>> only on al jazeera america. ♪ >> hello there, i'm julie mcdonald. this is the news hour live from london coming up. helping besieged areas in syria. the government-approved access for envoys. former french nicolas sarkozy being investigated for overspending in his previous election campaign. europe launches a new
satellite designed to track the progress of global warming. >> in sports after a two-month hiatus, the latest score is 1-1. >> athletichello there, and a warm welcome to this hour of news. approving access to seven besieged areas. now the u.n. said that those convoys will be ready to leave in the next few days. it's special envoy into syria, saying that the government has an obligation to allow the u.n. to deliver raid to all syrians. we go to the turkish border with syria. >> the battle for aleppo enters
it's third week. there is no sign that an u.s.-russian pause in fighting will happen. but there is hope for syrians living in besieged areas across the country. >> what our understanding is that the government of syria has approved seven areas, the humanitarian agencies and partners are preparing convoys to depart as soon as possible in the coming days, and as the special envoy pointed out, that he said that in his remarks that the test will be tomorrow. >> the special envoy discussed in damascus was not just delivering humanitarian aid. the u.s. is trying to stop the fighting, but there seems to be
little appetite. the syrian government appears to feel empowered by its battle-field gains and has ruled out any cease-fire until it's opponents have laid down their arms. bashar al-assad said local agreements are the solution to. syrian conflict. those days are the government's way of making peace on its terms from a position of strength. civilians and rebels have had to surrender in some corners of syria after long and painful sieges of opposition-held areas. and the opposition is now facing another enemy, an alliance of kurdish and airplane fighters. the kurdish armed group ypg, the syrian democratic forces are now in control of two main rebel strongholds in the northern corridor close to the turkish borderer.
they say aleppo is not the end of the fight. >> we're not defeated. yes, they may have advantages, just because the russian air forces are working as an air force for bashar al-assad. >> five civilians were killed ken airstrikes hit the idlib area, one was the children's hospital. they say the attacks violate international law. doctors without borders told us how their operations have been affected by monday's attack on the medical facility that they support in idlib province.
>> when you destroy a hospital it's not just for injuries, it's for chronic diseases. it's where women go to give birth. one hospital was hit in the district 100 kilometers to the north was hit. we're seeing a number of attacks on medical facilities which is horrific for the local population who have been living in a war zone for a number of years now. people move around all the time, and it's difficult for them to reach medical treatment. it is several kilometers to the nearest city. similar in azaz where we do have a hospital run directly total north of the district 12 days ago there were nine functioning hospitals. today there are only three.
this is happening across swaths of syria and it's ditc difficult for those on the ground. >> al jazeera has found people living in freezing conditions without enough warm blankets and clothing. i'm joined by our guest, a fellow from the university of oxford. thank you very much for being with us. we heard it said earlier at the u.n. that the next big test is whether these u.n. aid deliveries actually make it. >> well, these cease-fire negotiations were described by john kerry himself as being ambitious. that's the diplomatic way of saying they're wholly unrealistic. the fact of the matter, futilism is dotting the landscape.
>> assad struck a differently tone in his comments. he said it's one thing to do this, but how do we bring those opposition groups together? is there a will for fighting? >> there is no will from his perspective. he's now dominating the landscape, and he has no momentum, he wants to retake all of syria. and with the russian air force behind him and the support from putin, that seems like a high probability. >> we heard from saudi arabia in the last few weeks that they would consider putting boots on the ground. is that a real statement of intend in your view? >> we have a new emboldened
syrian regime. i don't think its anything above a talk in gesture in this conflict. >> does that mean that the u.s. has no influence? >> the u.s. has no influence on the ground any more. these negotiations are more about protecting obama's legacy so at least he can say there are discussions going on and negotiations are going on in this war. but the u.s. has very little influence or pressure to apply to anybody. >> what is there to gain for russia? >> well, russia is essentially facing economic woes at home. when you face economic woes you start a war. people are now happy that russia is a global power. russia is taking a significant hit in europe, and even european leaders say that europe could fragment because of that. you look at the regimes in the
middle east. many watch in arrest error i--hr when the u.s. does nothing. when he puts boots on the ground and he puts his money where his mouth is, and who is the ally? this is a win-win for putin either way. >> thank you. now the israeli supreme court has rejected the hunger strike request. he he is is in an israeli hospital but he's refusing supplements or medical tests. he sailed he would end his
hunger strike if he was moved to a palestinian facility. a bleak assessment in yemen. o'brien said more than 21 million yes, ma'am mys are in some form of aid. 7-point million people are facing food insecurity. and he warned that the besieged city of taiz is facing famine. well, we're at the u.n. headquarters in new york. hi there. what is the council been hearing? >> as you suggest this is just an incredibly bleak, horrific succession of stakes beginning with the figure of 35,000. that's the dead and injured last march. of that number 3,000 are civilian dead. of that number some 700 are dead children. and so the list went on.
