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tv   News  Al Jazeera  August 27, 2013 3:00am-3:31am EDT

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♪ ♪ >> make no mistake, president barack obama believes there must be accountability for those who would use the world's most heinous weapons. >> tough talk on chemical weapons as the u.s. edges closer to military action against syria. ♪ hello. welcome to doha with the world news from al jazeera. also in this program, palestinians call off talks with israel after soldiers shoot dead three palestinians at a refugee camp. a huge wildfire rages on in california, now threatening the
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san francisco water supply. taking a holiday in space, a dream for many but it could soon become an affordable reality for the rich. military intervention in syria is now a step closer, the u.s. and some european states are considering using force in response to a recent gas attack. hundreds died in the incident last week in damascus. the u.s. secretary of state says that he believes there is no doubt that the assad regime used chemical weapons. we have the latest next. >> reporter: these horrific pictures of the aftermath of recent attacks have, after more than two years of war in syria, prompted the strongest words yet from the barack obama administration. secretary of state john kerry made it clear that the u.s. is certain that chemical weapons were used and that he knows who
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they were used by. >> the firsthand accounts from humanitarian organizations like doctors without borders and the syria human rights commission, all strongly indicate that everything that these images are already screaming at us is real, that chemical weapons were used in syria. moreover we know that the syrian regime maintains custody of these chemical weapons. we know that the syrian regime has the capacity to do this with rockets. and we know that the regime has been determined to clear the opposition from those very places where the attacks took place. and with our own eyes we have, all of us, become witnesses. >> reporter: following a day of phoning world leaders the secretary of state again watched the videos of the aftermath of the attack. >> it is really hard to express in words the human suffering that they lay out before us.
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as a father, i cannot get the image out of my head of a man who held up his dead child, whaling while chaos swirled around him and images of entire families dead in their beds without a visible wound or a drop of blood and bodies contorting in spasms and human suffering that we could never ignore or forget. anyone who could claim that an attack of this staggering scale could be contrived or fabry gated needs to check their conscience. >> reporter: u.n. inspectors were finally able to set out for sites where it is believed that the chemical weapons attacks took place but still someone was trying to stop them, the lead vehicle in their convoy was targeted by snipers and activists were quick to blame the pro government militia but
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the u.n. said that they could not tell which side was responsible, its scientists have taken samples but even in their final report the u.n. mandate does not allow them to determine which side was responsible. but what some diplomats here at the u.n. now privately predict is a short targeted operation by the u.s., uk and france using cruise missiles and russia and china would say it is illegal but others would say that there is a moral justification, the secretary of state says it is a violation of a international norm, the use of such weapons, for which there should be accountability and the final decision will be made by the commander-in-chief. at this ceremony barack obama was honoring members of the military. barack obama has been cautious on syria but the words from his secretary of state suggest that he is closer than ever to
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launching military action against the assad regime. the u.s. has postponed a meeting with russian diplomats due to be held on wednesday because of ongoing consultations over the chemical weapons attack and russia says that military intervention would violate international law. >> we've had this movement in iraq and libya and not a single case of intervention results in bringing stabilization. the region is destabilized in a unprecedented way and so everyone should work together as was agreed by leaders during the g8 summit in june this year. >> the political editor of "middle east" magazine joins me now and a great deal of chatter on possible military action against syria. are you certain though what those who advocate such action are attempting to achieve by military action. >> that is actually the puzzling
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question. putting the legality aside for now. it is not going to achieve much really. is it actually punishing the regime? i mean, legally there is no resolution under chapter seven which assad violated so that you can punish which is why the secretary of state was talking about violating international norms, not international law and secondly i do not think that it will achieve much really, as we have seen previously in other conflicts that you have, you need boots on the ground to achieve anything and even if, to secure these chemical weapons to stop the regime using it or it falling into the wrong hands, still you need boots on the ground and that is not going to happen and so it will only complicate things and it may stop the russians trying to drag assad into forcing him to make a deal with the opposition. >> what then do you feel is motivating the push for military action? >> i think it is more headline
