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tv   News  Al Jazeera  December 22, 2015 4:00am-4:31am EST

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the greek parliament has just voluntaried to recognise palestine as a state. -- voted has just voted to recognise palestinian as a state. abass is in attendance. you're watching al jazeera live from our headquarters in doha. also coming up, iraqi forces is retaking the city of ramadi from i.s.i.l. afghan government forces are advancing on the southern district of sangin after the taliban took control of it.
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a surprise move, a well-known human rights lawyer in china gets a three-year suspended sentence. it's the fourth day of fighting between afghan forces and the taliban in southern helmand province. the army is advancing towards sangin district which fell to the taliban on monday. the afghan forces have captured a few outposts but the main city ask still under taliban control. sangin is one of the main centers of the opium production. the latest attempt by the group to reclaim territory since nato ended its operations almost a year ago. the taliban now controls 29 of the 398 districts of afghanistan. in helmand province which produces most of the world's opium, four have been over taken
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by the group. there is fighting in other five districts, including sapping which is being used by operations-- for operations by international forces. the latest from our correspondent from kabul to tell us what type of operation is being conducted by the afghan civil forces. what is their strategy going forward? >> reporter: afghan special forces arrived yesterday in sangin, but there were a number of afghan forces already in sangin, including afghan army and local police. the siege of taliban in sangin have left many families to flee the area. the fighting is still continuing. we understand from the police in helmand that after began forces are moving-- afghan fors are
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moving slowly and they're very cautious in order to prevent civilian casualties in the area. i earlier spoke to one local resident in the capital of helmand province and he said that the people in lashkar are also concerned for the fall of sangin. they said that taliban are as close as five to ten kilometres to the area and people were really concerned about the security situation. we also understand that a number of nato troops which comprises of u.k. forces have been deployed in helmand, but they are not taking any part in the combat. they will be playing a role in advising and assisting afghan army in the area. insecurity in hell hell-- hell
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mends is and it is a problem that has been continuing since many years. british forces have defended sangin for many years. they have inflicted many losses there and u.s. marines took over sang sangin. in 2014 forces were given the responsibilities of the security of the country, but afghan forces really lacking air support, surveillances and that's what the international community needs to focus if they want the afghan forces to succeed thank you for that update. iraqi forces started a major offensive to retake the city of ramadi from i.s.i.l. there have been reports of some casualties and fighting in the south of the city. the province was seized by the
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armed group earlier this year. military planes have been dropping leaflets asking residents to leave that area. greece's parliament has voted to recognise palestine as a state. the palestinian authority president abass was present for that vote in athens. greece is now 9137th country to recognise palestinian state hood. in 2012 palestine was given nonmember status after a vote to recognise it as a sovereign state. a total of 1 is 36 united nations members had chosen to recognise palestinian state hood and the last country to vote in favor for that was france. that happened in december last year. now we have greece doing the same thing. crossing over to our correspondent. how symbolic and how significant
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is this. it is a non-binding vote. >> reporter: it is a symbolic, non-binding to the agreement government, but it's very-- greek government, but it is very important for the palestinians because what they think now is since the parliament approved the resolution, we think it gained a unanimous vote, that means it's reflective of the political landscape in this country and that means those political representatives who are representatives of the greek people support the palestinian cause. also important for the palestinians is keeping the momentum going because the greek parliament has the latest - you have the french, the spanish, the british and the irish all recognising last year the statehood for palestine to have an independent palestinian space. >> reporter: traditionally it has had strong relations with israel, so how is that likely to
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affect this relationship? >> reporter: greece has good relations with the two sides. i think they believe they can try and play a constructive role to bridge the differences between the two sides. i don't think that a resolution will affect their relations. that's why i think the greek government chose to throw the parliament rather than adopting a resolution at the government itself. i don't think the greek government will abide by the resolution and approve a palestinian state. if that happens that will affect the relations with israel. also greece has very important economic relations with israel as well as security and military ties. so i don't think they will endanger that and recognise a palestinian state. the final point is that when the greek prime minister and palestinian president abass met
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on monday, he said greece will take the step at the right time talk us through how that vote took place. we understand that the palestinian president abass himself was in attendance. >> reporter: yes. that's true. what we have is a series of the leftist party was behind the drafting of that resolution and they have adopted it in a committee in parliament. it's the foreign affairs and defense committee. they've approved it and then they took it to parliament which then we believe all the representatives voted on it. abass was present at that session and we understand that he will give a short speas with regards-- speech with regards to what happens. he will probably hail this decision as a historic step we will leave it there for now. thank you for that update.
