tv Al Jazeera World News LINKTV May 24, 2013 5:30am-6:01am PDT
takes a step closer to the negotiating table, indicating it will attend upcoming peace talks. this is al jazeera live from doha hot. i have your world news. also ahead pakistan gives a cautious welcome to barack obama's promise to rethink the u.s.' use of drones. christine lagarde is grilled a second day over a corruption scandal. europe's energy revolution, we report on one countries controversial dash for gas.
hello. bashar al-assad appears to be taking a step towards dialogue. the syrian government has agreed in principle to attend the peace conference with the opposition. that is according to the russian foreign ministry. >> we thought and still think with the implementation of this russian-american initiative, it will present a real chance to stop the bloodshed and suffering of the syrian able and provide a peaceful democratic future in syria which is the interest of all its citizens based on the geneva communiqué from 2012. this chance should not be missed. >> we're joined from istanbul. what is the coalition saying on this statement made by the russians, and is the coalition, the opposition, planning to plan that these initiative in geneva? -- planning to attend the initiative in geneva? >> they would like to see the
makeup of that syrian delegation which would attend the geneva conference, they would like to see people mandated by bashar al-assad to take major decisions like transferring power to a transitional government and could and end to the era of bashar al-assad and establish a democratic state in syria. as we speak, the syrian opposition is now undergoing massive transformation, debating to expand the highest authority within the opposition which is the general committee. but there are huge differences. there is an attempt to add a new block of secular's into this authority, the conservatives and the islamists are very concerned. they say that the secular's might undermine the opposition. there is a lot of internal debates within the opposition. the moment they finished, they will come up with their final decision about the geneva meeting. question is where the
opposition stands right now in terms of forming this interim government. they are over there in turkey debating these issues. how much support does the previous leader have for that proposal that he has initially put forward for a political transition in syria? >> well, his proposal has been dismissed by all the opposition. they said that he is an outgoing leader, his era is over. we are waiting to see the new leader elected tomorrow. along with the highest authority of the general committee, they will have to come up with a new plan for the geneva meeting. the bottom line of the opposition is the following, any move to go to geneva conference has tuesday in clear terms that it will be about a transitional government and assad to leave syria within one month.
anything less than that is going to be seen as a betrayal to the aspirations of the syrian people. as you can see, the situation is fast-moving. it is slowing for the time being. it will take some time to see how the negotiations will lead to a new body and instanbul. the new parliament would have it -- would have a final say over the new syrian government, over the new leadership, and over whether or not to attend the geneva conference. >> thank you very much for that report from instanbul. acta stan has welcomed barack obama's new policy plan to rein in the use of unmanned drones. it is estimated that in pakistan alone, more than 3000 people have died in drone attacks since 2003, many of them civilians. in a statement, the pakistani government said it appreciated the new policy initiative and has long said that drone strikes were counterproductive in the fight against terrorism.
and pakistaning alone, it is estimated that the drone attacks that killed more than 3000 people. for more from islam a bond -- islamabad. that seems to be carefully worded, even though the issue of drones have been a point of contention between the u.s. and pakistan. >> it was carefully worded primarily because one has to understand that this is an interim government, that a new government has been elected and will be taking office within the next fortnight. so it will be upon that particular government to decide on this particular issue. however, the pakistani government did welcome the fact that the americans -- the american president realized that force alone was not the answer and also recognized the fact that tens of thousands of pakistanis had paid a dear price of the ware brunt
on terror, the so-called war on terror. importantly, this is a big step from the pakistani government but not a final one, because this is an interim government that still gets a lot of an interim- this is government. there is still a lot of criticism as far as the drone strikes are concerned. some are at the center of the criticism. it will be for the new government to decide. this government is using diplomatic language. however, they did say that they were opposed to those drone strikes because this was a clear violation of international law and the country's sovereignty. >> seeing that there is a new government now in pakistan and obama did not come out and say he was going to end the drone strikes completely, how might this affect relations between the u.s. and pakistan going forward?
