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tv   News  Al Jazeera  February 4, 2016 4:00am-4:31am EST

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hello. welcome. we're with the world news from al jazeera. all eyes are on syria. >> reporter: i'm from the syria-turkish border. i will bring you the latest on the government's advance on the northern province of aleppo. >> reporter: i'm in london where world leaders are gathering to raise money to help syrian refugees in other news this hour the wikileaks founder says he will accept arrest if the u.n. rules against him. we speak live to one of his
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legal advisers. plus a report on how hard drinking is giving south korean health officials a hangover top story this hour. the u.n. has suspended taushgs aimed at ending syria's five-year civil war. the syrian government and the opposition blaming each other over the collapse of those discussions after just two days. on the ground the war rages on and it appears that the regime is winning. they're claiming a major victory in aleppo province with the support of russian air powers. our correspondent on the turkish side of the syrian border. what are your sources say? >> reporter: there was no
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diplomatic break through in geneva but a break through for the syrian government on the ground. pictures broadcast from the pro-government towns, you can see people celebrating in the streets, the syrian army and their allies, militias from hezbollah and iraqi fighters. they are in the center of the town celebrating. undoubtedly this is a set-back for the opposition. the government has been able to achieve in three days what it has been trying to achieve for more than three years, but what we understand from our sources on the ground was that this offensive really unleeshd heavy fire power. the opposition was not able to confront this assault. the syrian organization sydney there were many casuals-- organization says there were many casualties.
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the assault is to lift the siege which will give the government an advantage because these towns can be used as launching pads to launch further advances in the aleppo countryside. the other objective was to sever the supply line from turkey to opposition controlled districts inside aleppo city. the opposition districts in that city now encircled. aleppo takes on a whole new meaning. there have been many turning point in this war over the past five years, but this is definitely one. it is a turning point which is consequential because turkey is the lifestyle of the opposition. the aim is to reach the turkish border thank you very much. the u.k.'s prime minister calling for billions of dollars more in aid for syrian refugees at a major conference in london. this is what people are fleeing.
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a video taken by a russian drone captured these images of the almost complete destruction of the city of homs. before the war its population was almost a million. the camera travels between low buildings and alleyway shows it empty of all life. this isn't just about money. it's about education, it's about job creation. some would say it's also about keeping the refugees out of europe. >> reporter: yes. i think there is that analysis you could make of this conference, undoubtedly. ultimately there is a pretty depressing, a pretty grim assumption at work here which is that millions of syrian people are going to be displaced for years to come. there is no immediate political solution. we saw that very graphically
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with the collapse of those talks in geneva yesterday. when we talk abouted killings, what we're saying is that there is no point in piecemeal assistance to syrian children in turkey, in jordan, in lebanon. they are going to need to be educated for years to come. this is a long-term commitment. it will go on for six or seven years. ploys, employment, the realisation that people are not going to go home any time soon, that they need decent opportunities and lives in the surrounding countries. in particular, in relation to jar done and lebanon, countries which have been under great strain and where it has been very difficult, it has been made difficult for refugees to find find employment in those countries, european countries here and u.s. and other donors will come up with offers of better trade deals for those countries, more inward
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investment and the bred quid pro quo will be benefits there. it is a cynical assumption or line of thought around this conference as well which is that ultimately for european countries in particular that are faced enormous political difficulties over syrian refugees in particular over the last 12 months, let's not make any bones about it, the message from the british government here is stump up the cash, let's give those syrian refugees some semblance of life in the region and that way they won't risk their lives trying to cross the sea and they won't be knocking on the borders of your own countries as far as the funding of that is concerned, the push back point here has to be they only got 40% of what they were pledged the last time they held a similar get together. >> reporter: that's the problem.
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this time around the demands are much greater u a u.n. led demand in the region now of 7 to 9 billion dollars, depending on how you do the calculations. i was talking to one of the british overseas aid ministers a couple of days ago about this and i said what weapon do you have? what sort of compulsion can be bring on people, even if they do come here to london and promise cash, where is the leverage, and he gave me a rather weary smile and said the only weapon we have is diplomacy, but i suppose the other weapon relates to my initial answer, that there is a degree of self-interest, particularly for european countries. if you look at a country like britain, it has a pretty good track record in terms of delivering aid to syrians in the region. it's second only to the u.s., it's substantially more generous
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in those terms than other european countries or the wealthy arab countries, but its moral, achilles heel is the reluctance to take in more, only 2,000 being taken in over the course of several years. i suppose the unspoken message behind this conference is well, at least if you put a lot of funding into helping those poor syrian people in the region, they won't be coming to europe in such great numbers in the summer of 2016 as they did in the summer of 2015 for those presidents and prime ministers who are there who are politically right of center, is there a worry about the demographic because the latest figures say 8,000 refugees are now in the u.k. it's more than 10,000 refugees in the country such as sweden. the demographic impact of that could be arguably huge. >> reporter: it could be. let's be honest.
