[ ♪ ] [ ♪ ] [ ♪ theme ] [ ♪ ] [ ♪ ] gaining momentum. syrian government forces take over more land with the help of russian air strikes as important players in the civil war threaten to boycott peace talks in geneva. paying a price. >> the decision to give danish police the authority to search and confiscate valuables from asylum seekers sends a damaging
message. >> denmark passes a controversial bill to seize valuables. >> i.s.i.l. carnage. a mass grave including women and children in the retaken city of ramadi. >> and at a stand still. france copes with mass strikes over working conditions and job losses. with taxi drivers blaming uber for their losses. >> uber are american cowboys who don't pay anything in france. good evening, i'm antonio mora, this is al jazeera's international news hour. tonight - what the united nations humanitarian coordinator is calling the most devastating crisis of the 21st century. the war in syria.
the special envoy sent out invitations for peace talks, but the saudi backed opposition is meeting in riyadh to decide if they'll attend. >> the syrian army continued to recapture the ground. the government took back the town. helping secure supply lines from the south. and two i.s.i.l. bombings in the city of homes injuring 17 others. james bays looks at the diplomatic effort to end the crisis. >> reporter: the flag of the syrian regime flying again. state television showed government forces entering the town between damascus and deraa, the place where the revolution started five years ago. the timing, days before u.n. envoy is due to convene peace
talks is no coincidence. among the first site 'em on the agenda -- items on the agenda is ceasefires. the government helped by russian air strikes. as invitations to the walks interest sent out, the u.n. invited a panel of officials and in a news conference deliberately timed to show why negotiations are badly needed. syria is probably the most dangerous place on earth to be a child. even the simply act of playing is no longer safe. >> reporter: they admitted there was unease about negotiations for humanitarian access becoming part of the talks because the u.n. resolutions demanded all parties lift sieges with no preconditions. >> i have a lot of unnas about that, as do all of us.
this is what we try every day to make a dent on why trying to go to these places and beach the people and make, even if a small difference as we did in recent weeks. the head of an agency deeply involved in the crisis used to be the humanitarian chief of the u.n. is more forthright. so we shall not negotiate. it is our rite on international law. i'm living in the rear world, and after five years of problems and people starving to death, i want us to use this momentum to get international sponsors to tell to the parties, give action
to everyone now. >> it's clear the u.n. envoy has extended the limitations on the opposition side well beyond the wrist drawn up by saudi arabia. that's controversial, and the fact that he's decided not to invite the leader of a kurdish group. salah says he's not had an invitation, turkey objected to him being invited saying he represented a terror group. the big decision is more those on the list, will they attend the talks due to start on friday the key reason for the syrian army's success may be the support it has gotten from russian air strikes. bernard smith is in turkey, with more on what has been a game-changer for the forces of bashar al-assad. >> up until october last year,
the syrian regime's forces were looking at the risk of defeat in the syrian civil war. the russians stepped in. russian bombardment helped the syrian regime make territorial gains. a lot has been in the north-western mountains of syria, this is an area where the coastal areas are controlled by the regime and inland you have idlib controlled by rebel forces. important territorial gains by the syrian regime. and the latest capture, another significant territorial gain. the idea, of course, is that the more territory you control, the stronger your negotiating hand in any negotiations or talks that are going to take place on syria's future. >> bernard smith reporting from turkey, joining us tonight is larry korb, a senior fellow who
served as assistant secretary of defense. good to see you. is the offensive push by the syrian government and the russians to strengthen their hands in vons of negotiations -- in advance of negotiations. >> there's no doubt about it. until the russians came in bashar al-assad was losing, and since he has, he is reversing the trend. no matter how much rt russians do, he can't win. the question is will we have the talks, and what deal will they make. previously back before the first of this year. the russians seem to indicate they'd favour a transition in government that would ease bashar al-assad out. now they are saying no, they want him to stay, that's because they made the gains on the battlefield. >> if the peace talks get off the ground, do you think bashar al-assad's representatives would be willing to negotiate an exit
strategy. >> they'd be willing to negotiate if their backgrounds tell them they need to do. in other wards, at the negotiations, they have a ceasefire, they'd leave it vague about when he would go, what circumstances, what kind of an election, whether they go to a federal form of government. don't you think bashar al-assad would take advantage of that and ta in power. >> there's no doubt he'd try to. if the russians and iranians basically let him know not to do that. they are concerned about i.s.i.l., the iranians because of i.s.i.l.'s presence in iraq. that is the key. whether that support, he can't stay in. it's costing the russians whose economy is in free fall. a lot of funny that is supporting them. the ally threatened to boycott
