china introduces strict trading controls after a sharp decline in stock markets for the second time in a week. you're watching al jazeera live from our headquarters in doha. also coming up, calls for action against north korea even as doubts are raised over its nuclear test announcement. out in the freezing cold, syrian refugees struggle to stay warm and alive. a year on from the "charlie hebro" killings, if there has
been anything learnt for the second time in this week chinese stocks have plunged and markets closed after heavy losses triggered an automatic trading halt, wiping 640 billion dollars off in 15 minutes. that has been because of low relations. traders are worried about the weakness of the chinese currency and that's causing them to pull out of investments. on monday, signs that the economy was weaker than expected, shares plunging more than 7%. that was on the first trading day of this year. since the stock sell off began last april, it's down 23% from its peak. speaking to adrian brown about the reaction from than
investorss with the fall in the chinese markets. >> reporter: what has been happening this week on china stock markets is in a way unprecedented. for the second time in just three days trading was halted in shenzhen and shanghai after the index fell below 7%. a lot of focus today among the analysts we've been talking to about the so-called circuit breakers, these systems that shut down the index when it falls below five and then 67%. when it falls below 5%, it closes for 15 minutes. time to give reassessing things, basically calm things down. what happened today was that the index was forced to close after just 12 minutes temporarily. it then reopened but then closed fully three minutes later. so basically all they managed today was 15 minutes of trading on the indexes in shanghai and
shenzhen. now, what caused the market to continue its fall today, well, it's the continuing concerns over china's currency which is weakening and that points for the fact that china's economy is continuing to weaken. there is not the economic growth that investors feel is needed for confidence to return to the market. also we had a man who heads the country's securities commission placed under investigation for fraud and insider dealing. returning to those circuit breakers, these mechanisms are there to try to instill calm. what appears to be happening is this, it is having the reverse effect. once they start falling by 2 or 3%, there is a rush, a stampede of selling orders before people try and get out before the circuit breakers kick in. i think financial regulators here, those who regulate the stock market, will want to,
perhaps, reassess whether this system is actually working for them, whether it is actually, in april sense, making things would worse kicking in also on friday is a ban on selling by large financial institutions. that expires on friday, that ban. so what are we expecting to happen on friday? >> reporter: that moratorium was introduced six months ago during the last turmoil on china's stock markets during the summer. that basically restricted people, big shareholders, from selling their shares. now, that restriction, that moratorium, was due to be lifted on friday. there were concerns that that would lead to a lot of cheap shares flooding the market and bringing down prices still further. what the regulator has now done is basically told these big shareholders they can sell no more than 1% of their shares for the next three months, but in april sense all they're doing is
buying time because three months from now those big shareholders will still want to sell their shares. also some $10 billion we estimate has been pumped into the market this week by the government to shore up confidence to try to instill some sort of stability. we will know, i think tomorrow, whether these measures will have worked on friday, and a lot of people anticipate hoping this will make some difference, but many analysts believe, you know, it's too little, too late thank you for that update. that sell off in china dragging other asian stock markets lower as well. this was down 2%. hong kong were dragged sharply lower, the key benchmark losing almost 3%. dubai's stock went down too as well as all the rising tensions
witnessed in the middle east. doubts growing about north korea's claims of a hydrogen bomb test. these strongist scepticism is coming from the southern neighbor, but first our diplomatic editor with reaction from the united nations. >> reporter: in a typically stajdz manner a crowd was arranged to mark what is considered in pyongyang as a proud achievement. the announcer on state tv seemed almost agreeful as she detailed the country's fourth nuclear test. this time she said a more powerful and advanced hydrogen bomb had been tested. experts have cast doubt on that, but either way it's a clear breach of international law. >> translation: north korea's nuclear test is a threat to our security and cannoting tolerated >> any kind of nuclear test like the one that north korea conducted last night is provocative and a flagrant
