tv News Al Jazeera March 17, 2016 10:00am-10:31am EDT
united nations says it is still unable to deliver aid to six regions in syria where people are starving. ♪ hello there, you are watching al jazeera live from our headquarters here in doha. also in this program -- >> daesh is responsible for genocide against groups in areas under its control, including asighdyes, christians and shiite muslims. >> the u.s. secretary of state john kerry says isil is responsible for crimes against
humanity. the south african president is shouted down in parliament while answering questions about his links to a local powerful family. ♪ and closing the gap campaign. australia's efforts to improve the lyes and health of its indigenous people. muse ♪ our top story. the u.n.'s humanitarian advisor says they are still unable to deliver aid to six regions in syria where people are starving. >> it turns out that it was more tick nickly difficult than we had thought. this has been from a great height since it is the i.s. that
is controlling the ground. they may have surface to air missiles. so it has to be at great height, great speed, and the parachutes have to sustain this enormous jolt of the palettes leaving. >> our diplomatic editor james bayes tracking all of the developments for us as ever. james your reading of those comments? >> reporter: well, it's certainly the first time that any official working for the u.n. has talked about isil having surface to air missiles. we know that they have great difficulty trying to do that air drop which they tried once in deir ez-zor which is a large community surrounded by isil. you can't get convoys in, because you would have to go through isil-controlled territory. but the idea that that is because isil have surface to air missiles is something new if it is correct.
we pressed him on it at that news briefing, and he said i'm not a military man, but i have been warned of the possibility of a plane being brought down. i have since spoken to one western defense official who tells me they don't believe that isil has what most armies have what they call surface to air missiles. but they have ground missiles, and there is the possibility that you could take down a plane that was overhead, and that i think, from the information i'm getting is why those humanitarian flights are being told to fly so high, and why it is therefore so difficult to drop aid. it's not just that aid to deir ez-zor that is causing the problems. there are six areas besieged by the government that have had no aid at all. he said that they have asked the go to get permission for those areas, they are not being given
any reason why they are not getting that permission, which includes one city where he says the situation is very, very bad. and more pressure on the government coming from other comments, he said that, yes, even more aid is going in as we speak to four towns, two of the besieged by the opposition, two besieged by the government, but he says the government is stripping from those trucks of aid all of the medical supplies, surgical kits, vaccinations, nutritional items. they are all being stripped by the government from those convoys, and he said that was very unfortunate and he wants the syrian government to reconsider. >> we have had these very, very strong comments from the u.s. secretary of state john kerry talking about how the stakes are existential. how do we blend that into what is going on in geneva? >> reporter: well, i think the idea -- the big idea, the
big-picture idea from the russians and the u.s. is they have got to try to deal with the problems of syria which are spreading well beyond syria's borders. those are clearly isil which is a threat to other parts of the middle east and exists in other parts of the id l east, for example in libya, and may well be involved in planning attacks in other parts of the world, particularly in europe, and the other way that the crisis in syria is spreading to europe is that mass migration, all of the refugees spreading through turkey and then on to europe. i think the big idea is try to solve the fundamental problem in damascus, solve the political problem, and the new syrian government that represents elements of the current government and elements of the opposition, and then you stop the war, and then you can deal with those problems that are going well beyond syria east
territorial borders. the new syrian government if you get there, and we're a long way off, could be help by the international community to fight isil and the refugees could start to return. that's the event yule plan. >> did you detect a slight shift in the tone from this kerry, and if there is a shift in tone, has that come about because of what the russians announced 36 hours ago, because they are now pulling their planes out of syria? >> yes, i mean speaking to a number of different western diplomats about the russian pullout, they think it is good news because it has changed the atmosphere here on the ground in geneva, and certainly it has made the opposition feel more buoyant about this process. there is no imnext threat of the opposition walking out, which might have been the case if we go back to the beginning of the week when they first rived in
geneva. but western diplomats remain somewhat skeptical about russia's claims. they haven't yet completely pulled out, and i'm told the numbers of troops that have left so far could be part of a normal troop rotation, rotating some in, and perhaps brings some back. and that chimes with the comments coming from president putin, who said he could be back in syria at very short notice. >> was it significant that he didn't talk about the ypg militia? because the ypg has always caused friction between washington and ankara. and what the kurds have announced that surely just exacerbates that particular relationship. >> that is one part of this very, very complex jigsaw that is syria, that i think the
agreement between the russians and the u.s. for now, the russians very much wanted the pyd to be here at these talks in geneva for now they have agreed to put to the side, and i think they are not particularly pleased by what the pyd have done in this declaration of a federal state in northern syria. i don't think they are surprised otherwise. and i think the plan certainly from the russians and the u.s., and from the u.n. at this stage, is to put that issue to one side, try to get something going in terms of talks of a political transition and bring the pyd in at later stage. >> james thanks very much. let's get more on that point. they declared a federal region. they have confirmed it in the last couple of hours. they are talking specifically