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grabbing public opinion, outrage. it is an appalling crime against humanity. the assad regime itself is no better than saddam, a despicable dictatorship but we have to think on the long term strategy. what is the -- what is in the interests of the region, the syrian people and for the voters of democracies taking part in this attack, in britain, france and the united states. >> what do you make of the arguments that suggest that the u.n. security council could be bypassed? >> well, the only way that i can see it, first of all, can you not actually act under article 51 because none of the countries that would launch the missiles would have their national security threatened or came under attack and then comes article 52, and the only way out legally using article 52 is a
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regional grouping and here i think of the arab league. under 1964 defense packet, which was signed in jordan, then the arab league can take a collective decision under 52 and then can ask for international help either from nato or from others, you do not have to go to the security council for that, we have a precedent in kosovo and libya as well but in libya the security council was consulted and we have the arab league meeting in cairo in 1990 when kuwait was invaded by iraq. so outside of this avenue i do not think that there is a legal way or cover for an attack. if you think of the 1998 cruise missile attack against iraq for blocking the inspectors at the u.n., then there was already two existing security council resolutions authorizing that.
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>> thank you very much. >> thank you. palestinians have canceled the latest round of peace talks after israeli troops shot and killed three men in a refugee camp in the occupied west week. border police say they entered a camp to arrest a man and they were met by a crowd who threw petrol bombs and rocks. >> reporter: anger on the streets here and anger that the palestinian authority could not ignore. [ sounds of gunfire ] >> reporter: members of its negotiating team were due to sit down with their israeli counterparts for further peace talks as funerals were held for three men who were killed earlier this the morning but instead talks were canceled, discussion of finding common ground with the israelis ringing hollow. >> negotiations are a failure,
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every time the israelis see progress they fire at people. >> killing deportation and occupation. this is the kind of negotiation that israel wants. >> reporter: a convoy of israeli border police had entered the camp in civilian vehicles early in the morning to arrest a suspect and their presence sparked fighting and an israeli army unit was sent in and then the violence escalated, killing three palestinians and injuring a dozen and they were taken to a ramallah hospital where officials said that the victims died from gun shot wounds and in a statement the israeli arm said that their soldiers felt they were in immediate danger and so they opened fire. >> this is the use of live ammunition against densely populated areas and the storming of refugee camps using violence and live fire has led to this
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tragic murderer of palestinians and the wounding of 15 others, six of them critically. >> reporter: the riot led to the cancellation of two peace talk sessions to be held in jericho on monday and the president, mahmoud abbas, has asked for the israelis to take action immediately. >> the people at large are angry over the actions of israel and angry by the actions that israel took today and angry by the persistent israeli policy to undermine any efforts to bring sanity to the scenes. >> despite israeli announcements of future planned construction of settlements and the israeli refusal to allow an u.s. envoy into the talks, still the
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palestinians have turned up at the talks but these three deaths have proven too much and the spokesman for the prime minister simply said i have nothing to say. thousands of syrians flood across the border into northern iraq and just ahead we'll take you inside one overcrowded camp to show you the conditions. the fukushima fallout continuing, we tell a story of those wishing to return to land that cannot be used for decades. ♪
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♪ welcome back. the top stories on al jazeera. the united states is considering intervening in the syrian war. the secretary of state says that there is no doubt that government forces used chemical weapons. in syria government forces are said to have dropped incendienery bombs in some locales. negotiations have been call selled by palestinians after israelis shot three men in a refugee camp. the president of afghanistan, hamid karzai, has extended talks with the pakistani officials. karzai says that wants the government to arrange a meeting between the peace council and
