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tv   NEWS LIVE - 30  Al Jazeera  October 29, 2019 5:00pm-5:34pm +03

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and the emergence of. the calendar episode one on a. chaos in lebanon's capital a scuffles break out between protesters and hezbollah supporters we're live in beirut. i'm adrian finnigan this is al jazeera live from doha also coming up. the testers are back on the streets of iraq after a night of violent demonstrations against the government. this is the end and we're going to win. u.k. opposition leader jeremy called and gives his backing for a december election pushed by prime minister boris johnson. and fears that the
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devastating wildfire in california could spread even further as people have warned of stronger winds we'll take you live. to begin in lebanon whether it is high tension on the streets of the capital beirut supporters of hezbollah which is part of the government have been tearing down tents put out by demonstrators police also moved in to break up street battles which asked us have taken to the streets for a 13th straight day they're angry over economic mismanagement and corruption. but let's show you if i can just at the moment a podium with a flag and rafik hariri the former prime minister of lebanon that is where prime minister saud had 80 i think carried. will address the nation shortly that.
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address is due to begin around about now we'll keep an eye on that situation that podium and we'll bring you that the prime minister will bring you that address as and when it begins in the meantime let's bring in our correspondents anaconda who's out on the streets of beirut where we sponsor an hour ago she was in the midst of a what looked to be a running battle between security forces and protesters take us through what happens in a. well yes atrium but as you can see behind me here the streets are still tense there was unrest. it sure made archly in the lebanese capital the heart of beirut really which was well anti-government protesters were blocking the roads until supporters of. 2 parties in the ruling coalition imo a movement that has a large descended from their stronghold to our right towards the highway they
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clocked. that we've lost a lot of this thing when you're using. this portable satellite technology anyway here's the prime minister assad heavy let's listen it didn't look passionate 13 days ago the lebanese people have been waiting for a political solution that put an end to the deteriorating situation throughout this period i have been trying to see find and exist. through which we can listen to people's. voices and see that our country away from any political economical. or any other threats today with odette we have reached a deadlock. and we need a shock in order to break through the crisis i'm heading to the presidential palace to render down there is a commission of the government to his excellency this president to machine and to
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the lebanese people whatever they are this is in response to the will and demand of thousands of the police who took to the streets demanding change it is based on our duty to approve fied. network and it is a safety net to protect the entire country from plunging into may i call on all the lebanese to give precedence and priority to lebanon's stability unity and civil peace and to steer the country away from the economic crunch and all political partners i say it is our duty today together to safeguard lebanon and to steer it away from any pearls. it is our duty to bring our economy back on its feet in
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a genuine stand that we shouldn't be wasted i will render my resignation and i was place it under the disposal of the president and all the lebanese offices come and go however our country must live intact no one is above lebanon may god save lebanon may lebanon live on. a very short very short statement from the prime minister saad how d.d. in lebanon he said that he was on his way to the presidential palace to tend the resignation of the government and his own resignation do we have. back with us. out on the streets of beirut 1st of all before we get to the reaction like the reaction to that is going to be. what are we to make of what saadi is just
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done. well he has resigned it was a demand by the protesters they wanted the government to resign the ruling elite to be replaced by technocrats who don't have any political affiliation in order to carry out much needed economic reform so he is he doing that amount of those who were in in the streets now what this means there's a political crisis in the country a vacuum now that he has resigned what is going to happen next he blames his partners yet again because this is 2nd time here trust me i don't know maybe shocking since the protest movement began 13 days ago the 1st time he blamed his partners in the government for not allowing him or obstructing his work he wasn't able to carry out reforms and he gave them a free day 72 hours to try to come up with a solution they came up with an economic reform package but it wasn't enough for the people on the ground he says i'm trying i was trying to find an exit to the
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crisis and what is needed is a shock there is no doubt the prime minister resigning is a shock trying to find an exit to the crisis he has been holding talks with ministers representing the different parties over the past few days his partners in government yes he calls them partners but he is not a member of the ruling alliance he is in the opposition it's a very complicated picture but one has to mention this those who. you are in control of government those who are in control of parliament this is an alliance that is made up of the president the house speaker and husband they control the government and parliament but they need him they need saga heidi he is the main some new leader in this country and this is a country where the political system is based on sectarian sectarianism so the main son the leader of the country resigning means a whole community has now been sidelined and i think this is what how do you do it
