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tv   News  Al Jazeera  December 22, 2015 11:00am-11:31am EST

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[ gunfire ] they are calling it the final assault, iraqi forces storm the center of ramadi, trying to recapture the city from isil. ♪ hello there, i'm barbara sarah, you are watching al jazeera live from london. also coming up on the program, under massive public pressure, india's tough rape laws for juvenile offenders. the number of migrants arriving in europe passes one million in just a year.
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and greece's parliament votes to recognize palestinian statehood. ♪ hello there, thank you for joining us, the iraqi military is reporting progress in its major offensive against the islamic state of iraq and the levant in ramadi. iraq's government says it's soldiers are advancing on the city center, where it's mates about 300 fiers remain. isil has held ramadi since may. its first objective was to cut off supply lines into the city. progress has been slow, because the iraqi government wants to rely on its own troops and sunni tribes rather than shia militia who have been accused of human rights abuses. retaking ramadi would be among the most significant victories
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against isil thus far. this map shows ramadi in isil's support zone. this is where it's fighters are allowed to move freely. this helps isil maintain these areas, where it has enough of a presence to control local populations. these no longer include sinjar. and there are the attack zone areas where isil conducts offensive maneuvers. zana hoda has more. >> reporter: it has been described as the final assault to recapture ramadi from isil. [ explosion ] >> reporter: the iraqi military says it's troops are moving in on the center of the city. the provincial capitol of the maintain sunny anbar province has been under isil control for
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months. ramadi is an urban battleground, progress has been slow. isil is fighting back using suicide bombers. it's not known how many armed men isil has in the city, but it is believed it could be up to 300. there are also civilians trapped inside. the iraqi government dropped leaflets calling on people to leave, but isil is reportedly stopping them to they can use them as human shields. ramadi's fall was an embarrassment for the iraqi government. the iraqi government didn't put up much of a fight and withdrew quickly. months later they are back on the front lines, and a spokesman said the fight is being legaled by special force and paramilitary troops are not
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taking part. but sunni tribal forces are involved. >> there is significant support from the coalition air forces, and from tribal fighters. the attack was well coordinated, and they attack isil from areas they didn't expect it. so i think by the weekend [ inaudible ] plan, yes, they will take it. >> reporter: ramadi is a strategic city. it is on the doorstep of the capitol baghdad and connects to jordan and isil controlled territory across the border in syria. taking ramadi was isil's biggest takeover this year. ramadi ask in iraq's sunni heartland. it will also determine if the
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shia-lead government will be able to take over this community. >> this is a big challenge for the iraqi security forces, how they are going to deal with the civilians. some sources said before around 4,000 families are still in ramadi, and they couldn't get out of the city, and the fighting now is going on inside ramadi, so it seems there is no clear plan and no obvious plan by the iraqi security forces how to protect those civilians. now everybody is talking about the land, is talking about how to conquer the downtown of the city, but no one said about a clear plan how to get a safe route those civilians, thousands of families to get them get out of the city. this is a big challenge for the iraqi security forces, but it seem there is no clear plan for the iraqi security forces on how to get thousands of people out
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of the city. everybody is warning that a catastrophe might happen around ramadi because thousands of people are still inside ramadi. ♪ the u.n. security council is hearing more details about the war in yemen which has crippled an around poor country and lead to a humanitarian crisis. the united nations estimates that more than 5,80 civilians have been killed, since saudi-lead air strikes have been lead in march. more than 21 million are thought to be in need of help, many on the brink of famine. about 1.3 million children are malnourished. at least 2.3 million have been forced from their homes, and the u.n. say there is credible evidence of war crimes and atrocities by all sides. kristen saloomey is in the united nations for us.
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tell us about the significance of this meeting. what exactly has the security council been hearing about? >> reporter: well, the united nations just wrapped up its first round of face-to-face negotiations between the warring parties in this conflict, the houthi rebels on one side, and the saudi-backed government of president hadi. and in the words of one security council diplomat, for the first time there is a glimmer of hope that these talks could be progressing, and there could be movement towards peace in this very volatile region of the world. so this meeting was called with the desire to keep the momentum going from those talks. ambassador power of the united states said that -- who holds -- the united states holds a present seat in the council right now, and she said to keep the pressure on all of the
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parties to come back to the talks, this is the first time that council members will be weighing in openly on the ongoing situation there in yemen, and while the ceasefire that was announced at the beginning of these u.n.-brokered talks didn't hold, and the speaker is saying the situation on the ground is probably worse than ever for civilians, there was an agreement to come back for another round of talks on january 14th, so we're seeing the effort by the international community to try to bring a resolution to this situation. >> and what exactly are the sticking points in the negotiations? >> reporter: well, the u.n. describes the situation there as very tricky between the warring parties. there is the issue of prisoner exchanges, the withdraw of houthi forces from the cities they have captured, but the top priority as far as the u.n. is concerning is getting a ceasefire that will last on the
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ground, because the situation for civilians is really horrible, with 80% of the population lacking some basic essentials for life, whether it's food, life, or fuel, 80% relying on some humanitarian assistance. so the top priority is building on a ceasefire -- building a ceasefire agreement that will actually last, get relief to these people, and continue situation of the talks moving forward. >> kristen thank you. afghan government forces continue to fight the taliban in the country's southern province. the army is advancing on the district which fell to the taliban on monday. [ gunfire ] >> afghan forces have regained some outposts, but the main city remains under taliban control. nato ended combat operations in
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afghanistan nearly a year ago now. our political analyst and commentator on afghanistan had this to sway about the situation. >> i think the taliban want to capitalize more on the fact that the government is busy sharing power with its partner in afghanistan, and as the winter is approaching, they want to gain more territories, and put pressure on the government in the coming peace negotiations. it is possible the taliban will withdrawal. the current leader of the taliban, who was questioned by different factions whether he is capable of managing the taliban or not, he wants to prove to the taliban that he is the man to be followed. that he is a leader, and he can take territory in afghanistan, and he has command of the taliban. the afghan army is a well-trained army. it has the manpower.
