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tv   News  Al Jazeera  August 3, 2015 9:00pm-10:01pm EDT

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gulf goal? >> the partnership that we share is indispensable for the security of this region. secretary of state john kerry tries to convince some of iron's skeptical neighbors to support the nuclear deal. trapped in calay.
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>> we want asylum in the u.k. >> migrants desperately trying to get from france into the united kingdom. and blinding sand briefly seals off jordan from the world. ♪ good evening, i'm tony harris this is al jazeera al jazeera america. we begun in qatar, where secretary of state john kerry spent the day reassuring skeptical gulf allies that the u.s.'s nuclear deal with iran is a good one. kerry met with the emir of qatar first. he told officials the region's security is a top priority. kerry then pledged to speed up u.s. arms shares as well as share intelligence and step up joint military exercises. all
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iran to destabilize the region. they also believed tehran would use the money to increase support for groups like hezbollah and the houthis in yemen. he also met with russian counterpart sergei lavrov. >> reporter: a delicate mission for the u.s. secretary of state. john kerry is trying to convince long-standing allies that iran's nuclear deal with world powers will bring peace and prosperity. >> translator: the five other european countries have technology and knowledge in the nuclear field, the countries of the council welcomed it on this basis, and on what john kerry demonstrated about iran's development of nuclear weapons and the right to inspection to stop them of obtaining nuclear weapons.
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we hope for more from this. >> reporter: in a bid to allay their fears, the u.s. has offered to sell advanced weapons and upgrade the region's defense capabilities. >> today my counterparts and i discussed the steps we will take and how we intend to build an even stronger more enduring and strategic partnership with particular focus on our cooperative counter terrorism, counter insurgency and also on our cooperation in countering the destabilizing activities taking place in the region. >> reporter: the predominantly sunni muslim gulf countries need more than just reassurances. they accuse iran of backing their shia proxies and interfering in the region. acquisitions dismissed by iran which has recently called for
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more cooperation with its neighbors. russia could be the country to bridge differences between iran and its arab neighbors. foreign minister sergei lavrov says russia is willing to help negotiate political deals in syria and yemen. >> translator: we have always been in favor of the bloodshed stopping in syria, and we are not giving any kind of unconditional support to anybody, except to the syrian people. and the main threat in that country to our mind and in the middle east as a whole, is that which emanates from the so-called islamic state. >> reporter: an agreement between all sides in doha could put an end to the long-running civil war in syria and increased fighting in yemen. >> the policy of the united states with respect to syria is clear, we believe that assad and the assad regime long ago lost legitimacy.
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in part because of his regime's continued brutality against the syrian people themselves. and that has been a magnet for foreign fighters drawing them to syria, fuelling the rise of daesh, and other violent extremists groups and since there is no military solution to syria's challenges there has to obviously be a political solution. >> reporter: leaders biggest concern is iran building strong ties with the west and repositioning itself as the most powerful country in the region. saudis have warned it will do whatever it takes to match iran's military capabilities. the israeli newspaper alleged that senior u.s. initials have objected to the armed sales to gulf states. the report comes as secretary of state john kerry pledged the
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military support in qatar today. they cite a senior official last week. they also claim prime minister benjamin netenyahu has refused u.s. offers to upgrade israel east military capabilities. adam is a former u.s. ambassador to bahrain, pleasure to have you with us. >> good to be with you. >> reporter: secretary kerry seemed to get only a mild endorsement from the gcc, qatar described it as the best among the options. is that faint praise? >> i don't think so. we all wish that iran would behave more responsibly both respect to its nuclear program and with respect to its behavior in the region but they -- they are not, and so the question before us is what is the best way to deal with a bad
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situation? this nuclear deal is going to stop them from getting a nuclear weapon and in -- for 15 years. i think the focus of the meeting in doha was how do we work together to implement this agreement? and more importantly, how do we work together to dissuade iran from being a bad actor in the region. >> so what does working together mean? do you think he offered more sweeteners to the gulf countries than what they have talked about? greater training intelligence sharing, the u.s. is already sending a lot more weapons to saudi arabia. >> it started in camp david in may when the heads of the gcc states came to hear from president obama and his team about what the nuclear deal was and was not. what we're seeing in doha is a continuation of that. but this is a process, and the good news is we're putting our
