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tv   Weekend News  Al Jazeera  January 31, 2016 4:00am-4:31am EST

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the main opposition arrives in geneva. there is no sign of let up on the ground coming up in the next half hour, a far right mob threat ens to attack refugees in the center of sweden's capital city city.
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myanmar's leaders are serenadeked by their formers military masters. the main syrian opposition group is in geneva for talks ending the civil war, but only hours after arriving they are now threatening to walk out. they're calling for u.n. says solutions to be acted on and demand humanitarian access for besieged areas. our correspondent has more from geneva. >> reporter: a very large group of press here, quite chaotic scenes when they arrived here because we all want to know the exact position of this, the main opposition grouping. the spokesman when he came here said that they still believe that that u.n. resolution at the end of december means there are things which should be put in place now before talks take
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place. he said they weren't his group's conditions, they were conditions of the u.n. secretary council. i then pressed him as to whether these conditions had to be met before they would sit down for talks. >> reporter: if those conditions are not met, will you engage in talks? >> we will. we are ready, we are here to make this a success. we are ready to start negotiation, but at least we should see something on the ground there in syria. we should really stop these massacres against our people. so please help us. you know, save our children, save the remaining children of syria. then we are willing to do anything that really puts an end to this war. we want to put an end to this i.s.i.s., to terrorism in syria, we want to put an end to what this dictatorship is doing. we want to see a new syria.
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>> reporter: they want to see the measures in the security council resolution put in place but no longer does that seem that that is a condition for the start of talks. i understand that the opposition delegation is likely, and i have heard through a number of sources, they are likely to see staffan de mistura on sunday. some sources telling me it will take place at the un and others saying away from the u.n. i think it's then a parallel meeting in many ways, the one we saw on friday with the syrian government. once those two have taken place, there will be more discussion but it is just possible we could actually see both sides in the same place, not the same room because that won't happen for some considerable time but amaybe on monday. i think that would be the best hope of the u.n. team who are trying to mediate these talks while they gather in geneva,
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up to 400,000 people in syria are trapped and in need of emergency assistance. many have died trying to escape to a better life in europe. our correspondent is in gaziantep and she has spoken to syrians about their hopes for the talks in geneva. >> reporter: this is the reality in syria. the government backed by russian air power is on the offensive. their focus now is on the suburbs south-west of the capital damascus. they're tightening the siege on the area after opposition rebels rejected an ultimate may tum to withdraw from the area-- ultimatu mushgs. >> translation: when the regime came into the area, even while geneva is happening, they are tightening sieges here and the
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air strikes are increasing. >> reporter: many syrians opposed to the government are supporting the saudi- based committee's decision not to engage in talks with the government. the economy wants goodwill egestures, including an end to the bombardments and blockades as well as the release of detainees before it agrees to negotiations. >> translation: we are against the meeting in geneva. the regime is not serious about the talks. it is also bombarding us while in syria. >> reporter: people are concerned about what they see is a shift in u.s. policy. they believe washington has cooperated with russia a. the two powers are behind a u.n. peace plan that could see syrian president bashar al-assad stay in office at least during the transition period. >> translation: at the beginning the u.s. publicly stood against bashar al-assad, but they kept making false promises to the opposition. the u.s. is not against bashar al-assad.
