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tv   News  Al Jazeera  May 19, 2014 4:00am-4:31am EDT

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i need the money. ♪ sot please use this to sell >> [ gunfire ] chaos and confusion in libya as forces loyal to a renegade general demand the suspension of parliament. hello, welcome to al jazeera live from doha. also on the programme - a tearful south korean president apologises for the ferry tragedy and announces plans to break up the coast guard. tens of thousands scramble for higher ground as the worst floods in a century inundate the balkans. and the world of sport says
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goodbye to a motor racing legend. jack brabham dies at the age of 88. two dead, doze ens injured and libya's government in chaos. fighting across tripoli, as forces loyal to a renegade general demands is a suspension. we'll be live in a few minutes. first, here is his report. >> reporter: a brazen attack on libya's general national congress. tripoli turned into a war zone. heavy machine-gun, rocket-propelled grenades used. plumes of smoke in the air. gunmen driving military vehicles stormed the building. they say they were members of the brigade that has bases near
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tripoli's airport. this attack seems to be linked to the unrest of the eastern city of benghazi. a spokesman for the self-declared army, led by retired general khalifa haftar declares an open war, for supporting extremists and terrorists. on friday forces loyal to khalifa haftar attacked the bases of militia said. the fighting left dozens dead. general khalifa haftar said he was forced to act. >> today the national army launched a national battle to defend our nation. the people, the lives of our officers who are being assassinated. this is not a coup against the state, and we are not seeking power or authority, and we are not hindering the course of democracy. the blood of libyans is safety. terrorists wanted there to be a
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battle. so let it be an honourable one. >> the central government in tripoli accused khalifa haftar of staging a coup. >> translation: the acts carried out in benghazi by army officers constitute violations of state sovereignty, relating a coup. an arrest warrant was issued by the chief prosecutor. an order has been handed down stand up to attempts by the force, and to target military jet fighters flying over the skies of benghazi. >> reporter: armed forces are unable to compose law and order. rival militias act with impunity more than the man at the center of the arrest. khalifa haftar - the retired general took part in the 1969 coup bringing muammar gaddafi to power. he was the military chief of staff at one point. he was disowned by muammar
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gaddafi after leading a disastrous military provision in chad in 1987 where 600 soldiers were captured. he defected and sought exile, and returned to take part in the 2011 uprising, toppling muammar gaddafi. he is accusing the government of not doing enough to stop the militias that rise to prominence. our correspondent is live for us from the libyan capital tripoli. tell us more about khalifa haftar. who are his supporters and how much of a threat does he pose to the libyan government, and perhaps just as importantly, to other militias. >> well, khalifa haftar is a known figure in libya, and controversial one, because you just mentioned his full history.
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now, what is important about khalifa haftar's force is not clear. it's not clear if he has the support of the entire libyan regions or the libyan forces. now, it depends on who you speak to. his spokesperson tells you that he enjoys wide popularity with former members of the army, that used to operate under muammar gaddafi. when you speak to his critics, former rebels say that he is a former regime member, and they do not trust him, they view him with suspicion, and he has close links to the u.s. in terms of the threat that he imposes, it's also not clear. now, he did launch an attack on two militia groups in benghazi on friday. forces claim that they were related to the zinc tan brigade and were coordinating the attack. that took place. the government has taken khalifa
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haftar seriously, and are sending reinforcements to protect the capital tripoli. >> and is the government calling omar, for reason, dialogue - how likely is khalifa haftar or other militias to heed that call? >> probably they will not, because when khalifa haftar made the announcement a couple of days ago, followed by another announcement by his spokesperson, saying they are declaring an open war against what they call the government that supports extremism and terrorism. now, when you speak with libyan officials, they will tell you that they are standing firm in front of havt receiver's forces -- khalifa haftar's forces. the government issued a statement warning against attacking the legitimacy against the elected body. a source at the g.n.c., the head