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we will be crossing over to ramala a leading human rights lawyer in china has been found guilty in a trial over online posts. pu zhiqiang received a three-year suspended prison term. he was arrested after posts in relation to the government. he was been in prison for 18 months. this update from beijing >> reporter: i think this verdict will come as a surprise to some people because pu zhiqiang, 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, lampooning the chinese leadership and ray raising questions about the government's
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policies. 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 anniversary. he has already spent a long time in prison. it was probably thought it was long enough. 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, clearly it is a positive step that pu zhiqiang will no longer spend another night in jail. you don't normally hear amnesty international using the word "positive dells ", in a sentence about human rights in china just a moment ago we were telling you about news out of iraq and iraqi forces have started a major offensive to take the city of ramadi. that has been held by i.s.i.l.
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it is the capital and seized by i.s.i.l. earlier this year. so we understand that iraqi forces started this offensive to retake it t we have the former member of the parliament for the islamic party who is joining us on the telephone. can you tell us what you're hearing about this offensive, this plan to retake ramadi? >> yes. thank you. the action has been planned for some time now. they had an allowance for the civilian people to come out, women and children, and also to be able to complete the completion from the army, but i think the ramadi can be taken.
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it is very important because it is the capital province. it is very important in the war against d.a.e.s.h. not only in iraq but in the region how difficult do you expect this operation to be? we understand that our reporters are saying that iraqi forces are trying to advance towards ramadi from the north and they are facing booby diabetes trapped roads. that's according to al jazeera. so do you expect it to be a difficult operation and how long will it last? >> it is very usual practice of the guys, and they knew that. they could use the issues, they have to be cautious give us a sense in a few
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words about the significance of the province and ramadi and what this loss, if it's lost, would mean for d.a.e.s.h./i.s.i.l.? >> the very thing that it could no longer stay in iraq because the ramadi is not only very close to baghdad but also it is border with jordan and mosul and this is to break their backbone of d.a.e.s.h. in the region how will the iraqi forces hold on to it? >> it will hold on to it because the people of ramadi want to. they have to hand over that city to the people. of course, the police, the local police, and also the national police, i think they will also be able to overcome the problem.
