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tv   News  Al Jazeera  March 18, 2016 10:00am-10:31am EDT

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anti-government demonstrations against the government, her predecessor, and the scandal that is taking brazil by storm. ♪ hello there, i'm coming to live from your headquarters here in doha. the other top stories. turkey warns e.u. leaders not to bargain over the plight of refugees. north korea is accused of launching two more missiles. i'll in havana, where
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president obama's unprecedented visit is raising hopes and concerns about the future of communist cuba. ♪ the political crisis in brazil is deepening. a federal judge has tried to block the controversial by the president to give her pred -- predecessor a cabinet post. a petition was issued to halt his appointment moments after he was sworn in. in that sparked a wave protest as many seeing it as an attempt to protect him in a corruption investigation. he pumped billions of dollars into social programs which rousseff has tried to sustain, adding to the country's financial woes. the budget deficit has ballooned
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to more than $150 billion. that's equivalent to almost 10.5% of the gross domestic product. the -- then there's the currency, the currency lost a third of its value against the u.s. dollar last year, and has barely man aged to gain any ground since. we'll get more on that in just a moment, but before that, let's take you live to u.n. headquarters in geneva because the syrian envoy to what is going on there, the fifth day of discussions, he is expected there imminently -- there we are -- he is talking to you. let's just dip in and get a sense of what is being said. >> translator: i will speak
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slowly so that i can allow the translators to convey my message precisely. i wish to state that the round of talks i had with my fellow delegates, the delegation of the syrian state with the special envow was very fruitful. during that round of talks, we examined the key items of the political solution of the crisis in the arab republic of syria, which is, as you know, the document submitted by the delegation of the government of syria to the special envoy
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during the previous session. we believe that the approval of these principals which we call the keyitels will yield in a syrian-syrian dialogue, which will contribute to the building of the future of our homeland, syria. the approval of these principles or items will open those for a serious dialogue between the syrians and the syrian leadership without any foreign intervention or preconditions. thank you.
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>> [ inaudible ]. intersyrian dialogue. the adoption of these principals pave the way for a syrian dialogue without any foreign intervention and without preconditions. >> thank you so much. >> and just to get you up to
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date with what we're looking at now, that is the damascus envoy to the u.n. talks at u.n. headquarters in geneva. we thought we were going to get a short q&a session there. it was tonight be. he was sounding exceptionally optimistic. he said he believes the approval of what is on the table as of today will lead to a syrian dialogue, a serious dialogue for all syrians. the key phrase, which i think will reverberate was when he used the phrase without preconditions, that's very probably of course a direct reference to what people like the hnc, the opposition group, their line in the sand, of course is that the syrian president, mr. assad has to go, or at least has to sign up to some sort of process that ends with him no longer being in
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power in any substantive way in the capitol, damascus. i dare say we will be talking to james bayes before then of the hour if we can. and you can get more on the website, now let's take you back to our top story, as to when is a chief of staff not in chief of staff, when he has been put into the cabinet in brazil, of course we're talking about lula da silva, dilma rousseff's predecessor in brazil. margo is working that story for us. margo have we had any word from either of the two key players as this drama continues to unfold? >> well, it seems overnight that lula da silva released a letter, he said he has been very disappointed at the way the
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judiciary has been behaving. he is feeling persecuted. he feels this is some sort of vendetta against him, and he believes as well, if you recall a few days ago, a recording of a conversation he had had with president rousseff was released by one of the judges who was investigating a corruption scheme. and in that conversation it was suggested that president rousseff was appointing lula to our cabinet as a means to protect him from prosecution, basically ministers get a form of immunity. they can only be tried by the supreme court, so many here feel lula was appointed to the cabinet to protect him from persecution. the fact that that recording was released is what got people very angry. but lula in the meantime was upset that such a conversation was taped. he is saying it is an invasion of his privacy and this will not