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is trying it is betting on hoping that this will put pressure on his quote unquote partners to compromise to find a consensus to come up with a with a government that will be acceptable to people on the streets because at the end of the day has the hezbollah led alliance needs he gives them political cover the international community supports him if they appoint a prime minister who is allied to them there is a very big chance that the lebanese government will not gain their legitimacy and the international community already already the united states has been imposing sanctions on a main player in the government the iranian backed hezbollah so if this government becomes purely a hezbollah backed led government then lebanon as a country could be sanctioned by the u.s. so he knows this this is a card that's how to how to be has in his hands he's playing them playing them maybe it is a negotiating tactic but right now his decision is is to side with the protesters in the streets i would say that for the other many thanks indeed let's go elsewhere
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in the city al-jazeera stephanie decker is in beirut stephanie you do you can see the pictures that we're showing our viewers at the moment scenes of what can only be described as celebration after the violent scenes we saw earlier in the day protesters pretty happy they've gotten what they wanted the government is no more does that mean an end to the protests what happens next. i think it's very early days we are outside the residence of the prime minister you saw earlier things in this country can change in a 2nd. dividing. tendered his resignation we have had warnings of a power vacuum in this country what happens now well the political parties in parliament will need to head for consultations with the president this can take time but a name needs to be decided of course it needs to be the new leader according to the
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constitution this again can take time and then they need to form a cabinet level that person is so you are heading into times of uncertainty here so there may be celebrations but as people will tell you there are many different parties that have many different interests on the ground this is a country that is incredibly well armed you have parties that have militias attached to them the population in general the majority of them have weapons at home it is a concern i mean just earlier before this speech happened we saw people in our building leaving their offices early going home of course there's there's a question more people are nervous as to how this is going to play out they haven't been here before in terms of this exact way of course love madonna has had political crises before it's had no government before it's had no real leader before but now the people yes they said they wanted the entire government to resign i think it is a welcome 1st step of course because as you heard from the prime minister there he was directly addressing the people saying this is
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a response so we're going to need all of the events are just political partners we know there's been bickering between decides not agreeing as to what he wanted saying that it is our duty to safeguard lebanon so again i think it's too early days to predict everyone we've been speaking to over the last almost 2 weeks now will tell you it's very difficult to predict how things are going to go on people who would say they didn't see a resignation of a government that has now happened on certain times. they can be dangerous times as you saw on the streets earlier today things change in the 2nd supporters of those 2 main movements the ammo movement has by law clashed with protesters moved on to martyr square started slashing down the. police came in a little late to try and disperse them so anything is possible these are uncertain times now let's wait and see how things are going to play out yes people are celebrating but i think certainly too early days for any kind of jubilation there
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are major challenges ahead one thing you haven't mentioned stephanie is whether they will little have to be election now i mean the government has essentially collapsed the private is to going to president to tend to his and his resignation and the government. the president will now encourage the various parties to try to form over government. yes elections is something that the protesters want but the protesters dumond's all that they have now there is an interim government cabinet made up of technocrats individuals who are not linked to any of the political parties of course the protesters have been calling also for a change in the city and it's the system here principle system that has been in grave here for decades these are huge challenges huge jobs so what they want is a government interim government of technocrats independent people until new elections are going to be called is that going to happen we don't know certainly at the moment we heard from the prime minister he's heading to the palace to tender
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his resignation to the president then we're going to have to wait and see what is going to happen next with those going to be addressed or whether or and again this is going to take time but we're talking weeks and weeks down the line potentially this is not going to happen tomorrow what is going to happen on the street earlier today we were hearing reports that the protesters were going to regain their momentum in response to those counter protests that we saw earlier today and returning to the streets i think at the moment everything is still. up in the air as to how this is going to play out of course the protesters are welcoming this but because of the political dynamics in this country they are incredibly complicated they're not only internal they are linked to the entire region they are linked to saudi arabia they're linked to iran they are linked to other countries it is an incredibly complex web of the region says that play each other out so there are you know positions of power in play that do not want to lose those kinds of positions that they have achieved over time so a big question mark this is
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a country that can be very volatile so i think too early to be able to predict anything at this point in time but certainly demand of the protesters one government resign we've now seen that happen to transitional government of independent technocrats is that going to happen and 3 early elections i think we're going to have to wait and see time will tell how things are going to play out here i deserve stephanie decker live in beirut news once again lebanon's prime minister saad hariri says he's reached a dead end and will submit his resignation to the president this is in the speaking just a few moments ago a few. let's move on to what other news now the top white house expert on ukraine is about to testify at the impeachment inquiry into president donald trump copies of exhaustive in bones testimony received in advance show in advance show that he raised concerns twice over trump's efforts to have ukraine investigate democrat politicians it comes as the u.s.
