tv Weekend News Al Jazeera January 3, 2016 2:00am-2:31am EST
we take a look inside as attempts to uniting the country's opposition are made in riyadh. this is al jazeera live from doha. also ahead, condemnation of saudi arabia's execution of a she's dissident as new warnings of vengeance emerge in iran. floods in the u.s. and more expected as the mississippi rises further downstream. running out of room in sri la i
lanki. forests there are disappearing according to the specialists. syria's opposition is trying to agree on who should be part of upcoming direct talks with the as add government. the u.n. special envoy is to be bringing together. damascus based opposition members and syrian kurdish pyd groups that have been accused by some opposition factions of being regime allies. meanwhile government troops are battling free syrian army fighters near the border with jordan. they say they're under heavy bombardment by fighter jets there. regime forces are hoping to retake territory in the south which has been out of government control for more than three years. small towns in north-western syria are running out of food and medicine. a recent prisoner swap was meant to end a siege by pro-government
forces, but the aid that the towns were expecting hasn't arrived. >> reporter: the people of this area were promised help. it hasn't come. shops are empty or closed. on the streets dejacks and despairs - dejection. >> translation: we only have water. how come there is not food? in the end we were eating starch. everything was gone. >> reporter: humanitarian aid in december. dosss of fighters and their families were headed out to leban lebanon. north-west of damascus and close to the lebanese border has been the focus of intense fighting, but the rebels lost control of most of the town to the syrian army which had besieged it for months. residents believed that pro-government forces are still
blocking supplies. what sound is on the streets are from children playing. medical staff are struggling to help the sick as the number of people ill from hunger rises. >> translation: we've dealt with 150 cases of unconsciousness and two deaths. people were unconscious because of malnutrition. they hadn't had food for a number of days. >> reporter: residents had hoped the prisoner swap deal would get them the help they desperately need. one are now wondering if it will ever arrive. rob matheson people in a besieged city in yemen are calling for help from the united nations. protesters in thies formed a human chain to highlight their suffering. they're asking top lift the hath rebel siege. pro government forces backed by saudi arabia have set up their
own blockade of the rebel held capital. u.n. secretary general ban ki-moon says that he is deeply displayed by saudi arabia's execution of 47 men convicted on terrorism charges. among the group was a leading shia cleric, nimr al-nimr, and a prominent al-qaeda preacher faris al-zahrani. condemnation from across the region has been swift, especially in iran. in the last hour the country's supreme leader has warned devine vengeance foresaw depoliticians of-- for saw depoliticians will be swift. >> reporter: following the execution of nimr al-nimr, protests. he was a prominent cleric. nimr al-nimr was one of 47 men executed in saudi arabia. they had been convicted of
plotting of targeting civilians and security forces. also faris al-zahrani was among them. saudi arabia say the men received a fair trial. >> translation: the judiciary is objective and we deal objectively with the cases on merit. there is no different between what a person does regardless of his ethnic origin or affiliation in what he believes. we deal with facts and criminal intent. >> translation: last year a special court sentenced nimr al-nimr to death. nimr al-nimr didn't deny the political charges against him but said he never carried weapons or called for violence. saudi arabia vows to stamp out terrorism after 15 people were killed in a suicide bombing at a mosque in august. many of the others faris al-zahrani had been linked to
attack to the kingdom in 2003 and 2006 said to have been carried out by al-qaeda. >> it has made sure that it sees no difference between any form of terror as long as it's threatening people, its cities and economy, it will take care of it and deem with it swiftly. it doesn't matter if it is a shia or sunni source of terror. >> reporter: in october saudi arabia was warned of dire consequences if nimr al-nimr was killed. that was repeated when notice of his death was released >> >> they will try to neutralize this by igniting the soft spots in the region, particularly in kuwait, bahrain and saudi arabia. it wouldn't be a surprise if they do it again. >> reporter: following the latest executions, more may be on the way. at least 2200 similar cases are still to be heard in saudi
arabian courts another employee at a hong kong publishing inform critical of the chinese communist government has gone missing. paul lee, the chief editor of the mighty current publishing company, disappeared on wednesday. two months ago four of his colleagues went missing from southern china and thailand. his wife says that her husband called to say that he was safe, but he wouldn't reveal his location. people in the states of mississippi illinois arkansaw are cleaning up. thousands of people have been forced from their homes. water continues to rise and push further south. >> reporter: a massive clean up is under way that missouri after storms and tornadoes flooded much of the state.