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only effect lula's standing in the cabinet, but could effect the entire party. and there are now more than 20 judges filing injunctions against lula being nut -- put in that post. it is very messy, and each side is doing what they can to block the other. >> if we just put to one side whether he been properly fire walled or not. if that tape of that phone call, the very first one that we're talking about here, if that is actually genuine, it just doesn't look good. >> that's exactly it. it doesn't look good at all. the thing about the conversation was -- you could say it was a bit vague. it wasn't directly stated of course that this was being done to protect him. it is suggested and implied,
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but, again, you know, president rousseff, and former president lula are saying this shouldn't be taken as proof. president rousseff standing by her decision saying she appointed lula to her cabinet because she sees this as the best option for brazil to help her steer the country out of the state it is in. she is really hoping that lula will help that. he is credited for driving brazil's economic boom. the problem is, not many people are buying her line inform >> this time yesterday, we were talking about one injunction, we're now talking about what, 20-plus injunctions. is there any guarantee that those 20 other injunctions will get anyplace. if they are ignores one from yesterday, why would they take on board the idea of 20
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injunctions being issued over the last couple of hours. >> exactly. what this is doing is just feeding into public sentiment. the public is seeing this play out. you are getting a lot of reaction. you are seeing protesters coming out into the streets. they are getting angrier and angrier. last night in sao paulo, people stayed overnight on the streets. saying they wouldn't leave until the president steps down. they have however, been cleared by the police now. lula supporters have also said that they will be taking to the streets this afternoon. what police are wanting to avoid is a clash between the two sides. >> margo thanks very much. some more breaking news for you, coming to us from brussels. we understand there has been a major development in the proposed deal between the e.u. and turkey. neave barker following the
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discussions for us. neave what do we know? >> reporter: well, peter in the last 15 or 20 minutes or so, we're hearing from sources that have been attended the e.u. meetings that a major break through has been reached that turkey has accepted the deal put forward by the e.u. 28. it looks as if this deal will now or has now been going through a process of discussion amongst the e.u. 28 also. the story is moving right now. we just actually have established that the finish prime minister has said the e.u. has accepted it too. so literally as i speak, a deal looks like it has been
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finalized. we gather that this deal will come into force at the 20th of this month, at midnight. in that means that refugees, migrants, arriving in greece would be subject to processing before being sent to turkey. as mentioned earlier on in the deal that was first drawn up on the 7th and that has been subject to a series of rewrites over the last few days looks as if as many as 72000 people currently living in camps in turkey may be subject to resettlement in the european union. this story is moving very much as i speak, but all signs at the moment are good. all signs that a deal has been reached. >> devil in the detail as ever with this kind of thing, neave. do we know what ankara gets out of this, apart from this idea of
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count them in, count them out? >> reporter: yes, of course, well, that is one key aspect. that's part of the resettlement plan that has been discussed by both sides, but over the course of negotiations dating back to march 7th, turkey has been very keen to make sure that there is an easing of visa restrictions for turkish nations. they want to travel though schengen, there is that figure of $6.7 billion that turkey is expected to receive in two tranches to help it deal with the new numbers arriving in turkey, and need to be housed and settled in turkish camps. turkey talked about the creation of a safe zone in northern syria to provide a safe passage of people escaping the danger zone. there had been major sticking points over the last 10 or 11
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days of very public negotiations like this and private negotiations behind the scenes. there has been some worries about turkey's human rights record. but it looks as if there will be some concerns about the legality of this agreement. what does it mean for refugees, asylum speakers, migrants that have arrived here in the e.u. to be sent to a country that many e.u. countries have questions with over the human rights record. >> now as they are leaving, they will of course -- obviously we can write what they will say. they will say this is the deal we came here to get. but obviously it is the most joined up display of thinking that they have had over the past four or five months.
