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tv   News  Al Jazeera  February 19, 2016 2:00am-2:31am EST

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u.s. and russian military officials prepare to hold talks on a possible ceasefire in syria. hello. welcome you're watching al jazeera coming live from our headquarters here in doha. arrests and allegations of vote rigging cast a shadow over uganda's presidential election. angela merkel says a deal to keep britain in the e.u. as
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talks are put on hold to lau more time >> translation: a person making walls and not bridges is not a christian pope francis speaks out against the suffering of migrants and says donald trump is not a christian russian and american officials will be holding preliminary talks on friday to explore the possibility of implementing a ceasefire in syria. the teams comprising military experts and diplomats are in geneva to walk towards bringing an end to the fighting in syria. russia has raekd to comments-- reacted to commence of bashar al-assad that his army will continue fighting until all the rebels are defeated. they're warning a difficult situation could arise if bashar al-assad does not follow
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russia's lead. 200,000 people have been cut off by i.s.i.l. are in desperate need of food and medicine. >> reporter: convoys of badly needed food and medicine began rolling into five besieged towns in syria this week. aid trucks were allowed into government and rebel-controlled areas. officials say there will be deliveries by road to others soon. ground access is not possible to some areas. the only way this is by air >> we will also hope then to have progress in reaching the poor people inside of der assor which is inteejd by islamic state. -- besieged by islamic state. that can only be done by air drops and welfare program has a
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concrete plan of doing so. it is a complicated operation and would be in many ways first of its kind ever. >> reporter: in south sudan the world food program has dropped supplies from air. they are difficult and hard to organise but sometimes the only way to save lives. staffan de mistura says it is not just that area. >> even aleppo and other areas, many other places including those areas where people are in need of help >> reporter: the logistical arrangements are intense. russian aircraft are often in action around the area prompting questions about plans to use a contractor from russia to fly some of the air drop missions. >> if there were any air drop, i
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think involved, any air drop in syria, that wfp is planning a high altitude air drop which would demand some very specific skills and experience in terms of doing these kinds of air drops. so that's why they are considering using one of their contractors which has worked with them in south sudan. >> reporter: u.n. officials stress that only a ceasefire and work towards a political settlement will begin to ease the huge humanitarian crisis in syria. with peace talks in geneva making little if any progress, convoys and soon air drops may be the only way to get help to the millions of syrians in desperate need in their country turkey continues to shell kurdish positions in northern syria in response to wednesday's blast in ankara.
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our correspondent live from the turkey-syria border. so far as the turkish government is concerned, the idea of kurdish forces being in charge near the northern border utterly unacceptable for them. >> reporter: yes. a red line. they've made that clear even before the bombing in ankara. we understand overnight there was intense shelling of y.p.g. positions. in a number of towns close to the turkish border the y.p.g. making advances of late, taking towns from the opposition which turkey backs. as of now the opposition continues to control its main base, the town of assas. they have still not approached assas or at least the battle hasn't gun. the shelling is continuing and turkey promising to take all the necessary pressures to rein in on the y.p.g. in syria
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can you walk through an explanation of the timelining of these talks heading towards what should in theory be a ceasefire. the russians are quite unhappy at this because they wanted more time to get everything in place. >> reporter: the task force charged with implementing a ceasefire in syria will be holding its first meeting today, even though the munich agreement was agreed over a week ago. so they're going to sit down and talk. representatives of a number of countries, including the u.s., including russia. many believe that russia wants this, is trying to prolong or delay the talks because it is making gains on the ground. as long as they can continue to weaken the opposition, at the end of the day bashar al-assad can present to the world two alternatives, either the regime or the terrorists, i.s.i.l. and the al-nusra front. if there is no internationally
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agreed list on who is a terrorist and not a terrorist in syria, it will be very difficult to implement the ceasefire. in the beginning they said they can there be agreement with russia use the presence of al-nusra and i.s.i.l. as a continued excuse to continuing. so they do not consider some as terrorist organizations even though they're members of the saudi backed opposition group which is a partner in the political process thanks for that. provisional results today showing uganda's president is ahead in the elections. museveni has nearly 62% of the votes. social media has been shut down amid vote rigging and the arrest of the opposition leader. >> reporter: all over the capital people came early to vote. across the country polling in
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most stations proceeded peacefully. besigye and his supporters took journalists to a house said to be voting rig ignore. >> we have seen boxes thrown over the fence as we demanded to see them. when they knocked on the gate people inside jumped over the back fence. opposition supporters fought them as they ran away and found them armed. police arrived and besigye demanded access inside the house. the officer said it was a privacy house. it was accepted later it was an intelligence property. he was detained and taken home for the third time this week. they say he was disrupting processes. meanwhile the president has been in power for 30 years and wants
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five more. >> there will be no violence. >> reporter: back in the city at this polling station opposition agents say they were thrown out by police for complaining about names being added to the voters' register. the agents from the rule nr m party said the police were keeping order. >> it is basically the nr m that is calling the shots. it is nr m agents from the polling stations, not the presiding officers. they are telling them what to do with the help of the police. >> reporter: many polling stations in and around the city, polling materials arrived six or more hours late. there were at least three
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locations where tear gas was fired. tear gas was fired here. nobody voted in the end here because when the materials came they were not in order. the crowd has been left here and they're still aborigine agree. in 15 stations polling will happen friday instead. as the people wait for the results. many opposition supporters are sceptical it about the polls india's supreme court has referred the case of the student leader back to a lower court. he faces charges of sedition after anti indian slogans were chanted at a university event. the governed was accused of restricting free speech. why did this go to the supreme court and why was the decision
