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tv   Weekend News  Al Jazeera  April 19, 2015 12:00pm-12:31pm EDT

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i am lauren taylor. live from london. also fighting continues in yemen. forces loyal to president hadi say they have recaptured his aden residence from houthi rebels. tens of thousandsnessee ofthousands of -- tens of thousands of people. >> indian farmers stage a rally to make to protest making land
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seizures easier. hello. italy's prime minister called it systematic slaughter in the mediterranean. as many as 700 migrants are feared dead in what could prove the worst disaster yet involving my grant being smuggled into europe. it capsized a few hundred miles off of lampedusa. so far, 28 survivors have been found. one said 700 people, if not more were traveling on the boat. if confirmed, it would bring the death toll to 1500 this year alone. the latest disaster is fueling calls for a stronger response. european union foreign ministers are to hold urgent talks on the crisis on monday before a summit in rome on thursday. phil lavelle is in rome. first, paul brennan is in catania on the east coast of
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sicily. paul first to you. can you tell us what the latest is from where you are? >> reporter: well there hasn't been any substantive update in the last couple of hours. the figures are as they were about 120 minutes ago when we last spoke. it was 49 people had been rescued by that. 24 were confirmed dead. as you say, hundreds of people believed to be missing. it's important to remember these that set out from the north linnian are squalid, undorsey worthy boats. they don't have passenger manifests. it's impossible to know exactly how many people were on board, and so estimates are very much based upon survivors bears'testimony bears'testimony. what the sur ivers of this particular event are saying is that there may have been a minimum of 700 people on a boat that was little more than 20 meters long. if so then it really is a catastrophfee. there is a major search and
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rescue operation ongoing. the italian coast guard released some pictures from one aircraft, over flying the area which is being searched. it's shown coast guard vessels down, crus-crossing the waters shown helicopters also scouring the waters for any sign of life. i have to say of theas the hours pass the, this happened at around what before midnight last night, saturday, as the hours passed the prospect of finding survivors in the water becomes less and less likely, frankly. >> paul this is already the coast guard has been over stretched because we know that within the last few weeks, thousands of people have been trying to make that crossing. various boats have had to be rescued and so on. have they got the capacity to deal with the latest incident? >> well, there is two things. first of all the scaling back of what was an operation called madre nostrum, a rescue
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operation by the italian coast guard and navy scaled back and replaced with a smaller, european border control operation. now, that has been said to have totally done away with search and rescue. it's not actually accurate to say that. we were speaking to the italian coast guard a couple of days ago and they say that the tritan operation is one thing. the italian coast guard go out and patrol those wards not far from the libyan coast. sot they recognize the humanitarian need to try to save people who have pushed out in these rickety boats from the libyan coast. >> said there are far fewer search and rescue operations than last year and the ngos that we are speaking to as well here on sicily are saying while the numbers of those people arriving here in sicily and italy are actually broadly similar to last year. the numbers of those dying, trying to make the transit are nine times, 10 times perhaps more than this period last year.
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we are already to estimated figures here, 1500, 1600 people dead since the start of the year. now, that's a major increase on the same period last year and that is what's really focusing attention, politically and humanitarian reasons, on how best to try to stop this this awful situation which has been developing in the recent weeks and days. >> okay. paul brennan angels thank you very much indeed. live update there from sicily. let's join phil lavelle now who is in rome where the italian cabinet has been holding an emergency meeting. tell us more about what has come out of that. >> there have been for quite awhile. you can see the italian flag and european flag flying happily together. >> that's the point here. they do not feel they are together. italy feels that it has been left aside by europe to cope with this alone. where expecting to hear any moment now. he has been in those talks quite awhile. we have heard strong words before the talks. it's expected to give a press conference any minute now.
