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tv   News  Al Jazeera  October 29, 2013 3:00am-3:31am EDT

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u.s. president barack obama orders a review of his country's spying program. ♪ ♪ hello there, i am laura kyle, this is al jazerra live from doha. also ahead. troops in the philippines accused of shooting hostages. we get the army's response to the allegations. al jazerra obtains the first u.n. report on the destruction of syria's chemical weapons. we'll tell you what's in it. >> reporter: and i'll be reporting on how swarms of locust have eaten crops across 70% of madagascar and a new plan
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to kill them. ♪ ♪ u.s. press barack obama has ordered a review of the national security agency intelligence operations acknowledge that go more constraints are needing. obama is being fiercely criticized over allegations the national security agency tapped german chancellor angela merkel's phone and snoop odd other european allies. white house spokesman jay karen said it would look to to the concerns of other country. here are the details. >> reporter: at the white house, the presidential spokesman refused to be drawn on the reports that the u.s. tracked millions of spanish foal calls but reported the nsa surveillance programs are being examined. >> we are conducting a review. we are mindful that some of these disclosure have his caused tension in our relationships. with new capabilities, we
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recognize that there need to be additional constraints on how we gather and use intelligence. >> reporter: tensions spikes with reports in germany suggesting that president obama was briefed on the surveillance of german chancellor angela mechanical's phone in 2010 and fast tracked any information gathered directly to the white house. in the fast few days anonymous administration officials told the u.s. media that was false and that a white house review only discovered the surveillance of world leaders in the summer. the biggin bugging of merkel's e ended soon after. for a european parliamental delegation visiting washington it's about more than bugging leaders about about their con constituents. >> trust has to be rebuilt. we need to figure out why this is happening and what kind of trust needs to be rebuilt. we are battling security and we need to get that right.
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we are concerned about security also. and we made that clear. also there is a balance to be struck with privacy of citizens. and i think these frank exchange need to rebuild that very important trust. >> reporter: their first meeting, however wars with the house intelligence committee chairman mike rodgers, he says europeans should be grateful for the surveillance as it's keeping them safe. that's a theme echoedy t white house and officials are briefing journalist that his european governments should be aware that more information from whistle blower edward snowden may soon emerge detailing their cooperation and the dragnetting of that i have citizens if not the monitoring of their leaders' phone calls. president of the philippines is questioning the authenticity of a video that appears to show hostages being shot at by the army during a siege last month. now fighting between the philippine army and the hostage takers left many dead in the southern city there. in just a moment we'll be
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getting the military's reaction, but first here more details. >> reporter: the maker of that online video says it shows hostages shouting at the army not to shoot. they are waving the white flag of vendor. nearby, carrying weapons are said to be national liberation front rebels. the military is believed to have opened fire. some fall while others scamper for safety. he is no stranger to armed conflict. he fought as a soldier against the mlmf which they first independents at the end of the 9060s, now the very same fighters were the ones that held him hostage. >> we are so happy because we thought a ceasefire had been declared the mlmf were the first to fire so the military retaliated then hostages were
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shot. i was hit with tha shrapnel in e head. a student lost an arm, another was shot in the stomach. >> reporter: the philippine government has questioned the authenticity of the video even significanting that it's fake. but they are taking the allegations seriously. >> these claims will be properly investigated. if there are cases that have to be filed, they will be filed. but at the same time, perhaps i should caution yo caution you tt smacks of a bit of propaganda. the bottom line is the actions by the mlmf brought about the crisis. >> reporter: it's been weeks since the government declared the crisis officially over. but many questions remain. what really happened here during the 19-day siege. and who is responsible for the deaths of many civilians. over 200 people have been killed. the fighters took over 200 civilians hostage and demanded to be allowed to hoist their
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independent flag at the sent city. but no clear negotiation with the philippine government took place and in the weeks that followed thousands of military troops came in and the city was a battlefield. still he says he doesn't blame anyone. he has come to accept that to survive, he only has himself to rely on. al jazerra in the southern philippines. >> let's go live now to to a colonel joining us now he's the philippine military spokesman. thanks very much for joi joinin, first of all as it was said in the report there we have the philippine president suggesting this video make be fake. let's clear that up first of all. do you accept that it was actually filmed at the time of the events there, the hostage siege? there ithere in the city? >> first of all the video that was shown was footage last