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the only two western ur mean countries that have so-- european countries that have so far taken in substantial numbers of refugees really are germany and sweden. in both of those countries the politics has changed quite dramatically, i've noticed, over the past six months. a great deal more host ility to the taking in more refugees. they feel rather comfortable morally because they've given a lot more aid than other european countries, but they also feel in cold political terms that the wind is in their sails, that the mood across the rest of europe has turned into their direction and there is a greater european consensus now that the way ahead, the way to help syria, is to give more money to the region and in that way hope or, if necessary, prevent more syrian refugees coming to europe itself
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thanks very much. in eastern yemen there are reports that the u.s. drone strikes have killed 12 people, including one of al-qaeda's most senior commanders. also known as ham za who was travelling in a car with other fighters when the vehicle was hit by his aisle fired from a drone. somalia's civil aviation authority says there's no evidence of a criminal act on an incident on their aeroplane. they thought the blast was caused by a bomb. one passenger was killed after he was sucked out of a hole that appeared in the fuselage. one of the biggest trade deals in history has been signed in new zealand. it is the transpacific partnership consisting of 12 nations and together they make up almost 40% of the world's economy. wayne hay now from auk larnd.
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>> reporter: after years of-- aukd land. >> reporter: after years of negotiations, the tpp is one step towards openlying becoming a reality. new zealand hosted the sciening ceremony. >> i am i delighted to be here today to mark the signing of this important agreement. what brings us together is a shared belief that opening and integrating our markets through trade and investment will enhance the prosperity of our people's. >> reporter: outside the venue the reception wasn't so welcoming. protesters filed into the city and were met by a large prosecution presence. they say it under mines the seventy of their nation. they believe it hands too much power to big business >> it's really important that we build solidarity and strength on the street to say many people
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here are opposed to this deal, not just because of what it does to our country economically but because of the political sovereignty that has been sold out from under us >> reporter: the governments say the economic boost will outway the negatives. many of the numbers are than conservative, with new zealand saying it will increase their domestic product.0.9%. >> reporter: it is certainly not the end of the process. each country has two years to ratify the tpp and in that time these protesters say they will continue to oppose the deal. ratification may be the most difficult in the u.s. where there is political opposition to it in the middle of a presidential election campaign. the trade representatives who signed say the deal is solid and that they're confident all 12 members will remain in the packet still to come for you here
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on al jazeera, journalists joining forces in the occupied west bank as they call on an afghanistan reporter to be freed.
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welcome back. a remainder of the main news so far this year. the u.n. envoy staffan de mistura to syria last night suspended talks in geneva. both sides are blaming each
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other. the collapse of talks being being blamed on the syrian government offensive backed by russian air strikes in aleppo province. the government has reached areas to cut off supply lines. diplomats arriving in london to raise up to 9 billion dollars for refugees. several world leaders are expected to attend the conference. the wikileaks founder says he will turn himself over to british police on friday if a u.n. panel of legal experts decides his detention is lawful. he has been holed up inside the embassy in london for more than three years. he has been trying to avoid extradition to sweden.
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joining us now is a member of his legal team. she is joining us on skype from the hague. what's the latest information you have vis-a-vis the legal process and the u.n. decision? >> just before coming on air i was informed that it has been announced that there was a positive verdict in his favor. i can't necessarily confirm that because i haven't received that information from the working group. the decision was sent to the united kingdom and sweden two weeks ago, so they're in a position to confirm because a decision does exist. that is optimistic news for us if it's correct what does that mean and, therefore, what happens next? >> well, the working group deals with issue of arbitration detention. the remedy of arbitrary detention is release. we we would say that the next
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steps would be for the u.k. and sweden to remove any impediments to his release, that is removing the police around the embassy, not arresting him, returning his passport and assuring his protection and effectively making sure he can't be extradited out of the states where he would face persecution and cruel inhumane treatment does that mean in theory - we are looking at him from the balcony from 2012, does that mean in theory he could walk out of the doors of that building in the next hour or two, in effect, a free man with permanently in-place security to look after him, possibly for the rest of his life? >> the decision was sent to the u.k. and sweden. so if it is a favorable verdict there is nothing to stop him from implementing it immediately. we fully expect they would
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comply with all international obligations and that includes their obligations to end a situation of arbitrary detention and assure all of his rights. they could be assured through various means what did you or your legal colleagues say to the u.n., say to the u.k. and/or say to the governments in sweden that has end with this result, if it is the result that you're talking about. >> our complaint was founded on two planks. the first was that he is detained. no matter the physical appearance of the embassy is, his liberty has been constrained for over three years, he has had no access to fresh sunlight or appropriate medical treatment and he has been confined in a very small space. this is analogous to a prison and in many regards he has had less liberties than a prisoner
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would, for example, medical treatment. the second plank is that it is entirely arbitrary. the basis for the detention was that he was wanted for questioning, not for charges. he has never been charged. but it is in relation with one allegation. he has offered himself for questioning on numerous occasions and they declined to take up these offers a very luxurious prison that he has been staying in. i will stop myself there because i think we've lost communications with our guest in the hague. we've got her back again, such are the vagaries of the line. the central allegation, the legal charge has never been levelled against him. the central allegation, though, surely still stands and just because he is a man who spent several years in a very
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well-well appointed prison, to pick up on the phrase that you used, why shouldn't he face up to that charge? >> as i said, it's not a charge. the detention order was to secure his presence for questioning. an investigation must be conducted expeditiously. five years does not meet this obligation. all prosecutors have obligations to the suspect. the most important obligation is fairness. he had a right to clear his name five years ago. as a result of the delays he has been kept in indefinite detention. he has served more than the maximum sentence which would potentially apply to a case of this kind. it is absolutely unfair and a violation of the presumption of innocence just to sum up for us, it looks like he is imminently possibly about to be a free man. many thanks. >> thank you very much palestinian journalists across the occupied west bank
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and the gaza strip against the continued -- have been protests after a journalist is in custody. >> reporter: their message is clear. free this journalist. this was organized protest said they want the journalist to be released. he was arrested in november. since then he has been held in what israel calls administrative detention which is imprisonment without charge for up to six months, renewable indefinitely. journalists in the gaza strip held a similar protest calling for his relief. although he has never been charged with any crime, israel accusing him of being part of hamas which is classifies as a terrorist group.