the talks. russia agrees the syrian kurds should be there. on the other hand you have the saudis making noises about what opposition groups are acceptable. with the back and forth, it doesn't sound promising it. it doesn't. everyone is trying to stake out the position ahead of time. the saudis are not happy. they are trying to take control of the opposition forces. on the other hand, as the "new york times" pointed out in a great article. they are providing equipment to the people they are training, the people they are training to fight bashar al-assad. the turks don't want to see the kurds do anything. they are the effective fighting force. trying to juggle the walls. these guys can't agree on
allowing humanitarian aid. do you think you'll see progress. >> i have seen some of it when they stop the siege to the cities. they surrounded one of the city's control, and receive to see food or medicine, and finally they let some in. they were pushed by that by the russians to allow them to do that. we see the horrible pictures of suffering. even if the peace talks move forward, they will not involve or deal with i.s.i.l. more combat troops were needed to defeat i.s.i.l. that would happen from the u.s. and allies. ash was talking about syria and iraq. what everyone agrees on. i.s.i.l. is a bigger threat.
they would like to stop the carnage of the civil war. the russians can't focus on i.s.i.l. they were going after the moderate opposition. the iranians are concerned given iraq. given how close it is for their border another mass grave has been discovered in iraq. 40 bodies, including women and children were found buried together in ramadi, which until recently was under i.s.i.l. control. al jazeera al jazeera's imran khan reports. >> iraq's police force say they have opened police stations within ramadi. these police stations will be the first line against fighters if they came back or if they
tried to come back to the city. they are key to secure a city and the health. they'll open more in the next few days. at the ceremony of one of these police station, they were given weapons by the americans, a public show of support. whilst all of f is happening. security announced the halt much provisions. to clear because they say it's a tactical decision, they are still going in to the neighbourhood. once they have taken that. it will be the whole city free of i.s.i.l. fighters. the reason they haven't, it's been ongoing for a week. there's a fear that there are civilians trapped within the area itself. there has been heavy shelling and air strikes and iraqi air
strikes into the neighbourhood. they are only effective when they are civilians trapped in there. you need to go in large number to the neighbourhood. what is going on is a halt to the operations against the last remaining pocket of i.s.i.l. fighters. the opening is seen as being crucial. and the iraqi security forces are beginning to get back in charge of ramadi the malaysian government confirmed a piece of debris found three days ago off the coast of thailand did not come from a jetliner. the debris washed ashore, prompting speculation it belonged to the missing jet. >> also in malaysia, the attorney-general has cleared the prime minister in a corruption
scandal, an issue, the course of $681 million, transferred into the prime minister's bank account. the attorney-general who conducted the investigation said that it shows the money was a gift from the saudi royal family and there was nothing illegal about it. >> reporter: various media outlets in malaysia speck you lated as to the outcome of the attorney-general's report, over allegations of corruption made against the prime minister. they have been put aside at a press conference on saturday, saying the prime minister had done no wrong, and there was no reasons. over $600 million by sauces
within the saudi royal family. the scenario leads to as many questions as solutions. there'll be questions as to what happened to the money, should it go to party coffers, and the position, should he stay on as the prime minister with the cloud hanging over him, because the opposition is certainly not going to let the issue lie, and they will complete reply continue to hammer the ruling party as this country heads towards a general election within the next two years. do they want to allow them to step aside and allow a new face to take the helm of the party and lead it in to the next general election. all the questions to be answered in the next few weeks. >> that report from kuala lumpur. >> russian officials lash out at u.s. accusations of corruption in vladimir putin's administration. a u.s. treasury official made
the comments in a b.b.c. interview labelling vladimir putin a picture of corruption. the kremlin responded calling the claims pure fiction. the back and fourth came on a day the anticorruption council was chaired, calling on law enforcement to do more. >> iranian president hassan rouhani met with pope francis during a visit to italy. what the pope asked him to do. and a report - iran executing juvenile sprnds. despite ratifying a treaty forbidding punishment for children. >> the homeless are not always who you think.
