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tv   Weekend News  Al Jazeera  February 13, 2016 9:00am-9:31am EST

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♪ syrian government forces further tighten their group around aleppo about a planned pause in fighting. ♪ hello this is jane and you are watching al jazeera life from doha and also on the program president elsie si promises a new egypt before parliament. leader of the catholic church arrives in mexico after stopping on the way to heal a thousand-year-old rift and. >> i'm andy in the florida everglades where the grade python hunt is underway and are
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keen to get rid of another invasive species. ♪ inside and outside syria they are saying the pause in fighting agreed by world powers this week will actually happen and russian foreign minister says the deal is more likely to fail than succeed, on the ground govement forces supported by air raids are trying to encircle rebels in the largest city of aleppo and captured strategic high ground and forcing opposition fighters out of the small town on the road down into aleppo. and now in a position to move further towards the city to the next rebel heldtown. on friday they captured the village as they attempt to close the circle around aleppo city and also took the town from the rebels. government forces have now essentially captured most of the
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rebel supply roots into aleppo and zaina has more from the turkey-syria border. >> reporter: this high ground gives the syrian army and allies an advantage. the main rebel supply line from the west to the northern countryside of aleppo is now within their range of fire. disrupting the supply line is not their only objective and is not far from the only entrance to the opposition controlled enclave and the divided city of aleppo. opposition fighters are trying to keep the roads open to prevent a siege of eastern aleppo where tens of thousands of people live in the city and commanders say a pause in the fighting will only benefit the government. >> translator: the battle for aleppo was carried out by the international community who call themselves friends of syria and we tell them we will not stop fighting until it's all lifted and bombardment stops and until the regime is toppled. >> reporter: the people of
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aleppo come together to prepare for the possibility of a siege and doctors, activists, lawyers, journalists created what they call a united revolutionary front. and a call to arms has been answered by civilians. men of fighting age are now receiving training before what called be a major battle. >> translator: these men will join their brothers in the free syrian army. they will hold positions and join offenses and we will teach our enemy lessons they won't for get. >> reporter: for those in the opposition the government's military campaigns across the country and its resent battlefield gains will not force them to lay down their arms. there is opposition to a u.s.-russian plan agreed in munich to pause the fighting within a week. rebel commander's say it is unrealistic because russian air strikes can continue to target i.s.i.l. and al-qaeda linked al-nusra front and believe moscow will exploit the presence
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of those groups to continue fighting the rebels. government offensive has weakened groups considered by the west as moderates and they are strongest around aleppo, the southern providence and the northern countryside of homs and for the first time in years the opposition risks losing its heart land in the north and its lifeline the turkish border but rebel commanders say the fall of aleppo won't be the end of the war and instead of confrontation they will resort to warfare to loosen the government's grip on the ground. al jazeera, southern turkey. elsewhere in syria reports remerging that 20 people have been killed by russian air strikes in homs province on friday. video posted on line which we cannot verify shows people weeping over covered bodies which are said to include children. >> translator: for god sake we are being slaughtered, exterminated and finished, we no longer have houses and
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displaced, where can we go, just tell me, we don't nowadays and we wake up to massacres and leap to more massacres. >> reporter: and dominick cane is in munich. >> reporter: day two of the conference so far has been dominated by the two sides of syrian crisis on a world stage, the view from united states of america and the view from russia and the u.s. secretary of state back in the city two days after it was reached on thursday night chose to appeal to all sides of the syrian crisis that now is a hinge point and it was important for them to grasp the metal and have cessation of hostilities and go forward that way or could lead to years more of uncertainty casualties and increasing death toll and as for the russian government the foreign minister sergei fedorov said he believed there was a 49% chance of success of this cessation of hostilities in other words it was more likely
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this might not work and then we also heard from the russian prime minister who said that the rhetoric surrounding the syrian crisis and other crisis in the world notably in ukraine made the russians feel that they were sliding back to the cold war, russian prime minister he effectively said 2016 felt a little like 1962 and the cuba missile crisis and said russia does have national interest in syria that it must protect and has no secret agenda that is being played there and of course the russian government denies that it is targeting civilians or bombing civilians. in iraq four civilians said to have been killed by army artillery fire west of baghdad and ten others injuries and among them four children and two women and military said it was targeted i.s.i.l. controlled residential area in two areas west of fallujah. libyan airforce jet has been shot down over the city of
