West Africa economy: Leaders push for single currency ECO

there are topics that can both divide and bring West Africans together football with the Africa Cup of Nations how to properly grill a chicken and money that's because 15 West African countries have agreed to create and share a single currency called echo by next year it's a great idea if we have the same currency we could be one big country like America big and strong and then we will all be treated as equal already eight of the 15 countries used the same currency the African Francoeur CFA a legacy of French colonialism france's central bank acts like a manager holding part of their treasury to guarantee financial stability the seven other nations often deal with inflation and currency volatility with each of them directing their own monetary policy Omar I once see a graduate student in trade says he has watched leaders say a common currency is the solution since 1983 playing defensively others are being too aggressive and not thinking of the collective we need to play as a team for this to work but for everybody to win from it including Senegal while Nigeria is the continents biggest economy Senegal and Ivory Coast are some of the fastest growing in the world and yet the UN says less than 20% of trade here is happening among African countries the challenge is to get the big players in the region like Ivory Coast and Nigeria to stop competing against each other but to work as a team together for the benefit of the people of West Africa we're senegalese chicken stock maker Betty Sun a common currency is good for business allowing easier access to Nigeria's 420 billion dollar economy we need to move beyond the African franc to boost trade Nigeria is the driving force of West Africa's economy a single currency would allow us to overcome all of our challenges today it's a sizzling debate with each its own opinion while there may be uncertainty over the single currency regional leaders believe that in the end Africans will come out as winners Nikolas honk al Jazeera Dakar

Tsipras concedes defeat to New Democracy party in Greece election

the leader of the New Democracy party got what he asked for not just a majority but an outright one that allows the conservatives to rule on their own for the first time in 15 years kiriakos matsutakes says it will allow him to implement an ambitious reform program unhindered by coalition partners this wasn't just an expression of will to close a painful chapter for our country it was much more than that the fate of the people in their strength his desire to take our fate into our own hands he needs to prove that we can do great things in our own country the pressure is now in Matata keys to deliver on his promise to bring growth to the Greek economy and help create 700,000 jobs in his first term he's planning to do it partly through tax cuts but Greece can only afford them if international bailout creditors agree to cut repayments it's a goal that eluded previous governments since the beginning of government austerity measures imposed in 2010 when Greece faced bankruptcy because of its massive debts the victory of Matata G's ends four and a half years of rule by syriza Prime Minister Alexis tsipras raised the coalition of the radical left from obscurity to seize power from the New Democracy party in the last election in 2015 tsipras promised he would be the vanguard of the left-wing revolution across Europe to defeat the austerity policies imposed on Greece that caused recession and unemployment tsipras ultimately capitulated to those policies in order to keep Greece in the eurozone despite cities are raising the minimum wage cutting sales tax and offering more benefits to pensioners this year it seems to have been too little too late the thaw geometer thank you I will receive mr. mr. Tarkus into the palace said to hand over to him the office of Prime Minister as is done in the democratic stage I would like to from the bottom of my heart thank all the members and friends of our party who gave a good fight in unviable conditions in order to double its growth rate or grow much faster Greece will need levels of foreign investment in the coming years and that will be perhaps the biggest challenge on the economic front and that needs a lot of structural reform which sometimes takes time there's more at stake here than the economy for the past decade Greeks have watched their politicians being dictated to by their creditors the International Monetary Fund and the eurozone because those politicians didn't want to assume ownership of unpopular reforms like his predecessors which Ithaca says he wants to restore Greek sovereignty and dignity but unlike them he wants to do it in collaboration with European Union partners john psaropoulos al jazeera athens