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and it seems this has really focused the minds here of e.u. leaders? >> yes, and it's been an inescapable presence on the minds of e.u. leaders, and of course turkey is very much aware of the key role that it can play at easing the mounting pressure that has been on the e.u. over the last year and a half. the refugee crisis has in many ways driven a wedge between e.u. states, between those countries that feel that europe has a moral obligation to continue resettling refugees, and those who feel that europe's doors should be closed. and turkey wants to 'em bolden its relationship with the e.u. it has ambitions of joining the 28-member block, and now it is a playing strong and pivotal role indeed in bringing that dream,
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perhaps a step closer, even while there remains some resistance to that among some e.u. states. >> neave thanks so much. let's take you back to u.n. headquarters in geneva and james bayes following the day's discussions there. james what did you make of what he had to say when he said the talks were very fruitful, difficult to remember when somebody from the damascus grouping was so very positive. >> reporter: he certainly said the discussion was useful, but i think the real thing was what he didn't do, and he didn't take any questions at all. now i have been watching ambassador in his role -- his main role in the u.n. in new york for some years now. this is a man who loves getting probing questions, who loves dealing with these questions, and he took questions last time he spoke to us. this time no questions at all. i think that is very telling. i think it shows that he doesn't
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want to be exposed to questions at a -- time when the government side is under some considerable pressure. they are under pressure on the issue of detainees. the u.n. has come out and said there needs to be movement on detainees, particularly women and children, prisoners need to be removed from the jail. and the vast majority are being held by the government side. he is under pressure too on the issue of humanitarian access. there is supposed to be access to all besieged areas yet there are six areas that they can't get access to, and all of those are under the control of the government. and the special envoy saying they have to get down to the business of political transition in syria, and start talking about that. did they talk about that? it's not clear from the syrian
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chief negotiator, either they talked about it, and he didn't want to tell us about it, or they didn't talk about it. and if they didn't talk about it, that is something clearly we're going to be asking see e the -- staffan de mistura about. this is a political transition taking syria to something new. something negotiated by the government and by the opposition. some new form of governance that takes syria then to free and fair elections. and clearly if you talk about a new governing structure for syria, you get to that central role. what happens to president assad, and those around president assad. can he stay on? at least through the transition in those are the key issues are
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the syrian government prepared to talk about those issues, it's not clear from the comments he made. >> thanks a lot. men who spent eight years in an eritrean jail have been released. they very escorted on to a state vessel, he hopes the release will help solve disputes between the two countries. an indian court has dropped charges against an iranian crew. an investigating agency failed to fine a link between the 11 crew members and any armed organization or drug mafia. north korea's long-time ally, china is the latest to speak out after the so-called hermit kingdom fired more ballistic missiles off of its coast.
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rob mcbride with the story now from hong kong. >> reporter: the reaction has been as swift as the launch. south korea conned -- condemned it. >> translator: this provocative actions are not good for the people and the development of relations between us. >> reporter: as with a similar launch last week, the missiles were fired into the sea between north korea and japan. unlike last week, these are thought to have been medium-ranged missiles with at least one reaching 800 kilometers. that brought a strong response from japan, because parts of his territory could be reached by a medium-ranged rocket. >> translator: we have strongly protested to north korea. the government will continue to work in close cooperation with international community and
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respond firmly. >> reporter: this latest launch further tests the patience of neighboring china. >> translator: as for the ballistic missiles fired by north korea, there are explicit requirements in the resolution imposed. we urge north korea to implement the relevant revelation. meanwhile we urge all sides to remain calm. >> reporter: in china there is a sense of frustration, that despite its influence, its ally and neighbor continues to conduct these tests. earlier this week, the north korean leader kim ki-jong confirmed his count's intentions. those threats followed a nuclear test and long-range rocket test earlier this year. both moves prompting stronger