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of the g.n.c., considered to be the commander in chief ordered the shields of libya from the western and central region to protect the capital. the importance of the announcement is that the western region is made of a powerful militia known as the zinc tan rebel brigade. they are powerful. this is an indication that there could be trouble. more violence clashes to come. wait and see. >> thank you. that's our correspondent. joining us from the libyan capitol tripoli. >> south korea's president announced that the coast guard will be broken up and replaced with a safety agency in a tearful address to the nation. the president took full responsibility for the government's handling of the disaster. our correspondent harry fawcett joins us live from the capital. now, not the first time that you
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were saying that she apologised, but the first time she has taken full responsibility, and an unusual display of emotion from the south korean president. >> that's right. she's apologised on a couple of occasions before - first to the cabinet, and also to some of the relatives of those who were still - who were killed in the ferry disaster. this is the first time she looked into the camera, addressed the nation and said sorry, and took full responsibility. it was emotional in parts and contained some detail behind the intention that she stated a few weeks ago that in the light of widespread safety problems of corruption, poor regulation, that she intended to reform her country from square one. >> reporter: south korea's president cried openly as she addressed the nation. for the first time she assumed direct responsibility for the loss of more than 300 lives, so
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many of them schoolchildren. >> translation: i apologise to the nation for the pain and suffering that everyone felt. as the president i should be responsible for the safety of the people. >> this was a speech designed to set out plans promised in the aftermath of disaster to reform her nation. the first target was the coast guard criticised for helping the captain and crew to safety, but not doing enough. the entire service would be disbanded. >> translation: the coast guard continued to get bigger in size, but did not have enough personnel and budget allocated for maritime safety and rescue training. if we let the structural problems slide it would be unable to prevent another disaster so i decided to break up the coast guard after much consideration. >> reporter: a national safety agency will take over the
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investigative role. the police also an investigative one. she vowed to crack down on the mafia and those that get cushy jobs. people add their own personal tributes to the victims and consider the president's response. >> translation: i think her apology is too late. it's not the right time to break up the coast guard. i don't think i can trust what she said. we have to wait and see how it will be implemented. >> reporter: park geun-hye's personal distress was laid bare. and she has a fight on her hands to recover the presidency. approval ratings have fallen, and local elections are coming up. >> because of the local issues, and shock that people face, and there is political momentum, that she can take advantage of. though it's a crisis, this is an
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opportunity for her to take critical actions. >> reporter: president park geun-hye begins a trip to the united arab emirates. the nuclear industry reeling from a safety scandal linked to corruption. down in the south coast of south korea, where the rescue operation has been going on for the past - for more than a month, it continues. 18 people are missing. the head of the coast guard service spoke there, and he said that he would hum bli submit he and his colleagues to the opinion of a nation and president, and they would not rest, they'd do their level to recover the remaining people still believed to be on the say wold. there's a different rehabilitation to the family members of the missing people. they got up on the same stage giving an impromptu press conference, saying it was the wrong time, it would affect the coast guard operations and
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challenged the government did they have the will to continue the operations until the last person was found. you see from that, among the families, still a lot to be done for park geun-hye to restore her reputation. harry fawcett joining us from seoul, south korea. the leader of the pakistani taliban released a statement telling the government that his men will fight until islamic law is imposed. he made the comments on a video that shows him being welcomed by fighters. our correspondent kamal hyder joins us from islamabad. tell us about what, in the video, and what are we to make of it? >> reporter: first of all, it's important to know that he was appointed as a supreme leader after the former leader was