Indonesians sue government for air pollution

Jakarta ranked the most polluted city in Southeast Asia last year that's based on a study published in March by environmental group Greenpeace and air visual an app that measures air quality around the world on Thursday 31 Indonesians took matters into their own hands in an attempt to compel the government to tackle air pollution they filed a legal action against the president several cabinet ministers including the environment and health ministers and the governors of Jakarta and two surrounding provinces we shared our research with the government we told them this is the condition of our air but all they did was questioned our findings they asked what data are you using what equipment do you use one of the plaintiffs our dito hari Nugroho is a freelance videographer and a keen cyclist I use my bike when I go to most places and my lungs have to work hard I'm not sure what the long-term impact of air pollution is but I know I cough a lot more when I've been out on my bike the biggest contributor to air pollution is traffic the air quality index or AQI in Jakarta reached unhealthy levels in 24 out of the last 30 days according to data from air visual a city of Jakarta size requires more than 60 sensors to read the AQI there are only six here operated by the government activists say they also want a Thorat ease to apply more stringent standards when it comes to measuring air quality AQI readings are based on measurements of particulate matter of less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter or PM 2.5 the government has set the maximum daily level on that scale at 65 micrograms per cubic meter that's two and a half times more than the World Health Organisation's dust rule Changi a NGO is director-general of air pollution control with the environment ministry he says the air quality is improving citing government data which showed there were twenty days of good air quality so far this year compared to 34 for the whole of last year by 2025 we aim to reduce the use of personal vehicles by 30% that should help reduce pollution and we're committed to making vehicles use cleaner fuel but the 31 Indonesians who are taking government officials to court say that's not enough they are calling for more research more transparency and more solutions to tackle air pollution Florence lui al Jazeera Jakarta

US Democratic debate night one: What did the candidates say?

it's one of the most crowded and diverse group of candidates in the Democratic Party's history so packed that the first televised debates will run for two nights lesser-known politicians like Hawaii's Tulsi Gabbard the first Hindu member of the US Congress fought to raise their profile going forward these debates will have tougher standards to qualify so for some there's little to lose and everything to gain the American people deserve a president who will put your interests ahead of the rich and powerful that's not what we have right now Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren doesn't have that problem she's doing well in the polls is known to the public and visited a migrant detention center in Florida before the debates with a clear message to voters we do not lock people up for money we follow up by saying we do not lock people up for political ends which is what if the President of the United States is doing here health care economic disparity and immigration were among the dominant themes there was some infighting among the candidates over how to implement policies they all broadly agree on but former San Antonio mayor Julian Castro showed the kind of emotion that they helped his campaign I'm very proud that in April I became the first candidate to put forward a comprehensive immigration plan and we saw those images watching that image of Voskhod and his daughter ballet dia is heartbreaking it should also piss us all off outside the debate Trump supporters made their voices heard the president tweeted during the debate with just one word boring the Democratic candidates and those looking for someone to take on the president in 2020 it was an exciting start to what will be a long and hard-fought process the biggest challenge for many of these candidates is creating a buzz with limited time in a crowded field most performed as expected but over the next few weeks there will be a cold without increasing polling numbers campaign cash will dry up ending their president hopes for those that came into these debates with good polling numbers they have a clear advantage now they need to build momentum and that will be the battle ahead Anna Gallacher al Jazeera Miami Florida