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they work together. defeating d.a.e.s.h. will be easier for everybody and to remove the chapter in iraq's history thank you very much for speaking to us from iraq. >> thank you back to the story out of greece and palestine. that is where the greek parliament has just voted in favor to recognise pal cervical spine as a sovereign and independent state. let's cross over to the occupied west bank, a senior official. you yourself have been campaigning for countries to recognise palestine. so you must be very pleased with what happened in the greek parliament. >> i am pleased. i think at a time like this with
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the palestinian tom accelerate the real horrible expansion of israeli measures, settlers measures attacks on the al-aqsa mosque in jerusalem and so on, and at the time with the tragedy of syria in the dual aspects of the refugees and the terrorism, this action in greece revives the priority of the palestinian issue, brings back support from a country that has really supported palestine and its people supported palestine and arab causes for a very long time. i know it's mostly symbolic seeing that it is symbolic, it is non-binding. show does it advance the quest for palestinian state hood and the right of return for palestinians in exile? >> it's really cumulative. if you look at this one
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separately, you're right, but when you're talking about 140 countries who have done so, the wave of recognitions that came from europe and latin america between the year 2010 and 2012 and 2014 had waned and stopped and now it has revived again. this brings in international support and leader consequences and brings in eventually more support vis-a-vis what really interests us at the time which is punishment and isolation and real sanctions against rail to-- israel to stop this action what are they doing about that? you yourself recently said in an interview that the fail use of oslo is driving the current uprising. you've criticised netanyahu for failing to recognise oslo. you have in september threatened
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to suspend palestinian commencement of oso. what would your advice be to him at this point? >> we have to continue patiently conducting our confrontation with israel, our struggle against israeli occupation. in the local popular struggle against rail eaus and in the international arena. we really have to emulate the south africans in that sense of gradually bringing more sanctions against rail and more pressure from international. israel. we don't want to be sent back to the waiting bin for a long time. that's why we have to keep continuous action international action to keep the alive our
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cause and to keep live our cause for international pressure on israelis your own people don't think so. a survey conducted by the palestinian center for policy and survey research says that 67% of those in that survey believe that president abass is not serious about abandoning oslo agreement. so what do you make of that statistic? >> feed to work hard to convince our people first. our people have the right because they see what israelis are doing. when they see that, they feel that on the ground there is nothing that have emerged out of oslow and they do not see as totally abandoning relationships with israel and so on. it's not going to be easy to stop our economic relations, our
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day-to-day relations. there is a lot of work that needs to be done, but i assure you, we are not going back to oslo. that is it. if we ever go back to negotiations, they will not go to the same negotiations. it will not be with the americans as the sole dishonest broker of this. it has to be something like the iranian thing. it has to be a group of nations, like what is being prepared for the syrian thing. there has to be a total stop of settlement. without that i assure you we are not going back to the negotiations we thank you for your time were us on al jazeera. that is the palestinian authority president, mr abass. he is speak in front of the greek parliament where that vote has taken place in the last 30 minutes or so where greece has
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voted in favor to recognise palestine as a separate and sovereign state schul. run through the headlines. greece's parliament have voted in favor to recognise palestine as an independent state. it's symbolic as it is non-binding. it is the fourth day of fighting between afghan forces and the taliban in the helmand province. iraqi forces started a major offensive to take the city of ramadi from i.s.i.l. there have been reports of some casualties and fighting in the south of the city. the anwar province was seized earlier by the group this year. a court in india has sentenced seven men to death in a gang rape case, a minor in the case
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has been tried as a juvenile and a ninth suspect committed suicide. the woman was in india for treatment. her body was recovered with multiple organs missing. the sister says >> translation: let' see them when they're hanged. i will be satisfied when that happens india's upper house of parliament will discuss the amendment to the juvenile justice bill. that will happen on tuesday. the decision comes after a public outcry over the release of the youngest convict in the gang rape and murder of a medical student in 2012. the amendment of the bill has been pending for a year. it will allow juveniles to be tried as adults for serious crimes. let's cross over to our correspondent to tell us more about the discussions surrounding this amendment.
