china's stock markets close early for the second time in a week after a drop of more than 7%. ♪ ♪ >> hello, i am darren jordan. you are watching al jazeera live from doha. also on the program. testing times for international watch dogs over what to do next about north korea's latest nuclear claim. out in the freezing cold, syrian refugees struggle to stay warm and alive. and how hong kong's new food trucks could drive other street food vendors out of business.
♪ for the second time in less than a week chinese stock markets have shut for the day. the move comes after shares fell by 7%. al jazeera's adrian brown has more from the chinese capital. >> reporter: well, the new year really has got off to a bang on china's jittery stock market. trading was halted twice on monday. on thursday the same thing happened again. the first session lasted just 12 minutes before the index dropped by 5%. that was enough for halt trading for 15 minutes. trading then resumed, but the market then dropped by 7%. after just three minutes. so on thursday, just 15 minutes of trading was possible. why is this happening? well, china's currency is continuing to weaken. that is further confirmation that the world's second largest economy is continue to go slow. also on thursday came reports that the head of one of the country's biggest security exchange was under arrest for a
corruption and insider trading. but also eyes will be on the market on friday because this is when china option government is planning to end the restrictions on selling shares. this restriction came in to force during the market turmoil. pulling the market down even further. they have said the plans. north korea's growing claims it's tested. we have more from the south korean cap al seoul. first, diplomatic editor james bays with reaction from the united states.
joining us live via skype. what do you make of these north korean claims that they have detonated hydrogen bomb. and why do you think they are doing this now? >> i think regardless of whether it was really a hydrogen bomb or successful or not. i think we need to stop looking at these nuclear tests and
missile launches as if they were just kind of isolated publicity stunts. that were just timed in order to coincide with anniversary in korea. very apparent that north korea has a very big long-term goal which is much more important than drawing attention to itself. or working out a bigger aid package or something. north korea is committed to what it calls in its domestic propaganda, final victory over the enemy. and we shouldn't have any ill hraoupbgszs over what that means? it means unification on north korea's terms, that's what all these events are leading up to, they presented in north korean propaganda as sorts of linear stations on the march to this final victory. >> are you saying that these sorts of nuclear tests and claims play in to public sentinel. even patriotism there in north
korea. >> reporter: they do, they are vital for the regime's legitimacy. economic growth is fine, of course, and the world media seems to be focusing on the mark tie saying of north korea as if that were the real story. it's a shied so. the economy in north korea could grow for the next 10 years and and
since the conflict began. it's the if i have have >> reporter: nowhere is the situation than north of damascus. we seemed by syrian regime forces and hezbollah fighters for over 170 days. people are on starving. one doctor told al jazeera, one or two team die every day. only a lifting of the blockade and immediate humanitarian aid can save these syrians. their cry is desperate. the responsibility is global.
al jazeera, on the syria-turkey border. an emergency is now in place in a suburb of the u.s. city of los angeles. after a meth an gas leak started making people six. it began in october. underground storage facility. thousands of families have been relocated. time for a short break here when we come back, seeing red. the contaminated waters that are putting the livelihoods of ma tear an fishermen at risk. plus why thousands strand ed in costa rica could soon be on their way to u.s. more on that, stay with us. the only way to get better is to challenge yourself,
and that's what we're doing at xfinity. we are challenging ourselves to improve every aspect of your experience. and this includes our commitment to being on time. every time. that's why if we're ever late for an appointment, we'll credit your account $20. it's our promise to you. we're doing everything we can to give you the best experience possible. because we should fit into your life. not the other way around.
♪ ♪ welcome back. the top stories here on al jazeera. for the second time in less tan a week chinese stock markets have closed early for the day. the move comes after shares fell by 7%. the drops being linked to poor economic figures and tensions after north korea's nuclear test. the u.n. security council has strongly condemned north korea's latest nuclear test. and has vowed to pursue new sanctions. secretary january ban ki-moon called the testing profoundly destabilizing for regional stability. 10s of thousands of people along syria's borders that fled the conflict are struggling to feed themselves and stay warm. aid agencies say many are dieing from harsh winter conditions in the region. the german chancellor angela mentionerral says she was to stem the flow of refugees in to the european union.
her last political support in germany which has taken most of the 1 million refugees arriving in the e.u. over the past year. she defended the freedom of the movement from denmark and sweden that imposed new border controls. >> translator: at the moment we see very divergent behavior by european member states. it's very important to me that we achieve both a noticeable reduction in the flow of refugees by tackling the causes of migration but also through national measures. for example by improving rejected asylum seekers and at the same time, preserving the free movement of people within the european union. iraq is offer to go mediate saudi arabia and iran to end their dispute which began when riyadh execute aid prominent shia cleric. other countries including qatar and bahrain have cut diplomat i go ties with terrain. paul reports.
