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tv   News  Al Jazeera  July 30, 2015 12:00pm-12:31pm EDT

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the afghan taliban confirms the death of its leader mullah omar and announces his successor. hello there, i'm barbara sarah, you are watching al jazeera live from london, also coming up on the program, migrants pray for a way out of makeshift camps in france. the promise of peace in burundi encourages some to return, but the u.n. says most are still too scared. and with food supplies under pressure could the chinese be
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convinced to embrace the humble potato? ♪ hello there, thank you for joining us. after years of confusion over mullah omars fate the afghan taliban has confirmed that its leader is in fact dead. the taliban supreme council is focusing on its future. they have announced their new leader mullah akhtar mansoor. he has been notable for assertibling his position for standing up to the leader of the al jazeera america al jazeera america. he told him to back off from afghanistan. before the taliban was overthrown during the u.s. invasion of afghanistan in 2001. monsieur -- mansoor served in
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the government. >> reporter: mullah omar was the spiritual leader of the taliban. the fbi offered millions of dollars for information on his whereabouts, that remained a mystery in the final years of his life. communications from him, came through the taliban's website, usually on halladays or anniversaries. it was never clear if they were really his words. he was a sfieter battling the soviet army's occupation of afghanistan during the 1980s. his confidante described how he became the self proclaimed emir of afghanistan. >> the taliban chose him because he had 30 people and he had some weapons to use. the second reason he was a famous [ inaudible ] person.
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>> reporter: his 30 fighters became thousands. the taliban took over afghanistan in 1996. under his command the taliban established security and order in a country ravaged by chaos and violence. stability came at a cost. the taliban's strict interpretation of islam meant harsh punishment was meted out toward the people. he a alloued al-qaeda leader osama bin laden a refuge and freedom to operate in afghanistan. it was a mutually beneficial relationship. their bond came familial when osama bin laden's daughter married omar's son. the u.s. demanded the taliban give up bin laden.
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he refused. in october 2001 a united states coalition drove the taliban from power. after four quiet years still in hiding, he directed an increasingly violent war against the government. roadside bombing became their hallmarks. the taliban made areas of afghanistan virtually impossible to govern. in recent years there have been political overtures, giving representatives a political office in cat tar. and after years of saying they would never negotiate with what they called a puppet government, taliban venntives sat down with government officials, omar was nowhere to be seen but an online message endorsed the negotiations. by then reports suggested he had
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long been dead. but now the taliban has a new leader. >> we can speak to jennifer glasse live in kabul, afghanistan for us. as you were saying taliban has a new leader mullah akhtar mansoor, who has been serving as deputy for the last four years. reports suggest that omar was actually dead for many of those years. does this mean a change for the taliban and afghanistan? >> well i think that's a really good question as you said mansoor has been the deputy and has been in charge according to our taliban sources of many of the political decisions that have been made by the taliban over the last few years, and the afghan government says he has been dead for more than two years. omar, of course has not been seen in public for more than a
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decade. how much will change? that's a really good question. you have the political side and the military side. all of this happens against a backdrop of a lot of taliban military activity across afghanistan. in the north where they launched their spring offensive in april, we have seen renewed offensive just over the last couple of days where they took dozens of villages. yesterday they took a district this hellmann province the afghan government says they made a strategic retreat there, but we have certainly seen a very aggressive military side of the taliban, and that's going to be the real question because you have the military activities of the taliban and a renewed political side of the taliban. >> and of course there are peace talks going on between the government and the taliban. we're meant to see the second round sick off tomorrow, which is friday 31st of july. what is happening? have they been delayed or canceled?