the conflict is exacting a terrible humanitarian toll. some 2.7 million people have had to flee their homes. at least 7.6 million people are severely food insecure. some 2 million acutely malnourished children, pregnant or lactating women need urgent treatment. chronic drug shortages, unpaid salaries and conflict related destruction means that around 14 million yemenis do not have sufficient access to healthcare services. since march last year nearly 600 health facilities closed due to damage, shortages of criminal supplies, or lack of health workers. >> among the main problems according to o'brien is the restriction by the houthis and the saudis.
he did note that some had "f" that taiz is on the brink of famine. they predictable and regular access, they can't be on at ad hoc basis after long, drawn-out negotiations. they said the saudis are restricting as well. he said something very interesting regarding the saudis, at least reassume watts directed at the saudis. they continue to be based on need alone. for asking them to withdraw from areas under houthi control. reminding the saudis of their obligation under international humanitarian law. one thing elsewhere from the u.n. we heard from a spokesperson but for the secretary general. he conveyed the quick dismay at
the use of cluster bombs in yemen. that appears to be the reaction from the human rights watch that came out over the weekend documenting the use of u.s.-made cluster bombs by the saudis. not only is that intense international law, it's against u.s. law because so many have failed to detonate properly. so these cluster munitions are now littering the landscape. >> we return live at the united nations in new york. thank you. still to come on the al jazeera news hour. an one-day strike in the democratic republic of congo has parliesed most economic activity in the capital. we'll have the very latest in the visit to mexico. and we go to the football cour court where a player is targeting a third african title with a third african country.
>> former french president nicolas sarkozy is under investigation over the financing of his 2012 election campaign. he's accused of false accounting. we're live from paris. hi there, david, sarkozy has been told he's under former investigation. remind us how this all unfolded. >> yes, all during the course of this day nicolas sarkozy has been questioning magistrates who are looking into the pygmalian affair. it's something that this company
put $20 million worth of false invoices in an accounting system. this allowed that money to go into the election coffers of nicolas sarkozy, which meant that he had twice the amount of money for his campaign than president françois hollande. let me tell a bit more about what is under investigation means. it's essentially the forerunner to trial. we don't know if that's going to go ahead, but he's going to be put on assisted witness status on charges--allegations of fraud, forgery and abuse of trust. these are serious sets of allegations. he could be involved in legal proceedings for several months yet. this is really the most serious
set back for nicolas sarkozy. >> what does this do for his political future? >> well, nicolas sarkozy, it's well-known, has ambitions to stand against president françois hollande again. he has not stated his former candidacy. now, if he's involved in these court cases, which it looks like it will be for several months, that rules him out from having, severely impacting his ability to stand once again in those
elections. th the former prime minister is polling higher than nicolas sarkozy, and that's a real blow, and the noose is tightening around his ambitions for a comeback. >> thank you. officials will have power to place people on house arrest and allows restrictions to be placed on large gatherings. an one day strike from opposition parties have paraly paralyzed economic activity in the democratic republic of congo.