>> reporter: across iraq protests over the execution. anger, too, in iran as bip mats return to teheran from riyadh, expelled after demonstrators in iran attacked saudi consular buildings over the weekend. >> translator: saudi arabia committed a big historic mistake by cutting off ties with the islamic republic of iran as a big and influential muslim country of the region. >> reporter: iraq's foreign minister is now offer to go mediate between iran and saudi arabia. >> translator: we have followed relations with the islamic republic of iran as neighbors. we have mutual interests, history and social relations. we also have relations with our arab brothers and therefore iraq cannot stay silent in this crisis. >> reporter: protests over the death have pred beyond the immediate region to greece. but in turkey, president erdogan
says the executions are domestic issue for saudis. >> translator: 46 of those who were executed are sunni and they are executed because they are affiliated with al qaeda one was a shia cleric. this decision was previously taken and saudi arabia implemented it. there is their decision, you maya prove it or not. that is a different matter of dispute. >> reporter: his remarks are unlikely to change the opinions of these protesters. and the united nations and western governments remain concerned. their fear is that the ongoing dispute will setback efforts to end the far bloodier conflict of syria and yemen. al jazeera. at least 24 boko haram member have his been killed during an a t an attack on a vin the far north of cameroon. according for officials the fighters stormed areas in and around the town on tuesday. three people killed and several
homes torched in attacks. cameroon is part of a regional force fighting the nigerian based armed group. the u.n. investigating new allegations that his its peacekeepers sexually abused girls in central african republic. four underaged girls say they were abused. victoria gatenby reports. >> reporter: there are around 11,000 u.n. peacekeepers in central african republic. their job is to protect people in a country that's been mired in religious violence. but new allegations suggest some soldiers may have failed in that mission. four underaged girls say they were sexually abused by u.n. peacekeepers, the u.n. has launched an investigation. >> over the past week uncief staff from the office in ban gee have undertaken four visits to meet with the four alleged victims. ube seven is also working with local partners to help the girls receive medical care and is assessing the psychosocial needs. >> reporter: this follows a series of sexual abuse allegations made against u.n.
peacekeepers in central african republic. in december last year, an independent report criticize the the u.n. response to accusations of child abuse in the capital in 2013 and 2014 were the report said the u.n. had failed to carry out proper background checks on peace keepers and needed to do more to protect children. >> we wouldn't say it's inevitable. certain many things can be done to prevent this type of abuse. truths can be vetted the type of allegations that are made and the abuse we hear of can be investigated properly. probably most importantly of all, those who are deemed responsible for those kind of crimes can be prosecuted or should be prosecuted. >> reporter: thousands of foreign peacekeepers were sent to central african republic after a coup in 2013. in april last year, a peace agreement was signed between the mostly muslim celica and the christian groups.
divisions between communities run deep. votes from last month's presidential election is still being counted. but 2/3 of the candidates wants the process suspended because they say there are irregularities. people in central african republic have suffered from years of chaos and violence. the u.n. says it has zero tolerance for peacekeepers who abuse civilians. victoria gatenby, al jazeera. the chief minister of indian administered kashmir has died. the 79-year-old had been in hospital for more than a fortnight. he took over as leader of india's only muslim majority state for the second time last year. he formed a coalition with the hindu nationalist party the b.j. p. recently he came under fire for being soft on cash nary separatists. news of cuban migrants stranded in costa rica could soon continues their journey to the united states. a small group is set to fly out
tuesday between a deal between countries. if that is say success others are we could to follow. adam raney sends us this report. >> reporter: the wait for nearly 8,000 cuban migrants stuck in costa rica might finally being nearing an end. details i've plan for central american country to his help them continue their journey to the u.s. were finally released on wednesday. >> translator: costa rica's foreign minister announced the plan at a conference in the capital where he was joined by relates from the u.n. and the international organization for migration. the pilot program is set to begin with a single flight on january 12th. 180 cubans will pay for a flight to el salvador and bus ticket to mexico. the 550-dollar fee also covers central american visas. >> translator: we have been very clear from the beginning neither
the government of costa rica or any other government is going to cover the travel costs for these people. >> reporter: the migrants have been strand ed in costa rica since november 15th when nicaragua refuse today give them transit visas on their way to the u.s. cubans benefit from an old and some critics say outdated law that allows them to apply for residency if they just make it to the united states. no other migrants have that right. janet is five months pregnant and wants to get to the u.s. soon. >> translator: i was going to leave before i got pregnant. everyone says i was crazy for risking my life and my child's. but the truth is, i am doing it for my baby, who will thank me one day. >> reporter: migrants find ways to pass the time, but what they really wants is to be back on their way north. officials say they don't know when other flights will follow. it would be at least a week they say after the pilot flight on