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benghazi and the plane was hit by fire from antiartillery guns carrying out air strikes against troops in benghazi and the fie lots ejected safely, this is the third libya jet to be downed since beginning of the year. group al-shabab claimed responsibility for an explosion of a plane and it was targeting senior western officials on board the flight and one was killed after being sucked through a hole in the fuselage and the plain was forced to make a landing on february the second in mogadishi and al-sisi is handing legislative authority back to parliament and made comments during an address to mps and victoria reports. >> reporter: president sisi delivers a speech to parliament and there has been no
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legislature in egypt and the democratic democratically house was dissolved in 2012 and since then all power has been in the hands of the president but in his speech sisi announced he was handing that power back. >> translator: the great people of egypt, i announce before you that a representative of the people, the transfer of the legislative authority to tell -- the elected parliament and has an extraordinary measure forced on us by circumstances. >> reporter: in theory this seems like a significant shift of power away from the president but some question what it will mean in practice. >> for me it's just keeping it for the sake of formalities and the impact is that we are going to stay with one dominant power which is the executive, nothing is going to be changed. >> reporter: sisi says he wants to transform egypt into a modern
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democratic state but for many life seems to be getting worse, not better. on friday thousands of doctors in cairo protested against police brutality after two of their colleagues were reportedly beaten up by the police. sisi didn't mention the doctor's demonstration but he did praise egypt's security forces. >> translator: the army and the brave police are paying a high price and sacrificing their souls to protect themselves. >> reporter: improve egypt's image abroad have been danled damaged by the death of an italian student who was tortured and killed in cairo and the government is demanding answers. when sisi became president he promised nationwide security and economic stability but violence has surged in the sinai peninsula and human rights watch says 800 people were killed there in 2014 and the world bank says egypt's economy is not growing quickly enough to ob
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have the workforce, victoria with al jazeera. egyptian authorities have opened the southern border crossing with gaza for the first time this year, hundreds of palestinians gathered at the border after gaining permission to cross and gaza authorities say there are more than 3500 people in need of medical assistance and crossing has been mostly closed since october 2014 following an attack in north sinai. leader of the catholic church is embarking on a jam packed schedule after arriving in mexico. pope francis was welcome by huge crowds in the capitol and mexico has the second largest population after brazil and his tour will highlight the issues of migration and violence related to drug trafficking and on his way to mexico francis stopped in cuba to helped heal a very old rift and met the
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patriarch of the russian orthodox church which split from western branches of christianity almost a thousand years ago and the pair discussed very modern threats to christians. >> reporter: they said their meeting was an expression to the world of their hope. with hugs and kisses hope francis and russian patriarch began to heal all almost 100-year-old wound in the christian faith. >> translator: we spoke as brothers and we agree that peace is made by working together. >> reporter: the patriarchs and the pope's plane side by side here on the runway in havana provided another symbolic image to this historic day. the meeting was years in the making dating back to the 1990s and pope francis says in 2014 that i will go wherever you want, just call me. cuban president castro helped
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orchestrate the meeting and the leaders' scheduled conversed both having official visits in latin america and spoke in a meeting room at the airport in havana and the men emerged said they are united to help with the extermination of christians and say the international community must bring an end to the violence and what they called terrorism in iraq and syria and help the refugees. >> translator: the right of christians the world over. >> reporter: the two sides framed the meeting as a reconciliation but critics say it was an shrewd gee yo political move on the part of russia and closely aligned with president vladimir putin and meeting comes at a time when russia is facing pressure from the west due to military action in syria and ukraine. critics say it's an attempt by
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russia to bolster its profile in the west. the historic meeting certainly raised the profile of cuba. a triumph castro told reporters we will continue supporting peace then referring to his efforts to help end latin america's longest war said columbia is next. natasha, al jazeera havana cuba. how the u.s. government is taking steps to end modern day slavery and tell you why the afghan refugees in europe are making a bee line for italy. ♪
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as a result in some quarters
