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tv   Third Rail  Al Jazeera  November 27, 2015 4:30am-5:01am EST

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president frilly is due to-- francois hollande is due to speak for 20 minutes addressing really an eulogy to what has become known here as the bataclan generation. the youngest person to die in the attack was just 17 and the oldest wag 68. the average age was 34. the people have gone out for a bite to eat or a drink. people had gone to a sports fixture at a stadium, or people gone to watch a concert. these were the ordinary french people and people of other nationalities as well who were killed in those attacks. the president is expected to pay tribute to them. also there will be a long moment when a list of names of all 130 people who died will be read out to those assembled in the court yard. so a relatively short ceremony. obviously, very solemn and it
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will, of course, be uniting both the individual very personal grief of the bereaved families with a national sense of mourning two weeks after the attacks happened will all of the victims' families be represented in this memorial today? the vast majority of families will be represented, also some of the people who were injured, who are well enough to be discharged from hospital will also attend. notably, two families and one man who escaped from the bataclan have said they will not be coming because they're criticising the french government for not, in their words, learning the lessons from the attacks in january of this year. they said back then the
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government made lots of promises about improving security, improving intelligence gathering in order to ensure that the french people would be safe. they said that what happened two weeks ago today illustrates that the government didn't make good on those undertakings, in particular, the sister of one of the people who died in the attacks has been critical particularly of the way in which people were able to come and go from a people like abdel hamid abaaoud were able to come and go from europe without being checked. we can see that president francois hollande in his motor cade is arriving here at the square. obviously, he is the main personality who will be leading this ceremony of tribute. he is also the only person who will be speaking. he is expected to make a
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20-minute speech. of course, as well, very important, the most important guests really are the families of the bereaved and the survivors who are able to actually make it to the ceremony. in fact, a very important role, a very important role has been played in the arrangements by a special office within government ministries that has been charged with looking after the victims, supporting the victims, and as we see, president francois hollande now arriving, getting out of his vehicle and we can expect him to greet some of the families of the bereaved. as i was saying, this is a special office charged with victim support. they, in particular, are looking after the families of the bereaved because this is for them a traumatic occasion because, obviously - we're now expecting to hear from the
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president. [ ♪ ]
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we've been hearing the french national anthem as we are expected to hear from french president francois hollande to speak momentarily on this national memorial service for the 130 people who died in the paris attacks two weeks ago. a service there in central paris bringing together around a thousand people, including the french president as well as survivors and victims' families and members of the first responded who have all been gathering. we're expecting to hear from francois hollande momentarily. jacky row land has been following all of this with us. just before we hear from the french president, this has been a real test of his leadership. a lot of people making
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comparisons to how president george bush responded to the 911 attacks. >> reporter: of course on a day of national mourning like this, it might seem a little inappropriate to talk about opinion poll ratings. however, president francois hollande has been in many ways according to the opinion polls the least popular french president in modern times. however, the leadership that he has shown following the attacks and the notes the state men like note that he has struck in his speeches, the way in which he has expressed firm re-- resolve to tackle this threat to the safety of the french people while at the same time being clear that france must remain united and that there mustn't be any victimisation of minority communities within france, has,
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in fact, led to his approval ratings rising. if you look at opinion polls, they suggest that, in fact, his approval ratings have risen by about 10% in the last two weeks. as i said, of course, on a day like this a solemn day of national commemoration, those throughout france, the focus will be very much about on remembering the dead and also offering solidarity and support to the families, those individual families who lost loved ones in those attacks two weeks ago thanks for that. we're going to listen in now to a little bit of more of this memorial taking place in central paris.
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(singing in french) jewel
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clearly a very somber mood enhanced really by the music. the musical tribute being played now to the 130 people who died in the attacks. you can see in the huge courtyards here are gathered together the members of the families of the victims.
