see you next time. i'm ray suarez. this is al jazeera. a very warm welcome to the news hour. in the next 60 minutes, another european rescue mission is underway to save hundreds of migrants abandoned at sea. door-to-door, house-to-hour, special forces confront isil fighters in northern iraq. using actors to play muslim fighters. this video of a police drill is causing outrage in india. and yes, smoking can kill
you, but new research finds most cancer comes down to bad luck. the european border force has one against come to the rescue of hundreds of migrants abandoned by people smugglers in the mediterranean sea. the italian coast guard landed a helicopter on the ship and are trying to steer to a port. an icelandic coast dpard ship is guard ship is helping. simon mcdpreggregorcgregor-wood has more. >> reporter: the ship normally carrying livestock. it was drifting miles off the italian coast with around 450my mymy migrants on board. one migrant used the radio to tell the coast guard there was no crew and no one steering the
ship. it's being towed by part a european maritime force dealing with the increasing problem of migrant traffic. this is the second such incident this week. on wednesday the ship with 970 migrants on board was brought into italy. most came from syria many suffering the effects of hypothermia and frostbite after six days at sea. this use is a new tactic by human traffickers. >> it's possible that they've discovered a new method of purchasing derelict or old crafts that are seaworthy for one last voyage and then reporting that the crew has abandoned ship. they've also reported that there's violence on board, and they create a kind of an emergency situation. that's what we hear but it's too soon to judge how much this
is going to be the new tactic. >> it's a new challenge for the thinly stretched european agency charged with patrolling europe's maritime borders. the shear scale of the problem is overwhelming. 170,000my dprant mymy mymy -- migrants reached in 2013. so far 2014 will show greater numbers. >> that's the second freighter carrying hundreds of migrants abandoned this week off the italian coast. it was found without a crew in rough waters. it's much bigger than the little boats we're used to seeing. it has 450 migrants on board and is being hauled to port by the european border force. it's a lucrative business for smugglers. it makes the hollingsworth about
$2.7 million. laurence lee is in the southern italian port city close to where the ejedeen is being taken. >> reporter: the piece of good news in this is that the refugees set adrift in this cattle ship look like they're going to be okay. they're not going to die. the ship is undertow. it will be midnight italian time before it gets in but they've been given some food and water. the conditions probably on board are pretty horrible but they'll be safe. the more difficult question now, gifrn that this ises second incident in four days in which a freighter has been basically set adrift in the middle of the sea for the italian coast guard to work out what to do with it is is this now a new tactic by traffickers? an industrial-scale trafficking to take a much bigger ship that can survive the sea conditions in the middle of winter without capsizing, fill it full of hundreds of terrified and stranded refugees and basically
just let it go for someone else to sort out. it's a completely new sort of policing problem for the european union to have to get their heads around. they might have to move their operation potentially out of the mediterranean and to places like turkey where it appears they're being sourced. it's shameless for the traffickers to behave like this but clearly if the italian coast guard doesn't act to try to rescue the ships, they'll simply break up on the rocks. >> kurdish troops have been engaged in house-to-house battles with fighters the islamic state of iraq and levant southwest of the iraqi kurdish capital of ibil. we have this report. >> reporter: heavy fighting at the village of sultan abd allah. it's one of a few villages fighters recently captured from
isil. isil fighters have battled to recapture it and as the fighting intensifies, the pash mir zero in on one of the houses. >> translator: there are isil fighters behind in the house. they remain behind. >> reporter: more kurdish fighters move closer to the house and pray spray it with bullets. there's nothing to confirm the bullets hit the targets, so some of them move even closer. it's a mistake. bullets come in from the house. one of the pash mira fighters has been shot. he's dead and they carry his body away. overcome with grief, one of them weeps over the body.