about areas they control in northern syria, they includes several cities. an official with the democratic union party, or pyd said the declaration was made after a meeting. that meeting involved 200 delegates representing kurds, turkmen, arabs and other groups. the announcement was immediately rejected by the syrian government and the main opposition. an official in the foreign affairs director rate of kobani, one of three autonomous areas set up two years ago. he said they will set up what shape they want this autonomous region to take. >> according to [ inaudible ] from the meeting that are going to the second day, the people there agreed on the [ inaudible ] in syria, and now they are discussing about
the -- making the final statement -- the final results of the discussions, the final statement. [ inaudible ] this final statement in the coming hours. another development in the syrian story that we were discussing. the u.s. secretary of state mr. kerry saying isil is committing genocide in iraq and syria. >> daesh is responsible for genocide to groups in areas under its control. it is genocidal by self proclamation ideology and actions in what it says, what it believes, and what it does. daesh is also responsible for crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing directed at these same groups and in some cases also against sunni muslims, kurds, and other
minorities. i say this even though the ongoing conflict and lack of access to key areas has made it impossible to develop a fully detailed and comprehensive picture of all that daesh is doing. >> reporter: well the russian president, vladimir putin says his countries forces can be built up again in syria within hours if needed, and will continue striking what he calls terrorists groups. he spoke of a ceremony to welcome home soldiers returning from service. on monday he ordered most of his war planes to return to russia. putin emfrom -- emphasized that enough forces will stay behind to protect their air bases. >> reporter: for the past three days pictures of soldiers and jet fighters returning to russia were shown on national television. mr. putin did say that at this
specific moment while the mission was accomplished and the rest was really an intersyrian affair, and russia would not interfere with that. he did say among the accomplishments, was quote, the reduction of terrorist control on the ground. however, this is not a full withdrawal. it is just a pullout, and there is a significant number, even though undisclosed number of soldiers and military hardware that is staying in russia. among it, specifically as understood lined by president putin is advance defense system, and he said that that was to protect the russian soldiers in syria, but also to respond to any threat, and he underlined the word any threat. russia will continue to provide support to the syrian army in the form of reckonance or
intelligence, and he stressed if there is a reverse impact of this pullout then russian troops and hardware could return in a matter of hours to syria, and deal with any escalation on the ground. >> the south african president was shouted down by opposition mp's as he tried to dismiss suggestions that anyone other than himself appoint cabinet members. jacob zuma was responding to questions about his relationship with a wealthy family accused of influencing key issues. >> i am in charge of the government -- i appoint, in terms of the constitution. there is no minister who is here who has ever appointed by the [ inaudible ] or by anybody else. [ shouting ]
>> ministers here were appointed by me. >> let's take you live to our correspondent who joins us from our bureau in johannesberg. he has been involved in scandaling before, of course. does this one feel different? >> reporter: this one could certainly be different and that is concern around the african national congress is in support of the president. so far in those other scandals, the anc has been in support of the president, they stood by him despite criticism. this time around the anc says it is deeply concerned about these allegations that this prominent and wealthy, powerful family has had a role to play in the appointment of ministers. the african national congress -- it's top leadership body, the national executive committee is expected to meet
over the weekend and as the secretary general of the anc said, they will discuss the issue around president jacob zuma and his relationship with the family. however, the anc has also said this won't be a lynch mob, and they want to restore confidence in the ruling party as well as the state, and they are open to hearing what the president has to say about this relationship. however, they have been critical of the family, its relationship with jacob zuma, so it remains to be seen what top leadership has to say in the coming days, and what it means for president jacob zuma's sfuture. >> he has always managed to keep the gap between himself and the government pretty small. is that gap now getting larger? >> reporter: that is what is interesting at this point.
president zuma is from his home province and has large support there. whereas in urban centers where you have higher education levels and particularly coming from the middle class, there is increasing criticism around the president and also the anc is of course concerned about its popularity. they still have the majority in parliament. they won the previous election, but we do have local elections coming up later this year, and the anc is worried about if it's able to maintain that majority to the extent that it has since the dawn of democracy here in south africa, and purely because of jacob zuma's conduct in his time as president. >> thank you very much. still to come for you here on al jazeera, european leaders arrive in brussels to discuss the ongoing refugee crisis. we report from a camp on the greek macedonia border.
we're giving you a deeper dive into the stories that are making our world what it is. ♪ welcome back. you are watching al jazeera. top stories. a u.n. humanitarian official says that aid can't be easily air drops to six different syrian cities due to the possibility of isil firing surface to air missiles. the group is also not allowing trucks carrying supplies into certain besieged areas. the u.s. secretary of state john kerry says isil is committing genocide against christians and other minorities in iraq and syria.