>> this market is normally very busy. it's the largest in the city. but on this day many store remain empty. a few traders will work. they tell us they cannot afford to stay home. >> i'm here because i have to work. >> this work gives me money every day. if i don't, i'll sleep hungry. i've made $16. >> what was noticed they continue going about their businesses. many big shops like this one remain closed, and parents have not taken children to school. it's mainly because of the fear
and uncertainty. >> those behind the strikes say they have the support of the public. but most of the democratic republic of congo estimate that many live in the countryside largely separated from people and politics. >> we have a new president that is sworn in. but if there is no election in december, the constitution is saying clearly that the president step down only when the new president is in charge that is what is in the constitution. it is not in their right to change the constitution. >> they will stick to the election date. >> if we want. if everybody wants, we'll have
an election. it's just a matter of people of this country to accept the decision. he should go on december 19th. >> if the election at the end of the year goes ahead as planned, catherine soi, al jazeera. >> the pope is continuing to serve mexico and on tuesday visited the state pope francis wore the traditional clothing and then he moved on to morelia where he gave mass in the crowd of thousands. for more. it's good to see you.
so why is pope francis admonis admonishing priests to fight injustice. aren't priests complicit in the violence where the drug cartels reign? >> well, julie, there are definitely isolated places where some priests in some communities and leaders in these organizations have been seen donations for their churches parishes. >> he considers that they have basically resigned themselves to that there is no way to really
challenge this power of criminal organization which can basically thrive because of the corrupt state. he's drawing a line there. don't be resigned. preach to your flock. get involved and he held up as an example the bishop of morelia, who he promoted to cardinal, and he's holding up these courageous priests in some of these very violent areas as examples to follow. when he said that the priesthood or the church is resigned, it seems to be more a dig at the power structure of the church than some of these priests who are actually on the front line in a country that has one of the highest murder rates of priest priests in a world. >> you're right at the u.s. with regard. why is the pope traveling to juarez on wednesday? >> well, juarez is a symbol of various things, a symbol of violence. they have a highest murder rate was 3,000 one year.
now it's down it 300 last year. so 90% drop. he's also coming here to show it as a symbol of migration. behind me you see this improvised altar. pope francis is coming here on wednesday, before saying mass and say a prayer. and honor the thousands of migrants who have died crossing into the u.s. i'm about 15 meters or less from the u.s. border, and he is very much against this militarized u.s. policy with so many border posts, with so many walls and fences that have led migrants to go through very hostile territory. there is no water sources and thousands of thee migrants have died since 2001 after the tax in the new york city and washington the u.s. government beefed up border security and made it more like a military operation than a border operation.
juarez symbolizes the violence coming into america. >> thank you. the u.s. and cuba has signed an agreement where american airlinessers to fly to cuba for the first time in 50 years. but can the island nation cope with the new big influx of tourists? we went to havana to find out. >> like most cubans, richard sow layer can't afford to travel. but he says he's still seeing the world with each tourist he meets. he gives horse-drawn carriage rides. with the expected waves of americans, more foreign investment arrives, he said this cuba in a time capsule won't wash away.
>> he's hoping the government will loosen restrictions and allow people to own more than one house. >> i think one of the things that we have a lot of preparation now. >> a lot of people said they're confident. >> hello, excuse me, sir. whether it's here or the next ten years, they say tourists are guaranteed. natasha ganan. al jazeera. havana. >> coming up, parliamentary elections in ghana, some say won't be free or fair. the first confirmed cases of pregnant women in mexico.
>> welcome back. a reminder of our top stories here on al jazeera. the syrian government has approved aid access to seven besieged areas. the humanitarian affairs given a bleak assessment of the situation in yemen. and former french president nicolas sarkozy has been placed under investigation fo investigation for allegations of his election campaign.
>> political opposition say in reality it's a militia of the ruling in our party. here this woman said she supports the opposition. she said when she country she was given the uniform t-shirt she had to keep quiet about it. >> they support the opposition, and since they have to follow orders. >> police say the recruits have taught patriotism and martial arts and they're politically neutral. but some of the opposition say they're part of the plan to keep
themselves in power by force if they have to. incumbent president is seeking to extend his 30-year rule by another five-year term. >> those opposition groups, there are so many things that they don't know what to do. and then they go and--they don't want strength. they want weakness. this is a social strength for the country. >> the campaigns have been largely peaceful. they held the most rallies, nearly 300 of them many in rule areas where the support base is stronger. the opposition have a lot of supporters here in the capital. many people are worried that the disputed election results could lead to violence between protesters and police.
