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tv   Weekend News  Al Jazeera  March 20, 2016 3:00pm-3:31pm EDT

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al jazeera america. turkey identifies the istanbul suicide bomber as a suspected isil member and detains five other people. ♪ ♪ held on there, i am barbara serra and you are watching al jazeera live from london. on the program, no let up. desperate refugees continue to break the dangerous crossing from turkey to greece despite new e.u. rules to sends them back. the american military deploys u.s. marines on the ground in iraq to help coalition forces fight isil. and an event not seen in nearly a century, as cuba
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prepares to welcome a current u.s. president. we explore the tumultuous relations between the two nations. ♪ turkey's interior minister said the suicide attacker responsible for saturday' blast was a member of aisles. for other people were killed and dozens wounded when the bomber detonated his device on a crowded street. omar al saleh has the latest from istanbul. >> reporter: a somber mood hangs over the street. this is the heart of istanbul's commercial lifeline. a place where locals and tourists hang out. after a suicide bombing on saturday the avenue is overshadowed by fear. people here hold a vigil for the victims. >> translator: we came here right after the incidents and left red carnations to share our pain. >> reporter: security camera footage captured the moment the
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blast went off around noon. witnesses say hundreds of people ran for cover when a loud explosion was heard. a day later the security forces are still searching for clues. the forensic police are still trying to collect more evidence from the explosion site here behind me and also there are some signs and banners that reflect a sense of defiance. one of the banners reads that we stand united. the other banner says we won't give in to terrorism. but the general sense among people here is one of worry and concern. this woman says anyone could be a suspect. >> translator: istanbul has millions of people living here and many more visit from abroad. now anything can happen and everyone could be a suspect. >> reporter: media reports say dna tests are being done to investigate a possible suspect
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linked to isil. >> translator: teaterror once an showed its ugly and heinous face targeting civilians. we will continue full force in and out of the country, we should act together in our fight against terrorism without buts. >> reporter: there have been a string of bomb attacks in turkey over the past month. just last week a blast in ankara killed 37 people. kurdish separatists linked to the armed group p.k.k. claimed responsibility. the government insists the country is safe. it will have to convince not only its citizens but the millions of tourists who contribute to its economy. >> omar al saleh sent us this update from istanbul. >> reporter: according to the minister of interior, the 24-year-old turkish national was the suicide bomber of saturday's explosion on the street here in istanbul. now, what we know so far is that
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on saturday also authorities arrested a father -- his father, the suspect's father and a brother and took dna samples and the authorities carried out test this is morning and this is when they confirmed the identity of that suicide bomber. the minister also said that he is affiliate today isil. the islamic state of iraq and the levant. now, this is very interesting because in the past few months turkey has been rocked by a number of suicide bombings as well as explosions not only by isil but also by other groups, including the kurdistan worker's party, the p.k.k. and another communist extreme group. now, there is a huge sense of fear and uncertainty, turkey is embracing itself perhaps for more violence to come. well, a football match between two of turkey's biggest teams has been postponed just two hours before kickoff because
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of security fears. the istanbul derby between the two teams had been scheduled for sunday evening. the office of istanbul's government says serious intelligence was obtai obtainedt a potential threat. ♪ greece has begun the process of sending refugees on the island of lesbos back to turkey. it's part of a deal struck between the european union and turkey. and even as the operation begins to remove some people, more refugees are actually arriving. zeina khodr report now from the islands of lesbos. >> reporter: this was supposed to have stopped. but the boats keep coming in. europe's refugee crisis is far from over. the latest arrivals are refugees from syria. many of them from the war-torn city of aleppo. they are still making the dangerous journey across the aegean sea to reach the greek
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islands. the european union was hoping that a yes rent agreement with turkey would discourage asylum seekers. but people who managed to reach europe' shores are still hopeful they won't be turned back. >> translator: i don't think they will reject us because we are coming from a destroyed city. we are asking for asylum on humanitarian grounds not only is there war in our country but the situation in turkey is bad for us. >> reporter: these people want to mack their way to mainland europe. some in search of a better life. others to be reunited with their family members who made the journey before them. >> translator: the situation is very bad in aleppo. we endured four years of war, bombardment and rocket attacks, i don't want to be sent back to turkey because my that they are and two sisters are in germany and i miss them. >> reporter: but tighter restricts impose by some european countries and the closure of the balance tan route means these people will be stuck here. greece is no longer a transit
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country and there are new rules in place. according to the new agreement between the european union and turkey, these new arrivals could be sent back to turkey. they will be given the chance to apply for asylum but there are no guarantees it will be accepted. human rights groups have criticized the deal that would also involved the e.u. resettling more than 70,000 refugees from turkey. they fear that the majority of those who do arrive in europe qualify as refugees and require protection. >> it's 10 or 11-kilometers from greece to turkey, so they say this port now, they told me we six hours inside the water, we lost, okay, and the smuggle ergo back to turkey, so i don't think they will be agreed to back to tub i. >> reporter: this six-year-old and her brother are not aware of the rules and restrictions all they know is that they managed
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to escape war and are hopeful their lives will become better. >> reporter: she tells us that she was scared crossing the sea. but she also knows why her family had to do it. the situation in a help a owe is very bad because of the bombardment she says. the agreement to send back new arrivals on the islands entered in to force on sunday. the e.u. has promised greece assistance to deal wall asylum case buzz that may not be the hard part. these people say they won't accept any move to take a step back. zeina khodr, al jazeera, lesbos, greece. two refugees have died while trying to reach the greek island of lesbos, they were found dead on an overcrowded rubber boat that arrived from turkey. medics performed cpr on. two men but failed to revive them. a police official says 12 boats had already arrived near the island's airport by early sunday morning.