in another part of the town a huge explosion rips through the village. it's a car bomb targeting the peshmerga. more arrive as it grows. the kurdish forces decide it's time to bring the fighting to an end. rocket-propelled grenades are their weapons of choice. detecting no movement inside they set what remains of the house on fire. for now the town is back in peshmerga hands. >> translator: this is a very important village, as it is on the banks of the river. the highway to mosul also passes here. it means we can stop isil supplies from this direction. >> reporter: these men know too well that it's conditions like the one here that will decide who eventually wins the war. >> mohammed is in elrbil and
joins us now. what does this mean for the peshmerga to hold onto the territorial gains? >> reporter: well it's very organized. isil fighters are engaging the peshmerga, kurdish forces in a sort of war of atragstritionattrition. they want to wear them out knowing very well that they have control over a 1,000 kilometer area in kurdish area. they have a better arsenal and they're better-armed than the kurdish peshmerga forces so they engage them in incidents like we've seen here. whenever they have a village taken from them by the peshmerga, they usually would come to this. the peshmerga says they need
more help. they don't have the right firepower and ammunition and guns. they're only using ak-47s, some of them more than five years so they're asking for more help to be able to ton holding the line. >> mohammed, in other developments peshmerga confirm an attack took place in the village on the iraq/syria border. very interesting battle took place there. what do we know about this? >> the village is actually a little bit away from rabia. it's a village which is village and most arabs living around and area did not move because they're not allowed in kurdish villages. they're also accused of having supported isil so they are not welcome in the camps where
they're going to find their opponent. what we have had from peshmerga sources is a group of mish laya men on their own went and attacked this village and killed a few people before taking away others including the iman of the local mosque. they're said to be looking for girls who were abducted from them by the isil fighters and they are said to take their revenge out on them. the peshmerga are angry with the actions, and they say they were not aware of this attack. >> certainly that attack really highlights the complexity of the situation there. thank you. 2014 has been the third most deadly deadliest of four iraqi civilians since the war of 2003. only 2006 and 2007 were worse. we have more for you later on in
the program. the other front in the battle against isil takes place in syria. syrian activists say more were killed last year than any other time since the conflict began four years ago. the syrian observatory for human rights says 76,000 died in 2014 more than 17,000 were civilians and 3,000 were children and almost 2,000 were women. rebel groups lost more than 15,000 fighters. u.s.-led coalition jets have targeted isil fighters in northern syria. the isil-held city of raqqa was targeted. raqqa is the biggest city under isis control and main power base in syria. egyptian security forces opened fire on anti-government protesters killing one person. there were also protest in the northern coastal city of alex sgland ya and giza of egypt.
they have spent more than a year in prison. they were convicted of broadcasting false news and helping the outlawed muslim brotherhood, which al jazeera denies. on thursday they ordered a retrial that could begin within a month. >> i think it's a positive step. the decision by the court of cassation acknowledges that the first trial was flawed and it's a step towards seeking justice for peter. there's always an initial air of disappointment because there was a lot of rumor running around at the time that they might have been released, but really when your loved one is locked up in prison and there's an opportunity that they may be released and it's dashed it is an initial shock, but i think once we have time for the decision and take stock of it we think it's a positive step because, again, it does
acknowledge that the process was flawed, the first trial was flawed and now peter becomes an accused person. he's still innocent. so it allows the president to step in under the guise of the presidential decree that was announced in november and we'll be seeking application to have peter brought back to australia under that decree. the palestinian ambassador to the u.n. is expected to formally submit palestine's application to join the international criminal court to the u.n. secretary-general in the next few minutes. the application for membership of the icc was signed by president am abbas awednesday. they want to pursue war crime charges against israel. netanyahu held an emergency meeting with the senior ministers to discuss the move. >> translator: we expect the icc to reject the hypocritical appeal of the palestinian authority. firstly, because the palestinian authority is not a state.
it's an entity. it's an alliance with a terrorist organization hamas, which commits war crimes. secondly, because israel is a lawful state with a moral army which complies with international law. we will protect the israeli defense force. we'll have plenty more for you including support after a mosque attack. we find out why these people living in a south african church have to look for a new home. in sports steven gerard is set to leave the club at the end of the season. where is he heading? we'll have the details for you later on in the program. the high court in kenya suspended parts of a new security law that gives police sweeping powers to deal with what they call terrorism suspects. parliament passed the bill last month despite a brawl between ruling and opposition mps.
