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tv   Weekend News  Al Jazeera  August 23, 2015 4:00am-4:31am EDT

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>> one step closer to europe, hundreds of migrants and refugees prepare to board a train taking them from macedonia to serbia. hello. this is al jazeera live from doha. also ahead on the program, hungry and desperate, we talk to families in syria. thousands of antigovernment protesters clash leaving dozens injuries. north and south korea are in
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talks to ease tensions. hello. macedonia police have allowed hundreds of refugees to pass through their border. they have seen a rise in the number of people trying to cross its territory on their way to western europe. many of them are refugees pleaing wars in the middle east and africa. we have reporters covering the story. in a moment we'll speak to andrew simons. but first, on the greek border town, jonah, people have been finally able to get through after days of being stranded there on the greek side. but the journey continues for many more as they continue to come in.
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>> reporter: that's absolutely right. i'm standing along side the railway tracks at this border point railway, a railway line that is working. we have seen freight trains moving from greece into macedonia. the blockade they put in place with razor wire has been eased substantial this. they are allowing groups of people through in an ordinarily fashion to follow the railway line as they have done for months on foot to the railway station. and all the while people keep arriving here and they will continue to do so. they are being ferried in daily shuttle runs from the southern islands of greece. people arrive just this morning and they make their way up by foot, by bus. and then here to this point. here is my report of the events
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of saturday before the reopening of this route. 48 hours after they shut the borders, the crowd makes a break for it. they didn't come this far to be held back. hundreds do get through. sprinting across open fields as armed police units fire grenades. in this case, directly at a mother and her two children. until thursday this was an invisible open border, railway tracks leading from greece through macedonia towards serve yeah, the eu and germany beyond. now refugees and his family have
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no idea why they are being treated this way. >> i'm not terrorist. this is not terrorists. this is not terrorists. we are humans. where is the humanity. to see us, look, everyone here, they are families. we don't need anything, just to cross. we don't need money. just let us cross. let us cross. i want to cross to germany. >> some have been sent back alleging harsh treatment by the local police. >> you say that the police were hitting you. >> see. can see. can see. can see. okay. see. see here. >> this is foolish. >> the same mother and her daughters are trapped and terrified. what has happened to us?
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tell us. >> family. >> your family got across and you are stuck here? she begs to be allowed to cross. we just heard the sound of small arms fire going above the heads of these people. they have taken staggering risks to get this far. they have traveled the sea in plastic dingies, crossed multiple borders on foot. they did not expect to be confronted with violence from armed police. the european union has shown its inability to deal with this movement of refugees and they seem to be no better. it was clear the police couldn't stop them, so they stopped trying. that's the situation on the greek side. let's go to andrew simmons on
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the macedonia side of the border with greece. what's happening there? >> you have just joined me as a train arrived. as you can see here, let's take a look at this platform. so many people here, all of them just exhausted, having gone across the border, most of them over saturday night, having had confrontations with the police. they are now here in this miserable place. it gives you some idea of just how bad things are. people have been camping out here. the macedonian government is trying to restrict them from crossing. that's why saw enthe confrontations. the people feel something is happening, they feel there is hope of getting out of here. and a train is waiting nearby. they have registered, but there is no way that everyone here is
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going to fit on this train just along that platform there, if you can see, there is no way they will all fit on that train. around 200. that's no more than an eighth of the number here. so what you have is this strange situation that no one is quite sure what is going to happen next. the government has a hard hand in that it's confronting the crowds on the borders on occasions. and then it's allowing some people through. what they are doing is effectively, look at this here. this is the sort of now and then, you get this escalation where the security forces address people in a fairly aggressive manner. but everyone here is really quite calm and just in hope of getting on that train down there to head north to the serbian border. that's the crossing point. so what the government is trying
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to do is get these poor people moved on, moved on. there is nothing here in any way humanitarian-wise. they just want them out of here. >> all right. many of the refugees making their way to europe are fleeing the war in syria. for most of the people left behind, they are dependent on aid. they are being blocked from going into the town just outside of damascus. all entrances have been closed and crucial aid can't get in. >> with food supplies blocked, these children are doing what they can, scavenging through the rubbish on the street. they came to escape the siege. but now they are living under another one. >> translator: we were sitting
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in our home and there were air strikes happening over our head. i have four children and they get scared. the fighting was right in front of my house, that's when we decided to flee. >> thousands came here hoping to find security and food. they found neither. it's been under various levels of siege since the start of the syrian war. the residents started the protests early on in the uprising. but that was when all the town's blocks were still whole. they never imagined what would follow is four years of hardship. they have had intermittent access to electricity and water, now aid agencies have been unable to take in crucial supplies. >> all entrances are closed off. no medical supplies can enter. the situation is now getting worse because of the food
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shortages and basic materials. >> the clinics are having to shut down because they don't have the medicine to treat people. as the routes in and out continue to be blocked, the residents continue to go hungry. talks from north and south korea are talking again as they try to ease border tensions. the talks lasted ten hours at the border village on saturday. as those talks resume, south korea is seeing increasing military sift north. border. harry has more from south korea. >> reporter: it's been reported that the south koreans are saying that 50 of north korea's 70 sib marines are away from their ports and not detect would by south korean forces.