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to iraq now where the american military has deployed u.s. marines on the ground to help coalition forces fight isil. christine saloomey has more now on this from watch watch. d.c. >> reporter: we know that the united states is sending a detachment from the 26th marine expeditionary unit. this goes a joint ground-air combat unit. and they will be supporting the operation inherent resolve and the international coalition's ground operations in iraq. now, we don't know how many marines this detachment will consist of, a full unit would be 2200. and it's quite possible these troops are simply replacing others on the ground. but the fact that they are an air-ground combat unit certainly raises some questions. we know that the forces, the coalition forces have been talking about helping iraq to retake mosul from isil forces. this would be an iraq-led
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venture. the united states and the coalition's involvement so far there has primarily been in air support, air campaign against isil. we also know that the united states lost its second service member in iraq on friday. so is this announcement somehow in response to that, sending a signal of more troops on the ground? up to this point the united states has been very quiet about the numbers of troops that it has in iraq and what their role is, saying primarily that it is support, training and advisory, but they do have just under 4,000 troops there now and it's not clear, as i said, if this will increase those numbers or not. well, the iraqi army trying to retake the city of heet which is northwest of baghdad. heet was lost to isil nearly 18 months ago in what was considered one of the most vicious massacres since the group's expansion, but as iraqi security forces have partnered with sunni tribal forces they have been able to push back isil
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fighters in anbar province. isil fighters killed more than 200 sunni tribesmen execution style on the day that they took heet. military sources say there are at least 24 iraqi soldiers killed by isil in two separate attacks. brazil's leader dilma rousseff has filed a criminal compliant against the senator who says the president used em businessalled money to fund her campaign. it comes as the country remains deeply divided over a corruption scandal involving rue seven's ally and former president luis dasilva. silva face as rest after a supreme court judge blocked his nomination for a cabinet post, which would have granted him immunity. al jazeera's gabriel elizondo join joins us now frome capital brasilia. first of all, tell us more about the impeachment process, what is likely to happen? >> reporter: yeah, the impeachment process against dilma rousseff is moving forward
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and it's actually being accelerated. what we know is it's going to be starting on tuesday in the national congress building that you can see behind me. this goes what we know, it will be by a certainly impeachment commission of a little over 50 lawmakers from various different political parties that will be holding their first of what could be as few as 15 sessions analyzing the impeachment questions against dilma rousseff, it will be start we are told on tuesday in the building behind me. they could reach a decision as early as three weeks from now, early april. once they decide yes or no, if the impeachment process should go forward or not, if they say yes, it goes to a full vote of the congress and then after that, a vote of the senate that will ultimately make the final call. but it's moving ahead very fast and we will expect to hear from dilma rousseff or some of her
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lawyers or top aids, she will have a chance to defend herself, but the political crisis is certainly going to heat up and even become more complicated this coming week as the hearings begin. >> gabe, what's been the reaction of ordinary people to all of this? i mean, obviously huge disillusionment with the whole political structure. >> reporter: there really is. i mean, brazilians on all sides of this are really disillusioned in a lot of ways, frustrated. and not happy with the way things are going. we saw big anti-government protests last week, historic numbers, hundreds of thousands of people calling for dilma rousseff to be impeached. and then we also on just friday night saw pro-government protests here in brasilia. 95,000 pro-government supporters in sao paulo. her supporters are out on the streets as well but a new poll just came out today by data folio which is a very respected polling firm here in brazil. that poll was not good news for
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dilma rousseff. it showed that 66% of brazilians polled approve of the impeachment process against her. 65% think they should step down. so that's just going to give more momentum to the opposition who want to see her out of offers. >> gabriel elizondo with the latest from brazil. gabe, thank you. still adhere on al jazeera, we visit congo which is headed to the polls on sunday. and examine why elections there are so important. meanwhile, senegal is holding a referendum on reducing presidential terms and we'll heel teel yotell you why the prs coming under five even though he supports a yes vote.
