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tv   News  Al Jazeera  February 4, 2016 11:00am-11:31am EST

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with millions of syrians stranded in exile, world leaders pledge money to help them build new lives in neighboring countries. ♪ it is very good to have your dpaen -- company. i'm david foster live from london. italy demands an investigation into the killing of a student who was apparently abducted and tortured in egypt. sweden says a panel ruled that wikileaks developer is the
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victim of arbitrary detention. ♪ so, with no end in sight to the fighting in syria, donors are being asked to focus their funding on improving the lives of syrian refugees who fled the war. a major donor conference is being held here in london and there it is hoped that $9 billion will be raised. the aim is to swift from food and water to jobs and education for syrians living outside of their country. 4.6 million syrians now live in neighboring countries. the theory is that improving conditions in those nations will stop the refugees wanting to travel on to europe.
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syrians account for 43% of more than a million refugees who arrived in europe in the last year. barnaby phillips reports from that conference. >> reporter: the u.n. calls it the worst humanitarian crisis since second world war, and it's very difficult to see how it will be end. the failure of talking in geneva made this gathering in london, all the more urgent. >> the situation is not sustainable. we cannot go on like this. there's no military solution. only political dialogue, inclusive political dialogue will rescue the syrian people from their intolerable sufferings. >> reporter: there is a depressing assumption behind this conference, that the syrian crisis will be with us for sometime to come, and therefore, donors need to look at long-term assistance, education and employment for millions of syrians in the long years before
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they can return home. from turkey, lebanon, and jordan, stark warnings, they cannot carry on looking after millions of syrians without more assistance. >> looking into the eyes of my people, and seeing the hardship and distress their carry, i must tell you, we have reached our limit. i represent the people of jordan, their well-being and safety are my first priority. our country will continue to do what we can do to help those in need. but it cannot be at the expense of our own people's welfare. >> reporter: so there's something of a grand bargain on offer here, donors give more aid to syrias neighbors and in turn they open up lay bror markets and ensure more children go to school.
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but as the norwegian prime minister told me, the real solution is peace. >> we need to build -- have confidence-building measures in syria. that means that the fighting has to decrease. russia has to take responsibility to make sure that there is a possibility for this peace negotiation, and it should be in that interest. i don't think russia would like to say on forever with military personnel and an expensive war in syria. >> reporter: but european countries in particular have their own reasons to give again roycely here. they are perhaps less likely to seek asylum in europe. it is hard to believe that it will bring a lasting solution any closer. and indeed lasting solution is something they were looking for in geneva. and barnaby phillips live for me
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now in central london. the intentions are good. it is you scratch my back, i'll scratch your back type of deal, but you have to be certain that the money is definitely coming. how sincere do you think they are in actually handing it over? >> reporter: i don't doubt that there is a lot of sincerity and a lot of compassion here, david, and as you were suggesting, self interests, and the moral imperative due chime, if you would like, particularly from the point of view of countries in western europe. the philosophy being make life better for syrians in the region, and they won't be coming in great numbers to europe, and they won't be causing political headaches for goes in the west. so that -- that's the -- that's the deal, if you would like. and then as i said in my report, the ordeal is to the immediate
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neighboring countries, and i feel from british prime ministers that they feel that their countries are providing a humanitarian service to the rest of the world, therefore, it's only right that they are rewarded accordingly, with better terms of trade, with more investment, and then hopefully we will see more job opportunities for syrian refugees in those countries. but clearly that is something that can only work over a long period of time, even if all of the money that is pledged here today actually materialized. >> one of the difficulties barna barnaby, is if you make conditions that good for refugees then they decide they don't want to go home. is there concern amongst countries such as jordan and lebanon, that if they put in this infrastructure, and this
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investment that they are stuck with this forever? >> yes, of course that concern is there, and that is up to the donors here to try to allay those worries, if you would like. that's not going to be easy. the long-term objective of course is that so many talented people, so many young people who have run away, should one day return to a society that has been completely hollowed out. you'll hear donors saying, look, at least if they are in the region, it's more likely that they will go home more quickly. >> barnaby we'll leave it there for now. thank you. this is coinciding with the new government offensive against syrian opposition fighters backed by russian air strikes. the regime is making major territory gains we understand.
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zana hoda had more from the turkish city on the syrian boarder. >> reporter: the governments offensive will any northern countryside of aleppo is not over. yes, they have managed to lifl the siege on two towns, but what the government wants to do is encircle the opposition-controlled districts of aleppo city. the opposition controls the east, the government controls the west. the government has managed to cut supply lines to the turkish border, so now it wants to lay a siege, and we understand there is heavy fighting in towns and villages just north of aleppo city. the road, really, is vital for the opposition's survival. the government wants to cut that road to encircle aleppo city. undoubtedly the government offensive has been a setback for the opposition. they are now on the defense. they are defending territory as
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much as they can. the northern countryside of aleppo is strategic for both sides, but we understand from pro-government forces they want to reach the area. what we understand from the syrian observatory for human rights more than 40,000 people have fled their homes over the past few days, some went to a kurdish area, others to the west, and others to the turkish boarder, but as of yet they haven't crossed into turkey. the turkish border remains sealed. the turks allow distressed people to cross. the opposition now on the defense, while the government continues this massive offensive in the countryside of aleppo. talks in geneva have failed.
