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tv   Weekend News  Al Jazeera  February 21, 2016 2:00pm-2:31pm EST

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♪ >> more than 120 people die in bombings in damascus and homs on the day the u.s. reports progress on a potential syria cease-fire. hello there, i'm barbara serra, you're watching al jazeera live from london. also coming up on the program, caste protests in northern india. ten people are dead, water supplies are cut off and roads are blocked. fijians are told to stay in for a second night as officials
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assess the damage. and in niger one of the president's rivals is behind bars. and promoting the urban garden. venezuelans are encouraged to grow their own food to combat shortages. thank you for joining us. syria has suffered two devastated sets of explosion explosions in just 24 hours. in the first homs was hit by a double car bombing in the city. at least 46 people were killed, and more than 100 injured in one of the deadliest attacks today in the government. just hours later a southern suburb of damascus suffered another explosion killing 83 people and injures dozens. 31 villages in aleppo have been
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effected. the u.s. secretary of state john kerry has reached a provisional agreement with russia on terms of a cease-fire in syria. we have more now from the turkish border with syria and a warning you may find some of the images in the report upsetting. >> two separate attacks. both involving multiple explosions and just hours apart. in two government-controlled districts in syria. the mainly shia district in damascus. the other the mainly alawite neighborhood in the city of homs in central syria. in both areas nearly simultaneous explosions left many people injured and members of the government were targeted. both districts have seen similar attacks in the past and a clear challenge to the government to secure territory under its control. the multiple explosions impact
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the negotiations towards a truce. >> we have reached an agreement on the cessation of hostilities that could begin in the coming days. it's not yet done, and i anticipate that president obama and president putin may speak somewhere in the next days or so in order to try to complete this task. >> kerry was speaking in jordan, which is also a member of the international syrian support group. it is also the country given the task of putting together an international lift of who is a terrorist in syria and who isn't. there was no mention of whether a consensus has been reached. u.s. secretary of state john kerry said a deal of cessation of hostilities is closer than
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ever. hours later the syrian government and opposition said that they would be willing to concept to a cease-fire. they do not want the groups to rearm and regroup, and the opposition wants russian airstrikes to stop and sieges to be lifted. they made their situation clear but it is the u.s. and russia who are the main players. one of those details is the presence of the al nusra front, fighters linked to al-qaeda. this is designated a terrorist organization, but they fight along side who make up the political process. they say excluding al nusra front in any deal will give russia an excuse for targeting rebel positions. millions of syrians are trapped in battle grounds but it will not mean an end to the conflict. there are deep differences among the warring sides and their regional backers about what comes next. >> the answer to the syrian
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civil war will not be found in any military alliance with assad. let me make that clear. i am convinced it can be found in a broadly supported diplomatic initiative aimed at a negotiated political settlement with a transitional governing counsel. >> on the ground the alliances have changed the power in its favor following the offensive in northern syria. the oppositions say the negotiations may have been weakened, but the government of assad cannot win this war militarily. the war still needs to be fought around the negotiating table. >> let's speak to jamal who is live on the syrian-turkey
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border. there were two huge explosions in aleppo and damascus. what do we know about the casualties. >> well, the number keeps rising hour after hour initially with regards to the bomb in damascus we are hearing roughly about 20 people now there are reports that number could have gone up to 70 people or more considering there were four explosions that were detonated in the area. obviously damascus, despite the fact that there really isn't a front line in the center of the city in terms of fighting between rebel forces and the syrian government or the russian air force that's been involved in the civil war over the past few months. however, it has not gone unscathed. these bomb attacks do happen. not as frequent as they've happened in homs in, aleppo and further on, but it serves as a reminder that no place in syria is safe from this devastating war. >> jamal, what will happen as
