>> pakistan has released one of the taliban's founding members from prison. ♪ ♪ hello and welcome you are watching al jazerra. also on this program, a historic election the first poll in northern slow long ca since the end of the civil war. the strongest storm on the planet so far this year hits the philippines.
uncief warns that nearly a million people are at risk from famine in a anybody i can't. >> we begin in pakistan where one of the founding members of the taliban has been released. he was captured three years ago. and his release is seen as a part of a move to help the peace process in afghanistan. for more on this we are joined by our correspondent. why is it so important that this man is release? >> reporter: it's extremely the tribe that he belongs to and the tribe before his arrest he was already reported to be in secret talks with the government because he is respected by the supreme taliban commander and the fact that he was one of the
strategists of the taliban holding the number two position involved in the day-to-day battle against u.s. nato-led forces. he is seen as a crucial bridge to try and convince them to come to the negotiating table. even though there are some questions that because he's been a prisoner in pakistan, that other commanders have taken over and that it will take sometime for him to begin his influence. >> and what kind of a message does this send out? does it send out that the government is at the moment incapable of defeating the taliban in a sense, where they have to negotiate with them? >> reporter: the biggest problem has been that the taliban have refuse today talk to the government, saying that they are the regime installed by the americans. they say they want to talk directly to the americans. in fact, recently they came out
with a videotape, the government of kandahar in which he clearly and categorically stated that there would be no talks with the government. however, as i said because he belongs to the tribe, he was the man who was beginning talks and they are pinning hopes on his release that he may act as a conduit to opening communication with them. but the taliban has said that whenever a prison is taken even if it's a high-level commander, that he will resume the role of an ordinary taliban once he is released. so we will have to see what happens in the next few weeks. but there is already talk that he will not be handed over to the authorities, something the pakistan may fear may be allowed to go to another country, perhaps qatar, perhaps tokyo,
saudi arabia where it is likely that they may open another office and then perhaps some sort of attempt will be make for direct talks. >> thank you. polls have opened in northern shrilanka for the first time since the end of the civil war. an estimated 100,000 people died in the 26-year conflict and the election is being seen as a major test for reconciliation. joining us now from northern shrilanka. how is the voting going? >> reporter: yes, absolutely. we are getting to the middle of the day here some activity going on in the distance where we are. i should also describe to a sense of community or normalcy that i am seeing here.
there is a sense of momentous things taking place. but there are kids with normal activities taking place. despite all this as my colleague has been reporting, there is some significant challenges that the people who will be elected in this pr provincial election l have to deal with. >> his wife died in the war. you buried her but is thankful that he could save his three children. >> i can't be angry that my wife was killed, it of a war and we were caught in the middle. we couldn't tell where the fire power was coming from. the. >> today he has returned to the town in northern sri lanka and earns a living repairing bicycles. having experienced the civil war first happened he says peace is important. hundreds of thousands like him
want local leaders who can address their basic needs. >> housing is important electricity is important. if we have good water pumps, we will be able to consult shade st. thcultivate theland. >> voters can vote to choose 36 members to serve on the northern provincial council. centers in the north have been busy preparing for the poll. >> reporter: the voting system in provincial council elects is complicated especially for those unfamiliar with the process. people must choose a political party, and their top three candidates as well. >> we don't have proper, enough stuff. and secondly, this is the first time we are going to conduct northern province election -- provincial election. so people they don't know how to work, how to use their
privileges and the voting pattern. >> reporter: the elects department has had to educate vote ores how to mark their ballots. despite the challenges the vote provides an important stepping stone for more inclusive participation in deciding their future. al jazerra northern sri lanka. >> the government there is large listen trailized, but this body would have certain powers, what are people going to the polls for? what are they hoping to achieve from this? >> reporter: first and foremost we should mention that while the enormity of today's vote is certainly being felt as we are seeing people are turning up to have their say at the polls. they do realize this isn't the end all and be all. this is perhaps the start of a formal political dialogue. the start of a long-term political process. what voters are voting for when they vote for people today is