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taken to knock it back to a lower court? >> reporter: the supreme court said that if they heard this case, they heard this plea, it would set a precedent and it will set an example or, perhaps, measures saying that the lower courts are incapable. technically it should have gone to the high court. within the next hour and a half his lawyers are planning to approach the high court to have this case heard. we don't know if it will actually happen. they decided to go to the supreme court after events at the lower courts on wednesday and monday. there was violence, both times when ehis plea was supposed to be heard on monday and on wednesday between the time he walked out of his car, or the police car and into court, he was attacked. his lawyers said his life is in danger. they're calling it extraordinary hostile circumstances and that
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the supreme court should directly hear his bail plea the campus where these protests are taking place, it's known for critical thinking and the tone of the debate, but despite that, is this being perceived inside the country as something of a water shed moment when it comes to the argument over freedom of speech or a certain lack of tolerance in certain quarters? >> reporter: indeed. there is something i want to point out. the lawyers of kumar. they're very high profile who are not normally seen on a case like this, definitely not on a bail hearing. one was a former attorney-general. so the fact that these lawyers are representing him show that this is a case that whatever way the decision goes it will be of great national interest. also the fact that a student on campus at an event was arrested
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by police for allegedly making comments is also stirring a lot of debate in this country. people are divide. there are those that believe that he should be investigated and that he should be going to court and there are many of those that believe that he is being targeted and being used as an example and this also is the tip of the iceberg, of the growing intolerance and government trying to stifle debate and discourse thank you. plenty more to come before you on al jazeera, including u.n. accusations of war crimes, and things get hairy in australia as tumble weed clogs up one town.
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>> "inside story" takes you beyond the headlines, beyond the quick cuts, beyond the soundbites. we're giving you a deeper dive into the stories that are making our world what it is.
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the top stories. u.s. and russian military officials are in geneva on talks for a ceasefire in syria. the u.n. are arranging for air drops of food aid. uganda elections, with the arrest of the main opposition leaders. india's supreme court has referred the case of kumar back to a lower court. his arrest for sedition sparked protests
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the u.n. says fighting in one of the camps for displaced people in south sudan may constitute a war crime. 18 people were killed including 2 members of doctors without borders. our correspondent has the story. >> reporter: this is one of eight u.n. bases in south sudan meant to provide a safe haven for displaced people since the conflict began in 2013. but an outbreak of violence between rival groups have left at least 18 people dead and more than 40 people injured, including two staff members of doctors without borders. >> it started between the youths. immediately we had the u.n. police who came on site and disbursed the crowd with tear gas. >> reporter: fighting broke out in baits in the northest region
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with clashes continuing into thursday. >> the violence did involve small arms and very soon was controlled. however, the situation remained very tense and volatile. >> reporter: over 47,000 people live inside the base with 6,000 u.n. peacekeepers deployed solely to protect the civilians >> i have to remind all the warring parties that the u.n. installations are to be respected. the sanctity is to be respected and committing an attack against the u.n. may constitute a war crime. >> reporter: both have been excused of carrying out ethnic massacres. 2.8 million people are in need in the world's newest country. in 2011 a political rift between the president and the deputy sparked violence among ethnic
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lines. tens of thousands of people were killed and over two million forced from their homes. a peace deal was reached six months ago and earlier this month hopes were raised when the president reappointed the vice president. with him yet to return to take up the post there is doubt whether any real efforts will be made to implement the fragile peace deal between the two sidesides an over loaded bus has collided with a truck in garna killing 71 people. it happened near a northern town. the bus had brake problems. doctors in egypt are planning to defy the governmented and hold protests against what they say is police brew at that time. anger-- brutality. >> reporter: anger on the streets of cairo.
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angry crowds gather outside police headquarters after an officer shoots and kills a 24-year-old taxi driver. the head of the security service has promised the officer will be arrested. the pressure on egypt's police is growing. public protests against them are increasing even though the president has banned large demonstrations >> the fact that they are protesting shows there are some very serious concerns because everyone who has been protesting has been jailed. the fact that this is a random protest should be a signal to the government that things are not good from the populus perspective. >> reporter: only a week ago thousands of medics filled the streets ou outside their hospitals accusing police of brutality. two doctors are said to have been beaten up by police officers. the police called a gun after a
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dispute over treatment of a police officer. on saturday doctors say they will defy the police and government again with large, very public demonstrations. rob matheson the german chancellor says a deal to keep the u.k. inside the european union won't be easy for some member states to accept. friday's negotiations in brussels have been delayed so that david cameron can go on to hold one-on-one meetings with other e.u. leaders. he has promised a referendum this year or next year on whether the u.k. pulls out of the e.u. >> reporter: the president of the european council said some progress had been made during these very, very long hours of negotiations, but a lot more needs to be done. he along with the european commission president and david cameron are taking part in a series of bilateral meetings
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with the french presidential, the belgium prime minister and also the czech prime minister. some have been resistant to the measures put forward specifically on proposed cuts to migrant benefits. david cameron, of course, wants to go home with a deal that he feels he can paracel to the british public. he wants to stay in europe so he wants to get the british on side before that planned referendum. another issue was discussed here at a working dinner, that of migration. the turkish prime minister was expected to attend this summit, but was unable to do so because of what happened in ankara just a few days ago. turkey will be involved in a meeting at the beginning of march small business owners are under attack.
