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tv   News  Al Jazeera  March 27, 2015 1:00pm-1:31pm EDT

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e news, go deeper and get more perspectives on every issue. al jazeera america. saudi-lead forces bomb houthi forces in yemen from the air with troops on standby for possible ground deployment. ♪ they are also working to ensure that no one can help the houthis outside of yemen. evidence that the pilot was excused from work by a doctor on the day he flew his passenger jet into a mountain. and we'll tell you why this
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man is trying once again to be nigeria's next president. plus -- >> i'm jonah hull with the story of how war in ukraine did great things for fish farming here in the faroe islands. there have been further air strikes by saudi-lead air strikes in yemen. the coalition spokesman say that they are trying to cut off supplies and no foreign fighters will be let into yemen to support the group. >> translator: no one will be allowed to provide any reinforcement or supplies to the houthi's militias. this is a specific target. the result storm operation is mainly to support the legitimacy of the president and the government and to restore legitimacy and security to the brotherly country of yemen.
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let's take you through the latest developments in yemen. jets launched three strikes on the red sea coast city and more strikes in the airport and key mill stair installations in sana'a. and there are reports that the houthis have begun to shell residential areas outside of aden. yemeni president hadi has arrived in egypt for the arab league summit that begins on saturday. egypt and saudi arabia are pushing for the creation of a regional strike force which is expected to be approved by the arab league on saturday.
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let's speak to mohamed vall who spent a lot of time reporting from and in yemen and is following all of this for us. he is with us at the studio. what do you make of what the coalition spokesman was saying in his press briefing which happened some 45 minutes ago, particularly when he was saying that no one within yemen will be allowed to assist hewthy righters but no one outside either. >> yeah, he's talking about iran but he hasn't mentioned it by name. iran is the only likely country that may likely try to channel help to the houthis. before the beginning of these operations. iran was building an airport in sana'a for the houthis, and also iran has opened direct flights, daily daily flights between tehran and sana'a without the approval of
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the government. so iran was already there. and they sent ships sometimes with oil, and sometimes allegedly with weapons. so he's talking about iran. and there is much difference between talking about acting. iran has been exercising at sea and not far from the port of aden, and when it comes to real action if iran wants to intervene it will be a serious problem. do they control the seas? that's another question perhaps that has not been addressed by the spokesman. >> the coalition spokesman said the main aim of the operation at the moment is to protect the yemeni government which is based in aden. >> exactly. he said they are targeting the supply lines of the houthis who are now not far from aden. they are working with coordination of the troops of saleh, so that is the primary
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goal but he referred to possible help coming to the houthis. the first point, they are protecting the yemeni government could be the easiest thing. hadi is not in aden half of the government is still in sana'a. it's a symbolic protection of aden because there's nothing really in terms of the existence of a government per se. >> so the coalition is in control of -- of all of yemeni air space, according to the spokesman. you have also got now all of these troops amassed on the border the saudi arabiian yemeni border do you think just by having air supremacy and continuing coming raids that that's the way they will force the houthis to retreat?
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>> there will be ground operations but not by the saudis in my -- as far as i can -- my expectations. i think the saudis will do anything they can to make sure they don't need to send their troops inside yemen, it's a very mountainous area very difficult to invade. and maybe they are hoping that they will not even come to that stage, because there are many tribes that have already announced their readiness to fight if they have weapons and the necessary supplies and the saudis are probably planning to just use those tribes. the tribes have already said we want to defend ourselves against any houthi incursion in our lands. so it's possibility that the tribes if they are united -- remember the houthis are a minority group in the north, and without the help of the former president saleh, and without the fragmentation of the
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yemeni army and the weak supplies they wouldn't have gotten as far as they did. >> thank you very much. al jazeera's gerald tan takes a closer look at which nations are supporting this coalition campaign in yemen and what exactly they are con distributing. >> reporter: the air strikes on houthi positions in yemen began early on thursday. saudi arabia is leading this campaign. it has an estimated 100 fighter jets conducting the air strikes and 150,000 saudi soldiers are standing by near the yemeni border. the operation is supported by a brood coalition, four other gulf states the uae, queue wait bahrain, and qatar have lend support. you see the break downhere. although the campaign so far is centered on air strikes.
