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

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thank you for watching. i'm richelle carey. the news continues next live from doha. keep it here. syria's leader says his forces will retake the whole of the country, after an international call for cessation of hostilities. ♪ i'm david foster. you are watching al jazeera live from london. also coming up in this program. we will hear from one of the doctors protesting in egypt. farmers fury. the tractors driving to greece's parliament in a protest overausterity. and the pope in cuba to meet
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the patriarch of the russian orthodox church. it has been over a thousand years before these two branches of christianity have come together. ♪ the president of syria insists that his forces will retake the whole of syria, but he has also said that negotiations are worth pursuing. his words come as russian air strikes reportedly killed 18 people in syria just hours before a u.n. task force meeting on humanitarian aid. world leaders agreed to aim for a halt in hostilities within seven days, as well as to provide humanitarian assistance. the syrian government and opposition groups have yet to agree to that, and arms groups, isil, and al-nusra, well, they are not going to be included in any kind of deal. russia's prime minister has said
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that the u.s. and its arab partners need to think hard about their actions in syria. saying all sides could negotiate instead of sparking a new world war. >> translator: we have fully believed in negotiations and in political action since the beginning of this crisis. however, if we negotiate, it does not mean that we stop fighting terrorism. the two tracks are inevitable in syria. first through negotiations and second through fighting terrorism. >> just over the boarder in turkey, is my colleague, zana hoda. she september us this. >> reporter: what the syrian government and itself backer, russia is trying to do is not just change the balance of power on the ground in the favor of the regime. what they are trying to do is weaken the opposition if not wipe it out all together, and it's not a coincidence that we're seeing a large-scale offensive in two provinces
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simultaneously. the northern province and the southern province, because these two areas are the last remaining strong hold of what is known as the moderate rebels. the rebels that the international community wants to deal with, and who are taking part, really, in the political process. and the syrian foreign minister made it very, very clear, we are not interested in a ceasefire. there will be no let up in the army advance, until we seal both the turkey and the jordanian border. those have been the lifelines for the rebels. and yes the government has advanced and captured territory, but can they told -- hold territory? the rebels are still fighting
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back. the government has been able to encircle the eastern part of aleppo. the opposition so far is putting up a fight. they are promising even if the government captures territory, it will not be able to hold it, but undoubtedly on the ground the opposition is coming under pressure. [ gunfire ] >> reporter: rebel fighters understand the need to hold ground on this front line. if they are defeated the syrian government and itself allies will be one step closer to aleppo city. after losing much territory in this northern province, the opposition is trying to prevent itself strong hold from being besieged. >> translator: they are killing us, but we will remain steadfast. we are still on the front lines. we will liberate every inch of territory they have captured. we respondent surrender, we are here. >> reporter: within a week the bombardment is supposed to stop,
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but the russian u.s. agreement reached in munich is being received be scepticism on the ground. >> translator: i don't think the international community represented by the u.s. and russia is serious about a ceasefire for now. they are postponing the peace talks to give the regime more time to take more ground. it means the rebels wouldn't be able to regain this territory after a ceasefire is in place. >> reporter: in homs the aerial bombardment is only intensifying, and the casualties are rising. the rebels go longer control supply lines into their strong holds, and the u.n. is warning the 120,000 people inside risk hunger and disease. members of the opposition inside and outside of syria have told us they have little faith in the syrian government and russia. they say the deal will only give them time to make further gains on the ground, further weaken the opposition, and force the
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armed groups to surrender. but a pause in the fighting and delivery of much-needed aid cannot come fast enough for the people. the battle for aleppo has left more than 50,000 people homeless, adding to the millions who have been displaced over the years. >> translator: what have the people done to deserve this? they are not sparing anyone? not the children, women, or elderly. it has been five years and we continue .to suffer from their opposition, this is enough. >> reporter: he conflict has laid waste to much of syria. in this deeply divided country claims of victory will have little meaning for anyone without a wider peace. in munich there have been a host of international figures, leading foreign ministers making their opinions known at a security conference, and watching them, listening to what they have to say, my colleague,
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dominic kane there. the last two or three hours we have seen an awful lot of comments, and not lesslydy ver genth opinion on what to do about syria. >> reporter: that's right david. there has been a succession of speakers from many of the countries involved. we heard from the iraqi prime minister who talked about the need to combat daesh, al jazeera america -- islamic state of iraq and the levant. we also heard about the saudi foreign minister. and it was his comment about the syrian president which really stuck in mind. >> in syria we are working to bring about change, political change if possible to what is happening in syria in order to remove a man who is responsible for the murder of 300,000
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people, the displacement of 12 million, and the destruction of a nation. a man who has -- who is the single-most effective magnet for extremists and terrorists in the region. that's our objective. >> reporter: david the next big speaker talking about the situation in the middle east we are expecting is the iranian foreign minister. we expect him to be speaking within the next hour or so. >> okay. dominic thank you very much indeed. ♪ okay. other -- a number of witnesses who were testifying against the deputy president of kenya in his trial at the international criminal court have said they don't want their testimony to be used. this concerns riots in 2007 in
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which around about 1200 people died. the court itself has made a ruling and agree with the witnesses that their testimony is no longer needed. let's hear from catherine soi. >> reporter: there are still scenarios that are likely to happen, a, the prosecution could drop the charges. she has already said that [ inaudible ] she already said that her case would be greatly weakened without this evidence. this -- these five witnesses that we're talking about directly link him to some of these crimes that they are being accused of. so she said that her case will be gravely linked. but she said it is unlikely to drop the cases.
