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tv   News  Al Jazeera  January 4, 2016 12:00am-12:31am EST

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>> we with determined not to allow iran to undermine our security saudi arabia cuts diplomatic ties with iran after protesters storm its embassy in tehran hello. with the world news from al jazeera. also ahead at least six people are killed and several houses damaged after a magnitude 6.8 earth quake in north-east india. a stand off continues in afghanistan after fighters attack the indian consulate. we're in sri lanka where
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wildlife is under threat. we will tell you why saudi arabia has severed diplomatic ties with iran after demonstrators targeted the embassy on saturday night. they were protesting after saudi arabia executed a proposal entity shia cleringic. nimr al-nimr was among 47 men put to death. >> reporter: the saw deembassy ablaze in tehran. they lash out while nimr al-nimr was executed on terrorism charges. the saudi government says it made repeated requests for iran to protect the embassy. they were ignore in order. in response the kingdom has cut diplomatic ties with tehran. >> we are determined not to allow iran to undermine our security.
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we are determined not to let iran mobilise or create or establish terrorist cells in our country or in the countries of our allies. >> reporter: the execution of nimr al-nimr has prompted protests among shia communities across the middle east. nimr al-nimr and the other men, including al-qaeda preacher. faris al-zahrani, were charged with plotting and carrying out terrorist attacks targeting civilians and security forces. nimr al-nimr was sentenced to death for sedition, bearing arms. he said knee never carried weapons and called for violence. it was said he was given a fair trial. the death penalties in saudi arabia under islamic law and
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they apply to both shun ee and shia. -- sunni and shia. >> translation: there is a wrong deed because this blood will trouble them without a doubt. i have no doubt about it. policy makers executed them. the decision makers should not underestimate that this blood will trouble them. it will torment them. >> reporter: iran and saudi arabia have often engaged in a war of words and it is not the first time they've cut diplomatic relations. >> i think that the ties between iranians and vau des-- saudis were bound to clash at one point because there are so many challenges facing these two countries and the points of views are die metrically opposed. >> reporter: tehran and riyadh support opposing sides. the concern now is that the widening rift between these two regional powers will have a broader impact across the middle
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east. gerald tan iran has responded by accusing saudi arabia of trying to shift attention away from the executions, and the u.s. is calling for both sides to reduce tensions. the state department spokesmen said: a professor of middle east politics at the london school of economics told us the stand off could sped spread to other countries in the middle east. >> you have war by proxys. in syria, iraq, lebanon. serbia and lebanon are wage willing wars. the rap toured diplomatic relations told we are seeing the relationship between the sunni dominated saudi arabia and the shia dominated iran is at the lowest point. we could witness further
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escalati escalation. what has happened in the last 24 hours could pour gasoline on the raging fire. the gulf giants could exacerbate tensions. what will happy p happen is the community was hoping for a diplomatic solution in syria in the next few weeks. forget about that. people were hoping for a deescalation and cease fear in yemen. forget about it. hezbollah was the dominant shia party in lebanon now and is up in arms trying to rally the lebanese and the muslim population against saudi arabia. the situation is bahrain is very tense. you have sizeable shia communities around the gulf. even though saudi arabia and iran are waging a war about by
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proxies for power and geopolitics, for influence. their particular struggle has taken on sectarian connotations because you have sunni, saudi arabia and shia dominated iran and it's really poisoning the veins of the muslim politics. i fear that the current crisis, the ruptured relations could bring about an escalation of other issues syria's opposition is trying to agree on who should be part of upcoming talks with the asad government in two weeks. they're meeting in riyadh. they want a syria which will keep institutions intack. president bashar al-assad will be allowed to participate in talks but he must leave power after a six-week period. preconditions must be met. government attacks must stop to allow aid into opposition areas and to facilitate the return of
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millions of refugees. the director of the center for middle east studies says it is not clear how saudi arabia could help end the war in syria. >> clearly the sunni sympathy aconflict-- shiite conflict is at the heart of this. saudi arabia is really change the battleground on its own. the saw deforeign-- saudi foreign minister said that there is a military solution to the syrian problem if bashar al-assad does not agree to leave power. that suggests that saudi arabia is going to outbid russia for syria. i don't believe that's true. it is not clear that this is just bluff, but saudi arabia is already in a difficult war in yemen. its over spending, giant deficit
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with low oil prices and it is not clear that it can take on russia and syria in this way. we will have to see what the future brings at least six people have been killed after a 6.8 earthquake in north-east india. it struck north near the border of myanmar. the survey says the epicenter was 55 kilometers underground. a resident there described what happened. >> it struck early. it was and 6.7. some of the buildings have been crumble and there were injuries. the epicenter is a bit far. what we have heard is one girl
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had been killed in a bulged crumbling. six to seven other people have been killed gunmen have attacked an indian consulate in northern afghanistan. witnesses say they heard explosions at the compound. a police spokesman said there was a gun battle. the fighters are now holed up in a nearby building. joining us live from the afghan capital kabul. what is happening there? >> reporter: what we are hearing from the police at the scene that last night over night the attackers and afghan security forces were quiet. the fighting started again over an hour ago and the special forces could manage to enter that building where the attackers took position and the
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fighting is still going on. what we know from police also that at least two people were injured in these attacks yesterday evening, one civilian and one security guard are we any clearer to understanding why the indian consulate was the target? >> reporter: it's not first time that indian diplomat were attacked in pakistan. there has always been remarks over the presence of indian consulate in afghanistan. in the previous attahatthaathat here, 58 people were killed. that was in 2008. in 20009, an attack in kabul, in 2013 another one, and 2014
