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tv   News  Al Jazeera  December 29, 2014 3:00am-3:31am EST

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to use this? techknow only on al jazeera america the man in charge of indonesia's search for missing airasia plane says it's probably at the bottom of the sea hello, from al jazeera's headquarters in doha - free aj staff. they have been gaoled in egypt for a year. journalists around the world show their solidarity a rescue operation is continuing 24 hours after a ferry caught fire off the coast of italy. more than 100 are trapped
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bad for business - tough times for a border town in china well search area for the missing airasia flight has been widened as hor countries join the -- more countries join the international effort to find the weapon flight qz8501 disappeared after flying to singapore. search teams are scouring the java sea looking for signs of the plane over the islands belitung island, banka and singkep. the head of the indonesian search operation says it's likely the plane is at the bottom of the sea. scott heidler is in the indonesian city of surabaya from where the plane departed.
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scott, we know indonesia accepted offers of help from the neighbours. what can you tell us about that? >> there's a lot of accepted assistance. it's a multinational effort. there's malaysia singapore, australia involved. singapore recently in the last couple of hours have come out that they'll supply underwater assistance. it comes to both technical machinery, and for personnel who are expertise in this. that has been offered and accepted by indonesian officials. the australians had provided an australian aircraft. a sophisticated aircraft and that has been searching through the area. it's a big area about 200km stretch, if you will in the java sea and they have been searching since the sun rose this morning, hours ago. we are expecting to hear from the vice president of this country, that was supposed to
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happen a couple of hours ago. we have been waiting for him. it doesn't mean that he'll have a big announcement. he has become the face of this crisis for the government in indonesia. he most likely will give an update. probably meeting with family members and loved ones of those on the aircraft. they are here in terminal 2 at the airport from where the plane took off. >> no doubt, scott the families of the missing passengers are distraught and waiting for any form of information on their loved ones. what help is being offered to them? >> what's been offered to them is assistance in any way to be housed here. they are the first ones to know when information comes out. that is an effort by the indonesian authorities, and they make sure that that happens. they don't here about the new information about the media. the way it happens, they are
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inside privately briefed by indonesian officials. it happened this morning. they sat with the family members and were object brief them on the latest. we can assume that has been going on throughout the day. family members are in there. more family members are being flown down here from singapore. we need to underline the vast majority were from indonesia, 149 out of 162. 77 from this community specifically. that is why the focus is here the emotions obviously are riding high because it has so much to do with the community and indonesia. that is why everyone is focussed on this airport. the tents behind me where the vice president is going to speak, and the family members - the passengers and the crew are in the terminal where the plane took off. >> scott heidler there getting us up to date on the missing flights. >> well, three al jazeera
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journalists have been gaoled in egypt for a year. peter greste, mohamed fadel fahmy and baher mohamed were arrested on december 29th, 2013 and falsely accused and convicted of aiding the outlawed muslim brotherhood and damaging the reputation abroad. stephanie dekker reports. the detaining of three al jazeera staff in cairo was assumed to be short term a mix up over accreditations. as time passed it became clear that egyptian authorities under the government of abdul fatah al-sisi seemed to have other intentions. peter greste is a veteran correspondent based in kenya at the time of his arrest. by his own administration knew little about egypt. he was shocked that he was linked in some way to what the government described as terrorists. the same could be said about the rest of the team bureau chief and award-winning journalist baher mohamed and mohamed fadel fahmy. much of the international media
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by jan was demanding the journalists. in the u.k. and elsewhere respected journalists came out in support. the trial failed to come up with anything against the three many that could have vaguely been said to incriminate them. a video of sheep, some of the peter greste's work in kenya and other video were shown. adjournment after adjournment followed. and to the fury of much of the world, the men were convicted and gaoled. for the men's families it was the lowest point to a desperate year. peter greste spent over four months in did out of cairo. he describes what it's been like for peter. >> he's determined that this experience is not going to break him. he doesn't want to come out bitter and twisted, but it has taken a lot of effort and self-discipline and
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determination, and focus to - for him to remain mentally together and look after himself physically. world leaders, including president obama denounced the court conviction. >> the issue of the al jazeera journalists in egypt. we have been clear publicly and privately that they should be released. the egyptian government defended the ruling arguing that it has not been a political decision arguing that it is up to the appeals process to occur next. >> we work in so many different places, and we should be taken as a professional media institution, not as a part of any political or ideological or any other establishment. al jazeera's maintained its public campaign on behalf of journalists, and what has been going on behind the scenes is less clear. president abdul fatah al-sisi
