ironman. the news continues live from london next. >> saudi arabia's allies cut or cool their relations with iran as the diplomatic dispute between the two rivals grows. you're watching al jazeera live from london. coming up on the program, u.s. and european markets fall after chinese stocks collapse on the first day of trading on the year. europe's pass free zone under threat as there are border checks to stop refugees. plus overstaying their welcome. why some african leaders will do
anything to remain in power. >> bahrain said it has cut ties with tehran. the u.a.e. has downgraded relations and sudan has dismissed th its ambassador from khartoum. they had already cut diplomatic links as demonstrators set fire over the execution of a dissident shia clear. >> okay. diplomats on their way home with their families. as they evacuated came similar action by some of the kingdom's allies. among them neighboring bahrain after two days of demonstrations by protesters from its
shia-muslim majority. the gulf state that is closely allied with saudi arabia accused iran of blatant and dangerous interference in arab countries and support for terrorism. the actions follow the arson attack at the saudi embassy in tehran. and saudi arabia accused iran for not doing anything to prevent it. a war of words is escalating. >> we have cut off diplomatic relations with iran. cutting off air traffic to and from iran and commercial interactions with iran and a travel ban against people traveling to iran. >> unfortunately, the government of saudi arabia sees its interest in creating clashes and escalating tension in the region. it has taken regions and foreign policies in line with that. >> shia people right across the middle east have been demonstrating after the execution of nimr al-nimr.
he and 46 others were charged with plotting and carrying out terrorist attacks, targeting civilians and security forces. sr. adamant he got a fair trial. it's not the first time diplomatic relations have been cut, but there are fears that it could cause more violence. in an incident in eastern saudi where people are mourning nimr al-nimr's death, the press agency reported that one man had been killed and a child injured. al nimr's brother had been told that the cleric will be buried in an undisclosed location. a move that could cause more pro fests. >> people have been protesting in baghdad demanding that the government cuts ties with saudi arabia. thousands of followers the shia cleric took to the streets. they called on the government to reconsider the reopening of the saudi embassy, which closed 25 years ago after saddam hussein
ordered the against kuwait. demonstrators have been on the streets of tehran in protest over the execution. 3,000 demonstrators gathered in eastern tehran chanting slogans against saudi arabia's royal family. a journalist with the arabian english newspaper. he says that the servin severing of diplomatic ties was inevitable. >> this is the natural outcome of what has been going on for the past four or five years in syria, iraq, and now in yemen. but make no mistake, there is no love loss between the iranians and the saudis. nobody is going to miss them here because for the simple fact
everything that has happened to iran over the past 35 years is all because of the negative and anti--iran saudi arabia policies and it's allies. i'm telling you that everyone is cheering they're extremely happy not to have any diplomatic relations. iran will continue to support the government of syria. iran will continue to support the government of iraq in the war against terrorism and iran blames the saudi government for its all of its support, generous support of the so-called moderate head choppers of these countries. we do believe that it is the help tha that is behind everything going on in the middle east. >> the stand off between saudi arabia and iran comes as they and other major powers try to end two of the middle east major conflicts. the saudis and iranians are on
opposite sides of both of these wars. what impact will these situations have on peace efforts. let's go live now to united nations in new york where diplomatic editor james bays joins us. there was cautious optimism that in 2016 we would see head way when it comes to solving the syrian crisis. much of that optimism because saudi and iran were sitting together at the same table. not much optimism now. what is the u.n. thinking of doing? >> no, the new year was supposed to bring new hope particularly on syria, but also perhaps on yemen. this i think is a major, major setback. with regard to syria the special envoy who is supposed to convene talks between all the syrian parties on the 25th of january in geneva just three weeks from now, well, he's in riyadh now, and we understand going to he is
damascus, they'll also be going to iran. this is a pre-planned trip to get those talks moving three weeks from now. but i think his mission will have changed. he's desperately trying to keep this process going because as you say the new thing was that this was going to be backed by all of the regional players including saudi and iran. a couple of weeks ago here in new york all the players were here, and those two countries were around the table pushing this process forward. now i think the whole process with regard to syria in some doubt and you've got the people suffering in syria who have been suffering through five years of war also extreme suffering in yemen. that's another place that i think really is going to have much tougher chance of getting peace now. what happened in yemen as we have peace talks already taking place in switzerland, they were adjourned. they've not had a great deal of success. there was a truce in place
although it had been violated by both sides a number of times. well, that truss is no longer in place, and the saudi-led coalition said it is launching it's military operations as before the truce. so setbacks i think--serious set walks causing concern at the united nations. i understand that the u.n. security council have been having discussions about issuing some sort of statement. they have not yet managed to agree on a any sort of wording. >> that leads us to a question that we have now. how much pressure do we have behind the scenes oh officially are the two key external players, the u.s. and russia pushing on iran and saudi to tone down the tensions and try to get back to the negotiating tables. do we know? >> well, i mentioned the u.n. special envoy on syria who has done a lot of work to try to get peace talks going. and in no way to criticize his efforts, i think what really started the syria process that
now i think has got some added problems was not him but the u.s. and russia. it was very much an initiative of the u.s. secretary of state john kerry and sergei lavrov, his russian counterpart. they forced this new initiative on syria, and i think if it's going to be rescued it will be down to the u.s. russia already saying it is prepared to play a mediator role between saudi, and secretary of state john kerry has been on the phone to try to resolve what is a very difficult situation with a big regional impact for the middle east. >> well, i know you'll be following all the developments for us. james bays live in new york. thank you. well, at least two sunni mosques have been attacked in just south of the iraqi capital of baghdad. the dome and several walls of the mosque had been destroyed.