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what do we know? >> barbara, those peace talks definitely have been put on hold for now. both the taliban saying they have been put on hold. the ministry of foreign affairs here in afghanistan saying they are sorry, but right now peace talks more important than ever and they are optimistic even though this news that the taliban has changed, they are still optimistic that peace talks can go forward. the new key will be who will be represented? do they event the political side of the taliban, or do they represent the fighter on the battlefield. we have new fighters who have declared their allegiance to isil or daesh as it is called here. that has also been a game changer here. and also concerns that the taliban is split as well. it's a very very uncertain situation here as this new news
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emerges that the taliban has a brand new leader and the peace talks have been delayed for now. >> jennifer thank you. ♪ israel's parliament has passed a controversial law, allowing for the force feeding of prisoners on hunger strikes. the bill was passed with a majority of just six votes. u.n. human rights expects and israel's [ inaudible ] have condemned the move. stephanie decker has more now from west jerusalem. >> reporter: this hugely controversial bill is now law, and what that means is that security prisoners, prisoners that israel has convicted or suspects of what it calls ter rir-related charges.
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also the bill allows for a certain amount of force to be used by jailers if the prisoners refuse to be force fed. it has to be said most of those on hunger strike are being held without charge that can be up to six months and it is renewable under a military court. so most of the cases that we have seen of hunger strikes are knows who have not been charged, and members in opposition said either charge these prisoners or release them to solve this problem. and a huge backlash from israel's medical community. they say this amounts to torture and goes against all of their beliefs, and are urging doctors not do it. one doctor we spoke to actually equated it to rape. we put all of this to one of the men involved? drafting the bill and he said this is about medical help. we don't want these prisoners to die. but if you look at the numbers
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on the ground over the last years really here no prisoner has ever died from a hunger strike, but there have been cases where prisoners have died because they were force fed. there are reports that eight members of a group of u.s.-trained fighters have been abducted in northern syria. activists say the men from the new syrian force were kidnapped by the alchied linked nusra front in aleppo. this video is said to show the fightering entering syria. the men had recently returned from training in turkey. kuwait's interior ministry says it has uncovered a network of isil fighters. five nationals have been identified. they say one suspect was killed in what they called a terrorist operation in iraq. kuwait launched a security crack downafter a mosque attack last month. turkey's military says three
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soldiers have been killed in an attack by kurdish fighters. it happened in the southeastern province. helicopters and the commando unit were dispatched to the area. turkish jets have been targeting fighters of the pkk since wednesday. speculation is mounting that debris found on an island in the indian ocean could long to the missing airlines mh370. the object has washed up on a island east of madagascar thousands of kilometers from the search zone. the debris is being sent where investigators will attempt to verify it. 239 people were aboard the flight. >> this is obviously a very significant development. it's the first real evidence
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that there's possibility that a part of the aircraft may have been found. it's too early to make that judgment, but clearly, we are treating this as -- as a major lead, and -- and seeking to get assurance about what has been found, and whether it is indeed linked to the disappearance of mh370. >> let's go live to the island. tanya has we were saying the debris is heading towards french investigators who will try to verify whether it was part of mh 370. do we have any idea how long that verification process could take? >> we don't really. we know at the moment that there are many malaysian officials here investigators, and that they are going to give us a news conference. we'll have comment from them tomorrow. so we'll find a little bit more detail about what happens to this what could be really a
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vital glue in the ongoing investigation to what happened to mh370. this is of course -- if it is from that plane, a hugely significant find discovered which a couple of people wan dearing on the beach. they stated was covered in barnacles. it appears to be the right age, some aviation experts who have been able to look at some of the footage believe it is from a boeing 777. so the right kind of plane. what will they be able to learn from it? well possibly not very much as far as what happened to the flight but it will i think, give some confirmation to those searching for the wreckage that they are looking at the right place. because some modeling of where the debris could have wound up did place some of it in this region. so they'll have confirmation of that. and it could lead to some
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closure for some of the families. >> i was going to ask about the families. it has been a couple of hours since this has been known. are you seeing any kind of interest beyond the malaysian government there? >> well we are in terms of when we all got off of the plane. we were surrounded by a lot of local journalists. there's a huge amount of interest here. people very aware that anyone with any stake in this story, any interest in the families and what went wrong, are focused very much on this small speck in the indian ocean, if you would like. if thousands of kilometers from where it's believed the plane went down but nonetheless this is the center of the universe for those families. no indication that any of them will come here because the peace of wreckage if confirmed
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is now on its way to france for further investigation. >> tania page with the latest. thank you. still lots more to come on the program, including burundi's government says people who fled recent violence are now heading home. and a dozen nations locked in talks over an ambitious new trade deal but can an agreement actually be reached? ♪
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♪ time now for a reminder of
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the top stories. the afghan taliban confirms that its leader mull la omar is dead. the leader is now akhtar mansoor. israel's parliament has passed a controversial law allowing for the forced feeding of prisoners on hunger strike. and the iraqi government has denied allegations that it is using torture in its prisons. the allegations are being investigated by a u.n. committee. rights groups says abuses are widespread. imran khan sent this update. >> the iraqis have denied the charges of torture in a statement, they said we do not torture people and there is no evidence provided by the u.n. tribunal or other human rights groups to contradict that.
