police arrest the main challenger to uganda's president, as the opposition alleges vote rigging. ♪ hello for me david foster. you are watching al jazeera live from london. also coming up in the next 30 minutes. syria's main kurdish armed group, denies turkey's accusation that it planted a car bomb in ankara, killing 28 people. david cameron is in brussels to meet other e.u. leaders with britain's future in the union in the balance.
protests grow in india over the arrest of a student. they have spread now from new delhi to other cities. ♪ well, we start with breaking news witnessed by our correspondent. uganda's opposition leader has been arrested after alleging vote rigging in the presidential election. our man malcolm webb is there right now. and you saw the arrest. what happened malcolm? >> reporter: that's right. we had been called by people from the opposition party, a small group of journalists were invited to come along to take us to what was alleged to be a house in which the vote rigging operation was being conducted. the parked outside, they knocked on the great, and people inside jumped over the back fence, but
then they were apprehended down the road, and disarmed, and their ids and guns suggested they were from the uganda police. uniform police arrived. there was a standoff for sometime, as the supporters demanded access to the house, where they said the vote-rigging was going on. and culminating with the senior officer ordering the people to be arrested. >> you managed to get this on film. we're waiting for these pictures to come back to us at al jazeera. tell us about the atmosphere there. >> reporter: polling in some stations has gone smoothly, but in many there was massive delays. polling stations not opening
until the middle of the day oefrn hour. in that seriously limited the number of hours people had to vote. a lot of people supporting the opposition are skeptical. a lot of people at the polling stations said this is because they thought the authorities didn't want them to vote. [ inaudible ] a 15% or less [ inaudible ] in rural areas and villages throughout the whole rest of the country. in some of those areas, you have heard a couple of constituencies, because voting was canceled. in many others it has gone according to plan. >> malcolm, i want to go back to the arrest, and ask you, a, do you know where he has gone, and ask you to clarify something i may have misheard, that the people that were inside the grounds who then tried to get away. did you say they turned out to be police? or they were captured by the
police? >> the people who were inside the house when he and his supporters knocked on the gate, jumped over the back hence, but were apprehended by the supporters. they were armed with handguns. they were disarmed by the opposition supporters. we saw one of those weapons close up, and it was stamped on it with writing indicating that it was a handgun that belonged to the police. he was also carrying handcuffs as well. they were dressed in plain clothes. they were inside the house, and the police vehicle parked outside of the front. >> and malcolm, do you know the whereabouts of the leader of the opposition? the man who wants to be uganda's next president or is it all too soon to have worked that out? >> it's too soon, really to say.
[ inaudible ] polling stations they haven't even started counting votes, because the electoral commission extends the time for voting, because of the delays i mentioned before. in that means counting will be delayed as well. the opinion poll suggested that the president would be winning with slightly over 50% of the votes, with the opposition getting about 30%, and the next runnerup, the former prime minister would have been in third place. but the opposition dispute these opinion polls, they say they are either credit or people have been asked in a climate of fear and intimidation, so they say that is not accurate. but while there is clear and visible support for the opposition here in the capitol, there are protests [ inaudible ] identity of the population, and we saw some of that earlier [ inaudible ] within the city being fired at by police and so
on. but 85% in the villages, and of course we won't be knowing what they voted until it's counted, and that is if the vote is recognized to be free and fair. >> all right. malcolm, we'll leave you there. that's malcolm webb our correspondent in uganda. ♪ kurdish fighters who are based in syria have been blamed for a suicide car bombing in turkey, in which 28 people were killed on wednesday night. turkey's president says there is evidence that the attack in ankara, was carried out by the syrian kurdish group know known -- known has the ypg. but the ypg is denying any involvement, and saying it is