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the taliban. this would appear to be a promising sign, kamal? >> indeed. as you mentioned, this trip was supposed to last only five hours when president hamid karzai touched down in islamabad with a delegation including a member of the high peace council and following the talks with the prime minister, there was it appears some breaking of the ice after which the prime minister requested to extend his stay, which he did and this morning he flew into a locale not far from islamabad to a cooler place to discuss informally the important issues before them and president karzai had asked the pakistani government formally to arrange talks with the taliban and the pakistani president has assured hamid karzai that pakistan will attempt to arrive at a
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settlement but having said all of that there were serious differences because there were hawks who had not wants discussions with pakistan and some in pakistan do not support the karzai regime and so still a lot of progress to be made but, indeed, an important beginning and, of course, the warming of relations after 12 long years. >> and i suppose though when it comes to the pakistani relationship with the afghan taliban the question is would it be more useful to talk to the pakistani military? >> well, for a change the military leadership and the civilian leadership is on the same page because when the president arrived here in pakistan for his meeting the military leadership was present there and so, indeed, that is a big change. however, the important thing is whether the afghan taliban would be willing to come and sit at the negotiating table because
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the government wants the release of senior taliban commanders held under pakistan gee custody and so it is important to see what kind of progress is made in the next few weeks and months. >> thank you for that, kamal. 40,000 syrian refugees fled to northern iraq last week, that is on top of the 160,000 refugee s around in the -- already in the region and many of them fear that they will never return home. >> reporter: imagine if this were your home not for one month or six but for over 18 months and then imagine sharing it with 60,000 others. it is no wonder then that the syrians living here are losing hope that they will ever return home. as the syrian war drags on the initial relief felt by these refugees escaping the conflict
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has disappears as there have been a few riots in this camp in the last four months and anger is easy to find. when we start to film, we are surrounded by people who want to tell us how they feel. >> we are syrian people and we are not used to living like this. we would rather go back to syria and end our suffering here in this place but we can't because of our children who may be killed and raped in syria and this camp that i'm in are all the result of the militias and the assad regime. >> reporter: and important offices and workplaces here have been secured, giving some parts of the camp a prison like atmosphere and aid agencies have noticed and they've tried to manage it as best they can. >> to deal with the long-term displacement issues we attempt to provide the refugees with a sense of community so that they
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manage their own live and provide these communities and management. >> reporter: as part of that long-term process many refugees took up manual labor jobs to support themselves and families, which allows them to buy groceries and other goods, creating an informal but crucial economy in the champ and so this place has the feel of a more permanent town but the more permanent it becomes the more issues arise. this camps that a different atmosphere from those set up for the syrian refugees because there, there is a sense of relief that they escaped war but here that sense of relief disappeared a long time ago. there is a sense of anger now and the longer they live like this, that anger will only get worse. >> reporter: and for any kind of a solution, political or otherwise, time stands still for the refugees who attempt to make do as best they can. doctors in one locale say
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that a teenage boy has died of plague in kyrgystan, the plague is carried by rodents but health officials say that a epidemic is unlikely. the operator of fukushima nuclear plant says that they may call upon foreign officials to help to dee commission -- to decommission the plant, however these developments are unlikely to provide relief for those affected by the disaster. more now from the province of fukushima. >> reporter: screening potatoes for radiation, they work for the farmer's union, not the government. after a couple of disastrous years when japanese consumers would not find the produce, it
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is farmers meeting science with science, everyone's harvest is tests, crops are certified and the sales improve. agriculture is a vital part of the economy and culture of this region. japanese farmers mostly grow for the domestic market and japanese people much prefer their own produce and the farmer's union says that this year 99% of crops tested from fukushima have shown zero extra radiation but that is from land which people are permitted to cultivate. closer to the damaged plant, villages are still empty and farming here will not be possible for decades as radiation levels are too high but some residents will eventually come back, simply they have no other assets or places to go. this doctor runs a research project, calculating how much radiation people in one village
