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tv   News  Al Jazeera  August 17, 2015 4:00am-4:31am EDT

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syria's latest airstrikes on the out skf duh 345s cuss are labeled a massacre and the u.n. chief holds talks with the government. ♪ ♪ hello there, am laura kyle in doha. coming up on the program. stiffer sentences and fines for june assists egypt's president approves tough new secure eye laws. voters go to the bolls again. people in china demanding
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answers from the government about wednesday's explosions. we begin in syria where the air force have launched more attacks on the rebel-held of douma in damascus, coming a day after 100 people died after air strikes on a market in the same district. it was one of the bloodiest air tryings by the military in the three-year war. i asked zeina khodr about the latest air strikes. >> reporter: according to the syrian observatory for human rights there were three air strikes early this morning. still in word on casualties the syrian observatory also reporting that the government targeted other areas in the region which is in the damascus countryside targeting areas. this area really is a rebel strong hold. it has been a rebel strong hold for many years and the
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government has not been able to recapture these areas. the military still controls the skies. the government needs to make sure that the rebels are pushed back in order to defend and protect their seat of power in damascus, but like you mentioned, this this was one of the most deadliest attacks in the course of the syrian war. the high death toll is because first of all the first air strike targeted a crowded marketplace. it was rush hour and people were there. then when people came to evacuate the wounded, they came to help those who were wounded more air raids were carried out. the now the syrian state media did not mention these attacks because a syrian military source was quoted as saying that air strikes were carried out in douma but they said they hit a headquarters of the group -- of the islam i'm. we know a day early the islam
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army announced's offensives again the government and managed to cap tear base so this could be a message from the syrian government to the opposition and particularly to the civilians telling them they will be punished for the actions of the opposition groups ago. >> even as the humanitarian chief is talking to government trying to alleviate human suffering this still happens. >> reporter: yes, the top u.n. official for leaf is in damascus but we know how the united nations has been ineffective in solveth syrian crisis it hasn't found a political solution, hasn't stopped the fighting because the u.n. is divided the security council is divided and russia which has veto power is a close ally of the syrian government so theup hats been ineffective. but what u.n. officials have tried to do over the years is try to alleviate the suffering of people inside the numbers, laura, we are talking about
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4 million people who are now refugees in neighboring countries. 12 million people inside syria who needing a and 7.6 million who are displaced inside the country. so the u.n. needs to help these people and at the same time it wants access to reach the areas. some areas are besieged in fact douma has been we siege nod a long time and aid really -- it doesn't enter the area regular regularly. that's why doctors were appealing for help they don't have enough medical surprise and were overwhelmed with the number of injures in sunday's attack. in neighboring jordan villageers are demanding for better protection from the war spilling over their border. many have been hit by stray shells. a report.
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>> reporter: the resident say fighting between syrian troops and opposition fighters is forcing them to live in a state of war. two weeks ago a stray mortar shell hit the second floor of this home. it flew through the house, penetrated the walls and floors and landed outside. no one was injured but he says his family suffered distress and fear after the rocket struck when everyone was asleep. >> translator: my pregnant daughter was sleeping downstairs when the rocket hit i was worried something would happen to the baby. children in the area now face horror at night. some families briefly moved to other areas after the attack because their children were terrified of sleeping here. >> reporter: the government launched an investigation but offered no compensation to repair the blast damage, villagers along the border have become used to occasional stray mortar shell which lands near them by there is increased panic here because fighting hats recently become more intense and frequent. in june rebels announce little the start of fight to go push
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syrian troops out of the city. and all sides expect it to be a long battle. the family lives even closer to the border the impact of more than four years of shelling in syria has cracked walls and smashed their windows they are demanding more protection from the jordanian government. >> if there was an early warning system believe believe able to he straight wait my family when i hear the siren, lets the shell hit my home but not my children, we also wants an anti missile defense system to intercept stray shells. >> reporter: the government says the 375-kilometer border with syria is only protected from the jordanian side after syrian trooptroops with grew all border posts increasing pressure on the jordanian army to stop cross border infiltration. >> we are taking and employing any measure possible and could be taken in these circumstances in order to prevent attacks and in order to stop any breach on
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our borders. >> reporter: the first jordanian death caused by the war in syria was a man a rocket hit his workplace last june. although the last majority of jordanians living along the board back the rebel's fight in syria. the protracted for sit fright inning sill individual end ende. coming through following the assassination of the prosecutor general in june. and now ratified by president sisi. those found guilty of forming or leading a group seen as a terrorist entity by the government will face stiff sentences including the death penalty. financing so-called terrorist groups will carry a penalty of life in prison. judge assists can be fined for contradict i the authorities' version of the attacks.