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actions where our words are. we are looking at ways to speed up arm sales, train special forces, we are looking at ways to improve our intelligence sharing and collecting and acting on that intelligence. >> of course the one middle eastern country that is oddly not supportly the iran deal is israel. will there be more cooperation with israel if more weapons are heading to the region. >> the focus is not to threaten israel but to contain iran. if i were israel i would see this as a good thing between israel and iran is the gcc. so the more that the gcc can strengthen its capabilities and deter iran the safer is not only israel but the whole region. >> what about the presence of sergei lavrov in the gulf? what role is russia likely to
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play? >> i think the presence of lavrov was mostly to coordinate on syria. syria is a big trouble spot in the region and remember iran is playing a very unhelpful role from our point of view in syria by supporting bashar al-assad and hezbollah. so as we seek to achieve a political settlement in syria that sees bashar al-assad leave and a more responsible government take over russia is playing a key role there. >> and in seeing that kind of cooperation, do you think there's any chance the iran agreement could actually lead to better international cooperation throughout the middle east? >> if we see a more neighborly posture by iran that could lead to good things. frankly, i'm not entirely optimistic. i don't want to be naive about this. iran has a revolutionary eye dee
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olg. i haven't seen them walk back from that. there was a phrase used in the world war, trust but verify. look we have got a new deal with iran. it's built on a level of trust, but let's not let our guard down. >> ambassador good to have your incites thank you. >> thank you, sir. the u.s. military has expanded its military presence in syria. but there are concerns the u.s. could now end up in a direct engagement with syrian forces something it hopes to avoid. jamie mcintyre has more from the pentagon. >> reporter: antonio, the u.s. has said all along that once the fighters it trained to take on isil were in harm's way, it would have a moral obligation to come to their aid, but stopped short of saying what form that aid could take until last friday
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when air strikes were authorized. smoke rises over the northern syrian city the result of multiple u.s. drone strikes friday that help repel an attack on a group of syrian opposition fighters which included just over 50 members of what has been dubbed the new syrian force. trooped trained and quipped by the u.s. to battle isil. the pentagon says the fighters were co-located with other syrian rebels known as division 30 of the new syrian army. at least one u.s.-trained fighter was killed and two division 30 commanders were captured. the pentagon says the air strikes all conducted by unmanned aircraft made good on a promise to provide defensive fire power if the u.s.-trained forces came under attack on the grown by anyone. but a pentagon spokesman down played the idea that u.s. air
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power was now broadly backing rebels fighting against the government. >> we're not at war with the assad regime the people are pledged to fight isil and only isil. so this is not something we view as inviting confrontation with assad in anyway. >> r foreign minister called the policy counterproductive. air strikes can be conducted against any forces he pointed out, because it's hard to tell who is fighting who. assad has few troops in the north and is is in control of an ever-smaller part of his country. >> we have cautioned syria in the past not to engage u.s. aircraft and the regime would similarly be advised not to interfere with the counter isil mission. >> reporter: on capitol hill
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armed services committee john mccain had the opposite criticism, that the air strikes limited to supporting only the handful of troops don't go nearly far enough. in a statement mccain said: pentagon sources say so far all of the air strikes conducted in syria have been done by drones because syria's air defenses have not been neutralized. the pentagon also announced the first armed drones are flying out of turkey where in a few weeks manned flights will start as well. but for now those mans flights are focused on hitting targets in iraq. also today the obama administration placed sanctions on a dozen companies and
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institutions for their role in the conflict in syria. a syrian army jet crashed into a marketplace in idlib province today. at least 27 people were killed. dozens more were injured. it was not immediately clear what caused the crash. a political battle is taking place in turkey's government. opposition leaders accuse the president of blocking efforts to form a coalition government and blasted him over the military offensive against the kurdish pkk, saying he is using it to rally nationalist support. erdogan is raging a two-pronged war against isil in syria and the pkk in syria and iraq. syrian kurds say the government of president bashar al-assad could be a partner, if it commits itself to a democratic future. the move would be a dramatic