it's been reported that the attacks are in retaliation of the execution of the senior shia cleric in saudi arabia. we're in baghdad with the latest. >> they did not elaborate, but they said one of the mosques located inside the town, and one to the north, the iraqi prime minister condemned today in a very brief statement put on his page on facebook about this event. he said that the groups who were involved in this event are criminal groups, and said that they were to chase those people describing them, they're trying to hit the iraqi national unity. also iraqi interior minister condemned what happened, and said in a statement put on its website what has happened as
desperate attempt. some groups are trying--some groups are trying to provoke iraqi sectarian groups against each other. ♪ >> u.s. and other world stock markets are down following a massive loss on china's market. it plunged by 7% before trading was suspended for the day. the reflection of china's continued slow economic growth. well, monday was the first test of a new stock market circuit in china, which was supposed to stock trade when the loss hit the 5%. we are any beijing. >> this was the worst start ever of the year, a new system was being used on monday, which was
supposed to contain market volatility. so when the markets fell by 5% trading was temporarily halted for 15 minutes. trading then resumed. the index then fell by 7%. it seems that a system that was brought in to calm things down had the reverse affect. why i--the reverse effect. why is down? output has contracted for the tenth consecutive move and china's currency is continue to go weaken. a lot of what china is producing is not bought by the rest of the world any more. demand is slipping because the economies elsewhere in the world are also slowing. why are they slowing? because china's economy is slowing. it is a vicious circle. and then in the middle of all of this, china is carrying out a vast experiment with its economy right now. it's trying to shift away from heavy industries to an economy
that is service-led. but it's going to be a painful transition, and monday's performance on the shanghai and shenzhen stock markets was a reminder why. >> well, now let's take a closer look on the impact of u.s. markets as they open for the first trading day of the year. and stocks followed a similar trajectory to china and europe. the dow jones industrial sank 300 points, that's about 2%. that's expected to be compounded by new data showing weakness in u.s. manufacturing. pro-democracicy leaders in hong kong are urging the government to investigate the latest disappearance of a book publisher, the fifth employee from the same company to go missing. the publisher specializes in political books which are banned in mainland china. hong kong's leader said there is no indication so far that chinese agents are involved in the disappearances, and authorities there have no jurisdiction over hong kong.
announced it is cutting air traffic links with iran. two attacks in baghdad. it's reported that the incident are in retaliation for the execution of a senior shia cleric in saudi arabia. and global financial markets are in turmoil after mainland chinese shares drop 7% before trading was suspended for the day. thousands of syrian refugees are enduring wintery conditions in lebanon's valley. snow has begun falling in the region and temperatures have plummeted about 200,000 syrian families in lebanon are especially at risk in the cold wings and months ahead. yemeni government forces have announced a curfew in the southern city of aiden. airstrikes have resumed following an end to a cease-fire in december. the coalition has been bombing
the shia houthi movement in the country for nine months. >> first they hit the gas stations with the missiles. and homes were destroyed. the plane came back and hit the home and gas station again with the largest missile ever to hit yemen. >> denmark has closed temporary i. checks i going into sweden. the schengen area is made up of 26 countries which agreed to abolish passport control at its common borders. we have more on this story from berlin. >> the news that the danish government and the swedish government have decided to impose passport controls at their borders can be seen as a
threat to the schengen agreement. we heard that they believe that the schengen zone may be in danger. it's a system that allows e.u. citizens and others in the european union to cross borders without having to show passports and to go through some sort of control. and in 2015 this became a major issue with the influx of refugees or migrants. we know that a million migrants came to europe by land and by sea in 2015. and we heard from germany saying that they must take care of their own best interests. there is an e.u. wide solution to this problem will be effective. that is reference back to the e.u. summit that was held in brussels before christmas where these matters were discussed. we know on one hand there are many member states now who are
very concerned about the security of their borders. equally there are member states who say that this is a fundamental element of the rights of european citizens. it certainly is something that these decisions both in sweden and in denmark will be discussed at fourth coming e.u. summits. of that we can be sure. >> a powerful explosion has been rocked downtown kabul. the interior ministry said it was caused by a car bomb but could not confirm the exact location. earlier in the day a suicide-bomber blew himself up close to kabul airport. there were injuries as police spotted the vehicle and caused the attacker to detonate the explosives early. it follows a series of attacks in the capital in recent days. demonstrators in afghanistan were stopped by security and overtook in a neighboring house.