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investigative series.
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♪ ♪ reminder of the top stories on al jazeera. turkey's interior minister says a turkish isil fighter was behind saturday's bombing in istanbul. five others have been arrested and the government has canceled kurdish celebrations as a security measure. refugees are continuing to arrive in greece, despite a new rule that would send many of them back to turkey. and the u.s. military has deployed marines on the ground to help coalition forces fight isil in iraq. syrian government forces say that they have retaken control of javale mountain near a town in homs it had rifle been held by isil. in eastern homs, however, isil cissed five checkpoints near an oilal field. the armed group has also taken an industrial town in northern
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aleppo. hundreds of people have died in fighting in the yemeni city of taiz. houthi rebels and their allies are battling to take control of the city from government forces who occupied the south and east. many hospitals in the area are struggling as the number of casualties continue to rise. people are senegal are vote to go scale back presidential powers. the president is supporting a yes vote but critic goes say his support is half hearted at best. we have a report from the capital. >> reporter: a political campaign like no other. led by the president. calling to people to vote yes to a series of constitutional changes. yes to less power in the hands of the president. yes for more power for the national assembly, local government and opposition. >> these changes will give more power to democracy, more power
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to the people. thanks for the president's leadership. >> reporter: a yes vote in the referendum will reduce the president's term in office from seven to five years. never has an african head of state introduced such measures. >> translator: we need to modern modernize our institutions, our democracy to reflex the needs of our people and this can only be done with their support. >> reporter: this referendum feels and sounds like a presidential campaign. but beyond the yes or no vote it's a test of the popularity of the president and the trust that people have in his policy. back in 2012, he won the presidency because he oppose the incumbent president who is trying to extend his stay in power. he promised to leave office after five years making him popular among younger voters. but some of them have turned against him. they, as well as the political opposition, are calling for a no
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vote. saying that the reforms are too little too late. >> translator: he has disappointed us because he hasn't pushed for all of the reforms he had promised us during his election. we have given him the opportunity to make radical changes that would benefit the senegalese people went more than what he is offering. >> reporter: more than 3,000 extra police officers have been deployed to insure the referendum runs smoothly. yes campaign say they are confident of victory. for them, this election is history in the making. not just for senegal, but for the african continent. >> nicolas is still live with us in dakar, what's the latest on it, nicolas? >> reporter: well, the county has started since 1800 local time. and we are starting to get some information on which -- in terms
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of the ballot station, which ballot station is leaning towards a yes or leaning towards a no. we are here at a voting station here they voted for the yes and there were scenes of jubilation that the yes vote came through. around the corner there was another voting station and they voted for the no. remember, this is a historic vote. this is the first time a president in africa is calling for a referendum to reduce his term in office. he came in to power in 2012. and one of the reasons he got elected is because he promised that he would reduce his time in office. he was running against an incumbent president who was trying to linger to stay as president as long as he can. now, of course there are some people here who have voted no. they say that this referendum is useless, they don't understand it. it's not just about reducing the presidential term. there are 15 other clauses and they don't know whether they should vote yes or no and they don't know which clause they should be voting for. and there is a bit of confusion
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there, and that explains perhaps the low turn out that we found out midday through the election that only 10 to 15% have come out to vote. we were expecting 5 million people to vote here in dakar, senegal. barbara. >> and, i mean, you have hinted at it before and also in your report you mentioned this could be a huge result not just for senegal but for africa itself. so what do you think the outcome could mean for the country and its neighbors? >> reporter: it's an important vote not for just senegal but others in the region. five countries are voting today. niger and others and congo as well. and many of the african leaders have tried to stay on, to cling onto power. we know that other countries are thinking of doing the exact sale thing as senegal for instance, in burkina faso, a neighboring country, they are also thinking about trying to change their constitution, but here in senegal, people are always a bit wary when heads of states try to
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tweak around the sacred text which is the constitution. there is a longstanding democracy here. and people really believe in the institutions of democracy here. but senegal has always led the way in terms of reformat least in west africa and french-speaking west africa. >> nicolas haque with the latest from dakar, thank you, niklas. people are also voting in a presidential election in the republic of congo despite a government-imposed communications blackout. long-time leader is looking to extends his rule over the african -- central african oil producer. but opposition parties say they won't accept the result if he wins. we have more now. 67 sunday's election in the republic of congo began with a few problems. some of these people can't find their names on the voter's roll. the police try to calm them do
