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tv   News  Al Jazeera  February 12, 2016 6:00am-6:31am EST

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only on al jazeera america. ♪ hours after world powers announced a breakthrough on syria russian planes reportedly kill 18 people in homs. ♪ hello this is al jazeera live from doha and i'm jane and also coming up, scuffles and tear gas in athens as farmers protest against spending cuts. racial tensions high in the south african town as white farmers stand accused of killing black workers. we meet orphans caught up in the fighting in eastern ukraine even
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though there is supposed to be a ceasefire. ♪ right now it is only an agreement on paper, it won't bring a complete ceasefire or an end to russian bombing, following a marathon meeting in germany world powers have settled on what they are calling cessation of abilities in syria beginning a week from now. one of the priorities will be delivering food, medicine and shelter to besieged towns and villages, our diplomatic editor james base reports from munich. 19 delegations and sponsors of international peace efforts in syria gathering in an effort to get things back on track but the most important meeting happens several hours earlier on the 15th floor of the same munich hotel. this is where russian foreign minister sergei fedorov and u.s. secretary of state john kerry came face-to-face and if you look at those faces you can tell
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from the very start this was a difficult meeting. the russians proposed a ceasefire from march the first but the u.s. said that would mean three weeks more aerial bombardment and called for it to begin as early as this weekend. when they finally addressed the media, it was in the early hours of the munich morning and it was clear neither man got exactly what he wanted but instead they announced an ambitious target of just one week in which to stop the violence. >> we have agreed to implement a nationwide cessation of hostilities to begin in a target of one week's time. that is ambitious but everyone is determined to move as rapidly as possible to try to achieve this. this will apply to any and all parties in syria with the exception of the terrorist organizations da'esh and
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al-nusra. >> reporter: they said a joint task force will be set up to arrange the cessation of hostilities and another one on getting humanitarian aid to those in most desperate need would meet for the first time in a matter of hours in geneva. >> this is the list of the areas and the people who are in need and the numbers of them. now, the isfg has told us, told the u.n. you are in charge in launching this initiative with our support. >> reporter: this was a very long and often difficult series of meetings. what they achieved reads well on paper but the big test now will be turning it into reality on the ground. james base, al jazeera, munich. just hours after that announcement on syria russian air strikes reportedly killed 18 people in the northern part of homs providence and the area has been pounded in resent days as government forces close in on
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rebel held areas. the u.n. warns that 120,000 people are at risk of starvation and disease in and around homs. zaina is near the turkey-syria border and sent this update. >> reporter: many in the opposition are welcoming any deal really that can relieve the suffering on the ground. the offensive in aleppo has displaced 50,000 people according to the u.n., many of these people are living out in the open. they left their homes with nothing and they cannot survive without aid. they are also welcoming any deals that would bring in aid supplies to besieged areas across the country and according to the u.n. half a million people live in besieged areas and at the same time they are skeptical and don't believe that this deal will really take effect on the ground because they point to the fact that over the past five years ceasefires have been not been implemented
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on the ground and the backer russia and believe the objective has been to change the balance of power on the ground and put pressure on the rebels in order for them to surrender and laying siege to areas is to bring about a surrender so for them the government is more concerned an imposing its solution to the conflict and not compromising. now air strikes are continuing on the ground in northern homs countryside has been a battleground for months but now the government has managed to sever the supply routes into the area and u.n. is warning that up to 120,000 people face the risk of starvation, face the risk of disease because aid cannot enter. so there is cautious optimism but undoubtedly this is not a formal ceasefire and we still did not hear from the armed groups on the ground on their position on whether or not they will abide by this because at the end of the day a pause of fighting means a freeze on the front lines and a freeze really
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that the government and its backers are holding on to the strategic gains they have made over the past few weeks. russia's prime minister warned sending ground troops to syria could result in world war and the comments were published in a german newspaper in response to saudi arabia's proposal last week to send ground troops to syria. and also said other world powers are refusing to cooperate with russia's involvement in syria. let's cross live now to rory in moscow. what do you think he is trying to get across here, what is the message in the light of this deal that has been signed? >> well, i think the message from dimitri and the whole russian hierarchy really is to the united states and its regular all regional allies to stay out and do not interfere with what is going on on the ground in syria any more than as the russians see it they are
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doing so already. of course the united states and various regular allies are backing different opposition groups inside syria but i think the message of dim ishgs tshit escalation and say unless the syrian government, the legitimate government as they put it are legitimately asking for the contribution of the ground troops in saudi arabia then it would be illegal. we do understand in the coming hours there will be a meeting in munich between sergei fedorov and the saudi arabia foreign minister presumably where they are going to discuss the task force that has been agreed on, this potential cessation over hostilities and of course what the saudi arabia hinted they are about to do which is send ground troops in syria.
