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tv   Weekend News  Al Jazeera  February 14, 2016 11:00am-11:31am EST

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turkey shells kurdish fighters inside syria, accusing them of attacking other opposition groups. you're watching al jazeera live from london, coming up, the polls have just closed in a presidential runoff election seen as vital to central africa republican's hopes for peace. >> palestinians race to get out of gaza after egypt reopens the border crossing. why the death of a u.s. supreme court judge has led to political agreement over his replacement.
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the standoff between turkey and kurdish fighters in northern syria is intensifying, as the turkish army continues to shell positions occupied by kurdish fighters for the second day running. turkey wants syrian kurdish y.p.g. fighters to withdraw from areas they've captured in northern aleppo. y.p.g. who have the support of the u.s. are refusing to give up gains and say they will push back. the security have you not krill is being asked to intervene. we have a report from the turkey-syria border. >> the battle for syria's northern corridor, opposition groups are still holding out being targeted by russian jets.
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the government's ground forces are a few kilometers away and r.p.g., kurdish armed forces approaching from the east. turkey stepped in, and for a second day shelled positions of the y.p.g. and allies. it's not just a message to a group turkey calls a terrorist organization, it's an attempt to force it to retreat from recently captured territories close to the border. >> the y.p.g. will immediately withdraw from aziz and the surrounding area and will not go close to it again. it will not attempt to shut their corridor ever again. it will not have delusions of using the base to attack the opposition. >> over recent days, the y.p.g. and its allies captured ground from syrian armed groups backed by ankara, taking advantage of
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the syrian government push backed up by russian jets across aleppo province. the u.s. allied to the y.p.g. called on the kurds to stop taking ground, but the group said it doesn't plan to retreat. >> we recently captured the air base. our aim is to reach isil controlled territories. we want to fight this terrorist goop. turkey wants us to retreat. this won't happen. >> the advances by both the government and the y.p.g. are putting pressure on the opposition. many observers believe the y.p.g. which is drawn from syrian kurds is linked to the p.k.k., the kurdistan workers party in turkey. syrian opposition fighters know that alliances could be shifting. >> we have been stabbed in the back in the northern countryside by the p.k.k. and its ally took advantage of the fact that we were fighting on two fronts against the regime and isil. >> a new front has been opened in an already complicated war. >> turkey's policy has been clear from the beginning.
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turkey wants regime change in syria and wants to prevent a kurdish state created along its border. it wants a safe zone along the syrian side of the border to serve as a buffer to protect its interests. so far, the international community has not accepted that demand. turkey's latest actions serve as a message that it will stand by its red lines. >> for the government, one of those lines is a rebel held controlled town a few kilometers from the border. turkish officials promised to protect it, which is home for thousands of displaced syrians. for now, ankara has few options, because russia controls the skies. al jazeera's senior political analyst said the latest shelling threatens to open up a new front in the fighting. >> it's like the turks have thrown a hand grenade in supporting the kurds in the north.
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the configuration within syria, over syria are changing to rapidly, it's no longer clear who stands with whom and who stands against whom. so much now, you have this force now that for once, the russiand and americans agreed to that they will be fighting isil, but the turks are saying these are the enemies, the terrorists and they started shelling them. in so many ways, we have 10, 12, 15 various foreign forces now, fighting it over syria or fighting in syria. it's not clear to me or definitely not clear to the syrians how these various military forces are aligned with one another or against each other. it's definitely complicating the situation. the latest assault on syria comes days after world leaders agreed to work toward a cessation of hostilities. the area east of damascus has been a rebel stronghold since
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2013. there is aid consisting of medicine and milk for children. according to u.n. figures, nearly half a million people in syria are living in areas besieged by either government or rebel forces. >> those in central african republic are choosing between two prime ministers in a runoff vote. the election is held after two years of fighting between muslim and christian communities, as barnard smith reports. >> there was frustration with delays and long lines of voters in the presidential runoff election in central african republic. poll stations did open on time. they were busy. in the first round in december, turnout had been strong with nearly 80%. that was seen as a rejection by voters of the violence that has split the country on reege grounds.
