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tv   The Stream  Al Jazeera  March 27, 2015 1:30pm-2:01pm EDT

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the u.s. state department. >> -- to stand up and defend the valuesover freedom, and mutual respect. values which speak to a universal truth -- >> i would say that the highthy's action which came before the saudi military actions, you know, are the reason that we've -- we've got this -- you know unstable and chaotic situation in yemen. >> does the u.s. understand perhaps maybe some of the reasons that the houthis may feel unreasonable perhaps the ongoing drone campaign the ongoing shortage o electricity, food, water? what does the u.s. say to that? >> well again, there has been a gcc initiative and a u.n.-lead process to address political issues in yemen. the united states has supported it. the international community has supported it. the u.n. security council has supported it. the way to address any concerns
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the houthis may have is through that u.n.-lead process and it is that which they have spurned, and they brought continued military action which brought us to this point. >> reporter: coming back to the question on the u.s. and the saudis saudis don't want this to be an open-ended conflict. is the u.s.'s view that the situation needs to be stabilized before the political process can kick in? i mean how do you bring the houthis to the negotiating table? >> well, again, there is the -- gcc's initiative and the u.n.-lead process, which i think we need to return to. at this point it's difficult to outline precisely when -- when that will happen, but that is our goal -- >> do you have any further readout on the discussion
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between the saudi ambassador and the [ inaudible ] today? >> no the focus was on our views on yemen, but i don't have more specifics from the meeting. >> reporter: you are talking about a gcc initiative and this is military intervention is enshrined as a gcc intervening -- >> well saudi lead -- >> saudi lead of five of the six gcc countries signed on to it and it is the [ inaudible ] of a gcc operation now. so how do you reconcile a gcc military operation to support a gcc talks? the houthis don't have much at steak in that do they? >> well -- >> it's the war with all of the countries that are running the initiative. >> well it is gcc, but it's a u.n.-lead process.
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the initiative came about as the result of gcc proposals, but the process itself is a u.n.-lead process. >> reporter: [ inaudible ] since you are supporting this military operation? >> saudi arabia is in the lead -- they are the coalition, and we are providing some particular support to them. but it's a saudi-lead operation. yes, go ahead? >> reporter: can i just follow up on -- so you are just telling saudi arabia that you don't want it to be open-ended? there's no drawing of lines or deadlines? >> i'm not going to characterize publicly the diplomatic discussions -- >> but it does sound like you have giving them a green light to go on as long as they would like -- >> i wouldn't take it that way. >> reporter: well how should we
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interpret that? telling them you don't want it to be open ended is very different than this can't go on for a longer than week or if you are destroying civilian infrastructure -- >> we stressed the importance of minimizing civilian casualties. i'm not going to characterize publicly further our diplomatic discussions -- >> reporter: are you asking saudi to make diplomatic outreaches even in the course of this campaign? or -- are you pushing them to do more than just not be open-ended? >> i'll see if we have more to say from that. >> reporter: has there ever been in recent times a military campaign that was open-ended? has anybody gone in and said this war will go on forever, potentially? i mean the saudis by the very definition of this campaign, they want to restore the legitimate government. when they have restored it it
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is done so i don't understand that counsel. isn't that obvious? there is are no open-ended come come -- conflicts are there? are you suggesting that they are considering this an open-ended conflict? >> no, i -- i haven't said that. we -- they have said it will be open ended. we agree with that. >> but that's like your sole counsel, what you are already saying what you don't want to do don't do essentially? >> again, we have spoken about civilian casualties and the goal that the united states has in yemen, and i don't have anything fufr -- further to add.
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>> reporter: [ inaudible ] yesterday was talking about yemen and about the influence in the region and he was saying basically iran is replacing when isis leaves. [ inaudible ]. >> are you speaking about yemen or more generally -- >> reporter: more generally now. he was talking about iranian influence in yemen and then talk about the regional. >> well we have spoken quite a bit about the -- you know our view of iran's role in the region. we have concerns in a number of areas about -- about iran's role. we have also said with respect to yemen we have concerns about iranian support for the houthis, so -- but i'm not going to draw a sweeping conclusion of the
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sort that you -- >> reporter: i have a couple of other questions. yesterday the director of the national intelligence on wednesday, mr. clapper, at the house committee, he was saying that because of the different ways of approaching the syrian crisis, there is a tension rising between turkey and u.s. bilateral relations. would you be able to come on this? how this clash is arising at the moment? >> well i haven't seen those comments. so i'm not sure what the director intended. we've been cooperating for months in the fight against isil with turkey. across all of the lines of effort. that includes on the one hand trying to stop the flow of foreign fighters includes on the financial side also
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includes on the delegitimization of isil as well as on train and equip. so we have a productive relationship with turkey in the fight against isil and we expect it to continue. >> reporter: there was a letter sent from congressman keatings office to secretary kerry also joined by [ inaudible ] higher ranking members of the house foreign relations committee. it is about establishing a platform. have you seen the letter first of all, establishing a platform between the turkey and the u.s. in regards to human rights problems and rule of law in turkey. have you see that letter -- >> yes, we're aware of the letter, which i think is dated today from several members of congress. >> yes. >> you know, as we have -- you have asked about other letters from congress in recent days and we have made clear, first
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that we will of course be responding to the letter, but more generally as we said in the past, we remain concerned about freedom of expression and the freedom of assembly in turkey and so we have, you know raised those concerns in addition to questions about due process. >> reporter: there is a specific resolution or asking the state department to establish this platform between turkey and the u.s. would you join or agree with this -- >> we just received the letter today, we will look at it and be responding to it. >> and have you seen the security bill that passed the turkish parliament just yesterday? it is criticized by human rights groups across the world that it is very damage to turkish democracy, and it gives these new powers to police.
