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tv   News  Al Jazeera  August 27, 2015 10:00am-10:31am EDT

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as many as 50 refugees found dead inside a truck on a highway in austria. ♪ hello, adrian finighan here in doha. the top stories from al jazeera. the saudi-lead coalition is accused of using cluster bombs in the war in yemen. police arrest people in china for the explosion. conservationsists are
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struggling more than ever before to save over 1500 years of christian heritage in the churches here. ♪ we begin with what has become the worst refugee crisis since world war ii, and the desperate journeys taken by thousands of people trying to cross into europe. up to 50 have been found dead inside of a truck on a highway in austria. it's not clear how the people died or how long the bodies had been there. it comes as europe's asylum system has been branded completely dysfunctional. europe bakken leaders have discussed the crisis in a summit in vienna. barnaby phillips was at that meeting.
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what can you tell us about those deaths in the truck on the austrian highway? the truck was discovered this morning on the a-4 autobaun which is the main load lead going vienna. it had hungarian number plates and it had been abandoned at least since the night before, but we don't know how long it had been there, and they are saying, that the bodies inside were in a state of decomposition, and they don't know when these poor people would have suffocated. as you said it had hungarian number plates and the hungarian police were involved in the search as well. the driver was believed to be a romanian. we don't know how they know that. we don't believe that the driver is under police custody at the moment, but he obviously would
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be a key suspect in any investigation into this tragedy. >> barnaby the u.n. has described asylum system as completely dysfunctional. have there been any developments at that meeting -- at that summit that was held in vienna today? >> well, the european union foreign affairs commissioner said we can't go on like this. we can't carry on meeting and having a minute of silence for the latest refugee crisis which has occurred on europe's borders. be it in anied tarn, off of the greek islands or now on the side of an austrian motorway. what we heard from angela merkel and i thought the autrian hosts was a much greater determination to push for binding quotas for european union countries. according to their size and economic capability they would come to some sort of agreement
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to take in thousands of refugees. now this has proven very contentious in the past. important wealthy countries like denmark, and the u.k. say they want to have nothing to do with it. but angela merkel is quite clear that this is an important moment and a great challenge for the european union. >> translator: there is a need to solve the issue and tackle the issue of migration in the spirit of europe, in the spirit of solidarity. there are more refugees than ever since world war ii. we have managed to live together in peace since world war ii, and we also made the peace process in the bakkens irrevocable and irreversible, but it's up to us now and it's our historical obligation to give shelter to people in need of help and shelter. >> reporter: so on the one hand they are talking about an obligation on the part of european count tries towards
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those who are refugees who are fleeing war in syria, but at the same time, and perhaps this is in part an attempt to take it more palatable, they are talking about stiffening the procedure, so economic migrants can be identified more quickly, and people can be returned to their countries of origin. so there is talk of an e.u.-wide agreed safe countries of origin list. in that would mean, for example, if you were coming from a country like serbia, kosovo, countries which are now at peace, and you applied for political asylum in germany as has been the case for tens of thousands this year, you would be very likely to be rejected very quickly in a manner that would be harmonized across the
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europe union. more than 33,000 people have crossed the aegean sea from turkey in august alone seeking refuge inside the european union. >> reporter: they emerge in the thin light of dawn. new arrivals on the greek island. where do you come from? >> syria. >> reporter: from syria? >> yes. >> reporter: how does it coming over? >> not good. >> why? >> reporter: because the waves. it was quite hard. >> reporter: what are you looking for? >> the nearest police station. >> reporter: and i think you probably have two or three more hours walking ahead of you. where are you from? >> syria. >> reporter: good luck to you. >> thanks.