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>> reporter: discussions are taking place in the upper house of parliament as we come to air. a number of voices for and against the amendments, particularly as you've mentioned, suggest that some juveniles between the ages of 16 and 18 could be tried as adults depending on the nature of their crime. those in favor in parliament and outside have said that there need to be tougher deter deterrents. they have suggested that juvenile crime is the fastest rising crime in india. against this, however, are those within parliament and activists who say this is a draconian measure that one case relating to the 2012 gang rape and the youngest convict should not determine a change in law of this kind, particularly with some far-reaching consequences. they've also suggested that any potential changes of this kind
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could actually contravene the united nations convention on the rights of child which independence i can't is a signatory to how-- india is a signatory to how closely is this being followed by citizens across the country? >> reporter: very closely. it has been before the parliament for more than a year now. it has been on the upper house's agenda for some month. people have been talking about in for some time. they have been talking about it since the youngest offender was convicted in 2013. people knew in 2013, they knew that he would be released in three years and there have been rumblings about what would happen. activists say will no way will this apply retrospectively. so when it comes to the 2012 rape and the youngest convict,
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this has no bearing on his case. that has been a key point of discussion going firelight. not just in parliament but across india enormouss loyal to yemen have fought their way into the province. it is the closest they've come since houthi rebels seized it in september last year. on monday peace talks ended without agreement but they will presume next month. >> reporter: pro-government forces are on the offensive. they've taken control of the mountains over looking senar close to a houthi stronghold. houthi rebels took control of the area 16 months ago. pro-government forces are fighting to allow the internationally recognised president to return to the capital. >> translation: fighting is now ongoing in that direction. on the right of the junction. in the popular resistance fighters are on the hills there. >> reporter: there are
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pro-government gains too further north. there has been heavy fighting 50 kilometres from the saw deborder. the houthis are on the retreat there leaving weapons and other equipment as they go. in the central province pro-government fighters have taken control of a houthi training camp. both sides want to control this area because it has most of the yemen's oil and gas reserves. >> translation: we are following well thought military plans. god willing our advance is continuing in the right direction towards the be loved area. >> reporter: the world health organisation says almost hof of those are civilians. peace talks in switzerland ended without agreement. they have agreed to meet again next month security forces in burundi have carried out dozens of extra judicial killings. amnesty international says the
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police and military were responsible for many deaths on one of the worst days of violence earlier in december. at least 87 people were killed after three military bases were attacked by gunmen. our correspondent reports from the capital bujumbura. >> reporter: the government of burundi has reacted to the amnesty international report detailing the events of 11 december when almost a hundred people were killed on the streets of bujumbura. the government says that the report is a fabrication and all those people who were killed on that day by the security forces were enemy combatants, enemies of the state, people who had taken part in an attack on three military bases in the capital bujumbura. the amnesty international report details the events of that day which is the most violent day since violence began in burundi in april this year. it says that security forces on a security operation took people out of their homes and shot them
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point blank on the streets and it also details how people, including fruit sellers and young children as young as 15, were killed by policemen on the security operation and how the government later on came and took away most of the bodies and took them away to an unknown designation. the amnesty international report says the killings are a horrific illustration of the growing (technical difficulties. loss of video and audio)
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a case of a black woman who was found dead in her prison cell. sand dray bland was arrested in july for allegedly failing to use her car's indicator. officials said the 28-year-old hanged herself with a plastic bag after three days in jail. her family and others have questioned that account. iran criticizing a visa restriction aimed at people who have visited so-called high-risk countries. it bans visa free travel to the u.s. to anyone who has visited or holds citizen ship in some areas. leaders say that goes against the deal struck by iran in six world powers earlier this year. that deal calls for normalising trade and economic ties with iran. the restrictions are a by product of the current political environment >> it takes place with this
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backdrop of what donald trump is saying and some of the outrageous rhetoric that is happening in the presidential campaign. i think that this really is the product of this domestic political environment where there was such fear monday angering on one side that the-- mongering on one side that the voices of reason was drowned out. you ha . this could cause backlash. it creates a mess and is a by product of this enviolent we're in right now lions in africa will be placed under the protection of the u.s. endangered species act. it will mean it will be harder for hunters to bring back trough eaus to the u. -- trophys back to the u.s. it came after cecil the lion was shot. chefs have been building a ginger bred village. it is to raise money for the
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madrid organization who are working closely with refugees in aleppo. they hope the cause behind the eight by eight edible delight will encourage peace. all the news on al >> what i think my art brought to my journalism is that i didn't come to journalism with the sort of bias towards faux objectivity... i deeply believe in having an extreme bias towards reality. >> in her youth, she traveled europe and the near east, and worked as a nude model and danced burlesque.


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