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there is a pessimism in the air. ♪ hello again and the top stories on al jazeera u.s. secretary of state john kerry called at a conference for a position to the war and urged russia to stop targeting opposition held areas on the ground. egypt president announced he is handing legislative authority to the parliament and sisi had been holding the powers despite the new parliament which was elected last year. the armed group al-shabab claimed responsibility for bombing of a plane earlier this month and target was senior western intelligence officials on board, one person was killed after being sucked through a hole in the fuselage. dozens of people demonstrated in the occupied west bank city in ramallah in support of palestinian hunger striker. and he had been refusing food
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for 81 days to protest being held without charge with israel since november and says he will fast until he is freed. the search for survivors at a building in taiwan which collapsed in the earthquake earlier this month has officially been called off. the final death toll at the site of the golden dragon is 114 and those missing in the building have now been accounted for 289 people were rescued and magnitude 6.4 quake was on february 6 at the beginning of the lunar new year holiday. north korea said it will stop investigating the state of citizens what it abducted decades ago and it's a retaliatory act as tokyo has sanctions on pyongyang following the rocket launch and said they kidnapped 13 people in the 70s
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and 80s and this is how the prime minister reacted to the announcement. >> translator: it is extremely regrettably that north korea announced to suspend the investigation by the special committee into abductions of japanese citizens, the japanese government is not going to stop it on the issue. >> reporter: more than 5,000 pregnant women in columbia have the zika virus and they say total cases in the south american country total more than 30,000. the disease has been linked to mike sefly a condition where babies are born with an abnor l abnormally small head size. thousands of greek farmers protested in the capitol for a second day in the country of use territory measures and pension reform means they face a tripling of their social security contribution and income tax and will stay in the capitol
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until it is stopped and tens of thousands of farmers clashed with police during a rally outside parliament. businesses in the uk will be forced to reveal the gap between what they pay men and women for the same work. the government announced only friday that companies with more than 250 employees will be required to publish the fixes although not until 2018. latest figures show women earn 20% less than men, a goop the government now wants to see closed. a bill passed by u.s. congress aims to ban imported goods if they are produced by forced or slave labor and include fish caught in southeast asia, cloths made in sweat shops and gold minded by children in africa and rob reynolds reports. >> reporter: forced labor what some call slavery still flourishs in the 21st century and the fishermen around southeast asia were forced to work on thai fishing boats and
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tortured, abused and in prison and they are far from the only ones and it's estimated 30 million people adults and children are trafficked like merchandise and forced to work and sold into marriage and forced to have sex like prostitutes and every region of the world has its victims. >> produce about $150 billion in illegal profits so it's a sizable 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's 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 southeast asia to cotton ground in kazakhstan and gold minded in africa the u.s. government lists 350 different types of goods from 47 countries
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that could be ban under the new legislation. anti-slavery advocates say aggressive enforcement by the u.s. department of homeland security will be key to the law of success. >> dhs will have to put the resources in the right place and going to have to change the way they investigate and have investigators all over the world and the capacity is there and need to catch up with how supply chains work in the 21st century. >> reporter: the ban would apply to sweat shop labor in countries like bangladesh where safety is second to profit. products from forced labor have found themselves on the shelves of big u.s. retailers like walmart and whole foods. here in california lawsuits have been filed against the giant candy makers mars, hershy and nestle alleging the companies failed to curb well publicized instances of child labor in west african cacow plantations and deny charges and say they are working to improve labor
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conditions. abuse and the ultimate crime against human dignity still afflicting millions today and many hope this step in the u.s. will at least make it a less profitable one. rob reynolds, al jazeera, los angeles. the population of thailand is aging and that is having an economic impact and the workforce is shrinking as people grow older and families have fewer children and scott reports from bangkok. >> reporter: it's not uncommon for a thai grandmother to be cooking all day long but for 73-year-old she is cooking to earn money, not to serve her grandchildren their favorite meal. >> translator: i don't want to rely on my children. i am not a disabled person. i can work. we don't have any assets or properties. i have to earn money myself to make a living. >> reporter: her situation is becoming more common in thailand and the economy and rising cost
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of living means people have to stay working longer to put food on the table, 40% of people over the retirement age of 60 are still working but it's not just the aging population here in thailand that is putting a drain on the economic future, a drastic reduction in the fertility rate is also playing a major role. there is an average of 1.5 children in each household and that is less than the average of 1970. in 20 years the workforce will be 11% smaller the fastest contraction from neighbors in southeast asia. >> to the employee, the older person or to extend time or to promote employment of older working population is the necessary condition for the economy. >> reporter: adding difficulty