violation of the security council's resolutions. >> reporter: what explains the motivation of north korea in choosing this time to carry out or at least attempt a nuclear test, it is a country where one man has ultimate authority and he directly signed off on the test. there is speculation it was timed ahead of his birthday. it is believed he will turn 33 on friday. in new york a meeting of the u.n. security council was hastily convened. ambassadors condemned north korea and said more action was needed. >> the members of the security council will begin to work immediately on such measures in a new security council resolution. >> reporter: japan which rejoined the security council just a few days ago and is one of the regional country's most fearful of north korea said those measures must be tough otherwise the credibility of the
united nations will be at stake. >> reporter: so what else can the u.n. security council do? there is already a strict sanctions regime in place. what is there in north korea to sanction and beyond that everyone on the u.n. security council knows they need to tread carefully. they don't want to further provoke a leader who makes unpredictable, some would say rash, decisions and who has nuclear weapons, however primitive at least 250,000 people have died since the syrian conflict began almost five years ago. millions have been forced to seek refuge in neighboring countries. the severe cold making things worse for many of them. our correspondent reports from the syrian border >> reporter: they thought they were safe. this kurdish family in fled syria and made this makeshift tent in south-east turkey their home. then the snow came. they didn't have the fuel to
keep warm. their four moo old baby died of hypothermia. >> translation: we ran from the war and god blessed me with a son but i lost him to the cold >> reporter: now he fears his three year old son will also is couple to the cold. he calls on the world to witness their suffering. they buried the baby close to the tent. across the border outside aleppo families forage for fuel. it is a daily battle to stay warm and alive. >> translation: we're cold. we never warm up. it's always cold. now it's snowing. we don't have food and we've no warm clothes either. the bombing is all around. my son screams when they bomb just near us. >> reporter: as many as 400 families live in tents here desperately hoping that the syria's regime claims don't
target their camp. at least the snow brings cloud cover and a respite in the area of bombardment >> reporter: this is the fifth winter that refugees have faced. it is the fifth year that children and baby iss have fought to stay alive as temperatures have plummeted. it is the first year that there has been a glimmer of hope that those behind the wall might be willing to sit down and talk. the shadow of syria's suffering will hang heavy over that negotiating table. nowhere is the situation more desperate than in north of damascus. besieged by syrian regime forces and hezbollah fighters for over 170 days. people here are starving. one doctor told al jazeera one or two people 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 the u.n. special envoy to syria is continuing to the middle east to get an effort to have all sides talking about peace talks. there was a meeting in riyadh. the special envoy will travel to syria, iran and turkey over the next few days. peace talks scheduled in geneva for the end of january. lots more to come on al jazeera, including baghdad offers to mediate in the dispute between saudi arabia and iran, but many iraq ease want to cut ties with their saudi neighbours. plus a house divide. how a u.s. town is reacting to the occupation of a government building by an armed militia. ia.
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cold wenty conditions. military cooperation with the u.s. after the claim of a hydrogen bomb test. the u.n. council has strongly condemned pyongyang. there has been growing scepticism about north korea's claim as our correspondent reports from washington. scientists say the physical evidence doesn't match pyongyang's rhetoric. >> reporter: north korea claims it joined an skwoouf club on wednesday when it tested its first ever thermo nuclear weapon sometimes referred to as a hydrogen bomb. u.s., russia and china have thermo nuclear weapons. >> given the technology, it is only a matter of time if they have developed a workable hydrogen war head before they minituarise it.