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sir fives of the a-- survivors of the attacks, people who were wounded and yet able to come. also members of the emergency services who have been so widely praised for their very swift response to what were really unprecedented attacks on several locations same time. at the center is francois hollande sitting there solemnly. we are expecting to hear from him shortly. he will be the only person who speaks at this ceremony. we are expecting him to make a 20-minute speech in which he will pay tribute to those who died and pay tribute to what is being called the bataclan generation, when you bear in mind that these were by and large young people, the will average age of those killed two weeks ago was 35 years of age. another musical tribute now to the victims of those attacks of
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the it's exactly two weeks since the attacks took place. one might wonder why the national commemoration didn't take place. the reason being time was required to identify all of the bodies killed during those attacks. there were 19 nationalities other than french who were killed on friday night two weeks ago. also the authorities needed to give the individual families time to organise their own personal funerals because, of course, as well as being a day of national mourning and commemoration this is a day of very personal grief for those families and the close friends of the people killed in the attacks. (singing in french)
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we're watching live coverage in france in relation to the attacks that killed 130 people. a ceremony in honor of the victims being led by francois hollande who is expected to speak in a few minutes. he is the only person who will
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be speaking at the ceremony on this very solemn day for the french people honoring the victims. as we also were pointing out earlier, some of the victims' families - most of the victims' families are represented here as well as members of the emergency services, leaders and dignatories. some victims' families have been boycotting the ceremony saying that the government failed to take appropriate measures in the wake of the attack in january. the attack two weeks ago, attacking bars, a concert hall, the bataclan. it is being referred to as the bataclan generation. today is reflecting on the occasion. we saw some of the faces of the victims being shown on a big
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screen there earlier. two of the main french papers are also listing all the victims on their front pages this friday. the french president has also on the diplomatic front spent the week in this whirl wind bid-- whirl wind trip to defeat i.s.i.l. he has not really met any concrete action. bringing in jacky row land again who has been following this. let's talk about the diplomatic and military aspect of this. the french president trying to build a broader coalition against i.s.i.l. in response to those attacks. what has been the debate about how this is all going there?
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>> reporter: president francois hollande moved very swiftly. he was aware that there was a moment of national solidarity, international solidarity, a lot of international sympathy, compassion, feelings of unity with france of the we saw, for example, how at international sporting fixtures in the direct aftermath of the attack, in london, for example, how the crowd actually sang the french national anthem before the football match. francois hollande needed to capture this moment of international solidarity before it passed. he was aware that he had quite a small window because, of course, the events of the world move on and he wanted to act swiftly, which is why we saw him going to washington on tuesday of this week, meeting chancellor merkel of germany here in paris on
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wednesday and then travelling to moscow to see vladimir putin on thursday. a really very ambitious and intensive travel schedule, but with a very clear objective to try to find greater international focus and coordination in military efforts, intelligence gathering efforts in the fight against i.s.i.l. i believe that the president is due to start speaking now yes. i believe we're listening to the victims' names being read out now. we will listen to some of that. (names of 130 names being read
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to ceremony)
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so we're listening to the names of the victims being read out there as this ceremony takes place, to remember the victims, the 130 people killed in those paris attacks on november 13. we're expecting to hear as well from francois hollande in just a few moments. he is the only person going to be speaking at this memorial. we've been talking with our
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correspondent jacky rowland about this as well who has been following this with us. one of the things that struck me, we're hearing the names, their ages are being read out, under the age of 40. it gives you an idea of this kind of attack and it was basically just ordinary people just going about their business. >> reporter: it is a very somber and grim roll call to listen to the names of those people and their ages. as you say, some of them very young. it has been called here in france the bataclan generation, generation of young people. the average age of those who died was 35. as you said, just ordinary people. these were really indiscriminate attacks, people who were simply sitting at the terrace of a caée enjoying a meal or a drink on a friday night, families at a
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football state um ready to-- stadium ready to watch a football match or, indeed, music lovers who were gathered in that concert hall. this really touched all different groups of french society, also touched as well other nations, 19 other nations among the victims, and people of different religions and social backgrounds. this was really an attack against all sectors, really, of french society which is why it has such deep resonances for everyone here in france indeed. a lot of questions being asked in france over the last two weeks about just where the country goes from here, what kind of country does it want to be in terms of securing the country further and, perhaps, infringing on people's personal