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peac peace. >> good night. >> it was going up and down during the night, children, women, pregnant. that was the worst part for everyone. >> reporter: we have been on the road for perhaps an hour now traveling towards the most popular landing spot closest to turkey, and as you can see the sun just coming up, we have passed five, six groups, maybe 150 all together. more than a thousand newcomers on this island every day. men, women, and children. the beaches covered in life jackets and the remains of rubber boats. relentless waves of people washing up on the shores of greece. [ shouting ] >> reporter: are you happy to be here in greece? >> yes. >> reporter: do you feel safe now? >> yes. >> reporter: what do you think you will find here on this
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island? >> reporter: real life, or normal life. >> reporter: help? do you think you will find help? >> yeah, maybe. yes. yes. we need help. >> reporter: at a bend in the road waiting for buses, it is as if some natural disaster has occurred. after the relief and joy of landing these shell-shocked places belong to people who thought they left disaster behind. they thought they would find more than this. as the conflict in yemen, human rights watch says that the saudi-lead coalition has killed dozens of people with the illegal use of cluster bombs. at least seven attacks have taken in the northwest of the country that borders saudi arabia. hashem ahelbarra reports. >> reporter: more victims of the war in yemen. ak coring to human rights watch, they were injured by attacks using cluster bombs. they are mostly from a yemeni
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province on the northern border with saudi arabia. >> translator: we were together and the rocket hit us. it exploded in the air and cluster bombs well out of it. before we left the house with the sheep two sub munitions fell down while others fell all over the willage. my cousin and i were wounded. >> reporter: human rights groups met with victims. an explode of cluster bombed littered this area. children especially remain high risk of being maimed or killed by these bombbets. >> translator: three brothers were killed. it hit was while we were sleeping, and we were all wounded including my brothers. i can't walk. my hands were burned and my bones were broken. >> reporter: cluster munitions
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are designed to target a wide area. here many were said to have been injured as they traveled through the region. >> we have found evidence that cluster munition rockets have been used in attacks in at least seven locations in northern yemen. most likely these rockets were launched from saudi arabiian territory. >> reporter: the kingdom of saudi arabia has repeatedly said it will only stop its military campaign when it is confident that the shia houthi rebels no longer pose a threat to its internal security the saad ri army said this ballistic missile was destroyed in the air. fighting has intensified along the kingdom's 1,800 kilometer border with yemen. the houthis backed by troops loyal to the former president saleh, say they will fight for
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as long as it takes. hashem ahelbarra, al jazeera. joining us on the line now is the spokesman of the saudi-lead coalition brigadier general, sir, are you using cluster bombs, cluster munitions in yemen? >> first of all [ inaudible ] audience. unfortunately [ inaudible ] human rights watch published [ inaudible ]. i don't see your report, because i don't see the tv actually. but i had what they talk about it, but i read this morning the report that they published, and [ inaudible ]. my first question that the report had a headline, but when you read the report is there is no relation between what is written and what is in the headlines. >> i'm sorry to interrupt. it's a straight question. is the saudi-lead coalition using cluster munitions in
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yemen. >> you cannot ask me such question, because it is not yes or no. because you are talking about the report -- >> why is it not a yes or no. cluster munitions are illegal under international law. it would be the first time -- >> which kind -- which kind of cluster? do you know? >> reporter: you heard the eyewitness reports -- sir, you heard the eyewitness reports in our report just a few moments ago, with people saying that they saw missiles exploding that there were multiple bomblets within those missiles. are they mistaken. >> this is the question. which kind? give me the number. because in the report he talked about numbers and names. let me [ inaudible ] but we cannot talk generally, cluster bombs are a very large family. you cannot talk generally, but we can talk specifically about
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what human rights watch published in their report. >> okay. so what is your reaction to that? >> yeah, because -- what -- what we comment in that, that most of the -- the report talk about [ inaudible ] maybe we don't have evidence. we good visit some village and they collect their information through the houthis. and they mention in the report that they [ inaudible ] the houthi official and [ inaudible ]. i want to ask you then, to whom are they write. and [ inaudible ] to who? because the report from human rights watch to talk about such a thing. so if you read the report the report is a good story, but it is not a report. >> are you saying, sir, that there's some cluster munitions that are illegal under international law, but there are
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some that aren't? >> yes, there are some countries signed some agreement about kinds -- specific kinds of the cluster bombs, but [ inaudible ] it is not legal. and not all of the countries are in this agreement. >> so while we have got you here, would you mind giving us an update on the operation whereby saudi ground troops entered north yemen and were in control of some areas of the border. what is the latest on that operation? have saudi troops entered northern yemen? >> yeah, let me explain what happened. for technical necessity, we have some movement inside [ inaudible ] to control [ inaudible ] which used to fire against [ inaudible ]. and you know that yesterday they fired a scud missile from there, so we get in to clean and to