long sturm stability. they want people to take them to the next chapter for this country. they are looking for economic stability. [ audio difficulties ] >> we seed to be having some technical difficulties there. she was reporting to us from one of the polling stations in northern sri lanka and they are voting. taiwan and parts of the philippines have been battered by the most powerful storm in the planet this year. carrying rains and winds up to 260-kilometers an hour. saying leeson is in hong kong with more. >> reporter: in preparation for the storm which won't hit this part of the world until tomorrow. but it's already struck the philippines, causing major problems. flooding has begun there. power disruptions, 100 family
evacuated a massive serve in taiwan where two and a half thousand people have been evacuated afternooning the transportation services there and also power cuts have begun to happen there. this storm will tract directly towards hong kong if it keeps on the path it will disrupt services here and potentially shutdown the city again as we saw with the typhoon in august, because this is the mid autumn festival here and many people are away on holidays, they will be coming back sunday night or tig to be. the airlines are beginning to warn people that it's likely that they will face respite dunksedisruptionto his their trn sunday night. >> syria has handed over information about its chemical arsenal the move in the first step in the u.s.-russia brokered deal to remove the weapons from the conflict. the white house blames assad's
regime for a chemical attack in which hundreds of people died. israeli soldiers have been accused of members handling a group of european diplomats trying to deliver aid to the occupied west bank. the aid truck was carrying tents for palestinian villagers in jordan rallies. many made homeless after the israeli army demolished their houses, israel's high court ruled they did not have proper building permits. a chinese court is expected to hand down its verdict against a forming rising star of the communist party on sunday. the trial last month on charges of taking bribes, e embezzlement and abuse of power. prosecutors also accused him of i want veering into the investigation of the murder of a british businessman neil heyward in november the 2011 for which his wife was found guilty of murder. state run television has said that the country was postponing indefinitely series of reunions
for family separated since the war. they have been happening since 2000 the latest series was due to start next week. for more on this there are document live from seoul. what's been the reaction so far? >> reporter: the reaction from the south koreans is that they say that this is the deepest pain that the nation experiences. the fact that so many families were separated by the end of the korean war in 1953. the north koreans in their statement saying that they have done this because south korea has been using the recent warming of relationships between north and south as a venue really to confront the north. it talks about ever-escalating war provocations coming from the south and saying that it stands ready to implement stern counteractsecounteractions agai. wider contact the last few days, north koreans offering to go
back to the six-party talks table on the nuclear weapons program. saying without preconditions meaning that they didn't want to hold what the south koreans and the united states have been saying they should first signal willingness to give up their nuclear weapons there has been a resounding silence from the south korean side. in that statement they are refer to go a left wing law make third south who is trying to overthrow the government. the north koreans saying this is political suppression of a patriot and, indeed a witch hunt. ing the soutthe south koreans sl punish north korea for carrying out any kind of military provocation. saying the real pain is being felt by the families themselves. a tha lot of the people are very elderly and it's a desperate situation, 191-year-old man was being interviewed about his reunion and he was taken ill and later died.
we spoke to one woman or selfs a 79-year-old woman on the list for 13 years waiting to meet her sister in north korea, that sister had since died but she was waiting to see her nephew this is coming week and was very excited about that prospect. i think two things to take away from this. firstly it represents a very serious hurdle to recent warm goes of relations around some issues that we have seen between north and south on a personal level for the 200 nearly family on his both sides of the border this is a very, very distressing development. >> harry foste with the latest m seoul. thank you. and coming up on this show. >> i am doing more livestock now than i have done in a long time. >> we are down on the ranch in texas where the county sheriff is gunning for pesky cattle rustlers, billion dollars losses and four and a half thousand workers to be laid off. the numbers just aren't adding found blackberry.
>> hello again, let me take you through our top stories on al jazerra. pakistan has leased one of the founding members of the taliban being seen as a move to help the peace process in afghanistan. prprovincial elections held in northern sri lanka for the first time since the edge of the civil war, tamal tigers are expected to do well in the polls. the strongest storm on the planet, so far this year, has hit the philippines and parts of
taiwan, carrying winds of up to 300-kilometers an hour. now at least seven people have been killed in the nigerian cappal in an apparent shootout between security forces and fighters. an tack earlier this week in the north week. dominick has the details. >> reporter: two suspects are paraded before the cameras. nigerian police accuse them of being members of the armed group. the authorities say they were involved with others in a fatal shootout with police near a residential complex. >> they were buried on the ground at the site. and so joints security team had to proceed to recover the arms. so when they got here, they came under attack. and, of course, they had to respond back.