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they accept him on the negotiating table. the u.s. no longer hides the fact that they consider him the leader. >> reporter: bashar al-assad's future has always been an obstacle on the road to peace. many in the opposition believe russia's intervention has changed the military and political balance in favor of president bashar al-assad. recent battle field gains has made the regime stronger and that is why the opposition believes it has little to gain by negotiating. it is one of the reasons why it is pushing for concessions before agreeing to talks. >> reporter: diplomacy has seen only failure in this complication which has become a regional war by proxy and people feel their voice have become irrelevant. >> translation: syrians should be the ones to decide their fate but big powers inter veer and are imposing their conditions. >> reporte
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live to our correspondent from there. we have just seen there the reality on the ground for many many syrians but their fate is now being decided in geneva. the opposition have said that they may walk out of the talk if their conditions are not met. does that mean the opposition may be letting down people on the ground? >> reporter: the people on the ground really have little faith in this political process. they are worried. they believe that the military and political balance has shifted in favor of the government. they feel that the government has been strength end due to russia's military entry. they they believed the government wasn't willing to make any concessions. they believe it is in no mood to make any compromises. so they have little faith. if you talk to people inside syria, whether the ordinary citizens who live in opposition-controlled territories, activists or even
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officials, they are worried because they feel that the west and the u.s. have shifted their position. they believe their concern is counter terrorism to fight i.s.i.l., no longer regime change. they feel they will be able to deal with bashar al-assad. we have to remember a few years ago was all we heard was he should step down and be removed from power immediately. that is no longer the rhetoric. people are quite worried as well because the u.s. secretary of state changed his language as well. the state department was clear to the opposition. they told them there will be no preconditions. this political process must begin. yes, your demands are legitimate, but this process must begin. they're worried because they're no talking about the transitional body with powers, not the possibility of a unity government which means partnership with the regime. for the people they say it is a red line for them, they cannot partner with people who murdered
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them and killed them over the past few years. there is little faith in this peace process and people are not optimistic thank you for that update. at least 37 refugees, mostly syrians, have drowned on saturday when their boat hit rocks and capsized. they were attempting to reach lesbos from turkey. this was another incident two days ago when 25 refugees, including ten children drowned off the greek island. the capsized boat can be seen around 50 metres from the shore. it is estimated that nearly 4,000 people died last year trying to reach europe by sea. russia has rejected claims from turkey that one of its jets violated turkish airspace. the row has deepened the risk between the two since turkey shot down a russian jet in november. turkey's president erdogan sent a stark warning to moscow.
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>> translation: if russia continues to violate turkey's sovereignty, they will bear the consequences. such irresponsible behaviour will not contribute to improving the relationship between n.a.t.o. and russia or to peace in the region. on the contrary, it will do harm the commander of yemen's assistance group has been assassinated. he was killed in the southern port city of aden. he was reportedly part of a group fighting against houthi rebels two weeks ago. leaders attending the 26th african union summit are expected to vote on whether to send 5,000 troops to burundi. u.n. secretary general ban ki-moon has welcomed the plan to monitor the violence there. >> the urgency that i'm urging african leaders to have one voice, also the president and
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the government to listen very carefully and engage more on ban ki-moon's press conference held earlier in the ethiopia capital. >> reporter: u.n. secretary general ban ki-moon has given the clearest indication of the troops to burundi may take. he has been speaking to a delegation that is here, speaking to heads of state and they've been talking more about a political solution, jump starting a political dialogue that involves all warring parties. we asked him did the mean prospects of deploying the troops off the table. he said that this is a decision that needs to be made by the heads of state, by the african leaders in close consultation with burundi's government. so very telling. this is in line with some of the things that what we've been hearing as well, that many heads of state are reluctant to have
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the troops without the consent of the government. many say it would amount to an invasion. burundi is also a troop contributing country. it has a little over 5,000 troops in somalia under the banner of fighting the armed group al-shabab there. burundi is a new member of the a.u. peace and security council as well. so we're being told by our sources that a decision by the heads of state has been made but we have to wait until the end of the day to get the official position after an historic power to an elected civilian government, mps in myanmar are gathering for their new parliamentary session. last year's election swept away the political party that has ruled for decades. >> reporter: the measured early
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morning routine of myanmar's capital doesn't betray it, but there is history in the making. this woman is one of those making it. she and hundreds of other newly elected members of parliament for the national league for democracy, or n.l.d., are about to take up their seats. >> translation: myanmar has been waiting for this day for so long. so many ordinary people and members of the n.l.d. have sacrificed their lives to get here. >> reporter: but the military still retains great power. it has control over important ministries and automatically gets a quarter of all seats in parliament, allowing it to block any changes to the constitution. despite their overwhelming majority, the n.l.d. mps know they have to cooperate with the military to rule effectively. they know the price for that cooperation could be a change in the constitution, allowing their
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leader aung san suu kyi finally to become president. aung san suu kyi is stopped from becoming president by a clause if in the constitution that disqualifys the parent of a foreign national. her two sons hold british passports. but there is speculation that the military might withdraw its objection in the new spirit of reconciliation. >> translation: whether you are in parliament or outside of it, we can all work together for the benefit of the people and the country. >> reporter: at this event for the outgoing mps of the military-backed government and their civilian successors, there was reconciliation in abundance. >> translation: now our time is up. we dutifully leave for the new people to come in. >> reporter: and then from one of the former generals, an serenade. crooning to the most influential
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politician in myanmar right now and possibly its president in waiting. whose dreams may yet come true still to come here on al jazeera, all eyes are on iowa as u.s. presidential hopefuls make one last push for the first vote to secure their party's nomination. and thousands rally against legally recognising same-sex couples in western europe's only country not to do so. more after the break.