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they upped their detection assets to try and establish where the submarines are. they are saying that the number of artillery pieces on the north of the border have doubled. so south koreans are sending a message that they know what's going on. whether the north koreans are sending a message, a show of force, potentially might be afoot. we don't know. but the south koreans are seeing increased military activity. >> ties between the u.k. and iran as both countries are set to open their embassies. >> hundreds of doctors who fled venezuela are caught in limbo here i in colombia.
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>> i would love to see my business grow into a transnational company. >> hello again, you are watching al jazeera. hundreds of refugees are preparing to board a train that will take them from macedonia to serbia. they have seen a rise in the number of people trying to cross the territory on their way into northern europe. senior officials from north and south korea have resumed talks in an effort to ease south border tensions. the two countries have been locked in a war of words since trading artillery fire wednesday. this is the worst unrest in
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a month. the government is facing criticism. let's look at people's frustrations. politicians have been unable to agree to where to dump the garbage. people suffer through daily power cuts, 25 years after the end of the civil war. other public services are also poor. the presidency has been vacant for more than a year while the parliament elected in 2009 has extended its term and postponed elections until 2017. we have an academic analyst in beirut. thank you for being with us. a lot of anger and frustration in the lab niece capital. pretty clear, this isn't about some rubbish not being collected. >> that's right. what's happened is that there has been an accumulation of both
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garbage in the streets and real anger by citizens across the whole political spectrum about the manner in which they feel they are being mistreated by their own government or the fact there isn't a functioning government. there is problems in electricity cuts, water shortages, dropping wages, lack of job opportunities. lack of basic political integrity of the lebanese system and ordinary citizens are fed up with it. what you are starting to is the expression of anger that mirrors the protests in egypt and tunesia. they are being treated with heavy handedness, like the shooting yesterday at peaceful protests. ordinary citizens feel they have no value, they are fed up with
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it. they are feeling the tangible consequences of electricity, jobs, rubbish in the streets. it's quite different than the kinds of protests we have seen before. >> whenever we look at the problems governing in lebanon, how much of it is down to the way the system is set up. you have these factions and religious groups fighting for their share of the pie, so to speak. >> historically the system worked reasonably well. the government was able to make decisions. for many years lebanon was working reasonably well. there was basic complaints. but everything was moving okay for majority of people. but that has broken down in the last three or four years. what has happened now has been a total immobilization of the government institutions. parliament, cabinet, no president, dialogue has stopped.
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only thing that's working is the army, that's protecting threats from the east. so there is a sense that the political elite, the ruling class, has become both incompetent and uncaring. and corrupt. so the anger is very strong. the question remains how many people will take to the streets or mobilize politically to try to do something about this. we don't know that today. we'll have to see how this protest goes, how the government responds. but like all of these situations in many places around the world, including ferguson and baltimore and cairo, when policemen start shooting their citizens who are protesting peacefully, then you have problems. it may be diffused today. the prime minister is giving a press conference. we'll have to wait and see. but this is different. the number of people supporting this protest is still not very
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clear. >> from what you have described there, it does seem that the situation is untenable. if terms of how this might play out, will we reach a breaking point at some point in which the government will have to do something decisive? >> i think the government is going to have to respond more substantively than it has in the past. what the government does, the political elite, the ruling class, they tend to blame each other. now you are getting politicians on tv. the demonstrators are asking them to step down and get out of the way so good, efficient people can govern the country. the ruling class has not responded any differently than it has in the past. this is troubling. this is why people are out in the streets because they are fed up with this. it was just annoying before and embarrassing. now it's hurting when you don't have enough fresh water,
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electricity is cut 10, 12 hours a day. these are problems that should not exist. but the government can't even make a decision on how to solve these problems. there is a deeper structural problem in the incompetence of the governing structure in lebanon. many are saying they have had enough and they want something to change. >> good to get your perspective. thanks for your time. about 250 protesters are blocking access to a major port in southern iraq. they have been rallying outside since friday demanding jobs and political reform. the prime minister is warning some people are standing in the way of progress as the split to shake up governance and fight corruption. we have more from baghdad. >> reporter: it is a protest movement that has brought
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society together. but it also brought into the open the power struggle between iraq's shia politicians. every friday, first demanded better services. now they want change. >> translator: people don't just want water and electricity. we want political reform and government institutions. >> reporter: the prime minister promised to do just that. these protests have become a show of support for his pledge to fight corruption. but the political system will not be easy. even the prime minister said he's facing powerful enemies. >> translator: there are people who want to bring down the political process. they have money, they run television and radio stations. but we will stand in their way. >> he has the backing of the grand ayatollah who has