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freedoms. there was this state of emergency that was extended for another three months that was passed by both houses of the french parliament and a debate about striking that balance between wanting to provide further security for french people but at what expense. >> reporter: it is a very difficult balance because clearly the three fundamental values upon which the french republic is built is liberty - freedom, equality and fraternity. people feel it was those values under attack two weeks ago when those gunmen an suicide bombers derelict the restaurant, the stadium-- targeted the restaurant, the stadium and the concert hall. it was ironic that they were
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eroded as a result of those attacks. there is a very strong national imperative now for security. there has been opinion polls where the vast majority and overwhelming majority of french people have said that in the current circumstances they accept that their freedoms will be in some way curtailed or limited as a result of the need for security and those security measures are significant and the right to stop and search, the right to carry out administrative detentions. obviously, new powers given to intelligence agencies to monitor and gather information, and in certain states of emergency what has been described as the state of siege, then the normal civilian authorities would actually pass over powers to the
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military authorities. so we are looking at very sweeping measures. however, as i said, there is a very broad-based national support for that at the moment given the very real security threat that france faces indeed, and as we continue to watch this ceremony taking place in the victims - the names of the victims continued to be read out here, 130 of them, of course, who all died in those attacks in paris two weeks ago. continuing with the security element of this, we shouldn't forget, of course, that an international man hunt is still on for what france believes are two of the key suspects in those attacks salah abdeslam, who they believe played a kilo gees particularal role-- key logis c
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logistical role and another. >> reporter: that is, again, another aspect of the international efforts, the diplomacy that we have seen francois hollande conducting in the last week or so, pushing to are an every-deepening cooperation an sharing of information between intelligence agencies across europe. certainly in the direct aftermath of the attacks,way saw very close coordination between french and belgium security forces as it emerged that there was a very strong belgian connection in the atact. the fact that the presumed organiser of the at a tack abdel hamid abaaoud, a belgian national, the fact that the cars used in the attacks were rented from a belgian car rental firm and the fact that there have
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been raids in the molenbeek district of brussels searching for possible accomplices and more information about how the attacks were carried out. also as well the german connection, the fact that on november 5 police in germany stopped an montenegran national who was driving a car full of weapons and who had a paris address programmed into his gps. so it's very clear that the threat, although directed at france most recently, is of a european and international dimension and the importance of international action in the hunt for the people who killed those 130 victims of the attacks last
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friday, people whose names are each being read out now in the court yards here you're watching al jazeera, bringing you live coverage of that memorial gathering in paris. we're in conversation with jacky rowland. it's not lost on anyone that this is highly unusual because
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that particular venue usually reserved for presidents, p.m.s and even the military. it's a measure of how desperately important it is to the people of france the events of two weeks ago today. >> reporter: yes. the square, which you p you can see behind me, was established in the 17th century. from its name you can tell that it was originally intended as hospital to treat the war wounded, soldiers wounded in france's wars over the centuries. over the time it has evolved in terms of its functions. it still serves today as a military hospital. at any time you might find up to a hundred war wounded being treated here, but as you said the building has taken on a greater significance. napoleon is buried here.
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other important military leaders are buried here as well. so the choice of this venue really does confer that long historical tradition and that huge national respect and importance to the people who are being remembered today the events we're seeing in paris, just get us right up to speed. is this the only event today or are similar gatherings taking place across the country? >> reporter: this is the event of national commemoration. however, french people all over the country have been asked to join in by hanging or flying french flags at half mast from their windows. certainly here in paris if we look at some of the buildings around us, it's really quite impressive the extent to which the french flag is hanging from balconys, from railings and out
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of windows. of course, this is a national cancer mown jeep. however-- ceremony. each of the individual families will have been having their own private funerals and that is the reason why this special day of commemoration is taking place now, two weeks after the attacks. the officials needed time to identify all of those who killed, which was a large task, it took several days, but also to give families to arrange their own funerals for their loved ones before there was really time for the nation to gather together in the kind of commemoration that we're witnessing now jacky, thank you very much. you're looking at live pictures coming to us. as jacky was just explaining there as the people of france
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focus in on the events of november 13, friday november 13, two weeks ago when 130 people lost their lives, 350 people were injured, many of them, of course, are still in hospital. )change of captioner) captioner) . >> translator: friday the 13th of november, the day we shall never forget, france was struck in a cowardly way, in an act of war, organized remotely and


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