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>> our american story is written everyday. it's not always pretty, but it's real... and we show you like no-one else can. this is our american story. this is america tonight.
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you're watching al jazeera. here are the top stories this hour. the main syrian opposition delegation has arrived in geneva for talks ending the syria war. they're now threatening to walk out. the commander of yemen's popular resistance armed group has been assassinated. he was killed in the port city of aden. he was part of a group fighting against houthi rebels two weeks ago. african leaders are voting on whether to send 5,000 troops to burundi to monitor the ongoing violence. ban ki-moon has welcomed the plan outlined at the african union summit in ethiopia. on monday the u.s. state of iowa will become the first in the
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country to hold its presidential nominating contest otherwise known as a caucus. for months now candidates have spent millions wooing iowa voters. a win there can make or break a candidate's campaign. >> reporter: it is in homes like this that the united states will hold its first official votes in its presidential nominating contest. so where is this caucus going to be held, where are the people going to be. >> in the living room here. >> reporter: it means to gather, so in iowa's caucus you won't see polling booths or voting machines. people meet at homes, community centers and churchs. the state of just three million people became prominent through historical accident >> in 1972 there were a series of changes in how each of our political parties would select their nominee to be president of
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the united states and iowa happened to go first that year. so iowa has been first ever since. >> we will be passing out slips of paper for you to vote on. >> reporter: it is simple. supporters vote by secret ballot tossed in a hat or basket. the candidate wins to go on to national conventions where nominees for both parties are officially elected. >> reporter: it is more complicated. supporters gather in the center of the room and then they break off into groups behind the candidate they support and that is where things get a little intense >> one faction come in and visiting or a representative come in and visiting with another faction and trying to swing people to their sides. >> he is more committed to the party itself. >> reporter: the debate between caucus goers can be receipted. still the results serve an
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important purpose. >> it's the first litmus test of what americans are feeling about what the people want to be their commander in chief. >> because everybody has to be at one place at one time, it means that if the weather is bad, it makes it harder for people to come out and get to their caucus locations and, of course, it's iowa, it's cold, there's a good chance of snow. >> reporter: so despite months of candidates courting iowa voters, the results to come down to the weather and whether supporters show up on a cold winter night a german politician has provoked outrage with comments that police should be prepared to shoot migrants entering the country illegally. the chairperson of the right wing afd party says germany needs efficient controls to stop so many people entering the country. the police union accuses her of
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wanting to suspend the rule of law. an anti immigration sentiment has triggered protests across sweden. on friday a gang of masked men ran through the streets of the city threatening refugees. >> reporter: police moved in when protesters from two rival grops began to fight - groups began to fight. one was calling for the resignation of the prime minister. they allowed in 160,000 asylum seekers last year. facing them were more than 200 anti fascists. >> translation: i was pulled down to the ground and one of them tried to kick me in the head. i managed to grab his foot. the police put a stop to the incident. >> reporter: swedish police on heightened alert deploying anti riot officers and helicopter surveillance. they made arrests on friday
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after masked men ran through the streets of the city, attacking and threatening refugees >> the targets were child refugees, youths located in the central station. a lot of these attacks resolve around discussions going on in the last few weeks. knee owe nazi messages say it is the duty of swedes to stop this. in a center workers locked themselves in a room while refugees went on a rampage. >> they meet on facebook or other social media forums and then go out to do what they feel is necessary to create an environment where refugees are feeling unwelcome. >> reporter: the government says half of those who applied for
