government forces are advances on the southern district of sangin after the taliban took control of it. this is al jazeera live. also coming up, a surprise move, well-known human rights lawyer in china gets a three-year suspended sentence. amnesty international accuses burundi security forces of systematic killing. the greek parliament is set to vote on recognising palestine as a state. the session will be attended by the palestinian president abass.
it is the fourth day of fighting between afghan forces and the taliban in helmand province of sangin which fell to the taliban on monday. the afghan forces have cop toured a few outposts, but the main city is still under taliban control. sangin is one of the main centers of the sdmran's opium production and a key route to the capital. it is the latest attempt by the group to reclaim lost territory since nato ended its combat operations almost a year ago. the taliban now controls 29 of the 398 districts of afghanistan. in helmand which produces most the world's opium, four have been overtaken by the group. there's fighting in five other
districts, including sangin. in september the taliban seized the provincial capital and held it for two weeks. our correspondent live from kabul. what is the latest situation there? >> reporter: provincial police official in helmand tells us that the afghan special forces have arrived late on monday and they conducted operation through the night. they also claim that they have recaptured four check posts from the taliban. they say that they have freed afghan forces who were under the taliban siege for several days. they say that they have delivered water, food and other supplies to those forces. they say that the afghan forces are moving slowly, cautiously to
retake the center of sangin. sangin has seen a history of fight engine the past british forces have also battled furiously with the taliban for years. they have given a lot of casualty in sangin, defending that town. now we are witnessing the arrival of winter in afghanistan and it, comparing to last year, this year the violence has taken a big spike, a bit change, there is a big change in difference because taliban are on the offensive even if it's cold season and they say that their fighters will continue to put more pressure on the afghan forces and gain more territory. in sangin we were told by the afghan official that many families were displaced because of the fighting and in the
afghan forces are also being advised not to inflict civilian casualties in the area thanks very much. that is the very latest situation on the ground. let's examine with our political analyst and commentator on afghanistan. we're now seeing the government fight back slow and cautious, but a fight book nonetheless. >> back nonetheless >> yes. the government has to protect what it has before it goes out and takes the territories from the taliban. that's why we hear a few outposts have been taken back from the taliban. what is important here is for the government to enter the same trap again. it appears the government is constantly on the offensive towards them. negotiations are taking shape why that is the government
gone about it this way. it seems you need to keep the pressure on, on both sides of the negotiations and on the battle field as it were >> i think there is a problem with strategy of peace in this way. they're trying to reach peace with taliban with tribal ways. when you bring at a tribal level they would want you to stop your attacking, your military operations, but the taliban will not be held accountable if they were to attack the government. that's what taliban seems to be doing. the government usually governments go on the defensive before any peace organizations. afghanistan seems to be the other way around. the taliban are on the defensive and government is on the fencive. it has all the fire power and the will at the military level, does not have a strategy meanwhile their casualties are increasing.
>> yes, according to pentagon, from 1 of january until now almost 27% the afghan national characters have risen. -- - casualtys have risen they will take the areas they lost, but in the medium term how do you see it panning out as winter goes on? >> they do have a challenge on their hand. i was talking to a colleague earlier on who was in contact with people inside sangin. they were saying the taliban were not allowing the residents to leave sangin. if that is true, it means that the government will have to be very cautious in its options and try to minimise civilian casual
ities thank you. a leading human rights lawyer in china has been found guilty in a trial on online posts. he received a three-year suspended prison term by a court in beijing. he was arrested after posts on social media criticizing china's government. he is expected to be released from prison where he has been held for 18 months. >> reporter: i think this verdict will come as a surprise to some people because he, one of the country's best known advocates for freedom of speech, had been facing a sentence ranging from five to eight years. his crime was to post a number of tweets on social media here in china, lam pooning the
chinese government and other issues. he was found guilty of picking quarrels and provoking troubles. he was arrested back in may 2014 as he was planning to remember the 25th anniversary of the tianam on square massacre. it is judge felt that his time in jail was punishment enough, but certainly this verdict will not harm the image of china's government. amnesty international has issued a statement saying that while the verdict was a gross injustice, it was clearly a positive step that he will no longer spend another night in jail. you don't normally hear amnesty international use a word "positive"in a sentence in relation to humanitarian rights security forces have burundi have been accused of systematic
killings. the army murdered dozens of civilians a week ago. the government has insisted that those killed were enemies of the state. let's get the latest from our correspondent from the capital bujumbura. what is the most likely outcome from the special city of parliament that was sitting while all this has gone on. >> reporter: the government of burundi has been raimenting to the amnesty international report and . he said all those killed on 11 december, that friday when security forces carried out a major suit in bujumbura after the attacks on those three military bases, he says all those killed then were enemies, people who had been involved in