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we have heard so far today from a fellow italian who happens to be the high representative for the european commission. she has spoken on this issue so many times over the last few years. but she said this morning some quite strong words really. she said we have said too many times, never again. now, it's time for the european union, as such to tackle these tragedies and do it without delay. we have the duty to save human lives, sharing a goal all 28, the responsibility that for too long has been left only to the southern countries. we understand that matio reasonsy sponge to francois holland who said this would be the worst disaster of recent years in the mediterranean. he said efforts will need more boats, more overflights and much more intense battle against people trafficking. we have heard from the maltease prime minister who said that this tragedy unfolding in the
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mediterranean is unless libya is secured, this tragedy seen today will not be the last. anyone turning a blind eye, anyone in europe turning a blind eye will be judged in the same way those who in the past turned a blind eye toward genocide. we also heard from this part of the world, the pope the pope, you know, he has spoken about this issue of myigration so many times. back in november he made a very strong statement in which he said the mediterranean dorsey has been turned into a massive graveyard because so many people were dying. this morning, he specifically spoke about this latest tragedy. he said he was appealing to the international community, really stressing the international community here he thanked the italians yesterday but said the international community needs to do more. he is appealing to them to come to some kind of decision so that this does not happen anymore. he said these are men like us. these are women like us. they are looking for a better life. they are hurt they are hungry. they are persecuted. they are exploited. they are victims of war and our prayers go out from them.
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compassionate words from the pope and strong words from the politicians. there is a feeling something has to change. italy has been saying for so long this is a crisis they cannot cope with. but i think now really it is really putting out strongly and saying to europe you've got to help us. we can't do this alone. >> in practical terms, as you say, various politicians across the spectrum in various european countries said this has happened too often and shouldn't happen again. but are there practical proposals that they will discuss and can put into action quite quickly when they have that emergency meeting? >> well there are lots of different scenarios, but the fact is that italy just feels it is being left to do this alone. technically, europe should be taking in more of these migrants but that is not something that seems to have happened so far. it's calling on more of the other countries, the likes of the u.k. german sweeden, to get involved more. we know if he had reek a moderini is calling a session tomorrow. but that will take plateser this week. >> phil lavelle, thank you very
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much indeed. we will of course bring you the news conference just as soon as it starts. now, on to the islamic state of iraq in the leevant. they have released a video showing the beheading and killings of christians. the government says it's unable verify their citizens are featured but condemned what they described as an atrocious act.
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the group has recaptured a house owned by hadi. the human cost of the war in yemen is visible in its hospitals as caroline malone reports, government facilities have been overrun with the injured. >> reporter: these are some of the victims of what are in what's becoming an increasingly desperate situation in aden. most of the injured real civilians including children. some have been seriously injured but are grateful to have survived. >> i am injured but still, thank god, i have already had two operations. i am stit waiting for another one. >> there is a massive shortage of food water, and medical supplies across aden despite some aide. a lot have tried to escape the airstrikes and fighting. >> the saudi-led coalition is
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targeting houthi positions. the government has allowed saudi arabia to take control of some of yemen's airspace and territorial waters to try to get more aid in. there are only three government hospitals open to treat the scores. hospital beds are already full. it's very difficult to reach some of the injured people stuck in the violence. medical workers say ambulances have been stolen and medics targeted in the fighting. >> we are saving between 5 and 20 people every day. some are slightly injured. others in a serious condition. some died when they could have been saved. the ambulance couldn't reach them in time because roads are blocked by the fighting. >> the red cross says the situation is already very bad in aden and it's civilians who are paying the price. caroline malone al jazeera. >> we will have more on the conflict in yemen a little later on the program when the saudi-led coalition holds its daily briefing. the u.n. has warned that 90,000
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people are running for their lives in iraq. they are escaping the province of anbar. their own government is denying some of them the right of safety of the capitol. from baghdad, a report. >> a dorsey of people on the run escaping is isil which is about to fully control the city of ramadi. they have been walking and driving for the last two days, taking whatever thing. men, women, young and old. this is a terrified population with no place to go. >> straight to italy to listen in to a news conference after the disaster of the migrants in sicily. >> from malta, so i would like to thank the 18 vessels which are now working with the italian