january 12th. it's a waiting game for thousands of cuban migrants at these temporary shelters at this school where hundreds of people are camped ouch. no one from the government has come to tell them when they night be going or who might be the first to go. >> translator: there has been a total lack of information. they'll tell you you are going next week and, then on monday they will tell you it's wednesday and then on wednesday they say it's friday. but then no one shows up to tell you there is no reliable information and people are suffering. >> reporter: officials hope to win the trust of these skeptical migrants once these flights get underway. adam raney, al jazeera, los la z costa rica. a ca hate vinnie energy company is suing the u.s. government for rejecting a cross-border pipeline. trans canada is seeking $15 billion saying president obama exceeded his powers. the controversial project which was opposed by activists in in the u.s. was rejected seven
years after it was first proposed. now, malaysia has suggestion spended mining because of its impact otten viral. the country is the world's biggest exporter of the mineral. most of it comes where income from mining surge today $10.7 million last year. we have more from the state's cacapital. >> reporter: waves of anxiety hit this community a few days ago when their water turned red. mined earth which can be processed seemed to have leak ed in to the local rivers. the residue remain as long this stretch of waterway on the east telephone coach of malaysia. 150 deep sea fish american depends on the catch from the surrounding waters including this man. his family have been living off the sea for three generations. but he says he is not concerned. >> translator: this community of fishermen is not worried. even though the water turned red
for two days last week. we have asked authorities to take control of the situation. >> reporter: but the rest of the community is worried. they are -- their concerns were further heightened when this video showed the spreads of this in to open water. 15 million-tons makes it' its wy annually where it is export today countries like china. the dust that is kicks up remains in the atmosphere and travels for miles, local politician have his been trying to push the government to act. >> i suggested to the minister that the only way to put a halt to all of the activity is to suspend the license. with that it will cut off the supply chain and put a stop to the activities for a while while we see and we look in to the regulations and we have validation.
>> reporter: at a news conference wednesday this is what it is environment minister had to say. >> translator: the cabinet have planned a three-month temporary ban from the 15th of january onward. >> everything will standstill. >> reporter: the government says that stockpiles will be removed from as contract state and the port area as well as a full review all the mining licenses but that may not be enough for the people that live here. they still have questions about the long-term affects in the air and in the water. al jazeera. traditional street food vendors in hong kong are getting ready for a new challenge. american-style food trucks aimed at increasing tourism are being introduced to the busy streets of the city. the critics argue authorities should instead being doing more for the traditional food vendors. >> reporter: his nickname is the iron chef. able to use 2w on. ks at once on his traditional food stall.
operating in the same location for 50 years, he took overrunning it from his father. >> translator: hong kong is the birth place of this. ordinary restaurants don't cook in the traditional style we do. and it's important to keep it alive. >> reporter: but it is proving harder to do. the number of stalls has declined steadily. long hours toiling over pots in rough street venues is far less attractive to a younger generation. although the government stopped issues licenses decades ago it, has in recent times relaxed the rules allowing stall holders to pass them onto their extended families. that might help keep this hong kong traditional alive. but many feel the government wouldn't mind a much smarter street food alternative. enter the food trucks. the government is planning to introduce mobile street food outlet says similar to ones operate in this united states.
as a way of increasing tourism. >> it's good for western food but hard to cook traditional chinese food from a van. >> reporter: some critics say this promotes foreign food instead of homegrown cuisine. like many in hong kong, crystal and her friends welcome the new fans. and say they'll try them. but they add there is nothing wrong with the humble way. >> we are not in a five star hotel. right? the environment is okay, we accept it. we grow up here. >> reporter: for many in hong kong, this still offers the food of comfort in these fast-changing times. rob mcbride. al jazeera, hong kong. finally, there seems to be no stopping the new star wars fill. it's just broken another box office record. ♪ ♪ >> the force a weakens is now the highest grossing film of all time in the united states and canada. on wednesday it grossed -- it
crossed the $760 million record set by avatar in 2009. and so far the seventh film in the sci-fi saga has weres $1.5 billion globally. a quick reminder that you can keep up with all the news on our website. aljazeera.com. that's aljazeera.com. on "america tonight": toxic town. could more be done to keep residents safe from hazardous chemicals? >> this is not normal that we have all these rare cancers here. we are at risk every day that we live here. >> "america tonight" visits one ohio community feeling left behind by the government. good evening and thanks for joining us, i'm adam may sitting in for joie chen tonight. the new year begins with new promises from the political candidates hypothesis more