[ shouting ] >> south africa's president was shouted down by opposition mp's as he tried to dismiss suggestions that anybody other than himself appoint cabinet ministers. jacob zuma responded to questions about his relationship with a wealthy family accused of influencing the government. the lower house of congress has decided to begin impeachment proceedings against dilma rousseff. she has been speaking at the swearing-in proceedings to lula da silva to her staff. the allegations are she made that appointment to keep him from being prosecuted. he faces various charges, the central acquisition that he hid his ownership of a luxurious
beach side apartment in rio. we'll get more on that as soon as we can. the turkish prime minister has asked parliament to lift some sanctions. if the vote takes place next week as scheduled, it could lead to the expulsion of mp's from the pro-kurdish hdp. some mpshg's from the hdp are said to have taken part in the funeral of the suicide bomber behind the ankara attack in february. the move could further inflame tensions in the mainly kurdish southeast of the country. the kurdish armed group which has been fighting the turkish state for decades.
the turkish prime minister had this to say. >> translator: let's lift immunities together. our call today without distinction between any parties now there are 506 outstanding dose says waiting in the parliament. we are working to establish public safety. the tak have claimed responsibility for a car bombing in turkey on sunday. the explosion killed 37 people as we have been reporting this hour. the turkish prime minister placed flowers at the site of the blast. the tak said the attack was in realation for a security crack down. the tak is a splinter group of the pkk. meanwhile germany shutting down
its console late in turkey over security concerns. the e.u. summit is set to begin within the hour. they will focus on the refugee crisis, as thousands are still arriving on the shores of greece. turkey has agreed to take back the refugees that leave, in exchange for political stipulations. the e.u. president has said he is quote more cautious than optimistic about reaching a deal with turkey during that meeting. the flow of refugees has caused a backlash with human rights groups. the most controversial proposal of the deal is to send new refugees arriving in greece back to turkey. for each migrant who returns, one syrian asylum seeker in turkey will be resettled in the e.u.? turn turkey has asked for the e.u. to double the amount of aid
to refugees in the country to $6.8 billion. turkey wants citizens to be brought in sooner than scheduled, but any deal made made won't make difference to those already stranded in greece. people jumped up on to aid trucks grappling with each other trying to get to the newly arrived supplies. earlier chinese activist spoke with our reporter. he said the situation is only getting worse. >> it has now become like fields of garbages or waste. human waste. you know, this has become a testimony of how those people are not being treated as human, and their conditions below the human condition. >> reporter: now people here -- some of them are hopeful, some of them are not so
hopeful about the meeting taking place in brussels today. what do you think will be the outcome? >> they also are waiting for it, but most of them are not hopeful. they know what is going to come out, and i -- i really will be very skeptical about this meeting. and of course they are trying -- to dealing with the situation, but i don't think the -- the outcome will be meaningful. it doesn't provide refugee any clear vision of what will be next. and there is no clear plan so people are planniced. they are afraid of being put in some kind of detention center. they are coming here because of the wall, and they are pushing them here. they have a clear mission to come to europe, seeking opportunity for their children.
moving on. australians on average have a longer life span than almost anyone else in the world. but that's not the case for indigenous people who live at least ten years less than other australians. andrew thomas reports. >> reporter: across australia, close the gap represents like this are intended to draw attention to lacking health and education standards for indigenous australians. they are also about keeping pressure on the go to meet targets to address them. >> things in this some cases are getting worse than they are getting better. so we need to be individu individual -- vigilant and we need to be not complacent. >> reporter: initiatives like this one, mid-wives understanding how norms differ, have helped to keep one target on track.
a decade ago aboriginal infants were almost twice as likely to die. >> they can relate to you in ever since. you get to know your mid-wives right from the beginning. and they know a whole lot about your history. >> sometimes a hospital setting can be a little bit off putting for a woman who hasn't been in the system before. so we have clinics in the community. we do home visits. we offer transport if women didn't get there. >> reporter: of seven closing the gap targets only two are on track to be achieved. on average aboriginal people die ten years earlier than others, they are more likely to be unemployed, and school at -- attendance levels lack significantly. they would like another set of
targets introduced around incarceration. the prison rates between aboriginals and everyone else. an 18-year-old aboriginal man is more like ly to go to prison. campaigners say alongside health and education, justice disparity should be a focus too. their aim is for parity with non-indigenous australians to be across the board. andrew thomas, al jazeera, sydney. china has opposed new economic sanctions against north korea after the u.s. president imposed new curves on the country. the executive order is in response to the hydrogen bomb test in january. the u.s. says it will continue to put pressure on pyongyang until it meets its international obligations. one person has died and 35
were injured in a building collapse in the southwest of china. doctors at a hospital say the injured were hit by falling debris. denmark has overtaken switzerland as the world's happiest place to live, according to a new u.n. survey. the forth world happiness report, found iceland norway and finland were also in the top five. syria and other sub saharan countries were in the bottom with burundi ranked last. just to get you up to speed on what is happening in syria. john kerry the u.s. secretary of state talking about how -- this is an accepted fact as far as the u.s. government is
concerned, isil have been perpetrating genocide and crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing during the almost exactly five years of conflict in syria. we have also heard from the u.n. humanitarian chief talking in geneva he was saying it is impossible to get aid to the six besieged areas that need it. ♪ the supreme court show down. president obama's pick for the high court heads to capitol hill trying to win over senate republicans, but they vow there will be no confirmation hearing. heated exchanges over the flint water skies are. daesh is genocidal by self
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