canada's foreign affairs ministers said some sanctions against iran will be lifted, but they will do to reluct anally. some nations have -- reluctantry. some nations have lifted sanctions. iran announced plans to spend 6 million, similar to aircraft. a good buy from canada. the president visited the vatican as part of a 5-day trip aimed at restoring economic ties to europe. they spent 40 minutes speaking to pope francis. the pontiff arrived hassan rouhani to work with other nations to stop peace. the primary goal is business. he is there to sign trade
agreements. hassan rouhani said the deals will help power the growth necessary to defeat extremism. hassan rouhani has more. >> this visit to rome has been primarily about re-establishing political and economic links between iran and italy. italy, historically has been an important trading partner for iran, and the period of actions in that perspective was a brief introduction and they are keen to get back doing business. italy, as well, an important mediator, from the west on the one side, and it has good relations with russia, so an opportunity there for the italians to play a pivotal role. president hassan rouhani is due to go on to paris, the french
may be dispinted that they were not chosen. obviously the french companies looking forward to doing business in iran, and announcement that they have more than 100 air bus planes, good for the jobs and economy. >> last night hassan rouhani toured the capital line. to avoid offending the iranian leader censored the exhibits. they hid a series of ancient statues behind wooden panels. iran stops the world in a grim category, the execution of juvenile offenders. despite the gratification of un convention on the rights of the child. forbidding the capital punish the of children. 73 executions of juvenile offenders in iran, between 2005
and 2015. the real number is higher. iran allows the execution of girls as young ag nine and boys as young as 15. the u.n. estimates more than 160 juvenile offenders are on death row. where they spent an average of 7 years. iran made some reforms, including granting retrials and special prosecutors. but that did little to curb the executions. joining us from washington d.c. is the advocacy director from the middle east with amnesty international. iran is a top executioner overall. likely the top executioner of juveniles, despite the fact that it pledged to stop doing that two years ago when it ratified the conventions on the rights of the child. has there been no pressure to stop? >> there's continued pressure,
not enough. the latest report documents over the last 10 years, iran executed 70 plus individuals, and a report documents how 160 people convicted were on death row in iran. there's more work to do before iran sets aside a practice of sentencing juve miles to death. >> while regular countries execute. does it hurt the west's condition when it comes to iran changing on this. many abolish the death penalty. the united states is yet to do so. the united states in 2005, the supreme court took the step with regards to the execution of juvenil juveniles. there's more work to be done within the western countries. it's important for the global
community to recognise whatever the economics. it's important that human rights stay on the agenda. >> are you disappointed that the six world powers did not demand iran as part of the deal. the six world powers make them a priority. whether or not it's an agreement is a separate question. many of the world powers had human rights problems including the united states. when it comes to iran's use of the death penalty and convictions of minors and juveniles with regards to the death penalty, more pressure comes to bear. some of the reforms have given judges the ability to resentence juveniles and give them the death penalty when they hadn't had the death penalty. pope francis met with hassan rouhani, and urge tit.
it has been argued that juveniles committing crimes are down the list. >> any keeping others safe must do so. 20 years ago the iranian government ratified the d.r.c., the conventions on the rights of a child. you don't give the death penalty. it's possible in iran for juveniles to receive the death penalty. in that context, it does nothing to keep society safer. if the government is executing people, children, instead of doing the job of actually investigating crimes, keeping people safe and standing up for
the basis protection of human rights. >> you are issuing this report as hassan rouhani travels through europe, sealing business deals worth billions, are you sending europeans the message that they need to remember who they are dealing with? >> we are sending all governments the message that as the iranian government moves forward in its engagement in the world. the question of human rights has to remain on the table. a u.n. body involvement with reviewing multiple bodies and practices reviewed the iranian government's record. while the u.n.'s body's conclusions are not public, that's part of the reason why amnesty international is releasing the report. we want the iranian officials and the world to know we are paying close attention. >> what specifically would you want the international community to do. >> the international community should send a signal to iran,
that it's time for iran to stop sentencing juveniles to death. it should abolish the death sentence. but should stop using torture to extract concessions. there's a dual level of horror. juveniles are sentenced to death and on top of it there are allegations that some of the juveniles are tortured until they are forced to confess. >> good of you to join us to raise this important issue. thanks. >> nationwide strikes and protests bring travel to a halt in france. coming up, the american company drawing the anger of thousands. >> and the emperor of japan begins a 5-day visit to the philippines, the old wounds that could pose a problem to improving relations.
