also selling energy from heat recovery, this helps the economics. >> reporter: it puts enough power into the national grid for about 8,000 homes. it's a tiny part of the electricity kenya uses. there's a lot way to go, but they are now among the families
10:30 am
that can now afford electricity. and they are delighted. [ laughter ]. >> malcolm webb, al jazeera, kenya. you can get more on that story as well as all of the others we have been telling you about. if you head over to our website you can see the front page there. all for you there, at these are live images coming from capitol hill where they are picking the man who will soon be third in line to be president. it is expected to pick paul ryan as speaker. the dynamics of diplomacy to push the end to the crisis in syria. and china is