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tv   News  Al Jazeera  February 23, 2016 5:00pm-5:31pm EST

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>> president obama presents his long awaited plan to close the detention camps at guantanamo bay. >> hello again, i'm felicity barr, and you're watching al jazeera live from london. also coming up. the u.s. secretary of state talks about what could happen to syria if peace is not achieved. desperation on the greek side of the border as macedonia blocks access for refugees. and we go to iran, ahead of parliamentary elections there, but who is best mobilized the
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voters? >> he calls it a closure of a chapter in u.s. history. guantanamo bay was set up to detain and interrogate people that the u.s. thought posed extreme danger. but many were held for years without charge. obama said that the facility undermines american values and closing it would save $80 million a year in operating costs. obama, who is in his final year as president said that he did not want to pass on the guantanamo problem to his successor. he said they were already holding dangerous terrorists in the united states and was coping
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just fine. patty culhane reports. >> with that-- >> it was one of his first promises in office, but now u.s. president barack obama is hoping in his last year he can accomplish it. close the controversial detention junior in cuba. >> are we going to linger on for another 15 years, 20 years, 30 years? >> for all that time dozens of men have been held in limbo. many so desperate that they went on hunger strike only to be forcebly tied down and fed through a tube. the president is going to try once again to change their location, sending the new plan to congress, it's a bit vague listing 13 sites in the u.s. where detainees could be held. his argument is that it would be cheaper, and it would close a chapter in u.s. history that has damaged its standing abroad. >> ambassador fernandez was in
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charge of the effort to counter the messages of al-qaeda. he disagrees with the president. >> the negative influence that guantanamo has. the negative influence that abu ghraib and these other things have are going to live long after they've been shut down. it's almost irrelevant in terms of the pop gran da affect of it today is negligible. >> the president would have to get his plan through a congress controlled by the opposition. they're unlikely to go along. >> since it includes bring dangerous terrorists to facilities. he should know that the bipartisan will of congress has expressed it is against that proposal. >> this is an election year. and this is an issue that divides the party. >> not only are we going to close guantanamo. when i'm president if we capture a terrorist alive, they're not going to be getting a court hearing in manhattan. they're not going to be sent to nevada. they're going to go to guantanamo and we'll find out
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testifying that they know. >> the president might move them on his own. he's hoping that the majority of the detainees will be transferred to other countries before he leaves office. for those left, they may change the location of their detention and the color of their jumpsuit but not their detention. >> while obama's announcement is welcome, the narrative around the prisoners needs to change. >> 780 of us plus was held in guantanamo and the world was told that we're the world's most dangerous men. yet the majority of us have been released, and the majority of us have not become terrorists despite all the torture we have been subjected to. we've reached out to some of our guards and. integrators and they visited us in our homes. america is not willing to reciprocate that. they won't take us in their prisons let alone their homes.
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the language needs to change, and it needs to change from the top. there is no point to use the 15-year-old narrative that these people are terrorists. we're not. we did not abuse anybody's rights for the most part. that's the case. >> now the u.s. secretary of state has given his first indication of what syria might look like if the peace process aimed at ending civil war fails. russia and the u.s. breached an agreement on when a cessation of hostilities should begin. john kerry said coming to a political settlement in syria is essential to keep the country whole. >> someone is going to have to sit down at the table and arrive at an understanding about what syria is going to be. but it may be too late to keep it as a whole syria. if we wait much longer. >> let's talk now to our diplomatic editor james bays who is in at the united nations in
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new york. >> that was a very short clip, but how significant is it that he has been saying? >> i think it's very significant. it's not a change of the u.s. administration's policy, but it is an admission that there is a possibility out there that no one is wanted to talk about. the at any time over the last five years. no one from the u.n. no one from the u.s. administration, no one really from anywhere in the international community. all their statements over five years have been about the unity and territorial he integrity of syria. now john kerry is making it clear that there may be another possibility. syria may break up. and isil mass declared part of syria and iraq. but it's something that he's mentioning for the first time and something that worries very many people given the tensions right now in the arab world and the wider middle east. the idea of redrawing borders is something that i think really concerns people.
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>> yes, and he's mentioned it for the first time just days before the cessation of hostilities is due to begin. >> yeah, i think he's showing us what is at stake and the fact that there is no guarantee of success. remember that cessation of hostilities is now when it's supposed to start. it's very close. right now as we speak, felicity it's just after midnight damascus time on wednesday morning. three days from now. midnight going into saturday is when that cessation of hostilities is supposed to start. the next part of the plan is a restart of those geneva peace talks that collapsed--that collapsed earlier in the year. taking place maybe as early as next week. but this is all going to be extremely difficult. >> james live at the u.n. thanks so much. >> now thousands of afghan refugees on the greek macedonia border have been stranded for a
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second day. macedonian authorities blocked them from entering their territory on monday. they're among 100,000 refugees and migrants who arrived on european shores in the first two months of this year. we have reports from the greek-macedonia border. [ sirens ] >> it took most of the day to move the afghans to end the stand off at the border. many didn't understand where they had been singled out when their country has been ravaged by war for a decade. they're being bussed back to athens not knowing what will happen next. >> for it to end this way. i do my best. >> afghans make 30% of all arrivals in greece. and the u.s. says they do need
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international criteria for refugee status. for the afghans the problem is not crossing into macedonia. they have to go through several borders before reaching western europe. even if they make it through this one they'll face the same problems at the next border. >> this group was just pushed back to greece. more than 100 deported to macedonia including iranians considered economic migrants. it comes after they unilaterally imposed new restrictions to reduce the number of people flowing through their territories. but when the border opened syrians and iraqis discovered that they'll have to go through tougher controls, and there is panic among them. >> i'm from aleppo and i only have this i.d. card.