will certainly affect relations, particularly if there is another strike. because if you really look at those drone strikes, of the 368 drone strikes carried out in out, 316 have been carried by the obama administration. they will -- the obama administration also admitting that they had killed many of the al qaeda leadership, lieutenants, front-line commanders, and it is also a fact that has to be remembered that most of the al qaeda fighters have been able to go to yemen, somalia, and are active in other parts as well. so this is no longer an al qaeda center. however, he did not rule out the threat of more strikes. he did say, however, that this time the americans would be very careful to avoid collateral damage, something that has been happening. one third of those casualties are said to be civilians. that is documented by several international groups, including
the two american university law schools, stanford and columbia, which said this was causing mass trauma and that particular area and was a clear violation of human rights. that is what probably prompted the obama administration to come out with this new policy on the drone strikes. >> ok, thank you for that report from islamabad. the head of the international monetary fund has arrived at court for a second day of reckoning. christine lagarde is being investigated for a $500 million payment a businessman got from the french government while she was the finance minister. critics say the settlements were too generous and should have gone through open court. it is been revealed the girlfriend of the soldier killed in london on wednesday is also in the military. she is being flown back from duty and afghanistan for his memorial. 25-year-old lee rigby was a drummer and machine gunner in the british military.
the memorial service will be held in his hometown of manchester in northern england. meanwhile, more arrest. two more people in custody with connection to the killing. a man and woman arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder. the other two suspects were shot by police at the scene and are being treated in hospital. an act struck 1200 police officers have been deployed across london following that attack. a british airways plane has made an emergency landing at heathrow airport after a technical fault in an engine. this video was taken by a passenger on board that flight as it came to land. it briefly closed runways at heathrow, europe's busiest airport. runways have now reopened but there are still delays. hey roadside bomb has killed five soldiers in southern thailand. an army spokesman says muslim insurgents are expected to detonating the bomb. it is what in one of three southern states that has suffered years of violent
unrest. more than 5000 people have been killed since 2004. the fatal shooting of a taiwanese fishermen by the philippine coast guard has put strain on bilateral relations. emotions are running high in taiwan where there has been a lot of anti-philippine sentiment. but the same cannot be said about the philippines. here is the report. >> business remains brisk in this trendy taiwanese tea shot in -- tea shop and millet -- and manila. taiwan opposed a travel ban to the philippines and is actively discouraging new business ventures here after a 65-year- old taiwanese fishermen was shot dead on may 9 by the philippine coast guard who suspected him of poaching. this taiwanese entrepreneur said it is the most fragile relations have been in the 40 years he has been doing business in the philippines. taiwan is the 10th largest investor here, injecting more than $58 million u.s. into the
economy last year. he remains optimistic this latest dispute will not do long- term damage. >> i think we need some time. we believe this is only temporary. i do not see this will last for a long time. >> the philippine government has stressed it is doing all it can to resolve the situation while treading carefully so as not to compromise its one-china policy. officially it only recognizes the beijing government and has no diplomatic ties with taiwan. >> relations between taiwan and the philippines first soured in 2011 with 14 suspected fraudsters from taiwan being deported to mainland china to face charges. taiwan showed its displeasure than by hitting back where the philippines is most vulnerable, it's migrant workers. >> taiwan is doing it again. at the trade office in manila, workers protested against and
announced freeze of giving out new work permits. 3000 filipinos apply to go to taiwan every month. 88,000 filipinos already there. a small portion of the country's 10 million migrant workforce. but with few jobs at home, they cannot afford to be banned. >> taiwan is our sixth largest trading partner. total volume of trade is over $7 billion. mutual desire to put this behind us and to move forward. >> that is exactly what businesses like this taiwanese tea shop hope to carry on doing, move forward regardless. al jazeera, manila. >> still ahead, the boy scouts of america controversially votes to allow gay teenagers to join its ranks. and reclaiming their heritage, a tribe strikes a compensation bill on some of new zealand's
most prized lands. back in a moment. on al jazeera, syria's government has agreed in principle to meet the opposition. russia says bashar al-assad's regime will attend a peace summit in geneva. it is an initiative put forward by russia and the u.s. pakistan has cautiously welcomed moves by the u.s. to rein in the use of drones, but it said drone strikes were counterproductive and a violation of human rights at the innocent loss of civilian lives. the head of the international monetary fund is in court in paris for a second day of questioning. christine lagarde is being investigated for a $500 million payoff given the businessman during her time as the french finance minister. the u.n. chief says more international troops will be sent to the democratic republic of congo in the next id. months to help fight rebels in the east. the drc already has the largest peacekeeping force with 70,000
