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tv   Weekend News  Al Jazeera  February 13, 2016 4:00am-4:31am EST

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more games for the syrian government as it surroundss rebels in aleppo adding to doubts that there will be a pause in the fighting. also coming up in the program, the leader of catholic church arrives in mexico after stopping on the way to heal a thousand-year old rift? find out why businesses will be forced to reveal the gap between
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men and women's pay. plus. >> reporter: this looks like money, but it is not. i will be telling you how people in this community are using it first, inside and outside syria there are growing doubts that a proposed pause in fighting will actually happen. government forces backed by russian air raids are trying to encircle rebels in aleppo and cut off their supply routes from turkey. these are pictures from syrian state tv showing soldiers closing in on rebel ground in the al tam oura valley. they have taken a strategic h l hill.
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bashar al-assad said he would defeat his enemies across the country. >> translation: we have fully believed in negotiations and in political actions since the beginning of this crisis. however, if we negotiate, it does not mean that we stop fighting terrorism. the two tracts are inevitable in syria. first through negotiations and second through fighting terrorism. snoo >> he is diluted-- deluded if he thinks there's a military solution in syria. we've seen this wax and wane over five years now. but all we're looking at if the syrian regime continues the fighting is more bloodshed, more hardship and, frankly, a greater hardening of positions on either side going live to our correspondent in gaz acres
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antep-- gaziantep. we are talking about gains by the bashar al-assad forces. how close are they now to the key objective of encircling aleppo? skwoo quite close because the main rebel supply line between the western countryside of aleppo and the northern countryside of aleppo is now within their range of fire. so they can disrupt the supply lines and they are approximately 7 kilometers from the only entrance into the eastern controlled neighborhoods inside aleppo city. but the opposition is fighting back. they are trying to target government positions but definitely controlling high ground gives the government an advantage. people inside the city, we don't have exact estimates on how many people are left, but before the offensive began in aleppo, there
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was estimates of 200 to 300,000 people. we understand many remain in side refusing to leave because they have no other place to go. they say that if they leave where are they going? are they going to live in camps, out in the open in the cold. people are preparing for this eventuality, but inside the city there has been a call to arms. men are being trade to fight. they say that they will confront this assault because their survival is at stake. they know what happens when an area is under siege. we have seen people die from starvation and the lack of medical help. the government pursuing its campaign to encircle the city of aleppo, it is also trying to reach the turkish border to control the border crossing. there are, approximately, 20 kilometers from that crossing, but we understand there are heavy russian air strikes targeting villages close to the border crossing the rebels are mounting
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stiff resistance, then, but it sound very much as though the announcement coming out of munich made by john kerry and the other international players that there should be acisation to host aislity-- hostilities. >> reporter: there are opposition to that deal. many have been telling us it's an unreally particular plan because at the end of the day it doesn't stop russian bombardment because two groups on the ground, i.s.i.l. as well as the syrian al-qaeda branch al-nusra front are not included in this deal. they believe that russia can exploit their presence and continue bombardments saying and saying they're confronting i.s.i.l. and al-nusra. i can tell you that a week ago there was a sense of frustration and desperation but more and more commanders are telling us that they're going to fight
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back. they have other tactics that they can use. they can capture territory, but the biggest question is can the government hold that territory. they can retreat and launch attacks. what we're seeing now is more of a defines, but undoubtedly the ongoing offensive, not just in aleppo, but other strong holds in northern homs, the opposition is under pressure live now to munich where that security conference is currently underway. our correspondent there is dominic kane. dominic, what reaction are you getting from the participants in this conference given the heated situation on the ground in northern syria. >> reporter: syria was a main theme yesterday following thursday's night deliberations and all sides who spoke in the conference yesterday spoke about the need to combat terrorism.