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house for the house of representatives prepares to vote this week on whether to formalize the impeachment investigation the move is in response to complaints from president trump the process is illegitimate let's go live now to work capitol hill in washington d.c. al jazeera hi joe castro is the heidi just how important to the impeachment inquiry will win this testimony be today and how concerned should the president be about it . sure of him in is testifying right now behind closed doors and he is the 1st witness that these impeachment inquiry panels are hearing from who was directly on the phone call between president trump and the leader of ukraine back in july and if you remember it was this phone call that prompted this inquiry in the 1st place according to the white house's transcript or lose transcript of that call we saw that trump asked volodymyr zelinsky the newly elected president of ukraine to do him
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a favor to open investigations on democrats and on joe biden the former vice president who is a political rival of president trump and listening on that phone call was vin minutes well as other white house officials have been is a member of the national security council and he says it raise alarms and i'll read a bit from his opening statement he said i was concerned by the call i did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a u.s. citizen i was worried about the implications for the u.s. government supports a few crain i realize that if ukraine pursued an investigation into the bidens. and barista it would likely be interpreted as a partisan play which would undoubtedly result in ukraine losing the bipartisan support it has thus far maintain this would all undermine u.s. national security the words from the opening statement of then human and he was particularly concerned about possible changes to u.s.
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foreign policy toward ukraine because at the time that made this request he was withholding u.s. security aid that congress had already appropriated to ukraine for its defense against russia and then those further in the statement saying that there were meetings at the white house prior to this call between president trump advisors and a ukrainian delegation during which those same terms were brought up an invitation for the president to visit the white house in exchange for a public statement on opening those investigation into trump's political adversaries the korean president heidi says that this inquiry is illegitimate it's . is that how members of his own party feel. while republicans have been attacking the process of this impeachment inquiry they have said that because it's happening behind closed doors that it's lacking in transparency and they're saying because the democrats never officially had
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a vote to launch this inquiry in the 1st place that it's illegitimate and that is why on thursday we're seeing house democrats trying to take that argument away from republicans by indeed having that vote which really now is is just a formality the inquiry has already been launched and the courts have weighed in that it is legitimate but however house democrats say go ahead and get on record to launch this vote with to launch this inquiry with a vote. heidi many thanks indeed how does your caster then live on capitol hill in washington let's return now to the breaking news out of lebanon this hour the resignation of private assad how d.d. and his government let's go back to al-jazeera says they know honda out on the streets of beirut at the moment is the mood has the mood noticeably changed since that announcement from the prime minister. well
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his announcement really heeds the call of the protesters the anti-government protesters who have been demanding a new government is formed one where ministers will be technocrats and not affiliated to any political party and that they will be able to carry out the necessary and much needed economic reforms to improve the economic situation the living conditions in the country so they're welcoming that but what began as a spontaneous protest movement is today a serious political crisis the prime minister is on his way to the presidential palace and bob he's going to submit his resignation to president michel out president michel and can refuse to accept his resignation some believe the prime minister could be using this of some sort of a negotiating tactic telling trying to pressure. trying to pressure his quote what he says partners in government to agree on
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a new government so this could be a negotiating tactic the prime minister did say what is needed is a shop but his partners in government are not his allies and so far they're clinging on to power so far they're refusing to heed the protest movements demands we heard of visitors of the house speaker they were quoted by the local media saying that nobody but he was also a member of the ruling alliance he is against. forming a new government because he believes the protest movement will just keep on asking for more and more and more clearly there is a political crisis now with the streets has been divided now anti-government protesters will tell you this is not about this is about improving the living conditions getting rid of the ruling elite as a whole but those who support the other side those who support the governing coalition will say no this is an attempt to push for a political agenda to get rid of those who are in power who are allied with iran and the syrian government and replace them with the other side with the pro us if