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john kerry announced an agreement, a provisional agreement in terms of the cease-fire in syria. any talk of a cease-fire in syria always to be taken with a pinch of salt. what do you think these attacks do to that provisional agreement. >> well, i mean its anyone's guess we have to take those words with extreme caution. we have been in the situation many atime before when politicians have said they're close for being something, and then that doesn't bring anything tangible in terms of changing things on the ground. significance here is not just the attacks in the past 24 hours, but it's the advancements made by the syrian regime under the cover and with the support of the russian military and all the firepower it's invested. they're trying to push as far north as they can, coming close to turkey to, a, cut off the root of supplies through the rebel forces that have been fighting damascus, and, b, maybe create a new result on the
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ground so when they do go into final negotiations of some sort, they have better status quo than what was the case a few months ago especially prior to the russian involvement where bashar al-assad and his military barely controlled 15% of the country. some analysts would say that these attacks in the past 24 hours in homs and damascus are an attempt to make their marks so if a peace fire is, indeed, agreed they can go out on a high. but everybody is waiting with anticipation, hopeful for humanitarian aid that it's cease-fire does come to fruition. >> thank you. ♪ >> thousands of troops have been deployed in india to calm the protests. ten people have died in the unrest in northern hariana sta
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state. >> these protesters are trying to create as much disruption as possible. they say it's the only way to get their message heard. >> our first and only demand is to give in to the situation. if they can't we move further into india. >> the area is mainly agriculture community and makes up 30% of the haryana population. thousands of troops are on patrol and curfews are in order. the plan is to bring the chaos as close to the capital as possible. nearly a thousand trains have been canceled because of blockades on railway tracks.
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haryana is a gateway into india. it's not just travel disruption. delhi is facing a water crisis as protesters shut down the city's main water source, 60% of the water supply comes from haryana. they have been protesting for days. he said, like the rest of his family, he has had to become a farmer because the jat community is not interviewe included in the reservation. >> i had reservation status, i would have a proper government job. i'm a graduate but i can't even get a low-level police job. how can our family and kids be successful? this system defeats us. [ protesting ] >> since the 1990s, india's supreme court has quashed several attempts to grant the community reservation status, which would give them access to government jobs and access to
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educational institutions. this time they're determined to get it. >> all people from our community, from children to the elderly are prepared to die for this. no one can take our rights. >> it's the government leaders in a tight spot. the jats have been promised reservation status many times, especially during election campaigns, including the latest which brought prime minister narendra modi to power. al jazeera, haryana. >> fijians have been told to stay inside for a second night as officials try to assess the damage and restore services after their strongest storm on record. six people are dead after the cyclone windstorm brought 90 kilometer per hour winds. >> the glimpse of the damage in fiji after the strongest cyclone on record there. a town on the main island
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escaped a direct hit but the storm still left its mark. cyclone winston brought torrential rain and 20 kilometer per hour wins that damaged electricity cables. it damaged the part of the island that has the strongest infrastructure to with stand such winds and rain. >> it is vital that everybody remains in their homes while government teams and officials carry out the important work of repairing and restoring our critical infrastructure. there is a great deal of debris on our roads and in our communities. power lines have gone down all over the country, and roofing, iron, glass, electric wires and other materials. >> the winds passed closely to fiji's 300 islands. phones and power lines are down so it has been difficult to contact people living there.
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some deaths and injuries have been confirmed. relief workers are finding it difficult to get around because of trees strewn across the roads. >> i have offered australia's support, and we have in place pre-positioned supplies in suva that are available. i've also offered the adf to send a p 3 orion so we can carry out aerial surveillance particularly along the outer islands. >> fiji relies on the tourist industry. there are 1,200 australians registered there and other nationalities affected. getting home will be difficult because airports have been closed. many of the low-lying islands are flooded, and more flash floods and flash floods are feared. rescuers are trying to deliver drinking water. they have received a 30-day state of emergency because many of the islands are remote it may be some time before the full extent of the damage from the
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disaster is known. >> still more to come on al jazeera, including... >> i'm alan fish center south carolina. the political circus moves on from here can donald trump firmly established as the frontrunner in the republican presidential race. >> al jazeera visits deportation center in germany with the question of what makes a legitimate refugee?