we have the report from nairobi. >> reporter: jamal abdul aziz plans to leave nairobi soon and take his children to the refugee borders in somalia. he feels the country's new security laws make him an easy farth for police because he's a refugee fwr somalia living in kenya. >> translator: we are afraid of the new laws. we can easily be arrested if police suspect you're a terrorist. we're always afraid. if i'm arrested who will look after my children? >> reporter: the high courts suspended parts of the law. there's objections raised by the opposition over the laws being unconstitutional. the kenyan government is not targeting a group and official need more power to fight what they call islamic fighters. the group al shabaab has claimed
responsibility. some may operate in a neighborhood in the capital of nairobi where somalis live. this is nothing new. over the years the number of people have been arrested for different reasons, especially when a terror incident occurs. some families feel the new security laws make it worse for them. the security laws in the current form require journalists to obtain police permission before investigating or publishing storying on domestic attacks and security issues. they also give security and intelligence agencies the right to detain suspects for up to one year. some feel this gives security forces too much power and violates people's constitutional rights in the name of fighting terror. >> the way the laws are present right now is an attempt to give government an authority or hand to do something when they feel someone has infringed.
we're saying there's no reason not terrorism or anything to deny people their fundamental rights. indeed, if there's a problem, yes, people should be arraigned, but this should be done within the confines of the constitution. >> reporter: a three-judge bench will hear the matter and decide whether or not the clauses do indeed violate human rights so there is still a chance the constitutional clauses they feel are unconstitutional may not have gone away. ea pro-government lawyer spoked about this earlier and discussed the concern about the law in place permanently. >> the truth of the matter is out of sections of the acts only eight have been suspended. that cannot be a cause for celebration. the key to the matter is this act is intact to protect against terrorism. it's not in the u.s., u.k. or in
south africa in fighting terrorism, so there's nothing to celebrate about. there are sections of the law that do run with the constitution, but that can be corrected. what i want to see is perhaps a clause for this law so that does not operate indefinitely. there's controversy in india after police carried out a mock security exercise against people posing as muslim fighters. this shows them wearing skull caps and shouting islamic slogans. [ shouting ] [ speaking in foreign language ] >> al jazeera has more from new delhi. >> reporter: when this first video came with people wearing skull caps there was a lot of
controversy even within the governing party. the chief minister was quick to say that the people apologized that this happened. they said it was an isolated incident. now on the 2nd we have other video coming out where the people are shouting islamic slogans during a mock terrorism drill near adam. this is now -- people are saying that this shows that the police are actually doing this on a regular basis showing that muslims are terrorists and they're doing it in training. now, people say the problem is not with the police but it's icountry-wide issue with the police targeting muslims and thinking that any muslims or anyone wearing a skull cap is a terrorist. hundreds of people have gathered in sweden to support the muslim community there. that's after a third arson attack took place on a mosque within the last week. the attacks come at a tight of heightened debate over race and immigration in the country as
joe jonah hall reports. >> reporter: on new year's day an arson attack took place by a person throwing a molotov cocktail at the mosque and sprawling racist slogans on the wall of the mosque. you can see, there's quite a lot of activity taking place. it's friday prayers, and there is a police presence here as well and also the presence of a large number of non-muslim swedish people that have showed out to show their support. on the doors of mosque this morning dozens of messages of support and solidarity have been left by non-muslim swedes in the wake of the attack. >> everybody can't believe everything and anything. it doesn't matter where you come from or anything. the support is there. >> i don't know what to say. i can't -- i don't know. how can you do something like that? that's we not you and you.