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killed. before that, he was a famous man because of his operation against the pakistani military in the swat valley. interestingly, this is the first time since november 2013 when he was appeared in a video with a clear message, as you mentioned, that there would be no talks with the government until the imposition of sharia law. the video shows men training in a mountain hideout close to the border. they asked that he may be on the afghan side of the border. the video shows it meant training, and also fighting antitank weapons including rocket-propelled grenades. as i mentioned, this happened at the time when the government of pakistan also indicated that they want a clear answer from the taliban pakistan as to whether they will continue the talks tore not. this message, of course, will
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put all that to rest. >> so they say they will not talk to the government until islamic law is implemented. but there are splits, of course, within this insurgency. where are the peace talks at now with the pakistani government. has there been any progress there at all? >> well, there's little progress. there has been a number of meetings between the committees appointed by the government and the pakistan taliban, but after two round of meetings between the committees, talks broke down after there was infighting amongst the ranks. we are told that the person tipped to be the leader of the pakistan taliban earlier has parted ways with the mainstream taliban, and there is infighting. that infighting would suggest that the government of pakistan would be willing to talk to only
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those groups that want to continue the talks. however, it would isolate groups after this particular message. thank you for that. kamal, that's our correspondent. joining us from islamabad. going to news just in - russia's president vladimir putin ordered troops to return to their bases after conducting a training exercise in an area close to the border with ukraine. the situation in eastern ukraine is very tense, but the pro-russian rebels declared two regions independent following an official referendum. lawyers representing former army chief rad coe mill add itch are due to begin an offense, facing charges of crimes against humanity during the 1992 to "95 bosnia war. he's accused of killing men and
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boys comm screben itsa, the worst massacre since the second world war. thousands have been forced from their homes in serbia. we have this report. >> reporter: in the air and on the ground, the priority is to get to the old and the sick. this is 88-year-old woman. we met her after she was rescued by the serbian army. she tells us her house was submerged under a metre and a half of water. she as alone without food and drinking water. this is a massive logistical operation threatening to completely overwhelm serbia's emergency services. the serbian prime minister says the damage will cost the country billions of dollars.
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volunteers joined the operation here. this man is a personal trainer from belgrade. he is here to help rescue those left behind. >> we are going to help the people. >> reporter: how many people do you think are left there? >> we don't know. >> we'll find out. r.s it's not clear how many died here. every official tells us that they have to wait for the waters to recede to see the damage that was done. as you can see, some of the water is pulling back, but there are still many houses completely submerged by the flooding, and there are many people waiting to be rescued. this man would not give us his name. he said he has seen dead bodies and is angry at authorities for not arriving earlier. >> they came too late. we had no warning. it's sad for us. we have no food and nowhere to
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live. >> in bosnia ner menace is hiding under the rubble. land mine. the fear is the floods are washing away river banks which will unearth exploded booby traps. the country's biggest power station is now under threat. capacity at the power plant has been cut. waters have reached the basement of the plant, a total shutdown or blackout most of the country. for now it stopped raining. but the worry is there could be another sludge surge from the drena river in bosnia. the ground is already saturated. people here are wondering where will all the water go. coming up on al jazeera - coming home, china steps up its mission to get citizens out of vietnam, following deadly riots.
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and from empty tool buses to tented consumer confidence. we ask if thailand can afford the continuing crisis.