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do you have a comment? have you seen it? >> we're aware of the tushish security situation. we believe it weakens rather than strengthens democratic societies. and we share the concern about tour tour -- turkish security issues. and we'll continue to work with the turkish government to ensure that legal freedoms will be not' road. >> reporter: so that legislation just passed. and that is the comment. and how do you see from yesterday to today a change in the [ inaudible ] in turkey? >> i'm not going to comment in that way. what i said is our point of view on -- on the situation in turkey, and on this legislation,
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and we will continue to discuss with turkish officials the importance of safe-guarding due process. brad did you have a question? >> reporter: have you had any conversations, the united states and italy, regarding the looming in addition in the amanda knox trial? >> not that i'm aware of. there is an italian legal process underway, so that's where the situation resides. >> reporter: as -- has there been any discussion regarding extradition if they were demanded by the italians? >> no we haven't had any discussions with that regard. >> reporter: the nigerian election is tomorrow. we know the assist important sectarian thomas green field -- that was the acting deputy state department spokesman in washington, d.c. part of his press briefing there we were interested in is when he
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was talking about the coalition operation that's underway in yemen at the moment. saying that the u.s. doesn't want to see an open-ended war in yemen. we'll get some reaction from our correspondent who you may have seen in that press conference. we'll move on for the moment though. coalition military forces in iraq have told al jazeera they are ready to launch a ground offensive in the northern city of tikrit. natasha ghoneim reports. >> reporter: the sky over tikrit has been full of smoke since the u.s.-lead air strikes began on wednesday. bombs have hit isil facilities, check points bridges, staging areas, and fighting positions. >> translator: their fighting capabilities have been badly hit, and our troops are prepared
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to launch the ground operation to liberate the city at the lowest possible loss. >> reporter: iraq initially reached out to iran for assistance in reclaiming tikrit. iraq has been working with iran to push isil out of the city. but when the mission seemed to stall, iraqi forces turned to the u.s. for help. the u.s. air strikes have also generated a battle of words. iranian-lead groups had been fighting alongside the iraqi military. the u.s. says it agreed to assist only if those shiite groups left. but iran says it refused to work with the u.s. and boycotted its mission in tikrit. now thousands of the shiite groups have left. the concern is the remaining solders will be no match for
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isil. >> translator: every single soldier is determined and has high moral. we are raising one another in the fight. >> reporter: but isil has proven to be a patient and resilient enemy. avalanches in afghanistan last month brought down power lines that brings electricity to the capitol. now afghan workers are rebuilding the equipment by hand. >> reporter: 3400 meters high afghan engineers are working to restore power to millions of people. 11,000 towers along a 500 kilometer ruth bring electricity from us beck stan to kabul. >> translator: we can't bring in any heavy machinery. we can only use basic equipment. >> reporter: this tower and two others are completely destroyed.
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workers must carry all 15 tons of the replace tower through the snow. the avalanche came from three different directions. and the force of the snow tore a 15-ton tower off of its cement base and carried it 150 meters down the hill. working in these conditions means doing almost everything by hand. for two weeks no power flowed at all. one line now carries 100 megawatts to kabul. these men know the faster they can work the better. >> translator: avalanches high winds and the possibility of rock falls make this a very dangerous area. it's also very remote which is why our work is going so slowly. >> reporter: if the weather cooperates it will take about a month to get the electricity flowing at full capacity.
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chief engineer says 5 million people depend on this group of men as they repair what the falling snow destroyed. jennifer glasse, al jazeera, afghanistan. more news straight ahead here on al jazeera. a bishop's appointment sparks a big row in chile. we'll tell you why.
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♪ a state funeral has been held for the former australian prime minister who died last week.
