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tv   News  Al Jazeera  February 4, 2016 2:00pm-2:31pm EST

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>> only on al jazeera america. people scream out of aleppo driven out by a major government offensive as world leaders pledge $10 billion for syrians hit by the conflict. ♪ also saudi arabia says it is ready to send ground troops to syria to participate in any operation by the u.s. led coalition. i'm barbara and you are watching al jazeera live from london and also coming up, on the program italy summons the ambassador after a student disappeared turns up dead in cairo showing signs of torture. sweden says a u.n. panel decided
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that the founder assange is unlawfully detained in a london embassy. and scuffles in athens as greeks have the pressure of prime minister with a nationwide walk out over cuts. ♪ thank you for joining us we begin the program in syria where there have been two developing stories, in the last hour saudi arabia said it's ready to send ground troops to syria to take part in an operation by the u.s. led coalition against the islamic state of iraq and levante as tens of thousands are fleeing aleppo countryside and on the move after a three-day offensive by the syrian government which according to turkey's prime minister was backed by more than 300 russian air strikes, hundreds of
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families are screaming to the turkish border and urging authorities to let them in. meanwhile billions of dollars have been pledged to help syrians in need in both inside and outside the war torn country. at a conference in london 60 countries committed to give well over $10 billion for life-saving aid but also better access to education and jobs for syrians who fled the war. the call for longer term help for syrians comes a day after talks in geneva on how to end the five-year war were suspended for three weeks. they ended as those hundreds of russian air strikes that we mentioned helped the government cut rebel supply lines from turkey and encircle the city of aleppo. let's get more on all of this now from al jazeera dana in the turkish city near the border with syria so a lot of developments there and let's start first of all with what is happening closest to you and that is that push, those many, many people fleeing aleppo, what
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are you seeing, what are you hearing? >> reporter: well, what we understand is hundreds of families have fled their homes and from villages and towns in the north encountryside of aleppo as a result of the ongoing government advance in the area as well as the intense russian bombardment. now pictures have emerged dramatic pictures really and you see hundreds of people heading towards the border, the turkish border. we do not know exact numbers of how many people have been displaced but according to the syrian observatory for human rights which actually monitors the situation on the ground up to 40,000 people have fled their homes over the past few days. now the observatory said some people went to the western countryside of aleppo, thousands of others sought refuge in a kurdish northern syria but thousands really are heading towards the turkish border and the people are appealing for help and saying there is no
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where we can go. the bombardment is intense and we have lost family members and even some people were saying that this is not the first time we have been displaced and one man says it was first displaced from the central city of homs and moved further north and move town to town and is on the turkish border and these people are appealing to the turkish authorities to open the border. now turkey's official policy is an open-door policy but over the past year stricter restrictions have been imposed for a number of reasons and one of them is security, another reason is that turkey hosts up to 2.5 million refugees and really the burden has been a lot of burden on the turkish authorities so these people are appealing on the turkish government to open the border so mass displacement, human suffering as a result of this offensive. we also know that more than 30 people have been killed in russian air strikes just today. >> hundreds of thousands and millions paying the human cost of this war but we have had a diplomatic development of sorts
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in the past half hour or so zaina, saudi arabia as we mentioned earlier said it is ready to send ground troops to syria to take part in a u.s. led coalition and specifically against i.s.i.l. the islamic state of iraq and the levante, not a lot of detail, what is your take on this announcement? >> reporter: well, like you said they have decided to participate in any ground operation if such an operation takes place. we still do not know whether or not the u.s. led coalition is planning such an operation on the ground. we do know that one of the main problems that the coalition has had in fighting i.s.i.l. is finding partners on the ground. but such a possibility will undoubtedly heighten tensions because those troop also be deplayed in syria and iraq and there is tensions, there is tensions in the region, there is a saudi arabia rivalry and the iranians do have influence over the iraqi government and iranians do have influence over