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>> thank you for that rory and russia is also prepared to send help to iraq's government to help with its fight against i.s.i.l., a message delivered by the deputy prime minister as he visited baghdad. >> translator: in response to iraq's request of more military aid we will respond with the exchange of information. our surveillance forces as the troops deployed in syria as required by the syrian government are capable of providing adequate information to us. >> police fired tear gas for farmers protesting in central athens and chaotic scenes as they tried to get in the administration building and police barricaded themselves across the entrance and for three weeks the farmers have been blocking roads and highways outside the capitol before bringing their anger to the city on friday. from what we have been looking at behind geneva seems to be a
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certain amount of anger there, that is lee barker in athens, what has been happening? >> reporter: well, large numbers of farmers have started to gather here just outside the agricultural ministry. as you mentioned there a short while ago there were some clashes as some farmers tried to push in the ministry itself and pushed back by riot police and tear gas was used and you can still smell it in the air. luckily so far the casualties have been a few windows and a couple of bins and a satellite effectively blocking this what would have been a busy cross road in the center of athens from the rest of the city. as we have been here over the last hour or so we started to see more and more farmers arrive here. they are of course descending on athens from the four corners of greece. a short while ago in the morning we traveled with the group and expect there to be many thousands arriving here towards
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the end of the day, thousands have also arrived from the greek islands arriving at the port and they are making their way to the city as we speak. as you mentioned there also the farmers have been taking part in blockades across the country now for several weeks but now it's time for them to bring protests to the capitol and against a raft of economic reforms they say could leave them impoverished. >> what about others who have been affected by this? >> well greece and athens of course are no stranger to demonstrations and protests and on the whole a lot of people here in the greek capitol are somewhat weary of demonstrations like this but of course these farmers are not speaking about their own livelihoods and speaking of issues that can also affect the wider population too. last year the greek government signed an agreement with its foreign lenders and eu finance
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ministers, with international monetary fund in return for $96 billion financial bailout to avoid the country sliding into greater or further debt. it would in return introduce a series of somewhat unpopular reforms. one of these key reforms is a reform to the pension system that would require people like the farmers around me to pay much more into their pension parts and add that of course to the expense they are already spending on running the small and medium size farms and people cannot afford a hike in taxes in the coming years. >> thank you for that. in yemen the u.n. is warning has been warned to remove staff from areas controlled by houthi rebels and comes from saudi arabia which has been leading coalition air strikes against the high thinks since last march on the ground. pro-government forces seized control of a military base 50 kilometers from sanaa on thursday. saudi arabia and its allies support president abd rabbuh
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mansur hadi and fighting against the houthi movement as well as supporters of the former president saleh. still ahead on al jazeera, head of the catholic church heads to mexico and cuba for a meeting a thousand years in the making. beef prices in indonesia are some of the high nest the world. we are in west and looking at government efforts to bring down costs plus. ♪
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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. ♪ hello again and reminder of the
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top stories on al jazeera russian air strikes have is reportedly killed 18 people in syria just hours before a u.n. task force meeting on humanitarian aid. world powers have pledged to end hostilities within a week. russia's prime minister warned that sending ground troops to syria could result in world war. and the comments were in response to saudi arabia's proposal last week to send soldiers there. police in greece fired tear gas at farmers holding an antiausterity protest in athens and hundreds gathered in the city streets and tried to enter the government agricultural building and angry at the government plans to bring this austerity measures in the greece bail out. an agreement was supposed to end this between government and russian separatists but both sides accuse each other of breaking that agreement the
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orphans are suffering and charles stratford reports from eastern ukraine. >> reporter: these children used to live in an orphanage and now they live in a war zone. brought up in poverty and two with severe learning disabilities they now will live with their adopted parents in the village in the so called gray zone between pro-russian separatist fighters and ukraine army. despite repeated calls for a ceasefire the fighting continues and especially at night. >> translator: she is always very afraid when they are shelling and cries and screams at night and try to keep the girls calm and try not to show them we are afraid. >> reporter: agreement signed last february in the capitol minsk was supposed to end the fighting. this is the ukraine and army front line in another village close to what was the airport of the separatist controlled city of donetsk. heavy weapons are supposed to