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clear this area what we can confirm that saudi arabia doesn't have any ambition in the yemeni territory, but the [ inaudible ] until we get in and the [ inaudible ] get out once the operation has finished. >> sir, many thanks indeed for your time. thank you for being with us. >> you are welcome. >> that's the head of the saudi-lead coalition. the u.n. security council is getting a briefing from its humanitarian chief on the situation in syria. it's happening right now in new york. let's listen in for a few moments. >> -- for myself. i left the country deeply saddened and outraged. the -- needless and immense suffering of the syrians. i am angry, because we as a international community are not aloud and are not able to do more to protect syrians who more than ever need our unfaltering
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support. madam president, i come away determined not to give up, not to be exasperated by the relentless repetitiveness of the need that we face, and explore every avenue to do everything possible to provide protection to the people in need. i urge the council members to do everything in their power to thinged crisis. humanitarian action cannot be a substitute for political action. the council must exert leadership to push for a political solution. thank you. >> i thank mr. [ inaudible ] for his briefing, and i now give the floor to the representative of the syrian arab republic. >> all right. that was the very tail end of a statement being made to the u.n. security council by the u.n. humanitarian chief steven o'brien on the situation in
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syria. this is the reaction very briefly from syria's ambassador to the united nations. let's listen in again. he is not speaking in english, and we don't have translation of that we'll bring you anything news worthy here on al jazeera, and hopefully we'll be speaking to our correspondent at the u.n. in fact we can speak to him now. gabe is live with us from new york. we heard a fairly moving speech there from steven o'brien a few moments ago. what is the point of all of this? is this going to lead to some security council resolution, perhaps? >> it won't today for sure. what this is, is it's a monthly briefing held by the top humanitarian official for the u.n. the situation is so grave in syria that they -- he or someone
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of his colleagued breached the security council at least once a month. and he just gave a very, very stark and grim picture of the humanitarian situation in syria. mr. o'brien just visited a syria a little over a week ago, and he was there during air strikes in the country in a marketplace outside of duma that killed hundreds. he mentioned that in his brief to the united nations security council moments ago, and he also said, quote, we are all living on borrowed time, end quote. and that was really his way of setting the stage for what was really a report that painted a very dark picture of the situation there. let me update you on the numbers that o'brien gave to the security council. one million injured in syria, 7.6 million have been displaced and one million just this year alone have been forced to leave their homes. four million refugees have fleed across borders now.
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he also pointed out the increasing difficulty of u.n. humanitarian officials to be able to reach people that need help the most in syria. he said there are 4.6 million syrians living in hard to reach or besieged areas of the country, and the u.n. has been only able to reach less than 15% of those people because of the ongoing conflict in the country. so it's a very difficult situation over there and his briefing came at time that just last week the u.n. security council endorsed a new plan by u.n. official envoy to syria, bringing together working groups, trying to bring all of the sides to the negotiation table once again, but clearly on the humanitarian front situation has gone from really bad to worse, and a very grim, grim situation and a very grim outlook that o'brien painted for the country. >> gabe, many thanks.
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the u.n. special envoy to libya says he is confident a peace deal could be reached by the middle of next month. the security council discussed talks between the two rifle parliaments, and a new round of discussions to form a unity government is due to begin in morocco on thursday. envoy said an agreement must happen to deal with the humanitarian crisis that is severely affecting nearly two million people. >> at the national level, the scale of human suffering is staggering for a country with large oil reserves and strong economic potential. according to different united nations agencies an estimated 1.9 million people require urgent humanitarian assistance to meet their basic healthcare needs. isil fighters say they have killed two iraqi field commanders and five of their
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bodyguards in iraq's largest province, anbar. meanwhile the prime minister has called for a decisive battle to retake iraq's largest oil refinery in the northern city of beiji. >> reporter: iraq's shia militias prepare for an assault on beiji city. this is the image they want you to see, that they are confident and ready to defeat isil. the prime minister says that this battle will decide the future of the islamic state fighters in iraq. he met with senior officers on the outskirts of the city on tuesday. >> translator: now we will plan to secure the whole situation as the enemy has tried to find a break from the pressure it has been under in ramadi. the enemy has been besieged there, that's why they are trying to open another front in beiji to jeopardize our mission.