>> reporter: while it has not previously undertaken arm ahead tax in the capital this year, elsewhere the story is different. this is the northeastern state of borno. the burned out cars of evidence an armed attack on tuesday that is reported to have killed many people. >> they attacked and killed our people. only our women and children escape. but every other person they met they killed. >> reporter: they have led an armed campaign for the past four years. but it's attacks have increased recently despite a large military deployment to the worst affected areas. officials have encouraged local vigilanty groups to fight back. but dozens of volunteers have been killed in recent weeks. dominick kane, al jazerra. >> kenya's president says he won't attend next week's united nations general assembly in new york. he says he cannot be out of the country at the same time as his deputy president.
he is on trial at the international criminal court in the netherland on charges of crimes against humanity relating to the 2007 post election violence. he is also due to stand trial in november on similar charges. namibia is in the grip of its worst drought in 25 years, the united nations says nearly a million people are affected. tanya paige has a report from the one of the hardest hit areas. >> reporter: hshe is 18 months old but only wa weighs sill gras should be nine and a half. rachel first bought her to the hospital in march when she was admitted and put on weight. but the draught means there is no food at home. so she's back. >> the skin of my baby has lots of rashes. and she's feverish. we have no crops because it's too dry.
and not enough money to buy food. i feel very bad for her. >> reporter: this is the worst draught in 30 years. the government has declared a state of emergency and has been deliver food aid but it is struggling too. >> it is the wish of the government to cover everybody, to assist everybody, however, i think it might not be possible to cover everybody at the same time. >> reporter: uncief says nearly a million people are affected its launch an appeal for seven $7.4 million. the shot on the frontline, 44 babies in the malnutrition ward have already died this year. during some months admission have his doubled. >> we do our best. we refer those that we can to the local counselor, where they can get a few provisions, not a lot. but it helps. but really there is not much that we can do. >> reporter: most of these women are from a angola, but they say
they get more help here. >> there is no food. my family tries to sends me money, this year, the lands is not fertile. >> reporter: across the road, pregnant women are staying in tents, so they are near the hospital when it's time to give birth. the drought is likely to get worse before it gets better because even if the rains come this year the first harvest doesn't begin until march. so the babies about to be born in this world may find it a harsh and unforgiving place. the government has supplied the hospital with food aid to give for mothers like rachel. but she has four other hungry children at home so it will not go far. the nurses expect they will see her again. tanya paige al jazerra, angola. >> u.n. officials says violent gangs are smothering thousands of men, women and children in to italy due to poor security checks. the number of illegal migrants
bypassing order checks across the country's coastline is much greater than officially recorded. the officials called on the italian government to revamp its systems to help identify victims of trafficking. now german chancellors are rallying ahead of election day on sunday. the christian democratic party is enjoying high approval ratings. as they step up the attacks on the chancellor accusing her of being inning cablable of dealing with the euro zone dead crazies. while the clean up continues after devastating storms in mexico where officials now say more than 100 people have been killed in landslides. 35,000 homes across the country have been destroyed. one village was almost completely buried with several roads and bridges damaged. many areas have been cut off due to the crumbling infr crumbling,
some aid has arrived by aid. water and food was brought and handed out. thousands of people were taken to temporary shelters in acapulco during the storms and the government says at least 165 people are dead or missing. >> reporter: thousands of people are finally able to escape from a disa as ter zone. this critical highway has been closed for nearly a week due to a collapsed it up and it's just opened. and this is a huge relief for people who have been trapped in flood-averaged acapulco where supplies are running out. >> we spent three days under a bridge. we couldn't get out. the good thing now is that we are going back home to see our relatives who are very worried about us. >> reporter: more than 40,000 tourists have until now relied on government and civilian aircraft to fly them out. many have waited in lines for days, where heat and frustration