welcome back to al jazeera america i'm more where are. coming up after this half hour of international law, denmark passes a law that could fuel immigration protests cleveland announces the firing of 6 police officers after a deadly shooting in november 2012. they took part in a high speed chase ending in the death of two suspects. the only officers charged was
acquitted of manslaughter. wall street, coca-cola, pense coe and necessarily team to up sell bottled water in flint, michigan gan, sending in 126 truckloads. 6.5 million bottles of water. the company says that should be enough water to meet the needs until the end of 2016 character actor abe bagota died at the age of 94, best known for his controls in "the godfather", and a sergeant in "barney miller." he began his career in the theatre, but his television and movie career spanned more than six decades. >> thousands of protesters brought traffic to a standstill. workers and school teachers were among those. they say that uber is stealing
their livelihoods and they want ta banded. we have this report. anger over the presence of uber spread chaos and destruction across the capital. >> we pay so much taxes and contributions. we fight against those delinquents who take from us all the work with applications on the cabinet. >> tox drivers say they suffer unfair uber users. >> uber is american cowboys. they don't pay anything in france. they want to destroy our system, a system we are attached to. >> reporter: thousands of french taxi drivers lit bonfires in a major highway, oning car tires and blocking routes to air
ports. >> uber is not backing down. it says without its cars customers will be sent back to an era before apps and smartphones. taxi drivers are not the only drivers on the streets. it was an explosive day of action the. 6 million show up for work. dozens of protesters were arrested. >> people are striking across the country because of wages. one in five flights were cancelled the paris airports and others faced delays. labour reforms are expected in march, and are likely to be part of a policy drive. with 15 months until the election. holland and the people of france
may face a long journey ahead. >> danish lawmakers pass new measures to keep refugees out. rob matheson looks at how the small nordic country is trying to make refugees pay for their stay by seizing val ukes. >> the -- valuables. >> the mood was subdued. the debate polite. the result shocked many. danish police will be able to seize valuables worth more than 1500 from refugees, used to help with food and housing costs. those behind the bills are determined it is fair. the argument that denmark does not do its bit, we do our bit. it's not a secret when we stand here today, we wish to take a
smaller share. >> denmark took in a record 20,000 refugees, it's not the only country to pay for living conventions. switzerland takes valuables worth more than 925,000. critics and supporters say it has more to do with deterring refugees. the nations is confirmed. the decision to give tainish police the authority to search and compensate valuables sends damaging messages. sending fear rather than consolidation. >> reporter: the danish politicians say the legislation is in line with rules from the dayne's themselves, who have to stel assets more than 1500 before they can receive social benefits. they will be allowed to keep its
of sentimental value, like wedding and engagement rings, family portrait and medals. they may have to hand over watches, computer and mobile phones, sometimes the only link to family and friends they may have left behind. >> the emperor of japan observed in the philippines, the 5-gay drip is a first official visit by a japanese emperor, they have been working on security regulation, a painful history makes it complicated. troops occupied the philippines and some are not ready to put it behind them. what are they looking to accomplish with the visit? >> well, the emperor is wanting to spread a message of police. they are coming to make sure
japan is making legislation. they fear it's not been a policy. >> fighting for justice, these women get quiet for most of their lives, for the into sexual slavery during two. this person is nearly 90 years old and recalls the day she was abducted. one japanese solder started to rape me, the others held my arms and legs down. when he was done the other started. i was screaming because of the
pain my body was in, they kept at it. >> she one of 200 filipino women that came forward. they say they were kept as sex slaves in comfort stations to service imperial japanese soldiers, and are waiting to be recognised officially and offered an apology. the imperial military is not up for discussion. the philippines in japan signed a u.s. dollar agreement in 1956. that focused on building infrastructure, the government considered the structure of war-time slavery closed. now with concerns the two countries are strengthening
operations. >> i think the philippine country has not done too much. they have been giving greater priority to large aid and bigger issues. unfortunately that relegates this paect. women don't want to be cast aside. >> no matter how hard it is for me, i'm still here, just to ask for what was done for us by the government of japan. every year, there's newer less. -- fewer left. >> now, white the emperor's message may be one of passivism and peace. it seems the government, under the prime minister is remill
torizing japan. that has many concerned. the president is welcoming this, seeing it as a balancer to a rising china in the area. japan and the philippines are confronted with tensions. strengthening relations is top of the list. >> thank you. >> jeffrey is a fellow for the security and foreign affairs programme. >> he's an expert on the asia pacific region. the japanese took a couple of hundred and turning them into
comfort women. why is there not an apology. >> the japanese government provided an official punishment in 1993. that took care it of it from the japanese perspective. going back to the peace treaty and the repatriation treatment japan and the philippines agreed to take care of all issues regarding war damages. filipino women that survived. those apologies, they feel, are not much. then need a direct apology. when it comes to that relationship, the issue that the comfort women has never became a political obstacle as it has. that could be because of the number of women and different.