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suggested that he would have preferred to have the journalists deported aware of the damage to egypt's reputation. a year on and for all the campaigning the three maybe are in gaol. >> on jan the 1st. egypt's court will hear a court by the three men. peter greste's brothers andrew and mike say the family is cautiously hopeful he will be pardoned. >> the next milestone for us is 1st of january. that's the next milestone in the court process. obviously we have heard a lot of indications and we've had lots of statements from the egyptian authorities going back as far as the - you know a couple of days after peter was sentenced, indicating that they wished that this whole - that peter didn't get gaoled that the whole thing didn't occur, and recently we heard a statement from president
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abdul fatah al-sisi on french 24 television saying they were considering a pardon. you know it's been under consideration for some time. >> the president obviously said that - clearly said a few days after he was convicted that he wouldn't be pardoning peter or stepping in until the legal process has been finalised much going on that statement, i suppose we have to hang our hopes on the legal process. but however he gets released is fine by us. >> this is peter's first christmas in prison. can you reflect on that or how your parents and he marked the day. >> look, mum and dad visited him on christmas day. i think he was - it was a fairly sombre occasion. peter's getting fairly anxious, i think, in the lead-up to the first. so one thing they mentioned was he's trying to distract himself by you know doing his next assignment in the diploma, the
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course that he's doing. so look it's been a trying christmas, and certainly a lonely one. having said that you know there are plenty of families who have got, you know who are separated at the time. we are not the only ones having a sombre christmas, i guess. >> and journalists in news rooms across australia held a vigil to mark the year al jazeera's staff have been held in gaol. media workers from the special broadcasting service, channel 7, "sydney morning herald," and "the guardian australia" paused for a moment to demand the release of peter greste, mohamed fadel fahmy and baher mohamed a rescue operation is continuing off the coast of italy after a ferry caught fire on sunday. some of the survivors had been transported to land in the last hour. a cargo ship with 48 of the passengers arrived at barrie port in italy. they are being checked by local medics. around 183 people are still on
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board the vessel. we can cross to simon mcgregor-wood, who joins us from the coastal city of brindisi in italy. it looks like blue skies behind you. we are hearing bad whether is hampering the rescue efforts. >> yes, blue skies this morning. i have to tell you, as you may be able to hear from the microphone, it's extremely windy, and extremely cold and a little further out to sea where the rescue operation is continuing. it is a little less sunny and more cloudy we are expecting rain to come through here a little later. conditions challenging for the rescue operation which essentially is a shuttle mission of greek and italian helicopters hovering above the upper decks of the atlantic, and winching to safety small groups of passengers in about 15 minute cycles, and another helicopter comes in. those passengers are taken to a number of vessels that are
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stationed around the stricken ferry. the italian navy headquartered here is in the provision now, and a large ship is the main headquarters at sea for the rescue operation. another italian destroyer will be arriving on the scene in the next hour or so. so this operation continues through the day, very cold and very windy, but small groups every 15 minutes or so winched to safety miles out to sea behind me. >> as we understand it over 100 of the passengers are still on board. do we know what condition they are in keeping in mind they have spent a night out in the sea where it's cold and wet, aboard a ship that is still on fire? >> absolutely. about 183 or so passengers and
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grew members on the ferry. we arrived in the area late last night. it was incredibly gold and windy, and pouring with rain. you can only imagine they are in a catch 22. they can't shelter below decks, because the fire and the smoke has been forcing them ever upward on to the outer upper decks of the ship where they have been essentially exposed to terrible weather conditions for 12 or more hours. i think that the main challenge for the medical staff will be checking the rescue people for hypothermia. overnight, we understand italian helicopter were able to drop blankets to the people remaining on board, in addition to one nurse and doctor to check people's condition on board. and a helicopter pilot was also dropped on to the upper decks of the ferry to coordinate the shuttle rescue mission. it must be difficult for people exposed to the elements that
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they have been overnight. i am sure that people will rush to the nearest medical facilities as soon as possible. >> thank you. simon mcgregor-wood getting us up to date on the situation from the coastal city of brindisi. more to come on al jazeera shouldering the burden. how the youngest victims of syria's civil war are helping their families get by. >> sharing secrets on kim jong un. south korea, japan, and the u.s. pool their resources.