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♪ >> welcome back. here is a reminder of the stop stories on al jazeera. more than 100 people have been
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killed in attacks in homs and damn and syria. 46 people died in a double car bombing in homs and another attack killed more than 83 others in the syrian capital. meanwhile, the u.s. secretary of state john kerry said that he's reached a provisional syrian cease-fire deal with russia, but he has warned that all parties may not comply. 60 people have died and water supplies to the indian capital have been cut after protests from the jat camp demand reservation status. >> in niger the outgoing president mahamadou issoufou is hoping to secure another term. president issoufou has been in office since 2011. he faces three rivals.
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the most controversial candidate is a former prime minister hama amadou, who is facing allegations of child trafficking. we go live in niger. mohammed the polls have closed. how did the vote go? >> according to the information we have, most of the polling stations have closed by now. we're standing inside one of these, and behind me you can see that window where they don't have--they don't have electricity the. they're now counting the votes. that's a situation that we see in so many parts of the country. and also here in the capital according to the reports that we've received. however, we understand that some of the politicians are still
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working now. because there were situations of long delays. when people were waiting for the ballot--for the polling cards to come, and they have not received those until midday or even later than that. in those stations it is for the community supervising the process to lengthen or extend the time for the vote. those are the exceptions according to the formation that we have. we have some complaints today expressed by the opposition which said that this policy or these procedures of delay are intended--intentional by the governments particularly in the areas where the opposition has a strong presence. we don't know whether that's the case or not. but mostly this separation has come to a close except for those few cases and the count something going on at the mome moment. >> and mohammed, just remind us, what are the key issues that people will have been thinking about when they cast their
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ballot? >> yes, this country is very rich with natural resources. that has been known for decades, uranium was discovered in the mid 50s, and it was being exploited by france. and they have discovered of late oil has been discovered by the chinese. more than 1 billion barrels of oil reserves. people here are demandin demanding--they're asking why the country is so rich in natural resources but it is so poor. and they are considered by the united nations as one of the least developed countries in the world. also you have corruption. they're talking a lot about corruption. we have insecurity in a country that is leading in war against boko haram in the lake chad region along with chad and nigeria. there are issues of security, issues of unemployment and corruption, and every candidate is saying that they will improve on that, of course.
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that's very interesting. >> mohammed from niger, thank you for that. >> the race for the white house meanwhile is heating up with two candidates cementing their front-runner status with the latest primary and caucus. on the democrat side hillary clinton is breathing a sigh of relief. narrowly beating her rival bernie sanders in nevada. and donald trump proved not even a row with the pope can dampen his hopes. the billionaire businessman scored a decisive victory winning 32% of the vote while senators marco rubio and ted cruz were locked in a tight battle for second place. after coming a distant fourth jeb bush has dropped out. after dreaming to be the third president bush after his father and his brother. >> the political circus moves on from south carolina. the republicans are heading to
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caucuses in nevada, and they leave with donald trump firmly established as the frontrunner. he won in new hampshire and he won in north carolina. his campaign believes if he can win here there is nowhere in the united states where he cannot win. ted cruz finished third. that was a surprise to him and his campaign. the big shot was marco rubio, but remember he had the support of most political establishment here in south carolina. and the cruz campaign said even with that he could not take first place. for jeb bush his race is run. he has decided to drop out of the presidential race. he simply couldn't convince enough people that he would be a good president. weighed down, perhaps, by the legacy of the last republican president, his brother, george w. it's on to nevada and then super tuesday where several states hold their nominating contests and donald trump believes that could be the time when he really secures his frontrunner status and perhaps takes a huge step
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forward to being the republican party nominee for president. >> the mosul dam has hundreds of millions of dollars worth of repairs to stop it bursting. but the dam in iraq needs more because the risk of collapse is greater than first feared. imran khan reports. >> if this dam ever failed, engineers fear millions of people will be affected and northern iraq flooded. a 55-meter wall of water will come crushing down. since the dam was built in the 1980s some say that it has unstable foundations. now the u.s. core of army engineers say there is a significantly high risk of failure than previously thought despite efforts to strengthen it. since the 1980s iraqi and foreign companies have been regularly pouring concrete into the bam walls to reinforce them, but this is not a permanent fix. repair work was interrupted when
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isil fighters briefly took control of the dam in 2014. >> the dam is secured now. the foreign companies would cement the dam and reinforce the dam. that was handed over to us afterwards. and we've been given a number of he is can aggravators, but we need spare parts to continue with the process. >> the huge task of continual maintenance has been delayed over political infighting over who controls the damage and the iraqi budgetary crisis. >> the main problem are the dam's foundations. therefore the maintenance process is still ongoing and in full swing and around the clock to help strengthen those foundations. >> iraqis are especially concerned because iraqi security forces are preparing for the capture of mosul from isil.