soldiers. secretary-general ban ki-moon has visited the city of goma, and malcolm webb has gone to see how people feel about his trip. >> on key men and the world -- andki-moon and the world -- others visit the city of goma. they want to talk about a peace plan and a new u.n. intervention brigade to add to what is already the world's largest he's keeping force. [inaudible] human unity of all the people here. >> but earlier this week,
thousands around goma were reduced to rubble when stray shells landed during fighting between the government and am 23 rebels. and a hospital, a steady flow of wounded civilians, including many children. this six-year-old got shrapnel in her head and chest. her mother feels the outside world does not really care and said the u.n.'s visiting secretary-general should do more. >> i can only beg him to help. nobody protects us from this violence. we are struck -- stuck here. our clothing is the only protection we have. >> there has been international attentive bring peace to eastern congo for over 10 years. it is fair to say that so far they have not succeeded. right now the rebels are just over two kilometers outside the city of goma where we are. the extra $1 billion major may not be the answer, but people living here will not be expecting anything to change until they see it with their own eyes.
-- we aretighter tired of war, these women she and. they support the new force in one intervention to be even more direct in dealing with the rebels and their alleged foreign supporters. ip's leave. many here just want peace. ,alcolm webb, al jazeera, goma democratic republic of congo. click the drc is just one of several countries on the continent to see sporadic violence in recent months. the african union am a regional block thomas has tried to help mediate some of those conflicts. ahead of its annual summit on saturday, the union's credibility is now being called into question. ester cresta -- peter grasse reports. >> it happens every year. political and economic unity,
regional peace and prosperity, respect for democracy -- every year it opens with leaders like omar al bashir who came into power through a military coup and is wanted for crimes against humanity. supporters say the au has helped draw the continent together. critics say it is a club of leaders more interested in protecting with each other than dealing with problems. impunity at risk all levels. i think everton will be above the move forward. the thing i recognizes the people that you want to put in place to address impunity -- [indiscernible] ,> of all the au's headaches eastern democratic republic of congo is perhaps the biggest. rebels involved in one form of
another. the au has tried to ease tensions here but it has never been able to resolve them. the u.n. is having to do the heavy lifting with the world's biggest peacekeeping force. elections in places like zimbabwe undermine the au's commitment to democracy. the vote in 2000 eight was widely criticized as deeply flawed but the government accused of violent crackdowns on opposition figures. zimbabwe's president is another regular of the au summit spared respect for the principles of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law are deeply embedded into the afghan union's own charter. human rights groups across the continent would argue that over the past half-century, the au has fallen well short of its own founding ideas. al jazeera, nairobi. >> bolivian president has rallied his supporters after widespread protests against him. thousands turned out in the
capital to hear his call for unity. bolivia's largest trade union just entered a general strike amending better pension laws. bedouin tribes in egypt have been enjoying greater influence since the revolution in 2011. in some areas they have even set up their own court system. nicole johnston reports from northern sinai. >> these men are from different families but the same tribe. they're fighting over who owns a piece of land. they want this religious court to settle their dispute. there are now more than 40 bedouin leaders ruling in 15 districts across the sinai. >> a resolution and the shari'a court is better than the official court because of the process and it is fat. deals ash and it is fast. the official court waste money. >> this is one of the largest tribes in the sinai.
he bases his decision on a strand of islam's believes. >> no doubt this place is empty of official institutions. people come here of their own free will. we are not presenting ourselves as an alternative for the official courts. >> civil courts are still open, but people can choose the system they prefer. at the official court, he can take years to settle cases. since the revolution, the tribal courts have been reducing their workload. lawyers say that the number of cases they have to deal with has dropped by half. some lawyers say the police are not strong enough to enforce vertex. that is why the tribes must be involved. >> the problem is not the type of court or system of law. it is security which is responsible for implementing the law. after court decision, the verdict cause for the police to determine whether they can carry it out. >> by the afternoon, it is getting busy in court. outside, even more people are waiting to see him.