it's just we you know? muslims are all from the same. >> reporter: tchs the third such attack in december and it domes at the end of the year in which according to police there are a dozen such attacks aimed at mosques. it comes at a time of intensifying debate here in famously tolerant sweden about immigration. >> translator: the members of the community are very sad, and at the same time very, very worried. it's not only what happens here but all the incidents in the whole country. >> reporter: sweden takes in the largest number of refugees and asylum seekers pro capita of any country in the european union and broadly speaking that's a pretty popular thing, with 60% approval according to a 2014 survey of government policy on immigration. not everyone is happy. the far right sweden democrats did pretty well in september's election. they want immigration cut by a full 90%, and their support is
growing. it's perhaps no coincidence that many of these arson attacks have taken place in areas of the country where support for the far right party is strong. a new study says many cancers could be the result of bad luck rather than poor lifestyle choices. our science and technology editor has more. >> as with all living things our cells naturally divide and replace themselves with copies of the original cells. some tissue types divide more offense, and sometimes when a mistake or a mutation occurs the cells become cancerous. some tissue types are more likely to become cancerous, for example, breast, pros trait or lung cells while cells of our heart only become cancerous very rarely. why this happens is not clear. scientists at johns hopkins university tested 31 different tissues notably not breast or prostate cells due to a lack of
data. what they found was significant. cell division process is like rowell let. the more frequently the tissues divide the more likely they were to develop cancer. what then of the other nine types of tissues? these showed an unexpectedly high rate of cancer. the result researchers believed were environmental or inherent factors that include lung cancer which is caused frequently by smoking, skin cancer associated with exposure to the sun. the researchers say what emerges is you can reduce your risk of getting some cancers through lifestyle factors like not smoking or eating a healthy diet diet, but for other karntss it's a case of bad luck if and when they might occur. >> they link the cells with the probability of getting cancer. so this is a major piece of work, which does not negate the huge scientific evidence we have that links environmental and life sometime factors. we still have to put all our
efforts to prevent smoking, avoid heavy drinking and avoid obesity, promoting a healthy diet and healthy lifestyle because this is what we can do. we can't change the biology. we can change how it operates against the environment. >> so most cancers are a matter of luck but it's still a good idea to quit smoking. south korea's government is trying to make the population healthier by almost doubling the price of cigarettes. harry for the ses reports from seoul. >> outside any office building any time of day, you see them. sizable groups and mainly men on one of many daily cigarette breaks. south korea has the highest male smoking rate of any developed nation at about 44%. about a quarter of all adults male and female smoke. this new year, though they have to get used to an 80% tax rise taking the price from 250 cent
krnt to $4.50 per pack venlt. >> it would have been better increased gradually, but without warning the government announced a couple of months ago the price would be nearly doubling. >> reporter: the announcement in september led to panic buying among those that wanted to stock up. in the run-up to new year shops limited customers to one pack per person. cigarette packets in south korea carry warnings but they're text-based and the rang wage is relatively mild. if the government wanted to do more than simply raise extra tax revenue, what they would do is put pictures on boxes like this. such a move is under consideration. campaigners say price rises aren't enough to cut south korea's sky-high smoking rate. >> translator: if people can see the impact of smoking on health causing various diseases such as oral cancer or lung cancer i think it could reduce smoking by 20% to 30%.
>> reporter: the government is bringing in other measures. smoking in restaurants and cafes is now illegal. special smoking areas a few days ago an everyday feature are empty. there's a surge in the numbers visiting quit smoking clinics or looking for alternatives like e-cigarettes. even if some young doctors are yet to be convinced. >> translator: the effect is a bit limited compared to regular cigarettes. i started to get withdrawal symptoms. the e-cigarette is better than quitting than entirely but there's withdrawal symptoms. >> reporter: if the government has their way, they want a 15% reduction in the smoking rate. rebuilding afghanistan's economy. we meet a business owner who is bank oth new government to make changes. i'm in malaysia where thousands of people are struggling to rebuild their
[[vo]] an america tonight in-depth series. >>my first column was, “hey, where are the weed-smoking moms at?” [[vo]] one year legal. >>i'd try chem 4, alien dog, and girl scout cookies. [[vo]] and it's become big business. >>the state of colorado is profiting immensely off of this. [[vo]] now, we cut through the smoke and find out what's really going on. >>we can show marijuana is leaving colorado. [[vo]] the highs and lows of a year on pot.
