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tv   News  Al Jazeera  May 22, 2015 12:00pm-12:31pm EDT

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a suicide bomber targets friday prayers at a see -- shia mosque in saudi arabia killing around 20 people. ♪ hello there. this is al jazeera live from london. iraq asks for more help as isil fighters move closer to baghdad. farc suspends its ceasefire after an air strike kills 26
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rebels. and happy birthday pacman. the game turns 35. ♪ hello. a suicide bomber has attacked a shia mosque in eastern saudi arabia during friday prayers, killing around 20 people. the blast happened in the village in the province home to a shia minority. witnesses described a huge explosion as worshippers began prayers. dozens more were injured. we'll get more from hashem ahelbarra who is in the saudi capitol riyadh. tell us more about what you know about this attack hashem. >> reporter: basically eyewitnesss say that they were praying, the friday prayers when they heard an explosion and 20 people were killed dozens
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injured. the saudi highest religious authority condemned the attack saying this is a heinous crime targeting the unity of the saudi people saying that the perpetrator is someone who is affiliated with a foreign agenda to further destabilize the region. the saudi ministry of interior said that he is further investigating the case. this happened in a -- area that is home to the shia minority. the authorities say that these are people affiliated with radical groups who are trying to use the violence as an excuse to exacerbate the sectarian tension in the country. >> is there any idea who is responsible for the attack? >> reporter: no claim of
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responsibility so far. we're getting reports that the -- isil is claiming responsibility for the attack inside saudi arabia and the attack which took place in the yemeni capitol, sana'a. however, we're not getting any confirmation from official sources here. we have also to take into account that over the past few years, saudi arabia has been having problems with groups affiliated with al-qaeda who targeted many areas here in the capitol and across the country. they have targeted security forces, government buildings, compounds, and the saudi crown prince was the man in charge of the clamp down on the al-qaeda and groups affiliated with it over the last few years. >> all right.
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keep us up to date with the latest on that story. as we just heard a bomb has also exploded in a mosque in sana'a. the targeted mosque was used by shia houthis. isil has claimed responsibility for that attack. also in yemen, the saudi-lead coalition has bombed a military site. air strikes have been taking place throughout friday targeting houthi positions. an iranian cargo ship has arrived in djibouti. the food and medical supplies will be unloaded and taken by the world health organization to the port under houthi control. iraq is appealing for more international help to fight the islamic state of iraq and the levant. iraq's deputy prime minister says isil's recent capture of the key city of ramada is a big
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disaster from which iraq's own forces can't adequately fight back. isil continues to edge closer to baghdad. it has now taken the crossing, the last syrian government-held border crossing between iraq and syria, which sits on the main highway. and in syria, isil fighters are reported to have spread across palmyra, going door to door executing as many as 150 suspected assad government loyalists. >> reporter: some of these men will be sent teem into the sunni heartland to fight isil. others will stay behind to protect the strategic town that the islamic state of iraq and the levant has tried to control in the past. for these shia militiamen this battle is not just about recapturing territory. they are protecting routes to prevent an isil attempt to advance on shia holy sights in
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neighboring provinces. >> translator: i volunteered to join this battle to protect our holy shrines. we don't want isil to advance further and threaten the shia holy sites. >> reporter: it was a controversial decision to use shia militia men in a sunni province, but the government has no choice. it is the gate to the mainly shia province it also lies on a young shun with roads south to saudi arabia, north to anbar's provincial capitol, where there are highways to baghdad and neighboring jordan and syria. isil has captured the last border crossing between syria and iraq. it controls most of that front tier and its fighters move freely between the two countries. the u.s. has down played the gains. president barack obama has said that the loss of territory were
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tactical setbacks and insists the war is not being lost. but many disagree. isil has taken over two cities in a week. ramadi is 100 kilometers from baghdad. it is also the last major city on the road to the iraqi capitol. and palmyra is 150 kilometers from syria's central province of homs, which is on a major cross road. the government did invest manpower and resources over the year to reclaim homs from the opposition, if it loses there, damascus and the coastal region would be under threat. but for now, isil controls the land between palmyra to ramadi. in iraqs the fight against the armed group is being lead by shia militias. sunni politicians who wanted the tribes to be armed a long time ago are now calling for a new
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strategy. >> translator: today anbar has fallen and that is a special significance it's a third of the iraqi area. it's falling is a big disaster with respect to iraq and the region. therefore, letting isil expand in anbar is unacceptable, and the capacity of the iraqis is very limited and there should be a new strategic plan for iraq and the international coalition forces. >> reporter: in syria, the u.s.-lead coalition doesn't have any partner on the ground. over recent months isil may have been on the defensive. that has now changed. activists in syria's aleppo province say at least 12 people have been killed when government helicopters bombed the province. and in a separate development, the state news agency says syrian forces have managed to end a siege on soldiers who had
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taken refuge in a hospital. >> reporter: multiple air strikes on this town in the province of idlib. the aim of those strikes is to provide cover for more than 200 government troops besieged for over two weeks in the town's hospital. these pictures show a number of syrian forces escape. some of them are said to be senior officers. the hospital is the last government strong hold in the town. >> translator: ten days ago, bashar al-assad promised to end the siege. today is a day of joy and victory. >> reporter: the opknowns include al-nusra fighters. days earlier they captured the city of idlib, the provincial capital. this and the rest of the province are important, it means
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they have a greatway to the coast, president assad's power base. further north syrian helicopters drop two barrel bombs on the town in the northern countryside. rescue workers and residents were looking for survivors. the town is under rebel control, and activists say the attacks have killed several people all of them women and children. ♪ columbia's farc rebels have suspended their ceasefire after 26 of their members were killed by government forces. it also resulted in the seizure of large number of weapons. the armed forces resumed attacks against farc members after an attack that left ten soldiers
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dead. daniel joining us now live from buenos aires. what more do you know? >> reporter: they issued a statement, and they the attack by police the army and the air force against them in the [ inaudible ] province. there has been a precarious unilateral ceasefire. they call on the president to continue a bilateral ceasefire. to try to move the process forward. >> more on that story in the coming hours, no doubt. thank you. and still to come on this half hour, the u.n. says it is
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seeing 300 to 400 new cholera cases a day for the burundi refugees.