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my area is surrounded by the prison for three years. i'm afraid they won't let me in. >> many here don't have the paperwork needed. they'll have to stay in degrees for now. for some the disappointment is too hard to take. al jazeera, on the greek macedonian border. >> and a french court delayed judgment on the legality of closing part of the migrant camps in calais. >> it's wet. it's dirty, but for many refugees its home they have told us, some of the refugees here, that they greatly value the facilities that they can use. things like educational attention. fell facility and restaurant where they can get a hot meal for free. they fear if they have to move to new accommodation they won't get the same kind of facilities
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there was a fear that they would have to move out as early as tuesday evening. but a judge has said they need more time to make a decision. for now they're staying put. this is the place that the authorities would like refugees to come to. it's a new camp just a short distance from the jungle. the people who run the center say it is much cleaner and it's much safer because there aren't people traffickers around. there are a few spare places but it's filling up quickly. authorities say every day recommends are volunteering to get on buses and go to other parts of france to centers where they can get accommodation. but also get advice on how to claim asylum in france and how to build a new life for many, the fact that they can get solid advice in safe conditions like
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this will be an attraction. >> three days after cyclone winston flattens large areas of fiji the number killed in the storms has now risen to 29. some who are advised by fleeing the many islands are now returning home to scenes of devastation. al jazeera's andrew thomas knows the area well. he's part of the tv crews to offer since the cyclone made landfall on saturday. >> it's taken nearly three days but help is coming to some of the fijian islands hit worse by saturday's cyclone. on board the spirit harmony soldiers join people what is left of their homes on the island. this boat is a second in two days. with phone communications cut one didn't explore shuffle run on monday. >> we couldn't get in touch, we said we would need to make a run. what we saw we were the first point of contact left from the
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outside world. and what we saw is really devastating. >> a day later this is the first trip with passengers carrying people back who happen to be away from the storm. these are their first glimpses of their homes sense. >> is it worse than you expected? >> it is worse than i expected. >> the coastal villages used to be indict. the ship docked 45 minutes before dusk with no power, passengers have 45 minutes of daylight to see up close what the wind and pounding waves have done. not far from the dock are the ruins of his home people say
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three people died on this island of 6,000. given the damage that number seems remarkably low. i came here in 2014 to do a piece on what people thought aboutfy very's up coming election. i chose to come to this island because it was known as one of fijians prettier. i stayed in this village, but look at it now. complete devastation. >> dusk and thin dark hid the damage but not its consequences. many have nowhere to sleep. still to come on the program. the leader who is the subject of a damming report released by russia's marginalized opposition. plus why popular chocolates are being recalled.
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>> the only live national news show at 11:00 eastern. >> we start with breaking news. >> let's take a closer look. >> welcome back. and a reminder of the top stories. the u.s. president has given congress his plans to close the controversial military prison at guantanamo bay. barack obama said the facility is a threat to national security and goes against american values on justice. the u.s. secretary of state has given his first indication that syria might not provide in its present form if talks aimed at ending civil war failed. and the international organization for migration said
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100,000 refugees have arrived in europe in the first two months of 2016. iran is reaping for two crucial elections later this week. one for parliament and another for a body that elects the next supreme leader. we have reports from the iranian capital hard liners and conservativers of perhaps losing control of parliament for the first time in a decade. >> iran's old guard is rallying around. they form an alliance of conservatives and hard liners. these clerics all in the capital are briefed to tell people that it's their duty to turn out vote and give support. >> the enemy wants to get in through the back door. >> posted outside of the mosque an array of candidates in what
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will be the most hotly contested elections in a decade. among the conservatives and hard liners place on the are the tech-savvy. the coffee shop culture shows whatever the restrictions and websites facebook is banned along with twitter, people manage effectively. one in four iranians are estimated to be using the del graham app. one of these two english teachers wants an end to the restrictions. >> i do care about it. because we all have rights to travel around the world. >> it would be wrong to say that there is outright dissent here but the people do want change. >> one of the most important achievements of rue than any is fulfilling his promise to get
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sanctions lifted. it has made people happy after eight difficult years. >> the popularity of hassan rouhani seen here as a medal award ceremony and his part in the nuclear deal is rising. but hard liners have key of institutions. they threw out mostly 6,000 moderate reformers half of those wanting to stand in the parliamentary elections. it also barred nearly 80% of those who wanted to be candidates in the assembly, the body that will eventually choose the next supreme leader after ayatollah khamenei. for now absolutely power still rise with the supreme leader ayatollaeye i can't toll
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khamenei. >> the former thai prime minister has cold al jazeera he can't return because he fears for his life. >> the best part of a decade shinawatra has stayed away from thailand but has remained deeply connected to its politics. since the most recent coup of his homelands highway been usually quiet. back in an interview issued this morning to those who governor the presence.