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however, there is a legal problem. torture isn't clearly defined in the constitution. some would say this has been a deliberate measure to allow them to get away with opening secret prisons and torturing iraqi prisoners. there's plenty of publicly available evidence on this over the last ten years we have seen reports from amnesty international and other groups about these secret prisons, there's been plenty of testimony from people who have been inside those secret prisons, alleging that they have been tortured but abadi took power after maliki he said he was going to clean house. we haven't seen a huge amount of that going on particularly when it comes to these allegations of secret prisons and torture. various human rights groups have put out public statements and evidence to suggest that those -- torture techniques are still being used and those
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secret prisons are still in existence. the verdict in the retrial of three al jazeera journalists in egypt has been postponed until next month. baher mohamed, mohammed fahmy, and peter greste are accused of colluding with the outlawed muslim brotherhood. charges they and al jazeera deny. the hearing has been adjourned for the ninth time until august 2nd. the men were found guilty in june 2014, but an appeals court ordered a retrial in january. thousands of migrants are taking their live into their hone hands while making desperate attempts to cross the channel from france to the u.k. this week alone, nearly 4,000 people have tried to use trucks and trains as a way of getting into the tunnel. now david cameron has hit the headlines after saying the u.k. must do more to protect itself borders from the quote, swarm of people going across.
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barnaby phillips reports. >> reporter: british workmen are in france reinforcing defenses around the euro tunnel complex. they hope this will be enough to keep migrants out and stop them from boarding trucks and trains to try to get across the channel. in britain the newspapers are increasingly sl shrill. something must be done to keep migrants out. the french are not up to the job. the prime minister sensitive to the mood at home used perhaps insensitive language to describe the situation. >> this is very testing, i accept that because you have a swarm of people coming across the mediterranean, seeking a better life wanting to come to britain, because britain has jobs a growing economy, an incredible place to live but we need to protect our boarders which working with our neighbors the french and that's what we're doing. >> this is the existing fence. you can see reinforced with
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barbed wire and more at the top. but it looks as though some people have cut over the wire there is a sign that says danger of death in several languages, warning people not to go through, but beyond there's more barbed wire and then a second fence, and again, reinforcements at the top of that second fence. so you would have to be really really determined to try to get through here and try to board one of those trains like the one that is just going past right now. shortly afterwards a team arrived to repair the hole and so the game of cat and mouse goes on. the real action happens after dark when the migrants hope it will be easier to get across undetected although on this occasion the french policeman aged to keep them out. outside the hospital i met a syrian man who wouldn't show his
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phases. he had tried to jump on to a ship to england but slipped and broke both arms. he's been well treated in this french hospital but he is still plotting how to get to england. >> when i am back my health and -- and go outside the hospital i am try again to get to london. it's my dream. i don't just hope for that. i am try one, two, three. >> reporter: no one who has come this far is easily deterred. this group didn't get across this time but they too will surely try again. barnaby phillips al jazeera. burundi's government says families who fled from political unrest are now coming back. but the u.n. says more than a
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hundred thousand are still in refugee camps in neighboring drc, tanzania and rwanda. haru mutasa reports. >> reporter: this woman says she went to a refugee camp in rwanda because she was afraid. she is one of thousands who fled from burundi during the recent violence vournding a controversial election. she and others have now started to return home. >> translator: there was no war, so i came back. the camp was not good. but i am scared. i heard some are being harassed by those who stayed. >> reporter: in many cases those returns come back to this. neighbors say thieves took advantage of the situation. they broke down the door and came inside. they then went through room by room looking for whatever they could steal. a voter's card is a reminder of the first election after the civil war when the president won
