china introduces strict trading controls after a sharp decline in stock markets for the second time in a week. welcome to al jazeera. also on the program, 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 alive and warm. a year on from the "charlie hebdo" we ask if france has
learned anything from its security threats china has introduced trading restrictions after a sharp drop in the markets for a second time this week. stock markets have been closelied after heavy losses triggered an automatic trading halt. now, 7% widing occupy 640 billion dollars off the market in 15 minutes. the drop is being blamed on poor economic figures an tensions after the north korea test. also on the weakness of the chinese currency and it is causing money to be pulled out of investments. on monday signs that the economy was weaker than expected sent shares plunging more than 7% on the first day of the trading year. now, since the stock fell off again last april, it is down more than 23% from its peak.
adrian brown is in beijing and sent us this report. >> reporter: the events in china's financial market in week has been unprecedented for a second time in three days. trading was halted on the shenzhen and shanghai indexes after they fell more than 7%. on thursday trading halted after 12 minutes when the market fell by 5%. so trading was halted temporarily. 15 minutes later it resumed but dropped by 7% in just three minutes. so on thursday just 15 minutes of trading was possible. analysts we've spoken to say that these circuit-breakers is automatic shut down system that kicks in when shares start to fall very quickly may actually be making matters worse because shares fall by, say, 2 or 3%, that creates a stampede in selling orders as people try to get out before the circuit-breakers kick in. also on thursday the body that
regulates china's stock market announced a new measure to try to instill some calm into the market. it said that big shareholders would be able to sell no more than 1% of their shares for the next three months. now, this moratorium came into place six months ago when there was last turmoil on china's stock market. so all eyes will be on the stock market on friday to see if calm can be restored prices have fallen even further despite growing tension in the middle east. that is the international benchmark dropped as much as 4.3% to below $33 a barrel on thursday. that's the lowest level since april 2004. official data showed u.s. production continued with 9 million a day. the united nations security council has threatened sanctions against north korea after its claim of a successful hydrogen
bomb test. the u.s., russia and china have all condemned pyongyang. >> reporter: in a typically staged manner a crowd was arranged to mark what is considered in pyongyang as a proud achievement. the announcer on state tv seemed almost gleeful as she announced 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 serious threat to our nation's security and absolutely cannot be 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 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 new action was needed. >> the members of the security council will begin to work immediately on such measures in the new security council resolution. >> reporter: japan which rejoined the security council just a you few days ago-- a few days was one of the countries most fearful of north korea and 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 else is there in north korea to sanction? beyond that, everyone on the u.n. security council knows they need no 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 south korea says the nuclear test is a grave violation of an agreement reached last august and says it will resume propaganda broadcasts. >> reporter: recommitting their resolve here in south korea it is neighbor to the east japan and the united states, all allies in dealing with north korea, automatic very concerned about that bomb that was tested on wednesday morning. they say that they are working more closely than ever before when it comes to surveillance, but also making sure there's no more provocative action.
something interesting coming out of the defense ministry here today, on thursday, saying that they believe in is a failed h-bomb test but they're very concerned that there could be more action coming from north korea and they're stepping up their surveillance. there have been discussions between the countries on three levels of foreign ministry as well as the executive saying they will work closely together and ratchet up this close relationship. all levels calling for an international action against north korea's provocative move. what is going to be interesting is what is that action going to be? we have this security council resolution probably going to say more and stronger sanctions against north korea, but is that going to be enough? are these leaders now discussing something more outside of the united nations resolution at least 250,000 people have died since the syrian conflict began almost five years ago now. millions have been forced to seek refuge in neighboring countries. the severe cold is now making
things worse for many of them. our correspondent reports. >> reporter: they thought they were safe. this kurdish family had 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 month old baby died of hypothermia. >> translation: we ran from the war and we had a son. we lost him. >> reporter: now he fears his three year old son will also suck couple to-- succumb to the cold. >> reporter: they buried their baby close to the tent. across the border outside aleppo families foraged for fuel. it is a daily battle to stay warm and alive. >> translation: we're cold.