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for those looking to retire the system is extremely fragmented and analysts say to help reduce the cost of elderly care in the future the pension system needs to be reworked but for 65-year-old boon-pong it's too late and will continue mending clothing on a bangkok sidewalk as long as his body allows. >> translator: i have to go and while i can still see i will carry on. >> reporter: unless changes are made more people will have to spend their golden years work g working. >> in the town for an italian student found dead in egypt had been living in cairo for his doctor degree and autopsy revealed he had been tortured and the prime minister said the authorities carry out a full investigati
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investigation. afghan refugees crossing europe plan to seek asylum in italy because it's difficult in germany and they accepted more refugees than other european countries but it's now tightening border controls and forcing them to take a new route from slovania into northern italy and we report on the italy slovania border. >> reporter: northern italy had until recently been entirely bypassed by the refugees who were heading south to north or right to left on this picture, passing slovania but now there are hundreds trying to prove their value to italy. in the sense of the volunteers teach them italian while the asylum claims are assessed and they can have food and freedoms to wait to see what the authorities make of them and not
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perfect but some have gotten to the promised land of germany and found it impossible to penetrate and they turned around and came back to italy. >> when i went to germany there were like 300 people and giving us food and all that stuff but i'm sorry it was very busy and in one month nobody came to us and asked anything. >> reporter: syrians, iraqis and afghans are the ones to get priority in the asylum cue but many say it doesn't work like that in practice. afghans and pakistanis tried to go to germany to seek asylum to find the authorities there offering preferential treatment to syrians and based on that knowledge a growing number it seems to turn left at slovania rather than straight on and seeking asylum in italy instead. they complain there are as many afghans as italians and the aid
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groups are lobbying the authorities to spread them out and help integration and not alarm the the locals. >> of learning the language and getting in touch and acquainted with the territory and society they will live in. >> reporter: gradually groups like doctors without borders are ramping up presence and they talk on facebook with their friends further back advising them of their options. asylum claims can be processed in four months, not even the germans are so efficient. >> they would be invited by the police to go for a medical screening and after that to be invited to a place where they are formalized for their request. >> reporter: italy could find itself with refugees on the met train yanukovich route on the south and balkin route in the north and even more pressure and even more people, al jazeera. u.s.-florida everglades most
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famous resident is the alligator and home to many nonnative invasive species like the python and this resent arrival is the focus of a campaign to rid the wet land habitat of all nonindigenous newcomers and we report from the everglades national park in florida. >> reporter: ozzie guides tourists through the everglades national park but his relationship with the area runs much deeper and he grew up here and saw the first python as a child but that population is thought to have exploded since then. >> we are never going to win the battle but at least if we can keep the numbers down, at least we have some type of control. >> reporter: officials estimate numbers in the thousands and say the threat to this delicate eco system is very real. >> they are unstoppable and they are so quiet and so deadly that we could be sitting here and
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knowing he could be sitting inside the willows, you will never see them. >> we will walk through the bush and you will keep walking until you step on one. >> reporter: wildlife officials give licenses to people like leo sanchez hoping the numbers can be under control and he captured 18 and bears the scars. >> i have respect and love them and like to dance with them but after that bite i realized if i would have been alone that day and that python bit me where it bit me i probably wouldn't have made it. >> reporter: when the hunts began it attracted 1500 people from 38 different states but wildlife officials say it's not the number of pythons that are captured and killed, it's about raising awareness of what is considered one of florida's most aggressive invasive species. education programs have been running in florida for a few years now as a threat from the pythons has ground. some remain skeptical but a
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reptile so suited to the state's sub tropical climate cannot be completely eradicated, florida everglades. >> brave man and you can snake your way through the websites to keep up with the stories and the address is al jazeera.com, thanks for watching. >> three locations, three different stories about the environment. one message. >> this year is blowing our minds. >> storms generated by a powerful weather system. >> these urchins are in trouble right now, why is that? >> our oceans getting warmer and more toxic. land frozen for years now melting. what is happening around the planet and what can science do

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