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september 13, at about 2:00 p.m. in front of the kgk building. the video had not yet reached the president at that time. so he was not able to comment about its authenticity. but that video, again, like i said was shot september 13, friday. >> and what is your account of what's happening there? >> well, if you watch the video carefully, you can see that the hostages were placed in the middle of the road, that's in front of the kgk building and mosque. you could see that embedding within the hostages are mlmf fighter in the middle. and they were placed directly in the middle, this was done purposely to prevent any offensive operations by the armed force of the philippines so that we would not be able to rescue these hostages. second, at a distance between where the hostages were placed and the forces at that time, it
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was still a containment phase, it's about 200 meters this is kgk building and the forces at that time were in the corner of the street, approximately 200 to 300 meters. this is containment, we were doing at that moment, was making sure that they were not able to get out. buff about 2:00 p.m., they placed as early as 12:00 noon these victims were placed in in the milled of the roa middle of. >> let me just jump to the crucial parts. which is that the army killed a number of these hostages, can you confirm or deny that? >> that's exactly the reason why i think a giving you the distance, this is a cell phone video and you could hear shots being fired and all those shots are audibly loud. we are 200 to 300 meters away and we were not firing at the civilians. what we were firing at at that time for only as to counter the
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sniper are the positions on top of the kgk building. and we had sniper positions there at 200 meters. any sniper can definitely clearly identify friend or foe. so we knew exactly where these civilians were and we were not firing at them. >> but you can -- >> you can also continue to watch the video towards the end -- >> you would know better than i this is a very chaotic situation what we are seeing here a pierce to go civilians hostages caught in cross fire. is it not your responsibility to insure their safety first and foremost and that wasn't insured because a number of them, as i said before, were killed and injured. >> of course that's our priority. our mission is -- the mission given to us by the president is only two things, rescue the hostages, and neutralize the enemy threat. we were able to rescue 195 hostages. unfortunately, 12 hostages were killed and eight of them were directly at the hand of the
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mlmf. and four of them were due to still we are not still sure fits related to a bombing of a bus in northern city. definitely our concern, are the safety of the hostages and that we did and during this video, we never fired at them. what we were firing at is sniper positions of the enemy. they are the ones firing towards the troops of the afp. if you look at the video you can see that they are firing a ba bazooka and the blast that have ba zook is abazooka is in toware hostages in the career. so clearly if anyone is endangering the civilians it's the mlmf. >> this was a long siege that went on for nearly three weeks, it was fought in very close ground even side a city. more than 200 people, however, remember killed in this operation. does the military not accept any responsibility for that? >> let's make it clear, only 12 civilians were killed. there is close to three -- close
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to 208mlmf enemies, only 12 civilians were killed. and eight of them are in the hands or most of them are in the hands of the mlmf faction, not that of the afp. our orders were clear to rescue all of these hostages. those who were killed are mostly the enemy. or the majority of them is the enemy. so definitely we are aware of the situation and operations we conducted was very deliberate that's why it took so long, we wanted to insure that no civilian casualty should be incurred, but of course in any battle, in any war that is unavoidable. we did the best that we could do. it took us 20 days to finish it. and with 195 rescued, and neutralized and we were able to neutralize more than 500 enemy, i think, in any armed forces around the world, that is a good record. >> okay. we appreciate your time. thanks for joining us here on al
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jazerra. al jazerra has obtained the first official progress report on the destruction of syria's chemical weapon program. this is an update from new york. >> reporter: the report from the united nation is his a collaboration between the secretary general ban ki-moon and the organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons and there are a few new details that we have been able to read from this report. one of the most important ones is that the inspectors there said that they have not been able to reach two of the chemical weapons site in syria because of quite highly unsecured conditions that are described as difficult and unpredictable. despite that the report says that the syrians have offered consistent, extensive and cooperation. they are trying to get to about 1,000 metric tonights of tons ol weapons and 290 chemical agents. carrying out this mission or 28
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inspectors and 50 u.n. personnel that number fluctuates depending on the site and how dangerous it is. the report lays out that it has received support from countries such as can dark the united kingdom, the united states and the european union in carrying out this mission. this will all be handed over to the u.n. security council next week where it will be discussed. of course remember that go this is all part i've chapter seven revolution allowing the being inspectors in to syria to look at the chemical weapons and there were threats and discussions of possible sanctions and other measures if syria did not comply with the resolution, this report seems to indicate that everything is on the track for the did he instruction of these chemical weapons by the first half of the 2014. we have more on syria still to come. a visit in damascus reporting on the u.n. arab league envoy's struggle to get all sides to join peace talks. also ahead, going directly to the source. a family targeted by a drone strike in pakistan goes to the u.s. for answers.