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extra legal protection for carrying out the government dutys. a member of the egyptian rule of law association and complaineds what this new law will mean for journalists. >> any media that will defy the national narrative would be also fined. the law goes further in to not just muzzle the media and prevent any real political participation from forming but to move in to the special courts where they are to circumvent the law. if we remember from sisi said earlier this summer, he said that there are so many obstacles to the work of judges that that i need to begin to circumvent them. >> i want to bring it now to the question of immunity this, ladies and gentlemen slangs does seem to provide immunity for those acting in the name of the court, be they judges, security personnel, the question is what checks are in place to insure
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that these powers are then not abused? >> absolutely. so part of this new law is just the protection of police officers and security forces as they carry out their new duties. and so they will not be prosecuted if they are deemed going above and beyond the law. and so the law here is a system that is not protecting the citizenry but rather protecting the states. and so this is becoming indicative of a larger pattern of the consolidation of power in the hands of the executive and there isn't a check on not only his power but on his avenues of the dissemination of force. chinese premier has visited the site of last week's explosions. 414 people were killed in the blasts which were centered at a warehouse storing the highly toxic chemical sodium cyanide. the i ca explosions are so strot destroyed homes making people
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homeless. >> reporter: the protesters who have been gathering outside the hotel where government officials were briefing the local and international media, have not yet disbursed they are still demanding a meeting with government officials. the protesters here comprise relatives and family of those still missing as well as some of the 6,000 people made homeless as a result of wednesday night's multiple explosions. some of them are carrying banners saying we support the party. we support the government. but please by back our homes. our homes are worthless, we can't live them anymore. i spoke for one woman who returned here from the united states to live with her father and she had no idea dangerous chemicals like sodium cyanide were being stored so close to people's home this is what she had to say. >> like now i can't believe it. i can't believe the entire thing. we just thought it was a. [ inaudible ] there was a curse, no chemical. nothing there.
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but. >> reporter: you had no idea chemicals were stored there. >> no idea. i think everyone around there didn't know there was a dangerous chemical storing there. it was just a port. >> reporter: december strayings like the ones taking place here today are very rare in china. what's different is the authorities police and soldiers watching over the crowd have allowed us to interview and film the protesters in the past the authorities have move quickly to shutdown demonstrations like this with the media often be rounded up and he did trained. that has not happened. it's as if the authorities have received orders from on high to try to show or at least give the illusion of transparency. but it is a sil significant mom. one thing the authorities will worry about is if these demonstrations were to grow in number. if the grief was to turn to more wide suppress anger. sri lanka is holding parliamentary elections 15 million people are eligible to vote in the poll that's
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become more about personality that is poll at thises. back in january's president elections pack is ruled for nine years lost out to rival the new president called for early parliamentary elects after reforms remember blocked by lawmakers and he then he decided to run for parliament. the tiling of the elections could be important for thein' human rights report on the war is due to be released soon after the vote. now to the capital. just two hours remaining in this vote, how has it been going?
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>> reporter: laura, we are about two-thirds in the tote vote being day here in sri lanka. the parliamentary elections the vote -- the polls opened with a fairly steady stream. quite a few people stepping out in the early hours of the morning. as soon as polls open. in to the middle day there is a lull which is traditional as afternoon comes and lunchtime there is a bit of a dip in voting. overall, we are hearing from sort of unofficial results that voter turn out is somewhat low, particularly when you compare it with the suppress hal elect that his we had in january, we had huge voter turn out as high as 80%. local never seen in this country in recent years , when you compareed with that. i suppose anything would seem low. but here we are yet to reach those thos numbers. laura. >> you have talked to some have have turned out what have they been telling new. >> reporter: it depends on who you spoke to. we are hearing a lot of young
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people talking about the economy. the he need for development, many people are talking about corruption, the need to get a handle on corruption. so that the country can move forward. other people talked about development. other people saying that the whole sort of last, you know, eight months to a year things have been on hold with no real sort of a chief little within this last year. and sort of wanting basically to return to things as before. so it is a real mix. there are people that talk about sort of development for all, progress for all. respective of communities, respective of raise, so with different expectations people are going to the polls today. >> many thanks for joining us there. plenty more still to come on al jazerra. including. growing discontent 10s of thousands take to the streets of brazil against president dilma rousseff. and pristine but in need of
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protection. communities in northern russia fight to preserve their environment and way of life.
