Skip to main content

tv   News  Al Jazeera  March 7, 2015 12:00am-12:31am EST

12:00 am
e. i'm ray suarez. ♪ hope for peace in libya. rival factions inch closer to form a unity government. ♪ >> hello, this is al jazeera. i'm in hoe dah. -- doha. fireworks over syria. the u.n. security council approves a resolution condemning chlorine attacks. top brazilian politicians to face the heat. the supreme court there approves an investigation on their alleged role in a massive scam. schools in sierra leone to reopen.
12:01 am
parents are worried after new ebola cases are reported in recent weeks. ♪ hello. the coalition forces in iraq have driven out isil. the town under isil control. the u.s. military say the forces carried out 26 air strikes in the operation. jane araft joins us on the phone with more on this. jane how significant is this gain then by iraqi forces in the overall battle against isil? >> reporter: it's significant, but the fact is that the iraqi military along with these u.s. air strikes actually broke the siege of baghdad a couple of weeks ago. so what the americans are announcing appears to be even morris -- more isil fighters
12:02 am
out. it's significant this town, particularly because the troops are in the air base which is not far from there and significant to iraqis, because it's led to a crisis, as thousands of people from that town have been displaced. some of them had to be evacuated by air by the military, when isil had surrounded the town. so essentially this is a development but perhaps not the new dramatic development that it might seem. there's been fierce fighting there for many weeks and the iraqi military has announced that it has essentially broken the siege last week. >> all right jane, thank you for that. jane is reporting to us there from baghdad. now, the iraqi armed forces were on the defense elsewhere isil fighters attacked them near fallujah. 13 fighters were killed.
12:03 am
al jazeera has gotten exclusive coverage. these pictures from the city of asaber. now libya's two rival governments may be closer to a breakthrough after two days of peace talks in morocco. while a unity deal appears closer fighting in libya is continuing. the u.n. special envoy to libya warns them against carrying out attacks while sensitive negotiations take place. >> reporter: libyan rival factions are closer to clinching a political deal. they have agreed in principle on implementing a cease-fire, pulling out militias from the cities and forming a national unity government. the two delegations need to travel to libya to consult with their governments. if things go well, they will return to the moroccan capital
12:04 am
for a final deal ceremony. there are signs of a deal. we have now moved to a new phase and with the u.n., we are starting to talk about guarantees that once there is a deal, we will have a government that has a clear mandate. we will submit a draft to the united nations on a comprehensive deal, with all the guarantees and so form a government as soon as possible. >> reporter: a deal was almost unthinkable a few days ago. the bitterly divided governments of east and west libya don't trust each other. the tobro government is recognized. and the tripoli is considered the legitimate one by the country's constitutional court. it's this man the united nations envoy who has been trying hard to convince libya's warring factions to give did i
12:05 am
mow massy is a -- diplomacy a chance. >> it makes no sense to go back to fighting and confrontation. it will lead nowhere. they are aware of this. now we will start discussing concrete proposals this morning. i am optimistic about the security arrangements, which is a key element. the new government needs a secure environment to work. >> reporter: at the start of the talks the government of tobrok announced its holding air strikes for three days. a gesture of goodwill, the representatives say. >> there is no other way but to pursue a very productive national dialogue that could breach the stage of having a total agreement with both parties for the psych of -- the sake of establishing national unity. >> reporter: libya has been besat by a power struggle. the fighting and the rise of groups affiliated with the islamic state in iraq and
12:06 am
lebron raise concerns. it could destabilize the whole region. despite all the optimism about signs of progress, there remains the trust deficit that the warring factions don't seem to have overcome to the point that through our talks here in the capital both parties never met with each other preferring instead to do business with the united nations envoy. and a spokesman for libya's national oil corporation has told al jazeera fighters have attacked the oil field near zeala. eight guards were killed and a facility was set on fire. it was blamed on isil affiliated militias. and they have been battling forces loyal to the tripoli based government. government officials targeted
12:07 am
isil near other oilfields. the u.n. security council has agreed on a draft resolution condemning chlorine attacks in syria but there was some heated exchanges before the agreement was reached. our diplomatic editor james bays reports from u.n. headquarters in new york. >> reporter: a rare moment, a new united nations resolution on. the resolution doesn't say which side was responsible for the chlorine attacks but for some, there was no doubt. >> let's ask ourselves who has helicopters in syria. certainly not the opposition. only the regime does and we have seen them use their helicopters in countless other attacks on innocent syrians using barrel bombs. >> reporter: that led to a stormy rowl after the councilmembers agreed to the
12:08 am