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they back air power. but they can take on the taliban if there was political will on the side of the government. india's parliament has approved amendments to the juvenile justice law which allows 18 to 16 year olds to be tried as adults for serious crimes. this follows public outcry over the release of the youngest convict in the gang rape and murder of a medical student in 2012. our correspondent has more from new delhi. >> reporter: while this latest juvenile justice bill has been passed there is still a long way to go before what is in its conflict is implemented on the ground. this bill needs to go to the president of india who will then sign off on it, and it will be returned to the government to fashion laws that can be put in
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place and used by the legal system. it's important to note that while the release of the youngest convict in the 2012 gang rape case once again brought to life the issue of juvenile justice in india, these laws will not be applied retrospectively to this case. there have been numerous debates on either side of this particular issue. on the one hand those in support of this law have said that it is now better than ever, and india needs stronger deterrence to make sure younger offenders do not commit crimes of such nature. on the other hand, they say we need more laws. and the debate will continue. still to come on the program, the fate of a top
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lawyer guilty of inciting hatred after insulting the government. ♪
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♪ welcome back. here is a reminder of the top stories on al jazeera. [ gunfire ] >> the iraqi military is reporting progress in its major offensive against isil in ramadi. iraq's government says its soldiers are advancing on the city center. [ gunfire ] afghan government forces
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continue to fight the taliban in the country's southern helmand province, the army is advancing on the district which hell to the taliban on month. and the u.n. security council is hearing more details about the humanitarian impact of the war in yemen. inside yemen, forces loyal to the government have fought their way into the province surrounding the capitol. on monday u.n.-sponsored peace talks ended without agree, but will resume next month. >> reporter: they have taken over the mountains close to sana'a. houthi rebels took control 15 months ago. pro-government forces are fighting to allow the national recognized president to return
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to the capitol. >> translator: fighting is now ongoing in that direction, on the right of the injunction. >> reporter: there are pro-government gains too further north. there has been heavy fighting 50 kilometers from the saudi border. the houthis are on the retreat there leaving weapons and other equipment as they go. pro-government fighters have taken control of a houthi training camp. both sides want to control this area, because it has most of yemen's oil and gas reserves. >> translator: god willing our advances fin in think right direction towards beloved sana'a. >> reporter: the world health organization says almost 6,000 people have died in this conflict, the u.n. says almost half are civilians. peace talks in switzerland last week, ended without an agreement to bring the civil war to an
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end. the two sides have agreed, though, to meet again next month. the international organization for migration says a record 1 million migrants have passed into europe this year. 11 refugees bound for greece including 3 children have drowned off of the turkish coast. people were rescued off of the turkish resort. the refugees seemed to have been trying to reach the greek island which lies opposite [ inaudible ]. just days ago 18 people drowned. the greek parliament has voted to recognize palestine as a sovereign and independent state. the resolution is a symbolic
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gesture as it is non-binding. [ applause ] >> reporter: a unanimous vote urging the government to recognize the state of palestine. >> translator: the greek parliament pledges to promote all of the necessary procedures to recognize the state of palestine. ladies and gentlemen all of those accepting the proposal please rise. [ applause ] >> translator: the resolution was prepared by the left est syriza party. the president of the palestinian authority was watching closely. he welcomed the resolution. >> translator: we call on countries to support a two-state solution. we call on countries who have not recognized the state of palestine to do so now.