we never warm up. it's always cold and now it is snowing. we don't have food and we've now 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 syrian regime's planes don't target their camp. at least the snow brings cloud cover. >> reporter: this is the fifth winter that they have faced since the conflict began. it is the fifth year that syrian children and babies have fought to stay alive as temperatures have plummeted, but it is the first year that there has been a glimmer of hope that those behind the war 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 us that 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 his tour of the middle east in part of an effort to get all sides talking ahead of peace negotiations on syria. he met with the the saudi foreign minister in riyadh. the special envoy will travel to syria, iran and turkey over the next few days. his talks are scheduled in geneva for the ends of january. the first anniversary of the
"charlie hebdo" attack. this is the scene where flaurs have been laid. 17 people died during the attack on the office and the jewish supermarket. a year on questions are raised about whether the government has taken steps. >> reporter: a plaque outside the newspaper's headquarters. it was on january 7 last year that two armed men broke into the newspaper's offices 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, but 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. >> who are we monitoring? what are criteria? because piece people, they know very much the current criteria that the intelligence is using to detect, trying to detect. that adapts them to stay. >> 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. >> these terrorists want a divided society. look how we are behaving today.
a completely fragmented society, a government acting with security measures failing to address the deeper social issues leading to radicalization. >> reporter: what should the authorities be doing to start tackling the causes of radicalizati radicalization? >> more freedom and jobs. >> reporter: intelligence mistakes, inadequate resources and a failure to address the root causes of radicalization. this fatal combination left the way open for the attacks of november 13. much deadlier and wider reaching than the events of january coming up on the program, the environmental disaster that has forced a stolening in an l.a. suburb. those in cost rica so could soon
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welcome back. a look at the top stories here. for the second time this week chinese stocks have plunged and markets have been closed after heavy losses triggered an automatic trading halt. the selling has created other to react. south korea says it will increase military cooperation with the u.s. after north korea's claim of a successful hydrogen bomb test on wednesday. the u.n. security council has
strongly condemned pyongyang and promises new sanctions. tens of thousands of people along syria's borders who have fled the conflict are struggling to feed themselves and stay warm. aid agencies say many are dying from hypothermia caused by the severe cold conditions. german counsel letter says she-- wants to stem the flow of refugees. she defended free moechl of people within the bloc after denmark and sweden imposed new border controls this week. german police are being criticized after the over the handling of assaults against women on new year's eve. initial reports suggest they were carried out by arab and north african men.
police have so far identified three possible suspects. about a hundred people protested to counter a small anti migrant demonstration. more women have now come forward they were sexually assaulted and robbed. thousands of cuban migrants stranded in costa rica could sooning continuing their journey to u.s. there is a deal between several american countries. if the transfer is a success, more are expected to follow. >> reporter: the wait for nearly 8,000 cuban migrants stuck in costa rica might be nearing an end. a plan for them to travel to the u.s. was released on wednesday. the foreign minister announced the plan the a conference in the capital where he was joined by representatives from the u.n. and the international
organization for migration. the pilot program is set to begin with a single flight on january 12. 180 cubans will pay for a flight to el zalvador and a bus ticket to mexico. the 550 fee covers visas. >> we have been very clear from the beginning. the government or any other government is going to cover the travel cost for these people. >> reporter: the migrants have been stranded since november 15 when nicuagura refused to give them transit visa. they benefit from an old and outdated law that allows them to apply for residency if they just make it to the united states. no other migrants have that right. this woman is five months pregnant and wants to get to the u.s. soon. >> translation: 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 want is to be back on their way north. officials say they don't know when other flights will follow. it will be aat least a week, they say, after the pilot flight on 12 january. it is a waiting game for migrants at this school. no-one has come to tell them when they might be going or who might be the first to go. >> translation: it has been a total lack of information. they will tell you you're going next week and then on monday they will tell you it's wednesday and wednesday they will tell you friday and then no-one shows up to tell you. people are suffering >> reporter: officials hope to win the trust of these sceptical
migrants once these flights get underway students have started registering at kenya's university. nine months after an attack that killed 148 people. al-shabab fighters took over the site last april and a siege followed. malcolm webb was on campus as the new students arrived. >> reporter: it was a place of learning that became the scene of a massacre. now the university has reopened under tight security. students are arriving. nine months before they were running for their lives. gunmen from al-shabab had attacked. 142 students were killed. now a steady trickle of new students are registering. this woman was among the first >> it was unfortunate. it was a bad thing that happened, but that does not stop us from continuing with our