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navies from the maltease culture. they have also 3:00 o'clocks from the navy. then helping with the rescue operation. the hospitalelicopter, i say this because there are 28 survivors so far. this is the number we can confirm and there are 24 corpses recovered so far. we can not verify nor confirm the amount of people who have died, but it is a dramatic
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amount of people. it's always something. it's a disaster when somebody loses their life but these are human lives, people who have lost everything they had and i have to say italy wants to send our condolences on the families of the victims. these men and women who have a history, their families most of them don't know what has happened. but i would like to send our condolences from italy to them which i would like to say thank you to all of those here representing and on behalf of the men and women who are doing
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this work the work italy is doing almost alone meet times, an sometimes when the aid of the international community the job italy is doing is extraordinary. the polemics, a small part of the italian politicians, the men and women who are now saving lives that are children on that boat. so we have to do our best to save and rescue those while we are trying to save human lives, we have to lay aside politics. italy is right now collaborating in order to save as many human lives as possible and we are
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doing this above all working together with the maltese those. i would like to say thank you to my friend joseph punska. we are going to meet tomorrow. he is coming over to discuss this. joseph has told me that the malt kuala government is the unable to welcome the boat that has now 24 corpses in the last few hours. this boat will arrive in malt kuala malt kuala. we kuala we think the foreign affairs minister will be working flat out and he will give a message tomorrowtomorrow and there
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will be an appeal for the cabinet meeting. italy would like to have an extraordinary eu summit or meeting. it's not possible but in the face of the tragedy, we are going through, we don't show and have this feeling of closeness and solidarity in sharing as we have shown before in europe. so we have requested somean urgent eu meeting because we know that this is the time when there is the great deal of emotional pain, but this is not bore out of the rescue need for the project. this is the time when we have to
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work together. it's something that we discussed with the project. this is an operation that is carried out with professionalism, but we have a serious problem that we face that is right now in the history of our continent that is slavery and human trafficking. these are the new traffickers since we began witch welcomed 976 persons who we have arrested
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and most of them dealing in human trafficking have been tried. so we have got the emergency situations at sea in the case of a tragedy such as today, the dorsey is like a wild beast but our issue is political. we have to show and help men have dignity and we have to stop the
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human beings. >> the issue a great deal and with a great deal of conviction. we have shared these, when i met the u.s. pressident, the situation in libya and africa has led to it, that all of us must avoid this. in the face of all of this we have to look at reality as it is just having political encounters. there is a great deal of international pressure and tension in libya and in africa and a very complicated situation in libya as we have seen and
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have stated by the united nations in order to -- we are in the face of a new phenomenon to new slavery and this is affecting people our brothers and sisters who have died in the mediterranean dorsey will not be saved with the control of the votes only but stopping them from departing and getting into the hands of those criminals the traffickers and those we have to be committed who sayto save a life you will save the whole oral. we think that the fight against human trafficking should be a priority not just for italy and malta, but for the e. u. i had
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a telephone conversation to angela merkel and mr. holland and cam roan with junker and the other colleagues and friends and we want to talk about the same. if you would like to ask any questions, please do so. otherwise, we will go back to work. and . [question posed away from mic". >> watching from rome with taking questions after spending out what are the details of this tragedy in the mediterranean dorsey. he says there are 28 survivors so far found and 24 corps have
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been recovered so far. he said they couldn't verify or confirm the number of people who have died so far. he also talked about italy doing an extraordinary job and thanking the men and women who are now saveing lives in the mediterranean and added italy was causing for an extraordinary, has asked for an extraordinary e.u. summit and asked for help so italy is not left alone to deal with the issue, not just of rescuing people and saving them from the dorsey but, also, of stopping the people traffickers. let's will bring in phil lavelle who is in rome for us. it's quite a strong message that italy doesn't want to be left alone with this. >> reporter: yeah. this wasn't a man who looked angry, and he seemed very calm very collected, and there were two things you took away from it. first of all he was take talking about the need for cooperation. spoke about how italy has had to go it alone. he said we need to talk about this with a great deal of cooperation. we know he has already spoken to
