Skip to main content

tv   News  Al Jazeera  March 17, 2016 5:00am-5:31am EDT

5:00 am
♪ protests erupt across brazil as dilma rousseff is accused of trying to shield her predecessor from corruption charges. you're watching al jazeera live from headquarters in doha and also coming up, syria warring size and talk to geneva and what lies ahead for the fragmented opposition. south africa president under pressure to resign after extraordinary revelations involving the influence of the wealthy family. peaceful giants caught in a
5:01 am
cross fire of west africa's conflicts. ♪ protesters have filled the streets of several brazil cities and furious about the latest allegations against president dilma rousseff and named her predecessor silva as chief of staff, an appointment critics say it's to shield him from prosecution and we report from rio. >> reporter: tens of thousands of brazil people are on the streets and some gathered at the presidential palace and others across the city, the appointment of mentor and predecessor silva meant to restore public trust but it has done the opposite and is was credited of lifting millions of poverty is charged
5:02 am
with fraud and money laundry with regard to an oil company and taking the cabinet post gives him serial immunity but dilma rousseff said that was not why she gave him the position. >> i'm sorry he is coming and he is going to help and we are going to look at returning to fiscal stability and controlling inflation. >> reporter: shortly after she said that a federal judge who was leading a wider corruption investigation released detailsov a conversation between dilma rousseff and lula and had been tapped by federal police. >> translator: all she she and lula denied
5:03 am
allegations of wrongdoing demonstrators say they have had enough, not just of politicians but of the entire system of deep rooted corruption, the corruption investigation into brace has been going on for two years and brought down 100 executives and politicians and now could bring down the entire dilma rousseff administration and through this president dilma rousseff insists she is doing what is best for brazil. but many in brazil don't agree and politicians are already leaving the government, brazil is in the west of the worst recession it has seen in decades and people feel dilma rousseff's leadership is just not competent enough to weed them out. al jazeera, rio. let's talk about this, cross over to london and joining us from skype is head of the center of brazil at middle sex university and thanks for joining us and could this bring
5:04 am
down the dilma rousseff administration? what impact is this going to have on the brazilian government? >> i think the bringing down the government would be with election coming forth or with evidence against lula and my understand and i follow this daily and have been doing this four years, so far there is accusations but no hard evidence of any kind and it's not found and i don't think it would be possible for the position to bring the government down and now with the government i think it's going to be less possible. >> so with allegations of corruption though and demonstrations against dilma rousseff and the amendment of lula de silva you say they don't have a case? >> they accuse them of everything they want but the
5:05 am
third investigation and the police and everybody else the prosecutors have not found anything that is contributing. this is difficult. otherwise they would be impeached and in prison and dilma rousseff is still the president and there is no evidence against her and lula is investigated and no evidence. the only difference that the fact he has been appointed minister is that he can still be prosecuted and investigated but this time by the supreme court with a higher authority and lula is quite prepared to do that. >> what about the demonstrations we are seeing across the country spreading from city to city it seems and how polarizing has this been for the country and do you expect it to escalate? last sunday we saw brazilians protesting against the government and understand possibly on friday there is going to be a demonstration with those for the government. >> well the position is, you
5:06 am
know, they are powerful, they have support, there is no question about it. they are big and intensity against the government has also increased but remember you know demonstrate in a country of 200 million it's big but if you were to have demonstrations compared to the same time last year, this year even though the president is bigger and for the first time the pro-government people are mobilizing and violence but they are entitled to tell the government to go but for as long as there is no evidence i don't think they have a case. >> what do you make of the release of the actual conversations between de-silva and dilma rousseff? >> very powerful institution in the region to accept the
5:07 am
position, there is nothing illegal. there is nothing sinister or corrupt about dilma rousseff calling lula to be part of the government. for if she were to call him on the basis of him being charged with something then that might be corrupt but at the moment it's still legitimate for saying that, he must be right. >> okay, thank you, very much for speaking to us from the u k. now the kurdistan freedom falcons or tak claimed responsibility for a car bombing in the turkish capitol on sunday and in ankara killed 37 people. the tak made announcement on their website saying the attack was in retaliation to a security crack down by the turkish government in areas and the tak is a break away group from the kurdistan party which long fought against the turkish government and also in turkey the if german consulate in
5:08 am
istanbul has been closed over security concerns. regional and international powers are waiting to see when the three kurdish controlled areas in northern syria will declare an autonomous region and a top official said on wednesday that announcement was imminent to form a federation and it alarmed turkey and criticism from both the syrian government and opposition and u.s. added its voice for the idea of a kurdish autonomous region and state department said it would be a threat to syria's unification. >> i would say we are very clear we won't recognize any self autonomous or self rule semi autonomous zones in syria and your broader question is as i said really this is something that needs to be discussed and agreed upon by the relevant parties in geneva.