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shift for the group. zana hoda is in southern turkey with the latest. >> reporter: the syrian government is take credit for pushing out isil from the northeastern city but they didn't win this fight force, the ypg joined the battle. for years the ypg and the government controlled separate zones in the area. it was part of understanding to prevent the city from becoming yet another battleground. the ypg said cooperation was logical under the circumstances, but that only fuelled accusations from turkey and syrian opposition groups that the kurds are allied to the government. now an official from the pyd told us that the threat of terrorism, means it would partner with any group, including the syrian government if it's committed to a democratic syria. >> anyone who are ready for work
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for democracy, who accepts the diversity within the syrian people, of course we are ready to connect with them. and as i mentioned i -- i maybe told you some -- examples with the opposition and also the syrian -- with the regime. >> reporter: the kurds have become powerful players there the conflict. territorial gains over recent years allowed them to enjoy political autonomy in the kurdish heartland in the northeast. the kurds have a long history of struggle with the syrian government many were not given citizenship and their culture and language were suppressed. in 2004 they rose up against the state, but their protests were violently quelled when the syrian uprising began in 2011 they didn't fully join efforts to overthrow the government. instead they managed to expand into areas where the regime retreated. government forces were
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withdrawn, leaving the kurds to fill the vacuum. >> so the regime was important because they didn't want to fight on several fronts and what their main calculation probably was, was if the kurds would capture those areas, it would lead to tensions between turkey and the kurds. >> reporter: the kurds haven't just created their own autonomous region in syria, they are now in a position to change the balance of power on the ground. they are now floating the idea of partnering with the government. they have come from a variety of countries, journeyed hundreds if not thousands of miles, and thaw now find themselves shut out. europe's im grant crises takes place in calais.
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and in hong kong protesters are angry after a woman was sent to jail after assaulting a police officer with her breast.
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in context tonight, the crisis in calais 1700 migrants stormed the tunnel connecting france and england overnight, officials managed to push most back for now. one sudanese man was arrested for hitting a police officer in the head with a stone. french riot police and british border security have been sent to guard the entrance to the euro tunnel. many of the migrants are fleeing conflict and crisis from the middle east and africa. the french government says it has busted 17 smuggling networks. britain has pledged $11 million
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to strengthen fences on the french side. meanwhile britain and france are blaming one another as the crisis deepens. charles stratford reports now on the situation for the men and women trapped in the middle. >> reporter: auk med insists he hide his identity. he has seven children and a wife in afghanistan. it has taken him four months to travel across western asia and europe. he says he is determined to make it to the u.k. >> we want asylum here in u.k. to make our life easily to bring our family. if the situation is good for example, if the situation is better so we are -- want to go back to our country. >> reporter: many of the people living in this camp seem to begin win asylum seekers fleeing political persecution and conflict in their countries. and they say they want to be in
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an english-lang waijuageenglish-language-speaking countries. >> so the u.k. needs to look closely at who wants to ask for asylum maybe take those people in england, look at their request, if they don't fit the bill, then yes, send them back to wherever. i don't know make a decision. and france needs to do the same thing. you know if today you decide to ask for asylum in france because you are tired of trying and not succeeding to go to the u.k. your first appointment to register our asylum request is in november. >> reporter: many want a better job, a better life in the u.k. so-called economic migrants. they say it's easier to find work in the u.k. than france. the u.k. government has offered
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france for more security. local officials in calais totally disagree. >> translator: this is totally a british problem. .everyone in europe sees it as their problem. they can't keep sending security to france as if calais is a superb of the u.k. we're not england and we never will be. >> reporter: near the tunnel entrance the fence is being being -- repaired again. aukmed says he will keep trying. the migrants in calais come from a variety of countries, and their future can depend on where they are from according to the british home office artreeian nationals submit the highest number of applications.