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sunday's vote was also a rerun of the parliamentary election in december. its results were annulled due to irregularities. >> i hope we'll finish with these problems once and for all and we'll have a good laugh in the end. >> in 2013, france sent troops to try to restore order after mainly muslim selica fighters toppled the president. christian fighters responded by attacking the muslim minority community. thousands of people have been killed. one in five has fled. two christians are facing off as candidates in the runoff ballot. the first promised to tackle corruption. another said he'll bring in investments, both are former prime ministers. whoever wins will extend authority beyond the capital. muslims hold the east, christians hold sway in the southwest. according to human rights watch,
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a grenade is cheaper than a can of coke. bernard smith, al jazeera. from a polling station is crystal larson, the west africa bureau chief for the associated press. thank you very much for agreeing to speak to us. can you tell us about what you've been seeing today and what the turnout has been like for the vote? >> well, initially, it appears to be somewhat down from the first round of voting, and then even among those who have turned out today, a fair number have been turned away at the polling station, either because they did not have the proper identification or their names were not on the list. polls have closed here in the last 30 minutes. there were still several dozen people hoping to vote at the polling station i'm currently at, however, they were ultimately turned away. he said they voted during the first rounds bewhen they came,
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their names were not on the list and they ran out of time to determine where they were supposed to vote instead. >> what is the general mood like where you are? is there a sense of optimism that this election could bring some sort of change? >> i think a lot of people here in the p.k.5 neighborhood which is the muslim enclave, many of them say that the situation has begun to improve after the visit of pope francis in november, however, the peace feels somewhat tentative. there is cautious optimism. many say it is not so much what happens today but what happens in the coming days and weeks as to whether the population should accept the voting results and whether the new president that legitimacy in the eyes of the people. >> in terms of what we've seen happen, developments over the past 12 hours, 14 hours or so, does it look likely that any issues of contention might be raised around the way this
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election has been conducted? >> well, i think there has been general dismay over the fact that the requirements to vote appear to have changed this time around. they are asking people to bring photo i.d. as many people noted, their homes weren't bunt in the grounds. they simply don't have those type of documents with them. i think the overwhelming sense is that there is a desire for peace and even frustrated by the inability to cast their personal vote, most people are doing everything they can to enjoy the calm they have in recent weeks. >> thank you very much, it was really interesting to talk to you, kristin lars is a there, joining us. three palestinians have been killed in two incidents in the occupied west bank. 215-year-old boys were shot after allegedly opening fire at style soldiers. in the second incident, a 17-year-old was killed at a
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checkpoint near bethlehem. israeli said he tried to attack a security guard. violence has seen 176 palestinians killed. 27 israelis have died. >> hundred was palestinians have traveled to the gaza border with egypt which has opened for the first time this year for just three days. more than 25,000 people hope to use this crossing. some require urgent medical care, but only a fraction of that number has been given permission to cross. we have this report. >> they've been waiting for days and some even for years to get out of gaza and now some palestinians have been able to leave the gaza strip, but many more are still waiting and hoping.
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more than 25,000 people hope to use the crossing, including some with medical conditions needing urgent attention. only a fraction of that number have been given approximater mission to cross. we have this report. >> they've been waiting for days, and some even for years to get out of gaza. now some palestinians have been able to leave the gaza strip, butten that more still wait and hope. egypt rarely opens its border crossing with gaza. it was sealed after the egyptian military took control in 2013. >> we have over 25,000 registered humanitarian cases in the gaza strip. our best estimate that is 1,000 will get to travel during these two days, meaning there will be 24,000 people in need of help still suffering. >> this teenager is in need of medical attention. he lost both legs during the conflict in gaza in 2014. more than 2200 palestinians were killed during the 51 day war. thousands more were injured. >> he needs surgeries and therapy. we've been trying to get help for more than a year. we've been applying for permits and renewing them. >> nearly half of gazans are unemployed. they rely on human help to get by. for some, their only help is to leave. >> i am a student and today my visa ends. i used to of a resident visa in
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turkey. all of this is because of the rafah crossing closing. what can i do? >> in 2007, hamas took control of the trip from fatah. egypt and israel both regard hamas as a terrorist organization. tense of thousands are caught in the middle of the political wrangling. >> i've been trying to travel since last year for eight months. i live in saudi arabia and i almost lost my job because i haven't been able to go back. >> those who don't get out of gaza this time have to face the harsh reality that their freedom of movement is decided by others. al jazeera. >> there's more to come on al jazeera, including pope francis speaking in one of mexico's toughest neighborhoods, promising to address corruption and crime. the stars come out in london at britons press film awards, the baftas.
