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tv   Al Jazeera World News  LINKTV  January 19, 2013 2:00pm-2:30pm PST

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special forces stormed a gas complex to and the algerian hostage crisis.
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at least 19 hostages and 29 gunmen are believed to have been killed, dozens of foreigners remain unaccounted for. hello, you are watching al- jazeera, live from london. talks of west african leaders to take control of the mali conflict. and germany's ruling party tries to hold onto power in a key regional election. >> do i have remorse? absolutely. >> lance armstrong apologizes, but can he rebuilt his tarnished reputation? the algerian hostage crisis is over. special forces stormed the remote gas plant, killing 11 gunmen after they took the lives of 74 hostages. -- took the lives of 7 4
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hostages. dozens of people are still unaccounted for. at 29 gunmen said to have links with al qaeda are thought to have been killed. >> the first photo to emerge out of what happened shows hostages kneeling captive in the desert. in other pictures broadcast by algerian tv, they are shown group against a wall. we don't know how many of these people survived what was to come. army helicopter swooped over the complex as they were cornered by algerian special forces. the hopes of a clinical rescue operation and release of hostages have been dashed, state media reporting that seven hostages and 11 militants were killed in the final assault. workers from britain, the u.s., japan, and norway are still among those unaccounted for.
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in norway, the prime minister has visited the families. >> it was a very emotional meeting with the relatives, and i expressed my heart felt sympathy with them on behalf of the norwegian people and also expressed we will do what we can to save lives, and we sustained contact with the government of algeria. >> bp is also bracing for grim news. >> we are doing all we can to locate them, working with the relevant british and algerian authorities and agencies. while not confirmed, tragically we have grave fears that we are likely to have suffered one or more fatalities. >> the militants had offered to release hostages in return for the freedom of islamist
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prisoners. it seems the gunmen may have had little intention of negotiating. they went for -- witnesses described them going from room to room hunting for nine muslims. >> we heard the japanese men at speaking in english and we heard the terrace say "god is great" and then we heard shooting. >> algeria is uncompromising military tactics have attracted international disquiet, but its close ally, france, has defended the hard-line stance. >> hostages have died. if we needed any justification of the actions, we have taken against terrorism, we have it. the taking of terrorist hostages. >> the u.s. defense secretary declined to criticize algeria, and instead issued a warning to the militants. >> we cannot accept attacks
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against our citizens and our interests abroad. neither can we accept an al qaeda safe haven, anywhere in the world. >> for years, european nations have largely ignored the presence of al qaeda in north africa. at that, it seems, is about to change. >> a professor of science and international relations at the university of algiers said the final assault saved hundreds of lives. >> i think it was the least has been done by such an operation, because otherwise we would be facing a more destructive situation, whether materially or humanly.
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if we had complied with the terrorist demands. for example, giving them the facilities to take hostages outside of the borders, which means that algeria and the world would have faced another problem, giving the terrorists another way of provoking more actions than they have done. i think the defense minister of the united states was saying, both sides were correct, algeria was correct. it is a very complicated situation. nobody would like to lose humans, but in situations like this, you have to think of the least you can do, and that has been done. the foreign minister of france has called on west african leaders to take the lead of the military intervention in
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mali. they say it could be weeks before their forces could do so. we have this report from the capital of mali. >> the army shows off what it says are tools and weapons seized from the rebels. this is an insight into how well armed they are. this is an anti-aircraft gun, capable of bringing down french warplanes. >> this is anti-aircraft defense, but they're using them against ground troops, against us, vehicles, and our people. >> the french and malians have made some progress against the rebels, taking control of several towns, but at a meeting, the french asked african leaders to take over the operation in mali. >> the operation is not intended
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to substitute the actions of the african-led international support mission. france's objective is the full and entire implementation of the u.n. resolutions. >> nigeria is expected to increase the number of its soldiers to 1200 in the coming days. the problem is logistics and money. they say they need more international support if this is going to be a long-term set. the french president said very existence of mali would be under threat it did not act quickly. the problem is they are stuck now until a viable force can takeover. even if they take command, it is not likely they can defeat the rebels without french assistance. france's air superiority will be key in the battles ahead. the french said have carried out 70 air strikes since the conflict began. but any advancing force will need troops on the ground to
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siege the rebels in the north. more fighting in suburbs around the capital of damascus. active is reporting heavy shelling, with as many as 80 explosion saturday morning. the blasts followed several air strikes by government forces. government forces have been trying to retake the town from rebel fighters. the u.n. organization for unicef says that the children are paying the highest price. they're looking at areas that have suffered some of the worst violence. we have this report from neighboring turkey. >> they travel to the hard-hit areas, including homs to gauge a sense of the humanitarian disaster and what kind of intervention the international community as to put forward to
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cope with that disaster. the problem is with the ongoing crisis, if the air strikes continue, it will be extremely difficult to get into homs or be able to see what is happening. we're talking about thousands of families trapped in areas under constant shelling by government forces, thousands of families trapped on the border with turkey, with no infrastructure, no food, no aid or assistance. it is an area where the temperature drops below freezing levels. it is extremely delicate for those people. whenever we talk to people, they say, why did the international committee let down the syrian people? >> the u.n. says that the syrian people need immediate assistance, and some people like taking matters into their own hands, even if it means breaking
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the law. >> as the temperature drops well below freezing in northern syria, the search is on for anything to burn to stay warm. fuel for heating and cooking has long run out. syriana's forests are being decimated. a man shouts, you are breaking the law as a truck passes through the village. it is illegal in this country to chop down these trees. but for this grandmother, the environment is no longer a priority. >> it is a shame, people worked hard to grow those trees, and now we're cutting them down, but how else can we stay warm? the water is freezing cold. how can we cope or wash or make bread? >> these families have worked hard to stay alive, digging a trench for the children to jump into the ring air and artillery attacks. behind the home, something much more substantial dug into the ground.