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asylum last year are to have their claims rejected. as many as half of those will be forced to leave thousands of people have protested in paris at sweeping security measures put in place following the november terror attacks. the french government may extend it the state of emergency which allows authorities to arrest people without warrants. tens of thousands of italians have protested against a bill that if approved will legalize same sex civil unions. italy is the only western european nation without such a law. more from now from rome. >> reporter: they chose this area in rome, the theater of ancient battles to bring their fight against same sex civil unions and adoptions. tens of thousands of traditional families from all over italy together to say no to law that proposes to give some sex
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couples legal recognition and a right to adopt the partner's biological child >> translation: we are against this law because children are not given a right. since the beginning of time children have come from mother and father. >> translation: two men can't give birth to life, so you can't call that a family. it's selfish of them to want children just to satisfy their desires. >> reporter:ity lee is the only country in western europe without a law that recognises and protects same sex couples. it was condemned last year by the international court of rights and that is why the government is trying to fix the anomaly that clearly many italians disagree. last weekend gay rights advocates showed their support for the law in more than 100 cities across the country. on thursday some of them gathered in front. senate where the bill is being debated.
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a wake-up call for a country they say that can't wait any longer to keep up with the rest of europe. >> translation: we have been trying to have a law for some sex couples for the past 30 years. i hope the government finally approves it without compromises because this is already a compromise as it is not a law that legalizes same sex marriage, but it is a first step. >> reporter: the bill will be voted on in the senate starting next week, but because of the hundreds of thousands of people who voiced their opposition on saturday, the outcome is far from predictable argentinian farmers are on a mission to ex-term eight locusts before the-- exterminate locusts. thick clouds of locusts are already swarming. a >> reporter: a single locust eats its own body weight in a
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day and eats any or all kinds of vegetation. in that same day an adult insect can fly more than 50 kilometers. that is just one locust. multiplied by millions, and that single locust forms part of a hungry devastating force. >> translation: the huge swarm of flying locusts are last october at the end of their breeding cycle. they laid their eggs and we're seeing the product of that swarm. >> reporter: this region has seen nothing like this since the early 1950s. >> translation: we're going to where the locusts are concentrating and causing the maximum damage. when we do that, they move elsewhere. so we trying to ensure that they don't form swarms because if they do they will migrate and lay their eggs elsewhere. >> reporter: government agencies and people are working together to find where they are concentrated. then they fumigate. most of the insects are jumping.
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their wings haven't developed to fly. the challenge is to eradicate them before they take to the air in quantities so great they will be impossible to contain. this is a race against time with local people and the authorities working together from dawn to dust to try to exterminate these locusts before they go out of control. then if they do, they will wipe out whole communities. the climate in this region has changed. winters have been milder and rainfall greater. that has created the ideal breeding conditions for the locusts. >> translation: this is a job that can't be done alone. everyone is working together, private and public, and it is going very well. we're all working to lessen the impact of these locust plagues. >> reporter: as the sun goes down the locusts settle for the
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night. these locust hunters from all over the country work in a coordinated effort to identify where best to fumigate early the next morning. if they get it right, they're on course to contain the threat. if they don't, the locusts multiply and eat everything in their path sthoo a young boy from afghanistan has become a global sensation after photographs of his football jersey made out of a plastic bag went viral. five year old had been asking his family for a team jersey of his favorite football player messi. it was too expensive, so he and his brothers created a replica jersey. >> translation: i am his father. he is a fan of messi. he says his name every day and he asks me to find a real shirt for him with his name on it.
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i said how can i bring such a shirt for you? so he found a striped plastic bag and made a shirt out of it. when he wakes up at night, he says his name. he says he wants to see messi that's a real fan. more on our website at where you can find all the naturest news and analysis. -- latest news and analysis. >> i wouldn't die or anything >> what's wrong with dying >> well, i want to be with my family. i don't want to miss out on any of the fun >> my kids are probably like most kids out there. for them, the idea of living forever seems


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