marathon all-night talks raise hopes of a peace deal for ukraine. ♪ ♪ hello i am david foster. you are watching al jazerra. coming up in the next 30 minutes. >> our coalition is on the offensive. isil is on the defensive. and isil is going to lose. >> the u.s. president seeks congress' backing to step up military operation to his wipeout isil. continue outrage after three students are gunned down by a neighbor in north carolina. the family of the victims call it a hate crime.
retrial of two al jazerra journalists accusedded of colluding with the muslim brotherhood set on adjourn in cairo after 411 days in jail for them. ♪ ♪ diplomatic sources say that leaders are close to signing a peace deal to stop fighting in eastern ukraine. talks continued through the night in minsk. the leaders of ukraine russia, france and germany have been trying to thrash out i've deal in the capital of belarus. hundreds of people have been killed in fighting between ukrainian government troops and pro-russia separatists since the start of this year alone. rory challands has more from minsk. >> reporter: the leaders arrived here several hours ago, they had some photo opportunities and then they went in to the discussions to begin what is obviously a very, very difficult round of talks. we have also heard through
various sources that they are preparing some sort of joint declaration, but it seems like there is a lot more talking before that happens. there are many, many issues that they have to discuss here. they have to talk about things like the lines of demarcation between the separatists and the ukrainian army. they have to talk about things like federal saying versus accident traildidhe central action, petro poroshenko says no federal ionization, that would be some sort of break up of the ukrainian nation and he wants ukraine to main sovereign and remain whole. they have to talk about the border, what happens there between russia and ukraine. how, according to the ukrainians how can they stop the flow of russian weaponry and men across that border. is it going to be monitored by the osce. these are all difficult issues.
there is some some differences between the various parties and these talks could go on. barack obama has requested formally to authorize military force against isil fighters looks likely to face some opposition in the u.s. congress. republicans say they insist on changes to the president's plans. a contentious issue is whether ground troops may be sent in to action. from washington alan fisher reports. >> reporter: for six months the u.s. has carried out more than 2,000 bombing raids against isil targets this, announcement by the u.s. president changes nothing on the ground. those attacks will continue. >> we are disrupting their command and control and supply lines making it harder for them to move. we are destroying their fighting positions, their tanks their vehicles their bick you cans. their training camps and the oil and gas facilities and infrastructure that fund their operation. >> reporter: what this will do is set new perimeters, giving fresh legal approving for the
lethal operations. obama has been working under legislation of 2002 address of the invasion of iraq. some say that was a stretch legally. there is no geographic restrictions in the permission being sought. america will strike isil whenever it appears but there is a time scale. in three years the law will lapse or have to be renewed. there is a window allow ground troops to be deployed. barack obama says this gives america flexibility. >> if we had actionable intelligence about a gathering of isil leaders and our partners didn't have the capacity to get them i would be prepared to order our special force to his take action. because i will not allow these terrorists to have a safe haven. >> reporter: that interpretation of the law might be different at another time and under a another president. barack obama says he wants congress to act quickly on this but in committees want to hold hearings and call for evidence. it could be several weeks before
some version of this resolution is passed. there are voices of decent, descent. some even from barack obama's party. the president welcomes them to troy tootry do something. >> i am not sure this will accomplish the mission the president says he must accomplish. >> reporter: president obama will almost certainly get the authorization he requires but the situation on the ground is constantly changing. the longer they wait could significantly change the on wording and therefore the mission. alan fisher, al jazerra, at the white house. in northeastern iraq hundreds of christians are picking up arms to fight isil training to claim back their towns. >> reporter: he is train to go fight isil forces. he is just one of several thousand christian recruits hoping to defend their towns and villages. isil's assault last year forced kurdish force to his flee, leaving behind vulnerable
communities. >> translator: i decided to volunteer after seeing security forces trying to protect the christians including syrians and the minorities. >> reporter: peshmerga fighters are training the young recruits to reclaim their land, using a former u.s. facility to create a force they hope will keep their homes safe even after isil has been pushed out. 10s of thousands of iraqi christians and yazidis fled their homes last summer after they were ordered by isil fighters to renounce their faith and pay taxes or face death. more than 150,000 christians went. these volunteers hope to protect the few remaining towns and villages from falling in to the wrong hands. around 500 recruits, mostly syrians, will be trained this month. many people here, however are divided about having their own militia. >> translator: it's important to train these young men properly. but who are these leaders? what are they teaching them?