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it took these people 30 days to cut into this rock to build this homemade bunker. it is cold and dark, but it is where they run to when the shelling starts. for families can spend the night here, if they're too scared to come out until the bombardment is over. >> we dug the cave to protect our children from the shelling. we are old. we are not afraid to die. we no longer care about ourselves, but we are worried that the children could be terrify the rest of their lives. >> this person kept a diary since the start of the war. she writes it for herself and the other children, to help them caulker their fears. >> all the stories help me. it helps me with the pain. the pain that is in our hearts. i write it down. >> in another house, and other homemade project. fire extinguishers turned into
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bonds, ied's, even a homemade rocket launcher. but this is to stop the government forces from taking back their town. still to come, children facing death threats after the united nations tried to protect them from becoming child soldiers. we will have an exclusive report from the central african republic. >> in the capital of the u.s., washington and the rest of the country prepares for barack obama's second inauguration.
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ethiopia." hello. a reminder of the headlines on al-jazeera. algerian special forces stormed a gas facility to end the four- day hostage crisis. these pictures show some of the hostages at the gas plant. it is believed 19 were killed,
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along with 29 gunmen. some remain unaccounted for. the french foreign minister has called on west african leaders to take the lead in the military operation in mali. syrian activists are reporting heavy shelling as the u.n. delegation arrives in the capital damascus to assess the humanitarian plight. in the central african republic, 66 children are facing the threat of death, even though they are in the care of the un's children it agency. unicef took them under protection last month said it would not be recruited as a child soldiers. andrew simmons reports on the threat to these children's, despite the peace deal. >> she is a teenager and should be at school. instead, she is part of a rebellion that has a fragile peace agreement. it is children like these embroiled in an extraordinary
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standoff between the government and the united nations. at stake, the lives of 66 children rescued from becoming child soldiers, now threatened with death and the care of unicef. >> if that happens to them, i will be responsible because i was the one to make the decision. i will be responsible. for sure, i wanted to save the lives of those children. >> a were moved by unicef from remote bush land before a rebel defense last month. there were first held at a catholic mission, but word spread about their presence. >> most of them were very small. many were like me. they were wearing civilian clothes, not military uniforms. >> they were in this tranquillity only a few days before being moved and then arrested by soldiers. the president called on supporters to mobilize, as radio
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alarms went out about rebel arrests. the children were freed after 24 hours. when they were released in a frightened and disheveled state, they were moved to the unicef compound. 66 children, many of them sleeping in the outside. four days later, they were moved again. this time, unicef tried every way possible to keep the location secret, but it did not work. this time, the presidential guard. one reportedly told the children if anyone of you escapes, we will come back and kill all of you. unicef is treating that threat and other seriously, despite unfulfilled government assurances for protection. >> it is not the priority right now. when are they going to do it? when one of the children is killed?
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i hope not. the children need to be in school. they need to be with their families. >> that basic human right is out of reach in a country where childhood is dangerous and guardians are rebel commanders. they take children away, protecting them, and many of these children prefer to be fighting been imprisoned and threatened. -- they prefer to be fighting rather than imprison them threatened. egyptian riot police fired tear gas at demonstrators. five police officers face charges of using excessive force against protesters during the 2011 uprising. in greece, thousands of demonstrators have been demonstrating in anti fascist rally in athens.