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let's take a look at the top stories an al jazeera. the man in charge of search for the airasia flight says the craft is probably at the bottom of the sea. search area has been widened and the plane disappeared after takeoff on sunday. three al jazeera joucialists peter greste, mohamed fadel fahmy and baher mohamed -- journalists peter greste, mohamed fadel fahmy and baher mohamed have been in prison for a whole years, they were falsely accused of aiding the outlawed muslim brotherhood, and damaging egypt's reputation abroad. officials on the ferry is under control say officials. the rescue operation is continuing for the 183 people still on board a new intelligence sharing pact between south korea, the u.s. and japan comes into effect on monday. it will allow seoul and tokyo to
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share military secrets on north korea through the united states. harry fawcett has more from seoul. >> any kind of military pact between japan, south korea's former colonial ruler is viewed with a good deal of suspicions by politicians and members of the public at large. that is why it was announced on friday, that it would be signed on monday the 29th of december. indeed it's emerged it was signed on the same day it was announced and goes in effect on monday. a good deal of managing of the process, because it is so delicate. there was an earlier attempt to have a bilateral pact in 2012. the japanese delegate was virtually waiting with the lid off the pen. south korea pulled out with an hour to go because of the public outcry and the parliamentary outcry. this requires no parliamentary approval. it goes through the united
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states. information about north korea will go through the united states before it's given to tokyo, and vice-versa. still there'll be those here that say tokyo stands to gain more from south korea's intelligence, and suspicion of prime minister shinzo abe's move away from the passivist nature of a japanese constitution, a stage managed process by the government keen to allay the concerns present in 2012 and present now let's get more on our detained colleagues in egypt. we are macking a year since they were gaoled. al jazeera's kristen saloomey spoke to richard senningel, the u.s. undersecrety of the state for public diplomacy and affairs. he said the continuing detention of our colleagues is worrying for the administration. >> yes, we are very concerned about it. myself, as a former journalist it's something i feel passionately about. the fact that the al jazeera
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three were detained for committing journalism is sag that goes against everything we believe, and we believe in a robust free-speech environment, and that is important for egypt too, going forward, for their own economy and foreign investment. we urge people all around the world, and, of course the leadership in egypt to preserve and protect the free space environment and the journalists who work there. >> i know president obama just spoke to president abdul fatah al-sisi. do you know what he told him, what he said about this? >> they spoke recently and raised the issue of detention of journalist in civil society activists, and having that free speech space, and mentioned the al jazeera journalist as well. >> i think for me and for people who work for al jazeera, and know these men, and are worried about them and their families and let's be honest it's personal for us - what we find
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hard to swallow is the united states just as these men were being convicted, gave the egyptian government 1.5 billion, most for military purposes. why is the united states supporting a government that is repressing journalists, repressing peaceful demonstrators, and doing things that are contrary to the rule of law. >> well i'm going to take exception to various parts of your question and i think there are two separate issues. but they are aligned around the idea that we talk to the egyptian government and abdul fatah al-sisi about preserving the rule of law, civil society and free speech. they are aligned, the al jazeera three are caught in that nexus, and we want them to be released and let go at almost any terms.