EU Leadership: European parliament inaugurated

now a new European Parliament has been inaugurated in Strasbourg politicians will submit their candidates by the end of Tuesday they will elect a new president for the Parliament on Wednesday but many leaders say they'd actually prefer the election to follow the appointment of the European Commission's presidents just to explain to you what is at stake here and how it all works the presidency of the European Council which is elected by the council itself that's this man Donald Tusk the council presides over the 28 member states of the European Union then you've got the European Parliament which elects the President of the European Commission who will replace jean-claude Juncker in addition the jobs of EU foreign policy chief and the head of the European Central Bank are up to be decided as well and the EU Parliament also chooses its president its new session was inaugurated on Tuesday as we say after the elections in May not easy to keep up with but we've got two men to help us out here in a moment we will talk to Lawrence Lee in Strasbourg but starting with Nadine Barber in Brussels tell us about the situation there the the difficulties in electing the leadership kamaal immense difficulties reflected in the fact that the the resumed meeting between the EU leaders has been delayed it was supposed to start an hour and a half ago it's now going to start in roughly half an hour's time behind the scenes Donald Tusk the man you were talking about the head of the European Council having a series of meetings with those EU leaders to try to find compromise and that's something that's in short supply right now what we've seen in the last few days is basically a push back against a plan that was hatched at that g20 summit over the weekend which would have seen Dutch MEP Franz timmermans as socialists take the top job of the head of the European Commission the legislative body which proposes laws which oversees national budgets and so on there's been a pushback against him just in the last two hours Poland's Prime Minister has said that it's going to be very difficult if he's if he is still seen as the the leading figure check the Czech Republic's prime minister says that his appointment would be a total catastrophe where do we go then we don't know the center-right grouping in the European Parliament the European People's Party all along nominated a man called manfred Weber a German MEP as their candidate but he fell out of the running over the weekend so it's not clear there have been a series of alternative names put forward by the EPP and some people are now saying that Germany's Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen is being proposed as an alternative from the center-right but it's really hard to say how long it's going to take yeah okay so netting barbers in Brussels with that news as we say Lauren sleaze over at the European Parliament in Strasbourg maybe Lauren so you can pick up on that point that Nadine was describing about the stalemate and tell us how Parliament could play a role in breaking that yeah you see what the thing that's really interesting is what usually happens is that the there's a proposal for a new Commission EU Commission leader that's made in Brussels and it always gets rubber stamps frankly by by the Parliament here but whereas what's happening now because everything in Europe is is is up for grabs is because the Council of Europe can't decide who its nomination is then the European Parliament thinking well look if you can make your mind up then when we come to elect our European Parliament president tomorrow maybe we can start to tell the European Commission what to do instead of them telling us what to do and that and that's one thing that's been really important because because people think the European Parliament is powerless people don't even know who their MEP is half the time and all it is is seen as a sort of rubber stamping operation so consequently you have this free Sun of excitement here and a welter of nominations for the head of the European Parliament job from people ranging from Polish guy on the populist right to a Spanish socialist and the the co-leader of the greens car quelle heure they've all put themselves forward because they think this might be our moment to make the European Parliament a bit more relevant and instead of them telling us what to do all the time we're not going to start to set out our own rules and so in that sense it's actually quite an important moment of course if if him over in Brussels when a team is if they choose someone today then probably we're back to where we always always are but it is one of those moments where you think the European Parliament does have an opportunity to make yourself feel a bit more important than it sometimes seems to be so how does that makeup of the Parliament after these new elections how does that sort of change the balance what does it all mean well I mean I mean clearly that that sense of them feeling a bit empowered obviously is completely telescopes and magnified by the new makeup of the European Parliament from the European elections last month when suddenly you have yes you still have the European People's Party the center-right still the biggest block but decreased and on either side you are the Liberals and the Greens rising up and the the populist and the hard right you have this the spectacle of the brexit party from the UK which is now the single biggest political party inside the European Parliament they all turned their backs inside the chamber when when they started by the European anthem you got the Catalans protesting outside because we German isn't being allowed to take his seat because of the Spanish objection you've got all these different groupings that are now basically saying we're not a rubber stamping exercise here right we're just not going to do exactly what they tell us to in Brussels and that more accualy seems to me to reflect what what's going on inside european citizenry and society and so you know the people who had a career here don't like change because they like really like things as they are but you could absolutely argue that you know this more noisy aggressive confrontational european parliament is really good for democracy good stuff that's lawrence Lee at the European Parliament in Strasbourg thank you

US politicians say Texas migrant detention centres 'horrifying'

they told them to leave cellphones at the door but one congressman ignored that and what he posted on Twitter reveals immigrants living in basic cramped conditions at this border station in Texas the members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus all Democrats to several migrant detention centers they call conditions horrific keeps families together with no running water these women were being told by CBP officers to drink out of the toilet water officials say that's not true saying there are ample supplies of water the visit came just hours after it was revealed a private Facebook group allegedly run by past and present Border Patrol agents threatened lawmakers visiting the sites it also made crude jokes and posted obscene pictures of the delegation al Jazeera hasn't independently viewed this site called 1015 Border Patrol code for aliens in custody but it's claimed they even mocked the picture of the father and daughter who drowned last week trying to get to the US the main CBP union condemned the page while Customs and Border Protection called the posts completely inappropriate and added any employees found to have violated our standards of conduct will be held accountable the border patrol their Patriots are great people they love our country they know what's coming in and you know who knows it better than anybody Hispanics Hispanics love what I'm doing while Customs and Border Protection has dismissed reports of overcrowding in dangerous conditions unsubstantiated allegations last week regarding a single virtual facility in Clinton station in Texas created a sensation more protests are planned that congressional offices around the u.s. demanding the closure of the border detention centers Allen Fisher al Jazeera