being used as a scapegoat. elsewhere in turkey, kurdish rebels from the outlawed pkk, detonated a bomb in the southeast that killed six turkish soldiers. >> reporter: it took the turkish government just a few hours to identify those it believes carried out wednesday's deadly bomb attack. officials are blaming the syrian based kurdish armed group the ypg, though it denies any involvement in the explosion. ankara, say it is an offshoot of the pkk. >> the investigation into the attack continues. so far nine people linked to the ankara bombing have been taken into custody, and others have been identified. there will be other arrests in due course. that's all of the information i can give at this hour. >> reporter: security has become more and more of a certain in
turkey in recent months. in october a twin bomb attack killed close to a hundred people in the capitol. and just a few weeks ago, isil claimed responsibility after a man blew himself up at an historic site popular with tourists in istanbul. all of these attacks are linked to the war in syria. turkey has been saying its allies need to support it in its fight against those it calls terrorists. but the ypg are their allies in the war against isil. now ankara, says the international community must rectify that policy. >> translator: the pyd and ypg, linked with the pkk in turkey, we have touched upon. we said there is a strong link between them. we have been saying this and sooner our later our allies w l will -- understand. >> reporter: early on thursday,
turkish war planes bombed targets it says belongs to the pkk in iraq. ankara has been shelling forces inside syria as well for weeks. it wants to create a buffer zone along the border. that option appears to be off of the table unless nato and turkey's partners agree to support them. the governments clearly feel it is being let down by the u.s. and nato. this latest attack could provide justification for turkey to send forces across the border, but itself position towards syrian-based kurdish groups, continues to be at a difference of opinion with its allies. >> let's join zana hoda not far from the syrian border.
and we're going to take all of the initials out of this and just try to poil it down. turkey says it is considering all means of bringing the perpetrators of these crimes to justice. and that may include sending ground troops in. russia is now saying any use of ground troops, what it calls an invasion would be an act of war. it gets more and more difficult by the minute. >> yes, turkey has been pushing for a ground operation in syria, saying this is the only way to end the war, but there is no appetite among its western allies for such a ground invasion, and like you mentioned, russia warning this would be a full-fledged war. we have to remember that russia controls the skies over syria. now turkey has been at war with the pkk for months now. they have been targeting their bases in northern iraq. they have the southeast of the country, the towns and villages,
so it has been a bottle ground for months. hours after the ankara bombing, turki turkishish war planes targeted areas. but this morning there were two attacks against the turkish military in the southeast. one involved a roadside bomb and up to six soldiers were killed. now as jamal mentioned over the past few days, the turkish artillery has been targeting the ypg inside syria. it considers the ypg's expansion as a threat to turkey's national security. it doesn't want the ypg to take more territory and able to connecterer tos it controls in the east of the country, in aleppo, to areas it controls in the west. so turkey considering this cross-border shelling, but hasn't stopped the ypg. the ypg is threatening opposition groups backed by turkey.
but what we understand is that those opposition troops are receiving reinforcement. hundreds have fighters have believed to have entered over the past few days, leaving syria, and re-entering from the turkish border, so the opposition determined to put up a fight, because both turkey as well as the opposition want to prevent azaz from falling, which they say is a red line. if the opposition loses that, then they actually -- their survival is at risk. >> we'll leave it there for now, zana, thank you. the united nations has said it's going to make its first air drops of food aid in syria to one town. it has what is described as a concrete plan for carrying out the operation. it hasn't been able to deliver aid by road, because it's surrounded by isil-controlled territory. food and medicine has made its way to five areas in syria, where 80,000 civilians are
stranded. the british prime minister, david cameron has said he is, in his words battling for britain as he arrives in brussels for a crucial e.u. summit. he is hoping to return with a package of reform measures ahead of a referendum on britain's membership in the e.u. that could be held as soon as june. emma haywood live for us in brussels. you would not expect a man battling for his history to be anything other than outwardly confident. but what are you hearing about what he is going to come back from brussels with? >> reporter: well, he is hoping for a good deal. and we think we're going to be for a long night here. there is a sense of anticipation that we might not get a deal