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the syrian government so deployment of saudi troops on the ground in either of the countries will undoubtedly heighten tensions but in december saudi arabia did announce that they formed a coalition of mainly muslim countries to help the coalition, the u.s. has criticized the allies for sometime now for not doing enough. the u.s. has also criticized turkey for what it says are efforts are not enough to seal the border to prevent i.s.i.l. moving to and from syria and turkey but like i said this is going to heighten tensions but for the time being we have heard no word from washington on whether this is, in fact, on the table. >> zaina in turkey, thank you. and saying we had no word from washington, let's go straight live now to washington and speak to al jazeera's roslyn jordan at the u.s. state department for us. roslyn what have they or haven't they been saying there officially or off the record? >> reporter: well, i asked the department spokesperson john
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kirby about the saudi military's announcement a short while ago and i'm going to read a rough paraphrase of what he had to say during the daily press briefing and this is what john kirby had to say, he has not seen the brigadier general's comments and he is not at liberty to speak to a sovereign country's military decisions but kirby goes on to say in general we meaning the united states want members of the coalition to look for ways to do more and general additional resources to go after da'esh are welcome but he hasn't seen the brigadier general's comments to another television network and so wants to take a closer look at the plan to see exactly why or the saudis are making this recommendation now. and whether this could be workable because except for the fact that the u.s. military has said that it's going to have a number of special operations forces going in and out of syria
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we are very specific missions against i.s.i.l. or da'esh it's not -- it's not deploying actual units of ground troops inside syria to go after the groups so it would be very interesting to find out not just from the u.s. but from other members of the coalition how the insertion of ground forces from saudi arabia or from any country for that matter would make a difference in the fight against i.s.i.l. >> roslyn jordan at the u.s. state department and thank you. meanwhile the humanitarian situation in besieged towns in syria remains desperate. these are exclusive pictures obtained by al jazeera from inside madaya where two women died of starvation on thursday, at least 19 people are starved to death from a convoy was allowed to enter the city in mid january. as you heard a few minutes ago the international conference in london has seen more than $10 billion pledged to help syrian
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refugees, more than half of which will be handed out this year. let's go live to barnabie following events at the conference and $10 billion is an enormous amount of money and had events and cases where money has been pledged to syria and the refugee crisis caused by it and didn't get there and how is this conference going to make sure not only is the money pledged but it's actually given? >> well, i think that is going to be different, barbara, and ultimately the pressure or the weapons if you like that are available to the united nations are moral ones and they are diplomatic ones. i don't doubt the sincerity of the leaders who are here today. they spoke with great concern about the ongoing humanitarian crisis in syria. in some cases you could argue that there are reasons closer domestic, political reasons why they should be so concerned as
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well, particularly from the european point of view, i think there is almost explicitly stated quid proquo if you like and if more aid is given to syrians displaced in the country and displaced in neighboring countries primarily of course turkey, lebanon and jordan then the likelihood of them becoming refugees and seeking asylum here in europe is that much less likely. i also think this conference was over shadowed by both by the distressing images and news from syria itself and of course by the break down of talks in geneva yesterday. and when ban ki-moon the u.n. secretary-general spoke at the end he was at pains distress that ultimately yes you can carry on having these humanitarian pledging conferences but the real solution for syria is peace. >> most help the people of syria is not just the food for today but hope for tomorrow.
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yet the parties to the conflict remain deeply divided even on improving the humanitarian situation. i agree with the special envoy staffan de mistura that we should not have talks only for the sake of talks. the coming days should be used to get back to the table, not to secure more gains on the battlefield. >> reporter: well perhaps the most cutting remarks at that same press conference came from the turkish prime minister and he was talking about russia's military involvement in syria and the increased rate of air strikes in resent days and this is what he had to say. >> the air strikes of russian planes which did not do any strike against da'esh in the last three days but they did 351 air strikes against civilians and opposition in aleppo.