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3500 sought protection in the u.k. 85% of those were granted. only 22% of pakistanis were granted asylum. more than 2200 syrians applied asylum the same year. joining us is the director of the refugee pro see you again. it's hard to believe there is this refugee camp in calais and this has been going on for a while. >> yes it has been going on for sometime but it really is in a way very shocking that in the european union, a highly developed rich -- one of the richest areas of the world, that you are seeing makeshift camps because the european union member states can't provide the minimum reception conditions
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that they themselves set to provide. >> let's start with what is going on in calais. one issue is that the european countries aren't following their own rules, and some countries, including the u.k. are much better and faster at approving applications for residency and asylum than some of the other countries. so the migrants disproportionately want to get to britain. >> some of the rules set up by the european union itself says the country of arrival is responsible for processing asylum claims. as you can see this is a problem for those countries are on the outskirts of the european union. these are countries that are in a sense on the front line and
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the dublin system has insulated those countries like the u.k. that are on the inside. >> and some of it of course as we heard from charles stratford in that story is that migrants think they are likely to -- or more likely to get work in the united caning united kingdom. >> well there are a whole range of factors involved and this is a mixed migration flow. meaning there are some that are purely economic migrants. there are others that are coming from areas producing very large numbers of refugees already. syria, eritrea, somalia, afghanistan, and iraq those five countries represent 66% of the arriveal in the mediterranean this year. >> and those numbers are likely to keep growing. so that flow towards europe is
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probably going to continue at -- at a very high pace. so what kind of obligations -- >> those five countries that i just mentioned have produced 25 million displaced people that are either displaced internally within those same countries or within the immediate region. so what the european union hastion of that. nothing like what turkey or jordan have experienced. >> yeah huge parts of their population are now those refugee populations in their countries, many of whom are living in camps. but what is the situation for europe? they may want to help but if they do help they can encourage more migration, and we're seeing anti-immigration movements in a number of countries. some of the countries have said no more. >> right. and there is -- undeniably there
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is a mix of motives, and there is a problem when you have people coming from even countries in conflict even countries that violate human rights that cause people to flee for involuntary reasons. many of those people are also coming from extremely poor places and they do have economic motives for the pull of europe and one of the things to bare in mind is that having an economic motive doesn't forfeit your claim to refugee status if in fact you would be harmed upon return. on the other hand there are people who don't have a need for international protection and it's well within the rights of european goes to decide that these people have not been invited and they can be deported. and human rights groups like human rights watch isn't going to stand in the way of that. but you have to give them a fair
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procedure and decent conditions while their claims are pending. and that's the real problem in france that they are not been able to provide the basic accomodations for people while they are sorting out whether they have the right to stay permanently or not. and therefore, many of these people are moving on to places where they feel they have a better chance and where frankly they are survivors and trying to do what is in their best interest and even there are similar identification standards, they do find discrepancies from one country to the next. >> a difficult situation all around especially for these desperate migrants. bill good to have you with us as always. signs of a growing split in the taliban leadership. and a troubling report on police violence in rio, a year
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before the summer olympic games get underway. ♪
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get underway. get underway.
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♪ welcome back to al jazeera america. i'm antonio mora. coming up in this half hour of international news a high profile opposition leader in venezuela is block from running for office. 21 distinct wildfires with burning in california this evening, the biggest one has consumed more than 60,000 acres north of san francisco. across the state 12,000 people have been told to evacuate their homes. president obama unveiled a major plan to confront climate change today. it would be the first-ever nationwide standard on power plants. the president calls climate
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change the biggest threat to the nation's future. the coal industry and some states are expected to sue to stop the plant. police chiefs from 50 major u.s. cities gathered in washington to talk about ways to reduce violent crime. among the recommendations, greater penalties for gun crimes. sentencing reforms to keep repeat violent offenders off of the streets. and testing for new forms of synthetic drives in the wake of the news that taliban leader mullah omar has been dead for years, the peace process may be accelerated. >> reporter: the taliban says that the new leader has sent laters out to taliban leaders asking for his support, or they don't support him, suggesting a new leader for him.