>> documenting human rights abuses and uganda for the past 30 years. he said that the government has been responsible for abuses, something that it denies. >> this is something that we must really fight. >> they're expected to win. the opposition said that the ruling party will cheat if it has to. while many are advocating the change. many are afraid of more violence. >> mexico has confirmed that six pregnant women are infected with the zika virus bringing the total number of cases in the country to 80. there is an insurgents of pregnant women sick with zika in
mexico. the rise in brain abnormality, microcephaly has occurred. brazil's national government said water is safe to use. >> it appears that more and more links are suggested. i guess right now it's still a bit of a guessing game. >> that's right. we're still very early stage of this. the process is to look for any facts that are factors that might play a role, build up a picture, and then work through those steadily to try to eliminate them to try to come to a firm conclusion. as you say at this stage it is
an element, it's guessing but really informed guessing looking for things that might play a role that might fix them into a jigsaw that might fit them into ideas of what is actually going on. >> andrew, one university in south america found evidence of the zika virus in two infants that didn't survive. does that mean it's not necessarily found in victims. >> the virus is thought to enter the body, stay for a very short period of time and then eliminated. there may be circumstances if it stays around a bit longer, that's not yet clear. but the fact that it's been found in these children have presented with abnormalities or would have presented with abnormalities is another link in the chain of evidence, of
course. but it's by no means definitive. given the high frequency of infections even by chance you expect to find some of these children showing signs of infection. so it's not definitely yet. >> the virus itself. is it the same one we've seen previously in asia, traffic, or has it changed and mutated? >> no, it definitely has changed since the very early days when it was first isolated in the late 1940s. if you look at the genetic makeup of the virus in brazil now it is possible to see there is a significant number of changes. again that is not surprising. the nature of these viruses, they do change rapidly, and it's been changing through time. the question now is have any of
those changes contributed to a change in the pattern of disease that we see. again, that's another thing that has to be figured into the whole picture that is being constructed at the moment so we can identify things that has been pursued. what is going on and what is underlying the things that we're seeing now. if it is the virus, or if there are other factors as well. >> andrew, thank you. >> now, humanitarian groups from the red cross have met in london to discuss the global challenges. the war in syria and ongoing refugee advice are testing the organize's ability to continue working in some of the world's most dangerous places. ne ave barker reports now from london. >> wherever there is suffering, the red cross is probably there, distributing food and medicine. the organization faces
unprecedented dangerous. it's now harder than ever to reach those in need. >> the security situation on the ground for humanitarian works in syrian and iraq where more than 50 volunteers have been killed in the course of the six-year conflict. the biggest challenge is the access the opportunity, the proximity to the conflict, and the ability to get to the places where we need to get. >> thousands of offices and millions of volunteers, the red cross is in nearly every country around the world. but the scale of human disaster is growing. the 150-year-old organization needs to adapt to survive. the war in syria is like no other. hospitals and centers have been targeted, aid workers killed. for generations the red cross is operated by building a neutral relationship with opposes
armies. within syria the conventions of war no longer apply. >> the challenges, of course, are ensuring that all of the powers are often in conflict respect humanitarian law. given the new contest, that becomes a bit more of the challenge. >> the organization also faces problems of its own making. especially here in the u.s. since the economic crisis it has made financial donations strep even feature. it has led to a corporate restructuring followed by layoffs and closures. and it can sometimes be painful. >> they actually manage the funds well. the figure i always heard that i thought was quite striking, it is about a third of the size of an industry. we're talking about something quite tiny. that's supposed the solve the largest refugee problem we've
ever encountered. it cannot do this. >> as the middle east knocks on europe's door, the movement remains committed to help. where war and tragedy goes this organization may struggle to follow. neave barker, al jazeera, london. >> u.ss were obama and leaders turn their attention to china on the second day of the asean summit. they discuss the dispute of the south china seas where there are conflicting claims. it may be difficult to come to united front, but the united states wants a statement that calls on china to follow international law and end th the dispute peacefully. hi there, rob. what is the primary topic being discussed? >> well, as you mentioned it is china, and china is newly
