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tv   News  Al Jazeera  February 22, 2016 2:00pm-2:31pm EST

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>> only on al jazeera america. >> the u.s. and russia agree a draft deal on ending hostilities in syria but will the warring sides put down their weapons? hello i'm maryam nemazee. you're watching live from london also coming up. afghan forces pull out of another district in helmond province ceding control to the taliban. 21 people are confirmed dead after a cyclone packing winds of more than 300 kilometers an hour hit sphe fiji.
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uganda's main opposition leader is head after disputed elections. also in step with the president, the 106-year-old who got to have a dance with the obamas the at the white house. al jazeera has learned a draft deal has been reached between the united states and russia which sets a date for a cessation of the fighting in syria. at the moment it's not clear if the warring parties will agree to lay down their weapons. in the last hour the u.s. secretary of state john kerry has released the following statement on the draft deem. he says if complemented and adhered to, the cessation will not only lead to a decline in violence but also continue the expansion of delivery of urgently needed humanitarian supplies. he will work on commitment of the parties to lead to cessation
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of activities. our diplomatic editor james bays is in the united nations now. take through the terms of the agreement. >> reporter: well, there is a time line set out now for start of the cessation of hostilities. by friday midday, the timing is all damascus time, the parties on the ground have to commit to the taking place of cessation of hospital kilts many with reception of el nusra front and i.s.i.l, which are not considered to be parties to take part because they are designated by the u.n. security council as terrorist organization he. another 12 hours before cessation is supposed to start. if it holds then within about seven days there could be a resumption of those stalled peace talks that were held last
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month in geneva and collapsed. we have had a welcome of this, u.n. secretary-general ban ki-moon, said he hoped it could become a more robust ceasefire. we have also been listening in the last couple of hours at the u.n. to latest report on the commission of inquiry of human rights in syria, another are grim catalog of atrotion advertise. aatrocities. we asked the chairman of his view. >> you have welcome the possible start of a possible cessation of hospitahostilities and that thea talks might resume but accountability might be forgotten -- >> it is our duty always to remind that there is no peace without justice. but we are also aware that the accountability role is an
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element necessarily present. but i think that there is a timing that is not that -- to live for the future, that nobody knows. i think that there are several aspects of accountability that for instance these no negotiable humanitarian clauses. the release of the prisoners, there are several initiatives that can be in the process. because the accountability is not a magical one, that suddenly ought the crimes would be accountable. it would be a process. >> james if we goat that point how difficult is it going to be to enforce and monitor the cessation of hostilities? >> i think variation will be a g
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be a very big part of the process. this timing to start at midnight damascus time on the end of friday beginning of saturday, they were when we had that meeting of all the countries involved regional and internationally, the syria support group, they were made co-chair persons of a task force to come up with the cessation of hostilities. it's worth telling you that task force never actually met. this is very much a u.s.-russian deal, can they get all the rest of the regional players on board, most important and difficult question of all can they get warring parties on board. >> thanks very much, jaibs is live for us at the united nations. as the diplomats try to stop the conflict, the opposition is fighting on two fronts in the
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aleppo country side. this footage shows fighters dropping bombs. thousands of yrn civilians are fleeing to the north with turkey putting hospital he and services under massive pressure. one of the last opposition strongholds in the north is the border town of azaz. zeina khodr has the latest. >> reporter: it is a battle front key to the opposition survival in a town that's gained international attention, losing azaz, the rebels have lost much territory, it is a much needed gateway. the rebels are surrounded by two enemies. the syrian government led alliance and the kurdish armed group ypg and its allies. >> the military situation is now better after we have received reenforcements from clib. god willing we will advance, no
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longer weak, things will return to the way they were. >> reporter: last week's air strike believed to have been carried out by russian fighter planes, aid agencies have already warned that the devastated health system is close to collapse. are. >> translator: azaz is close to the border, that's why people think it is a safe place. we have more patients not just providing care to people in azaz. all hospital he in the northern country side no longer operate, we also lack staff. >> rebels say they are not going to wait to be besieged by government allied force he. from their position he inside the city, they still have access to strongholds in western syria. >> translator: we want to
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besiege aleppo city but we are using our strength to russia that. we are staying here -- to resist that. we liberated our city with our blood. >> the opposition feels same about azaz. it is now the opposition's last line of offense, they use it to receive supplies from turkey and could be used as a base to launch counteroffensives. the kurdish forces, and the syrian government forces, there has been no movement on that front. there was a risk of a wider global conflict. and it seems that battle has now been put on hold at least temporarily. the town is under siege, for those fighting against the opposition, azaz has lost its military importance since rebel
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supply routes have already been cut south of town. jeopardizing position he, zeina khodr, al jazeera. space of three days, leaving the taliban in control of most of the northern part of the province. the retreat from nouzad district comes after leaving mouzakawa last week. helmond has seen some of the fiercest battles since u.s. led invasion in 2001. >> translator: we have decided to pull our troops out from their defensive role and get them ready for an offensive. this new move is part of a new strategy. those troops that have been pulled are still on the ground. they have not gone somewhere
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else. we are providing them with new training and getting them ready for a spring offensive. >> reeza saya has more. >> according to a senior military official who asked not to be animed, the group has pulled out of the critical district of thvmentozad and the very important part of helmond in northern afghanistan. this means within the last three days, two districts have seen afghan troops pulling out, which seems to suggest the taliban is gaining momentum and the afghan army is on its heels. we should point out the government spokesman has also confirmed the troop pullout, but the ministry of defense telling
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al jazeera that the troops did pull out but it was part of a planned reorganization, in preparation for an offensive against tabl coming up in the days and weeks ahead. this development comes just one day before the governments of the its, pakistan, afghanistan and china are set to discuss the framework of peace talks with the taliban. however, this troop pullout adds more uncertainty to these peace talks, if indeed they ever happen. >> aid workers are warming of a health crisis in fiji as the south pacific nation cleans up after one of its strongest storms ever. cyclone winston killed at least 21 people and wiped out crops. andrew thomas has been assessing the damage. >> the words being used around fee yee in response to this aerial photography is flattened.