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♪ hello, welcome back. a reminder of the top stories here on al jazeera. a suicide bomber has blown himself up at a shia mosque in eastern saudi arabia. isil has claimed responsibility for the attack. thousands of shia militiaman
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gathered in iraq to plan a counter offensive against isil. iraq has asked for more international help to fight the group. and columbia's farc rebels have suspended their ceasefire with the military after 26 of their men were killed in an air strike. the latest round of talks between the united states and cuba are into a second day in the u.s. capitol. the aim of course is to restore the official embassies in washington and havana. normalizing relations between the two a decisions were announced by president barack obama in december. guatemala is in political turmoil after three key ministers were sacked amid a corruption corruption scandal has gone to
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the top of the government. the chief of the central bank are among 14 others who have been arrested. david mercer is in the capitol. >> reporter: guatemala's political crisis deepened on thursday. the president announced the dismissals in the wake of corruption scandals that are battering his administration. >> translator: this was my request, it's important that this is made clear. it's not what is asked for, but i am accepting this and making the changes that i consider appropriate. of course we have made enough efforts to move forward and continue fighting to serve the people of guatemala. >> reporter: the major cabinet shuffle came a day after the chief was arrested in a bribery investigation. police detained a dozen other officials, including the head of the social security agency.
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tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in cent weeks to protest corruption and demand the president's resignation. the biggest political scandal emerged after a corruption sting implicated the head of the tax authority and the vice president's personal secretary. but though the vice president stepped down two weeks ago, the criticisms have grown. the president will be opening this latest set of resignations will help pacifies guatemala ns but it's a likely the president's troubles are far from over. while corruption has marked guatemala governments for decades this is the first time the president has links. >> translator: we have lived through a crisis during the government's time but they haven't done anything for us.
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all they have done is to steal from the country. that's not right. >> translator: he has promised many things and one of those was to deal with corruption but he is the main one who is corrupt. >> reporter: with national election just four months away it will be hard for politicians to regain credibility. political reforms have risen to the top of the people's agenda the hard work it appears is still ahead. david mercer al jazeera, guatemala city. tanzania is struggling to cope with a growing humanitarianian crisis. tens of thousands of burundi refugees are crammed in camps. the u.n. says it is seeing 300 to 400 new cases of cholera there every day. >> reporter: they fled their homes in search of safety but
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their journey has only just begun. the refugees are moved south from the border to a stadium turned transit center. >> translator: it was two days traveling and we had to walk long distances. when we crossed the border to tanzania the police made it difficult. >> reporter: many arrive in the transit camp with diarrhea. >> all cases at the moment are being treated at the moment as if they are cholera. the method through which you confirm cholera is you have to take stool samples and send them to a lab, so it's a time-consuming process. >> reporter: from here it's another three miles inland.