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teachers loved him. >> we were walking the river looking for him. i knew something was really really wrong. >> all hell broke lose. >> people were saying that we were terrorists. >> how are you providing a cover for your brother to do this? >> we saw the evil side of the social media take off.
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turkey has shelled kurdish fighter for a second day. the kurdish government wants fighters to withdraw from areas near syria's border with turkey. central said african republic are choosing between two prime ministers after two years of fighting between christian and muslim communities. hundreds of palestinians have traveled to the gaza border with egypt, which has opened for
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the first time this year for just three days. in other stories we're following, iraqi armed groups are involved in renewed fighting outside tikrit. ten months ago, iraq groups declared victory against isil fighters there but now are under daily attack fighting on the outskirts of the oil fields from particular credit. >> in april, to much fanfare, predominantly shia militias announced they had retain tikrit. it is crucial for iraqi forces in their advance towards mosul
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iraq's second largest city, controlled by isil. tikrit is an important hub on the main highway leading to baghdad. the oil fields produce up to 25,000-barrels a day. with iraq's economy plummeting, that is crucial. isil hasn't managed to take control of the oil fields but is proving to be a difficult foe for the iraqis. >> every day, we have an attack by isil. you can see them over there. they are using suicide car bombers and motorcycles. yesterday, we had a suicide motorcycle across the canyon, but we managed to repel the attack. >> further north from tikrit, over in kirkuk province, isil is firmly in control of the town. some residents managed to flee. others remain trapped. the escape for those that got out wasn't easy. >> we left in a hurry with total fear. we had to walk through farms to avoid discovery by isil. we then managed to escape from them and thank god, we left. >> the civilians have fled. with isil mounting attacks on oil fields, how long they will be safe there is not clear.
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>> there's no doubt isil fighters are taking advantage of the fact that the iraqi army is stretched and fighting on multiple fronts. the iraqi army says that these remnants of fighters mounting attacks on the countryside are simply isil's last stand and they will be dealt with soon. hundreds of bahraini's have taken to the streets to mark the anniversary of the 2011 protests. a shouted anti-government slogans, they were met by police firing tear gas. there's been a heavy police presence on the anniversary of protests which called for political change in the united kingdom. shops and towns in neighborhoods which opposed the opposition have closed for general strike. strikes in yemen have left a number of people dead. factories in sanna were hit. the coalition is fighting to restore the government of yemen
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which was overthrown by houthi rebels. the houthis say 11 civilians were killed while others put the death toll at two. >> dozens of aftershocks continue to shake christchurch in new zealand. the magnitude 5.7 quake caused a cliff to collapse into the sea, but no major damage. to the u.s. now, where the question of who will nominate the next justice of the supreme court is preoccupying democrats and republicans. it follows the death of 79 gerald justice antonin scalia who served on the bench pushing for the death penalty and individual right to bear arms. president obama said he has enough time left in office to
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appoint a replacement. some think that should fall to the next president to occupy the oval office. does it look as though a replacement for justice scalia will be nominate anytime soon and even if nominated, this they will be appointed or confirmed? >> well, that is the big question here. you can see by the front pages of the papers, that is what everyone is focused on here. president obama said he does intend to name a nominee. it behooves him to do that quickly, because he has less than a year left in office. those republican presidential candidates have been very consistent in saying this morning on the sunday talk shows that they don't believe that president obama should make this addition. they say there is a historical precedent that not for the last 80 years has a president named and had a supreme court nominee confirmed in his last year in office. that's true, but really only by about two months. ronald reagan named anthony
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kennedy in november of 1987. the next year was his last year, the year when kennedy was confirmed. this is not entirely unprecedented. nevertheless, it is clearly going to be a big fight. republicans have the votes in the senate to block any nominee. unless president obama is somehow able to find a nominee that appeals to both democrats and republicans and that has proven almost impossible to do in the past, he's not going to be able to get it through the senate. the battles is on and president obama has laid down the gauntlet to republicans and they have answered that this will be a battle. >> how will it impact the presidential race? >> it is already from last night's debate with the republican candidates, it was already topic number one. they are all talking about the
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kinds of supreme court justice they would not name. that is important, because a lot of key issues are decided by a 5-4 vote. it's a nine member coat that interprets the u.s. constitution. in 2000, the court had to decide the presidential election. they decided for george w. bush. they also overturned campaign finance by a 5-4 vote. republicans are really pushing to keep this nominee, because this would make the difference between whether that court leans liberal or leans conservative. >> thank you very much. moving to haiti now, newly selected interim leader will be selected on sunday. lawmakers will fill the vacuum. the main task is to quickly otherwise elections for april 24. he'll serve 120 days.