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these were villages, on remote islands. on fiji's main island the news is bad enough, but no word has come from some of the islands, phone lines have been cut, and boats or planes haven't reached them yet. fiji's prime minister warned people to expect bad news. >> the record in the southern hemisphere, category 5, when it reached our shores in the last couple of days. the damage has been widespread, homes have been destroyed. many low lying areas have flooded, and many people have been left stunned and confused about what to do. >> reporter: the cities of suva and nandi have escaped but an hour north of nandi there is
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widespread destruction. it's still pretty windy now but compared to when the cyclone was at its peak, half the roof is gone destroyed inside and the debris is everywhere, filling this swimming pool filled with broken wood, debris everywhere and there a guest house totally destroyed. nearby houses have been stroourn down the hillside. nadira's home did survive but only just. she and her friends are cleaning up grateful to be alive. >> it was terror, terror to be alive. we have heard of hurricanes and been through so many of them but this one was really terrible, it was horrible. >> reporter: in this part of fiji already, crews are at work restoring power lines and clamoring up to restore mobile masses.
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masts. parts of the country currently cut off restore communication. andrew thomas, al jazeera, nandi fiji. >> more to come this half hour, afghan refugees are stranded in a crack down in macedonia. >> i'm step vaessen, in west java, people have sold their kidneys to a kidney syndicate.
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>> welcome back.
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you're watching al jazeera. a recap of the top stories. a draft deal has been reached between the u.s. and russia saying hostilities in syria should stop this weekend. parties involved in the talks have until friday to commit to the deal. and a massive cleanup is underway in fiji after a massive cyclone has flattened the area and left many homeless. violent action directed at the electoral commission in uganda. authorities arrested kizza besigye. who criticized the running of last week's presidential election. he lost to the long time leader yoweri museveni. >> reporter: kizza besigye and his supporters say they want to
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protest against the election results, they say they were rigged. besigye and his supporters sai thesupporters saythey will be p. they said they want to challenge possibly challenge the election results in the supreme court. besigye wanted to go to the electoral commission to try to get some of the paperwork necessary to do that. he wasn't allowed to go by police. they said it would have turned into a procession and cause unrest in the city center. the electoral commission says it will deliver the results papers he needs to his home instead. >> the commonwealth observer group was chaired by the form he president of nigeria. a little earlier he told al jazeera the ugandan commission was guilty of abject incompensates.
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incompetence. >> two days ago before the election, was summarily declared, we pointed out a number of anomalies, or if you like, minuses in the process leading to the election. something that should not have happened, that happened. on the day of the election itself, both in the cities and in the rural areas, as we observed them. and we said that this amount to incompetence, gross incompetence on the part of the electoral commission which i assure those that they were fully prepared and that when it came to the crunch, they were not prepared at all. and we said that these were
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inexcusable. what has happened. really had no reason for it to happen. >> a deal's been reached in india to end days of protest by an influential farming community. the demonstration by the jats cawtscaught supplies to million. as divya gopalan reports some demonstrators remain angry. >> reporter: their anger and protests couldn't be swayby the thousands sent to confront them. they want reservation status and they want it now. >> translator: the young generation of the jat commute is losing out. the government should immediately grant us reservation status. >> reporter: 18 million members of the jat community live across northern india.
