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tv   Weekend News  Al Jazeera  January 31, 2016 12:00pm-12:31pm EST

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♪ a series of bomb attacks hits the syrian capital, damascus. at least exhibit people die as leaders cinch for a way to end the war. hello there. i am felicity barr. you are watching live from london. at least 65 people are killed in a bomb attack in nigeria. the armed group, boko haram is thought to be responsible. >> a palestinian police officer shot dead after wounding three israelis in an attack on a checkpoint in the occupied west bank. and the zika virus spreads further across latin america.
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now, the government of el salvador warns women not to get pregnant. while negotiations to i need the violence in syria get off to a difficult start in geneva, the fighting continues on the ground. at least 60 people have been killed in a triple bombing in the syrian capitol. the attack happened near a revered shrine in damascus. is ill is claiming responsibility for the blast. the u.s. secretary of state john kerry has been speaking about the situation in syria and those peace talks. >> in light of what is at stake in these talks, i appeal to both sides to make the most of this moment, to seize the opportunity for serious negotiations, to negotiate in good faith with the goal of making concrete, measurable progress in the days
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immediately ahead. the world is hoping that both sides will move quickly to meet the needs of millions of desperate syrians to reduce the pressure on neighboring countries, to reduce the levels of migration and to help restore peace and stability. the main topics on the agenda for these negotiations include arrangements for a nationwide cease fire and establishing a path to a political transition that will bring this conflict to an end in accordance with the geneva communique of 2012 and u.n. security council resolution 2254. now, while battlefield dynamics can affect negotiating leverage, in the end, there is no military solution to the conflict. >> our diplomatic editor james bays joins us. john kerry applying pressure to both sides but where are these talks at right now?
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>> reporter: i think it's important to look at what the secretary of state said because he referred, in that section that you played of his comments, exactly to the points that the opposition want in place: that nationwide cease-fire, lifting of the sieges. that's what they have been demanding initially before they would come to geneva. now they are here, they say it needs to take place before they engage actively in the talks. they are getting pressure from john kerry and encouragement from stefan b.mistoura, the u.n. envoy, these will be top of the agenda if they will join the negotiations, not face to face but proximity talks bwhich they haven't agreed to join. after their meeting, they went ahead, had a meeting among themselves, and i can tell you they were split and certainly, some of the participants seemed somewhat angry with each other at the end of the meeting. in the last hour, they have been off, and they have been meeting again at the french mission to the u.n. here in zen ev geneva
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where they met with european envoys and the u.s. envoy, again trying to persuade them: join the process and your concerns, those things you want done, will put them right at the top of the agenda, and moments ago, i saw the delegation come back to where i am, and they are now holding a meeting. i am not sure this is the crunch meeting, but certainly, they will discuss again whether to join the negotiations. i have been speaking to as many of the opposition members as i can in the last few hours trying to get soundings. it's pretty clear that some members of the armed groups are not at all happy, have been talking about leaving, leaving geneva and saying, no. this isn't good enough. and i am told that behind the scenes, there has been pressure coming from all sorts of places but particularly from the gulf countries saying, no. you should stay. give this a few more days. >> james, if some delegates decide they have had enough and they don't believe they are going to get what they want and they decide to leave, where does that leave the opposition
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delegation? is that it for the talks? >> well, i don't think we are there ybecause remarkably, according to most diplomats who watch this process, even though we are seeing disagreement among the opposition, they are going through this in quite a democratic manner. it may look chaotic from the outside but what they are doing is discussing things going away, debating them again, having a vote, going away, discussing them again. what the opposition members i have spoken to says is a democratic process, completely the opposite of the government side. i think pretty determined to try to make a decision as a whole and the opposition grouping doesn't splinter. it's certainly this riyadh grouping hasn't splinterred until thispointment i think they are pretty determined that should not happen. i think if that happens, i think really, this effort which most diplomats are tell you is not -- far from certain to be a
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success. all sorts of doubts but it's almost failed if the opposition actually split and some of them leave and that's why you are seeing so much pressure, john kerry coming out and speaking in the last couple of hours. >> wasn't for our benefit. it was for the opposition members who are watching their t.v.s, listening to him talking about some of the things he's been telling them privately. >> james in geneva with the latest. thank you. at least 65 people have been killed in an attack in northeast nigeria. thetac took place on saturday night five kimometers from madeur gi. they say boko haram is responsible. saying suicide bombers targeted a crowd and set houses alight. a dozen victims are said to have been burnt beyond recognition. our correspondence joins us from the nigerian capital.