>> reporter: the physical evidence doesn't support the claims. first, a definition. atomic weapons use a process called fission or atom splitting to create explosive energy. fusion is used to create more explosive energy, a thousand times more powerful than atomic weapons. h bombs require a working nuclear weapon to trigger them. what's more, nuclear experts say a thormal nuclear weapon would be far more powerful than the u.s. atomic bombs dropped previously. at the time of the north korean test they only detected a tremor of about magnitude 4.8 to 5.1. estimating the power of the test measuring about 6 kilotons. that's in line with previous tests of atomic weapons.
wednesday's tremor is less in meg any attitude in what a thermo nuclear test would register. >> there has been dramatic venting events from the old ones where you see enormous plumes of radio active dust and debris coming out into the atmosphere that drifted over large areas. so in the worst case you could see that kind of event. that could cause also physical structure damage on the surface. >> reporter: scientists say while this wasn't a thermo nuclear bomb test, it was a test of some kind. north korea's neighbors are worried that the country is making enough progress in its nuclear program, that it could one day make good on its efforts to have the same nuclear energy as the world's super powers an emergency now in place in a suburb of the u.s. city of l.a. after a methane gas leak started making people sick.
it began in late october caused by a broken injection well in an underground storage facility at a gas field. it has been spewing up to 1200 tons of gas daily. thousands of families have been relocated. the first anniversary of the "charlie hebro" attack. the scene outside of paris, that is outside the offices of the magazine where flowers have been laid. 17 people died during the attack and a jewish supermarket. questions are still being raised about whether the government is addressing the route causes of the violence. >> reporter: the french president unveils a plaque outside the newspaper's headquarters. it was on january 7 last year that two armed men broke into the newspaper's office killing 11 people inside and a police officer on duty outside.
the attackers were later named as these men. both brothers had been known to intelligence agencies but were not apparently considered a high priority. the government rushed through new security measures in the aftermath of the attacks. laws were passed to give intelligence services wider surveillance powers. those agencies are faced with an overwhelming task bearing in mind the hundreds of french citizens who went to fight in syria or iraq and then returned home. >> translation: >> what are we monday are toring? -- monitoring. what criteria? they know what they are using to detect. so it is to stem. >> reporter: the government also promised to tackle the causes of
radicalization by focusing on young people in disadvantaged neighborhoods. a year on leading members of the muslim community say that if anything the government response is making matters worse. >> this terrorist hit for us, they wanted a divide society. look at how we are operating today. a fragmented society and government failing to address the deeper social issues leading to radicalization. >> reporter: what should the authorities be doing to start tackling the causes of radicalization? >> more integration, more freedom and more access to opportunities. do we have anything of that? aabsolutely not >> reporter: intelligence mistakes, inadequate resources and a failure to address the route causes of radicalization. this fatal combination left the way open for the attacks of november 13. much dead leer and wider reaching than the events of
january the german chancellor says she wants to stem the flow of refugees into the european union. she has lost public and political support in germany which has taken most of the million refugees arriving in the u over the past year. she defended free movement of people within the bloc off denmark and sweden imposed border controls this week. the iraq offering to mediation between saudi arabia and iran to end their dispute. it began when riyadh executed a prominent cleric on saturday, but many iraqis want to cut ties with saudi arabia instead. >> reporter: across iraq shia protests continue over the execution in saudi arabia of nimr al-nimr. anger too in iran as diplomats
return to tehran from riyadh, expelled after demonstrators in iran attacked buildings over the weekend. >> translation: saudi arabia committed a big historic mistake by cutting off ties with the islamic republic of iran. it is a big and influential muslim country of the region. >> reporter: iraq's foreign minister is offering to mediate between iran and saudi arabia. >> translation: we have solid relations with the islamics. we have relations with our brothers and they cannot stay silent in this crisis. >> reporter: protests over the death of nimr al-nimr have spread beyond the immediate region to greece, but in turkey the president says the executions are a domestic issue foresaw decency. -- for saudis. >> translation: 46 of those who