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dozens of buildings have been demolished because they were built illegally. >> reporter: a memorial wreath laid on thursday for small businesses in russia. moscow's mayor has flouted the country's constitution and dealt a serious blow here. >> translation: tomorrow they won't come to businessmen, ordinary citizens. get out. >> reporter: early one morning last week bulldozers moved on around 100 buildings across the capital. small shopping centers, kiosks, stores, all demolished without a court order. according to city authorities these premises were ugly and didn't have the right documents. the owners say they proved time and time again they had the legal right to thereby. >> translation: the
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constitution is the main law of the russian federation. now any official wipes its boots on the constitution, any official without a legal court decision calls our documents useless scraps of paper. it is wrong when someone can slander anyone and based on that take property away from you. it's scary when this happens >> reporter: the mayor's office has been trying to tidy up the city for years. piece by piece the areas are being razed. the city insists it is doing everything by the book. >> translation: first of all, the decision was made according to law. secondly, we are creating open spaces in moscow for moscow residents. we are opening the entrances to the underground stations, squares for people to walk without obstruction, to relax. we are fixing safety issues and
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removing sites for free access in cases of emergency. >> reporter: the owners are unlikely to see any compensation. no-one is really arguing that the buildings were particularly attractive and maybe the city will actually be better with them gone. but that's not really the point. the point is whether russia is a country which supports and encourages small businesses and whether any owner can really feel safe that a bulldozer won't come smashing through their shop window at any moment the government in argentina has imposed two days of power cuts in the capital because of a heat wave. nearly 2,000 people have been directly affected. blackouts are common in summer as the electricity grid struggles with the air
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conditioning in use. obama is to fly to cuba at the end of next month. he is due to be the first american president in office to visit the communist neighbors in almost a hundred years. the white house hopes it will be similar to the time that the berlin wall came down. the u.s. s presidential hopeful donald trump is changing his response to comments made by the pope. it was suggested donald trump was not a christian in relation to his views on migration. donald trump said he was disgracef disgraceful-- the comments were disdprafl. >> reporter: it is the latest twist in an election donald trump's rhetoric. pope had this to say about a wall. >> translation: a person who
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thinks only about building walls wherever they may be and not building bridges is not christian. >> reporter: donald trump seemed undaunted by the dressing down by the leader of catholics. >> the pope said something to the effect that maybe donald trump isn't christian and he is questioning my faith. i am a christian and i'm proud of it. >> reporter: he fired back as only donald trump can >> religious leader to question a person's faith is disgraceful. >> reporter: it is a confrontation unlike any other in american political history >> it pins the needle on unusual. it is as unusual as it gets and it is just another totally unprecedented event in this 2016 presidential campaign. i don't think you could finds another case where a pontiff got involved with a domestic
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political issue during a campaign let alone getting involved with an actual candidate. >> reporter: the extraordinary face-off has american voters across the u.s. taking sides. >> you can't be building walls with people. you reach out to the people that other people don't want to reach out to. that's a christian mission. >> reporter: you agree with the pope in this respect >> yes. who agrees with donald trump? >> i don't think it is christian or catholic to put up barriers of any sort >> reporter: donald trump likes things big, big buildings, big publicity. donald trump issued a statement that if he-- he is surprised in this campaign. saying things no others will say and finding support among american voters >> i don't think it's
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un-christian t i think it is more protecting their country. each country is protecting themselves. >> reporter: you agree with donald trump? >> somewhat. i'm sad to say, but i kind of do. >> reporter: donald trump will soon find out whether joining a spat with one of the most powerful religious leaders comes with a penalty at the ballot box the pope suggested that women exposed to the zika virus could use contraception. the general teaching is against birth control. an australian town has been overrun with tumble weed known as hairy panic has spread across big parts near the victoria new south wales border. as the wind pick up it got worst >> we've got a table and eight chairs and a day bed and
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possibly a few plants. >> i spent eight hours yesterday cleaning up the tumble weed lots more new on the website you can see the reality of what's going on in uganda with those elections as well. "america tonight". i'm joie chen. at the presidential race, what could be a major break weekend for candidates, the rhetoric is heating up with imbrings on the front burner. the pope decided some of the latest in his remarks about donald trump. while democratic senator bernie sanders is taking heat for his history on immigration issues. left behind, all of this, are the people at the heart of the thbate.


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