attacks on the military bases. however, the report by amnesty international which details the events of what is considered to be the most day since the violence began in burundi in april, details how security forces went to some of the suburbs of the city, took some people out of their houses, some of them cowering and shot them point blank on the streets and how the government later on came and collected the bodies and took them to an unknown designation. the report says that the killings are an horrific illustration of the human rights crisis that is facing burundi and is asking for urgent international help given in and given the parliament's rejection of the african union force, how are we going to see events panning out in the coming days. >> reporter: at the moment
burundi has thrown a spanner into the works of the african union by rejecting the deployment of five thousand peacekeepers that the african union said will be dealing with the issue of protecting civilians in burundi who it feels at the moment are at risk. now the only option out for the african union is to invoke article 4 of its constitution which allows it to intervene in a country even without the consent of the government. that can only be invoked by heads of state when they meet in january when they meet. african presidents have never spoken with one voice. some of the people who will be meeting will be having the same problems the president assist facing here about bujumbura. it will be difficult for them to come out and speak in unison and that might be where burundi gets its escape
thank you for that. in burkino faso has a warrant arrest arrested. an autopsy on a body believed to be sankaras believe it was riddled with bullets. he took power in a coup in 1983 and pursued a philosophy of marks dism led to him being called afterry was chage. it was a high-killing in the country. the man is believed to be living in the ivory coast. he was driven by power after he tried to change the constitution to allow him to extend his 27-year rule greece's parliament is about to vote on whether to recognise
palestine as an independent sovereign state. it is a symbolic gesture and non-binding. it will be followed by an address by the president. on monday he said the palestinian authority will issue passports bearing the name, state of palestine, next year. current passports are stamped with the words "palestinian authority". in 2012 palestinian was given nonmember status at the u.n. general assembly after a note so recognise it as a sovereign state. the last country to vote in naifr to recognise palestinian as a state was france and that was back in december last year. palestinians in the occupied west bank have been raising money to help rebuild homes destroyed by israel's army. since october at least ten houses have been torn down. as part of a policy of wrecking
down homes. our correspondent has this report. >> reporter: these are the ruins of what was a family home. it was demolished earlier this month. the rest of the building was badly damaged making large parts of it uninhabitable. he was accused by israel of shooting dead a settlor couple in october. he has been in prison ever since. his wife says she doesn't know why she and her young son have been punished for a crime they didn't commit. >> translation: it's unfair. what can we do? my husband is in prison. he is probably worried sick about us. >> reporter: since october there has been april wave of violence across israel and the occupied palestinian territories. at least 120 palestinians and a dozen israelis have been killed. israel has cracked down hard on the violence by making massive arrests in palestinian areas and ordering the demolition of the homes of palestinianss suspected
of carrying out attacks. outraged by the demolitions, palestinians in the occupied west bank have started raising money to help affected families rebuild. more than $250,000 has been raised in a week. thousands of dollars of construction supplies have been donated and offers of labor have also poured in. they were motivated to help because they were angry the palestinian authority wasn't doing more. >> translation: the ideal was fuelled because of lack of official response. a few days later officials got involved and that really encouraged us. >> reporter: the policy of demolishing palestinian homes is considered illegal understand international law and is described by human rights groups as nothing short of collective punishment. hundreds of homes in the occupied area were demolished.
it didn't prevent violence and was legally questionable. netanyahu brought back housing demolition two years ago after the killings of settlors. since then dozens have been destroyed and in the last two months ten have been reduced to rubble. that hasn't led to any meaningful slow down in the violence. so if the policy is intended to have a deterrent effect, it doesn't seem to be working still ahead on the program a place they call home, tens of thousands of migrants in south africa share cramped rooms. a crack down on american big game hunters with a plan to protect lions. the only way to get better is to challenge yourself,
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welcome back. the top stories here on al jazeera. it is the fourth day of fighting between afghan forces and the taliban in southern helmand. the army advancing towards sangin fell to the taliban on monday. a leading human rights lawyer in china has been found guilty in a trial over online posts. he received a three year suspended prison term by a court in beijing. he was arresting after posting on social media criticizing china's government. greece's parliament is about to vote on whether to recognise palestine as an independent sovereign state. this will be followed by an
address by the palestinian president abass. live for us now in attestsens-- athens. it is symbolic but significant for the palestinians, isn't it. >> reporter: yes. absolutely. it is very important for the palestinians. they want to keep their sovereign state high on the agenda. i was speaking to the palestinian ambassador to greece. he said it is very critical for the palestinians. he said they expect a ewe nam mouse vote in parliament which means-- ewe nam mouse vote in parliament which means that the-- ewe nam mouse-- unanimous vote. they hope ones the parliament approves a vote, they will be one step closer to a full recognition from the government of greece
how will this affect greece's relations with israel? >> reporter: greece has very good relations with both sides with the palestinians as well as with the israelis. i don't think it will affect their relation with israel, the relatives between greece and israel has, in fact, improved recently. the two countries are in some sort of military agreement, security agreement, and also in terms of the economic they have a huge energy projects drilling, looking for gas in the mediterranean. it will affect that relation between the two countries we will leave it there for the time being. thanks very much rescuers have dug out the first body from a massive land slide in the southern chinese city. more than 80 people are missing