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have been withdrawn as part of the minsk deal but both sides accuse each other of breaking that agreement almost everyday. this area has seen some of the fearist fighting since the conflict began and now the ukrainian army tell us the separatist rarely target positions here using antitank weapons and mortars and also tell us that the two towers there on the horizon are about 2 1/2 kilometers away and say the separatist use those towers as look out posts and sniper positions. they have moved 78-year-old grandmother to so called safety four times since the fighting started but she has come under fire every time and every house has been destroyed. >> translator: i'm not going any where because i got married here. my children were born here. my grandchildren were born here. everyone is gone and i don't want to go because if i do how will they find me. i won't move until there is peace. >> reporter: conflict has not
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finished. i personally believe the ukrainian military are needed here to determine the onslaught and it's frozen and have to be here to protect the people who decide to stay and bring an end to this conflict. >> reporter: nearby check point ukraine volunteers entertain the soldiers and the men are fiercely patriotic and anti-moscow. >> translator: it's important because people are strong in unity when we are united and together we will defeat our enemy and the evil moscow. >> reporter: destruction of war people across this region have no interest in talk of victory, wishing only the fighting would end. charles stratford, al jazeera, eastern ukraine. manager of the ukraine foreign house and joins us from london, thank you very much for taking the time out to talk to us. so one year on it's clear the
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ceasefire is not holding and what in your view is the problem, what is going on? >> i think the key problem is that russia supported separatist and russia is not de-military with the region and the occupied territory is full of men and the numbers are 40,000 with weapons, there are hundreds of more vehicles and fires that are being hit all the time and there is no willingness actually to settle the conflict under the terms where it will be an integral part of ukraine and with the delivery of humanitarian assistance and this is the most traumatic thing for me because as we see in the episode these two children and elderly people cannot receive a basic assistance from international humanitarian assistance. >> do you see any change if the political situation remains in the state that it is in?
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>> well, i think in ukraine there is determination to compromise on the way to providing a special status of government with these territories but there is no way to legitimize people with guns who came from abroad and occupy the territory. >> so where do you see the situation going to from here? i mean what is going to break this deadlock and bring some sort of unity to the government of unity? >> i think in ukraine we will see an important vote in the parliament, mostly around reforms. it's hard to tell whether there will be a split of the pro-european coalition and most experts agree there will be a compromise but you know what will change the situation is the persistence of the west and unity and solidarity with ukraine to keep russia up to accounts to commit to its promises in minsk to withdraw the weapons and provide access and we must remember they have agreed to provide access to oic
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with the territory and the observer cell there are shells from time to time and intimated and preventative to give the word so we have to come back to the table to keep on and push this forward and i think other than having more patients and sticking to the principles nothing will change the situation. >> and do you think russia will stick to that considering what they are doing in syria, you have some interesting comments to make about that. >> well, i think russia is using similar tactics of using military pressure, creating new facts on the ground around aleppo before the means to assign to intimidate and to scare and have their negotiating position that is up to their advantage. but you know they of course there is no military solution to the conflict. ukraine is not you know advancing on their defense line. it's just building its capacity to protect from further encroachment and unfortunate i
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think is what has to happen is more pressure from the united states from european union to put facts on the ground and to continue sanctions that under mine russia's ability to finance these conflicts around the world. >> interesting getting your thoughts and thank you. the trial of four white farmers accused of killing two black farm workers has been adjourned in south africa. the victims family say the men had gone to ask for wages ode to them but the farmers say they were being robbed and acted in self-defense and harry has more details. >> reporter: when the police told her that her son samuel had been shot and killed she was devastated and says earlier that day samuel had told her he was going to collect the salary from his boss a south african farmer near the town. >> translator: they didn't just shoot him. he was tortured. when i saw his body it looked like he had been hacked by a
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knife, cut in many places and someone ran over him with a car. >> reporter: more details will come out during the trial and some farmers in the area say there was an attempted robbery. >> this has nothing to do with racism. all the farmers were at their homes after election of a day's work and get the emergency call, they respond. so everything was 100% so two people lose their lives, what went wrong there is not for me to say. the case must be investigated. >> reporter: in south africa violence on farms is relatively common and the problem appears to be getting worse. many farms are isolated and far from police stations and farmers are taking extra precautions and have their own farmers neighborhood watch and patrols and the civil rights organization forum says that last year there were 318 violent incidents on farms. 64 farmers and workers were