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cholera has been confirmed in each of the three stops, and hundreds of refugees with potentially life-threatening dehydration are coming forward daily. more refugees are arriving by the day. this small fishing village where they first arrive is overwhelmed. 25,000 refugees have been moved on from here but 35,000 remain. aide agencies are so keen to move people that they have cut a trail through the mountains, and are leading the strongest on a six-hour hike to reach the official camp. burundians are given refugee status on arrival. where to live and how to make a living will come next. for now the focus is on safety and survival. after a lull in the number of ebola cases, a fresh outbreak in guinea is worrying health officials. the world health organization says 27 new cases have been
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recorded in a week compared to 7 previous week. the recent ebola crisis began in guinea in 2013. gaza's economy is on the verge of collapse. it says the unemployment rate is now the highest in the world. with 43% of its 1.8 million residents without work. the report says blockades put in place by israel and egypt since 2007 are having a high economic cost. it estimated gaza's gross domestic product would be four times higher without those restrictions. it is nine months since the end of the war in gaza but around a hundred thousand people are still homeless. the situation could explode if palestinian leaders and the israeli government don't do more
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to improve conditions. >> reporter: for weeks mohammed has been clearing rubble from what is left of his home. it was all but destroyed during the bombardment of the gaza strip last year. since the war ended he and seven members of his family have been renting a small apartment in gaza city for around $300 a month. but with little work available, they can no longer afford it. >> translator: we have lost hope. no one is helping us to rebuild. we are clearing the rubble so we can set up a tent to live in. see how we suffer in >> reporter: the nation middle east envoy has warned that the people of gaza are so desperate and angry about their plight that it could lead to an implosion, and both israeli and palestinian leaders need to do more to prevent that from happening. across gaza there are signs that
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people have given up hope for help. the frustration here goes far beyond a lack of help in construction. many are angry at the ongoing political infighting between palestinian factions israel's blockade, egypt's closing of the crossing and the international community's failure to deliver on billions. but the u.n. development agency took the media on a tour of this apartment that was reconstructed from the islamic development bank. the housing units were reconstructed through the project providing homes for more than a thousand families, but all agree it is not enough. >> the longer it takes for people to get their lives together again, the more dangerous it is that their situation again will move towards more negative scenario,
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because the people feel they have nothing to lose. people will act accordingly. >> reporter: for mohammed all he want is a proper home for his family, something he says he is willing to fight for if left with little choice. with nepal's rainy season due to start within weeks gee oolg sgiss are assessing mountain villages for potential landslides. the government says it needs help demolishing buildings. faiz jamil reports. >> reporter: it is condemned buildings like this one that are posing a threat for the people in nepal. the government says it lacks funds to bring them down safely and they are asking other countries for the equipment and expertise to bring them down safely. until they are brought down the
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people who live and work in narrow streets like this one say they don't feel safe. >> translator: i feel unsafe because of thenar row streets, but we don't have any choice. we have to find a safe space in whatever is there. if another earthquake comes we can't go anywhere. >> reporter: many buildings were left like this one because were improperly or illegally constructed. corruption in the construction business is an open secret with many buildings having extra floors, the united nations this week urged nepal to impose its existing building code. many feel had the code been enforced beforehand, many lives could have been saved before the earthquake struck. myanmar's navy has detained more than 200 people after rescuing them at sea. they say the people are bengali, the word it uses to describe
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rohingya muslims. thousands have travelled to indonesia, malaysia and thailand in the last few weeks. >> the root of the problem for those leaves from myanmar is the political and social situation on the ground in their state. in order to development a sustainable and durable solution, the union government must fulfill its previous commitments to improve the living conditions and secure the full protections and fundamental freedoms of all communities in accordance with international standards. >> reporter: the korean executive who delayed a flight for being delivered nuts in a package and not a bowl has been
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released from prison. now it is happy birthday to pacman, the popular video game is now 35 years old. in japan hundreds have been celebrating the anniversary. a total of 351 fans have recreated the iconic character. the game is the most successful coin-operated machine of all time. tarek bazley looks back at a piece of gaming history. >> reporter: in 1980, the video game's world was dominated by games like this one, space invaders, they are aimed mainly at boys who played them. that was until this man, set out to design a game to appeal to women. the inspiration, apparently he was eating a pizza, and two slices in the name occurred to me. it was initially named for the
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sound your mouth makes when it is open and closing rapidly. 350,000 pakman arcade machines like this one was sold in the first 18 months and pulled in over $2.5 billion in revenue. >> this was the first game to have real competitive artificial intelligence that hunted you down. it was great music, beautiful colors blinking lights flashing music. it was just a lot of fun. >> reporter: pacman became the first original gaming mascot and was the first game of many to be set in a maze. it was also the first video game licensing success with pacman merchandise worth more than a billion dollars sold in the u.s. alone. >> there was a pac mania, he has a cartoon, a christmas special, his own can of tomato sauce
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pasta. it was the character to really take off and become a success. and it really did pave the way for a lot of video game stuff that we see today. >> reporter: the success of pacman has turned the game into a cultural icon, a symbol of a generation that grew up with video games. and it looks like it is set to move on. in july a film is due to come out that's aliens interpreting video games as a sign of war. the real producer may have retired in 2007 but in the film he is invited back to reign in the monster he created. one way to tackle pick pocketing is happening in paris.
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workers at the eiffel tower have taken radical action to solve the problem. the tower was shut most of friday as folks were held on increasing police patrols. much more on our stories on our website. the address is debating the patriot act, the senate fights over extending or changing the law days before it exspires. hundreds of emails release from hillary clinton's time at secretary of state. what do they show about the attack on benghazi. the pentagon admits u.s. air strikes killed children instead of membe