resolution. russia said the o.p.c.w. report contained perhaps the chlorine bombs went off at a time when the helicopters were flying in the area. and then he added this. >> we provide the technical details and our colleagues, it's easier for them to just smile and say we know that it's the gov -- government that's responsible. no, don't protect the terrorists! >> reporter: the u.s. demanded a right to reply. >> this is a little strange to take away one party's entire stockpile of chemical weapons in the wake of a monstrous attack and then later claim that the party whose chemical weapons you have taken away is not implicated in the attack. >> reporter: and then russia asked to speak again. >> it's very strange that the united states said that the use of chemical weapons by the governments of syria was a red line, and it could cause the united states to use force. and yet after the events of the
12:09 am
21st of august, they didn't do that. so the government of assad did not cross this red line. the president of the united states said that this was a red line, and then he didn't do anything. >> reporter: so could the security council now take action if there's further chlorine attacks? a new resolution means that that is a possible. you just have to look at that rowl inside the security council chamber. it illustrates how unlikely it is that they have reached an agreement identifying the perpetrators. james bays, al jazeera at the united nations. a brazil supreme court has approved the investigation of some leading politicians for their alleged involvement in a corruption scandal. it involves a kickback scheme at the state-run oil term petrobas. >> reporter: this list of names was released by brazil's supreme court. among the 54 people accused of
12:10 am
taking bribes their former president and several other officials. investigators allege private firms paid corrupt officials in order to get lucrative contracts at the petrobas. president rouseff chaired the company for seven years. she's been cleared of any involvement in the scheme. speaking before the list of names was released, she said her focus is on fixing brazil's struggling economy. >> we are now entering a new phase in confronting the crisis, in which a number of different measures will be needed. a new trajectory so that we can grow. >> reporter: but the scandals have shaken the ba zillian political establishment and undermine support for rusef who was narrowly reelected last year. the petrobas scandal has been
12:11 am
brewing nor months and some are calling for lawmakers to be held accountable even before the investigation is completed. >> you wouldn't necessarily have to wait for the end of the investigation or for the sentencing process. if there was evidence against that member of parliament, it would go to the ethics board and then to the floor for an open vote by the chamber of deputies. >> reporter: under brazilian law, elected politicians could only be tried by supreme court which must now decide with the help of prosecutors whether there is enough proof to put them on trial. victoria gatenby al jazeera. let's talk more about this with the director of the brazilian institute at the woodrow wilson center. he joins me now from washington. good to speak with you again paolo. so this investigation has implicated some pretty big players in the brazilian political scene, but what sort of an impact is it going to
12:12 am
have on president rousef's government? >> i think it puts a lot of instability in the system. i think it puts the president under tremendous pressure but it's interesting to note the reaction of the political leaders, the presidents of the parties that are being accused of participating in this, that they say this is an investigation that has to happen and we will cooperate. they have our support. it's important this moves forward, because people are aware that brazil, that is celebrating this year, 30 years of democracy is taking the rule of law seriously. politicians, the president, are under enormous public pressure from public opinion to take this seriously. this is an enormous corruption scandal, involving the largest company in brazil, petrobras that happens to be a state company. >> yes, and it was mentioned in our report earlier that
12:13 am
president rousef, she's been completely cleared of involvement in this particular scheme but she did chair the board of petrobras for seven years when that corruption is alleged to have taken place. so is there a potential that further investigation could focus on her somewhere down the line? >> yes, because investigations are now starting, are going to conduct under the supervision of the supreme court. the president has a reputation of personal integrity and she's not accused of anything, but as you mentioned she was at the helm of this arrest for the whole eight years of president lula's administration, and obviously she is vulnerable. there is an order to this. the prosecutors now are going to pursue those investigations. they are basing their actions on a plea bargain agreement information provided by some
12:14 am
major former directors of petrobras for some associates with the company from members executives of companies that supply goods and services to petrobras that have been more than 20 plea bargain agreements. so those are revelations made under oath. they are very carefully produced. prosecutors have been very careful not to commit any technical mistakes that would invalidate evidence, but this will take time, but i believe that it is important. you very rarely will find a brazilian today that will tell you, no, we should forget about this. this is sort of, you know, democracy in the world. >> indeed. and it will be fascinating to see how this investigation does unfold. good to get your perspective paolo satera there from washington. thank you for your time. now still to come after the break, the seriously ill are
12:15 am
struggling to get their medicines in eastern ukraine. and 50 years ago events in selma, alabama, gave momentum to the civil rights movement in the u.s. but there's still work to be done. that's all ahead.