have caused tensions to rise. with around 20 to 30,000 vehicles expected to travel out on the highway on friday, the government expects this to relieve the pressure. as these people slowly start to make their way home, more than 35,000 others have no home to his return to. and it's these people who hope that the government, having opened up this road, will now be able to refocus the relief efforts on them. >> the ice levels in the arctic are considerably higher than last year's record low. climate scientists say the recovery because of cooler air around the globe is welcome but the overall trend is still downward. that means ice-free summers in the arctic could be just a few decades way. a farm never brazil has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for ordering the killing of an american nun in 2005. he was tried four times for the
murder of dorothy. she was trying to protect the amazon rain forests from being cut down and used for farming. el salvador has beened 14 international footballers for life for match fixing it clues some of the best known players in the country. marvin gonzales and others have more than 50 international caps between them. black barry is in big trouble. and the battle to sale smart phones. it is laying off four and a half thousand workers and expects to announce a billion dollars loss in next week. tom ackerman reports. >> thanks for joining us. >> reporter: blackberry was once called the leading edge maker of smart phones but its newer products have failed to attract customers, it expects to report sales of 10% of the volume for apple and only 2% of samsung
sales. its new z10 smart phone got favorable reviews but sold poorly especially in its key u.s. market. company says it will be cutting its product line from six to just four items. aimed at what the ceo calls professional end users. the hope is that drastic move will help cut its operating losses in half by early 2015. but it also means 40% of its global workforce will have to go. particularly hard hit will be blackberry's headquarters waterloo in the province of ontario, canada's tech capital. canada's industry minister offed sympathy but no prospect of assistance, saying, quote, our thoughts are with those that have lost their jobs, it is always a cause of concern for our government. the company's board says it's examining what it calls strategic alternatives that's a phrase that bolsters industries expectations that the company is looking for a buyer. according to the wall street journal the company could be put
up for auction with an aim of selling all or parts it have by november. the company sending the message that it has problems and that's clearly being reached by the market. after its announcement blackberry shares on u.s. and canadian exchange lost one quarter of their value. tom ackerman, al jazerra. >> crime is coming back to the u.s. state of texas, cattle rustling or cattle theft on the rise and keeping police busy and also leaving cattle ranchers vulnerable. mark schneider visited one texas county trying to harness the trade. >> reporter: rancher bob has more than a dozen longhorn on his 42 acres. each one, except a calf s branded. >> like this brown cow, she's actually got two brands. >> reporter: hhe also has pictures of each animal has never had one stolen but he knows plenty of people around here have. >> well, we have seen it almost double what we have experienced
in the past. >> reporter: he would know. he's not just a rancher, he's the johnson county sheriff. >> a lot of them supporting dope habits that's why they are stealing the cattle. we all kind of work together. >> reporter: he has an ali in the fight against cattle and other live stock theft in george davis who owns the johnson county cattle auction. >> i mean, you can tell, they would love to give you address that's not right, or there will be something. and there may not everybody have a license plate on their trailer. >> reporter: high cattle prices are a big reason why threat sought rise. davis says cattle prices are up about 25% from two years ago. >> a good 500-pound calf now, you know, is worth a dollar and a half a pound. >> reporter: livestock theft in johnson county has gone from 10 cases all of last year to 16 so far this year. stealing cat is not that hard. all thieves need said property where no one lives, a 10-dollar bag of feed and less than an hour to get the cows on the trailer and out of here.
>> i am doing more live stock now than i have done nay long time. >> reporter: detective steve how spends most of his work hours investigating cattle theft. he's not just a detective he was a victim. >> i dairied for 19 years and i had three baby calfs stole then that time. >> reporter: shaw says many thieves stay way from branded cattle because they know the cows are more likely to be traced back to their owner. >> you work all year long to, you know, to accumulate something and then they take it from you. you know, somebody drives in your place and steals half of your calf crop, you know, that's pretty bad. >> here comes another one, this one has got only my brands. it's a major deterrent. >> reporter: the sheriff is disappointed how so many ranches don't both tore brand their cat. >> if we can get them all branded eights i whole lot easier to recognize them and get them spotted when they come through the sale ring. he says as long as prices are high, cattle rustling will don't. but with his lead investigator a cattleman and an aggressive pro