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traditionally from farming backgrounds they claim on missing out on job opportunities in towns and cities. they are not part of the government's affirmative action, for university places in government jobs. though government has told them it will give them the status they want protestors say it's not enough. at the heart of the matter is trust. they say their community has been promised this many times before and this time they want written confirmation. until then, they will carry on with blockades like this. the impact has been felt across the state and further. trucks remain stranded in long queues. their drivers say they are not getting paid and are unable to leave their cargo. >> translator: i have been stuck here for four days. i can't even go out to get food or a cup of tea. people are trying to rob and burn vehicles. >> reporter: many trucks which try defy the blockade have had their tires slashed.
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the protest has hit businesses hard. hundreds of factories have also closed. estimated loss he are close to $3 billion. mohammed runs his family tire shop but hasn't had any customers for days sin since the protests started. >> i only make a small profit, how is this possible? my debt is growing. >> previous being administrations have tried to grant the jats reservation status, but neighboring states will also fight for it. divya gopalan, al jazeera. >> meanwhile, students in new delhi have been involved in a
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standoff. president of the unite student union was arrested earlier and charged with sedition. now thousands of refugees are stranded in northern greece near the border with macedonia, mass doan yah stopped letting them through. the greek government is xl expecting a number of stranded people in the coming days. hoda abdel hamid brings us the latest. >> reporter: i was here yesterday and there was absolutely nobody here. there was just a few people inside the official transit camp. i'm going to move out, you see people setting up their tents. what happened is that the borders have been closing down for afghan nationals, not tonal border between greece and macedonia but the border between macedonia and serbia. macedonian officials say it is not our fault, but we are reacting to what serbia did. this caused panic, everybody
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left the reception center which is about 20 kilometers from here and walked all the way here. these pictures were reminiscent of them walking along the train tracks earlier in the summer. they are making sure no one goes through. al jazeera has uncovered evidence of illegal organ trafficking. step vaessen has spoken to some of the villagers who have sold their kidneys. >> reporter: magalia is a poor village in west java, police say residents sold kidneys to middle men with $5,000 each. >> i was in huge debt, didn't have a house, couldn't pay my rent for four months already. >> organ trade is illegal in
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indonesia but people can donate their organs to friends and relative. he had to pretend he knew the recipient well. changed his age to 25 years old, he had no problem passing the screening at the public hospital. >> translator: the doctor told me to ask a lot of money for my kidney so i could open my own business and someone else can do heavy work for me. >> reporter: police say they have so far questioned six doctors for possible conclusion with organized criminals. >> if we find the syndicate work together with the hospital of course dorts will be prosecuted. >> reporter: the government hospital denies any involvement but the director said the screening process is designed to weed out any cases of trade in organs. >> this is part of the process that needs to be refined. we need to look at it in case to case. this needs to be further
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investigated. if there are possible mistakes, which could be the case, then this should be part of the investigation. i agree with that. >> according to the health ministry, 1550,000 demeanor50,0. >> not many here in this village are willing to sell. they are saying poverty has forced them to sell their own kidney . a deal that many regret but that police say will likely deter others. this man says he sold his kidney when he was 17 years old. like others we interviewed he
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only received $5,000 of the $25,000 paid forhis kidney. he says his health has deteriorated since the operation. >> translator: i feel betrayed but what can i do? i don't know the law. where can i go to, to file a case? i have nothing. i can only suffer in silence. >> reporter: in an effort to stop the trade in kidneys, parliament has urged the donors to establish a donor bank. step vaessen, al jazeera, west java. some chinese banks are freezing accounts belonging to north koreans. south korean nips i newspaper r, strained relations between the two countries.
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our china correspondent adrian brown has more from beijing. >> well this particular report has come from a south korean newspaper quoting a number of unnamed sources so we have to be careful. apparently one of those sources was an official with the industrial commercial bank of china based in the bank's branch in the city of dan dong which is right on the border with north korea. according to this official a number of north korean bank accounts were frozen in december because that is significant well before north korea carried out the first of its rocket tests in the early part of this year. now according to this official other north korean bank accounts have been frozen in other parts of china. now china is about the only place where north koreans can put their money after macao was shut down to them a number of years ago. if china has finally taken action against north korea as the governments of south korea,
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united states and j.p japan have been urging it to. it will not be hurting ordinary north koreans, but those in the regime who have money salted away. they had no knowledge of this particular matter. >> what better way of celebrating 106 than sharing a distance with the president and the first lady at the white house. >> no you are not! >> that's virginia mclauren who after a length 80 social media campaign finally got her wish to meet the first african american president. the secret to a long and happy life she says is to keep moving. >> i would never be able to get it. >> you are here. >> you are here. >> i am so happy. >> we are happy to have you. >> thank you.
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>> look at him! >> she's great, isn't she? so the website is right here,, where you'll find all the latest comment analysis and video on demand as well. >> i'm sylvia rowley in the south of england where support for small scale sustainable fishing is catching on. >> and i'm russell beard in bangkok to meat a team innovative urban farmers turning air polution into protein.


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