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there is a real fear that isil will attack the dam if they deare defeated in mosul, which they currently control. also money is a very real issue. it will cost millions of dollars to repair the dam. that money is likely to come from the world bank but given iraq's budgetary crisis even that is in doubt. imran khan, al jazeera, baghdad. >> what makes a legitimate refugee with million of people arriving to europe. visiting a migration center in germany where many await deportation. dominic kane reports. >> this is the reception center in bavaria. home to hundreds of people from the balkans who know they'll soon be going back there. the center was opened last september, and since then more than a thousand people have come and gone. germany says their countries are
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safe, meaning they cannot remain here. which means that men will return soon. >> after ten months of living here i received a piece of paper that said transfer, then i went to get the documents i need to go back to albania. but they say i have to wait. my baby was born here. the problem is i do not work. >> the children's classrooms are well equipped but frequently empty. a testament to the transitional nature of their experience here. the process of checking identities has been streamlined since last year. every day officials check as many as 200 documents. >> this is a relatively bad fake i.d. card. you can tell by the size. it's significantly different from the real i.d. cards. on average we find as many as 10 fake i.d.s every day. >> because the number of people coming to germany has placed a strain on facilities like these, the bavarian authorities will keep this center operational for
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ten years and speed up the process. >> why a faster procedure? to make room for the admission of people who are threatened political persecution in countries that are at war. secondly, so that those with minimal chances to stay are not gaining false hope that they can stay longer. >> some of the people at the center fled the balkan wars of the 1990s, but now they know that they and their families will have to go back one day. dominic kane, al jazeera. >> venezuela has a food crisis and official emergency has been announced. the government is calling for self-sufficiency as one solution. >> amidst the concrete jungle there are vegetables, venezuelas loyal to the government gather to learn how to grow their own food. this woman is hoping to replicate what she learns here
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in her struggling community. >> the price of the basic food items have risen out of control because of speculated and smuggled. so we have heeded the call of our president to grow to counter act the situation. >> it's an idea that the government is taking very seriously with widespread shortages and out of control inflation. so seriously that president nicolás maduro announced the creation of the ministry of urban farming. >> the first lady and i-- >> the few hours outside of the capital in once rich agriculture land many believe the president should focus on the plight of traditional farmers. >> urban gardening it's an interesting alternative but not the way to solve such a big issue. >> agriculture engineer ricardo ramos shows plots of lands that are left idle.
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they talk about the lack of seed and pesticide that force farmers to export at a loss. >> the little that we produce is not enough to satisfy national demand. we used to be self-sufficient in rice but that's gone. >> venezuela could grow most of its own food thanks to large expansion of fertile land but through the years most of the agriculture has been abandoned and other farms like this one have been taken by the government and production has collapsed. they have joined farmers a decade ago on land in government hands while production soared in the start at times they have been left without resources. the little they grow now is usually stolen by hungry neighbors. >> there is nothing that we can do to farm more. i'm not asking for me but for all of us. we owe this to our president chavez. what would he say if he saw the level of abandonment.
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i think he would die again in. >> at a declining food production the situation has turned into a full-blown humanitarian crisis. >> much more on that on our website. i'm ali velshi "on target." tonight - addicted in america. how a safe place to shoot up can help people connected on heroin america's heroin epidemic is taking a huge toll in human life in communities across the nation. heroin and pain medication like oxycontin caused 60% of the record 47,000 deaths from drug overdoses in 2014.


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