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immigrant groups and students and workers unions participated. they came together to protest racist violence after a string of attacks. earlier, hundred of people marched behind the coffin of a pakistani man was stabbed to death friday. the spanish prime minister promised to crack down on corrupt officials in his party. there were protest outside of the ruling popular party headquarters overnight, following revelations the former party treasurer at up to $29 million and a swiss bank account. he stepped down in 2010 when it justices began to investigate a scandal involving kickbacks to contractors. bulgarian police arrested a man who pointed a gun at a turkish minority party leader at a speech of the national party conference. the 25-year-old approached the minority leader and held a gas pistol to his head. he was quickly disarmed by
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security guards, who wrestled him to the ground and arrested him. he speaks english with a scottish accent and he got married in a kilt, but dave mcalister is the regional premier not of scotland but of germany, where an important election takes place. his destiny in the regional vote may be a reflection. >> few german politicians make having a foreign background an argument with voters. david mcalister is ticking at the edge of having a scottish father. the bagpipe music in his campaign ads drives the point home. in germany, in scottish means being good with money, a point that mcalister is trying to make about himself. >> in our campaign, we are talking about balancing the budget, strengthening our economy, good education, but of
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course in the campaign a little part of it is about my scottish and this. we have the slogan, i am a mac. that is a campaign on the internet where people say we want david mcalister tuesday prime minister of lower saxony because we're doing a successful job. >> mcalister and his union are expected to get the biggest proportion of the vote, but they need the government as coalition partners, and their current partners, the free democrats, not that the 5% of the votes needed to have a seat in parliament, meeting the coalition government of the future may be headed by the opposition. that is a predicament faced by the german chancellor angela merkel. why she cares so much about this race. she made seven campaign appearances with mcalister. what happened in lower saxony is said to be a dress rehearsal for the general election in september because the free democrats are doing dismally on the national stage. voters here care about regional issues first and foremost.
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>> social issues are important. we have families with nurseries, infrastructure, education, jobs. we don't want the jobs to leave the region. >> the main opposition party, the social democrats, is led by a potential coalition with the green party, in a dead heat with mcalister's coalition. there will be a cliffhanger of an election in lower saxony, for david mcalister and angela merkel. and the united kingdom, heavy snow has caused widespread power disruption with more than 4000 flights grounded at heathrow. there were similar disruptions in france. winter conditions have prompted severe weather warnings. opel road accidents have happened, including a bus crash. the u.s. president has begun three days of celebrations for his inauguration. barack obama will be sworn in for a second term in a private ceremony sunday, but the
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official public event take place monday. >> thank you. >> when he publicly takes the oath of office for the second time, barack obama will already be officially 24 hours into a second term. under the u.s. constitution, the president must take office at noon on january 20. when that falls on a sunday, the ceremony normally comes 24 hours after the official swearing-in. >> these are public holidays and ceremonial functions. the public celebration is usually delayed about a day. it is part of our religious condition. >> barack obama will take the oath of office and the white house sunday, and then again on monday. he will become the first to turn president to take the oath for times. last time around, the chief justice performed the ceremony made a slip.
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everyone was sure that it was legitimate, but just to make sure, they did it all again 24 hours later. it is the seventh time the inauguration ceremony came after the swearing-in. the last time that happened was 1985, with ronald reagan's second term. >> the office of the president of the united states. them hundreds of thousands people will be in washington monday, hoping to catch a glimpse of the man or the moment. millions will watch at home in the u.s. and around the world as barack obama delivers his second inaugural address. >> the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. >> ask not what your country can do for you. asked what you can do for your country. >> some speeches have been memorable, providing lines that live on base. many others have been instantly
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forgettable. >> it is a chance to be more reflective. he is not talking about a crisis in the country. he is not talking about a specific economic problem. he's getting a chance to talk more generally about his vision. he does not get many chances like that. >> the inauguration is a celebration of the moment when the u.s. comes together to mark the peaceful end to an election were sometimes the peaceful transition of power. from the moment he is sworn in, the clock begins ticking on barack obama, out with his final term as his legacy. lance armstrong has denied there was an effort made to bribe the u.s. anti-dumping agency that said it had been offered a quarter million dollar donation, but as he tries to look forward, the man who was stripped of his seven tour de france title hopes that his competitive deep banned from the sport will be lifted in the future. >> superficially, the sport of
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cycling will continue as normal, with riders preparing in australia, but lance armstrong's actions have seen the sport hit rock bottom, and left behind a trail of broken lives. after formally admitting the truth, armstrong tried to say he was sorry and the second part of his interview with oprah winfrey. >> do i have remorse? absolutely. for me, this is just the first that. >> he was expected to try to show some emotion and use the platform for sympathy. this came as he was talking about the effect on his family and how his son was trying to defend him. >> yeah. [sigh] that is when i knew i had to tell him. >> but the years of outright denial now make painful viewing,
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including his agitated exchanges with ita writer, who is representing one of his sponsors. >> i'm just trying to make sure your testimony is clear. >> it cannot be any clearer that i have taken drugs. incidents like that could not have happened. at how clear is that? >> the decision to take the interview, with the u.s. anti- dumping agency that once sworn statements from him and a proper cooperation. >> for a reduction of his lifetime ban, he has to follow the appropriate legal process. >> it leaves cyclists dealing with an unfortunate inheritance, but they believe it could still result in a brighter future. >> doping rules worked in the past, so we need to learn from the past, but we cannot just focus on that. we need to focus on the future and what has happened. the last five, six years, good things have happened in cycling.
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>> the armstrong scandal as the world governing body criticized by accepting donations from him in the past. much of the considerable damage to the world cycling governing body comes from its failure to deal with the extraordinary level of doping from armstrong. it has its own independent commission in london on tuesday to try to find a way to move forward. but unlike armstrong himself, they may be moving too late to


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