5:09 am
>> reporter: the u.s. secretary of state has told russian counterpart the need for a political transition in syria is urgent, john kerry spoke to sergei fedorov on the phone and also emphasized the importance of maintaining the limited truth. their latest call to places representative of the government and main opposition attend talks in geneva. in south africa opposition parties are calling for a judicial inquiry into into the president's relationship with the wealthy family and wednesday the deputy finance minister said he was offered a promotion to become finance minister by the member of the goupta family with close ties with jacob zuma and key institutions and zuma has been under pressure for a scandal including his private home. al jazeera's miller is joining us from johannesburg and is this just adding more to the pressure that zuma has already been under
5:10 am
in south africa? >> reporter: well, zuma has immense pressure over the last two years ranging from corruption and that was related to the building of a private residence or rather renovations to his private residence in the country where about $20 million of innovations were done then and of course there has been further criticism and it's the relationship with the goupta family and came to south africa in the early 90s and strong relationship with president zuma and the latest incident involves the place that they had, the role they had rather in terms of the appointment of ministers and their links to the president. the controversy this time is around the appointment of the finance minister. now i just have to take you back to december where the finance minister at the time was fired
5:11 am
and no reason was given and he was unexpected because he had been performing well. he was replaced by relatively unknown member of the anc which of course was criticized and now it has emerged that the deputy finance minister jonas was offered that position by the goupta family this is according to him who said he was summoned to the residence in johannesburg and he was offered the position and he immediately declined it as it would make a mockery of the hard earned democracy that is formed. this time around president zuma embroiled in this and opposition parties i just mentioned wanting a judicial inquiry into the relationship between the gouptas and president zuma and he is expected to answer questions in parliament in three hours in cape town where it's hoped there will be some clarity on exactly what is going on and the role
5:12 am
the gouptas play with influencing south africa's cabinet. >> we know the anc has said they will discuss these allegations this weekend at a meeting, what do we expect to come out of that especially considering that oust africa this year is going through an election? >> there have been reports of actions with the anc and this is what possibly has led to why president jacob zuma has continued to see support within the governing party. the national executive committee that meets this weekend is made up of the top six leadership of the governing party as well as other members and so far he has received significant support from the nec but has been a lot of criticism around this family the gouptas and the role they play in the governance of south
5:13 am
africa and we are waiting to see what transpires from this meeting. it's likely the nec would come up with a statement to the end of the weekend as to steps forward but anc spokesperson earlier in the day did say the nec meeting would not be about questioning president jacob zuma but look for a way forward around restoring confidence to the public for the president and possibly his relationship with the gouptas and no influence which doesn't appear to be the case at this point. >> joining us from johannesburg and thank you for the update and more coming up, on al jazeera including suspect still on the run after a raid in brussels where weapons and an i.s.i.l. flag were found and one of america's biggest transport systems gets set to reopen after an emergency shut down. ♪
5:14 am
5:15 am
5:16 am
♪ top stories on al jazeera, there is a nationwide protest against brazil's president after she appointed he predecessor to a cabinet post, critics saying the appointment is shielding de-silva from prosecution. on wednesday the country's deputy finance minister admitted he was offered a promotion to become finance minute tear by a member of the goupta family, u.s. secretary of state said
5:17 am
sergei fedorov with a need for political transition in syria is urgent and comes as representatives of the government and opposition attend talks in geneva. while the opposition continues to engage in those talks questions remain about its future. in the last five years dozens of armed groups and political fronts have been formed but so far they have not been able to achieve the democratic transition they originally set out for. and we explain. >> northern aleppo to raqqa and homs in the center but it has been diverse in recent years. fighters have fled from homs what was once their stronghold. raqqa is now the capitol of the islamic state of i iraq and the levante and syrian opposition groups say the will to re-moore bashar al-assad in western countries including the united states contributed to losses and the strongest groups fighting in