we don't know what kind of thoughts they are feeding them. it's not right what they are doing. >> reporter: some say this new religious task force is further fueling divisions amongst sectarian and tribal lines a move which could later see the country's demographic shift drastically. al jazerra. italy is the latest western power to shutdown its embassy in yemen. earlier on wednesday the u.k. and franz also closed their embassies. houthi rebels have reportedly seized u.s. mission vehicles in sanaa a day after that embassy was closed. last week the houthi rebelling cube took control of the government in a coup. the an say to the u.n. and em vinnie says the country is is on the brink of a civil war. talks to end the crisis have been going on since monday. the palestinian president is trying to encourage more european countries to recognize palestine as a state. mahmoud abbas flew to brussel to
his meet e.u. commission leaders. he also opened a new embassy in sweden. the country which became the first e.u. nation formally to recognize palestine as a state four months ago. a retrial is due to begin in egypt for two al jazerra journal assists. mohamed fahmy and bahar mohamed have now 2411 days behind bars, accused of colluding with the outlawed muslim brotherhood. al jazerra refutes the charges. victoria gatenby reports. >> reporter: al jazerra english's cairo bureau chief mohammed fahmy and baja are mohamed were arrested in 20 thing alongside peter greste. originally they did he tinges was believed to be temporary. based on problems with their media accreditation. but within days they were it was announced they were held on terror charges alleging they
were aiding the out had you had muslim brother hid. the journal assists and the al jazerra network rejected the charges. so did the global media community. protesters around the world demonstrated in sol dirt taye with the three men. when the trial finally began in february the three pleaded not guilty. the proceedings were ridiculed by legal experts around the world. evidence presented by the prosecution included footage from a different channel music found on the journalists' laptops and some of peter's work in africa. on june 23rd the verdict guilty mohamed and peter sentenced to seven years bahar order today spends a decade behind bars, six other colleagues were sentenced in absentia to 10 years in prison. criticism on the board came from corridors of power around the world. >> they should, released. >> reporter: yet the men had to
wait several months before their case was reviewed. egypt's court of cassation found the original trial failed to prove that they had a link to the mum his brotherhood or that a at that terrorist act even owe curled. the court ordered a retrial. the 19 had been in jail for more than a career. a degree guy el-sisi offered a new hope for two men guesters and fahmy were i believe nibble to apply for depour take a pass to freedom not available to bahar mohamed. diplomatic efforts continued alongside the slow-moving legal process and on february 1st. peter greste was freed on his 400th day in at defense. met bice his family with relief. it was tinged with sadness and frustration. >> a midst all of this relief i still feel a sense of concern a reeling sense of worry. if it's appropriate for me, if it's right for me to be free, then it's right for all of them to be free.
>> reporter: peter's relieve raced expectation that fahmy's freedom was imminent. but as the days dragged on it became clear he too would stand beside bar there are bahar in court. victoria gatenby al jazerra. for security reasons we cannot report from cairo so covering for us is cnn correspondent ian. give us an idea how things are likely to be handled in the next few hours. >> reporter: well, david we are still waiting for the trial to begin. we are expecting it to start in an hour or two. we know that mohamed fahmy has yet to arrive. he's been brought in from a nearby hospital. but what we are hearing now for over the past two days is the rational for the appeal. the judge releasing his very condemning damning appraise the of the last year's trial saying
the initial tried failed to provide evidence that they belonged to the muslim brotherhood or were helping the muslim brotherhood and failed to investigate whether the confessions were done under arrest. and wondered why they were tried in a terrorism court since their charges, alleged crimes were nonviolent. so there has been a lot of optimism from the family after this appraisal by the appeals judge, but they are still cautious because they know that it could still take another year or so if this trial goes forward. >> good to hear from you. ian lee cnn correspondent reporting on -- for us out of cairo. now, a court in south korea has found a former korean air executive guilty of violating aviation safety law. weather chow has accused of
forcing a plain to off-load a stewart because she didn't like the way the nuts were served. macadamia nuts to be precise. let's go harry fawcett our correspondent who has been following in in the south korean capital. and the prosecutors want to send her to jail for three years. >> reporter: that's right. that's what the progression cushion had asked for in this case we don't yet have the conclusive verdicts and all the charges against her what we do have so far from the courtroom behind me is the reasoning of the lead judge of the panel of three, and he said that the court did accept that she had changed the flight path of the airplane there had been some debate as to whether a plane which as in this case was still on the runway could have said to have been on its flight path but the court does accept as soon as the plane start today move. at which appointment this argument over a bag of nuts took
place on board and as we know heather admits pushed and flu all tablet at the flight attendant and then forced the chief flight attendant off the flight. from that point it did violate aviation safety law by her forcing the plane back to the gate. that carries a minimum sentence, that offense of one year. we don't yet know whether she will be sentenced to that one year in prison or whether it could be a suspended sentence, whether it will be additional jail time potentially for the other charges she also faces awaiting the full conclusive verdict still to come. >> harry the contention has been that she felt able to use her position as an executive to abuse the staff mainly because her family are so closely associated with this airline. >> reporter: that's right. she is the third generation of one of the leading families in south korea.