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>> reporter: but the resolution is not binding and the greek government is unlikely to adopt it. tsipras said greece would take the right step at the right time. he called for a viable two-state solution. greece has strong economic, military, and security ties with israel. the two countries are planning joint energy and infrastructure projects and to increase military cooperation. some people say syriza's november is a call to its supporters who back the palestinian statehood. >> i am in favor, well, but i'm also in favor of keeping the diplomatic relations with israel as well. it is possible to maintain stability then, well, god knows, why yes, but i'm in favor. >> reporter: they join france,
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brita britain, and spain. for the palestinians it is yet another european recognition of their cause and their right to an independent state, and gives palestinians that greek government recognition is a step closer. police in bosnia have detained 11 people who are suspected of having linking with isil. police leave the individuals are involved in recruiting fighters for isil, as well as helping finance the group's operations. the u.n. children's agency believes more than one million children are not going to school because of the threat of boko haram attacks. unicef says more than 2,000 schools are closed across nigeria, cameroon, chad, and niger. the group who's name means
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western education is forbidden has targeted schools since 2009. security forces in burundi have carried out dozens of extra judicial killings according to a report by amnesty international. the report says that the police and military were responsible for several 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. this is after the president announced that he was running for a third term in office. our correspondent reports from the capitol. >> reporter: the government of burundi has reacted to the amnesty international report. the government says the report is a fabrication, and all of those people who were killed on that day by security forces were enemy combatants, enemies of the
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state, people who have taken part in an attack on three military bases in the capitol. 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 point blank on the streets, and it also detained how people including fruit sellers and young children as young as 15 were killed by policemen on the security operation on how the government later on came and took away most of the bodies and took them away to an unknown destination. the amnesty international report says the killings are a horrific illustration of the growing human rights crisis in burundi and calls for urgent
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international help. a leader in china has been charged for inciting public ahead redd. he was arrested after criticizing china's government online. adrian brown reports from beijing. >> reporter: china's judiciary rarely delivers a surprise verdict, but this was unexpected. and to was this, this man apologizing for the comments that landed him in court. he is now effectively a free man and had been facing up to eight years in jail after being found guilty of promoting public hatred, charges he denies. he poked fun of chinese leader. just as there was when his trial opened a week ago, journalists
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and diplomats were man handled outside of the courthouse. china's state-controlled media didn't report the opening of the trial, but its tv networks were the first to report the verdict. >> china is moving towards rule of law. i don't think we have a perfect record in terms of rule of law. what we have a rule of politics and law. however, we are moving in the right direction. it may take months, years, or even decades. among his supporters, there were mixed feelings. they welcomed his release, but argue it was an injustice to hold him in detention for 20 months. >> translator: we have cause to not recognize this. even though he has been given a suspended sentence, from the legal perspective he has been punished. >> the fact that he has been
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found guilty, but given a suspended sentence is a slightly positive given think context. but he should never have been detained. he committed no crime. the evidence they had against him was very flimsy. >> reporter: the guilty verdict prohibit him from returning to law, and the strict conditions imposed mean he could be returned to jail again. >> reporter: raw sewage and toxic material flow into the u.s. waterways every year. the anacostia river has long been a source of toxic chemicals. >> reporter: the anacostia river runs through some of the poorest areas in washington, d.c. the tests its sediment for toxic
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chemicals as a warning for those that take to its waters. >> don't fall in. >> reporter: this shallow waterway is a particularly bad candidate for toxic dumping. but city authorities have allowed rain water to sweep in a mixture of objection to kins from roads, and other courses since the 19th century. >> toxic metals, chlorine and dioxin. >> reporter: it's not just chemical runoff that pollutes these waters. it's also raw sewage. the 19th century pipe system collects sewage and rain water. it reaches capacity on particularly rainy days. some seeps to the surface, the rest is dumped straight into the
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rivers. the city is building several more tunnels, 50 meters below the city. >> on the other side of the air lock is the wheel itself. >> reporter: when the tunnel is completed it is hoped that 98% of the outflow will be diverted. property prices are already rises in gentrifying neighborhoods, as the risk of flooding abates, and hopes grow of a cleaner river. for environmentalists the question is y it took two lawsuits to get the city to stop the flow of sewage. >> there is a process of gentrification and the water pollution, and it will be a real shame if the neighborhoods were pushed out and weren't able to enjoy the benefits. >> reporter: chavez is concerned that new higher-rainfall models
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weren't part of the planning. even using the old models, nearly 200 meters of untreated sewage will still flow into the anacostia. and toxic storm runoff won't cease well beyond that. >> the district is telling us they can't do any better than finishing by 2154. >> reporter: moreover these only deal with the flow into the river and not any cleanup. there's no time frame for that. as he said, try not to fall in. call they it el goredo, the fat one. spain's traditional christmas lottery is the world's largest, with prizes totaling nearly $2.5 billion. the biggest winner this economist is the town on the southern coast, where a lucky group of residents will share
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out a $4.3 billion prize. an estimated three out of four spaniards buy tickets with more than a million people taking home a cash prize. more on the website, aljazeera.com. ♪ desertion and misbehavior, bowe bergdahl charged in military court today. the biggest problem for me is the entire process. >> demanding answers, sandra bland's family reacting to the news that no one will be indicted for her death. a>> and chipotle's stock taking

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