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we heard also yesterday from the secretary general who welcomed the agreement, but had questioned what russia's interventions have been up to that point. so far today the issue has moved on to ukraine and we've also been hearing on that point from the german foreign minister who opened the conference deliberations today and very recently from the russian prime minister who has been speaking about the need for the minsk agreement to be implemented in full. what is also interesting that he chose to speak out about the situation regarding n.a.t.o. he said that 2016 for the russian government now feels a little bit like 1962, that there was a danger of a new cold war developing. that certainly is something that mr stoltenberg, the secretary general of nato, said that russia needed to be respectful of countries that shares border with it. the other thing is that there has been a meeting of the
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normandy format that was held earlier this morning. russian news agencies reports that there was not tangible progress made there, but all sides have agreed to revisit the format next month in march where we expect the four foreign ministers again to meet and all of them say they are committed to the minsk agreement, which the ceasefire has been frozen for some time. certainly that's nothing that has happened that way here as well. they will be speaking here at the conference later on this morning thank you very much. going back to matters syrian, the u.n. panel who are investigating who may have been responsible for the chemical attacks in the country, say they're looking into five possible cases. the team is looking at cases
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where chlorine or mustard gas may have been used and it will start work next month and will push for access to collect evidence and carry out interviews within syria. to egypt where the president sisi is addressing parliament in the capital. he just announced that he will hand legislative power back to parliament. in the studio is our middle east analyst. this is a significant announcement, isn't it, to come from president sisi that he is handing legislative power back to the legislators. >> yes, of course it should be that way, but i don't believe it is going to make much of a difference. look at what happened since the department met almost a month
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ago. almost 500 lows that have been passed over the past three years by two presidents since july 2013 have been endorsed by the parliament in two weeks. that means how many hours? if we work it out, every and each low have taken less than an hour of discussions and to be reviewed by that parliament. that doesn't mean, for me it doesn't mean the executive yielding power to the legislature what about the main challenges that he is facing? it was seen quite significant that he was addressing parliament for the first time since he took office. what are the main challenges that he is putting before the country? he has got a big security situation at hand. >> reporter: yes. i believe that egypt is really
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standing at a cross-road as he mentioned at the beginning of his speech, but unfortunately also one of the things that i remember over the last 50 years, which is my age, in every speech given by all the presidents, they all talk about the crossroad. that means egypt has been standing at an across-road for the last 50 years. they have never been able, according to all the presidents of egypt, to pass that cross-road. for me it's meaningless thank you very much indeed. pope francis has landed in mexico at the start of a five-day visit. he was welcomed by huge crowds in mexico city. mexico has the world's second largest catholic population after brazil.
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he has a busy schedule on saturday when he celebrates mass in the capital mexico city from where our correspondent reports. >> reporter: thousands have come to watch the pope. he is coming from those talk in cuba. his official functions begin on saturday. he will start by giving a key to the city. he will hold talks with the bitch open's at the largest cathedral. after that it is only to only only only - he will be holding a mass on sunday in a violent suburb on the edge of mexico city. the decision to hold a mass there and to travel to other parts is hoping to show solidarity to people.
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after that mass on sunday he will travel to other parts of the areas. he will visit the southern state where he will meet with indigenous leaders. for a long time the catholic church have held these people at arm's length and he is trying to embrace them. he will wrap up his trip when he will visit the northern border of mexico. he will say a prayer for so many migrants that have died on their way north more to come here at al jazeera, including we meet the volunteers hoping to welcome 25,000 syrian refugees to canada. how the u.s. government is taking steps to end modern day slavery.
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welcome back to al jazeera. here are a recap of the top stories. syrian government troops are closing in on rebel-held areas in a valley north of aleppo. the opposition is struggling to hold supply lines with the border of turkey. foreign ministers are continuing to meet in munich. they're talking about the war in syria following an agreement on thursday by world leader to call a pause in the fighting. the french prime minister called on russia to stop its air campaign in rebel-held areas.