assertive posture, particularly in the south china sea. this is the sea that borders china, vietnam and other countries, and it is believed to be lots of energy resources, oil and gas there. so china has been asserting its presence in this area to the consternation of vietnam, the philippines and others and the united states, which traditionally has been the dominant naval power all over the pacific ocean. so that dominated the conversation. today we do expect president to come out and have a press conference very shortly. he may give us more information about what has been or had not been decided about this, but the united states is pushing for some joint approach that would call for the continued
non-militarization of the south china sea respecting international norms when it comes to freedom of navigation, freedom of aviation, and settling any and all disputes in a peaceful manner according to international. >> what has been achieved at this meeting so far? >> well, there is a little bit of a talk, a spirit of sunny lands, you can glimpse behind me. we're kept a considerable distance away. this is a short-leaves meeting. not a lot of formality. it's getting to know you kind of thing. but the one thing that we know about is that president obama has accepted an invitation from the president, the leaders of vietnam to visit that country in
may. that would be off the back of a previously scheduled trip of asia for a group meeting in japan in may. again, that will reinforce the u.s.' interest in the south china sea, and seeing that that does not become an international flash point. >> joining me live, rob, thank you. >> some of india has joined a march in protest of the arrest of a student leader. he was charged with is he addition, and it has gained worldwide attention. worldwide attention.
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>> the former united nations secretary general has died age 93. a moment of silence was held on tuesday. he took office in 1992 and the influence was growing. his leadership was tested as major conflict broke out in the balkans and rwanda. james bays takes a look back at his life. >> a moment of remembrance for the man who led the united nations through some of its most difficult times. the members of the u.s. security council stood in silence to pay tribute to the sixth secretary general who has died at the age of 93.
the gyms took office at a time when everyone seemed more united than any time since the start of the u.n. but it a cold war brought fresh conflict. war broke out in the balkans. the peacekeeping mission was widely criticized and did little to stop the bloodshed. as that conflict was still raging, a genocide on another continent. the u.n. and it's small peacekeeping force in rwanda unable to stop one of the word's worst atrocities in modern history, the death of hundreds of thousands of people in a matter of weeks. as secretary general, he blames some of the failings on the system, and in more recent years he continued to call for reform. this interview with al jazeera in 2009. >> we need the drastic change. we will not be able to lift the
reform. we will not be able to cope with the new situation. we are living a new situation which is completely different than the situation which was existing in 1945. >> when butros left, he wanted a second position. but by then he had lost favor with president bill clinton and madeleine albright. it was decided he should be passed over for a man seen as younger and more dynamic, kofi annan. >> boutros boutros-ghali dies at age 93.
>> the ukraine prime minister has been asked to resign. he has helped to negotiate the rescue package that bolstered the government in its war against russia and eastern ukraine. the european space agency has successfully launched a satellite into orbit. it will predict weather phenomenon such as el niño and track global warming. it is orbit above earth and collect data on the temperature and size of the world's ocean. >> it's taken aid years to development a at a cost of $340 million. one of the most advance earth observation satellites ever made. orbiting 814 kilometers above the planet. it's instruments can measure the temperature, color and height of
the sea ice. >> we're able to measure the s sea's temperature accurate to a point of 2 degrees celsius. that's something. try to measure that with that kind of accuracy. >> it will pass over every part of the globe every two days. this means it will help scientists monitor changes in sea level, marine pollution and events likal guy blooms and it will track forest fires, ships, and migration of people across borders. >> it will help to monitor systematically all over the world different perimeters in the ocean that will help support the fishing industries. we'll be able to measure the land, water resources and the sea surface temperature which will feed into our weather forecast.