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considerable influence. through his spokesman, he urged to press ahead with reforms. it was a message of support and a message to his rivals not to stand in the way. he took office over a clear ago after isil captured much of the heartland. he replaced abadi. it was to reconcile the communities. but he has been channeled by political forces from within the shia leadership. they are known as the popular mobilization fourses replaced the army. these groups gained support among the public and their leaders have political ambitions. some have strong links with iran. >> translator: there are serious divisions within the house. this is very dangerous. a body tried to ask iran to stop
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meddling, but it didn't work. >> reporter: the protests merged from a grass roots movement, but they may be hijacked by other forces. he needs to meet people's expectations to ensure his credibility. but there is much more at stake, including the future of iraq as a state. britain and iran are reopening each other's embassies for the first time in four years. the secretary general has traveled to iran. iran expelled britain's ambassador. relations have improved since world powers struck a nuclear deal in july. let's go live to paul brennan. so a warming of ties. how important was this for
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britain to shore up? >> i think it's hugely important. here in the iranian embassy in west london or west central london, there's been a steady stream of officials in and out of the building over my shoulder all morning. there will be a ceremony in a couple of hours time. it will be low key. it's not a huge fanfare. but the significance is greater than the amount of hubbub they are putting on the event. the reason is that iran is a huge marketplace. billions of dollars of business can be done. i think it's illuminating that the composition of the delegation is not just the british foreign secretary. he's also taken a treasury minister and delegation of representatives of big british mining, energy and engineering companies, companies like royal
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dutch/shell. and the weir group. there are billions of dollars of business that can be done as iran starts to open up. and britain does not want to miss out on that business. >> paul brennan live for us there. antiabortion protesters staged rallies at dozens of planned parent hood sites across the u.s. they held banners. the rallies were planned following the release of a video of negotiating prices for fetal tissue. at least 14 members of one of el salvador's street gangs have been killed in a prison.
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state of emergency was declared for 72 hours in the prison after fighting broke out between the two parts of the same gang. venezuela president has extended the closure of of a keyboarder crossing with colombia. it's in response to the shooting of three border guards by suspected smugglers. colombia's president has urged them to reconsider. hundreds of cuban medical professionals hoping to reach the u.s. are stranded in colombia's capital. doctors fled expecting to take advantage of a special u.s. government initiative granting them visas. >> reporter: sporting white gowns and showing their diplomas, they are caught in limbo. they reached column beeee
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fleeing their medical mission in venezuela. they were enticed to do so by the 2006 cuban medical professional parole program, a u.s. government initiative that promised them a fast and save passage to the u.s. >> we expected them to be resolved. some have waited up to seven months without response or have been turned down. >> their savings running out and facing deportation. this nurse fled five months ago with $600 in his pocket. >> facing true hardship. we left our families and jobs for something that was 99% certain and now we don't know what will happen to us. >> this dentist is six months pregnant. unable to pay for a hospital, she's been visited by one of her colleagues.
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>> translator: i will soon be giving birth, i don't know where and how. what will happen to us. >> reporter: cuba started its international medical brigade in 1963. currently more than 50,000 work abroad, many in venezuela. the island receives oil and cash in exchange. cuba has been demanding an end to the parole program blaming it for brain drain. many here think the current delays are a consequences of the renewed ties between u.s. and cuba. something the u.s. government denies. >> i pointed to the u.s. immigration to speak to these cases. and what these medical personnel are going through. but it is not at all related to our new policy with respect to cuba. there is no tie, no connection. >> the u.s. agency responsible for the program told us they were unable to immediately provide specific answers.
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in a statement they said they have seen increasing cases in years. they are dedicating additional resources. but with more doctors arriving every week, it's unclear whether the journeys will end here. nearly 600,000 people have been affected by flooding in the india state. houses and crops have been submerged and locals are having to wade through high water levels. some villages have been rescued from flooded houses. but hundreds of others have been stranded as boats are in short supply. the pilot of a military jet that crashed is in critical condition. seven people were killed and more than a dozen people injured. it crashed on to a busy main
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road. smoke could be seen billowing from the crash scene. there is lots more on our website, get the latest on the stories we are following including the current refugee crisis in europe, macedonia and greece. >> for more than a decade, the world has witnessed seemingly endless violence in afghanistan. many tell me the daily reports of the attacks, and the daily killings have ceased to hold much meaning. but for those living in this land, torn apart by war, there's no more important of a time than now. after years of trying to drive back the taliban, most of the nato and u.s. troops are leaving, having reported here


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