tv Weekend News Al Jazeera January 30, 2016 6:00am-6:31am EST
no let up in the fighting and suffering for syrians, even as talks seem to be heading in the right direction. you're watching al jazeera live from doha. also ahead, france announces why it may soon recognise a palestinian state. burundi tops the string of crisis for african leaders to discuss as they meet in ethiopia. serena williams understands by kerber in the australian open
title. she is the first german national winner after stephi graff. delegates from syria's main opposition group are travelling to geneva where the u.n. has opened talks that it hopes will end the war there. the opposition is yet to commit to direct negotiations with the government. even so the developments are giving a glimmer of hope that peace efforts may actually be getting off the grounds for the first time since two earlier rounds of talks collapsed in 2014. the conflict began almost five years ago and it has killed at least 250,000 people. millions of syrians have been forced to flee. many of them like the refugees you see here have risked their lives to reach europe. the war has allowed islamic state in iraq and the levant to capture territory and has drawn in the u.s. and russia as well as regional powers.
our correspondent joining us from geneva where those talks are taking place. i suppose it is a progress of sorts that these talks are even taking place right now. >> reporter: yes. we've seen the talks start but only with one side, with the syrian government delegation led by the syrian ambassador. he was uncharacterise particularally quiet when he arrived at the u.n. and when he left. he had a meeting with staffan de mistura. i know well from covering his events in yorke and he gives news conferences that are up to 45 minutes to an hour long. on this occasion he said nothing. i think he has come understand pressure to say nothing because what they really are trying to avoid is a collapse of this process before it has even started. it has been a very shaky start because, as i say, only one side here on day one, friday.
now the news on saturday that the opposition are on their way. tricky to get concrete information from the opposition camp. they are based in riyadh. we're told that the plane is on its way. one source telling me 31 people on it and another high-level source 25. so an example of the different information we're getting, but it seems they're coming here to geneva, but it's not clear whether they're going to negotiate what part will the regional powers be playing to move this forward? >> reporter: they have been playing that part in recent days. we know there have been conversations taking place, we know there was a conversation with the u.k. foreign secretary speaking to the head of the opposition. we know that he spoke to a
russian representative and most importantly we know that he spoke to the u.s. secretary of state john kerry. i'm told it's that conversation with the u.s., with john kerry, is the main reason they're coming here. he has given verbal advice that some issues will be addressed. a letter was written by the opposition saying they're not coming to geneva unless certain conditions are met and they're all conditions that are in that u.n. security council passed at the end of last year that says that the sieges must be lifted, the bombardment must stop, detainees must be released from prison. they have come back to those points repeatedly. what assurances have they got because i don't think he can personally deliver any of those things. when they come here they will take stock, they will see whether there has been any
developments on the ground, they will meet staffan de mistura, but they won't agree to actual negotiations thank you for that. one of the priorities of the talks will be getting aid to besieged syrian civilians in the town of madaya. thousands of people there are still at risk of starvation. a warning that you may find the images of this report disturbing. >> reporter: residents of the besieged syrian town of madaya are still starving to death three weeks after aid agencies were allowed to deliver supplies. the government forces control the region to the east. its ally hezbollah controls the lebanese side. these pictures were said to be nothing by lies and propaganda. these pictures show hezbollah
and bashar al-assad forces shelling madaya. residents here joined the rebellion in 2011. fighters have been trying to secure the lebanese-syrian border area since. people living in nearby districts say they've been ordered to leave their homes by hezbollah. the starving all around in outside damascus, this is one man out of nine men that died from malnutrition. doctors without borders say up to two million syrians are trapped in the country the refugee crisis has claimed more lives. 39 people drowned when a boat carrying people to greece sank off the turkish coast. some of the victims are children and more than 40 people were
rescued. france says it will recognise a palestinian state if the deadlock with israelis can't be involved. french foreign minister says he will look at holding an international conference to revive talks between israel and the palestinians. the palestine liberation organization says it welcomes the french initiative. a senior adviser to the president. >> the french has chaperoned, supported and advocated an international forum or conference to replace the soul monopolistic role of the u.s. which lasted for 22 years and produced absolutely nothing in the peace process except eating our land and water and separating gaza and almost taking over east jerusalem by the israeli settlement project.