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if this continues, if there is a corridor from turkey to aleppo all of us and u.n. security council will be responsible for the humanitarians disaster in aleppo and nobody will be able to convince people of opposition of syria to come to the table again. >> reporter: and going back to those funds, those $10 billion any indication on how and where they would be spent? >> yes, and there is an interesting change of emphasis here barbara because some of that money will be spent on emergency humanitarian needs, medicine, shelter and so on for people on the move. but a lot of it is going to go on education and employment prospects for refugees who have run away from syria, who are primarily of course as i was saying in jordan, lebanon and
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turkey. talk about getting an extra million syrian children into schools so that they are not a lost generation. of course that is a long-term commitment and they have to be sent through school and that could be what six, seven years. talk about giving syrian refugees employment opportunities and again here there is a quid proquo that if despite all the political pressures in those countries places like lebanon and jordan do open up labor markets and make it much easier and it has been extremely different for syrian refugees to work and there has to be some sort of quid proquo from soft loans or the banks or other european banks or come in the form of greater investment. all of that will be welcome but of course there is an implicit, very depressing assumption behind all of this which is that the syrian crisis is not going away and that those millions of
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people are going to need help. not just today, not just next week, but for years and years and possibly decades to come. >> the latest from the conference in central london, thank you. ♪ iraq 28 iraqi soldiers have been killed by i.s.i.l. suicide attacks in and bar province, it's the third major attack in as many days. one car bomb targeted army barracks in ramadi where fighting has continued for months despite the government's claim that it controls 95% of the city. the second attack was in fallujah and also targeted a government base. the newspaper says a man found dead in cairo was writing and the 28-year-old student who wrote under the name goul goul
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disappeared on january 25 and two days later his body was on the road bearing signs of torture and told him he feared for his life and we have more from rome. on thursday the italian minister summoned the ambassador of a death of a 28-year-old student who has been living in cairo to study for doctor in egyptian economy. appeared on the 25th of january the 5th anniversary of the operation that led to the position of mubarak and his body was in alexandria with signs of torture and according to the prosecutor there he had signs of his body of cigarette butts and stab wounds and suffered a slow death and the italian foreign ministry called for a joint investigation to make sure it will be fair and thorough especially following contradictory statements and authorities in egypt the local
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authority in italy said, in fact, that the death of giulio was as a result of an accident. sentence of to israeli teens guilty of murdering a palestinian teen. what this man did and didn't say to accusations that his former company hiked hiv drug prices by 5,000%. ♪
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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. ♪ reminder of the top stories on
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al jazeera, tens of thousands of syrians are fleeing aleppo northern countryside after days of air strikes by government troops and russian planes, saudi arabia now says it's ready to send ground troops to syria by an operation by the u.s. led coalition against i.s.i.l. in london meanwhile an international donor conference has raised more than $10 billion to help displaced syrians. and italy is demanding an investigation into the death of a 28-year-old student who disappeared in cairo and whose body has been found bearing signs of torture. iran's foreign minister calling for talks towards the syrian peace deal to resume and for an immediate ceasefire and mohamed has been addressing the uk's independent foreign policy institute chatam house and is a participant in the syrian donor conference and the same win-win approach to the iran nuclear deal should be applied to syria
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peace talks. >> we still believe that particularly the situation in syria and in yemen and in iraq and in bahrain and in lebanon can be viewed from a positive some character, from a win-win scenario. >> reporter: well al jazeera's paul brennan is at chatam house in london and joins us live and paul obviously a lot of people thinking one of the causes of the war in syria is animosity between iran and saudi arabia so in light of that did the news about saudi arabia offering ground troops in syria come up and did zarif make any comments? >> it broke a half past six and 1830gmt while dr. zarif was on the stage answering questions and dispie our best efforts we
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were unable to put that point to him. that said, the subject of saudi arabia and the rivalry, the go political rivalry between iran and saudi arabia did come up in the encounter, this hour-long meeting with dr. zarif and it was the one time he looked even close to losing his cool. when he mentioned the 2015 access of 400 iranians are estimated to have died, dr dr. zarif was very angry and he said saudi arabia had not offered any condolence for those deaths and was at pains to say that and it was the one time that he really showed just how deep the animosity is between iran and saudi arabia diplomatically and politically. >> and, paul, going back to what he was actually talking about specifically at chatam house it seems like a contradictory stance in a way and talking about peace but iran is still
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working with the assad government on an offensive on the ground of which we have seen the results in aleppo. >> reporter: it is. i mean you talk about well he spoke about the win-win situation. i doubt the 40,000 syrians who have had to flee from the area around aleppo in the past week because of the renewed offensive by syrian backed forces backed by russian air strikes they would probably not see it as a win-win situation abandoning their homes and there is a contradiction between the break down of the talks which had taken place in geneva, suspension of the talks and dr. zarif hoping the talks could reconvene as soon as possible and the foreign secretary of uk just this week said that russia had been distinctly unhelpful with its air strikes and iran and russia were hand and glove with each other and were iran he said was just as hard lined as russia in this respect so there is a contradiction it seems