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>> al jazeera america, weekday mornings. catch up on what happened overnight with a full morning brief. get a first hand look with in-depth reports and investigations. start weekday mornings with al jazeera america. open your eyes to a world in motion. ♪ hello again, i am laura kyle these are the top stories on al jazerra. the syrian air force have launched more attacks on the rebel-tell suburb of douma in damascus coming one day off more than 100 people were killed in airstrikes at a market in the same district. -y just egypt has a new touh
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security law allowing for the death penalty for people involved in what he describes as terrorism related crimes and offers more legal protection to security officers. sri lankans are voting in parliamently erection this is that could seen the former president make a come backes running for prime minister, he was in power for nine years as president until his defeat in january this year. south sudanese president is in ethiopia for last-minute peace talks with his former deputy and now rival. the negotiations were thrown in to doubt last week when he failed to show up for the talks. a deadline is set setoguchi for monday or south sudan could face international sanctions joining us now from oxford is douglas johjohnson a former advice advio south sudan's government. you have been involved in past peace talks going on now for a year and a half. how difficult is it to bring
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these two sides together? >> it's extremely difficult because there are a number of issues that contribute to the current crisis. one is the competition between the president and piss former vice president. the other is divisions within the army and then there are other issues within the ruling party of the spla. the peace talks had really addressed all of those issues. they can only address a few. and currently we seem to have two drafts of a compromised peace agreement that might be presented to the two sides to the two men to agree and sign today. we are not exactly sure which one will be presented. >> okay, i suppose the difference today perhaps from the last 18 months is that this pressure of international sanctions is looming over the country.
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is that likely -- or how likely is that to spur these two leaders to reach some sort of agreement? >> well, it's difficult to see how sanctions can be applied equally to a government and to an opposition. sanctions that if this is considered that the government is holding up the peace agreement, then the sanctions might have an effect. i am not sure that that is exactly the case. there is -- there are divisions within the opposition, some of the senior generals have defected and gone to khartoum. other politicians have been critical of the opposition leader. so it's difficult to see how sanctions on the opposition would be able to bring them to the table or bring them to an agreement if they are considered to be the main obstacle. >> and if an agreement is reached, although it is sounding pretty unlikely in the past we have seen them violated within
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hours. so are you holding out any optimism for the situation advantaging today? >> well, i was recently in juba last month and when the first compromise agreement was tabled and the deadline of the 17th of august was announced, and the feeling that i got from within juba was that nothing was going to be signed. at that time, the government had a number of objections to the compromise plan that had been presented to them. the opposition wasn't saying anything at that time. but they had hoped for the government to reject it so that they could pretend to accept it, but not have to implement it. the new compromise agreement is now something that the opposition is objecting to. so i will have to say one has to
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retain at least a residual optimism to be able to keep ongoing, but i am not really confidents that a meaningful peace agreement will be sign the today. >> douglas johnson very interesting to get your thoughts and expertise on the situation in south due dan, thanks for joining us. >> thank you. bad weather has forced i want near i can't to stop trying to receipt a plane that crashed they lost contact with the half an hour after it took off. three daze of morning have been declared in the punjab problem vince over the killing of the home minister, he died in a suicide bombing on sunday while holding a meeting. 18 others were killed in the explosion. nicole johnston is there. >> reporter: this is where the
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attack of the interior minister of punjab province took place as he was meeting people from the village. what is so significant about it is what it relates. there was a minter who was leading the campaign against armed groups inside punjab province and this crack down had started after the army school attack in december. for that he had become a major target of the groupings, there were threats against his life. one of his biggest achievements had been taking out the leader and his two sons of a banned group. and in the end it was supporters of that group who carried out this attack. there are three days of national mourning in punish jack provincd the attack has been condemned by poll ipoliticians, leaders and military. the big question is who will replace him take on the job of fighting armed groupings inside
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punjab. fighting has broken out in the israeli city of ashkelon. the violence began during a demonstration in support of a palestinian man on minutinger strikhunger strikein an i had r0 people were arrested. the west bank hundreds of children rally ed in solidarity with the man. he's believed to be in critical condition after 60 days without food to protest against detention without charge. he was arrested last november accused of being part of the islamic jihad group. hundreds of thousands of people across brazil have been protesting against the government. the famous coke kak beach has s. with the protesters. >> reporter: out with dill match out with the washingers part they chanted as the march slowly
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moved along the beach. the same message resonated in over 100 cities and town as cross the country including the northeast once considered dilma rousseff's strong hold. it was triggered by the petro gas scandal. that led to the arrest arrests. >> they are stealing from us. they don't have the heart. because the corruption is killing millions and millions of brazilians people. >> reporter: here in rio, many were from the middle class that had seen steady growth over the past decade, now it's feeling the pinch of the economic crisis. but while the protesters were making their voices heard, many more people preferred to spend their sunday on the beach. they share the same discontents but don't agree with the calls for impeachment.