this coincided with an attack on an indian air force base near the pakistani border. efforts to regain control has now entered the third day with the indian military reporting that one man is still holed up in the compound. [ gunfire ] >> afghan special forces targeted armed fires near the indian consulate. the gunman entered the area, and commanders say that the fighters are hiding in a house in a nearby street and one civilian has been wounded. >> our special forces and commandos have been deployed in the area, and i assure our countrymen that they will eliminate all insurgents. >> india has long supported afghanistan in its struggle to become a stable democracy. both countries signed a strategic partnership agreement in 2011.
it sports for afghanistan has made its target for armed fighters with links to the taliban. in august 2013 nine civilians died when the con sue late in jalalabad was targeted. this latest attack coincides with the raid by gunmen on an indian air force base on the border near pakistan and it's efforts to restart talks with the afghan taliban are being made. last week the head of pakistan's army in kabul in a meeting with president ashraf ghani. but it shows that they're capable of causing chaos. >> a 6.8 magnitude earthquake
killed 11 people and injured hundreds. rescue workers are struggling to reach remote areas where people may still be trapped. six people were killed in the capital in india. five others died in bangladesh. 2015 saw rising anger in some african countries against leaders trying to stay in office. when the people want change the president's have mended laws and the constitution to continue ruling. as part of our global look ahead series we investigate how these efforts to stay in power will effect the future of the continent. al jazeera reports now from burkina faso's capital. >> celebrations. elected first civilian leader.
own purposes is nothing new in africa. shortly after taking power in 1986, they wrote the problem of africa in general and uganda in particular is not the people but the peoples who want to stay in power. yet in 2005 he secured a change in the law allowing him a third term. >> i'm looking forward to retirement. >> campaigning for a fifth term in office. he has maintained his role for 35 years. in 2011 he told al jazeera he would not seek re-election in 2015. >> i'm currently serving an office term and will not step
down until it comes to an end. at that point i will have completed 26 years in office. is that not enough? more than enough? more than enough. >> but it wasn't. in 2015 he ran and won another five years in office. despite a questionable track record and dire economic realities. cameroon's president and equatorial new guinea's presidents have both been in power since 1982. the pool--the people of zimbabwe has only known robert mugabe as president. but it's in burundi that the fall out of the third term dil dilemma has been pronounced.
many have been displaced through violence when the president announced he would run for a third term. al jazeera, burkina faso. >> u.s. president barack obama is scheduled to meet soon with his attorney general to discuss how to limit the number of guns. but gun enthusiasts are pushing back against any proposed restrictions. >> with so many gun stores in the united states, the blue ridge arsenal gun range in virginia sales are up as americans run to buy firearms before fun restrictions are put in lace. >> not having, not being able to get, makes people want to get stuff before their abilities are
taken away. >> many are concerned about president obama's announcement that he's meeting with his attorney general loretta lynch to discuss using presidential executive power to create new restrictions on gun sales. >> we know we can't stop every gun violence but what if we can stop one. >> following the sandy hook school shootings in 2012, which killed 26 people, president obama tried to tighten gun laws, that failed in congress. some firearms sold at gun shows do not require scrutiny. it's called the gun show loophole and it's what the white house now seeks to close. the national rifle association says that increased background
checks will do little to increase public safety. >> all we want to do is blame the guns. >> presidential candidate donald trump said the right to own guns in the u.s. is a constitutional right. >> i don't like anything to do changing our second amendment. we have plenty of rules. plenty of things we can do right now that are already there. they don't do them. >> it's a view seen by many who see obama's executive actions is nothing but a government power grab from the people who violate u.s. laws. >> as a veteran i raise my right hand to support the constitution of the united states, not to dismantle the constitution. so yes, i do find it an affront that some people would choose to circumvent that. >> there are some people who do feel passionate about it. it's not as much the fact that it's a firearm but the government telling them what they can and cannot do and what they cannot and can have.
>> presidential actions are expected to come as early as this week. >> more on everything else we've been covering on our website at www.aljazeera.com. >> getting tough on guns. president obama in the line of fire. anand allies of saudi arabia cutting diplomatic ties with iran. and markets in the first trading day of the new year.