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france respects russia. we speak regularly with the president. we know the bombing of civilians must stop more developments in syria to report. we're getting some information that almost 20 people have been killed by what appears to have been russian air strikes carried out in the town of alganto. that's in homs province and this took place on friday. this is video that you can see that has been posted on line. we at al jazeera can't verify this footage, but as i say it has been posted on line. as you can see you've got parents weeping over children who have been hit in the attacks as well as others who are covering the dead. in another part of this city a man calls for help following what appears to be russian air
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strikes. >> translation: for god sakes, we're being slaughtered, exterminated. we don't know our nights or days. we wake up to massacres and sleep to them in the meantime canada says it's on track to welcome 25,000 new refugees from syria by next month. 14,000 have arrived from camps in jordan, lebanon and turkey since last december. as daniel lak reports, community groups are stepping in to help. >> reporter: pediatrician has been treating newly arrived migrants in toronto for two years. her patient lists are mostly syrians now. >> translation: we've had great help from the canadian government and the red cross has
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helped us. they're helping us with the kids allowances and paperwork. we can look for a house and settle in >> reporter: getting them vaccinated is crucial to getting them started on english school and making sure people have clothes for the winter. these clothes, boots, even toys were donated after appear appeal on face appeal book by a couple with a personal stake in the crisis. >> translation: my husband is a big reason that we got involved with this initiative. he's syrian, only been here five years. early on in the war he lost his uncle and his 15-year-old cousin in a car bomb. >> reporter: canada's new prime minister trudeaux was there in person to welcome the first arrivals. 13,000 have arrived and it is difficult for some to find
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accommodation. some are in motels best described as modest. it has been a long journey from displacement in and around syria to this suburban hotel. for hundreds of refugee families this represents a new start, whatever the difficulties in finding them a permanent place to live. >> reporter: the public is stepping up. canada allows private sponsorship of refugees. this meeting is look for volunteers to help newly arrived refugees and there's plenty of interest in doing even more. going directly to syrian families stuck in hotels, offering to set them up with accommodation, the path to a new life. >> we have to raise the money to look after and sponsor a family for a year. well, we're all set to do that. we have all been approved by the sponsorship agreement holder organization that we're working with. we're all set to go. let's go. >> reporter: young syrian refugees fitting right in, sliding down a snowy hill in a
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video that went viral earlier in month. so far this country and its newcomers seem to be adjust to each other rather well in the united states a new bill has passed which aims to ban imported goods if they're produced by forced or slave labor. products include fish caught in south-east asia, clothes made in sweat shops, an gold possibly mined in africa. >> reporter: forced labor, what some call slavery still flourishes in the 21st century. these men were forced to work on thai fishing boats, in some cases tortured, abused and imprisoned. they're far from the only ones. 30 million people, adults and children, it is estimated are trafficked, forced to work, sold into marriage and exploited for
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sex as prostitutes. every region of the world has its victims >> they produce about 150 billion dollars in illegal profits. so it is a sizeable chunk of any economy. >> reporter: now the u.s. congress has passed a bill that will ban the import of goods produced by forced and child labor. in fact, it is an amendment to an 80 year old anti slavery law >> what the old law said, mr president, is basically economics just trumped human rights. >> reporter: from seafood caught in south-east asia to cotton grown and goldmined in africa, it could be banned under the new legislation. anti slavery advocates say aggressive enforcement by the u.s. department of homeland security will be key to the law says success >> dhs will have to put those resources in the right place.
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they will have to change the way that they investigate. they have investigators all over the world, so the capacity is there. they need to catch up with how global supply chains work in the 21 st century >> reporter: it will apply in countries in bangladesh where safety has come second to profit. products from forced labor have found themselves on the shelves of big u.s. retailers like wall walmart and whole foods. here lawsuits have been filed against the giant candy makers alleging that the kilometers have failed to curb well publiciz publicized-- companies have failed to curb these abuse. it is still aconflicting millions today. many hope this step in the u.s. will at least make it a less profitable one. rob reynolds businesses in the u.k. will
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be forced to reveal the gap between what they pay men and what they pay women for the same work. government plans announced on friday, companies with more than 2520 employees will be required to publish the figures, although not until 2018. >> tackling the pay gap is a necessity. although we are not in any way complacent. like you, i'm also disappointed we haven't been able to publish the regulations but they are coming in the next couple of days. that will be out for consultation printing your own money might seem a risky way to solve poverty, but some communities in kenya are giving it a go.