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have already absorbed so that they can make an informed decision about returning home. >> we japanese have to live in contamination, have to live with the contamination. >> reporter: but the radiation exposure affects people differently and may put the village off-limits for some. abandoned villages like this face a fractured future where the radiation level may fall to those who are older but young people from here may decide it is too risky to ever come home. for a young man exiled from his village, what is right for his health does not work for his heart. >> i had a culture in my birthplace and now i have had to find another identity and i'm not comfortable with the big shift that that entailed. >> reporter: the destruction of lives is what is making people sick in fukushima right now,
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more than radiation. u.s. president barack obama promises california whatever resources it needs to help to tackle one of state's biggest ever wildfires, the fire is destroying everything in its path and raining ash on the reservoir which is the main source of water for san francisco. more on that story now from one of the worst-hit areas, yosemite national park. >> reporter: firefighters have made head way but the rim fire continues to make its way north and east and more resources come and arrive by the hour. monday jerry brown, california governor, made a visit to the area. >> whatever it takes, i will make sure that the resources are deployed and the president called me just yesterday and he expressed his support, whatever we need, he will provide. and so between the state and the
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federal government and local officials, we'll get it done. >> reporter: battling the flames has been tough, crews worry about the fire advancing to new communities and there may be more evacuations and containment detail may be higher but firefighters will win some ground but then lose it elsewhere, fire melted metal coming through this camp and the danger is not over as there is still the task of preventing any fires from reigniting and thousands of firefighters are here, the ography make this -- the difficult topography makes this fire fight dangerous. >> there has been a history of fatalities to firefighters in the last number of years and so we're very well aware of fire behavior that occurs here and we take it seriously. >> reporter: a week in the rim
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fire has become one of the largest in california history and while it might have been beaten back a bit, it is far from beaten. nearly 7,000 people have been forced to leave their homes in brazil after heavy rains flooded several towns, happening in one southern state and many families have taken shelter in nearby school gyms and one person has been reported missing. the indian lower house of parliament has passed a bill to provide subsidized, cheap food to two-thirds of the population meaning that some of their poor would receive up to 5 kilograms of rain each month and critics say that at $24 billion a year it is too expensive and will hurt their economy. the stock exchange in india fell 2% in response to the announcement. venezuela says that they've foiled a plot to kill the president of the country.
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two alleged hitmen were arrested earlier this month, it was said they are part of a wider group of ten men acting on orders from an ex-president of colombia who denied the allegations. it is a package holiday that starts at $100,000 and the experience will last only six minutes but if you are an adventurer with deep pockets, then space tourism could be for you as private companies are looking already for customers and the wealthy in asia are in their sights. more now from hong kong. >> space, the final holiday frontier, the place of many childhood dreams may not be within reach, virgin galactic and space exploration corporation are expected to start scheduling flights in the next 12 months and panelling
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yak -- and packages are said to start at $100,000. >> we want to make it affordable to everyone and so we want to get those who have dreams to go to space and we have parents who buy a ticket for their children and give it for them as a present and retired people as well. >> reporter: 250 global customers have been signed up, about half of virgin, richard branson's company. >> in asia we expected to sell 50 to 8 0 ticket notice first year but then following that we will ensure that it will be cheaper. >> reporter: from the space port in the u.s. sxc says that clients are trained as astronauts and they copilot the vehicle for an adventure lasting just six minutes but enough for
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one of their first customers, a self-described travel junky. >> i really trust this company. it is not a new company. and i like to be a part of, you know, like this new generation, the new travel, i like to be a pioneer. >> reporter: this is a replica of the vehicle that will take the customers into into space, described as a reusable suborbital vehicle. its engines can be used up to 5,000 times and making it a safer, environmentally friendly spacecraft and their client list includes dj's and supermodels and its first 100 customers are described as space pioneers and they say that they will operate four flights a day, a small step for wealthy tourists but a giant
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leap for space tourism. we'll take this opportunity to remind you that you can keep up-to-date with all of the news on our website at www.al jazeera.com. that's www.sal jazeera.com.

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