therefore, the french attempt really got all our support, if there is any chance for international forum to start pushing seriously for end of occupation and revive this process, we will support it. when we signed the oslo agreement there was 160,000 colonial settlors in the west bank and gaza. today there are 650,000 of them in the west bank alone. they controlled 2% of the territory of the west bank, now they control 62% of the area. this is a trojan horse excuse of going to negotiations that israelis never respect and never commit itself to any agreement they sign. i think, really, the drive we want to see now supported by all the countries of the world is a drive to stop that absolute
crime against our land, stop the settlement project. without that, there will be absolutely no palestinian to be talking about in the next five years we will talk more about this now with our senior political analyst. what do you make, then, of this french initiative. is it going to go anywhere? >> by the way, i'm just hearing him, who i have known him for two decades. you would expect him to say and, therefore, we quit. with we could not deliver to our people any prosperity and liberation, any end of occupation in settlement, but we all know that the palestinian authority has been hostage to the israeli occupation and to the peace process that is that right 25 years ago. be that as it may, clearly it doesn't hurt the french today after the different things that
happened to france and france is playing a role that we want to convene this thing. certainly washington is not going to convene it. in order to say we recognise the first state. but president francois hollande and the french government have been all too kind to israel for the last six months, since they even opposed the boycott of israeli products from the settlements, including that. i mean, some basic solidarity with the palestinian people, the french press shut down. they also supported israel and its aggression in gaza in 2014. for them now to come and say, look, we need to do this, it doesn't hurt them and certainly it will give them some credit, but having said that, will anything come out of it? certainly the israelis don't seem enthusiastic for it
if these peace talks, this latest attempt at peace fails and-- >> they don't seem convincing if france makes good on its pledge to declare, to recognise a palestinian state, will that push the momentum further for other european nations, perhaps, to follow suit? >> this is one of the paradoxes of history is that europeans presumably stand for human rights and the likes. sweden recognised that followed by the vatican. so at least they could do something with france that presumably spear heads foreign policy, so yes, after france would make a step other europeans can be expected to do the same. the question that was raised earlier is what does that all mean? if occupation continues, if the settlements continues--
it's all symbolic >> today there are half a million israeli settlers there and they control most of the lands of the occupied territories, but they're building more walls and check points over there. so really at the end of the day that's too little too late. it's very hard for me, someone who has noled this since its outset in madrid 25 years ago, that now this will actually lead to anything resembling a two-state solution-- followed this since thank you very much for that. still to come on the program. rescued after more than a month trapped underground, but will more chinese miners surface. plus the first major restoration in 15 centuries at what is believed to be the birth place of jesus.
welcome back. the top stories on al jazeera. delegates from syria's main opposition group are travelling to geneva where the u.n. has opened talks that it hopes will help ends the war, but the opposition is yet to commit to direct communications with the government. turkish media reports say 39 people drowned when a boat sunk off the coast. two-state solution warns over
deadlock in talks between israel and the palestinians. african heads of states gathering in ethiopia's capital have begun a summit to discuss instability and security issues. at the top of the agendas is the ongoing violence in burundi. leaders there will talk about burundi's refusal to accept an african union peace keeping force. joining us now from addis ababa is the director of the international crisis group. what are your expectations from today's summit? >> it's hard to tell. the security council met last night. no decision was taken. there was an extended meeting today. we're yet to hear what the outcome is going to be. it's not surprising that given the complexity of the issue and given the fact that the
president himself rejected the communique of december last year where the security council decided to sends in a peace keeping force, and it's very clear also as we speak that there's no consensus at the security council, so we have to wait for the assembly of heads of states to sty on what's going to happen in burundi burundi isn't the only country which is facing constitutional changes in the issue of i president running for a third term. can you talk about what the other countries there will be discussing? >> i mean, the other key country, i guess, in the context of burundi and the question of third term is, obviously, the democratic republic of congo next-door. there are countries in the central african republic, rwanda, we saw the decision there and also another, so it's
coming up and up against the question of a third term. i think it raises a number of questions for african leaders on the continent, but for the wider international community. there is clearly no kon sense suss by-- consensus by the international community or the states. we could see increased violence if the president chooses to stay, but i think tied to that it is clear that we need to finds a way in which to deal-- find a way to deal with transiti transitions. we need to find a way for a plan to make it easier for african states to step down from power otherwise we will face this time and time again when we get close to end of term limits we're looking at the president and the chair speaking
to the summit there. he is due to be stepping down. who is likely to be the next chair or does it even matter? >> to a certain extent personalities matter and the next leader that is anticipated to take over is the president from chad. we've seen him grow in stature in terms of taking very bold decisions in the region. he is clearly flecking his muscles. he has a number of issues to contend with, internally and in the region. he noted himself at the start of the year that this is going to be a very difficult year for chad economically, and he has elections himself to face and he is in a region where it's increasingly vulnerable to vari various concerns, especially around terrorism and extremist violence in the region good to speak with you.