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we understand while some taliban leaders have accepted mansoor others do not. so there is a division. in hellmann province a printer faction of the taliban say they do not accept him as the new leader and they will actively fight anyone who supports him if a political situation is not come to very quickly. this comes at a critical time. peace talks with the taliban and the afghan government were to be held on friday when the death of omar emerged. the afghan government says it is committed to peace talks and hopes they will go forward, but there is concern about who comes to the peace table now, and a splintered taliban would make it more difficult for the government to have any sort of comprehensive peace talks. a very very complicated situation, splits in the taliban, commanders on the grown
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here over whether they should support the new taliban leader in the wake of the news of omar's death, and the whole peace process now thrown into a state of uncertainty. jennifer glass in kabul. military officials say soldiers were able to free 178 hostages of boko haram this weekend. most freed are women and children. the military also says it captured a boko haram commander and air strikes killed a large number of fighters. meanwhile, boko haram released a new video today, but something important was missing, the group's leader. he was last heard from in march when boko haram released an audio message pledging allegiance to isil. his absence has lead to increased speculation that he is in hiding or has been wounded or
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even killed. a planned visit to the united nations by sudan's president in september may put the u.s. in a difficult position. he is wanted by international criminal court for war crimes. he is scheduled to speak on development goals. in 2013 he announced plans to attend the general assembly but then canceled its trip. the u.s. is not a member of the icc, and is generally obligated to provide visas for world leaders. the city of rio de janeiro is facing a new sethback. a report accuses rio police of using unnecessary and often deadly force against young poor black men. >> reporter: amnesty international issued their report here in rio de janeiro with several members of the families of the victims in
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attendance. it was titled they are killing our sons. they talk about more than 1,500 mostly young, poor black men being killed by the military police here in rio in the last five years. they say that these killings are rarely investigated. it's even rarer for any of the policemen carrying them out to be brought to justice. what the police tend to do is simply say they were defending themselves. and often according to amnesty, they will place mock evidence alongside the dead bodies. put a gun alongside the bodies to try to enhance their story of self-defense. amnesty says this has been going on for sometime but with the focus of the world on rio de janeiro janeiro, ahead of the start of the olympic games, they are hoping it will spur the
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government into action to try to address this issue and put an end to the killing of what they say are generally innocent young men. tomorrow night we will see how local officials are trying to integrate some of rios most areas into the spirit of next summer's olympic games. an opposition figure in venezuela says they are refusing to let her run against the government. she was one of the leaders of the protests last year. and was later forced out of the legislature. now she cannot regain her seat. >> translator: they don't want to let me make a bid to be a national leader and you know who. you know why they fear me and why they want to keep me quiet.
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>> when i interviewed her in march, she said the president would lose in any fair election. but would never allow a fair election to occur. thousands are taking to the streets to protest power cuts. imran khan reports. >> reporter: the initial protests were sparked by a lack of electricity, but now they have become anti-government. protesters say corruption is the reason iraq is in such turmoil. >> translator: if people have their say, they can change anything. we're fed up with the parliament, and a government that has not met the demands of the people. >> translator: people are out today to put an tend to this craziness that has been for 14 years. they have had enough. the people who we have elected are doing nothing to change our lives. >> reporter: the protests have
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been largely spontaneous, now they are becoming more organized with on situation parties encouraging more to come out on the streets. >> translator: there is nothing the government can do in the short-term. everything the protesters are complaining about require systemic changes. this government has huge issues with corruption antiquated practices, and there's no money in the budget due to falling oil prices and the security situation that is deteriorating. iraq is a young democracy but patience is running out with those in power. >> reporter: it is likely the protests will continue what is worrying for the government is even in places where support has been strong anger and frustration is beginning to appear and that is likely to spur some sort of short-term solution. so far no plan has been announced to diffuse the anger
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that is being shown. protesters in hong kong are using underwear to show outwage. male and female demonstrators wearing bras fathered outside police headquarters on sunday. the protests came after a young woman was convicted of assaulting a police officer with her breast. the woman had accused the officer of fondling her chest. a magistrate disagreed. the woman was sentenced to three and a half months on jail. she is free on bail spending appeal. rescuers in the netherlands are searching for survivors after a pair of cranes collided while working on a bridge. the cranes fell on to a row of buildings. flattening apartments and shops. one survivor a man, is being treated for an injured hip. but authorities fear more people may have been trapped inside of those buildings.