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tell us more about what happened in this attack. >> well, actually, fighters suspected to be members of boko haram launched an attack on maidurgi, on the outskirts and came through a village called gamuri and through another village, but the target was daluri much closer to the city of maidurgi. they shot at residents. as people were running out to safety, three female suicide bombers according to security services infiltrated the people who were running for safety and detonated bombs. >> is what caused most of the violence. like you said, many people were killed or burned beyond recognition, many women and children in that attack when boko haram fighters set homes ablaze in the late night attack. they are saying the figure is much -- is a bit higher than the
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65 media sources. one resident told me that at least 79 people have been killed in that particular attack, but the number could go up because of the severity of some of these injuries. >> put the situation in to context for us, akmed. what state is boko haram in, at the moment, in nigeria? >> well, for the last few months, boko haram has been on the back foot. the military has launched coverednated attacks on the hideout. it liberated most of the areas occupied by boko haram, even a few days ago it carried more than 160 sortees on suspected hideouts from boko haram fighters. we have seen how over the last few months the number of attacks taking on the military, taking on the security services by boko haram has drastically reduced. but, of course, we have seen action also, how boko haram is resorting to the use of suicide
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bombers to target markets and other crowded places. over the last few weeks, for example, we have seen the attacks reduced on the nigerian side. we also saw how consistently boko haram has been attacking using suicide 3w078ers on the cameroonian side and close to lake chad, close to the border or close to chad, two suicide bombers detonated devices there. and what we know at the moment is that the military or what the military is telling us at the moment is that they have the upper hand. they have put boko haram on the backfoot and they are about to launch mobile operations to clear the areas and ensure that these areas are safe. but they are dealing with a group that is so used to asymmetrical warfare and nobody knows how they work and how they recruit their people apart from the kidnappings they used to do in surrounding areas that they
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attack. >> akmed, thank you for the latest in abuja there. thank you. in iraq, troops have continued their ad vance on isil positions in ramadi, the capitol. the iraqi shoulders have been fight with pockets of isil resistance after the city was recaptured at the ends of last month. isil roads significant areas of the north and west of the country as well as parts of neighboring syria. a palestinian police officer has been killed after he opened fire on an israeli checkpoint. he wounded three israelis during the attack in the occupied west bank near the illegal settlement of batel. bal stenian officials said he had worked as a body guard for the palestinian prosecutor in ramallah. stefanie dekker is in west jerusalem and sent us this update. >> reporter: this is the second time that a palestinian authority, security officer, opens fire on israeli soldiers when it comes to the latest wave in violence. let me just read what was posted
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on his facebook page just before he carried out this attack. he said, unfortunately, i don't see anything worth living for as long as the occupation will remain and is muz ling our breath, killing brothers and sisters. this is a huge concern foris and the palestinian authority because there is extremely close security coordination when it comes to israel and the palestinian execute services. this is something extremely difficult to deal with and understand, even at the time of the last -- the first one which was december the 3rd, there are a lot of reports in the media here in israel how concerned the government was that this could happen again. so we have seen it happen again. we have to say it is an individual action. however, it does highlight the extreme frustration, certainly if you look at the word that akmed sukuri posted, that the impact of israel's occupation is having, not just on ordinary palestinians, but, also, those who are supposedly there to help israel try and contain situations and keep the security
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at peace in the west bank which, of course, is also, i think, a cause of frustration for ordinary palestinians. so an incredibly complicated, nuanced situation but one that is a concern to both israel and the palestinian authority. >> all right, still to come on the program, why the berlin airport that provided a cold war lifeline is now providing a shelter for refugees. >> as far as body art goes, i think i might be sticking to pedicures. >> it's not for everyone, but we will tell you why body art is booming in venzuela.
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hello again. welcome back. a reminder the top stories on al jazeera. isil said it carried out a triple bomb attack in the syrian capitol, killing 60 people. the attack happened as both government and opposition delegations are in geneva for talks aimed at ending syria's war. at least 65 people have been killed in an attack in northeast nigeria. the country's military says boko haram is responsible. iraqi troops have made more gains against isil fighters who remain in ramadi, the capitol of anbar province. more now on those syria talks taking place in geneva with al jazeera's senior complicanalyst, he joins us live from doha. tell us first of all, how do you assess the mood of both sides in these talks right now.