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hello again, i am laura kyle. a reminders of the top stories here on al jazerra. the u.s. president has ordered a review of intelligence gathering methods among allegation that his the national security agency bugged the phones of several world leaders including allies in europe. video of hostages being shot at during a siege. a philippine army says they were caught in the cross fire as the army fought rebels.
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a u.n. report says syria will meet a looming deadline to destroy the chemical weapons and equipment. it's supposed to be completed three days from now. the u.n. special envoy to syria is due to meet members of the opposition the day after he met president assad in du damas. he is trying to bring together all sides of the conflict for proposed peace talks in geneva but so far he's failed to convince several opposition factions, rob reports. >> reporter: once more he faces what many would call a near impossible task, a return to damascus trying to muster some or indeed any enthusiasm for talks in find ago i way out of syria's crisis. but it's not just a matter of getting two sides to the table, before that, he has to try to knit together a fractured rebel opposition, much of which doesn't even want to be involved. >> the international community wants to support the syrian regime in geneva two. they don't want to weaken them
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really. that's why we completely reject this conference, when we see real effective promises that will topple down the assad regime and lead to an international court for his crimes in the last three years, then, yes, we will sit and negotiate. but first, there should be real and effective statement on this. in the absence of political solution, the military solution is the only one on the table. >> reporter: and the battles continue. just a few kilometers from where he was beginning the slow process of persuasion, these pictures claim to show rebels firing at government forces in the countryside. while here they are using rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons. al jazerra can't verify the pictures. again the fighting spills in to neighboring lebanon. gunfire in tripoli. the army is called in as assad supporters and mostly sunni fighters trade bullets in a street battle that's been going on for a week.
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and the political fallout continues to spread across the middle east. hezbollah's leader accuses the saudi government of th of blocka political solution for syria. >> acceptable and available solution in syria is the political solution, the what i to a political solution is through political dialogue without preconditions. of course there is a state in the region which is furious about the proposed geneva two peace conference and its name is saudsaudi arabia. >> reporter: and in the middle of this difficult diplomacy and mistrust is the future of the geneva two talks. beijing has tightened security after a carex pollutio. killing five people and injuring dozens more it then caught fire and exploded. police are investigating members of the minority group. israel has announced the
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names of 26 palestinians expected to be freed from its jails. celebrations are being held in gaza and the west bank. some of the men have been held for nearly three decades. the release is part i've deal brokered by the u.s. but hundreds of israelis have been protesting outside a west bank jail against the planned release. many of the protesters held up placards of israelis killed in attacks by palestinians. farmers in madagascar far their crops may be eaten by another locust invasion. 70% of the country's pasture and farmlands were recently destroyed leaving 4 million people hungry. let's go live now to tana paige joining us from the capitol. tan yeah, 70% of the land destroyed. give us an idea of the impact that that has in a country like mamadagascar.
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>> reporter: well, it means, for example, that the harvest has been really badly hurt. the rice production harvest is down about 21%. and the affect affects on that f course is because it's in short supply the price has gone up. not only of rice but other staple foods like mays. in a country where 92% of the population lives on less than $2 a day, people simply can't afford those kinds -- any kind of increase. so more and more people are coming to feeding stations like this. we have just had a big group of school children come and go. we were wait on this next group of school children to come and get their only decent meal of the day. so the locust have affected from theville years all the way in to the cities. these farmest were helpless, they ate everything leaving the villagers hungry. there is new growth now but they are fright bed the swarms will return, their animals are also suffering. the locust made the fool for the
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bulls which are now too weak to now so everything has to be done by hand. >> the lobing cust came from the south. balloon point windblown by the w silently in a huge swarm they passed like a huge cloud and blocked out the sun. >> reporter: the at the height the swarms affected 70% of madagascar, combined where the effect of the annual cyclones, this year's harvest is down 21%. the world program and the u.n. says a third of rural households are hungry with nearly 10 million more at risk. the recent swarms first appeared in 2009, but a political and economical crisis that has gripped the country since a coup that year has led officials helpless too. >> all the conditions were ripe for locust to swarm and at the time our political social and
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economic crisis heat so the fight against the locust was too slow. the locust grew out of control because there was not enough money. >> reporter: an irradication program starts in november. 2 million-hectares of land will be sprayed with pesticides but they still need to raise about a quarter of the $41 million needed for the three-year plan. this is the best time of year to start the irradication program because the insects are on the ground. reproducing and laying eggs. the reduced harvest means staple foods are my expensive so there are more demands atrophieding programs like this. they feed merely a quarter million children every day. it could be their only decent meal a brief reprieve from a life made harder by factors out of their control, natural and man-made. >> tanya, this problem is very much tied in, isn't it with the aid after the coup there in that country.