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>> reporter: but the country has been here before. the oil refinery and the town just kilometers away from each other, have changed hands several times, but neither the iraqi security forces or the islamic state have ever been in full control. the oil refinery is a major source of income for the islamic state, but retaking it and holding it will be a big victory for iraq, a victory it badly needs. in anbar people still try to flee the violence but are held up at the last bridge crossing. the government won't let the cross because they don't have the relevant paperwork. isil have killed senior military commanders in an attack that is seen as a serious blow to iraqi security forces who are losing experienced commanders and a sign that isil is far from dpeeted. police in china have
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arrested 12 people over massive explosions two weeks ago. 139 died there, when a warehouse exploded. 11 government officials are also being prosecuted for negligence. more now from adrian brown in beijing. >> reporter: in a sense those that you would expect to be arrested have now been arrested. they include the chairman, vice chairman as well as three deputy managers of the warehouse where the dangerous chemicals were stored and the explosioned happened. on wednesday it was announced that the man who headed the work safety regulator has himself been sacked. he is a former major of this city. you sense that this investigation is going to be perhaps be more open than previous similar inquiries. many the past they tended to be very opaque. but this time the authorities are being much more open with
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the information they are releasing, but we still don't know the answer to several key questions. one, why is it that so many dangerous chemicals were stored less than 800 meters away from where people were living. chinese law states that such chemicals have to be stored at least a thousand meters away. 139 people have so far been confirmed dead. 34 are missing. most of the dead and injured firemen. other questions, were these firemen adequately trained to deal with a chemical disaster on this scale? and why is it so many firemen died? the government has promised a thorough investigation and as also promised to tighten the regular lace governing the storage of such chemicals. inden nows activists in australia are claiming a victory for affordable housing. andrew thomas reports. >> reporter: the standingoff
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here has been chiefly about timing. the company that wants to develop this site said they would build affordable housing only once they finished shops, offices, and student ak a couple a decision. but indigenous people who have lived here for years said that wasn't commitment enough. they feared that meant housing for them could be a decade or more away, perhaps never and they wouldn't leave. court cases have gone against the protesters, and it looked as though they could be forcibly evicted. now the government has stepped in, and committed $4 million to stop the building of affordable housing at the same time as the commercial buildings. the pressure is now on them to agree meaning a peaceful end to this protest is likely. this camp has been manned continuously for 14 months. the organizer told me she was proud. >> extremely proud. i mean i'm -- these are the people that give me hope for the
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future of the country. the black and white community, they can see what the truth is, and are prepared to show their support, physically, morally, you know, and be on hand. >> reporter: before they start dismantling the camp, the protesters are waiting for formal world that they will build affordable housing at the same time. but people here are a lot more optimistic thank were. ukraine has reached a deal with international creditors to restructure its debt. private bond holders agreed to cut the debt they are owed by 20% to just under $16 billion. ukraine will be four more years to repay the money, but russia, which is owed $3 billion says it won't take part in the restructuring plan. the international monetary fund and the united nations urged creditors to accept losses so ukraine can rely less on russia. the ancient churches in
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northern ethiopia have been places of pilgrimage for hundreds of years, but conservationists are struggling to preserve what many call africa's jerusalem. charles stratford reports. >> reporter: it's the spiritual home for millions of ethiopian orthodox christians around the world. ♪ >> reporter: the 11 churches were carved out of the mountainside. they represent holy sights. the king built them so christians didn't have to risk the dangerous pilgrimage to the holy land. the frescos indicate from the 15th century. now these churches are of immense archaeological and
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historical importance, but places of pilgrimage for ethiopian christians around the world are literally crumbling away. in this church they inject grout into deep cracks in a pillar. >> in terms of seismic activity, a slight earthquake would destroy the place. when you are dealing with natur natural material, there is very little you can do. you know, you can't line it with concrete and steal bars. you'll destroy the monument. lose the historic surface, and you are simply back into rotted geology, and that process isn't far off on the outside. >> reporter: he shows us what he means. >> and if we start losing material like this right through here, i mean, the only future
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for that, without some sort of intervention is this. the idea of the bandage is to hold it in -- in place, until we can get there to -- to repair it. because every time it rains a little bit more falls off, and if we want to do this, it would be a catastrophe. >> translator: i'm lucky, because i come from this area. this heritage is a very big thing for us. >> reporter: a number of churches have been covered by temporary shelters to protect them from the rain while work is done. on the hill top close by, people prayer. ♪ >> translator: the king didn't just build the churches as a human being. he built them with the help of god. >> reporter: he was included on the first-ever unesco word heritage site in 1978,
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preserving this extraordinary place for ethiopians of every generation is a challenge they pray they can meet. there's much more real news from al jazeera along with analysis, and comment on our website at ♪ prayer and remembrances today for two journalists murdered on live television. i didn't have sex with her. >> taking the stand in his own defense in the new hampshire prep school rape case. and the