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after a five-week hiatus. the greek stock market reopened today with unfortunately predictable results. >> translator: when we heard the news farmers felt great joy. any change would be an improvement. >> reporter: reforms by the cuban government are benefiting the island's farmers.
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an ugly day for investors in greece. the stock market reopened and prices plunged more than 20% over the course of the day. the market was closed five weeks ago in response to the country's debt crisis. bank shares were the hardest hit. a small boat carrying undocumented cuban migrants arrived in florida early this morning. according to police 23 men and one woman landed on the shores of key west before sunrise. they were treated for exposure to diesel fuel. all 24 will be subject to
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criminal background checks if they pass they will be allowed to stay in the u.s. to pursue residential. cuban has made headlines because of the resuming of dpic ties with the u.s. >> reporter: you are looking at the first and only wholesale market in cuba. you might call it capitalism with a cuban touch. >> translator: it's an experiment something new, and we're still in the process of organizing the market. we can say it's a free market. it's available for anyone. >> reporter: when raul castro rolled out his reforms a few
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years ago, inefficiencies wracked the industry. food would rot because officials failed to distribute them in time. >> translator: farmers used to lose a lot of money. plan because we did not have a place to sell our produce. >> reporter: until recently farmers like this worked like all cubans as part of the country's centrally planned economy. but now she says she sells 70% of what she grows to private buyers. not all cubans can afford to shop here. state-owned markets with lower prices remain available, but those places often run out of food. most people here pay a premium for choice and abundance. they represent the new business class, owners of small
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restaurants and stores. >> translator: i have shopped here ever since it opened. i can say i'm one of the original buyers. it's the only central market we have in time. and the only one where we can buy large quantities. >> translator: we buy here and resell for a profit of 30%. >> reporter: they tell us that about 900 farmers, groups of farmers, and different organizations have registered to sell here. analysts estimate that half a million farmers in cuba now own or lease private land for personal profit. the reforms have invigorated susana. >> translator: when we heard the news farmers felt great joy. any change would be an improvement. it was excellent. it was freedom. >> reporter: farmer remains a tough enterprise. the machines are far past their
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expiration date. to buy spar parts they have to rate the government has a monopoly on selling new merchandise. >> translator: there should be stores where farmers can go to buy what they need directly. we need access to machinery, tractors. we get diesel fuel but not when we need it. sometimes the fertilizers and pesticides we need do not arrive on time. >> reporter: still life has improved for can afford more household items. she worries less about money now that she makes more. >> translator: it represented an immediate economic improvement. >> reporter: once upon a time cuba exported sugar, tobacco, and citrus but these days the island imports 80% of its food
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a situation the government wants to change. the transition will take years, and while some farmers may benefit, it's not clear whether the industry as a whole will come out strong. melissa chan al jazeera, cuba. ted is a professor of black and latino studies at bah ruk college. he joins us this evening from miami. very good to have you with us ted. the irony is that there's tremendous inequality in communist cuba where people who have the average state salary of $20 month, can't afford to buy a bag of fruit. >> yes it's true. and that inequality has been growing for the past 25 years. as they get more market mechanisms into cuba to give people incentive to produce more there are some people who will benefit, who are well
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positioned to do that others will be stuck in the state sector earning peso salaries and unable to buy the fruits that the other cubans are producing. >> they can't buy them because they can't afford it at the markets, and then they go to state markets that are still running out of food. is this creating social tension? >> yeah recently you hear in the official press and some of the independent blogs, you hear complaints lodged against the people who go early in the morning as your package showed and buy up all of the stuff, and then when other people come by later, there is nothing left and they can only then buy the stuff at a 30% mark-up. so this has caused tensions. the government has said it wants to rollout whole sell markets to compete with this but it has not yet been able to establish wholesale markets for equipment
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or supplies of the kind that farmers need or the kind that other small business people need. >> right. so what is happening in communist cuba is now there is a business class. people who are owners of small businesses. and then you have a tourist class. so both of those groups can afford things that most cubans can't. >> yes, there's also other one class, and those are people who have relatives in miami who can then get remittances, so this has created social tenning tenningtenning tenning -- tensions in cuba. some of the reforms have really only been able to benefit certain types of people. one of the things that the government hasn't yet done is it hasn't allowed professionals to go into the business class, so they are trapped in the state economy, so we don't have a
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vietnam ez or chaiese transforation. but i'll call this raul castro's economic rumba. he takes two steps forward and then one step back because he doesn't want to lose control and he is concerned about the social issues arising. >> you have been down there this past weekend. can the chinese model work in cuba? can we have this mix of communism and capitalism? and again, how much willingness is there in cuba to move forward with serious economic reform? >> i think to some degree that's what the government of cuba wants to do. it wants to maintain the revolution quote, unquote, and induce economic reform so that cubans don't have to import 80% of their food as was mentioned.