were executed are sunni and they were executed because they're affiliated with al-qaeda. one of them was a shia cleric. this decision was previously taken and saudi arabia implemented it. this is their decision. you may approve it or not. that is a different matter of dispute. >> reporter: his remarks are unlikely to change the opinions of these protesters. the united nations and western governments remain concerned. their fear is that the ongoing dispute will setback efforts to end the far bloodier conflicts of syria and yemen the chief minister of indian begin sistered kashmir has died. he took over as leader of india's only muslim majority stayed for the second time last year. he formed the coalition with the nationalist party. it has been an uneasy alliance with many in the bjp accusing
him of being soft on separatists. an armed group is continuing to occupy federal buildings in a remote part of the u.s. state of oregon. the sheriff called a community meeting on wednesday night to address security concerns. al jazeera's correspondent reports. >> reporter: it was standing room only for the first time since armed militia men occupied buildings in a wildlife refuge to force the federal government to turn over land to local ranchers. those very same ranchers and their families met. the local sheriff was clear where he stood. >> i'm here today to ask those folks to go home and let us get back to our lives. >> reporter: many agreed with the sheriff saying the time is up for the militia occupation. >> we're in trouble if we don't tell these people to pack up
their stuff and go home. >> reporter: but some ranchers are thankful the militias are bringing attention to their fight with the government over land rights. >> these people down here at the refuge, i just came from there and i talked to them and they ain't hurting a damn thing down there, but they brought us all together. they're waking people up. so i think they're going to work this out. they're just making a statement for us to wake us up. >> reporter: but with the militia men heavily armed and threatening to defend themselves if police try to run them out, the threat of violence and bloodshed is not far off, so schools and government buildings in town have been shut down for safety reasons. with no end in sight to the stand off and deep divisions in the town, emotions sometimes sometimes boiled over. >> my boots are shaking, but i'm proud of who i am.
i'm proud to be a rancher and i'm not going to let some other people be my face. i am me. this is my home. >> reporter: the sheriff didn't have many answers. after the nearly two-our meeting ended, people milled about asking the same question. what next? nobody here had a clear answer. many remain anxious and worried. >> reporter: it is clear these are people that are united for their love of their community, but also still very divided on how to end the militia occupation and everyone here says that has gone on too long vw has unveiled two models of electric cars in a show in l.a. while the company is trying to look into the future of transportation, it still has to deal with the emissions cheating scandal. a report from l.a.
>> reporter: vw rolled out a new electric car it calls the egulf. it is compared to a smart phone on wheels >> these new technologies will provide customers with entirely new levels of convenience, comfort and freedom. >> reporter: the vw's consumer vehicles chief demonstrated what he said was the car's intuitively designed dashboard >> there is no need to keep switching back and fords between different menus. that is my idea of simple, safe and fun. >> reporter: the company also presented a futurise particular take on the old-- future istic take on the vw bud e with a host of interactive features like voice recognition >> please open the passenger door. >> reporter: there was no ignoring the elephant in the
room, the vw pollution cheating scandal revealed last year which affected 11 million diesel vehicles implanned with software designed to defeat emissions testing >> we disappointed the customers and the american people for which i truly, i am truly sorry. we are doing everything we can to make things right. >> reporter: the unveiling came just days after the u.s. justice department announced it was suing the german car maker in civil court. the government alleges that more than 600,000 vehicles sold in the u.s. violated u.s. environmental laws and it is seeking damages of up to $37,000 per car. vw is fighting to regain consumer trust and that won't happen overnight. >> if you look at how corporate crisis are resolved, it takes
billions of dollars and years and eventually introducing new products that people are excited about. so you can't judge a patient mid-surgery. >> reporter: he told al jazeera the company will try hard to win back confidence. >> reporter: how do you convince consumers once again that vw is really a trust worthy company? how do you do that? >> yeah. this will be a lengthy process. we have to stick to what we say, we have to deliver and it starts with fixing the problem. >> reporter: this car will be in the showrooms later this year. this one won't be for sale until the end of the decade. by then the executives hope they would have repaired credibility with governments and consumers. rob reynolds thousands of people in colombia have been celebrate the black and white festival which sees people dressed in colorful
clothing. it draws upon the country's indigenous, african his tree. more of that on our website al jazeera.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