they are a huge conglomerates that have their fingers in all sorts of the economic pie in this country. the korean air is just one arm of the giant corporation her grandfather founded that corporation, her father is chairman of korean air, it was he who essentially made sure that she resigned from all of her posts in the group and apologize odd her behalf. said that he himself had made it very clear to her that she had misbehaved in all of this. but why this has been such an enormous story here is because of this feeling in south korea that these very powerful, very high status families simply have too much power and have too much ability to get away with whatever they wish to. certainly there have been a number of cases where members of these families have been imprisoned largely for financial miss doings, but often they get out of prison early get presidential pardons people lobby for them not to be punished too severely because of their importance in the economic life of this country.
and now i think we are seeing an increasing concern in the public at large about the inequalities that all that have connotes and that is why there has been such outrage i think over this incident on board this airplane and why so many people want to see her punished in a -- the same way that anybody else charged with these sorts of offenses would be so done. >> i know, harry we'll be back with you a little bit later on as this story develops. for now, thank you. coming out program. >> make natural resources work for the people. >> why not just one, two conference on his mining are underway in south africa. and behind the scenes of a life saving center in spain. stay with us, if you can.
of the day's events. then at 8:00, john seigenthaler digs deeper into the stories of the day. and at 9:00, get a global perspective on the news. weeknights, on al jazeera america . ♪ time to update you with the global headlines diplomatic soars say leaders are close to signing a peace deal to stop fighting in eastern ukraine. the talks have been held in the belarus capital involving ukraine, russia, france and germany. barack obama's request to authorize military force against isil could well face some opposition in the u.s. congress. a number of republicans saying that they wilin sifter on changes to the president's plans. the possible use of ground troops being one contentious issue. a retrial is due to begin in egypt for two al jazerra journalists, mohamed fahmy and bahar mohamed. they have been in prison now for
411 days. accused of colluding with the muslim brotherhood. well, as i say diplomatic sources say it could be soon we see a peace deal sign today stop the fighting in eastern ukraine. all night talks there. let's talk to our defense analyst and column i joining us now from moscow. what does president putin want out of this, do you think? >> well, right now ceasefire seems imminent. that's everyone's interested right now in a ceasefire. the present rebel offenses began mid january has gone on for almost a month and most likely they have run out of steam. they need to regroup and the time actually for major fighting the wintertime, is running to an end soon there will be a that you. so a ceasefire is in everyone's interest but the under problem
is the future of ukraine, as a whole. russia wants to see pro-russian forces and rebels actually, to become institutionalized political force inside ukraine. that would guarantee that ukraine does not join nato or the european continues to be in the kind of russian here is of influence, at least friendly for russia country will not become a base ever for anti--russian activity and especially military base. >> it won't have gone unnoticed surely that putin's participation in this is an acknowledgment surely, that he's the one pulling the strings everybody though he's denying it. >> well, yes initially we say this is none of our business, that this is pure internal ukrainian crisis, a civil war. but, of course, russia is very much involved.
again that's the facts. but these facts are not right now openly acknowledged. although actually one of the spokesmens of the rebels said yesterday that an agreement can only happen if ukraine declares itself a neutral unaligned country. so that means it's not about the rebels seceding, it's about ukraine being neutral and pro-russian. >> petro poroshenko the ukrainian president, would he be acceptable to continuing his position to moscow or does moscow believe that he has to go? >> you know, poroshenko is acceptable for moscow. russian -- since his lex since september has been to kind and try to isolate him from other forces that we don't like, particularly the prime minister and his party.