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you like pro saudi camp in lebanon this is a very deeply divided bided society so now we have moved from a spontaneous protest movement to a serious political crisis that we saw for ourselves spilled onto the streets running battles in the heart of the lebanese capital lebanese security forces using tear gas rubber coated bullets to target supporters of parties in the governing alliance supporters of the house speaker's imo movement supporters of the iranian backed hezbollah hundreds of them took to the streets they forced they may try to force the anti-government protest to leave their their protest site in town tom beirut so running battles in the streets of beirut a serious political crisis in a country where fault lines are very very deep. how do the protesters feel the anti-government protesters feel about prime minister saad how dearly is he
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i think they consider him one of the the the ruling elite is it they they want to see gone as well as all of the other. established players. that's a very good question if you talk to them they say all of them no one is accepted all of them are are are responsible for the dire economic situation in the country but some of them believe that in one way or another high levy was being held hostage and yes they do actually believe that they believe because he has lost a lot his influence really in the country he's lost a lot in the 2018 elections yes he still has the largest sunday block in parliament but he lost a lot of seats and. this is so they believe he has been
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a little clique weekends and that he entered into this alliance because he really didn't have much of a choice now whether or not they will accept a new government with him heading the government the reaction from the street that's so far has been to a certain extent yes they will be ready to accept only if the whole cabinet is made up of technocrats but then it's very hard to predict what is going to happen next to the protesters it's a leaderless movement that there are different civil society organizations involved in this protest movement so many organizers that people have different demands but for them they were chanting against all those that in the ruling in the ruling class they they believe that they've been in power for many many decades and it's time for them to leave it's time for lebannon for what they call corruption to and mismanagement and so yes so the initial reaction is they're welcoming this they're seeing this as a 1st step to you know achieve their goals rights end of the many many thanks i was
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there as i know how to live in beirut let's bring in rami corey who said professor at the american university in beirut joins us now via skype from boston good to have you with us once again rami celebrations on the streets of beirut at the moment muted albeit i mean you wouldn't call them jubilant these the supporters as was was saying just a few moments ago it's far from over yes what do you make of it. well this is a really a that critical turning point this is a huge victory for the protesters to get the prime minister to resign but the prime minister was one of the weakest links in the establishment he wasn't a very effective prime minister has support in the parliament has declined steadily over the years and he basically was used to create a ruling alliance between his future movement the president's free patriotic movement and hezbollah and their allies all together they had a big majority so he was the low hanging fruit who was likely to resign because
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he's the weakest the question is will this trigger now a process by which hezbollah which is the critical player in the background as well as the president michel aoun and has already had ms his son in law should run vesey and will those people agree to a technocratic government headed by heavy duty. which then goes on to the next step of the demands of the protesters which who the protesters almost certainly represent the majority of lebanese now i think that's pretty clear but there are still significant opposition groups to them will the technocratic government under heavy duty be supported by our own and the. hizbullah and will it then allow for a new process to spawn or which the current creates a new election law which essentially ends a terror or an ism and allows for the development of a new lebanon based on a secular democratic pluralistic social justice principles rather than the
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tradition of the last 4050 years of an oligarchic. sectarian power elite that has driven the country into the ground to the point where people are saying we've got to shut the country down because it would have shut our lives down how precarious is lebanon's current situation and how dangerous is this moment for the country. it's dangerous and several ways economically they are as declining the economy is grinding to a halt but it's been grinding to a halt for the last 1520 years that's the whole point of the demonstrations people saying we don't really have much more to lose our kids are not getting jobs the water is no good the garbage isn't being collected the electricity is being cut off transport is no good so all aspects of people's daily life virtually have deteriorated to the point where our average lebanese who are not wealthy of the average lebanese is middle lower income up who are they can afford the extra money
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to buy the stuff that the government is not giving them anymore like electricity and power and water and stuff like that so the that's the one of the dangers is the continued deterioration of the economy that's the short term issue which can be fixed up obviously with a new government the bigger dangerous weather how will be the reaction of hezbollah . and the free patriotic movement and others if this happens will there be more violence on the streets there's a little bit of violence going on now people attacking the protestors breaking up their tents punching them out in the street it's limited but it's started and then the protesters are resisting in great force so when the when the armed young men go in and break up a protest downtown or on the ring road the protesters come back in a few hours cleaned it up and put up a new tent and this has been the real story of this movement that the the the dynamism the depth the intensity and the continuity of the mass citizen protest