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his health has been at a rating and he is on a hunger strike. on thursday the court is expected to rule on an appeal submitted by his lawyers asking to have him released from administrative detention based on medical grounds. palestinian officials believe that the court will rule to suspend his detention which means that once he has recovered from his hunger strike, he will be put back in an israeli jail. this is his wife's. she says if israel doesn't release her husband unconditionally, he has told her he will continue his hunger strike even if it costs his life. >> translation: he was clear. he said i reject suspension of my detention and refuse this. he wants his freedom. when the lawyer asked him what's the longest?
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he said as long as it takes me to transfer me back. >> reporter: the committee ordered health workers to begin treating him with salt and spluments without his consent. it is clear that he will continue to resist any such israeli intervention into his health until he is a free man the oil joint shell has announced it is cutting ten thousand jobs. the company has just confirmed a 44% drop in its fourth quarter earnings. that is shell's steepest fall in annual profits for 13 years. from siberia to the arabian desert, cuts in oil prices. looking at this chart. less than two years ago a barrel of oil was $111 per parcel. since then it has gone down, down and down again at $250 and
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then less than $30, where since the end of last year it has been pretty much stuck. the-- our correspondent meets some of those struggling to make ends meet. >> reporter: protests like this one, organized without official approval are against the law in kasakstan but they want to be heard. they say repayments on their home loans have risen beyond their means and the property market has collapsed in a contracting economy. >> a small apartment, they cannot pay. >> reporter: they may be a small
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and vocal minority, but there is a silent struggling majority whose lives have been impacted by a falling nagts currency. the capital was built with oil money. now the oil price collapse has halved the value in six months, dramatically raising the cost of living. that's hurting everyone from employers like this woman and her employees an clientele. >> translation: the supplies and landlords are raising rents and the customers are buying less. >> reporter: public spending has been cut and so too are jobs. at the president's palace, officials admit how serious it is. >> translation: our budget has been cut by 40%. we under the difficulties our citizens are taking and we're taking every action to stabilize
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the situation. >> reporter: unless that happens, public unrest still a rarity might become more routinroutine south koreans are among the biggest drinkers on the planet and that is giving public health officials a headache. >> reporter: on drunk patrol, these police officers have been called to this shop where patrons report someone in urgent need of help. they find her heavily intoxicated and passed out in the bathroom. the officers carry her to the patrol car.
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they will take her to medics. up until now korean men have been the heavy drinkers, but increasingly women are joining their ranks. every night south koreans kon assume 7 million dollars of local alcohol made from r ice. >> translation: the number of calls we're getting including drunks is overall increasing, but women make up most of our calls now. they're destroying themselves with liquor. it's heart breaking. >> reporter: on any given evening on the streets of seoul young women can be seen stumbling about drunk out of their minds. many people say a part of the problem is the availability of liquor. it can be found pretty well 24/7 anywhere and the cost only $1 a bottle. >> translation: this man and 25 other alcoholics have launched a class action lawsuit against
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liquor companies, accusing them of using celebrities to lure young women into drinking. >> translation: people look at these, because they are so famous it encourages consumers to bring more. it leads to over drinking and people getting knocked up. >> reporter: university students like this one and her friends argue partying and binge drinking helps relieve stress. she studies 18 hours a day and with youth suicide rates here the highest in the developed world, she says drinking is good for mental health. >> reporter: do you ever see a day when south koreans will drink less? >> absolutely not. >> translation: liquor is something that's naturally shared between friends and family. i think our drinking culture is very uplifting, so i don't think
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the day we have less will ever come, nor should it. >> reporter: none deny alcohol's negative effects, but they argue women are simply joining in on an old korean practice, one that provides a necessary escape, no matter the risks >> the warm blue waters off the coast of hawaii, a scene of incredible beauty but a world in transition. ironically this piece of coral, delicate as fine china, is also a sign of trouble. >> today, we are facing the potential loss or massive degradation of all of our reefs. >> down here, climate an