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similar in another province. in the previous attack every time, even the taliban claimed responsibility for that attack, but afghan intelligence blame the pakistani intelligence, isi, being behind these attacks. also afghan, the government also realized that afghanistan is not a place for proxy war between india and pakistan which they believe is happening right now thank you for that. time for a short break here on al jazeera. when you come back, two israelis are facing-- facing murder charges over an arson attack. stay with us stay with us
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welcome back. a reminder of the top stories. saudi arabia has cut diplomatic ties with iran after demonstratores set fire to the embassy. they were protesting the execution of nimr al-nimr. syrian opposition leaders are meeting in the saw decapital. they're trying to agree on who should participate in talks with the syrian government in two weeks time to try and end the civil war. an earthquake in north-east india has killed at least six
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people. a begun fight has-- gun fight has resumed in an air base near the pakistan border. it is thought one gunman is holed up. it started on sunday. faith, bring us up-to-date with what's happening there. >> reporter: as you said, there is sporadic gun fire going out, but officials are being tight-lipped on the information they give. the initial attack began saturday morning at about 3.30 when our gunmen wearing military uniforms attacked the base. that went on for several hours. then they said the operation was over. after a lull of a couple of hours, there were more firing, a search operation and then nothing. on sunday afternoon more firing was heard. there was some confusion and then officials confirmed that at least two gunmen were still inside the base after.
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this morning there has been more gun fire but officials are saying tight-lipped. they don't want to say who is in there because every time they do and say it is over it starts up again what is the importance of this base and how have these gunmen been able to hold of security forces for so long? >> reporter: the base itself is strategically located between the state of punjab and kashmir. it is only about 50 kilometers from the border with pakistan. as well the base holds several mig fighter jets and helicopters. it is a very important military asset. these gunmen, this is a very large base in the outer area. it is a big wooded area as well. officials are saying that some of the gunmen may have been hiding in some of the bunkers or the areas that were there as
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well. they're not entirely sure themselves. because of the nature and the terrain it makes it hard to track people which is why the search operation is continuing and they're not saying exactly how many people are in there an israeli man has been charged with murder following an arson attack on a palestinian home last july. a 17-year-old israeli has also been charged with helping to murder three family members in the occupied west bank. our correspondent from the ruined home. >> reporter: more five months this is the scene of the family home. the program in which they pushed their son ali is still here. ali was burnt alive as he slept in the corner. his parents died of their injuries in hospital. the burnt out belongings of the family here are shocking evidence of the violence that they suffered in that attack. meanwhile, more details are
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gradually beginning to emerge of the man charged with their murder. 21-year-old with a young family of his own. he is seen here holding his baby. he lived in an illegal settlement in the occupied west bank but reportedly moved no jerusalem after the attack-- to jerusalem after the attack happened. it is reported that he and the 17-year-old minor, charged with being an accomplice were planning a second attack on another village nearby. both had been hilled by authorities before. >> translation: we don't have confidence in the israeli judicial system or the investigation because neither we nor our lawyer have been informed about the steps of investigation. >> reporter: the four-year-old, the only member to have survived, is still having rehabilitation treatment for the burns he suffered. israeli officials call the
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attack an act the justish terroris terrorism. >> evidences are suggested to the police when video camera shows evidences of all kind of violence of settlors and the police does nothing and then the prosecution does nothing and so many settlors who were clearly involved in violence are free and not brought to justice. >> reporter: the prime minister netanyahu said in sunday's cabinet hearing that israel will implement the law in all of israel and on all citizens. in the occupied west bank village of duma, three graves mark the final resting place of this mother, father and their baby boy. charles stratford a middle east fellow says the government needs to do more
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to stop attacks against palestinians >> the mribs have very little-- palestinians have very little trust or confidence in the justice because they live under occupation. a lot of the activities of this type of terrorist criminals that commits crimes after crime against them are actually don't face penalty. they have to face justice is going to be done. the government is complicit with the settlors. i think the outpost that the israeli agrees that is illegal, they allow them to be there in certain way and this is the result. i think easily the government should be made accountable to the fact that they allow those criminals to keep on doing that without pressing charges against them. i think theise ail ee security--
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israeli security force focus on other terrorism and neglected looking at jewish and israeli terrorism and it is about time they do much more again venezuela's opposition has chosen the next president of the national assembly. after winning by a landslide in december's election, the opposition coalition is said to take a two-thirds majority in the assembly when they're sworn in on tuesday. it gives them more power to challenge the president. >> reporter: today the opposition coalition elected the new president of the national assembly. for many here he is a politician and one that they consider what the country needs at the moment. this is the first time in 16 years that the opposition here in venezuela will have control of the national assembly. despite being informed by
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several different factions, the opposition has vowed to stay together which is particularly relevant also because the supreme court has just ruled that four of the legislators that were to be sworn in on tuesday might be blocked from assuming their post. the opposition says they will remain defiant and that all 112 of the legislators will, in fact, be sworn in. both sides have called spare supporters to-- share supporters to attend when they're sworn in. that has fears that the 2014 activities could be repeated a way to reduce the number of guns on the street. president obama will meet with the attorney-general on monday to finalize new restrictions. gun enthusiasts are not happy.
