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tv   Weekend News  Al Jazeera  February 13, 2016 3:00am-3:31am EST

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syrian president bashar al-assad vows to fight on determined to retake the entire country despite proposals to pause the fighting hello. welcome to al jazeera. also coming up in the program. pope francis receives a warm women come in mexico soon after an historic meeting in cuba.
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we will find out which country will force companies to reveal the gap between men and women's pay. the science behind one of the world's most daring sports. both inside and outside syria there are growing doubts that a proposed pause in fighting will actually happen. government forces supported by russian air raids are trying to encircle rebels in aleppo and cut off their supply routes to turkey. government forces have made another key gain in that offensive. these are pictures from syrian state tv showing soldiers closing in on rebel ground in the altam oura valley.
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they have taken a hill close to ram adan and other towns. earlier bashar al-assad said he would defeat his enemies right across the country. >> translation: we have fully believed in negotiations and in political actions since the beginning of this crisis. however, if we negotiate, it does not mean that we stop fighting terrorism. the two tracts are inevitable in syria, first through negotiations and second through fighting terrorism. >> look, he is deeluded if he thinks there's a military solution to the conflict in syria. we have seen this wax and wane over five years now, but all we're looking at if the syrian regime continues the fighting is more bloodshed, more hardship and frankly a greater hardening of positions on either side
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let's go live to our correspondent in gaziantep to the south of turkey, close to the syrian border. president bashar al-assad there thinking that he can talk and fight at the same time, but meanwhile gaining a significant victory within the last 24 hours. >> reporter: yes. they control the hills and we all know controlling high ground really gives them an advantage because their range of fire is within striking distance of the main rebel supply route between the western countryside of aleppo and the northern countryside of aleppo. what we understand is that the opposition is trying to fight back. they're trying to prevent the government from further advancing south because just seven kilometers south of the area is the only road linking into and out of the rebel-controlled east of aleppo city. so the rebels still fighting back. they want to prevent a siege.
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they want to prevent the government from encircling aleppo city. hundreds of thousands of people live there. we know thousands of families have left in the last few days. many still do not leave because they don't have anywhere to go. they don't want to live out in the open, in the cold, and what we understand from the people still in aleppo city that a call to arms have been heeded. people are receiving training to use a weapon. a lot of defense on the ground of the opposition but the government making gains as well nowhere near, it would appear, to even considering a pause in the fighting that has been put forward by the international group in munich. >> reporter: yes. the munich deal calls for a pause in the fighting within april week, but we understand from rebels on the ground their
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opinion, really, is that it is unrealistic because of a major loophole in that deal, which allows russian air strikes to continue because al-nusra front, the al-qaeda linked group in syria, as well as i.s.i.l. is not included in this deal. so what rebels feel is that russia will use them as an excuse and say what are they bombarding because reknow russia labels most of the opposition groups on the ground as terrorist organizations. i can tell you there is a lot of defiance on the part of the rebels. they know they're losing ground but they're refusing to give up. they no longer have to control land, control villages and towns. they can launch counter-attacks, counter escalation, guerilla tactics. for them this is not over. what is clear is that they will not agree to any permanent ceasefire until the bashar
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al-assad regime is toppled and militias leave the countries. the main syrian opposition body linked to saudi arabia advises threat's cross to munich-- let's cross to munich. clearly everyone involved in the syria talks are going to be monitoring what is going on, on the ground, but it's not just syria. i think we can see the german foreign minister addressing the conference and presumably ukraine is high on the agenda. >> reporter: that's right. already this morning there has been a meeting of foreign ministers, the germany, russia, ukraine, the french foreign minister was given there, but he has moved on from his position a few days ago and his successor
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is not able to attend. later on we will be hearing from the president of ukraine and also from the prime minister of russia and the russian foreign minister. it is worth making the point that this normandy format is pivotal insofar as the situation in ukraine is concerned. we know that both the french and german governments have invested a lot of time and effort in trying to bring all the sides in the conflict together to try to find a ceasefire, to find a solution that will permanently resolve the situation in ukraine. we know also that chancellor merkel says there is a possibility of a resolution of the situation. we know also that all sides in the normandy format want to continue with this. they have arranged a meeting in march and hoping that similar meetings can be held throughout