you're watching the al jazeera news hour. a cargo ship off the southern italian coast is towed to shore after the captain and crew abandoned hundreds ofmy dprants on board. it's the second ship september adrift this week. we're waiting for the palestinian ambassador to the u.n. to formally submit palestine palestine's appear indication to the international criminal court. the application to criminal court and the request is made to the u.n. chief in the next few minutes. we will watch that for you. of course remember that abbas signed the document that requested membership a few days ago after the entity's failed
bid for statehood at the u.n. security council. in northern iraq kurdish peshmerga troops have been engaged in house-to-house battles battles. meanwhile, a report out today reveals that 2014 was the third-most deadly year for iraqi civilians since the war began in 2003. let's take a closer look at those who have paid the highest price of the conflict. over 17,000 civilians have been killed in iraq in 2014. the bloodshed peaked in june when isil launched a major offensive to take iraq's second largest city mosul. this is roughly double the number of civilians death in 2013, which was roughly double the number in 2012. the most intense period for civilian deaths was at the war's very beginning whether the 7,000 were killed in just a space of three weeks at the start of the u.s.-led invasion.
from 2010 to 2012 there was a dip in civilian casualties but a raise came after the withdrawal of u.s. troops at the end of 2011 and what saw as sectarian policies by al maliki's government. good to have you with us. how accurate are these figures? how many civilians deaths do you think there may have been that are not included in the report that haven't been registered at all? >> well the number is high but i don't think it's accurate. i think the number is even higher than what was published. we don't know up until now how many people isil have massacred in tikrit in mosul, in anbar because they have carried out many massacres there. the government figures are not accurate. mr. al maliki first told us that in one of the military bases
there were 167 casualties. then they said there was 1,700 and now the number is higher. then there are missing figures or not published figures as a result of the massacres or the invasion of the shiites as sectarian militia of eastern iraq and other areas. irng there are a lot of casualties which are not registered. >> so did the isil take-over of mosul earlier last year mark a significant deterioration in the security situation? can we pinpoint that as being very much a driving force behind the spike in civilian deaths? >> well, i should say that sectarian and violence was the result of the invasion in 2003. nobody was publishing any real
figures about it. even the americans denied the figures. in 2007 for example "lancet" published a figure of 700,000 white the united states america said the total number is 30,000. you can see the difference. isil was the main reason for the increase or the occupation of isil of mosul was the main reason for the increase of the number. they are killing people haphazardly and killing people in masses and they are putting them in one grave. we have seen pictures horrifying pictures of how young people were living and were put in a grave and massacred. this was carried out in mosul, in tikrit and in anbar. so this is the main reason for the increase, but the other
militias are not doing less than that. they're doing the same way on the other side. >> you mentioned anbar and, of course, mosul was very much the point in time when the world's media refocused taejs on iraq. the situation there was deteriorating for a good year or more before that because first you had isil operating in anbar and then from there they moved north to take mosul. then tikrit a little bit earlier on last year in june. when you think about the territory that this fighting force has managed to gain combined with the spillover from violence in syria, can we expect 2015 to be just as bad if not worse for civilians deaths in iraq? >> well i believe it will be as worse as this year than last year if not more. when we talk about the liberation of mosul and the liberation of anbar and tikrit
and you just announced on your tv program now in your news today or just now that the peshmerga are out carrying house-to-house fighting to remove isil's fighters from certain villages. so they are ready to fight until the last minute with whatever they have of weapons, and they are ready to do all the cities and houses. so the number of casualties will be increased dprad wally when the time comes to liberate mosul. i mean mosul, anbar and sal ladd. so i expect this year the casualty number will be if not the same higher than this one. >> as you say, isil is proving very difficult to dislodge. thank you. let's speak to kristin now live from the united nations where the palestinians as we
were telling you are expected to formally hand in their application to join the international criminal court to the u.n. chief, and once that happens, kristen, what is the next step in the process to membership to the international criminal court? >> reporter: typically this triggers a 60-day waiting period, after which a country can ask for an investigation into what it believes to be crimes against humanity or war crimes. this is a bit unchartered territory because the palestinians are not a full-fledged member state here at the united nations. they are considered a state since 2012 but obviously, this is a very contested move on the part of the israelis and the americans. so it's not clear exactly how this is going to go forward. what we've been told is that secretary-general ban ki-moon does have some time to "consider this" application. he could ask for consideration.