life. >> reporter: at the time many lives were cut short. the unarmed guards at the gate were shot, soldiers only arrived later and it took the whole day for special forces to arrive and end the siege. there are now 25 armed police stationed at the university. they stay inside this newly-built barracks and here they have a pick-up for patrolling the university grounds. management say that this is what is needed to prevent an attack. they say it was what they asked for months before it happened. >> reporter: the principal was sleeping in his house when he heard the first gun shots. fighters have attacked many times in this part of kenya. so he says he immediately knew what was happening. >> this is where the students were massacred. >> reporter: the female dormitory now renovated was where most were killed. he says it could have been
prevented. >> i asked for steps to protect the university, but that was not heeded at the time. >> reporter: the principal was one of several people who told us that many christian students living here from other parts of the country made the school a target for the attackers who wanted to create a religious divide. the government has appointed a new chief after the attack. we asked him why the extra security was provided only now? >> i think there was a bit of negligence because whoever was in command of the security in this area should have really heeded all those requests. >> reporter: for those who are killed, it came too late. those who have survived have transferred to study elsewhere. this is the only university in this part of kenya and the new comers and staff say they're eager to get things back to normal the u.s. has transferred two
yemeni men who were imprisoned to guantanamo bay to ghana. the two were captured in afghanistan and held without charge for nearly 14 years. they were accused of training with al-qaeda and fighting with the taliban. 105 prisoners remain in the base at cuba. the government of the u.s. s state of california has declared a state of emergency after a methane gas leak started making people sick. the leak began in late october and since then thousands of families have been relocated. jennifer london reports. >> reporter: this is what an environmental disaster looks like, a massive natural gas leak spewing methane into the air since late october captured by infra-red cameras. down wind of the leak 30,000 people living in the upscale bedroom community of porter ranch, 28 miles north of down town l.a. >> it is impossible to go outside. we have to close all the doors,
all the windows. >> reporter: first came the smell. >> i thought that i left the bash coup on, so i ran over there. >> reporter: this couple say in the beginning the stench was annoying, thenar rating and then sickening. >> one daughter has had three sin us infections in the last two and a half months, another daughter is continuously coughing, and another has bad migraines. >> reporter: the leak is coming from a blown well at the cannian natural gas storage facility owned by a gas company. first detected on october 23, the leak has continued to release methane for the past nine weeks. that's enough to equal the carbon foot frint of 300,000 cars on the road for wurn year-- not frint for one year. >> reporter: they have also complained about headaches, nose bleeds and breathing problems. two scales are closed. thousands have been forced from
their homes. thousands of others are on a relocation waiting list. if you drive through porter ranch it looks for like a ghost town than a vibrant community celebrating the holidays. there are so many residents in need of assistance. a resource center is open. the gas company has agreed to pay for temporary housing but is unable to keep up with the demand >> there is a line every single day. some 300 people waiting to try and get some answers. >> reporter: this council member is trying to get answers. porter ranch is in his district. >> how does something like this happen in today's environment? in today's environment where we have technology where we can monitor this. why does something like this go unchecked for so long? why are the regulatory teeth not there? >> reporter: are you able to get answers to these questions? >> no. i'm not >> reporter: the gas company says it's working as fast as possible to stop the leak, but with no safety shut off valve, drilling a relief well is the
only option and that will take months. >> shut it down. >> reporter: residents say they need help now. the city of l.a. has filed suit against the gas company for its handling of the leak. the state tells al jazeera it is launching an investigation into the cause of the leak and the gas company's response, but for thousands of families, that does little to help them breathe easier as methane gas continues to escape into the air above their homes an armed group is continuing to occupy a federal building in a remote part of the u.s. state of oregon. in a town nearby the sheriff called a meeting to address security concerns. a report from burns, oregon. >> 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 to figure out whether they want the militia men here or not. in the small town of burns oregon 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 that 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 the fight with government over land rights >> these people down from the refuge, i talked to them and they aren't hurting a damn thing don't there, but they brought us all together, they're waking people up. so i think they're going to work this out. they are 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 tried to run them out, the threat of violence and bloodshed is not far off, so skoolts and government-- schools and government buildings in town have been shut down for safety reasons. with no end in sight to the standoff and deep divisions in the town, emotions sometimes boiled over. >> and 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 and after the nearly two-hour meeting ended, people milled about asking the same question. what next? nobody here had a clear answer. many remain anxious and worried >> it is clear that these are people that are united for the love of their community, but
also still very divided on how to end the militia occupation. everyone here says it has gone on too long for updates on that story and the rest of the day's news, visit our website al jazeera.com al jaz >> the top of the world - the arctic circle. an environment that is at the same time hostile and fragile. warming temperatures are warming ice at historic rates... adding to its distress, man's unquenchable desire for fossil fuel. the quest to retrieve arctic oil is underway, but how prepared is the world to handle a catastrophic spill.