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murdered. so far this year there have been 26 reported attacks in january. 6 people have been killed. some experts say the reasons for the violence are complicated. >> we believe there is more to it and it's not about race but obviously race does play a role due to the history and inequality in the country and also we believe that the economy the weak economy puts people under strain and causes frustration and then an outflow of it but the outflow of it for example is violence is crime and security issues that affect all south africans. >> reporter: but whether the latest incident is something that began as an argument over wages. >> i want them to pay. >> reporter: or was criminally motivated it won't bring her son back. she insists samuel was a farm worker and wants someone held accountable for his death, harry in south africa. the world health organization says it's looking
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more and more likely that the zika virus is linked to birth defects, outbreak of the mosquito-borne diseases may spread to other parts of the world as carolyn malone reports. >> reporter: this is the first zika patient and in venezuela when he got a fever and began to feel dizzy. >> translator: the symptoms made we believe i contracted dengae fever because the zika was only found recently. >> reporter: it's not usually life threatening for adults but of concern to pregnant women because of a possible link of babies being born with deformities and the latest out break began in brazil nine months ago and pushing for effective test kits to speed up diagnosis and also working on possible prevention. >> translator: there is great optimism that we could develop this vaccine in less time than
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originally first seen. we believe within a year we could have the vaccine in its developed form. >> reporter: but the world health organization says it's likely to be 18 months before a vaccine can go to large scale trials. meanwhile 7,000 cases have been recorded on the island of cape verde off the west coast of africa, 100 of them in pregnant women. doctors are closely monitoring them but they have not yet seen any evidence of deformities in babies. >> translator: he told me that it shouldn't be dangerous at this stage. and if i was close to giving birth it would be. >> reporter: zika was first identified in uganda in 1947 and people are worried about what would happen if this latest out break spread from cape verde to other parts of africa. >> potentially zika can come and ineffect areas where the mosquito is present so this is a very large portion of the world. it's both india, it's over tropical area. so potentially the market might
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be quite large. >> reporter: on february the first w.h.o. designated zika a public health emergency and since then health authorities stepped up response to what is now a virus of international concern, carolyn al jazeera. pope francis just left for a five day visit to mexico where he is to meet people of drug violence and wants to bring message of peace and solidarity and estimated that 81% of the mexican population is catholic, the second in the world after brazil then he heads to cuba for the first meeting of its kind in almost a thousand years and we explain. ♪ the sights and sounds of a russian orthodox service in the great 1054 political and theological differences split christianity in to the eastern orthodox and roman catholic
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worlds and other orthodox patriarchs have met the pope since mexico's never has. >> the main topic on agenda is defending christians in the middle east who have been destroyed and loud voices from the catholic church and orthodox world especially the russians calling people to pay attention, unfortunately these voices have not been heard. >> reporter: for some of russia's faithful the meeting is a welcome if rather abstract event. >> translator: i think any negotiations are good. maybe they are going to discuss some issues or solve some problems. >> translator: we hope this meet willing be useful for people, for the world, for everything. peace is the most important thing. >> reporter: though president putin was not among the priests waving him off on thursday the kremlin has presumably given this diplomatic trip its approval. in cuba after several hours of talks with the pope, the two men will sign a joint declaration as
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well as the fate of christians in the war-torn middle east, political tensions between russia and the west might well be discussed too. after two resent meetings it seems putin views francis as less critical of russia's policies than many western leaders. moscow's main catholic church serves as a varied congregation and held in polish, armanian, spanish and russian and the father going on the trip to cuba has high hopes. >> when the leaders come together and they show their willingness to speak, to talk to each other, to overcome hostility, maybe not hostility but suspicion towards each other something is changing. >> reporter: as historic as this meeting is, it's not really about history. in the end it will be judged on whether the meeting can in any way help with the problems of today. al jazeera. if you want to find out more
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what the pope is up to on his travels you can log on to our website as well as look at the lead story there, it's on the russian prime minister warning of ward war if troops are sent in. that is on our website, al >> i'm ali velshi "on target - the troubling truth about taxes in america. rich people really do play by a whole different set of rules. soaking the riches, back in style for democrats. the latest example is hillary clinton's proposal to slap a 4% sur charge on annual income above $5 million, raising what are known as marginal tax rates on the wealthy americans to levels that haven't been seen


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