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>> certainly, this is, if you were the opening day, so they're basically concerned with scoring points especially to their respected audience and to the international community rather than making any substantial points as to why they are there in geneva. for the opposition, it's clear that they need to make clear that they will not simply be held hostage by the negotiations or be stampeded by diplomatic jargon and that their conditions, as they are found in the conditions of u.n. security council resolution 2254, paragraph 13 or rather paragraph 12 and 13, do focus on the need of the syrian regime to lift the sieges on syrians and stop the bombardment in the release of political prisoners. for the regime that is trigger-happy to be in geneva,
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of course, they are trying to be cool headed. they are trying to look as if they really are concerned with the diplomacy rather than warren though back in syria, they are quite preoccupied. thighs are our u.n.-sponsored talks. go through it with us: the pressure internationally being applied to both sides. it's happy to be breaking out of isolation. it led them off over the last four years, especially by the united states and allies with the so-called prince of syria. unsecurities council resolutions demanding that syria, the syrian regime acts immediately about the number of issues and it
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never did. for the opposition, the pressures are plentyiful. there is some from their own basis within syria and outside it. but more importantly, from the united states and russia, in order to join the political process, a political process that in so many ways has been framed not to their favor in -- on december 17th when washington realigned its position with moscow accepting a rationed resolution that frames the geneva 3 talks. >> his assessment of those talks in geneva. thanks so. >> it was once a nazi show pi e piece. now it has been drafted in action to house some of the thousands of refugees pouring in to germany. dominic kane reports. >> this was once a point of departure for germans looking to travel to foreign parts. now, it is a point of arrival
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for a growing number of refugees. the hangars that housed aircraft now house people. most have come to germany from syria with their families. >> abu hassan says the conditions here are cramped. >> first of all, i want to thank the german government and the german population for the helpfulness. in reality, the situation that's a refugee camp here is bad and miss realissipp miserable. we care about our personal space. this is not to be found. the food is very bad. we and the other families take the food and throw it away. >> many of these people have been here since last september. the company that is providing the facilities to look after them says the system needs to change. >> what has to happen here is like a political decision about the accommodations because it's
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like people are staying here for months and they have to have 5 square neaters per person. >> that's not enough. >> it was once very different. during the 1930s, nazi regime framed it as a cultural showpiece. it was a vital venue in what became known as the berlin air lift. when thousands of planes brought food and other supplies in to a city that had been cut off by the soviet union. during the cold war, templehoff became a air force base before being handed back to civilian use following german reunification. all aviation activity ended in 2008. since then, the city has converted the old runways into a municipal park. in recent times, it's been an open space once the airport was closed. but now, it's a venue for growing numbers of refugees, a
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method for the entire country with the influx of people who have come here. dominic kane, al jazeera at the formal templehoff airport in berlin. more than 10,000 refugee children have gone missing in europe in the past two years. europe's police agency, europol says the figures are for children who disappeared from the system after registering on their arrival. the agency says 5,000 have gone missing in italy alone. it feels many have been targeted by sex-trafficking rings: it's a relief the authorities are tracking children. >> the fact that they are paying attention to minors is important because minors need protection and there is a suggestion that they are up to 10,000 and many, or some at least, could have fallen into criminal hands or smugglers' hands. so we don't know, frankly. and i don't think the authorities know what the real situation is. but we do know that a very, very large number of those coming across from afghanistan from iraq and from syria are minors.