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egypt has sent four ships through the red sea to help secure the gulf of aden this strategic shipping lane is vital in the global oil route. egypt has also said it will be ready to take part in a ground offensive. the united states says it is providing advisory and logistical help. but there's no indication if it will allow saudi jets to use its air base. it's unclear how long this air campaign will continue or if ground troops will be deployed. and little is known about the military capability of the houthis, except that they are a well-organized force that is backed by another regional heavyweight, iran. al jazeera has condemned an attack by houthi rebels on its news center in sana'a.
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in a statement, al jazeera said: we're continuing our comprehensive coverage through our sources in sana'a and other yemeni provinces. yemen has been discussed in iran's nuclear talks with the u.s. in switzerland. six world powers are trying to convince tehran to limit its nuclear program in return for the easing of sanctions. prosecutors in germany say they have found doctors notes excusing a pilot from work on the day he flew is germanwings passenger jet into a mountain. it added to suspicions that he was hiding an illness before the crash which called 150 people.
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nadine barber reports. >> reporter: a president paying his respects. as more information emerges germany's head of state joined hundreds of people at this church. this small town is in mourning for 16 pupils killed in the french alps as they returned from a school trip to spain. >> translator: i came out of the church from the midst of people who lost the most precious thing to them. a child, a loved one. i heard the sobbing of people mourning their loss and i wanted to mourn with them. >> reporter: many people are struggling to understand why the co-pilot flu the airbus into the mountains on purpose. the german media reports said he suffered a serious ep poed of dep regulars in 2009. and after voters searched his house and his parent's house a new twist in the tragedy. >> translator: medical documents were confiscated pointing
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towards an existing illness. the fact that there were torn up sick notes among the things that were found, which were even from the day of the crime, support the assumption that the deceased hid his illness from his employer and his professional colleagues. at the crash site they are still going through the debris trying to find human remains. identifying the victims and notifying the relatives will be a slow process, and then there's the question of accountability. >> translator: should it be the case that the colleague was signed off sick then i have to be very clear, someone with a sick note has no business being in a cockpit. he should have stayed home. i can't understand that. >> reporter: the families of some victims most of them from germany and spaib have left their own tributes at this memorial near the spot where their loved ones died. but for now the search for answers goes on.
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still to come here on al jazeera -- >> i'm rob ren alds in los angeles where a bratry repsyching plant that spewed toxic waste for deckades is finally about to be shut down. plus the president of sierra leone has ordered everyone to stay in doors until sunday night. we'll tell you why. >> sunday. you know his music but what about the man? >> i was given a gift. >> up close and personal. behind the scenes of the biggest hits... >> she was a troubled girl. >> brightest stars... >> kids don't want to "own", they just want to "play". >> and the future of music. >> the record business is in trouble. >> every sunday night, >> i lived that character. >> go one on one with america's movers and shakers. >> we will be able to see change. >> gripping. inspiring. entertaining. talk to al jazeera. sunday, 6:30 eastern. only on al jazeera america.
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>> the stream, >> your digital community >> you pick the hot topics and express your thoughts the stream it's your chance to join the conversation only on al jazeera america ♪ hello again the top stories here on al jazeera. yemen's president has arrived in egypt for an arab league summit. this as air strikes against
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houthi fighters continue across the country. the coalition says it's trying to weaken the houthi's air defense system and to cut off supply lines. german prosecutors say they have found doctor's notes excusing a pilot from work on the day he flew a passenger jet into a mountain. it added to suspicions that he was hiding a mental illness. to libya where forces loyal to the two rival governments are battling each other for the control of the country. they do however, have a common enemy. fighters claiming allegiance to isil. zana hoda reports now on the brigades who have been sent from misrata to fight isil. [ sirens blaring ] >> reporter: the casualty toll is mounting and the wounded keep turning up. buy grades from the libya dawn
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coalition in misrata are at war with groups affiliated we the islamic state of iraq and the levant in the city of sirte. most of them are in their early 20s, and many fought in the 2011 revolution. but this time they say the battle is different. they say they are facing a well-trained enemy. >> translator: they don't fight face-to-face. they use suicide bombers. we were sleeping in our trailer near the front when a gunman entered and opened fire. five of my members were killed. >> reporter: it send the 166 brigade towards the east in february. sirte was more than 250 kilometers away. isil fighters are in control of much of the town. there has been sporadic fighting around the coastal city. misrata is in a difficult decision.