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the course of the year and certainly here we can expect to hear much about the situation in ewe contain crane, both in terms of the statements from the relevant speakers and also questions and answer where clearly there are many questions that need to be posed to all sigh sides about how, indeed, they intend to unfreeze the frozen ceasefire that some have called the situation ukraine as being at the moment thank you for that. pope francis has landed in mexico at the start of a five-day visit. he was welcomed by huge crowds in mexico city. mexico has the world's second largist catholic population after brazil. he has a busy schedule which begins today, saturday, when he celebrates mass in the capital. our correspondent is there. >> reporter: thousands have come out here to watch the pope pass through the city after he landed here. he is coming from those talks in cuba that he held with the head
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of the russian orthodox church. his official functions starts on saturday by giving a key to the mexico city. after that it is to controversial aspects. he will be holding a mags on sunday on the edge of mexico city. a decision to hold a mass there and to travel to other parts wracked by violence shows that pop francis is hoping to show solidarity to the country. after that mass on sunday he will travel to other parts p, a southern state where he will meet with indigenous leaders. for a long time the church has held these people at arm's length but he is trying to
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embrace them. finally, he will visit the northern border of mexico and hold a mass there on the border with people from texas and people in mexico attending that mass and he will say a prior for so many migrants that have died on their way north before he arrived in mexico, pope francis met patriarch kirill in the cuban meeting. it was described to heal the divide that occurred almost a thousand years ago. >> reporter: they said their meeting was an expression to the world of their hope well hugs and kisses, pope francis and patriarch kirill began to heel a rift in the christian faith. >> translation: we spoke as brothers. we agree that peace is made by
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working together. >> reporter: their planes are side-by-side here provided another symbolic image to this historic day. the meeting was years in the making, dating back to the 1990s. pope francis says in 2014 he told patriarch kirill i will go wherever you want. just call me. the president helped orchestrate the meeting and the leaders' schedules converged, with both already having official visits in latin america. they spoke for three hours inside a meeting room in the international airport in havana. the men emerged saying they're uniting to help fight what they call the ex-termation of christians in the middle east and north africa. they say the international community enthusiasm help bring an end to the violence and what they call terrorism in iraq and syria and help the refugees. >> translation: we have to
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defend the right of christians the world over >> reporter: the two sides frame the meeting as a reconciliation but critics say it was a political move on the part of russia. patriarch kirill is closely aligned with president putin. the meeting comes at a time when russia is facing pressure from the rest due to its military action in syria and ukraine. critics say this was an attempt by russia to bol terror its profile in the west. -- bog sister its profile in the west. a triumphant president cast roshgs o said cubans will continue supporting peace and then referring to his efforts to end latin america's longest war, said colombia is next lots more to come here at al jazeera, including calling for change, a political vacuum in haiti brings the protesters out
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onto the streets. plus. it is called the greying of thailand. having a big economic impact. we're in bangkok with more. gkok with more.
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welcome back to al jazeera. a recap of the top stories. syrian government troops are closing in on rebel held airs in the valley north of aleppo. the opposition is struggling to hold its supply roots close to the border with turkey.
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foreign ministers meeting in munich. they're talking about the war in syria following an agreement on thursday by some of them to pause the fighting, and the conflict in eastern ukraine between the government and russian-back separatists is also high on the agenda. hope francis has arrived in mexico for a five-day tour. the upon tiff was welcomed-- pontiff was welcomed by a huge crowd and will have a mass later on saturday. there are more developments on the situation in syria and we're getting reports that nearly 20 people have been killed by russian air strikes carried out in the town of alkanto. that's in homs province. video shows parents who are weeping over children who have been hit in these attacks as well as others covering the dead. in another part of alganto, a
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man called for help following the russian air strikes. >> translation: for god sakes, we are being slaughtered, exterminated. we are finished. we no longer have houses. where could we go? tell me. where do we ego? now to libya where an air force jet has been shot down over the eastern city of benghazi. according to the libyan air force chief, the pilot ejected and landed safely, but his whereabouts remain unclear. this is the third libyan shet to be downed in 40 days. -- jet here is something we have been monitoring here this hour or so. egypt's president sisi is about to address the country's new
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parliament for the first time since taking office in june 2014. these pictures come from a short while ago. you see him arriving at the parliament, attending this speech are a number of foreign ambassadors as well as religious dig dnatories. he will be speaking with various issues and we are monitoring that speech to the egyptian parliament and we will bring it too you as soon as he starts. now there have been protests in haiti. the parliament is due to vote for an interim president, but in the coming hours. the former president left office on sunday with no successor following a botched election.