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she already has 29 witnesses who have already testified before the court, but like she said these five were her strongest witnesses that linked these crimes to the accused. so it will be interesting to see what she does next. there's -- there was a case that was filed by the defense -- case of no answer, motion, that was filed by the defense, basically saying they have no case to answer. thousands of egyptian doctors have been holding a rally in front of their union building in the heart of cairo. they are protesting about the release of nine police officers who they accuse of attacking their colleagues. incidents at a hospital at the end of last month. the doctors say they will hold a strike if police are not held accountable. i spoke to a remember -- member of the doctor's union. >> several law enforcement agents assaulted him at his work
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desk, and then took him to the police station. again, that should be investigated by the authorities, not -- not by us, but there has been some laxity in the process. what has been happening is routine assaults by family members of patients. that has been the case, but this was -- or we can say one of the first of its kind. three u.n. piece -- peace keepers have been killed in an attack in mali. no group has claimed responsibility for that attack. greek farmers have confronted riot police in athens during protests once again about austerity. these are live pictures from the
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greek capitol. the drivers of tractors making their way to parliament. the latest in weeks of demonstrations against the country's left-wing government which is trying to introduce new financial reforms. well, we'll speak to neave barker live in athens in just a moment after his report. >> reporter: protesting farmers attack riot police as an angry crowd tries to storm the ministry of agriculture. protesters take pot shots at office windows. many of these farmers from traveled from the island of crete. from across the country farmers converged on athens in their thousands. in the last two weeks farmers have staged at least 70 blockades on highways across the country. >> the country is the people. these laws are not going to help
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the people. they are going to destroy them. not only farmers. most of society. >> reporter: on the square in athens close to parliament, some protesters have pitched tens. they say they will be here for several days. >> translator: we have come here to protest with determination and decisiveness. we won't leave here until we have found justice. >> reporter: last year the greek government signed an agreement with its lenders that if it introduced a raft of deep-seeded economic reforms, it would have access to a $95 billion bailout. the greek government says the reforms are not a matter of choice. they are a matter of necessity. but the reforms will mean tax hikes and sharp increases in pension contributions, changes these farmers say will make their small agricultural businesses no longer viable. >> neave barker in athens joining me now. you mentioned the fact there have been a number of other
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protests, but this is taking it to the heart of central government, and is it your assessment, going nowhere fast, they will stay there? >> reporter: yes, this is very much a culmination of several weeks of demonstrations and protests by the farmers that have taken place across the country. we have seen more than 70 blockades, stopping traffic on highways up and down the country. the north and south of greece were partially shut off because of the action staged by these farmers, and what we're looking at behind me is the climax of all of that. a completely full, busy day of protests that began early in the morning with farmers arriving in convoy from cities all over the country. but there were some initial clashes when a small group of demonstrators tried to break
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into the agricultural ministry. they were quickly pushed back by police. the police are not taking any chances. there are riot vans all around the square, and it appears as if more people may well be joining this demonstration as the evening progresses. >> thank you, neave. >> reporter: still to come, we meet children caught up in the fighting in eastern ukraine. and pope francis is on his way to cuba where he'll be meeting the head of the russian orthodoxsy. the first such meeting in almost a thousand years. ♪
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♪ the syrian president bashar al-assad has said he will retake its entire country. as world leaders agree to aim of a temporary halt in hostilities in syria within seven days. thousands of egyptian doctors have been protesting in the heart of cairo in the wake of repeated attacks they say against medical staff. there have been violent scenes in athens during an anti austerity protest. an agreement signed a year ago was supposed to end fighting in ukraine. and orphans are among the civilians who are suffering badly. charles stratford reports. >> reporter: these children used to live in an orphanage, and now
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they live in a war zone. brought up in poverty and two with severe learning disabilities. they all now live with their adopted village in the so-called gray zone between pro-russian separatists fighters and the ukrainian army. the fighting continues, and especially at night. >> translator: nadia is always afraid when there is shelling. we try not to show them that we are afraid. >> reporter: an agreement signed last february in minsk was supposed toen the fighting. this the ukrainian army front line in another village close to the airport of the city of donetsk. heavy weapons are supposed to have been withdrawn, but both sides accuse each other of breaking that agreement almost
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every day. now the ukrainian army tell us that the separatists regularly target their positions here. and the towers they say, the separatists use those towers as a sniper position. they have moved this grandmother to so-called safety four times since the fighting started. >> translator: i'm not going anywhere. 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. >> translator: the conflict hasn't finished, i personally believe the ukrainian military are needed here to deter the
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enemy's on slot. we have to be here to protect and help the people who decided to stay and bring an end to this conflict. >> reporter: at a nearby check point volunteers entertain the solders. these men are fiercely patriotic and anti-moscow. >> translator: it's important because people are strong in their unity when we are united and together we will defeat our enemy and the evil mustco invites. >> reporter: among the 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. and not so very long from now, we'll be taking a closer look at the violence in eastern ukraine, "inside story," special story here, examining why the two sides keep violating the ceasefire. that's about eight minutes from now here on al jazeera.