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thousands of civilians are still inside the city any offensive would mean civilian casualties and it would mean destroying the city yet again. sirte was where gadhafi made his last stand. at the time there was deep resentment between the people of sirte and misrata. they were slowly putting their past behind them until isil declared sirte to be part of its so-called islamic state. >> translator: isil is supported by gadhafi loyalists. god willing we will rid libya from them. they are using civilians as human shields. >> reporter: isil has managed to expand in libya in recent months. its strength is debatable, but what is clear is the armed group has exploited the divisions here. >> translator: libya is one country. the people are one.
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there is no difference between east and west. that is why the only solution is dialogue. so many people are losing their children. >> reporter: this has become misrata misrata's new reality. this man lost his son in the battle for libya, many others are losing their children too. in syria, at least 12 people have been killed in a suburb of the capitol. activist video up loaded to youtube appears to show the aftermath of air strikes. al jazeera is unable to a verify these images but activists say the bomb hit a market and a mosque during friday prayers. syria's president says he is open to dialogue with the united states. he made the comments in a tv interview with u.s. network cbs, but he said there must be no pressuring of syria's
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sovereignty. >> as principal in syria, we can say that every dialogue is a positive thing and we're going to be open to any dialogue with anyone including the united states regarding anything based on mutual respect. iraq's prime minister has met military commanders near tikrit. he was briefed on their progress. since u.s.-lead air strikes began in the region. iraqi special forces have been trying to retake the city from the islamic state of iraq and the levant. nigeria's military says that it has destroyed the headquarters of boko haram in the northern area of gwoza. the announcement was made as nigeria holds an election this weekend. they have recaptured several towns from the armed group in the past weeks. boko haram has killed thousands of people in a six-year campaign. goodluck jonathan has made a
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final plea for a peaceful election and urged the nation to accept the result whatever it may be. president jonathan is up against muhammadu buhari in the tightest election in years. >> reporter: he ruled nigeria from jan 1984 until august 1985 after taking power in a military coup. he has since tried and failed three times to become president. [ applause ] >> reporter: when he was in power the former military leader jailed journalists without charge and banned public demonstrations. but at 73 his supporters say he has changed. >> he comes with a history of being a fair person. a history of not being corrupt. and for a country in its worst stages of corruption this would be something that could be -- be
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change that people want to see. >> reporter: buhari is popular among his supporters. when he was in power, he introduced a policy called the war against indiscipline to bring back public morality in which committing fraud could result in the death penalty. but his critics say he doesn't have solutions to the problems facing nigeria today. >> the change that buhari's party is proposing is a wish list. in corruption we're going to fight corruption. we don't know how. what will this look like? and transform education even better than jonathan is doing, but we don't know how. >> reporter: he supports democracy, and says he'll reduce unemployment, improve services. two al jazeera journalists
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have been detained in the northern city of nigeria. they are confined to their hotel room. the army has accused the pair of operating without protection or accreditation and says they will be held until further notice. but al jazeera says both are officially accredited and the network is demanding their unconditional release. a three-day lockdown designed to stop the spread of ebola has come into effect in sierra leone. dozens of new infections are still being reported there every week. sierra leone guinea and liberia have been worse hit by the ebola outbreak which has killed more than 10,000 people in west africa. the world health organization says that education is key to eliminating new ebola infections
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for good. >> it's simply being done to mobilize the community, to reinforce the need for vigilance, for the behaviors that we know really make a huge difference increasing hygiene, always washing hands, and also understanding what the symptoms of ebola look like how important it is the minute somebody has any of those symptoms that they be tested and that they be taken for treatment, and that anyone who is known to have been in contact with somebody who has ebola is on a list and followed up. we're seeing these things now being done in sierra leone. most of the new cases we're seeing and numbers of new cases are falling right down and most of the new cases we're seeing are now coming from what we call contact lists, which means that the sierra leonian authorities with them .of us and other partners are really getting their eyes on where the virus is, and they are really really making all of the efforts to
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contain and stop this virus. a recycling plant is to shut down near los angeles in the u.s. after managers admitted they have been storing hazardous waste illegally. none of the bosses will be prosecuted. and rob reynolds reports, people say the plant has been taking them sick for years. >> reporter: for decades this recycling plant spewed toxic substances into the air, water, and soil of a low-income hispanic neighborhood in southeast los angeles. this is one of the thousands of residents who live down wind from the plant. >> translator: the smell in the air is feted. it's an ugly smell >> reporter: the plant owned by the exide corporation was cited dozens of times for serious violations by california toxic substances control agency.