5:18 am
syria either pledged allegiance to aisle or al-qaeda and many syrian soldiers and offices defected early on but the free syrian army had limited success in responding to the government's brutal actions. more organized groups like el nusra front and others were able to take large parts from government forces but dozens of other groups have also sprung up including some that are terrorist organizations. those who left syria joined others in exile for a democratic front for a democratic opposition and at first the coordination committee started documenting the fight and casualties to join a group of leaders in exile who formed a council and faced with criticism of not being inclusive enough another body called the syrian national coalition was formed under the western countries and gulf but the umbrella groups had no sway for escalating fighting on the ground and last year high
5:19 am
commissions committee was formed in saudi arabia with hopes of representing opposition groups. but even that did not manage to bring together all the fighting groups, opposition says while their friends help meetings the syrian regime friends iran, hezbollah was there and couldn't stop the killing of hundreds of thousands or displacement of millions. but as soon as partial truce gave syrians a chance to come out they used it to remind the world there is still opposition against the repressive regime, al jazeera. the saudi-led military operation in yemen may soon be winding down. a spokesman for the coalition that intervened a year ago will turn focus to stabilization and reconstruction and he didn't specify when the bombing mission would be complete and they have been targeting shia houthi
5:20 am
rebels and the u.n. estimates that since that operation began almost 6,000 people have been killed by the strikes and in fighting. leaders from the eu and turkey will meet later on thursday to finalize a deal they hope will help solve the refugee crisis, the most controversial proposal is to send new refugees arriving in greece back to turkey for each migrant returned one syrian asylum seeker in turkey will be resettled in the eu, in return turkey asked for the eu to double the amount of aid for refugees in the country and turkey wants visa free travel for its citizens in the eu to be brought in sooner. well it will not make much difference to refugees already stranded in greece and thousands who are stuck at the greek-macedonia border broke out in fights and scuffles after trucks of food and clothes arrived and people jumped on the trucks grappling for supplies
5:21 am
and they say it's difficult to make sure everyone has what they need. >> we try to do our best but also it's important to give the supplies at the same time for all the people because there are not enough and the people that really need cannot reach us and we can make by and so these people are already united. >> reporter: police looking for suspects after a raid in brussels and a man killed in a shoot out is identified as an algeria national and linked to paris attacks last november and emma hayward reports. >> reporter: specialist police officers and forensic teams carefully examine the apartment where gunmen opened fire hours earlier trying to establish exactly what they were doing there. by daylight those who witnessed
5:22 am
it unfold were trying to understand what happened in the house opposite theirs. >> you heard shooting. and sometime i heard an explosion too. and i already didn't know what was really happening. >> reporter: police identified the gunman shot dead during the operation as mohamed, an algerian national living in belgium illegally and known to police because of a theft in 2014. >> next to the body was a book and a flag of i.s.i.s., da'esh, was found in the flat as well as kirshnof and shell cases, no explosives were found. >> reporter: when the police investigating the paris attacks arrived at the apartment in forest they expected to carry out a routine search of an empty
5:23 am
apartment. instead they encountered fierce resistance, resulting in a standoff lasting several hours, two people are still on the run. this is the back of the property where two of the suspects are thought to have been able to get out, making their escape in that direction. what is not known is how mohamed is linked if at all to the paris attacks where 130 people were killed. it is known that the paris plot was planned in brussels. four months on questions remain about the questions and leading to attacks and belgium is at the heart of the investigation, emma hayward al jazeera in brussels. one person died and more than 35 have been injured in a building collapse in southwest china, it happened at a construction site in the city of the non-province and doctors at a hospital say the injured were hit by falling debris. over a million cars are office the roads in mexico's capitol as
5:24 am