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>> the 2014 coup removed the government headed by his sister, yingluck shinawatra after protesters on the streets. he said that the whole event w was, in fact, welleorchestrated. >> there were some military in the mob. i think that they had planned a could yo coup d'etat. >> planned well before the protesters hit the streets? >> yes. >> thaksin still refuses to return to thailand. he has a two-year jail sentence
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hanging over his head there after being convicted in his absence over a land deal. >> you think if you went back now your life would be in danger? >> definitely. >> who wants to kill you? >> i cannot say anything. i cannot tell. i cannot tell. i don't know who. >> the government said an election will be held next year and thaksin shinawatra believes it won't be a fully democratic process. he has not held talks or negotiations with the generals, who seem determined to keep his family out of thai politics. al jazeera, singapore. >> and you can watch his full interview with thaksin shinawatra on saturday, february 27th, at 0430 gmt. the subject of a damming report just released by russia's
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marginalized opposition. criticized as a threat to russia's national security. but in spite of the clou color ful connection to high profile killings, the kremlin has not abandoned him yet. >> this would not be unreasonable to call him a brave man. a year afte after a colleague was murdered the opposition leader has published a highly critical report on the man he holds responsible. >> i'm convinced that they're behind the murder of my friend. i'm trying to bring this person to justice. also, i'm convinced his actions and his regime in the north is a threat to the country. what he's doing is suicidal politics. >> called an national security threat, in chechnya russia's
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federal laws are ignore. chechnya's leader it is said they have exploited the patronage to enrich himself and build a private army that poses a threat to russia's security. unsurprisingly there were attempted to knock this press conference off track, but then a heckler was thrown out. finally, the police came in saying we should all leave because of a bomb scare. well, this is an indication of the kind of environment that the opposition in russia is working in. the provocations the disruptions and now the supposed bomb threat that has brought in press conference and got all the journalists leaving as quickly as they can. but even if putin turned to the family in 2000 to help suppress nearly a decade of separatist fighting in chechnya, the
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republic has been stable since. while some admire for what is described as bringing peace to chechnya, others call him an attack dog of president putin. the leader who is ruling out the idea of tolerance, compassion. >> but it's this loyalty that makes him indispensable for the kremlin. so despite complaints that he's corrupt and out of control, despite the alarming death of many of his critics, he remains perhaps putin's most trusted regional opposition. >> now with the race to the white house well under way, al jazeera will be spending time in one of the poorest places in the u.s. at lee county. to hear the concerns of the people there are far from the
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people of power. gabriel elizondo is there. >> in a smokey kitchenout back, harold jones let's the pork slowly cook for hours getting ready for the morning rush of people who crave his barbecue sandwiches. he has run jones barbecue restaurant for over 30 years, a family business passed down four generations from his great grandfather. jones' barbecue is the place where everybody knows your name, a bright spot in the town of mariana in lee county, arkansas, a county with lots of problems. >> more than half the population in lee county lives below the poverty line and jamie jones, a retired state worker says many can't even afford the basics. >> we have a lot of problems trying to get money to do different things. our daily needs.
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from buying groceries to buying medical. >> and it doesn't help that jobs in lee county are scarce. >> there is just no industry here, but when we had it people didn't want to work. so i, you know, people don't come back. they don't stay. but there is no reason to stay. >> 85-year-old carl norman has lived here his entire life and with less than 10,000 people now living in lee county he sees the population drying up. >> there are not any jobs. we educate kids, and they have to go somewhere else to make a living. >> at one table we found tony malone, a badger and coyote trapper, who told us that poverty led to social troubles. >> what is the biggest problem in lee county? >> the drugs have made our community get worse. between the crack and the meth. >> here at jones' barbecue everybody has something to say
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about all the problems fating lee county. when it comes to fixing those problems, everyone seems to agree the politicians up in washington are not listening and are not doing anything to help. mariana should not be like this at all. >> no plans to take their barbecue place anywhere else because this is home. gabriel elizondo, al jazeera, mariana, arkansas. >> the u.n. secretary general ban ki-moon has held talks with the president of burundi to try to end months of political unrest. the u.n. chief was on a mission to encourage dialogue. more than 400 people have been killed in violent protests since the president sought a third term in office in april. the chocolate maker mars has recalled a number of its products from 55 countries.
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it follows discovery of bits of plastic in one of its chocolates from the netherlands. and a reminder. you can find much more on our website. >> this week on talk to al jazeera, director and producer spike lee. >> oh snap! >> we gonna make sure these fools put down these guns. >> lee's new film "chi-raq" tacklesgang warfare in chicago - and the idea that a "sex strike" could help quell it. while it's a satire based in one inner city, gun violence is an epidemic. >> how long will be... will we... will ww