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the world health organization says it is looking more and more likely that the zika virus is linked to birth defects. the outbreak of the disease is affecting many countries in the americas and could spread to other parts of the world. caroline malone reports. >> reporter: this is china's first zika patient. he was in venezuela when he began to get a fever and feel dizzy. >> translator: i believed i had contracted dengue fever. >> reporter: infection is not usually life threatening to adults, but is a concern to pregnant women because of a link to birth defects. health authorities are pushing to distribute more effective test kits, and working on possible prevention. >> translator: there is great
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optimism that we could develop this vaccine in less time than originally foreseen. we believe within a year we could have the vaccine in its developed form. >> reporter: but it's likely to be 18 months before a vaccine can go to large-scale trials. 4,000 suspected cases in brazil have been linked to brain deformities in babies. in venezuela at least 70 people have been hospitalized. there are also cases in the u.s. and people who have traveled south, and at least one suspected case from sexual contract. as well as a case in china, at employees two pregnant people have returned to australia with zika. doctors are closely monitoring them. but have not yet seen any evidence of deformities in babies. >> translator: he told me that it shouldn't be dangerous at this stage.
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that if i was closer 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 outbreak spread to other parts of africa. >> potentially zika can come in and infect areas where the mosquito is present, so this is a very large portion of the world. >> reporter: on february 1st, the w.h.o. designated zika a public health emergency, and since then health authorities have stepped up their response to what is now a virus of international concern. caroline malone, al jazeera. hillary clinton's been trying to get the upper hand once again on her rival bernie sanders. this was on tv the debate and the democratic white house hopefuls facing another primary this month. here is kimberly halkett in
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washington. >> reporter: hours before the democratic debate, bernie sanders released this television ad. it features the daughter of eric garner, killed by police during an arrest for selling cigarettes. now an activist, she says she is endorsing bernie sanders for president. >> i'm behind anyone who is going to listen and speak up for us. >> reporter: but hours earlier, the political action committee of the prominent congressional black caucus endorsed hillary clinton. african american and latino voters were the focus of the latest debate. at issue, who was more supportive of illegal immigrants being able to stay. >> when we saw children coming
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from these horrendously violent areas of honduras, and neighboring countries, people who are fleeing drug and cartel violence, i thought it was a good idea to allow those children to stay in this country. that was not as i understand it, the secretary's position. >> reporter: they also argued of the causes of similaric racism in the u.s. clinton arguing the causes are institutional. and when it comes to supporting america's first black president, clinton went on the attack. >> today senator sanders said that president obama failed the presidential leadership test. and this is not the first time that he has criticized president obama in the past. has called him week. he has called him a disappointment. >> madam secretary that is a low blow. i have worked for his reelection -- his first election and his reelection, but i think it's unfair to suggest that i
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have been unsupportive of the president. >> reporter: the next major contests are in nevada and south carolina, both with significant latino and african american populations. bernie sanders has been gaining support in key demographics that hillary clinton once counted on. middle class and younger voters, including young voters of color, making the so-called minority vote, one that hillary clinton can no longer count on. pope francis is heading to cuba where for the first time in nearly a thousand years a patriarch of the russian orthodox church will meet a roman catholic pope. pope francis is then on his way to mexico for a week-long tour. ♪ >> reporter: the sites and sounds of a russian orthodox service in the great skiism of
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1045 the two worlds split. >> translator: the main topic on the agenda is going to be defending christians in the middle east who are being destroyed. there has been loud voices, calling for people to pay attention, unfortunately these voices haven't 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 world, for everything. peace is the most important thing. >> reporter: though president putin wasn't among the priests on thursday, the kremlin has
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presumably given this trip its approval. the two men will sign a joint declaration as well as the fate of christians in the war-torn middle east, political tensions between russia and the west may well be discussed too. it seems putin views the argentinia, francis, as less critical of the kremlin than many western leaders. >> when leaders come together, and they show they are bringing this to -- to speak -- to talk to each other, to overcome hostility, maybe not exactly hostility, but suspicious 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
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whether the meeting can in any way help with the problems of today. head to our website to keep up to date with all of the main stories from around the world, that is ♪ world powers agree to halting the war in syria, but it is unlikely to stop all of the fighting. once i'm in the white house, we will have enough political capitol to be able to do that? >> secretary clinton, you are not in the white house yet. >> hillary clinton and bernie sanders face off for the first time after the new hampshire primary. the w.h.o. announces two promising zika vaccines. plus 48


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