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sang shubs. if the international community was wondering if those sanctions were deterring north korea, this launch seems to be the answer. turkish media reports say an armored police vehicle has been hit by a bomb. one police officer was killed in that incident on the board we are syria. hours earlier, bomb squads managed to disable 150 kilos of explosives found in a car. 14 men being held in connection with a bomb attack in the turkish capitol have appeared in court. the suspects were detained in several cities across the country. 37 people were killed on sunday. it was the second such attack in a month in the city. the tak claimed responsibility. thousands of people gathered in the iraqi capitol in a planned sit-in protest against
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the government. the iraqi cabinet has called the protests illegal. the protesters cut through barbed wire to enter the green zone which is home to the political elite. bacterial infections are on the rise in lebanon. and people say rising piles of garbage with to blame. one of the many consequences of a long-running political dead lock there. >> reporter: for the past few months this man's morning routine has been the same. first he organizes the nine medications he has to take throughout the day, and then he sprays this windows with insect repellant. it's part of an effort to prevent getting sick again. doctors told him his stomach infection was caused by
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breathing in air-born germs caused by the growing garbage pile outside of his home. >> translator: it's so dirty and smelly, it's like living in a graveyard. i'm not the only one who is suffering. all of my neighbors are too. their doors are always closed and they are always sick. they never recover. >> reporter: lebanon's trash crisis began eight months ago, after the mainland fill reached capacity and was closed. since then health officials have been reporting a dramatic increase in infections. a few municipalities have started recycling initiatives, while many others are simply burning their trash often in residential neighborhoods like this one here. according to researchers, the air contamination in these areas is 400 times higher than that of
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lebanon's industrial zones. during days when waste was being burned, researcher found the air contained 2300 more substances capable of causing cancer. >> we found the number of people who will be proned to cancer raised from one to 18 [ inaudible ]. >> reporter: lebanon's government has promised to reopen the closed landfill site and set up two new sites, but progress may be slow amidst general political inertia, the country has been without a government for two years. and anti-trash activists say the measures aren't enough. they want a more permanent solution, but for people like this man, any steps are welcome, so long as the trash is taken away sometime soon. barack obama will become the
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first sitting u.s. president to visit cuba in nearly 90 years on monday. this trip is seen as another major step on the path towards normalizing relations between the u.s. and cuba. here is our latin america editor lucia newman. >> reporter: they are old enough to have known both capitalism and socialism, yet they concede they never thought they would live long enough to see an american president come to cuba. >> translator: i never imagined this would happen, and i'm 85 years old. >> reporter: as havana paves the way for president barack obama's arrival, many cubans are raising their expectations. >> translator: it means change, something that might give cubans more opportunities, i might even sell one of my painings to obama. >> reporter: this five-time
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grammy award winning cuban pianist, expects the visit to contribute to a more normal bilateral relation. in 2002 he was denied a visa to the united states. >> translator: it would have been pabetter if this happened sooner, but it is never too late for great things. >> reporter: but what most want most is to see a significant economic impact from the new relationship, which is why obama's decision to further reduce restrictions of travel to and from cuba is seen as a gift. >> translator: we still have two or three months for obama to exhaust all of the possibilities of breaking down economic barriers with cuba. in that would really have an impact. >> reporter: but someston.
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communists fear too much impact. there are those who believe that cuba is still under threat, but this time from an american economic invasion, which they suspect aims to change this country's political system. and in that context, president obama's visit here is seen as the trojan horse. so some remain divided. >> it means people to people contact, cubans having a more open society, and an idea -- there is a flow of ideas, and i think it's important, and he hasn't capitulated. >> reporter: expecting obama's visit to change anything radically is unrealistic, but for many cubans, the very fact that he is coming is the biggest change of all.
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lucia newman, al jazeera, havana. >> reporter: and if you are away from the tv you can keep up to date with all of our top stories on the website, the latest on syria and also the summit in brussels. the headlines are just around the corner. ♪ republicans think the people deserve a voice in this critical decision. >> the supreme court nominee goes to capitol hill as democrats say they are push to hold a hearing. now to stop trump, they decide to unite and conquer in an effort to unseat the front runner. fears rise with the flood waters in texas, and more wet weathe