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>> reporter: so many guns in the u.s., gun and ammunition sales are up as americans rush to buy firearms before strict new gun regulations are put in place. >> not having, not being able to get stuff before their abilities are taken away >> reporter: many are concerned about president obama's announcement that he is meeting with the attorney-general on monday to discuss using presidential power to impose new restrictions on u.s. gun sales. we know we can't stop every act of violence, but what if we tried to stop one? >> reporter: he says the actions are necessary after efforts to work with congress stalled. following the school shooting in 2012 which killed 26 people, obama proposed congressional measures to tighten gun laws but that failed in congress. gun stores like this one are required to conduct a background check before a customer buys a
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gun, but some firearms sold privately at gun shows do not require the same scrutiny. it is called the gun show loophole and it is what some say is a gap in the regulations that the white house seeks to close. the country's largest gun rights group says increased background checks will do little to increase public safety >> all they want to do is blame the guns. >> reporter: the candidate donald trump says the right to bear arms in the u.s. is a protected right. >> i don't like anything having to do with changing our second amendment. we have plenty of rules and regulations. there's plenty of things that they can do right now that are already there. >> reporter: the view is seen by many. >> as a veteran myself i raise my right hand to support and again the constitution of the american states. i do find it an affront that
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some people would choose to circumvent that. >> people do feel passionate about it. it is as much the government telling them what they can or cannot do and have. >> reporter: despite opposition, the white house says it is too yezy for someone who wants to commit a crime to acquire a gun. that is why there is presidential actions to make it difficult. a result is expected as early as this week armed men in the u.s. state of oregon are occupying a government building to protest against the conviction of two farmers. the father and son are accused of arson of public land. both have already served time for the crime, but the court ruled their sentences were snuffed. they've been-- insufficient. they have been called back for a further four years. >> reporter: the very specific demands are that the people who were there, the mesh men that
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have gathered,, they say they want the federal government to stop encroaching on the lands and rights of ranchers, farmers, loggers, here in this state of oregon and around the american west. those are their very specific demands. they say they are prepared to remain in that wildlife refuge office, that federal office building indefinitely. they say for years, and they have put out a call to do what they describe as any true patriots around the country to join them. they will feed them and give them a place for sleep. they say please bring your weapons as well and help us take this stand against government encroachment. as i understand it, it wasn't the original court, the original judge that came up with the resentencing. it was a federal appellant court that said it is arson on federal year and it has a five year minimum mandatory sentence and
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that was nowhere near where they were sentenced before. they said they moo need to go back to federal prison to serve that time. they said they will turn themselves in to serve that time and the family, the father and sim who were headed back to prison, have made it clear that they don't have any formal connection with the people who have taken over the wildlife refuge headquarters and that those folks do not speak for them the start of a new ear ushers in a new set of sustainable development goals for the united nations. one of the objectives is to end deforestation by the year 2020. al jazeera's correspondent reports now from a national park in sri lanka. >> reporter: nature is all its beauty. a century ago 80% of sri lanka was covered by forests. today it is less than 30%. even with the country's oldest and largest nature reserve has suffered from encroachment as
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the country's population expands. over 1000 hectares of forest adjoining the reserve have been cleared for housing in recent years, provoking a huge outcry from environmentalists. these aerial pictures filmed by them show the extent of the deforestation. >> translation: the lack of forest is a problem. they don't understand that these are the reserves and must be protected. it's the main reasons these areas come under threat. >> reporter: the outcry prompted the president's office to halt any further land being cleefd for housing in the area. as the population grows and progresses, forests like this and the animals in them face increasing threat. environmentalists say they must be protected to ensure their long-term sur vooifrl. they say-- survival. they say the land already deforested should be used for development rather than clearing further forests.
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it would be disastrous for the wildlife. >> these species are already in the critical endangered category. so if we don't take action quickly, we may tend to lose some of these species. >> reporter: these are among the animals under threat. environmentalists say the new government in colombo appears to be responding to their concerns. a presidential task force is coordinating a three year environment protection plan which aims to reverse some of the damage and actually expand the country's forest cover. >> we are working together to ensure that at least by the end of three years we will have the addition of another five to six thousand reck tears of reforestation there. >> reporter: the challenge is to strike the right balance between on the one hand the need to free-up land for development and on the other the need to protect the environment, especially for wildlife species already on the
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verge of extinction a quick reminder, you can keep up-to-date with all the news on our website. there it is on your screen. the address al >> [ ♪ ] buried. >> right next to her. >> mm-hmm six years ago his wife died after overdosing on prescription pain-killers. she was 60. >> it shoulve