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between what is said at a diplomatic level and what is happening in reality on the ground in syria in relation to military offensives. russia, syrian regime and iranian backed militia preparing and continuing to press the offensive while they believe that they have the upper hand, at the same time the diplomatic talks in geneva falling apart. >> paul brennan with the latest from london and paul thank you. israel's supreme court has suspended detention of a palestinian journalist who has been hunger strike for more than two months and mohamed is understood to have held a strike for 72 days in protest against the law that allows israel to hold suspects without trial. the court says the detention order was suspended due to his poor health. two israeli teens found guilty of murdering a palestinian teenager have been sentenced and mohamed was kidnapped, beaten
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and burned to death in 2014. one of the convicted teens received a life sentence, the other was sentenced to 21 years in prison. and west jerusalem has this update. >> reporter: the family of mohamed have reacted angry to the sentencing and at one point his mother stood up and started shouting at the courts saying that the sentences are too lenient that one of the sentencing rather one of the minors who was sentenced to 21 years in prison will likely be out in just a few years time because of israel's appeal process saying that her son mohamed is never coming back. the background of all of this is a third man who is accused in this case, his name is joseph ben david, he is 31 years old and is an israeli settler. he has been ruled or rather found by the courts to have led the killing of mohamed but the
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reason he has not been convicted or sentenced is because his lawyers have filed an insanity plea. now the court has yet to rule on that decision so while the kadir family is no doubt very upset by the sentencing of these two minors, their ordeal is far from over. >> a u.n. legal panel will rule that the wikileaks founder is a victim of arbitrary detention according to the swedish government. assange in the embassy in london for more than three years and ecuador granted him asylum because he was afraid of extradition to the united states in connection with the publication of secret diplomatic cables. he is wanted in sweden for questioning of sexual assault allegations, the panel officially announces its find, on friday. and his lawyer says if the u.n. rules in his favor sweden should drop the case. >> if the u.n. reports states that he has been detained for 3 1/2 years by sweden then i see
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no other way out of this for sweden and the prosecutor but to cancel the decision to detain julian-assange in absence and close the case and drop the suspicions against him and close the preinvestigation. it's over in my firm opinion if he wins tomorrow. all around the world oil producing countries and companies are realing from the record plunge in the price of oil. on thursday shell announced it is cutting 10,000 jobs. in resent years kazakhstan is one of the world's success stories and central asia's richest nation and heavily reliant on oil and as walker reports from the former capitol and largest city falling oil prices are hitting kazakhstan hard. >> reporter: protests like this one organized without official approval are against the law in
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kazakhstan but these mortgage holders want to make themselves hea heard. the u.s. dollar linked repayments on their home loans have risen beyond their means and at the same time the poverty market has collapsed in a contracting economy. >> translator: if we have a mortgage of $200,000 to buy a small apartment, that today is worth just $50,000 and people are in such trouble that they cannot pay. >> reporter: they maybe a small if vocal minority but there is a silent so far struggling majority whose lives have also been impacted by a falling national currency. kazakhstan's capitol was built with oil money. now the oil price collapse has harmed the value in just six months. dramatically raising the cost of living. that is hurting everyone from
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employers like restaurant people to her employees and her clientele. >> translator: the supplies and landlords are raising prices and the customers are spending less, that is two problems we are having to deal with at the same time. >> reporter: public spending is being cut and so too are jobs. at the president's palace officials admit how serious the problem is. >> translator: our budget has been cut by 40%, we understand the difficulties our citizens are facing and taking every action to stabilize the situation. >> reporter: unless that happens, it's still a rarity and might become more routine. robin walker, al jazeera. former drugs company executive has refused to testify to a house committee in the u.s. it was to be questioned over a controversial price hike, instead he took the fifth amendment right to remain silent
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and his company raised the price of a drug used to treat hiv patients by more than 5,000% and currently out on bail for unrelated fraud charges. violence scenes in greece during a nationwide strike against the economic reforms. protesters threw stones at police and set fire to cars and brought athens to a virtual stand still and john has more from athens. >> reporter: this is the third general strike since austerity but from the other two it has support from the middle class and countryside and angry about the government proposed social security overhaul and it would charge a million taxpayers 27% of their income for health coverage and contributions effectively doubling their
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taxation. freelance professionals and farmers say that abiding by the law would put them out of business so they can't survive and that would obviously under mine the very preface the law to balance the books. ♪ ♪ in war torn afghanistan it's not the conflict but taliban that women fear most. it's their own families. a shocking majority of afghan women are abused, they are beaten, raped, or even coerced into marriage by the people they love the most. but only a few d