he could ask for legal advice or the general assembly to weigh in. the majority have expressed support for palestinians moving forward as a member state here. so it's expected that he will hand over this application, and then after 60 days the palestinians would have the rights of a member state to the international criminal court. >> kristen, thank you very much. we'll get back to you once that request has been formally submitted, expecting the palestinian ambassador to the u.s. to request membership to the icc from the u.n. chief. now, 2014 was a tough year for the afghan economy. the world bank says political instability was mainly to blame. as jennifer glasse reports from kabul, afghans are demanding fast action by the government. >> reporter: the factory in kabul can produce 150,000 juice packs a day, and the owner is proud his product is homegrown. >> we're the only company in afghanistan that uses afghan
fruits and pulp. >> really? >> there are two more companies, but they import raw materials from outside. >> reporter: we first met him two years ago right after a suicide truck bombing next deer destroyed millions of dollars of the juice pulp. then he wasn't sure if he would rebuild, but he has and he's expanding. >> it's a business and it's not a smart move at all. it's not work it with such a high risk but as afghan being an inhabitant of this country, i think it's a smart move. if i don't do who will? >> reporter: he employs about 350 people now who buy and produce the juice. he buys the crops of 20,000 farmers. next year he plans to hire 200 more workers and buy from 35,000 farmers to make nearly three times as much juice. he says he and other afghans have hoped the economy would improve with the end of the political deadlock but he says the government has made no
changes since then and the economy remains at a standstill. wholesalers dumat knows that tool as he pounds the pavement trying to sell energy drinks. >> translator: shop keepers don't buy anything from us. many shopkeepers have closed their shop and went out of the business because of the uncertain situation. they don't want to invest anything. >> reporter: ismail says investment is out of the question. his store used to be three times as big, and now he's just struggling to survive. >> translator: 11 people depend on this shop to live. we're operating at a loss. we're living off savings and instead of expanding our business we're going backwards. >> reporter: nori hopes the new government does something to help turn the economy around but he's not sure what they can do and whether it will be in time to save his business. jennifer glasse, al jazeera, kabul. the remains of at least three victims of the airasia
plane crash have been returned to their families. indonesian authorities and the ceo were at the ceremony with grieving relatives. 30 victims have so far been recovered from the java sea. the search for more of 162 people is hampered by poor weather. malaysia's government is estimating that the cost of rebuilding after the deadly flood disaster ko climb into the hundreds of millions of dollars. we have the report from the state where thousands of people are still homeless. >> reporter: she's been wading through the sludge for hours trying to salvage anything she can. her home is buried in mud. her father is struggling to dig through it. her neighborhood was one of the worth hit when floodwaters gushing through malaysia's northeast last week. the family escaped to an
evacuation center but nothing could prepare them for their return home. >> translator: i'm worried because i'm afraid my family won't be able to live comfort reply as before or eat as much as before because we have to spend lots of money to fix everything. >> reporter: the aftermath of the floods is as devastating as the disaster. many don't know where to begin. people in in neighborhood have been cleaning up for the past three days but as you can see, it has made little difference with no running water or electricity, it could be weeks before they can live in their homes again. assessing the damage is still difficult for the government. the areas affected are extensive and basic infrastructure like power lines and roads having destroyed. officials say rehabilitation could run into millions of dollars. >> it's a challenge because
there's breakdown in communications and no electricity in some parts. >> reporter: some critical institutions like this hospital are racing to re-open their doors. staff here continue to look after around 400 patients even when they were surrounded by a sea of water. >> we're running about 50% capacity. either the house or floods or the road to the hospital is flooded. >> for families like this recovery will be pain-staking and slow. they live in a community that already had very little. now they are left with nothing. china is implementing new laws in an effort to overhaul the notorious bad air pollution. environmentalists have said that air quality in the capital last
year reached the most dangerous levels ever recorded. florence lilly reports from beijing on new measures put in place for the new year. >> it's rare to see a clear, blue sky in beijing. more than not it's enveloped in smog, the major source is factory emissions as well as coal burning. most people start their day by checking the air quality index, a measurement of certain pollutants in the air. starting this year more than 330 cities across china will be required to release realtime data on air quality. of course the public may choose to view them skeptically as they do in beijing. most rely on the readings taken by the u.s. embassy. there's usually a discrepancy between the two with chinese showing lower levels of pollution. chinese officials say their reading is more accurate because it's taken from several
locations across the city. this is part of the chinese leadership's attempt to show it's serious and trans parents about tackling pollution. it comes as a revised law on the environment taking effect. the new laws allow court to impose stiffer penalties as well as prosecutors to bring criminal charges. perhaps, it's an indication that chinese officials are indeed serious about getting tougher on polluter in a reasonable court decision that fined several companies a total of $26 million for polluting the environment. gambian soldier loyal to the president are monitoring major roads and searching the homes of potential opponents after they put down an attempt by former gambian soldiers to seize power while the president was out the country. he call it had a so-called terrorist attack backed by foreign entities. he accused dissidents in the u.s., uk and germany of coordinating the attack.