and connect poroshenko to pro-russian forces and to mr. med very sred who is also in russia who russia very much want to see in an important position in kiev and he's a pro-russian ukrainian. >> i want to tell you pavel butting in here that we are getting a report out of minsk that poroshenko now says russian demands are unacceptable. does that mean likely there is likely no deal or still jockeying for position? >> i think it's more jockeying for position. i believe some deal is imminent. right now to kind of continue the filing would mean to introduce mower russian troops, regular troops and if he introduce them without air support, there is going to be heavy losses. though -- and i believe both sides right now are going to be kind of saying that we want to break the deal. maybe there even is going to be
some fighting. but this is a kind of middle eastern situation when a ceasefire is inevitable and the fighting is just to find another formula of the ceasefire. and politically it's also very important for pour shaping owe to show that he's ready to stand up to putin. >> pavel, thank you very much indeed. the picture that we see on the right of the screen there the building the grand building in minsk where we are expecting to hear from any of the leaders of ukraine, germany france, or russia if and when they have something to say. candle lit vigils have been held for three students who were shot dead in the united states. a neighbor has been charged with their murders in chapel hill in north carolina. police say an argument over car parking may have been a factor. one of the victims families say it was a hate crime because they are muslims.
>> we appreciate your concerns and the outpouring of love and support from our neighbors student community and the community at large. we ask that the authorities investigate these senseless and heinous murders as a hate crime. we also ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time. >> our correspondent andy gallagher has more from chapel hill. >> reporter: we have been speak to the family members of these three young victims and they are clearly in mourning. earlier they gave a press conference at the community certainty here behind me in which the sister suzanne spoke with great eloquence about her brother and sister-in-law and spoke about how they contributed to the local community and helped syrian refugees with charitable work. but key to all of this is the families of all of the victims are disputing the earlierth that this attack was over a long-standing argument about parking spaces. they claim that craig stephen hicks the man that turned himself in and since been
charged with first degree murder singled them out because of their faith and are now calling for this to be an investigation of a hate crime. that essentially would take the investigation out of the local police's hands and make it federal but the case as the place say here is in the early stages craig steven hicks has been charged with first degree murder and will appear in court again in early march. captain of the costa concordia cruise line has been sentenced to 16 years in jail for machine span slaughter. he denied the manslaughter of the passengers and crew which happened three years ago. australia foreign minister is crawling for clem calling for the clemency of two inmates. they are accused as ring leaders who were smuggling drugs.
>> the australian government will continue to seek clemency for andrew and my ron. urge the indonesian government to show the same percent toy mercy that it seeks for its citizens in the same situation abroad. madam speaker colleagues, we must not give up hope. and we will continue with our efforts to save the lives of australian citizens andrew chan and hi my ron. >> people of spain are renowned for their generosity in giving organ. sometimes complete organs to complete strangers to keep someone alive. more from madrid now. >> reporter: when the telephone rings here it really can make the difference between life and death. >> now we have a donor and we have a liver emergency in one part of spain.
>> reporter: people with organ failure in spain have a realistic chance of eventually getting the life-saving surgery they need. when a family decide to donate. medical staff call through to here the national coordination center where the process of matching a donor with a potential recipient really begins. spain is a world leader in organ donation. few people carry donor cards here. the key to spain's success are on call, trained transplant coordinators. it's their skill in being able to identify potential donors which has helped turn around donation rates. doctors are trained to sensitively steer families towards donation, if they are faced with the most difficult decision about a loved one. who may have been declared brain dead. dr. rafael has did he strived the program. >> the most important the most important is this critical moment when a person has died.
but the heart is still beating. it's very complicate today explain to the family that this person really is dead. and so to have the adequate person in the adequate place at the adequate moment, is practically the main reason which makes the family say yes or the family say no. >> reporter: and that moment can make all the difference. julio has had three kid any transplants, the first two from anonymous donors the last from his sister. >> translator: it's very important for society to know what it means to be able to donate honor began it can save a life. in my case it allowed knee grow grow from up a child to adult. to go to university, to have a family and to have a plan. >> reporter: for julio the future is looking bright. offering home to othersering hope to others who may be pulled back from the brink by the kindness of changers, emma hayward, al jazerra in, madrid.
a reminder that you can keep up-to-date, of course you can with our website, that is aljazerra.com. our headline story there being the possible peace deal which may be announced we understand pretty soon for ukraine. aljazerra.com. >> on "america tonight": >> like so many children with autism, 13-year-old gus snowdon has trouble communicationing withcommunicating withothers. except for one. >> for the first time he asked for a play date. >> technologies are only going to get better and better.