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is that a situation that will reverse after friday's election was declared free and fair? >> reporter: well, it should reverse but probably not that quickly because so much damage has been done in the meantime. and you would have to also factor in the fact that you know, we are also approaching cyclone season and madagascar gets at least one serious cyclone a year but also there is a cyclical nay taoufr the harvest and we are hitting in to the lean season where prices increase naturally as well. so further price increases for people to cope with in this country 50% of the children under five are chronically mall nor malnourished. although they have free and fair elections soon the start of this eradication program, another positive, there is a lot of work to be done and madagascar continue we think to face further difficult times ahead. >> okay, thank you for jane joining us there from
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madagascar's capital. india's second biggest software has reached a settlement for alleged misuse of business vehicle visas they sete $30 million for the immigration violations the largest such fine ever seen. the penalty is for alleged practices of bringing long-term workers in the u.s. on short-term business visas. staying in india. the central bank has raised interest rates for the second time in as many months, up 7.75%. inflation is likely to remain high in the near future. the price of basic goods such as onions have quadrupled in recent months. gunmen have stolen $55 million from the libyan central bank. 10 men reportedly stopped a van carrying the money in the coastal city there. and as it was leaving for the airport. as it was leaving the airport, now, the cash has been flown in from the capital tripoli for the
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local bank bran. the somali government says a senior member of the al-shabab rebel group have been killed in an apparent u.s. drone strike. it struck a car that was reportedly carrying i object hm whthem.around 120-kilometers fre support city there. a pakistani schoolteacher and his children will be the first drone victim to his testify before the u.s. congress later on tuesday. since 2004, there have been just over 370cia drone strikes on pakistan. the bureau of investigative journalist estimates up to 3,600 pakistanis have died and that up to 1500 people have been injured. the family were hit by a drone strike a year ago. and they traveled to washington to seek answers, kimberly met them. >> reporter: it happened a little more than a year ago.
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for 12-year-old and nine-year-old, the memories are still vivid. >> and i saw these two bright lights fall from the sky and hit where my grandmother was standing. then everything became dark and i didn't know what to do. but i just want today runaway because i was just so scared. and i looks at my hand and there was blood coming out of my hand. >> it was as if day became night. it became very dark all of the sudden and where my grand mother was i later heard that she was blown to pieces. >> reporter: their grandmother had been picking okra when she was hit. villagers from the tribal region had double burring her charred boyd. all that was left wereing from little. the family has never been told why the 67-year-old midwife was targeted. >> i reached a letter from the fax stapakistani government agrg that it was tragic and sad
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because we were inning 70 there was nothing else that came from that letter and they just said that this indeed was an american drone strike. they are note the only victims despite the u.s.' claim that they only target taliban operatives. a report by two prominent human rights groups veal that at least 19 seu samardzijavill19 civiliad since january 2012. >> thithere is a process that gs in to how these operations are chosen and as parts of that process we take every effort to limit these casualties. >> reporter: but they say that isn't the case, the children's physical injuries have healed but they can't escape the psychological scars, drones still hover overhead terrorizing the their village so they have travel today washington to share their story with u.s. lawmakers marking first time in history members of congress will hear from drone survivors. why do you want to come to
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washington and speak to the politicians on capitol hill? >> i have seen and heard obama say with conviction on the screen he will use drones on anyone who is against america who wants to cause harm to america. the reason i have come here with my children is to share my story and to share the truth. >> i want justice. i don't know what to make of what happened to me and my family. and the second big thing that i want to urge is that these drones should just come to an end. >> reporter: they hope to put pressure on the u.s. government to reevaluate its targeted killing program. so other families are not also devastated by american drones. kimberly, al jazerra, washington. >> and finally, the world's tallest person says he is the happiest man on earth. after finding a bride. at 2.5 meters tall he towers over his new wife. syrian born wife stands at a
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more modest 1.7 meters so she hopes their marriage will be a happy one. he is from turkey, he was declared the world' taught he tn by guinness world records in 2009. the latest news on our website al jazerra. .com. on the culture from the 60s to today. >> hello, i'm libby casey. tonight on inside story we'll take a walk on the wild side and look at the life and legacy of iconic rocker lou reed who died at the age of 71. first we'll focus on american spying, specifically spying on friends, and our friends are not happy.


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