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tony abbott joined hundreds of mourners who remember the man. he died at the age of 84, following a brief illness. myanmar's military commander says he'll support successful elections in november, but warned that the army won't tolerate instability or threats. he was speaking to troops at a mill stair parade on the 70th anniversary of armed forces day. this year's elections will be the first held by the semicivilian government that swept the power after a 2010 vote. a thai court has ruled that a family of suspected muslim uyghurs must be held in detention. it's a diplomatic tug of war between china and turkey. the family says they are from turkey and want to return. beijing says they are from the northwest region of china. >> reporter: the fate of 17
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muslim uyghurs here in thailand is still in limbo. their detention because they illegally entered thailand is sound. that's something their attorney is going to appeal. >> translator: this case is definitely tied to politics. these 17 uyghurs are from turkey. they have family members back in their hometown. the passports are issued from the turkish interior ministry. >> reporter: they contend they are from turkey and have been given turkish passports. chinese officials say they are from the west of china, and they are not alone. there are more than 300 uyghurs here in detention for illegally entering thailand. the u.n. estimates that will are at least 10 million people word wide who aren't citizens of any country, and that means they
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can't get support from any government. daniel lak reports from canada's yukon territory where he met a man that is trying to prove he is canadian. >> reporter: exercise for donovan as he gets his kids from school. not that he could pick them up in the family vehicle. he has never had a driver's license, or a passport or a birth certificate. >> daddy, why are you on the roof? >> reporter: his anarchist parents didn't register his birth because they didn't trust the government. in 2009 his past caught up with him. >> border agent showed up at my house, and it was just me with my children at the time. unfortunately he came with an attitude that i wasn't canadian that i'm an american. >> uh-huh. >> and i'm not. >> reporter: immigration authorities threatened to deport him unless he could prove links to canada. he doesn't remember where he was
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born but has lived here all of his adult life. lately he has had three heart attacks. >> my dog has more rights than i do. i am a nobody in the eyes of the government and i'm tired of being treated that way. it's -- my parents -- my parents made the choice and i'm the one that has had to suffer for it. >> reporter: he has appealed to the federal citizenship minister to use his discretionary power to grant canadian nationality. one of the ironies is that it is happening here in dawson city a place until the early part of the 20th century wasn't clearly defined as being either the u.s. or british-ruled canada. this photo of awes u.s. independent state crowd frightened ottawa in to asserting canadian sovereignty
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here. but today's authorities seem in no rush to address his citizenship. >> citizenship is framed in reference of the refugee or the immigrant or the skilled immigrant. and just citizenship for those in general for those who do not have citizenship is just not a priority. >> reporter: they await the canadian government's decision. he hopes that he might soon 61 years on call it his government get a birth certificate, and finally be a citizen of somewhere. daniel lak al jazeera, dawson city. thousands of people have protested in mexico city to mark six months since the disappearance of 43 students. they don't accept the investigation report that the students were killed by a drug gang. >> reporter: thousands of people are marching here in mexico city six months after 43 students
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went missing. they are calling for the suspension of elections in the state which are set to be held on june 7th. they say if anything those elections will just produce a continued corrupt political class, a political class packed with people tied to organized crime. they say they it's a state run by drug trafficking organizations. it's likely this commission will support this proposal because that would be an admission that democracy doesn't exist in much of mexico. and that is something the president is unlikely to want his government to be admitting. we have been speaking to people and here is what they had to say about the elections. >> translator: i don't think elections right now would do any good but we are also trapped because we don't believe in inciting violence. we also don't want to overthrow
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institutions in a coup. >> translator: democracy is sick here but we have to revive it. we can't let it die. >> reporter: six months on more than 100 people have been arrested in this case nearly 50 of those are police but people marching and millions across mexico just don't believe that the attorney's generals office has conducted an exhausttive and transparent investigation. chileans are questioning the pope's decision of granting a bishop. >> reporter: it was the closest thing to a lynch mob in the world's most catholic region. earlier this month enraged protesters in chile tried to prevent this father from being ordained as their new bishop. he is accused of covering up for his former mentor a notorious
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pedophile priest convicted by chilean courts and the vatican. >> translator: the pope has said be vary of evil and never commit the sin of silence in the face of it. >> reporter: he was one of the thousands who protested at the cathedral and continues calling for the pope to reabove baros. the bishop declined to speak to al jazeera but has denied any wrongdoing. an assertion refuted by his accusers. >> translator: each testimony we have given has been confirmed in time. what shocks me is it still necessary to convince some people of the truth. >> reporter: scores are calling for his removal like this father who says they are perplexed that the pope ignored their warnings. >> translator: knowing everything we know the only
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explanation is that the facts were presented to the holly father in a different light by others with more influence. otherwise this is incomprehensible. >> reporter: many priests and lay catholics want a full investigation and say he must standing down until his name a cleared. in the last 30 years tens of millions of catholics abandoned the church in part because of the hierarchyies refusal to condemn sexual abuses. nevertheless the case is testing the pope's commitment to stamp out sex abuses in chile and beyond. ung mining efforts to win back back -- confidence. lucia newman al jazeera, chile. i'll be back with the news hour here on al jazeera in just
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a couple of moments. see you then. sanaa, it's the
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only on al jazeera america >> announcer: this is al jazeera. ♪ hello welcome to another news hour from al jazeera, from our headquarters in doha i'm adrian finighan. coming up in the next 60 minutes. >> the main objective is to protect the government in aden. the saudi-lead coalition carries out more air strikes targeting houthi military installations in yemen. >> i'm david foster in london. the actions of the man