water levels pushed water levels up flooding homes >> we didn't have any warnings. it was quick. i was just really scared. >> reporter: the u.s. army engineers fear several leviess will not be strong enough to hold the water back and could make things worse. 12 counties have been declared disaster areas. the u.s. national guard was called in to help with thousands of evacuations. there have been dozens of death. >> behind me you sigh a tiny fraction of the trail of destruction that the flood water has left. the raging flood water has deposited debris. >> reporter: there has also been transportation chaos stretching as far as oklohoma. hundreds of roads and highways have been closed. almost a dozen levies have been
overcome. the damage so far is estimated in the hundreds of millions. >> the hope is this is all a bad treatment. the worst dream that i could ever have. the fear is that i've lost everything. >> reporter: it is a fear not limited to the mid-western united states as water there recedes it is accumulating and swelling further down the mississippi river and now threatening residents in the country's south. areas are preparing for flooding in the coming days. voluntary evacuations are underway as the most vulnerable have been advised to move to higher ground. still others are filling sand bags as they too try to protect their homes in other news from around
the world, a mexican mayor has been killed just a day after taking office. local media say that armed men dragged her from her home on saturday killing her and two others. she had just been installed as the mayor of a town south of the capital of mexico city. the first results from the presidential election in the car are in. former prime minister has taken a narrow lead. the vote is seen as crucial for stability after three years of violence between muslims and christians. there is a heavy security presence near the india-pakistan border. gunmen were fought for 15 hours there after an abase was attacked t seven soldiers and all five gunmen were killed. m anila has some of the worst traffic in the world. the president's government says that it is committed to tackling
congestion. change can't come soon enough. >> reporter: this man has been cycling to work for four years. it is a daily obstacle. >> i save on gas and parking fees. the time i save i spend with my family. >> reporter: it is not the easiest way to travel but it is the better than the alternative carmeggeddon. traffic jams. driving along here could take up to four hours. transport networks need upgrades or have yet to be completed. at the same time sales of motor vehicles continue to rise. the problem one study found costs the country some 53
million dollars a day. inadequate infrastructure is seen as a down side risk to economic growth. urban planner says metro m anila is an urban laboratory on not how to do it, with an average 1000 years in traffic spent by average office workers. >> our city is vehicle oriented. other cities have more seriousness about planning. >> reporter: thousands took to the streets to call on leaders to make cycling a long-term view. the government knows a biking scheme is not enough. despite this the philippines took the lead in creating a framework to make the entire apec region more friendly. >> people are saying why would
the philippines push such a thing. you know, your own country. it is precisely that. countries like the philippines who is lacking in inclusive mobility would learn from other countries who have done it. >> reporter: another study says it could take 50 more years and billions of dollars worth of investments to end the grid lock. until then, commuters on two wheels are hoping many others will follow suit still to come here on al jazeera, british soldiers who served in iraq could face court over alleged war crimes. we will tell you why. later, virtual reality gets real as we bring you some of the likely tech trends for the year ahead. ahead.
beyond the soundbites. we're giving you a deeper dive into the stories that are making our world what it is. welcome back. the top stories here on al jazeera. assyrian government forces battle forces in the southern city, opposition leaders are meeting to try to decide who is going to take part in upcoming talks with the as add regime. floods have preceded in some parts of the u.s. and a massive clean up is underway. levels of the mississippi river have dropped but homes downstream are in danger as the water flows towards the sea. iran's supreme leader says that devine vengeance will defall
saudi officials after the execution of nimr al-nimr and faris al-zahrani. more now on those executions. there have been protests in the eastern veh deprovince-- saw deprovince. the home town of the executed cleric nimr al-nimr where he led anti-government demonstrations in 2011. he never knitted to any violent acts and spies supporters say that his execution was purely political. in neighbouring bahrain dozens have protested against the executions. in london proceed festers gathered outside the saudi arabia embassy voicing their support for nimr al-nimr and other activists who were put to death. other nations have expressed concern about the executions in saudi arabia. the u.s. warned that the actions risk exacerbating sectarian tensions and it has broad
concerns about human rights in the kingdom. yemen's houthi leaders have condemned the execution of the shia cleric. there have been protests in pakistan and kashmir as well. iraq's prime minister haider al-abadi says it will have repercussi repercussions. in lebanon hezbollah has called nimr al-nimr's death an assassination. a group of british soldiers who served in iraq could be prosecuted for war crimes. the detective in charge of the iraq historic allegations team says that serious allegations are underinvestigation. the ministry of defense set up the unit five years ago to examine allegations of abuse torture and murder. >> reporter: the british soldier filmed here abusing prisoners was subsequently jailed. nearly seven years after the end of combat allegations remain
unresolved and unpunished. ihat chief told the independent newspaper: he went on: it now has a case load of more than 1500 adelaide victims, including 280 said-- alleged victims-- said to have been killed. ihat needs more support. >> there does need to be investigation where wrongdoing takes place, but there needs to be a far more effective means of screaming out the spurious cases from the serious ones. >> reporter: human rights lawyers are critical that war crimes are taking so long to
investigate. >> they are only investigating 45 of those cases. so statistically it doesn't look like they're being very effective and we do have lots of concerns about how effective they can be in the circumstances. >> reporter: although the death of iraqi detainee in 2003 revealed systematic abuse of prisoners by british soldiers, only one soldier was jailed. the public inquiry into 2004 allegations is that british officers murdered were said to be without substance:. it was said: >> reporter: the number of legal cases continues to grow. ihat's ability to deal with them