Iraq's president calls on neighbours, allies for Iran's stability

there are signs of division between Arab leaders over how to deal with Iran after emergency summits in Saudi Arabia the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Arab League of largely back Saudis condemnation of Tehran but Iraq rejected the final statement Iraq Carter's prime minister was also there the first high-level meeting with blockading nations in nearly two years under Simmons reports this is the first high-level contact between Qatar and Saudi Arabia for nearly two years the Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-thani and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz the Saudis are trying to show they have wider backing in their effort to counter what they say is Iran's growing influence the Qatari Prime Minister here briefly shaking hands with the King of Bahrain Kuwait Samir trying to encourage some dialogue as he has done since 2017 he's been attempting to mediate in the dispute between Qatar and the blockading countries of Saudi Arabia Bahrain the United Arab Emirates and Egypt what the Saudis want to do is to try to project a united front the Iranian regime interfered in our internal affairs and developed ballistic and nuclear weapons it affects navigation in international oil this is a naked aggression against our stability and international security but Iraq objected to a communique attacking Iran issued later which supported the right of Saudi Arabia and the UAE to defend their interests following what they say were attacks on shipping and oil installations quaniee Havana had a Louisville Mecca as in what my brothers in the midst of this tense time and the quick developments and a tense regional and international environment full of threats we are watching before our eyes the escalation of a regional and international crisis which can turn into a war that will engulf us all the Saudis may have the support of the United States but some observers think their tactics are high-risk when the GCC is so divided said of uniting and unifying the Gulf region to stand as a block a solid block they are actually dividing it into different countries they are this integrating the regional organization the GCC I referenced there to the blockade of Qatar after allegations made by Saudi the UAE Bahrain and Egypt but the country backs terrorism accusations firmly denied by Qatari leaders Saudi Arabia isn't giving the impression any breakthrough is imminent Qatar participated in previous summits so it is not new it is true this time they were represented by the Prime Minister the Saudi stance like the other countries is that we are looking for a solution for the causes of the problems and the crisis between these countries and Qatar hopefully there will be a solution if Qatar comes back to the right path but the issue of Iran dominates the thinking and talking Saudi Arabia may regard support from the GCC and the Arab League as a diplomatic advantage but with opposition led by Iraq the message isn't one of full Arab unity Andrew Symonds al Jazeera

EU leaders agree on choices for top jobs after days of disputes

after days of wrangling it's a close ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel who's got the nod for what many see is the most important EU job Ursula von der Leyen Germany's Defense Minister and a self-proclaimed Federalist is the leaders nomination for the post of European Commission president even if Germany abstained on the Commission president due to some issues in the government coalition personally Chancellor Merkel supported the whole package first and foremost we have chosen two women and two men for the four key positions a perfect gender balance I am really happy about it after all Europe is a woman shall Michel the Belgian Prime Minister is nominated to be the next head of the European Council with Spain's foreign ministers Josette Borel as the –use foreign policy chief while the International Monetary Fund boss Christine Lagarde is nominated to head the European Central Bank you know hot sister boy in that heart of course we all had to give a bit we all had to move but once again the European Council has proved the fact that it's capable of doing so and given the disparate conceptions in Europe and amongst the various party groups and families and the various Prime Minister's I believe it to be an asset the Dutch Labour leader France timmermans had been seen as the front-runner for Commission President as the talk started on Sunday but there was a big pushback from countries including Poland Hungary the Czech Republic and Slovakia the so-called visi grant for the Hungarians and poles have been strongly criticized by timmermans over their record on the rule of law throughout these negotiations Donald Tusk the President of the European Council has been wary of putting things to a vote preferring to reach consensus however slowly the process is highlighted not just national divisions but the struggle for influence between Europe's political families the top appointments are meant to take into account the results of the recent European elections the group that did best the center-right EPP insisted one of its candidates should head the Commission but the lead candidate of the Greens has denounced the package as a backdoor deal and all Europe at its worst and it's not a certainty that the Parliament will approve that he mains Angela Merkel says the EU could explore new rules to avoid repeating the squabbles we've just seen for example direct elections and transnational lists whatever happens the calls for greater transparency are likely to get louder nadine barber al jazeera Brussels