the u.s. has denied in role. in south africa hundreds of people are facing eviction from a church in johannesburg. the building has been housing homeless south africans and refugees from sglim zimbabwe, but some say they rohn down the church as nicole johnston reports. >> reporter: it's a refuge for thousands wo no where else to go. out money and down on the luck they turn to the central methodist church in johannesburg and here they have made a home. some try to keep things as tidy as they can. that's not easy. at its peak up to 4,000 people lived here. bishop ver aaine opened in the door in 2008. at the time attacks of sgib bab wees living in south africa were increasing. about 80% of the people in the church are refugees. >> the accommodation in this building is not ideal for several reasons.
first of all sleeping on teps and foyers for most of the people, no privacy, struggle with utilities. >> reporter: it may not be perfect, but it's all they have. now the bishop is leaving, moving to the suburb of sewetto and the church wants their residents to go, too. they ran up an electricity bill of $170,000 so people are packing bags and some have been moved to sowetto but there's not room for everyone. >> without anywhere to go and as the day comes, i see myself standing in the street. >> reporter: around 350 homeless remain. they say they'll go whether the bishop does and this was never meant to be a permanent home. >> this is not a destination. it's a bridge into a more permanent, dignifyieddignified, acceptable piece of south african society.
>> reporter: many people are now left wondering where that bridge into the community will be. nicole johnston, al jazeera. let's get more now on the palestinian bid to join the international criminal court. kristen joins us live from the united nations. kristen, what's happening? >> reporter: well, we know that palestinian ambassador to the united nations is meeting now with the office of legal affairs here the at the united nations. he handed over the appear indication for the palestinians to join the international criminal court. it's official. the u.n. has the application in its hands. what typically happens is there's a 60-day waiting period from now until when they enjoy the full rights and membership privileges of a member state. as i was saying earlier, this is a bit of unchartered territory. the palestinians are not a fully recognized member of the united nations community, although they are considered an observer state here at the u.n.
this is a controversial move. we don't know how it will go forward, but we expect ban ki-moon will hand the application over. within 60 days they have some rights as a member of the international criminal court. >> a controversial move and a very significant one for the palestinians. the anticipation is it pafs the way for the pursuit of alleged war crimes charges against israel. absolutely. but, again, this is a bit of unchartered territory. there are a lot of questions about what cases they might present to the court, and i should say an investigation won't automatically happen. the palestinians would have to ask for this investigation or the chief prosecutor would have to launch an investigation. or the security council could also call for an investigation. these are the three ways that an icc investigation takes place. we don't expect the kouns to do that because the united states would nots support such a move and they have veto power. will the palestinians ask for an
investigation? that's what they're calling for. that's what they say they're going to do. what are they going to ask be investigated? what do they consider a war crime? how far back does the court's jurisdiction go? that's a big question many are requesting. the palestinian status here at the u.n. was updated to an observer state in 2012. many experts that we've spoken to expect that from 2012 forward they could refer incidents in that time frame to the court. for example, israel's incursion into gaza last summer which is currently being investigated by a commission of inquiry here at the united nations. that could be fair game. many experts say that. others have made the argument the court only has jurisdiction from when the palestinians become members, which would be from now forward. or others say it could back farther to the beginning of the court created in 1998. there's a lot of legal issues here that need to be sorted out. there's the issue of whether or
not the court would accept the case. the court actually turns down many cases in any given year. they are considered a court of last resort. they take the most egregious cases of crimes against humanity and war crimes. they have to rule whatever the palestinians put forward rises to that level. many unanswered questions. an important step for the palestinians here at the united nations today. where things go from here that is not completely clear, and it's something that's likely to take months if not years to play out fullary. >> kristen, thank you very much. live for us at the united nations in new york where we understand the palestinian ambassador to the u.n. is meeting with the u.n.'s legal department to formally hand in his request for the palestinians to join the international criminal court. we'll keep an eye on developments there for you and bring you any more information as it comes to you. >> let's catch up on your sports now.