smog blankets the city for a fourth day and offered free subway and bus rides and it has reached the highest level in 13 years. washington d.c.'s metro rail system will start again on thursday after being completely shut down for emergency checks. the closure sent the capitol's residents scrambling for buses, taxis and bicycles. tom ackerman reports. >> reporter: hundreds of rail cars serving 91 metro stations idle as maintenance workers check the cables supplying power to the network trains as a tunnel fire raised safety concerns, it's the first non-weather related closer since the under ground metro opened 40 years ago and it forced 700,000 commuters to search for alternative transportation. >> you will have to move back. >> reporter: all in all the situation might have been a lot worse because all nonemergency government workers were offered the option of taking this as an
5:25 am
unscheduled leave day or working from home. the system's passengers have become accustom to chronic break downs. >> not the worst and not the best either. >> there is a lot of work to be done on that and i think it's just sort of a sign that there is an aging system and we need to replace the cars and replace the infrastructure. >> reporter: but government resources have failed to keep up with the challenge. >> the growth, the sheer growth the country has been experiencing is i think a troubling trend given how much we are investing and how we are investing today. >> reporter: the u.s. has become dangerously neglectful for elements of infrastructure and the american society of civil engineers rates the energy grid and roads and aviation and dams in poor condition and a recent report said a large portion of the water supply infrastructure quote is approaching or has already reached the end of its useful life and as witnessed the crisis
5:26 am
in flint, michigan where crowded pipe led the city to switch its water source to a dangerously polluted river and by one estimate the u.s. would need to come up with more than $3 trillion to tacking infrastructure needs in the next five years but where the money would come from is a question that both the federal and state governments are struggling to address. tom ackerman, al jazeera, washington. britain is imposing a new tax on sugary drinks presenting his annual budget to parliament osborn said it's a way of ensuring that the next generation stays healthy. >> i'm not prepared to look back at my time here in this parliament doing this job and say to my children's generation i'm sorry, we knew there was a problem with sugary drinks and knew it caused disease but we ducked the difficult decisions and we did nothing. so today i can announce we will introduce a new sugar lift on the soft drinks industry and let
5:27 am
me explain how it will work. it will be levied on the companies, it will be introduced in two years time to give companies plenty of space to change their product mix, it will be assessed on the volume of the sugar sweetened drinks that produce or import. >> distinguished by the light colored spot the west africa giraffe roamed the region before drought and poaching nearly decimated their numbers and has been trying to protect them but now the animals are facing a new threat, mohamed records. >> on the look out for west africa's last giraffes, this is the northern tip of the natural reserve 50 kilometers south and the african savannah stretched out as far as the eye can see but now it shows up at a distance grazing on their favorite trees and there was a time when these exclusive light spotted giraffes roamed across the reason from sinagal to lake
5:28 am
chad but the authorities here have been trying to protect what remains of then dangered s eed species and are proud of the result. >> we had 50 giraffes and now we have 452 giraffes. >> reporter: we tried to get a closer look but as we approach we are told not to disturb them. the giraffe that you can see behind me is not the biggest one in the pack, actually the biggest one is called sido and very famous and you can spend an entire year looking for him because this is a very large park and actually more than the size of lebanon about 11,000 square kilometers. nature here is quiet and beautiful and the giraffes seem to share both qualities. >> translator: the giraffe is a peaceful animal. if you don't make a noise you can come less than 15 meters away from it and it's also very curious and sometimes it would
5:29 am
stare at you and one carried my name but unfortunately he died. >> reporter: but some people living in the area hardly share this affection. >> translator: we don't see any use to them and they destroy the crops and eat the trees and we lived here a long time before the giraffes and there is a problem for us and there is nothing we can do about it. >> reporter: problem effecting the people and two years of drought and meager crops and tourism has been on the decline. >> translator: at the beginning we made some income but now there is a crisis because of insecurity and used to receive large numbers of visitors up to nine groups a day and now it's five or six per week. >> reporter: at the entrance of the reserve tour guides don't have much to do most of the day and there is concern that violence in the area and drought
5:30 am
could reverse the success niger has made in preserving one of africa's most natural wonders, al jazeera, natural reserve, niger. >> reporter: keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, al >> i'm ali velshi. "on target" tonight. addicted in america, be critics claim these methods enable addicts but they could also save a lot of lives. ♪ ♪ >> president obama got another reminder of the urgency of dealing with america's heroin epidemic.