or it could be because the two countries did have legal agreements or, i should say, treaties with the san francisco peace treaty. once the japanese did this with south korea. they apologised and gave the women a significant amount of money. millions of dollars. why not do the same for the filipino women if there is a smaller number. is it the filipino women's fault. when you look at the issue between south korea and japan. the government was advocating for the victims in south korea. in the philippines you don't see that happening. snapd you have manila focussing in the past on economic assistance, development assistance. and more recently more on defense cooperation with japan. is the filipino government not inclined to confront japan. let's talk about the economic
side. japan is the most important trading partner and source of aid. >> i would go as far as to say if they brought it to - if the president of philippines preached japan with the issue, it would affect the political relationship in a way that is negative for the philippine's interest. you see a positive tragementry. i don't think there's political wit from either government to make it an issue. >> how big a shadow does china cast over this. with the chinese projecting their power throughout the regioning is that alliance between the phial means and japan so important no one wants to rock the boat. critics say he focused on
geostrategic concerns he forgot his own people. when you look at the position of the philippines, when it faces an aggressive china, and is looking for allies and partners to help in its quest. japan is the likely partner, they've been helping a lot with maritime domain awareness. increasing capabilities, there's political capabilities that china is a factor of. >> could it lead to forces based in the philippines. will that be an issue in the philippines, and, on the other hand, how do you expect the chinese to react? >> when you look at the negotiation or discussion that's going on between manila and tokyo, from the philippine
perspective, what i would look to is a poll by pugh pugh in 2015. i would question if it's negatively played. china - definitely they'd look at it with trepidation. looks at the south china sea, and sees jap as sticking its nose into someone else's business and sees japan and the philippines becoming closer. beijing would like at this with trep digs. stayings. >> -- trepidation. >> it's important to keep an eye on it. thank you for being with us. >> thank you very much a human rights tribunal in canada ruled the government happens been discriminating
against indigenous children. it ends a fight since 2007 in relation to health care services on aboriginal reserves. the government's funding model unfairly disadvantages children and families living there. the government accepts the ruling and plans to make changes as soon as possible. the zika virus is continuing to spread. new travel warnings and tactics to fight the virus. also - bolivia's second largest lake has completely dried up. how hundreds of square miles of water vanished. tomorrow night as the vietnamese communist party selects leaders for the next five years, we'll look at their relationship with the u.s. .