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his first term. he recently won a third after months of violence. government officials say people are coming back because security in burundi has been restored. >> translator: yes, a lot are coming back. many have walked from neighboring rwanda. the security has improved in the country. it's true after the elections, people started coming back. >> reporter: but the united nations says more than 100,000 people are still in refugee camps. >> so far what we are not seeing is that those who were in urban areas, not [ inaudible ] are now returning. so the government may have a definition that these are refugees, but for who us we take refugees those who had asked for the protection of other countries as refugees and for those, we are not having signs that they are starting coming now.
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we are monitoring the situation. >> reporter: many know the crisis isn't over. the proposed unity government may not work. it may be a long time before everyone who has left returns home. haru mutasa. the u.s. wildlife agency says they have not been able to contact the man who killed a famous lion in zimbabwe. he was a protected lion who lived on a wildlife reserve. he killed cecil with a bow and arrow and says he believed he was acting legally. the safari club has suspended the hunter's membership. in mexico at least 23 people have been killed when a truck crashed into a group of pill prim -- pilgrims. the truck hit the people as they were taking part in a religious
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procession. the man convicted for financing indian's deadliest bomb attack has been hanged. he was executed hours after his final mercy plea was rejected by the supreme court. a seriesover coordinated blasts in mumbai in 1993 killed 257 people and injured more than 700 others. ministers from a dozen pacific rim countries are locked in talks in hawaii trying to reach a deal on an ambitious free trade agreement. the tpp is being lead by the u.s. supporters say it will unlock markets, promote investment and boost sales, but people who have been demonstrating on the island say negotiations have been too secretive. now the push is on to market the humble potato to a wider chinese market. the world's most populous country is looking to find new
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ways to meet its food security needs, and experts are gathering for a major global potato conference in beijing. here is rob mcbribe. >> reporter: it has everything to do with potatoes. from every conceivable way of consuming them to better science for growing them. the chinese government is on a mission to convince the people on the wonders of the potato. >> translator: here in china, we have good quality potato varieties that have high yields. it will provide more options for us as a stable food. >> reporter: facing ever-more pressure on farming land it could be the potato to the rescue. underpinning the great potato debate is a very serious issue of food security in a country that has a fifth of the world's population to feed.
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the hearty potato requires far less land and water than rice. look around traditional street markets and it's hard to spot what is seen as a peasant food only for those who can't afford rice. >> translator: it's like a substitute food. i have it if there wasn't any rice. >> translator: we will have it like an extra vegetable, but it's not the basis for a whole feel. >> now more westernized younger people they will eat a lot more potatoes. >> reporter: and that's part of the problem. potato consumption is on the rise largely thanks to increasing amounts of french fries in fast-food restaurants. the challenge is getting the chinese to learn healthier ways of having their daily potato. >> translator: in mongolia we have been eating potatoes for a
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very long time. there are lots of ways of using them like potato noodles. >> reporter: hopefully this congress will show more ways of putting potato's on chinese dinner tables. more news on [ applause ] applause in a packed courtroom in cincinnati where a white police officer was arraigned in the willing of a black driver. a new lead in the sr. for malaysia airlines flight 370. investigators examine what looks like parts of a plane's wing that washed ashore on an island. plus thousand three girls swindled isil out of thousands