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pope francis will soon deliver sunday mass in one of mexico's most violent districts. he greeted worshipers on his way into the church. the pontiff is on five day visit in mexico. saturday, he once again delivered a tough meme, refusing to shy from difficult political issues. >> a sprawling poor suburb on the edge of mexico city for many represents the problems and promise of mexico and her that that is that's why pope front is coming here to say mass. hundreds of thousands of people commute into the capital every day to working class jobs. they work hard and scrimp to save.
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they are often held back by corruption and violent gangs. jorge moved here 25 years ago. land was cheap. he wanted to be his own boss. he succeeded but after being kidnapped and ba beaten by police, a common occurrence here, he is afraid he will be kidnapped again. >> we are more afraid of the police than we are of criminals. if a patrol pulls you over, you don't know if it's a legitimate stop or if they're going to rob you. >> robberies on buses are common as is extortion. there has been attacks by angry mobs. victims hope the tell the pope about the violence that is endemic here. >> the government is absent. it puts a false face. reality is much crueler here. i don't want my country or mexico to have this image or total chaos, but we want international attention so our government takes a hard look and works be to resolve this huge problem. >> meanwhile, the local government appears to be doing
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its best to make the area look clean and safe at least for sunday's mass. i asked them why they are out painting. he said they are painting bushes and trees to make it look nicer for the pope. >> the local mayor from the ruling party sees opportunity in the pope's visit. >> it's a big boost for the economy and also a motivator to move forward to give it our all and work hard to make it better. >> residents say it will take more from its leaders to make it safe and hope the pope's visit provides a spark for change they need. >> british films will be hoping to shine at the annual bafta awards in london. we look at actors, actresses and films looking to make a big impact. >> there are 24 categories, but these are the ones most people
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will be talking about, best director, best actor, tract less and best film. best director, he was in town last year for birdman. he lost out but stands a strong he lost out but stands a strong chance here for the revenant. he has strong competition from todd haines, adam for the big short and ridley scott, he is directing royalty, up for the martian. steven speilberg, his bridge of spies a very hot favorite to do well here. >> we've got our guy, our spy pilot. they've got their guy. we want to you negotiate the swap. are you good at what you do? >> this will be a first for the both of us. >> you should be careful. >> there is best actor, michael fassbender.
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matt damon, the martian, he survived being stranded on mars. will getting a bafta be as hard for him? leonardo decaprio, his role seen as the one to beat. >> he won for the theory of everything back then. will the danish girl bring him a second year of success? my whole adult life, it's could kill you. >> it's my only hope. this is not my body. i have to let him go. >> maggie smith may be in her 80's but will be battling the younger pretenders. up for two awards here at this year's baftas, up for her role in room but listen to the critics. they will tell you to watch this woman. this is cate blanchett and this
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is carol. >> would you like to come visit with me this sunday? >> yes. >> what a strange girl you are. >> then there is best film. this his the big one. the danish girl, carol again, british spies again. the big short, as well, but it is the revenant, this is the one to watch. this is a wide open competition. the only certainty really is it is going to be a very exciting
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night and there is not long to go now. we'll get more a bit later on on the baftas. of course this is our website, aljazeera.com. it's like junk food or cocaine. >> he went from being a relative unknown to one of the most important electronic dance music pioneers. moby has made more than a dozen albums. the singer-songwriter has another set to come out in 2016. >> quite electronic, very song oriented. i have no idea

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