religious courts have taken root in the sinai, and their influence is spreading. ,he call johnston, al jazeera northern sinai -- nicole johnston. >> a bridge in the u.s. state of washington has collapsed. people in their cars fell into the river when the bridge gave way. three people were rescued from the water and taken to hospital. state authorities say there were no fatalities. the boy scouts of america will allow gay teenagers to join its organization for the first time. the group focuses on teaching children survival and social skills. gay adults are still banned from becoming leaders. the vote came after an intense lobbying campaign. >> it is a very difficult decision for a lot of people. we're moving forward together. within our our movement, everyone agrees one thing, no matter how you feel about this issue, kids are better off in scouting. our vision is to serve every
kid. we want every kid to have a place where they belong, to learn and grow and feel protected. >> a maori tribe is one step closer to finally getting back the land that they once owned. the drive have signed a compensation agreement with the government. the town is close to where part of the "lord of the rings" trilogy was filmed. here is the report. it or not, is a maori welcome. new zealandading a government minister here to sign a compensation agreement. it is part of a reconciliation process to settle a past wrong, the seizure by white colonial soldiers of land belonging to new zealand's first people. >> long overdue. it allows us to acknowledge that we did exist. to us. acknowledge that
>> the agreement covers the land around this area, some of new zealand's most beautiful, and thanks to the hobbit, much of was was filmed around here, where it is famous, too. it has a dark past. generations of mary suffered in the 1860's. the injustice drove a wedge through new zealand's society. the government realized something had to be done. the deal reached is part of a new zealand wide settlement process to say sorry and to some degree compensate the maori. caching government buildings worth around $20 million will be received. that is less than 5% of what was taken but still enough to be a significant and symbolic thing. >> it is not possible to fully compensate for the wrongs that were endured, but i am hopeful you can see this is opening
opportunities not only for your economic well-being but also for your spiritual and cultural well-being. >> not all new zealanders support the compensation process. >> they should look after their own people. we earned the money but we are not getting any of it. >> even some maori politicians think treaty settlements encouraged the culture of dependency for little concrete ain't. .- little concrete gain >> whether they are entitled in the name of the people to the beneficiaries, and there's no benefit at all. it is the question that should be investigated. >> that view was not reflected on this big day. goalealand's government is to complete all treaty settlements across the country by the end of 2014. the process can be controversial but it is also therapeutic. a country making efforts painful past. >> australians are getting
fatter. that is according to a government report. more than 60% of the country's population is now considered overweight or obese. that is up newman -- up to do percentage point of the last four years. action is needed to slim the country down. the race is on in poland to start producing gas through frakking. the controversial process blocks water and chemicals to release gas contained in shale. nick spicer is in warsaw and sent this report. >> in fields across poland, they are drilling not just for natural gas but an energy revolution. as chevronts such and conoco phillips are placing bets on polish shale gas. so, too, is the national oil and gas company. >> we need more information. toneed to get as much data make it work. but we know that the gas is
there. we just need to work it out how to get it out. frakking blasts water and chemicals into the ground in order to release gas contained in shale. a long process with production years away, but the race is on. >> in western europe, some countries have banned frakking because environmental concerns. france and the netherlands, for example. ,ut in the baltics and the east lithuania, ukraine, and poland have embraced at the new technology. all three depend heavily on the natural gas imports on russia, a country which has twice cut off supplies during the freezing winter months because of pricing disputes. but the head of the national gas committees as independence from is not the only motivation. >> of course if we produce more gas, we will not have to buy so much from the russians. but it is also about diversification of energy supply, about creating a
european energy policy and a european network with countries like germany and the czech republic. >> poland does have an anti- frakking movement. people such as this mother of two who lives right near a frakking site worries about noise, water, and possible chemical pollution. >> the point is, i do not want the land to be destroyed. i was born here. i know this beautiful region. that is why we are organizing to protect it. >> but for now, it is the voices of the energy companies that are being heard. it is the polish government's desire to away from both polluting coal, where polling gets most of its energy, and to get away from russia that is driving the drill rigs. nick spicer, al jazeera, warsaw. ♪