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down. eventually voting starts and it seems people in the capital are determined to have their say. there are other problems, he says his name appears twice on the voter's roll with different dates of birth but the same address. >> translator: the names of the dead people are on the voter's roll. my name appears twice on the list. what are going on? >> reporter: the president held a referendum last year to change the constitution so he could stay? in power, he has led the oil-rich nation for 31 of the past 36 years. >> translator: i think the process is going well. throughout the country there are no reports of problems. everyone is voting freely. the process is democratic. it will move the country forward. >> reporter: the government has ordered all mobile phones blocked to cut communications on sunday and monday, people across the country can't access the internet, make phone calls or sends smss, they are also not
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allowed to drive and have to walk to polling stations. the opposition is worried about electoral fraud. >> the population is very [ inaudible ] here and they know very well the functioning of the policies in our country. i think that naturally they are not going to accept the result which is not correct. >> reporter: on the whole, voting was relatively peaceful. the african union sent observers but the european union refused saying this election is not transparent. this is an opposition strong hold and people are lining up to vote. opposition leaders say they want this election to go in to a second round. and they say if that happens they could unite behind one candidate. the electoral commission says it will announce results in a few days. opposition leaders say if the president wins, they won't accept it. al jazeera.
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barack obama is flying to cuba for a historic visit to the country. he will become the first sitting u.s. president to go to the island in nearly 90 years. obama is picture today meet his counterpart raul castro to discuss trade and political reform. lucia newman is live for us in havana, obviously a hugely symbolic visit. >> reporter: what is the hood mood imood inthe cuban capital ? presumably everyone is excited and how are they preparing for this visit? >> reporter: hello, barbara. well, president obama is expected to lands here in just about one hour's time. and there is certainly a lot of anticipation and excite about this whole visit. not just what he will be doing today but over the next three days as you well said it's the first time an american, sitting american president has come here. it hasn't been all smooth sailing, though. as the president was in fact get on this plane to flyover here
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cuban security police were arresting some 50 dissidents among them members of the most visible group called the ladies in white who are scheduled to meet with president obama later on during his visit. it's a peaceful demonstration, it happens every sunday but it's significant that they were arrested precisely as president obama was on his way here. clearly a way for the cuban government to sends a clear message that there will be no concessions made to the opposition, no concessions made to the united states or to this country's political system. a one-party political system which does not allow for organized opposition, barbara. >> you hinted at some of the things the president will be doing in cuba. what else is actually planned for him over the next three days? >> reporter: well, as soon as he arrives he will be paying a short visit to the former u.s. interim session today the u.s. embassy. from there he goes straight behind me to old havana for a
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tour of the old city. one of the most beautiful cities in the world. it's rather decrepit in some areas but he wants to take a look at that. and then tomorrow he will be meeting with president raul castro. there will be a state dinner. he will be meeting with the entrepreneurial section. but the most important part of the visit, perhaps, will be the speech that he will make to the cuban people on tuesday morning. it will be broadcast live at least it is scheduled to be broadcast live and he will be giving -- or presenting his vision for this new relationship between cuba and united states, warts and all, of course, barbara. >> lucia newman with the latest from havana. lucia, thank you. the form he were cuban leader fidel castro has met the venezuelan president nicolas maduro. maduro says he talked with the 89-year-old about his, quote, vision of the world. the visit appears to be designed to sends a message of social i was solidarity as cuba as we
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discussed prepares to receive u.s. president obama. the latest round of sabre rattling between the two koreas, pee okay i can't think broadcast picture of kim jong-un. they did not specify when the pictures were taken on friday north korea test fired one ballistic missile drawing strong condemnation from the u.n. security council. it also announced it will soon test a nuclear warhead. didid i bet -- at this bet e beegoing to the polls. it's the second time they they have had elections since dalai lama stepped down as the leader. iconic lands marks across the world dimmed their lights on saturday night for mark the 10th annual earth hour. the eiffel tower in paris was one of the structured plunged no darkness it was aimed at
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highlighting the effects of climate change and some millions of people across the planet turn off their lights for an hour. much more on that and everything else that we have been covering on our website, the address on your screens right now, "on target" tonight. robots in the workplace. cyber war between nations and designer babies our digital future and how it will change the way we live. get ready because the future is coming. how many times have you heard that? now you're going to hear a lot about a so-called fourth industrial revolution. that's already upon us by the way. this revolution will undo the global industrial economy which has underpinned the advance he b


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