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protesters have been out on the streets trying to have their voices heard. >> reporter: a ritual is the start of the protest towards haiti's parliament. those who march are members of the opposition and come here because they want to make sure their voices are heard. most of them say democracy in haiti is at risk. >> translation: we are protesting to get a new president and a new prime minister. all social sectors should be represented. former president wants to put whom ever he wants in power. we don't want that. >> reporter: last sunday he stepped down as president leaving behind a power vacuum. the first round of haiti's presidential election was held last year, but a run-off vote planned for last month has
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repeatedly been delayed with belief of fraud. they're carrying pictures of the former president. they say they're angry and that they don't trust parliament to elect an interim president. on saturday government will vote and elect an interim president. they're working against time to get the country out of the crisis this man says >> translation: parliament is trying to get haiti out of this crisis. haiti has many crises, an economic one, social one and now political one. we need a new government to help the haiti government and people. >> reporter: this is haiti's worst political crisis in more than a decade. many here say that the former
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president and the international community are to blame. >> translation: for years the international community has been plotting everything, he was violating constitution and human rates. this is a problem when 78% of the country lives in poverty. >> reporter: that's why these people vow to continue their protest. they want to make sure that whomever leads haiti, even if it is just for the next few months, it is someone that will truly represent them businesses in the u.k. are to be forced to reveal gender pay gaps under new government plans. companies with more than 250 employees will be required to publish the difference between what they pay men and what they pay women. the latest figures show that women aaron around 20%-- earn
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around 20% less than men. the population of thailand is ageing and that's having an economic impact on the country. the expanding number of the elderly along with smaller numbers means the workforce is shrinking and that means less out put and less money for the government. >> reporter: it's not uncommon for a thai grandmother to be cooking all day long, but for this 73-year-old be that as it may, she is cooking to earn money, not to serve her grandchildren their favorite people. >> translation: i don't want to rely on my children. i am not a disabled person. i can work. we don't have any assets or properties. i have to earn money myself to make a living. >> reporter: this woman's situation is becoming more common in thailand, a stagnating economy and the rise of living means people need to stay
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working longer to put food on the table. 40% of thais over the retirement age of 60 are still working. it's not just the age that is playing a role but lowering fertility rates. there are four less children in each family than back in 1970. as a result in just over 20 years, thailand's workforce will be 11% smaller. thethe fastest contraction amon its developed neighbors in south-east asia. >> to employ the older person or to extends redue tirment age or to promote-- retirement age or to promote working population. >> reporter: adding difficulty for those looking to retire, the
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pension system is fragmented. analysts say to reduce the cost of elderly care in the future, the pension system needs to be reworked. for 65-year-old this man, it is too late. he will have to continue making clothing on the side walk as long as his body allows. >> translation: i have to keep going until my eyes fail me. while i can still see, i will carry on. >> reporter: unless some changes are made more thais will have to spend their golden years working a new bill passed by the u.s. congress aims to ban imported goods if they've been produced by forced or slave labor. products include fish caught in south-east asia, clothes made in sweat shops and gold that could have been mined by children in africa. >> reporter: slavery still
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flourishs now. these fishermen were forced to work on thai fishing boats. they're far from the only ones. it is estimated that more than 30 million people, adults and children, are trafficked like merchandise, forced to work, sold into marriages and exploited for sex as prostitutes, and campaigners say almost every region of the world has its victims >> they about 150 billion dollars in illegal profits. it is a sizeable chunk of any economy. >> reporter: now the u.s. congress has bill that will ban the import of goods produced by forced and child labor. in fact, it is an amendment to an 80 year old anti slavery law >> what the old law said, mr president, is basically economics just trumped human rights. >> reporter: from seafood caught in south-east asia to cotton grown elsewhere and goldmined in
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africa, the u.s. government lists 350 different types of goods from 47 countries that could be banned understand the new legislation. anti slavery advocates say aggressivence forcement by the u.s. department of homeland security will be key to the law's success. >> dhs is going to have to put those resources in the right place. they're going to have to change the way that they investigate. they have investigators all over the world so the capacity is there. they need to catch up with how the global supply chains work in the 21 st century >> reporter: it would apply to sweat jobs in factories. products from forced labor have found themselves on the sheflt of big u.s. retailers like wall walmart. another companies have failed to kerb well publicized instances
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of children in west african plantations. they're trying to work to improve labor conditions. it is still aconflicting millions today. many hope this step in the u.s. will at least make it a less profitable one. rob enolds -- reynolds this week the world's surfing league announce their finalists for the annual big wave awards. it's a daring and dangerous sport. being in the right place at the right time isn't just down to luck but down to science. >> reporter: the big wave event here is an annual gathering of the best and bravest surfers flying in all over the world to ride a wave the size of a three-storey builder. how do they know when the competition is on?
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this guy. big wave surfer and official big wave forecaster. >> this chart here shows significant wave height >> reporter: when he says the word, more than two dozen professional surfers from around the world say their prayers and get on the plane >> the reality is we want guys to catch waves, ride it well, compete and not die in the process. >> reporter: if you were walking at the base of this cliff, you might not think that this beach is anything other than a picturees, que california scene, but the truth is understand the right circumstances, and this el nino year is going to create those circumstances, incredible water gets pushed over there and produces the largest waves on earth >> it scooped the ocean up and pushes it. >> reporter: he looks for big storms at sea. that is what creates the swell to create these punishing waves >> it's like throwing a pebble into the pond. same effect only our pebble is a
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storm >> reporter: the underwater topography is what makes it possible. the ocean is 60 feet deep just offshore here but bumps into a wedge that brings it to 15 feet. it shoves with another force to create an apex, a triangle that dumps more than three swimming pools over the falls in every wave. >> your heart is pounding, you're breathing hard and it's just you and the ocean. >> reporter: this man is not just a weather geek. he has been on the bad end of these. >> you're in the water, i go to grab my board and i go where's my other arm. it's behind me. i had to pull it over and grab onto the board. it was just ugly from there. my arm was fully dislocated. predicting these waves is like riding them. choose a swell big enough for a
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contest, but not so large that anyone's ride will be their last so there's science to surfing. you can find out more about that and other news as ever on >> joint military exercises between united states and south korea are regular occurrences. this one, codenamed max thunder - took place in november at the kunsan air force base, 150 miles south of seoul... >> this type of exercise takes place every year, but for the north korean governnt


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