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and besieged towns in syria remain desperate. these are exclusive pictures obtained by al jazeera from inside madaya where two women died of malnutrition on tuesday. doctors without boarders estimates more than 300 people in madaya are now malnourished. ♪ italy is demanding an investigation into the death of a student in cairo, whose body was found bearing signs of having been tortured. he disappeared on the 25th of january. the italian government has urgently summoned the egyptian ambassador to a meeting to express its concern. >> reporter: on thursday the
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italian fvm has summoned the egyptian ambassador to italy following the suspicious death of an italian student who has been living in cairo. he disappeared on the 25th of january, the fifth anniversary of the uprising that lead to the depotion of president morsi. his body was found with signs of torture, cigarette butts, of stab wounds, and he must have suffered, it was said, a slow death. they are calling for an investigation calling for it to be fair. the local authority in egypt said that in fact the death was the consequence of a road accident. a united nations legal panel will rule that julian assange is
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a victim of arbitrary detention. he has been in the ecuadorian embassy in london for more than three years. he was afraid of possible extradition to the united states. he is wanted in sweden for questioning over sex assault allegations. the panel will officially announce its findings on friday. the judgment of the u.n. needs to be trusted it is said. >> it seems very odd, but neither the british authorities or the swedish authorities really seem to want to prosecute him. they won't come to interview him. there was a freedom of information act in sweden, where clearly the british crown prosecution service have been trying to persuade the swedes not to come interview. so i think we should trust the
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u.n. what is the u.n. for if it can't make judgments like this? they have had all of the information. they have had submissions from the british and the swedes. we can't just cherry pick the human rights we would like to support and those we wouldn't. there have been protests in greece over government reforms. the protests brought the city of athens to a stand still. the changes include pension reforms and salary cuts. john psaropoulos reports from athens. >> reporter: this is the third general strike the government agreed to austerity measures. but unlike the other two, it has brought support from the urban middle class and the countryside. they are angry about the
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government's proposed social security overhaul. it would charge a million taxpayers 27% of their income for health coverage and pension contributions, effectively doubling their taxation. professionals and farmers say that abiding by the law would put them out of business, so they will have to tax evade to survive, and that would obviously undermine the very purpose of the law which is to balance the government's books. stay with us, we have these stories in just a moment. an isil car bomb hits army barracks in ramadi, despite the government saying it controls most of the city. and oil we find out what is happening in kazakhstan now that the price is plummeting. ♪
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>> from rural midwest to war-torn mideast. she went for the money and found a greater calling...
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♪ time to run through the global headlines, an international donor conference in london is aiming to raise almost $9 million in aid to help syrian refugees. and the swedish government does say that a u.n. legal panel will soon rule that the wikileaks founder, julian asaw urge is a victim of arbitrary detention. the king who spoke at that conference on syria earlier, is warning that his country is at a
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boiling point because of the influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees from syria. many are struggling to find employment. jane arraf reports from jordan. >> reporter: mohamed and achmed are studies to become pharmacists. that have scholarships from an aid organization. but as syrian refugees they won't be allowed to work. mohamed lives with his sister and children. in syrian he studied chemical engineering. he learned how to repair cell phones, but he couldn't do that either. >> translator: i couldn't find work, because first say they syrians are forbidden from working, and if you find someone who knows someone at the labor
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board, they say you have to have a full set of tools, and they are very expensive. >> reporter: he says one by one his friends have left. many heading for europe. he and achmed spend a lot of time walking around the streets. achmed still has a bullet in his shoulder after being shot in syria. he worked at a sweet shop for a while, but says he was put in jail for a week for working illegally. the economy is overwhelmed by so many refugees. it says if the west wants them to take in more syrians, including thousands stranded at the border, it has to do more to help. when syrians do work most earn much less than the legal minimum wage. with cuts in aid to refugees, more syrian children and older people are working illegally.