from a mud slide. the government has ordered an investigation into the land slide. more on the rescue operation from robmcbride. >> reporter: that is continue this second day. some 3,000 rescue workers are said to be involved. they are using an array of earthmoving equipment, also equipment to detect the signs of life blow the surface. in the past 24 hours or so, they have detected what they think was signs of life. they have dug down below the surface, explore tree digs looking for any survivors, but but as yet they have found none. it does seem difficult to believe the people could still be alive under this salve indicating wall of-- sufficient owe indicating-- suffocating
mass. it may be there are survivors there. certainly there are a number of people who are at the scene or nearby the scene, waiting for any news of their loved ones. there's still a question over how many people are, in fact, missing. 85 is the official total. a number of people lived in that area, who were eyewitnesses to what happened said numbers of families were completely swept away, all of them, so leaving nobody on the surface to report them as missing. so there is some question about what ultimately the toll will be from all of this meanwhile beijing has woken up to another day of heavy pollution. it is the city's second red alert of the month that continues. pollution particles have reached 20 times the level considered safe by the world health organization. today is expected to be the last day of the current alert. in a case relating to another gang rape in india, a court has
sentenced men to death in the northern state. a minor in the case has been tried as a juvenile and a ninth suspect committed suicide earlier. the men are accused of raping and mering a mentally challenged woman from nepal. she was in india for medical treatment. her body was recovered with many organs missing. the sister says she wants to see the suspects hanged >> translation: i will only be satisfied when they're hanged. for now the court judgment has been announced. i'm not completely satisfied as of now. a tens of thousands of migrants in south africa live in over crowded hostels left over from the apartheid era. the government says it is working to provide better housing. more from our correspondent. >> reporter: a bed for less than three dollars a month. for this man who is unemployed
who has a wife and child to support, this is the only option. they share this tiny room at the hostel in a township with two other families. >> translation: we wish for a bigger space to live with family in a better way. living here in a situation like this with the children, we are not able to do good work. >> reporter: about 22,000 people live at these hostels outside derbin enduring cramped, poorly maintained housing. after months of violence, police patrol the area 24 hours a day. the resources are stretched. over the past 18 months more than 50 people have been killed in and around the hostels. people here say hit squads are responsible for the deaths. some believe the killings are politically motivated. former community leader says he feels for his life. he fled the area where he was shot there last year. >> i had a gunshot and i did not
realise. i saw a lot of people shot at. they said run, run, run. they want to kill you >> reporter: the hostels were under apartheid from migrants from across africa. they were designed to keep black workers in areas segregated from white people. >> the hostels in a sense represented the worst aspects of apartheid, kind of violence against black people in the most degrading dehuman nuysing sense. so the anc has for a long time, even prior to 1994 had a policy of wanting to get rid of the hostels. but the hostels became politicised. >> reporter: the government says it wants to convert all hostels
into die sent housing. it aims to provide 1.5 new residential units. south africa heads to local elections next year and there are fears that tensions around the has tiles, if left unchecked, could escalate lions in africa are to be placed under the protection of the u.s. endangered species act. it means it will be harder for hunters to bring trophys back to the u.s. a report from our correspondent. >> reporter: he became an international hate figure, the flrnt abuse became so fears he was forced to close his dental practice for several weeks. while on a hunt he shot and killed a famous and locally loved lion called cecil. the killing was illegal but the dentist wasn't sure it was
illegal. >> there was an advocate with some leaders. there was an advocate for trying to protect wildlife in africa. this is an issue that is of importance in africa and this is something that we're obviously aware of >> reporter: the u.s. government says lions in central and west africa will come under the protection of the endangered species act. the move has been under consideration for five years and will make it harder for trophy hunters to import lion parts like heads, paws or skins. >> cecil has had enormous attention. it is relevant to the effort overall, but unfortunately cecil's situation was not unique and there are hundreds of lions being killed by american trophy hunters. >> reporter: u.s. joins france in taking action after the death
of the lion. the u.k. will bring in tighter legislation in 2017. more than 40 airlines have also stopped flying any hunting trophys. while the step introduced by the u.s., it is hoped to reduce lions being killed in the name of sport chefs have been building a ginger bred village to support syrian refugees. the project is raising money for the madrid based organization who are working closely with refugees in aleppo. they hope the cause behind the eight by eight metre edible town will encourage people to be generous this christmas. in brazil the children had a special visitor. police dressed as esanda presented gifts-- as sant ara.
it is hoped they are kept off the street and away from criminal activities. all the news on our website, of course. there's plenty of comment and analysis. the address, al jazeera.com. >> our fears are dancing between us. >> yeah? >> a woman's private pain examined for scientific research. >> it's so healing. >> instead of holding us down. >> she's on one of america's most popular party drugs. forget what you've heard about "molly", "x" or "mdma". >> it makes you feel euphoric, happiness, love.