12:16 am
12:17 am
hello again. the top stories on al jazeera, the coalition forces in iraq have driven out isil fighters from the town of imbecdadi. it's located near a u.s. air
12:18 am
base. progress is reported in talks between libya's two rival governments, representatives from the u.n. recognize the administration, and the rival leadership in tripoli are meeting in the moroccan capital. brazil's supreme court has ordered an investigation of dozens of pop politicians in a massive corruption scandal. they are accused of taping bribes from construction and engineering firms in return for contracts with state energy company petrobras. our egyptian media are reporting that a police officer has been killed in a roadside bomb north of cairo. the police are investigating reports of a suspicious package that may have caused the blast. at least 20 others were injured. in mawli at least four people were killed. gunman stormed a restaurant in the capital city. intelligence officials say the victims were from europe and mali.
12:19 am
two people have reportedly been arrested. students in sierra leon will soon return to their classrooms after eight months. they decided to reopen the classrooms with ebola virus stabilizing. >> reporter: it's a return to normalcy that still has some parents scared. schools once used to treat ebola patients will be filled again with students, beginning in late march. students have already begun interviewing for high school admissions and officials are preparing for the first school year since the ebola epidemic gripped sierra leon and its neighbors. >> we are afraid. if it were up to me, i would not want the school to reopen until ebola is finished but since the government has passed its order we just have to obey. >> reporter: schools in the country have been closed for the laugh eight months. the spread -- last eight
12:20 am
months. the spread of the virus appears to be abating. the world health organization says sierra leon has 78 new cases. the government has pledged to pay fees for students. >> we need to advise our children to be careful when playing with their friends because you can't tell who is infected. only god will save us from this. >> reporter: international health officials say the government still needs to do more homework, before school opens. they are calling for a formal risk assessment. >> we still have to be very, very vigilant but on the other hand as well, normal activities have to resume slowly, in order to facilitate that the country will be able to cope, you know, with the next months to come. >> reporter: but there are signs that the months ahead will be easier. not only for sierra leon but
12:21 am
for all the western african countries which have already lost about 9800 people during this ebola outbreak. natasha ganames al jazeera. and nepal's only international airport in kathmandu is expected to reopen after being closed for two days. thousands of travelers have been stranded when a turkish airlines plane lost control while landing and blocked the runway. a vigil has been held in malaysia marking the first anniversary of the diappearance of malaysian airlines. the plane flying to beijing with 239 people went missing soon after takeoff from kuala kuala lumpur. a massive search has turned up no cash debris or victims. a heated debate over the crisis in ukraine continued on friday. the russian and ukrainian
12:22 am
ambassadorred to the u.n. clashed over the implementation of the 3-week-old cease-fire. >> illegal russian armed groups are going after checkpoints and residents. militants have overtaken over 750 attacks. >> according to data we have these days some 300 military personnel from the united states have arrived and they will train ukrainian soldiers in the use of foreign equipment. everyone knows wherever american military appear, expect bad things to happen. >> from the seriously ill in eastern ukraine getting medicine is becoming a big challenge. fighting between pro russia rebels and the ukrainian military has cut off people's access to health centers. the medical supplies are also running low and patients say they can't afford the rising costs of treatment. john henry reports from the
12:23 am
rebel stronghold. >> reporter: as the war in eastern ukraine began so did olga's cancer. she was diagnosed for a second time, this time along with hepatitis c but here in separatist territory, she no longer gets her ukrainian welfare payments or the payments for the drug that she has. >> i don't have money to buy them. in 2009, and 2010, the medicine was provided by the hospital that cured me. in 2014, they no longer have the drug. >> reporter: so what happens if you don't get the medicine? >> well, i don't know. if you don't treat serious diseases, people die. >> reporter: she's hardly alone. drugs are hard to find and expensive with high inflation unemployment and no functioning banking system. this man relies on donations for his heart medicine. >> there is no place i can get
12:24 am
it. the pharmacy is closed. i have to buy less. and the prices are high. >> reporter: the international aid group doctors without boarders -- borders tries to fill in the gaps. their waiting rooms are crowded with the underserved but as not nearly enough. >> medicine is not available because the pharmacies are not here. people cannot buy. and also if they buy this, it's expensive. they have to go far away. and another reason because there's no doctor. >> reporter: near the front-lines, many people no longer have any place near them to go for medical care. this hospital has been shelled repeatedly. when it finally shut down, the staff was moved to another medical center and then that hospital too was shelled. many are left to survive on sheer optimism. will you be able to get the medicine? >> no. well i think so. he who seeks will find. you have to knock on every