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francois holland. in the coming hours, he would speak to david cameron of great britain, angela merkel of germany and other people. the other thing i took away from it was the fact that he was saying this isn't just about revoke ewing people from boats. this is about stopping it at source. he said the big thing is the human trafficking. we need to work together as european countries, not just to rescue people but to stop the human trafficking and he points it out that there are 976 smugglers conductor jailed in italy. he said it's not only the problem. it is that source as well. he was very clear. he said these people are not numbers. they are people. they are migrants. they have a story. he said etitaly is saddened by the news. i thanked italy for the work its doing. sometimes alone, sometimes with collaboration. >> that's the fear you get here. i have been here for a few days. you get this sense of empathy. people are not really angry. they feel that something has to be done. they feel at the end of their
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tether. i also point out that he mentioned he was outraged by the criticism from certain political parties. now, he didn't mention any in particular. >> could be taken to me in the northern league a party that amongst other things is quite an anti-immigrant party. there have been rallies in the north protesting against the fact that the local governments have been told by the national government that they have to earmark amounts of money to take my grasped in because they can't just be housed in the south where they initially come in to. an example, one time in the north is the $4 million to take these people in. so the northern league has been holding protests saying that money needs to be kept in our area and needs to be kept for italians not for the migrants. we understand that's probably what he was referring to there. but he said this is a political issue. we have to show dignity. these people have dignity. we have to show dignity. he also said he discuss the situation in libya with the u.s. president, barack obama. so very much the focus not just on saving lives in the water and
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bringing people across but making sure they never have to leave in the first place. 0 though the traffickers are stopped from helping these people. >> phil lavelle thank you very much indeed for that live update from rome. now, let's return to our story that the u.n. has warned 90 people running for their lives in iraq. they are escaping the province of an pefr a center of a military offensive against is isil fighters. their own government is refusing to let some of them into the safety of the capitol. a report. >> reporter: a dorsey of people on the run escaping is isil which is about to fully control the city of ramadi. they have been walking and driving for the last two days, taking whatever thing. men, women, young and old. this is the terrified population with no place to stay. some have been struck on this bridge in southern baghdad. they are angry with their politicians and tribal leaders.
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>> they don't care about us. look at what happened to us. look at our conditions. >> they sold us. they are coward and traitors. >> we slept on the streets in the open in ms. recalliserables. in miserable conditions. >> they are the sheiks. they fled to jordan and turkey sitting in hotels and homes. >> people who have fled speak of fierce battles. some say battles are scattered in ram javadi. isil fighters are making gains, closing in on the center. more than 75% is under isil's control. the government has sent reinforcements but this is going to be a long battle. mosques across baghdad have opened their doors to shelter the displaced. this is their new home. but everyone here was allowed to enter baghdad only after being sponsored by the highest religious body. >> more than 250 people live in this building.
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they are scattered in rooms like this. we are not allowed to film them for privacy but they are scattered all over this compound. there are a few mattresses there and they are living in tough conditions. now, they were allowed in after they were sponsored by the sunni endowment because the government has imposed restrictions on them to enter baghdad. the. >> the number of people coming to the capitol has made the authorities nervous. the government has imposed restrictions. families need a sponsor to get in. some accuse the government of being indifferent. security officials say isil may have infiltrated the grounds and they need to cross-check. those who are still stuck feel not welcome. >> they want a sponsor to let us in. what? aren't we iraqis? if you don't want united states just hit united states kill us or throw us away. we are iraqis. >> the parliament has called on the government to lift the restrictions send more troops and weapons to the tribes of anbar and removing isil from the
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province is not going to be easy and probably will take a long time. these people are likely to remain displaced, not knowing when they can return home. omar sala arningsz baghdad. >> we will have the latest on the conflict in yemen. we will bring you the live news conference held by the saudi-led coalition. plus farming fears, worries that the use of antibiotics on livestock could affect human health.
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