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>> reporter: these are traders in a found at theage of kenya's capital. car washers, vegetable sellers, food stall owners are being introduced to a new community currency. >> translation: only traders register with the association can use it. it is issued to free 200 vouchers, equivalent to about $2 to each business taking part. they say the vouchers allow traders to save their currency in difficult financial times. >> this is actually a currency that really promotes the community, that if they have less money, they use the currency so that they can be able to access the goods and services that they need to be used at home. >> reporter: here is how it works. after selling her bites, she can go to a shop that accepts the
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vouchers. she buys bred using boertdz her hard currency and the voucher. the shop keeper can then by vegetables for his family in the next store with the vam voucher. >> translation: i used to by 3 kilos of pae day toes-- potatos, but now i can buy enough for a week. >> reporter: to get the vouchers you must have a business, either a shop, a restaurant, vegetable store, have a product or service that can benefit the next trader, but many people here say they cannot afford to own a business. they find themselves excluded from the scheme as they have barely enough money to feed their families let alone start a business, but it's a concepts that has worked in other developing companies like brazil and south africa. >> it takes a lot of time for
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them to understand how these vouchers work in the community. that has been a challenge. they think it's just pieces of papers. >> reporter: those who use the local currency vouchers say that it is only accepted in more designated neighborhoods, they have their uses. she tells us she is able to save money and expand her business one colorful bill at a time this week the world surfing league announce the annual big wave awards. it is a daring and often dangerous sport and being in the right place at the right time is a science as jacob ward reports now from half moon bay in california. >> reporter: the big wave event is an annual gathering of surfers flying in from all over
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the world for waves that only happen a few times a year. how do they know when the competition is on? >> all this energy. >> reporter: this guy. a big wave surfer and big wave forecaster. >> this chart shows significant wave height >> reporter: when he says the word, more than two dozen professional surfers say their prayers and get onto the plane >> we want them to catch waves, be able to compete and not die in the process. >> reporter: if you were walking at the base of this cliff, you might not think this beach is nothing more than a nice scene. the truth is understand the right circumstances, and this el nino is going to create those circumstances, incredible amounts of water good get pushed over those rocks and produce the largest waves on earth >> it scoops the ocean up and pushes it towards the coast >> reporter: he looks for big storms at sea. that's what creates the swell necessary to create these
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punishing waves. >> just like throwing a pebble into a pond and the waves ripple out from. same effect, only on our pebble is i storm >> reporter: the underware topography is what makes it possible. the ocean is 60 feet deep, but then goes to 15 feet. if the swell is powerful enough, it creates an apex, an enormous triangle that dumps more than three swimming pools worth of salt water over the false in every wave >> you're basically as alive as you can be. you're heart is pounding, you're breathing hard and it's just you and the ocean. >> reporter: this man is not just a weather geek. he has been on the bad end of these. >> you're in the water, i go to drab my board and i go where is my other arm. it was floating behind me. i had to grab it. my arm was fully dislocated.
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>> reporter: spre dikting these waves is like riding them. -- predicting these waves is like riding them. they're not so large he hopes that they will be someone's last amazing pictures, and you can find those on our website and the latest on the top stories at aljazeera.com >> this week on talk to al jazeera, director and producer spike lee. >> oh snap! >> we gonna make sure these fools put down these guns. >> lee's new film "chi-raq" tacklesgang warfare in chicago - and the idea that a "sex strike" could help quell it. while it's a satire based in one inner city, gun violence is an epidemic. >> how long will be... will we... will we bow down befth

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