today, it may be tomorrow. this is a two-day meeting. we have seen leaders arriving here, saying they want britain to stay in the e.u., but they don't want the concessions to be too deep. david cameron said he wanted a good deal to take back to the british people. >> we have got some important work to do today and tomorrow, and it is going to be hard. i'll be battling for britain, i will not take a deal that doesn't meet what we need. i think it's much more important to get this right, than to do anything in a rush, but with goodwill and hard work, we can get a better deal for britain. >> let's imagine these ifs. if he comes back with something he seems satisfied with, and if any referendum possibly in june, the british people say yes, we want to stay in the european union, based on what you have won for us, mr. cameron, is it
the case as i have read that the european parliament can still veto any of the proposals that he has come back with? >> reporter: well, that would be the case, but really, david, we need to get to that point in the first place. and this is the draft text that donald sent out earlier to e.u. leaders, and inside you see different bits in square brackets, and those are the parts of the deal which still need to be ironed out, and the hard bits will be on benefits for migrants and also on financial regulation. of course for david cameron, he wants a good deal, because when he came into power, he promised that referendum on europe, so he wants to take back something that he can sell to the british people, who at the moment are pretty undecided. so it's going to be a long night, but we might get a referendum announcement on saturday if he gets a deal, and
that could take place in june. >> emma thank you. you are watching al jazeera. coming up, punished at the pump, why venezuela's government has increased some petrol prices by 6,000%. >> we have got a table and eight chairs, and a david. >> we'll tell you about the australian town that has been taken over by tumble weed. ♪
opposition contender in uganda participa participate -- presidential election has been arrested. turkey says the kurdish group known as the ypg is behind the attack on wednesday. but they deny it. u.k. prime minister says he is, quote, battling for britain, as he meets to determine their maybeship in the e.u. venezuela has increased petrol prices in some areas by 6,000%. petrol is now costing $0.94 a measure. it was $0.02. virginia lopez reports. >> reporter: according to the
state-run oil company, fuel subsidies can cost the company as much as $15 billion a year. >> translator: this national fund for missions will receive every extra resource needed generated by the new system on venezuela gasoline prices. gasoline is going to cost one [ inaudible ] and gasoline 95 is going to cost six [ inaudible ]. >> reporter: this country that sees petrol as a natural right, could be such that the president didn't even wait for him to finish his speech before rushing to petrol stations one last time to fill up their tank. most feel the increase was long overdue. >> translator: i think it comes too late. and it should have been done slowly, not so suddenly, because the impact will be greater.
>> reporter: the move comes as ma dur are facing continued pressure. he suffered a major defeat in parliamentary elections due to anger over prices. in 1989 a similar increase in food and gasoline prices lead thousands to the streets to protest. so dramatic were the events of those days, that fears of a repeat had kept prices frozen for close to 20 years. salaries that are worthless, and now power cuts, venezuelans fear an increase in petrol prices will lead to an increase in the cost of transport, food, and basic services. economists say the changes, though, welcomes, could still
have a devastating impact. >> let's talk to the co-director of the center for economic and policy research in washington, d.c. is this going to get venezuela out of the terrible economic muddle that this president and his predecessor have put it in? >> well, no. i think it -- it's a step, though, in the right direction. it's interesting your reporter didn't say anything about how the opposition reacted to this measure, because that does make a difference if they are going to try to mobilize people against it. of course that's going to make it more difficult, but the other thing is that they need other changes, and i think they might do them. in fact the new person who is in charge of the economy that was
appointed this week, has said -- has talked about unifying the exchange rate, and that's, i think, the more important thing. venezuela has been kind of caught in this inflation depreciation spiral, where you have a black market rate, or the dollar goes higher, that feeds inflation and feeds back into the black market rate, and this has been going on since -- >> yeah, just go back and help our viewers understand how it got itself in this mess in the first place. >> well, i think it started -- you know, they they -- actually were doing pretty well until the end of 2012. before that, living standards has increased enormously for the vast majority of people. and that's why they still have a lot of support. so the average person is still better off than they were in the prechavez era.