thank you for joining us the zika virus is spreading rapidly. several new cases have been confirmed with more suspected outside of the americas. including one in new zealand. brazil is at the center of the outbreak with 4,000 possible cases. the mosquito-born disease is linked to severe birth defects in babies. >> reporter: christmas eve i was scratching like my whole family saw my chest and they're like wow. you could see the bumps in my lips, my eyes, my ears. >> reporter: this woman is feeling healthy now, but while visiting family in el salvador over christmas she contracted the zika virus from a mosquito bite >> you have to strength or energy. like to do anything. not to even sit down. all you want to do is lay down and sleep >> reporter: since then the centers for disease control and prevention has confirmed at least 30 cases in 11 states in
the district of colombia. automatic those people travelled abroad to affected areas. on friday a top u.s. health official said americans shouldn't panic >> having said that, you don't just want to walk away and be very cavalier and say not a problem. we're developing better vaccines, control, everything you would do if you were anticipating that there is going to be an outbreak >> reporter: the virus has spread fast, mainly will you the americas, since last year. prompting the dc-- the cdc not to travel to varies countries. there is growing evidence linking it to a birth defect called microcephaly, babies born with abnormally small heads and brains. cases are surging in brazil. on friday brazil's president said her country launched
methods. >> translation: we're losing the battle against the mosquito. why? if it keeps breeding we're all losing the battle against it so we have to mobilize to win this war. >> reporter: brazil is waging the battle as the country prepares for the olympics in august. on friday the committee assured teams travelling there that the games would be safe from the virus. it also urged visitors to protect themselves by using mosquito repellant and wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants >> we will do everything to ensure the health of the athletes and all the visitors the rescuers in china have pulled up four miners who were trapped 200 minutes underground after more than a month of searching, a moment to celebrate. as four miners are winched to
the surface one-by-one in a specially-made capsule. masks quickly placed over their eyes before they were taken to hospital. >> translation: at the moment the four miners are all in a stable condition and they're conscious of the only one of them has suffered a broken leg. since they were trapped underground for 36 days, there are still a lot of uncertain. we will work with experts to make a treatment plan for the miners based on the development of their condition. >> reporter: the miners were found 200 metres underground. they had been working along with 25 others when their mine collapsed. since then the search has been closely followed by chinese television networks. 11 colleagues had been rescued within hours of the collapse. another died. 13 miners are still unaccounted for. rescue was spurred on after this
break through finally making contact with the trapped men. they had been sending down food, clothes and lamps through a narrow bore hole, but getting them out was a much tougher job. further collapses and rock falls are a constant fear. the rescue is another reminder of the dangers associated with mining across china. collapses are common, safety regulations are often ignored. four officials have already lost their jobs. the chairman of the company which owns the mine drowned himself. another casualty of an industry badly in need of reform and tough regulation in bethlehem one of the world's most famous churches is getting its first renovation in more than 1500 years. our correspondent has been taking a look >> reporter: what is believed to be the birth place of jesus
christ has survived many hard times, even an earthquake. history and the weather have taken their toll. now for the first time since the 6th century the church of the nativity is being completely restored from ceiling to floor. fixing the old has already uncovered something new hidden underneath the wall plaster. >> translation: we were lucky to discover and an jill in its entirety-- angel. this will give a different vision of the church than before the restoration. it will be a beautiful ends result >> translation: we are shown what the mosaic looks likes look before-- looks like before they begin their work. it is a remarkable transformation, delicate meticulous work that is giving the church a completely face lift. the roof and the windows were
restored first. these are essential repairs, but the fact that they're taking place at all, some have jokingly described as a miracle this holey site is administered by three different churches. they each oversee different parts, invisible lines that if crossed can turn violent. >> translation: it happened before in some cases there were serious scuffles between disputes over who cleans which centimetress. >> reporter: just like this, priests and monks fighting with brooms following a communal clean five years ago. someone might have brushed a little too far. sensitivities that boil down to the idea that if you clean it or take care of it, it's yours. those rivalries have been put a si side. the results will benefit all. the roof no longer leaks, the
mosaic shines and in time once the scaffolding and sheets are removed, the church of the nativity will be seen as it hasn't for centuries south korea is holding its first ever expoe devoted to the drone industry. the military sector currently dominates the worldwide industry, but new civilian users are getting more and more popular. >> reporter: it's race day for these pilots, times to get down-- time to get down to business. 80 teams for the title on a windy day. >> translation: i was nervous and it was windy. the drone kept rising, so it was difficult. >> reporter: drone racing has been an organised sport here for four months. it is all happening just a few metres from the first drone show. the largest such expoe
organisers say ever to be held in asia. south korea wants in on a fast growing industry. >> translation: drone negligent has been developed here mainly in the military sector. we hope to promote it to the civilian sector >> reporter: one such efforts, a drone enabling helicopter-style take offs and aeroplane-style landing. a drone that in its final form will mimic a bird of pray to keep smaller birds away from farms and airport >> we use open source-based technologies to develop things faflt. this is affordable to the farmers around the world right now. >> reporter: the consumer sector is one of the fastest growing. it could be worth more than four billion dollars a year by 25025.
it's not hard to see why. these things have been getting cheaper, producing better quality images and anybody can fly them. the problem on the horizon, though, is an increasingly heavy set of regulations, meaning that the use could be used within strictly defined areas. there are concerns over privacy and safety. several have been found crashed in recent years. south korea enforces strict no fly zones among other regulations partly as a result. some makers mean the civilian industry will struggle to lift off. the racing people are okay because they could be loosened kerber has understands number one ms williams to clinch the australian open tennis title. she won in three sets.
she is the first german to win a tennis grands slam title since stephi graff in 1999. as always, there is more on our website at aljazeera.com. there are all the stories we're following there. count down to caucus day acknowledge the course of this country's political future. just three days before the iowa caucuses and the democratic and republican establishments are scared to death with donald trump leading the gop and bernie sanders on the verge of an upset against hillary clinton, party insiders are in trouble. tonight we'll talk about how the final days of iowa campaigning debating and not