is starting to look questionable. one clear inference from read the interview is that the complexity and sheer number of cases he is looking at risks overwhelming his team. that is bad news for the ministry of defense here in london because the m od set up ihat in part to prevent the international criminal court from looking at the abuse allegations. if ihat fails, the icc is on stand by and we could see british soldiers facing trial in the hague police in israel have identified a suspect in friday's shooting at a bar in tel aviv. they're looking for 31-year-old nashat m lllum. two people were shot dead and tliflt 8 others were wounded. netanyahu called the shooting a dispeckable crime. >> translation: among the muslim cities there are many who
speak out against violence. everyone there is a vial incitement against israel. we are acting aggressively against that inciting in the occupied west bank thousands of mourners joined a mass funeral procession for some of the palestinians killed in recent violence. the fun rails happened a day after the israel released 23 bodies. since october 144 palestinians and 21 israelis have died in the unrest. the ceasefire in yemen between houthi rebels and a saudi led coalition is over. it had been repeated by both sides. now new peace talks are meant to be getting underway soon. the chair of the middle east studies program at the university of san francisco. he says that talks have not included the voice of yemeni
civil society. >> they are the ones that initiated the uprising had which overthrew the dictatorship as part of the arab spring. they had gotten together a broad coalition that could have been an interim government, that they promised to schedule multi party elections but unfortunately the saudis with the backing of the united states just passed power over to general hadi. we have seen the results. even in the midst of all the violence between the various sides, we have still seen civil society in action. the major reason that thies is not fallen to houthi forces, is the civil resistance of tens of thousands of ordinary citizens in that city who have been saying we're not going to let you take over. some the for the talks to receive they need to have broader representation from
yemeni society. some this week we've been looking at the new set of u.n. sustainable development goals that came into account on january 1. one of those goals is to end deforestation by 2020. in environmentalists want more commitments to stop forests being destroyed. >> reporter: nature in all its beauty. 80% of sri lanka was covered in forest. forest has been cleared for housing in recent years provoking a huge outcry from environmentalists.
these pictures filmed by them show the extent of the deforestation. >> translation: the they don't understand that these are the areas that must be protected. it is the main reason. >> reporter: further land being cleared has been halted for housing in the area. as the population grows and progresses, forests like this and the animals in them face increasing threat. environmentalists say they must be protected to ensure their long-term survival. land that has already been deforested should be used for development rather than clearing remaining forests. failure to change course would be disastrous not least for wildlife. >> the species are already in the critical endangered category. if we take action we may lose
some of these species. >> reporter: these are among the animals under threat. environmentalists say the newspaper government in colombo appears to be responding to their concerns. a task force is coordinating a three year environment protection plan which aims to reverse some of the damage and expand the country's forest cover. >> we are working together to ensure that at the end of three years we will have the addition of another three to six thousand dollars of forest. >> reporter: the challenge is to strike the right balance between, on the one hand, the kneepad to free-up land for development and on the other the need to protect the environment, especially for wildlife species already on the verge of extinction every year innovative technologies appears on our horizon. some of them make our lives better. others just don't catch on.
most are helping to connect the world. as part of our series looking at the year ahead, our technology editor explores some of the gadgets that are tipped to shape 2016. >> reporter: the market for unmanned, remote operated aircraft, better known as drones, has grown fast in recent years. it is now estimated to be worth over 1.4 billion dollars a year and each new generation is getting smarter than before. new models of drones are able to navigate by themselves and can be program elide to film as they follow a beacon worn on the risk. >> you wear a wrist band and the camera will follow you, so you can ski down a ski slope or driving a race car or a motorcycle. there is a lot of interesting things that i think we will see in the coming year. >> reporter: 20016 looks to be the year of virtual reality will come of age. one entertainment centre due to
open in the u.s. combines the virtually tool and the real. visitors explore a game space but their experience is enhanced by 3d and heat and water sprays. from the virtual to the real, dubai's civil defense force is said to take delivery of 20 of these jet packs. they're intended to replace helicopters in an emergency situation. they could be used in the oil and gas industry, even by farmers. cities too are fast becoming smarter. from monitoring rubbish bins to tracking traffic flows, over 1.6 billion sensors are already installed in the world's cities to track the activities the residents. more than five and a half million more will be connected etch day in 2016. >> the problem that there is a strong focus on using people's data without the permission or the awareness of the user. so what we find is lots of
corporations that see the city as where they can get the data that is supposed to be the oil of the 21st century, to repackage it and resell it. >> reporter: new technology that could disrupt public transport is also going to be tested this coming year. hyperlink transportation which will have speeds of over a thousand km/h will undergo testing on a track near l.a. it is still unproven but could in time change the way we travel. it has been promised before, but 2016 is expected to about be the year bio- metric security really takes off. more and more deficienciess and services are swapping passwords for readings such as face, heart beat, eye railways of your-- iris of your eye. >> using fingerprint, they can unload a gun in a second.
>> reporter: they can be used to lock objects like handguns and help to protect our ied tease and private data as our world becomes more connected wow. more news at our website. take a look at al jazeera.com >> the top of the world - the arctic circle. an environment that is at the same time hostile and fragile. warming temperatures are warming ice at historic rates... adding to its distress, man's unquenchable desire for fossil fuel. the quest to retrieve arctic oil is underway, but how prepared is the world to handle a catastrophic spill.