described as europe's eyes in the skies, sentinel 3 a is the third of seven planned observation-- >> you're watching al jazeera america. i'm david schuster in new york. president obama is about to hold a news conference to mark the end of the two-day summit in california. the goal of the summit was to strengthen economic links between the countries. he may get questions about china and the death of u.s. supreme court justice antonin scalia. >> for decades, the united states has been a proud partner of asean. this has been built on the unprecedented cooperation we've forged over the past seven years as i described yesterday. the spirit working together on
half of hue actual interests and hue actual respect guided our works over the past two days. i especially want to thank my fellow leaders from the asean countries for being here and for their commitment and bringing this together. my commitment to the united states, to asean and it's people. that commitment is and will remain strong and enduring. with our partnership we have a framework to guide our ties. we agree to a number of key prince. asean will continue to be central, indispensable. when asean speaks with a clear, unified voice it can advance security, human dignity. not only for the 600 million people across asean but across the asian pacific and around the
world. i'm pleased that here at this summit that their strong voice allowed us to make progress on multiple fronts. first, we agree to do more together to encourage the entrepreneurship and innovation that is at the heart of competitive economies. we have excellent rule of law, protection of intellectual property, efficient customs, moderate infrastructure, e-commerce and the free throw of information, support for mall and immediate-sized businesses. around the table there was widespread recognition that this is the path asean country need to continue on. as they do, it will create answer more opportunities for trade and investment between the u.s. and asean countries.
i believe in strong support and we'll integrate economies and reduce barriers to investment. i'm announcing a new initiative. new asean connect, a network of hubs to coordinate and connect entrepreneurs and businesses with each other. we are he an also doing more to help aspiring innovators in the region to learn language, the international language of business. i reiterated the transpacific partnership can advance economic integration with stronger rules across the asian pacific. with that we launch a new effort to help all asean countries to understand, and reforms that would lead to them joining. second, with regards to
security, the united states and asean are reaffirming our strong commitment to a regional order where international rules and norms and the rights of all nations, large and small, are upheld. we does the need for steps to halt reclamation, structure and militarization of disputed areas. freedom of navigation must be upheld and local commerce must not be impeded. i reiterated that the u.s. will continue to fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows. we'll continue to help our all allies strengthen their maritime capabilities and we discussed how any disputes between claimants in the region must be resolved peacefully through legal means such as the upcoming arbitration ruling under the u.n. convention of the law of the seas, which the parties are
obligated to respect and abide by. third, i made it clear that the united states will continue to stand with those across southeast asia who are working to advance the rule of law, governance, accountable institutions and the universal human rights of all people. we continue to encourage a return to civilian rule in thailand. we will sustain our engagement with the people of myanmar as the new president is selected and as they work to move forward with international reconciliation. across the nation we'll continue to stand with citizens and society to defend their freedom of speech, assembly, and of the press. no one, including those in political opposition, should ever be detained or imprisoned simply for speaking their mind. it only stymies progress. it only makes it harder for countries to truly thrive and prosper. finally, the united states and asean are doing more to deal with transnational challenges
together. i offered our assistance to hepatitis-a sean countries top better the flow of interpol data. we agreed with the paris climate change agreement, helping countries to mitigate the calculatthe impacts of climate change. as we pursue our sustainability goals, we encourage students across asean to develop new solutions for agriculture, more moving ahead with our global security agenda to prevent epidemics and we pledged to help combat the horror of human trafficking. to sum up i think it has put the partnership on a new trajectory that will carry us to greater heights in the decades ahead. america's foreign policy
including the pacific and southeast asia will continue to be a priority of my presidency. i look forward to visiting vietnam for the first time in may, and for coming the first u.s. president to visit laos when it holds the east asia summit in september. i'm confident whoever the next president may be will build on the foundation we've laid. because they're strong sustained support in the asia pacific region, and through our young southeast asia leaders initiative, our investment in young people, their business success and grassroots across the region i believe will further bind us in a spirit of partnership and friendship for many years to come. with that let me take a few questions, and i'm going to start with darlene of the associated press. >> thank you, mr. president.
what resource do you have if leader mcconnell blocks your nominee, and do you think if you choose someone moderate enough the republicans might change course and schedule a vote. as you consider that choice and who to nominate what qualities are important to you and is diversity among them? >> obviously, justice scalia and i had different political orientations, and probably would have disagreed on the outcome of certain cases, but there is no doubt that he was a giant on the supreme court, he helped to shape the legal landscape. he was by all accounts a good friend