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that's our particular focus here. >> do you see any reason to be optimistic. is there any hope that we can give the three journalist and their family that they may get to go home. >> ask what hope is there. president abdul fatah al-sisi, i think, expressed interest in resolving the situation. he even said that they probably should have been resolved in a different way. he wants a successful outcome. getting to that spot is not easy. >> you can find out more about our staff gaoled in egypt on the website. there are more articles there about their plight and you can read a letter peter greste wrote before christmas. that's all at the syrian observatory for human rights says i.s.i.l. has murdered nearly 2,000 people in syria. the monitoring group documents 1,878 killings, 930 victims are
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said to belong in the province i.s.i.l. killed around 120 of his own members, mostly for returning their own country as syria's war enters the fourth year chin are most affected. hundreds of thousand aren't and school and many are forced to work. >> every morning, this 10-year-old leaves home not for school but for work. he sells courtroom to make money for his family. >> my mother prepares the corn. i wait tore the school to open so i can sell it there. >> after the war, boys like mustafa work and the men fight. >> my son never worked in his
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life. he didn't have to before the situation deteriorated. now we are forced to because everything it expensive. >> reporter: mustafa is one of the lucky ones thousands have been killed. many fled to refugee camps, where there are schools. >> translation: when it stops raining i collect firewood there's a garden where i collect the firewood. it heats the house. >> reporter: children have suffered the most during the conflict. they also symbolize the resilience of the brazilian people. like mooust afafustafa they struggle and survive bahrain's opposition party said its leader was arrested. he was the head of the shia party in the sunni-ruled gulf
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kingdom. he was summoned for allegedly breaking the law. no further information was given as part of a special series al jazeera is looking at some of the biggest stories of the year. this summer's war in gaza was one of the worst in the palestinian territory. particularly the shelling of a school. we spoke to one family trying to recover from the attacks. >> reporter: suddenly losing the use of two limbs makes every task in life hard are. what this woman misses the most is playing with her children. >> my life was okay. i used to play with my children, run with my children. i used to do everything, but now nothing. it's not just my leg, it's my arm. if i instead to walk someone needs to help me. if i want to drink water someone has to open the water. >> she lost her leg and the use
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of her right awn. arm. israeli tank shells hit the school she and her family were sheltering in. it was a shocking incident killing 17. many in her family were injured, young and old. still bearing the scars. but there's hope she can get the use of her arm back. her husband regularly takes hor to physical therapy. the therapist says will power is crucial. >> translation: her spirit is strong, and her family and relationship with her husband and children are good. it helps with the treatment. she helps herself more than we help her. because of that she'll have a speedy recovering. >> in the meantime she must take on the role of both parent. this was a year he and his wife hoped never to experience again.
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>> translation: this time was different to all the other summers. before the war the situation was difficult. then the war came and i spent over a month in the hospital. i'll never forget 2014 i'm not optimistic that 2015 will be better. the u.n. school where the attack took place has begun again. children have rushed to a relatively normal life. her life will never be the same. as this year ends she hopes the next bridges healing and we will continue the stories from 2014 in the final part of our four family's one-year series. next we'll take you to mexico's region and tell you the story of one family survival, living under the shadow of violent gangs. that's on tuesday at 07 g.m.t.
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on al jazeera western sanctions over russia's involvement in ukraine helped to push the ruble down by more than 50% against the u.s. dollar this year. now, the weaker russian economy is bad news for one border town in china that relies heavily on cross border tray. we have this report from the china russia border. >> this is supposed to be one of the busiest shopping streets in town. it's usually filled with russian tourists. it's been quite since the ruble collapsed. that man has been selling fur coats for years and doesn't remember business being this bad. >> during the good times i could sell 20-30 coats. i have not sold anything lately. >> the northern city near the russian border is a popular shopping destination.
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the goods here are cheaper than in russia. businesses cater for russian customers. the shop signs have not just chinese characters but the script. stores stock clothes and accessories appealing to russia's sense of style. >> it's one of the few towns where people can pay in rubles. shopkeepers accept the currency. they don't take chances, converting it to local money immediately. on the other side of down there's little activity at this warehouse. this person runs on import-export trading company and says several russians cancelled compacts. at least his business can rely on chinese demand. >> translation: i'm not too worried, china's economy will be better next year. the russian government is taking steps to stablilize the ruble. i'm hopeful about the future. for others relying on russian
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purchasing power a weak ruble means tougher times ahead. i remember we are marking one year since the three colleagues were gaoled in egypt. you can found out more and join the free aj staff campaign. >> hi, i'm lisa fletcher and you're in the stream. out of the box thinkers share their tool kit for racing smart successful well balanced kids. my co-host


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