sana is here. >> thank you very much. steven jared has confirmed he will leave the club at the end of the season and could be heading to the united states. the former englishman's future has been the subject of speculation for several months. he made his first time liverpool debut in 1998. he has been linked with a few mls clubs. he retires from international football after the group stage exit at the 2014 brazil world cup. so let's take a look at gerard career. he made his first time debut in 1998 as we mentioned at age 18 at the time. since then he's gone to make 700 appearances and score 180 goals. he's won ten trophies the highlight being winning the champions league in 2005. the one that gerrard never
managed to win want premier league. chelsea toppled the english premier league ahead of manchester city in alphabet cal order only after they were thrashed 5-3 in tottenham. at one point they lead 4-1. rose and chevri have other goals. it's only the second time this ever conceded five on the manager. >> what i am shocked about is that it's difficult to understand why but the reality is that in three days we have two incredible -- two incredible decisions that punish us in a very hard way. >> the most important thing is
to play here because we made a move here. i think that's great for the victory with his help the victory. we were better than chelsea, and this is the most positive thing for me. so we're looking at live pictures from the united nations in new york where the palestinian ambassador there mansour is speaking. he handed in a request to have the palestinians join the international criminal court. let's listen in. >> over months and weeks, when you are going to join the icc, and i was telling you soon and very soon and very soon. it has happened. even for some of you who were following our participation in assembly of the state parties of the icc in just last month in
december and participate as an observer state. in the statement that i gave i said who knows? maybe the state of palestine will be the 123rd state party to the icc. in fact, we are honored that we are the 123rd state party to the icc, which will be effective about 60 days from now in accordance with the rules of procedure of the icc. now, this is a very significant step in which we will be going through it to seek justice through a legal option. it is a peaceful option. it is way civilized option and an option that anyone who upholds the motion not be afraid
of. it is an option that we are seeking in order to seek justice for all the victims from the victims killed by israel in the occupying power, the last group of them the more than 500 children in gaza last summer more than 3,000 children injured a thousand more of skills in the district. this is only to mention one example. of course, we all know that according to their own statute, a settlement is a war crime. we will fully seek justice through this stipulation in the statute and other cases would be referred to the icc as well as
the leadership sees fit as we move forward. meaning that we reserve our right for retroactivity by crimes committed by israel since the creation of icc. let me just say a few words in arabic. [ speaking in arabic ] >> translator: to the office of the undersecretary-general for the legal affairs because he's the one concerned abehalf of the secretary-general. copies of 14 conventions and agreements with the secretary-general and -- of the convention and during the very
short meeting in this the secretary-general for legal affairs. we have been informed that they will declare according to their procedures their receipt of these agreements and conventions as of today. and this will be enforced according to the 60 or 30 or 920 days regarding joining the icc. this will be enforced within 60 days starting from today. during the procession of the icc, this will enable us to go to the legal piece for the civilized peaceful choice to follow up the perpetrators of
crimes against want palestinians, but technically hundreds of women and children were killed and thousands have been injured during the last war against our people in gaza and we'll keep our right to return to all the crimes committed since the statute being implemented in 2003. amongst the fiercest crimes committed is settlement and the wrong statute considered settlement as a war crime. these are the tools we have to defend our people and issues and follow the criminals. we know this will take time for
the sake of criminals and following the criminals we need to start. we have already started yesterday and today. thank you very much. >> reporter: i wanted to ask you, the recent u.s. funding bill had this idea of restricts funding to the palestinian authority and the investigation is sought and senator schumer put out a statement after the vote here. do you have any response to that? >> with regard to the request to the icc, i would be meeting in less than a hour with somebody from the office of registrar. we delivered last night a letter to both the office of the rej star and the hague requesting retroactivity with regard to the crimes during the last war