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>> there has always been corruption in this country. but they are not demonstrating against corruption, they are demonstrating against a party. you know? against. [ inaudible ] against this government. and the solution is if we have -- if. [ inaudible ] doesn't exist, all the problems in brazil are solved. >> reporter: many fear that those calls to out of the out of the president, it will just lead for more inning that bill. it's not enough to impeach a president. it would require some sort of legal wrongdoing on her paragraph during her presidency and so far must ongoing investigations have implicated here in the many corruption scandals playing this country, still it he want would be easy for dilma hugh seve rue steph ie coming days she has to pass more austerity measures that will
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will not hem were when it comes to popular support. russia has 40 groups of what it calls small-numbered indigenous peoples. some of them have managed to hold onto their traditional way of living. but recently their biggest challenge is the spread of the oil industry. rory challe think ap challands e indigenous man's fight for his home land. >> reporter: they tell many stories about the lake, that stone people have been pulled from its depth. that the gods use it to reach earth. sergei has his own tale of how he became the sacred lake's guardian. >> translator: you just need to feel it and it changes everything. before a bear would chase me every day, but when i started guarding the lake, he left me alone. after this he would only go for reindeer and not me. >> reporter: but protection this is landscape is perhaps brought sergei danger from a different direction. last year he tangled with men
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from the oil wells nearby. he says he shot their dog after it attacked his reindeer. the prosecution charge says he threatened to kill the men. now he's facing maybe two years in jail. >> translator: all my ribs were broken, they still haven't healed. men dressed as police came and beat me up. >> reporter: by traditioner they are nomads, fishing the lakes and rivers, herding reindeer across the vast tundra. but since the oil industry arrived in the 1970s being their way of life has been increasingly constrainedded by pollution, construction and official bureaucracy. >> reporter: it is of course entirely possible that sergei hasn't been totally truthful with us and that he is guilty of that which he accused the judge will decide one way or the other. but the sad reality of this is it's a case of one man versus a giant system and the odds are firmly stacked in the system's
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favor. sergei's lawyer hopes to dismantle the charges before they reach the judge. russian courts have a 199% conviction rate. this is a region where state-owned oil companies have enormous influence. >> translator: it is natural in court case where his a little man goes against the company, the company has significantly better chances of victory. >> reporter: this is legally -- breaking in to that to take you live to moscow where the iranian and russian foreign ministers are speaking. >> translator: our president spoke about it. who for many times met at the last meeting was in the fall at the summit of bricks and. [ inaudible ] special attention was paid to the deep inning and development of the trade economic ties we agreed to hold
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in autumn of this year, probably october the next session of the joint i want governmental commission of the trade cooperation. it's an important tool in the opinion of both iran and russia which effectively helps to coordinate our joint approaches to deepen our economic investment and other ties. we closely couldn't at the level of ministers of foreign affairs based on the protocol which encompasses the period of 2015 to 2018 and enables us to insure close. [ inaudible ] of the approaches on a whole range of important original and international problems. we pressed support of the successful compleeption of the negotiations on the settlement of the situation on the iranian nuclear program. we have satisfied with the acceptance