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good to have you with us. these are the top stories on al jazeera. two people have been killed after rebels loyal to a renegade army general stormed libya's parliament. general khalifa haftar has been conducting a military campaign against militias in benghazi. the army says the actions amount
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to a coup. south korea says the coast guard will be disbanded in response to the sinking of a ferry last month. a tearful president park geun-hye took direct responsibility for the government's response to the disaster. the leader of the pakistani taliban says his men will continue to fight until islamic law is imposed across the country. it is a setback to stalled peace talks with the government. syria's air force chief has been killed in fighting. general hussein ishaq reportedly died on saturday after rebels attacked a defense phase. he is one of the highest ranking military commanders killed in the 3-year conflict. a citizen journalist in syria told us how he suffered but survived a chemical attack. it took place in august last year. he has escaped to the us, and is working to raise awareness of
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the war. here is his personal act of his journey. >> i am 27 years old. i just made it here to the united states almost two months ago. i came from a found in the west suburbs of damascus. i got exposed by sarin attack on august 21st. my heart stopped for 3 minutes. i lost my ability to breathe. i felt like my chest was set on fire. my eyes were burning like hell. it was so, so painful. i felt like somebody was tearing up my chest with a knife. i use expression of judgment day to describe what it felt like for me to see women and children, older men, running and falling on the ground, suffocating without seeing a single drop of blood. i have to pull myself together five days later to escort the
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united nations inspectors team when they entered the area to take advantage of my english skills. people started to feel hope when we heard there'll be consequences for using chemical weapons in syria. when nothing happened people got so disappointed. and discussed from international community. i managed to make it through the borders, and from beirut airport. which is controlled by hezbollah. and it was a fewer miracle for me to make it here. i'm doing a speaking tour across the u.s., making events and, you know, universities, and other public events, meeting with politicians. after three years of sacrificing a lot of lives to accomplish our goal in building a free syria, i think that we deserve respect and support from the united
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states. the regime wants us to give up. even i think sometimes international community or some countries at least want us to give up, and just go back to being loyal servant to this asaad regime. we will not give up, and we will continue sacrificing until we manage to accomplish our goal, which is building a free syria for all. al jazeera demands the immediate release of its journalists who have been in prison in egypt for 142 days. the trial of peter greste, mohamed fadel fahmy and baher mohamed was ajourped again on thursday. they are falsely accused of conspiring with the outlawed muslim brotherhood. al jazeera rejects the charges i gains them and they are due back on 22nd may. abdullah al-shami, a fourth detained journalist, will continue to refuse food. he's been on trial since august and been on a hunger strike for
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four months. two charter flights arrived in southern china carrying injured workers from vietnam. thousands have been evacuated following anti-china riots across vietnam. ongoing political unrest in thailand impacts on all areas of the economy. as the important tourist area, it's worse off after months of political turmoil. >> reporter: these tour buses should be filled with chinese tourists seeing the sights of thailand, but here they sit gathering dust in a field. unrest in the country put a heavy cost on the tourism industry. estimates of $3 billion lost, with a drop of a million tourist arrivals, most from the chinese market. it put a pinch on the tourism
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industry. >> translation: for chinese tourist the drop is more than is a 15%. we received 1,000 chinese tourists, but in the past few months it's only been 250. >> reporter: the impact of the political crisis is more than a downturn in the crisis. it's hitting the big companies and threatening long-term economic outlooks. the largest mobile operator ais is losing money, people are worried about the future, spending less on services. their confidence in the future is down. some predict the country will fall into a recession later in the year, once it marks two consecutive quarters of negative growth. i think things will get worse. it will flow into the stock market. this year's political crisis and the effect on the economy could carry over into next year. >> one reason for that - since
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the government is not operating normally the board of investment has not met in months, holding up nearly 20 billion investment dollars. the thais felt the biggest pinch. now are the ones living off consumer and tourist spending confidence. >> translation: i can survive. what about people who earn minimum wage like drivers and massures. what will they do. i don't know, it's never been this bad. with renewed tension between the rival groups, there's no clear path out of thailand's dim economic future. three times formula 1 world champion jack brabham died age 88. andrew thomas reports from sydney. >> reporter: he was the first of formula 1 champion winning in 1969, securing the title by pushing his car over the finish line of the united states race -
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he had run out of fuel. fourth place that was enough. >> i'm pleased that i won it. i owe a lot to john cooper and the cooper car company and my mechanics and everyone that helped me get as far as i had. >> reporter: before racing gars brabham had been a mechanic in the air force. although he moved to britain, he kept up engineering skills. he is the only person to have won a champion is this in a car he personally designed and built and which bore his name. >> huge, it's a man that changed formula 1. he contemplated putting the engine in the year, and winning the constructors championship and the driver's champion in a car bearing his name - no one will do it again. >> he was formula 1 champion three times, 1959, 1960 and 1966. he won 14 grand prix races.
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based in britain for his career, he retired to australia and died in queensland, aged 88. well, that story and the rest of the day's news can be found on the website