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but the agency levied fines on exide only a handful of times, and allowed the plant to operate for 33 years on a temporary license. state lawmakers are now considering a top to bottom reform of that agency. garcia suffers from tremendous tremendous -- tremors and shortness of breath she blames her ailments on the battery plant. >> translator: i think it's the environment here. it's the environment. it can't be anything else. >> reporter: earlier this month, exide struck a deal with federal government prosecutors. the company agreed to shut down the plant, tear down the buildings, and take full responsibility for cleanup at the 6 hecker site. the company is expected to pay about $50 million for the cleanup. but company executives will not face criminal charges. community activists say that's wrong. >> they deserve to be fully
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investigated prosecuted and they need to be -- do some prison time. >> reporter: when some of the pollution problems were made public. los angeles country set up a free blood testing program for local residents. the tests showed this woman's 16-month-old daughter had high levels of lead in her blood. >> translator: the doctor told me that it could affect her brain. it could lead to deafness. she could have problems with her speech. so this is very troubling. >> reporter: exide issued a statement confirming details of the agreement to close the plant. california toxic substances agency declined to answer al jazeera's questions about its failure to halt the pollution. it is expected to take four years or more for exide to demolish this plant, clean upthe
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toxic waste and remove contaminated soil from houses in this area. now go into any restaurant in the faroe islands, and you are likely to see salmon on the menu. as much as it's a hugely popular cuisine there, the fish is also bringing in money, a lot of money, especially from russia. jonah hull tells us what is driving demand. >> reporter: when russia banned certain imports from the european union in response to sanctions over ukraine, the salmon farming faroe islands stepped into the breach. this tiny nation in the north atlantic suddenly found itself with a near monopoly on salmon sales to russia. >> we are not a part of the e.u., so we do our trade businesses ourselves. we are not asking brussels because we are not an e.u.
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member. >> reporter: in 2013, brussels banned faroese mackerel. the prime minister who had lobbied moscow hard was only too happy to take his business elsewhere. >> we are doing business with russia, and we were boycotted just before out of e.u. and if you are boycotted from e.u., where should you go in if e.u. is locking their harbor for us, because we are not reaching an agreement on the north atlantic, then we need to find other markets, and we are doing business as usual. >> reporter: the faros upped both production and price. which year end fresh salmon sales to russia had increased by almost 700%. and many faroese were happy to see the nation exercising its independence from the e.u. >> we looked for a new market and there was russia. >> no one should tell us where
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we shall sell salmon. if we decide to sell to russia i believe that's the best for us to do. >> we are not help the faroe island people, the e.u. so why should a little nation the faroe island help the e.u.? >> reporter: the farmed salmon thrive in perfect north atlantic conditions. >> our company is producing salmon to the very high end consumer market around the whole world, so we are looking for the sushi restaurants all over the world, and they in between is moscow also an interesting market for us. >> reporter: since september last year russia has received almost all of its fresh salmon from these waters in the faroe islands and -- >> we're taking you now to the united nations security council where they are talking about yemen -- actually no we're going to the u.s. state
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department. >> -- to stand up and defend the valuesover freedom, and mutual respect. values which speak to a universal truth -- >> i would say that the highthy's action which came before the saudi military actions, you know, are the reason that we've -- we've got this -- you know unstable and chaotic situation in yemen. >> does the u.s. understand perhaps maybe some of the reasons that the houthis may feel unreasonable perhaps the ongoing drone campaign the ongoing shortage o electricity, food, water? what does the u.s. say to that? >> well again, there has been a gcc initiative and a u.n.-lead process to address political issues in yemen. the united states has supported it. the international community has supported it. the u.n. security council has supported