a man is in custody in grenada in connection with the murder of a tourist. 39-year-old jessica and her husband were walking on a remote beech when a man with a machete attacked them. his wife did not survive. police have not discussed a motive two more americans tested positive for the zika virus. which has been detected in central and south america. the res depends of kim barnes
arico and virginia travelled the countries where the disease is spreading. the c.b.c. said it is adding the virgin islands and the dominican republic to its travel alert. brazil's government will deploy 220,000 troops to spread awareness, going door to door handing out pamphlets. it came as it was imagined that brazil was losing the battle against the mosquito-born disease. starting tomorrow, it will be a little easier for american companies to do business in cuba, the obama communication is loosening some restrictions. the move allows american banks to provide credit for deals with cuba. u.s. product had to be paid for in cash in vens or routed through a third country. >> the second largest lake tried
up. water and waves have given way to a desert. animals died in droves, hundreds lost their livelihoods. climate change is to blame. we are taken to the site that used to be the lake. >> reporter: there was once water as far as the eye could see. the lake covered more than 2300 square kilometres and used to provide most of bolivia's fish, and was a temporary home to thousands of migrating birds. now it's all gone. blif why adds second-large's lake turned into a cemetery. fishermen showed us where the peer used to be. it packed the nets away. a few weeks ago, they were
fishing here. >> translation: since 2014 there was a strong wind blowing. the water, dirt and algae began to disappear. we were helpless, now the lake is dry. the only thing left are our tools, our boats and our memories. >> nearly 150 families who relied on the fishing industry are moving out or have already left. the government of the region has declared it a natural disaster zone. it's governor said he's willing to find a way to bring the water back. at the same time he's hoping that rain will come. >> in the meantime. we will implement these matters. although i'm convinced rain will help people again. >> the lake dried up in the past. environmentalists say they are
partly blaming the el nino. el nino used to be 10-15 years, now global warming made it more recurrent. not giving the lake a clans to renew the water cycle. >> it's also partly because they have diverted supplies from a base in shares. biologists say the fate of the lake is irreversible. >> by diverting water. we have halted the hydrological cycle. the lake is a dead case. >> fishermen agrees. now we have to migrate to the city of aurora, now my wife has to beg in the streets. that's how we are surviving. they are not ready to give up a life on the lake just yet. he is guarding nets and boat. and hoping somehow one day the
water returns. >> now, our global view segment. a look at how news outlets are reacting. the jordan times says the u.s. is changing policy on syria, and that it is backing away from the goal of backing bashar al-assad. and is more concerned with the fight against i.s.i.l. it adds that it can be dealt with after the i.s.i.l. threat has been eliminated. britain's the telegraph says donald trump is a symptom of a larger problem. it argues the rise of trump and candidates on the right and left comes from distrust in the establishment because of failures in immigration, economy and terrorism. the "sydney morning herald" said the explosion of online sports
betting led to a decline in ports and cited the tennis match-fixing scandal proves cam blik has too strong a hold on sports. the potential payout for cheating is too high to ignore the doomsday clock is a countdown do global catastrophe. as patty culhane reports, we are minutes away. >> reporter: it's been a year of breakthroughs, a global client change grapagreement, the nucle deal done. according to the bulletin. the people that set the clock. it's not enough to move their hands of time. the world is 3 minutes from thor catastrophe. nothing has changed from last year. in part because more nuclear
weapons are made. they are all increasing the nuclear arsenals. they are modernizing the arsenals. it's hard to reduce reliance when you expect to spend more than $350 billion. >> the clock has been getting attention for 69 years. critics say the fear it spreads encouraged more countries to get nuclear weapons, and it had had real and deadly questions. the major scas in point. the danger was nuclear weapons. the result is over 100,000 dead, more than killed at hiroshima and nawasaki combined. >> the other major threat is climate change, and what the agreed to do is not enough.
they want people to push politicians but acknowledges it is unlikely in this usual u.s. election year. >> it will be a long and somewhat - put it this way, disillusioning year. as we elect a new president. >> my hopes are that we will elect a president who is fitted for the job. >> it is still an open question as to who will be the next one to hold the u.s. nuclear codes, and they say the outcome will determine which way the clock moves next that's it for this international newshour on al jazeera america. in our next hour, donald trump says he will not take part in the last republican debate before the iowa caucuses. what that means for the campaign and where the race stands days before the first
good evening, i'm antonio mora, this is al jazeera america. backing out of thursday's presidential debate. the reasons donald trump is giving for refusing to participate. also, there is no treatment for this virus. if you get infected, we can't give you a drug to cure you. a mosquito born zika virus is spreading. guidelines to avoid transmission. >> i promised the community at that time that i would find out. >> an investigation leads to the firing of six police officers after their involvement in a car chase that led to the shooting deaths of two suspects. >> and how the ban on commerc