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abdul sits on the sidewalk eight hours a day, selling used stuffed toys. two weeks ago municipal authorities came and took all of the toys away. he had to pay to get them back. jordanians are also struggling to make a living here. this man works 14 hours a day, and on a good day, he makes $10. >> translator: i believe the house at 7:00 am and finish at 9:00 p.m. sometimes i have dinner, sometimes i sleep without eating, because i'm tired. >> reporter: there are close dies between syrians and jordanians, but jordan has always been a poor country, and here as in other countries, the strain is beginning to show. at least 28 iraqi soldiers have been killed by isil suicide attacks in anbar province. this is the third major attack in as many days. one car bomb targeted army
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barracks in ramadi. the second attack was in fallujah, and targeted, again, a government base. cities under siege by iraqi forces, and the people who live there could be facing a humanitarian crisis. imran khan reports. >> reporter: these pictures from august are the last time any footage was seen from inside fallujah. back then heavy shelling from government forces hit civilians who buried their dead. now the situation is even worse. iraqi security forces have completely cut off the town, and supplies of food and other basic necessities are running out. we spoke to a fallujah resident trapped inside of the city. he has taken a great risk speaking to us. as isil has banned all communications. >> translator: fallujah does not have the basis necessities for
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life. sometimes food is not available at all. some residents had to sell their cars just to buy wheat for their families. there's no source of income anymore. medicine has run out. last month ten people died for a lack of insulin. >> reporter: one analyst says the government has little choice other than to lay siege to the town. >> translator: there are no alternative plans. all of the available plans by security forces are either to break into fallujah and cause huge civilian casualties, or shelling it by mortars or air strikes, and that could cause catastrophic results. >> reporter: not all agree. due to ongoing fighting, the governor of anbar has made a plea for food to be dropped into the city. but he seems to be a loan voice. journalists are not allowed to
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visit the town. what is clear is the situation is desperate, and if it continues it will become a humanitarian disaster. two israeli teenagers found guilty of murdering a palestinian teenager have been sentenced. one of the teens received a life sentence. the other was given 21 years in prison. our correspondent is in west jerusalem. >> reporter: the family have reacted angrily to the sentencing. in fact at one point, his mother stood up and starting shouting at the courts, saying that the sentences are too lenient -- >> we're going to interrupt. this is the donor conference in london. at the podium is david cameron with the head of the united
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nations ban ki-moon. >> we all together can deliver on that and -- >> -- the chance of a life, and i want to thank everyone that has come and been so generous with their time and resources to help this desperate situation. we have combined a new effort to address the shortfall in humanitarian funding, with a new approach to provide education and jobs that will bolster stability in the region. all of this is vice -- vital work, for those suffering inside syria, vital for the refugees, vital for the countries in the region that are doing so much. and what we are delivering today can play a crucial role in preventing refugees from feeling they need to risk take lives on the treacherous journey to europe. we have secured approaching
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$6 billion for 2016 alone, and a further $5 billion over the longer term to 2020. and it means millions of people will now receive life-saving food, medical -- care, and shelter in syria and beyond. i'm pleased that britain has played its part, and taking our total funding to the crisis to over 2.3 billion pounds. second, the leaders of jordan, lebanon, and turkey pledged to ensure refugees and vulnerable children in their countries will have access to education. and the international community is backing them with the resources which would allow them to ensure there is no lost generation. as a result, 1 million children currently not in school will have access to education by the end of the next school year. this is not just morally right, it is vital for long-term
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stability. we cannot have a generation of refugees left out of school, unable to get work, vulnerable to extremism and radicalization. third, the countries in the region have made a courageous commitment to open up their economies to create new jobs. again, today, the international community is supporting them with the resources to turn this commitment into reality. along with funding from the u.n. appeals, this includes around $40 billion of loans from international financial institutions, and the opening up of european markets to encourage growth and investment in the region. there will be over one million new jobs in the region for refugees and residents alike. of course, today's achievements are not a solution. we still need to see a political transition, a new government in syria that meets the needs of all of its people. brave aid workers still need
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access to the hundreds of thousands of innocent syrians stuck in besieged towns. we must redouble our efforts to stop the violence, ensuring all parties bring an end to the war. and we look to russia to end indiscriminate attacks, especially barrel bombing. russia should support steps towards a ceasefire as mandated by the united nations security council. think difficult negotiations of recent days only show how challenging the road ahead will be. but with today's commitments combined with the u.n. agreement to drive forward recovery, our message to the people of syria and the region is clear. we will stand with you and support you for as long as it takes to secure peace in syria, to restore stability to the
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region, and to give syrian refugees, a chance to go back and rebuild their homes and their country, but the crucial point about today is the money raised will save lives, will give hope, will give people the chance of a future, and that, i think, is a good and vital day's work. secretary general. >> thank you prime minister david cameron. good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. never has the international community raised so much money on a single day for a single crisis. supporting syria and the region conference has been a great success. and i would like to thank and highly commend the leadership of prime minister david cameron, and core sponsors chancellor angela merkel of germany, and prime minister of norway, and
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his high necessary, emir of kuwait. and many other countries, very generation contributions. as of this moment, there's just said by the prime minister, more than $10 billion has been pledged, more than half to meet immediate needs in 2016. i thank, again, all of the participants for their genre ros -- generosity in supporting syrias enduring prolonged horrendous suffering. today's pledges will enable humanitarian workers to continue reaching millions of people with life-saving aid. the premise of long-term funding, mean that humanitarian and development partners will be able to work together to get children back into school, design employment programs, and begin rebuilding infrastructure.
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the commitment of countries hosting large numbers of refugees to open up their labor markets is a break through. i thank the governments of jordan, lebanon, and turkey, for choosing -- for god has not given us a spirit of fear -- >> the president pleading that all faith be accepted at the annual prayer breakfast today. >> you can't say you are a moderate on one day and be a progressive on the other day. the outgoing u.s. commander in afghanistan pushing for a greater troop presence there. and notorious drug ceo dodges questions from cong.