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sometimes they are with parents. sometimes they are on their own. but they are definitely moving in great numbers in to europe and they need to be cared for. >> more than 6,000 people in el salvador are thought to have the zika virus. the disease could be linked to a rise in microcephaly that causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads and brains. the government is advising women not to get pregnant. john hollmann reports from san salvador. >> reporter: soon to be mothers in a hospital in el salvador, worrying about the same thing, the zika virus. it's spreading fast here, transmitted by mosquitos. scientists think if the mother is infected, it could cause brain damage to the unboard child. the link is yet to be proved, but el salvador's government has already taken the extraordinary step of warning wyoming not to get pregnant for at least the next year. that's too late for christ abell who is suffering from the fever and rash that come with zika she
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is sick with worry. >> i wouldn't have got pregnant. i would really have waited for the outbreak to have finished. >> reporter: the vice minister of health says this is just the tip of the iceberg. authorities only recently detected the virus here, but they are already getting ready for the brain-damaged children they think could be born in around seven months' time. >> we started to discuss this, to look at what special resources the system needs to give support to these children, looking at other countries who have had the problem to strengths en our institutions. >> the emphasis is on prevention, but while contra exception is widely used, one option women in this extremely catholic country don't have is terminating their pregnancy even if the fetus is brain-damaged. >> the congressman for the capital city believes el
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salvador's no tolerance abortion laws need to be discussed in light of the zika threat. >> it's a debate we should take more seriously without the subjectivity that religious myths and the church can generate if our country. to open up the defensive life, not just the babies, the mothers, the family that could be generated in society. >> for now, the government's concentrating on the root cause. the mosquitos carrying the virus. authorities are fume gating houses and public spaces all over the capitol but there is already more than 6,000 suspected cases of the zika virus in el salvador. >> the biggest worry is not for now but what the future may bring. john hollmann, al jazeera, san salvador. >> just wants to bring you some developing news about yemen because in the past few minutes, the saudi-led coalition fighting in yemen has said it regrets unintended civilian deaths in yemen. it also says that it is
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appointing a committee to evaluate civilian deaths and improve targeting mechanisms. >> that's, of course, in response to criticism of the deaths in yemen. gathering for a new parliament section, last november's e legs swept away the military-backed government which replaced decades of army rule. rob mcbride reports. >> the measured early morning routine of myanmar's capitol doesn't betray it, but there is history in the making. yanadar is one of those making it. she and hundreds of others elected from the nld are about to take up their seats. >> myanmar has been waiting for this day for so long. so many ordinary people and
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members have sacrificed their lives to get here. >> it has controlled over important ministries and automatically gets a quarter of all seats in parliament allowing it to block any changes to the constitution. >> despite their overwhelming majority, the nld mps know they have to cooperate with the military to rule effectively. they also know the ultimate prize for that cooperation could be a change in the constitution allowing their leaderto finally to become president. >> stopped from becoming president by a clause in the constitution that disqualifies the parent of a foreign national. her two sons hold brett issue passports. but there is speculation the military might withdraw its objection in the new spirit of reconciliation. >> whether you are in parliament or outside of it, we can all work together for the benefit of
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the people and the country. the outgoing mps for the military-backed government and their civilian successors, there was reconciliation in abundance. >> our time is up. we dutyifully leave for the new people to come in. >> and then, from one of the former generals, a saerenade. ♪ who is dreams may yet come true. rob mcbride, al jazeera, myanmar. >> venzuela is hosting one of south america's largest tatoo and body art conventions. al jazeera's virginia lopez went to check out some of the very unusual designs.
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>> reporter: it's a convention that attacks people who love both tatoos and body piercings. 400 artists and enthuseiasts from around the world are in the venzuelan capitol. they are here to show off some of their best work, and in some cases, well, you decide. >> attract a lot of attention. people point at me or stare. he specially kids, but i don't feel like a freak. it's art. >> more than 450,000 people are expected to attend the four-day event, the largest of its kind in the region the for event organizer amelia gonzalez, the size of the convention, especially in a city that suffers from chronic shortages and considered one the most dangerous in the world is a clear sign tattooing is here to stay. >> it's not a fad. it's part of the culture. although the country is going
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through a difficult patch, it doesn't mean the culture stops. >> from warriors in new zealand to gang members, at that tooing has been practiced throughout the world for sacred and aesthetic reasons. for many here, it is the permanent and pain of having an image engraved on their body that makes at that tooing so special. as far as body art goes, i think i might be sticking to pedicures. for others, the commercial success of tattooing and acceptance into mainstream culture has stripped this ancient art of its true essence. >> i believe tattooing is something very mystical. not only stenciling an image. i study so i can decide what symbol best represents what you are looking for. >> according to organizers, an hour can cost you $400. >> that's more than 20 times the monthly wage in venzuela.
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some might argue it's not that much for something you will be wearing for the rest of your life or that in a city like karakas is one of the few things that can't be stolen. much more on our website: hello. you're at the listening post. here are some of the media stories where looking at this week. afghanistan and the suicide bomb aimed at the media there. japan, well-known faces are disappearing. hello. you are at the "listening post" here are some of the media stories we are looking at this week. afghanistan and the suicide bomb aimed at the media there. japan, some weno


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