12:25 am
door. >> reporter: with ukraine's kiev government no longer delivering benefits to the separatist territory and the separatist government too poor to offer them, there are few doors left to knock on. now, the union of south american nations unaser. they met in caracas to address the worse earning situation. since the beginning of the year venezuelans had to wait in long queues to get staples such as cooking oil, milk and soap. the economic crisis has been made worse by falling oil prices. in bolivia the former head of the national police force oscar nenia has been arrested, held on suspicions of drug trafficking and having links to the mexican drug cartels. his son was also detained and his wife and daughter placed under house arrest. he was in charge of bolivia's
12:26 am
counternarcotics force from 2009 to 2010. america's c.i.a. is planning a major restructuring with the focus on digit espionage and cyberspace. the director john brennan says he's creating new units called mission centers on a range of security issues and threats. the overhaul is meant to allow for more collaboration between departments. edward snowden has made a public appeal for switzerland to grant him asylum. he would like to return to geneva where he once worked undercover for the c.i.a. and he's wanted by the u.s. government for leaking details about its mass surveillance programs. a u.s. president president obama has defended the justice department not to charge officer darren wilson for the killing of michael brown. his death led to nationwide protests over the police treatment of african-americans.
12:27 am
>> we may never know exactly what happened, but officer wilson like anybody else who is charged with a crime benefits from due process and a reasonable doubt standard and if there is uncertainty about what happened, then you can't just charge him anyway, just because what happened was tragic. that was the decision that was made and i have complete confidence and stand fully behind the decision that was made by the justice department on that issue. >> 50 years ago a brutal attack on peaceful protesters in the southern u.s. city of selma, alabama gave momentum to the african-american civil rights movement. and today in alabama an organization that monitors and combats hate groups in court reminds us that the fight for
12:28 am
equality is not over. bob reynolds report. >> reporter: at the civil civil rights memorial presume in montgomery alabama, school children learned about the people who died at the hands of ku klux klan during the struggle for african-american rights. keeping the klan and other racist groups in check has been the life's work of morris dee founder of the southern poverty law center. >> one of the things that i think i'm the most proud of and i think the center would share my feelings is putting some of america's major hate groups out of business, with a strategy of taking them to civil court and hitting them in the pockbook. >> reporter: the klan artifacts on display are trophies of those victories. >> the case that stands out in my mind the most is the case that bankrupted the united klansman of america in 1981, now, for lynching an african-american guy in mobile and they bombed the church in birmingham and killed the four girls and also whose members
12:29 am
killed a woman on a march from selma to montgomery. >> reporter: dees says there are nearly 2,000 active hate groups in the u.s. >> today you have several hundred hate groups. a young person can simply get in the bedroom of their own house and type in the information they want and the next thing you know, they have a recipe for blowing up a building like timothy mcveigh did when he blew up the oklahoma federal building. so we have a whole movement of change and we are trying to keep up with that change. >> reporter: while much has changed since the selma to montgomery march 50 years ago dees says maintaining vigilance against hate groups is a never ending task. >> we have to broaden the area of racial discrimination. look at the latino issue in this country look at efforts to attack latinos muslims drive these people out of our country. lbgt issues, all of these issues are in the forefront and that's where i think if dr. king was here today, he would be marching with these groups also. >> reporter: a struggle against hate that continues 50 years
12:30 am
on. bob reynolds, al jazeera, montgomery alabama. this is where we say good-bye to viewers joining us in the united states. america tonight is up next for you. and the world news headlines up next for everyone else. wherever you are has everything you need to know. on america america, a local woman barely known outside of her alabama hometown became the image of bloody sunday seen around the world, but she clearly recalls the terror that day. >> beating them with sticks, had. >> crack baby's were supposed to be ticking time bombs. their prospects stunted at birth, but it turns out the script that was written for them was wrong. >> so when you hear the world reaction.