but they ran into trouble, because they basically -- they had a foreign exchange shortage, which they didn't have to have at the time. there was -- you know, oil was over $100 a barrel, and that -- that's where they got into this inflation depreciation spiral that i just described. and that has been going on since late 2012, and so that gives them the inflation, and they have had two years of recession. that's -- those are the main problems, and then of course the shortages, and the shortages are tied up in the same process. it's from a shortage of dollars. >> okay. i'm terribly sorry, we have to end it there. there is a great deal more to discuss, but time is against us. thank you. barack obama is to become the first u.s. president to set foot in cuba in nearly seven decades. he is planning to go there in
march. the trip has been criticized by some including republican presidential candidates who believe obama should not go there until the castro family is no longer in power. patty culhane is in washington. this won't be the first time the two men have shaken hands, but the symbolism of obama bridging that gap of the decades by going to havana is quite something. >> reporter: it really is going to be historic. i know we often say that when it comes to the president, but the last u.s. president to set foot on the island, calvin coolidge, way back in 1928. so this is what presidents do. this is his last year in office, so he going to travel the globe to cement what he sees as key points of his legacy. and the white house firmly believes that changing the
direction with cuba after 50 years is going to be a key part of what people remember him for. we are told he will meet with raul castro, and then meet with cubans from different walks of life. what exactly does that mean? is he going to sit down with people who are opposed to the castros. he said he would not step foot on the island unless he saw a change in their human right's record. critics say they haven't had that change, and the president is rewarding the castros for business as usual. >> would it be a surprise for him to meet fidel castro? >> reporter: i'm sorry fidel castro is that what you are asking about? >> yeah, i'm wondering if that would be a bridge too far. >> i think that would probably give a lot of ammunition to the
republicans. this isn't expected to be a huge electoral issue, but the largest population of cuban voters is in florida. florida is a critical state. we have seen the republican presidential candidates say the president is rewarding the castros. so if they have that picture with fidel castro, that would just give fire to his enemies. and this is an issue that could change in the next presidential election. the embargo hasn't been lifted, even though 66% of the american people think it should be, but republicans say if they get -- especially cruz and rubio, if they are in office, that they are simply going to get rid of this diplomatic thaw. so it is an issue that is going to matter. >> thank you, patty. >> okay. protests that started in new delhi has now spread to other parts of india.
they are demanding the release of a student that was arrested. he was detained during protests last friday when anti-indian slogans were allegedly shouted. >> reporter: we have the university students, not just from this university, but from universities across this state. there are also professionals, activists, and the average citizen, who say that they are worried about the events that have taken place. at the heart of this protest is the issue of the student still in detention. many are shouting to free him. they are saying we are his friends. but others we spoke to said that this is an issue about free speech and a growing intolerance under this government. >> to think that a student can be just picked up and he can be branded, and he can be slapped with the sedition charges, which
can carry a life sentence, when there is no evidence, they are doing whatever they feel like. i'm so outraged. >> reporter: he is in judicial custody and will remain in jail until march 2nd. his appeal for a bail will be heard by the courts. he was arrested last week for allegedly holding an event in which anti-indian slogans were used. he issued a statement saying he denies the charges, and he has faith in the constitution of india. take a look at this town in australia overrun by tumble weed. it has clogged up all of the homes. the winds picked up. it all got a bit worse, the tumble wood covered gardens, and garages. and the local government says there is nothing they can do.
>> we have a table and eight chairs, and probably a few plants. >> i spent eight hours yesterday, cleaning up the tumble weed. and this is what i have got today. all of the news at aljazeera.com. aljazeera.com. the white house lays out the details for the president's newly announced trip to cuba. new numbers out showing donald trump may be losing his lead heading into the next republican primary. turkey blaming syrian kurds for that deadly explosion. and a california hospital admitting that it gave hackers big money to get its computer system back online. ♪