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i think that so far it has been good, but the problem is that the government is very hesitant to allow individuals in the private sector to accumulate wealth. they still want to maintain their monopoly on imports and experts, so right now the reforms have hit kind of a sticking point. there has been a lot more hesitancy than boldness in the reforms, and some people are wondering whether raul will not do this and leave it for the next administration. so we'll see. but also now the united states is knocking on cuba's door and offering to provide some of these things offering to do business that may put more pressure on incentive on the part of the cuban go to respond. >> interesting days ahead. ted thank you. coming up on al jazeera america, plans to fly to or from jordan this weekend were blown away by this powerful sand
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storm. ♪
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>> comedian mo amer. >> are we filming a short? what's happening? >> confronting stereotypes. >> i was afraid to be myself. >> mixing religion and comedy. >> get over it you know who i am... got the chuckle, now let's really address it. >> and challenging islamophobia. >> i was performing and would say "i'm an arab american"... and you could hear a pin drop.
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a massive sand storm shut down air traffic into and out of jordan on sunday. with temperatures reaching 109 degrees yesterday and today. the heat wave is affecting other countries in the region as well. iraq declared a four-day holiday late last week because of the heat. with tensions rising between britain and france over immigration, france's demon looks at agreement between the two nations. the paper writes that the agreement specific says the nation hosting migrants must keep them if the destination country refuses them. south africa's guardian issues a
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warning about government spending. it writes: the tall graph, addresses new allegations that a third of track and field athletes who won medals in the olympics over the first 12 yearsover this century tested positive for performance-enhancing substances. it takes the international association to task for trying to hide the truth about doping instead of doing more to stop it. under construction right now underneath london is one of the most advanced rail lines in the world. when the cross rail starts running, it will carry more than 200 million passengers a year. tarek bazley went down into the tunnels for our off of the radar report. >> reporter: it has taken 10,000 workers more than six years, but now london's newest underground
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train tunnels are almost ready for their rails. the new cross rail tunnels wave their way 21 kilometers beneath the heart of the city. >> the biggest challenge has been constructing this massive type of a project in an area of london with already dense infrastructure. the design stage, and the alignment had to be decided to avoid interaction with any existing foundations or existing tunnels. >> reporter: eight laser guided tunnelling machines removed more than 7 million tons of earth. the walls were then sealed using 200,000 concrete segments. at the a same time engineers have been working on an all new digital communications network.
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this computer network needs to be able to handle the data of more than 250 passenger information displays more than 1600 high-definition cameras. >> routine maintenance is done a lot quicker. also safety aspects, moving away from traditional cameras that you see, provides more coverage for passenger safety gives better images to the prarts and provides real time operation to the operators to make decisions quicker. >> reporter: the control network has also been isolated to help prevent it from being hacked. >> there are only a few terminals that have the ability to log on. they have absolutely zero access to any of these areas. >> reporter: it will be another three year before the $23 billion line opens, and
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there is still plenty to do to make it ready for an expected 200 million passengers a year. >> that's it for us. thanks for watching "faultlines" is up next. i'll see you again in an hour. >> august 25, 2014. michael brown is laid to rest by his family and friends he was 18, and unarmed