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peacefully ask you for peaceful political change seems to have for the moment been stronger than the ability of the counter revolutionary forces as they're called to send them back home where at this time before situation right now and there is a danger of violence the 3rd dangerous of course serious external intervention whether from iran or saudi arabia or the united states or somebody else there's lots of people outside lebanon who are. they interfere inside lebanon you might get more of that but the the powerful message from the it's the the rest of the population the citizenry of lebanon for the 1st time ever really in this modern history have you had so many people peacefully in public asking for a government system that is anchored in the sovereignty of the citizen and that serves all citizens equally this is a force that's never been encountered before and you're seeing the power elite
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having some trouble figuring out how to respond to it how dangerous response is of major signed that they can deal with it and they're going to just some of them are just going to quit and go home and of course some of them might be later indicted for corruption and taken to court but that's way down the road to some extent that it's not in the president's hands i mean what sort of administrator simply trying to cobble together. the president apparently has been saying that his son in law should run but see it as a red line no as he has to say as foreign minister and i think this is difficult because you have run the see it has been perhaps that the man faced off the power of corrupt power elite that the population or the citizenry in the street has been demonstrating against pay and be better the head of the one of the big movements of the south those 2 have emerged as the core trips in the eyes of the protesters they
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are the portraits of the corrupt ineffective power structure that has driven the country into the ground so it's a real tug of war my guess is that the there has to be some kind of compromise that will come out through serious negotiations that will probably start in the next few hours behind the scenes knowing the lebanese which is the good thing because you need to have people negotiating they'll come up with some kind of compromise that suits everybody but essentially it changes the way the government's done that's the key am governance has to be conducted in a more efficient more transparent more responsive clear listicle participatory and equitable manner and that is what the protesters are saying they're going to stay in the streets they're going to keep doing what they can to bring this about on the full majority of lebanese wants this then the likelihood is that the movement will be in that direction at the same time safeguarding the interests of
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hezbollah which is very powerful and is the man deterrent force against israeli and other foreign and for the moment so this is the tricky balance that has to be struck between hezbollah's strengths its political alliance with other forces and the will of the if the majority the majority of lebanese appreciate to some extent what hezbollah has done as a resistance movement. to protect lebanon from further israeli attacks and this has worked well since 2006 just as strong but at the same time there's a problem that hezbollah is facing because it is so powerful internally and its its military force is not under the control of the lebanese defense minister so this is an issue that's been debated for 25 years in lebanon and has never been resolved and this coming more and more to the fore but more importantly is the political role of hizbollah right now the issue of its arms is not going to be addressed for
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years but the issue of its political role if hezbollah supports the reformers which it says it does and hezbollah to be fair to them the president down both of them for years and years were pushing a reform agenda but they say they couldn't do anything because the other politicians blocked them but that hezbollah has been saying that it supports the reforms so they are challenge now to find a way to bring about a new clinical structure that brings about the reforms that people want protects their role and keeps a certain unity in the national government hezbollah has been very good at resistance military resistance not so that domestic politics on their face and their biggest challenge right now professor it's always good to talk to you many thanks indeed rami corrina on skype from boston if you just joined us this is al-jazeera we're extending this news bulletin to cover the main news
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this hour which is that lebanon's prime minister saad honey says that he's received dead end and intends to submit his resignation to president michel aoun and that of his government. bring in. another guest 9 someone we have is with us also skype. joining us right now in beirut from not saddam university good to have you with us. your reaction 1st of all to to to how did these announcements what just 30 minutes ago now. well it was expected after some point days all at peabody's and it was station is spreading all over the country and destroy all the demand is why is it almost a short end by the majority of the public are open not so it's the people who want to.

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