check check >> south sudan's warring factions prepare for talks. government troops are on the way for a new showdown with rebels. >> welcome to al jazeera america. we are here in doha. also ahead - ships turn away from syria. a deadline is missed to start disposing of chemical weapons stockpiles. >> north korea's leader kim jong un boasts of eliminating his opponents after the execution of his uncle. >> the world's biggest party -
revellers celebrate the arrival of 2014 with a bang. >> in south sudan reports of an imminent showdown between government and rebel forces overshadow new year's day talks. represent tifs of the warring factions are expected to meet in the ethiopian capital. thousands of government troops are on the way to bor, which was retaken by rebels on tuesday. a military commander told al jazeera that they have taken the town in the unity state. >> an agreement by both sides is seen as a political breakthrough. as they prepare to talk, passing on the agenda will be a
ceasefire. however, many people here? juba are wondering what will follow the talks as both sides took uncompromising positions on key issues such as power sharing. the president will not share power with his former deputy, and people here are wondering what else there might be that would apiece riek machar to accept to stop the fighting other than a power sharing. the talks are expected to begin. fighting in bor, the capital of the jonglei state, where the government sends thousands of troops to retake it from the rebels who are in full control. >> thousands of people have blocked the runway of the main international airport in the central african republic. the protesters are demanding more aid as a nearby makeshift refugee camp in bangui, home to 100,000 people. they are calling for the
resignation of the president. violence putting christian militias and muslim fighters, which forced almost 800,000 people from their homes. >> syria has missed a united nations deadline to remove the most dangerous toxins in its chemical arsenal. ships are returning to port in cypress. >> the u.n. and bashar al-assad's government said security concerns are behind the delays. operations are on track to dismantle the program by june, despite missing the deadline. >> everything that syria needs to complete the process of removing and transporting out of syria - all the equipment that is been provided and delivered. it's a matter of getting the trend rolling. we understand that a number of
factors added to it, making the syria authorities unable to meet the deadline. the volatility of security situation is a factor. >> we are joined from beirut by rula amin. what do we know about why the deadline was missed? >> well, as the gentleman was elab rating and explained, there are many elements that are interplay. one is bad weather, second is the roads. the chemical weapons, or chemical - toxic chemicals will be transferred along highways and roads that have been changing hands between the government forces and rebels, it's not safe. they are trying to secure the roads. at the same time these are sensitive issues and chemicals. what is important as the organisation for the prohibition for chemical weapons says, is that the mission is on track,
and they have accomplished a lot. all of syria's toxic chemicals have been neutralized. most of it, that it planned to produce the weapons have been declared non-operational and the plants are being dismantled. that for many in the region is a huge progress. >> just give us an idea as to what was due to happen to these weapons as they were loaded on to the ships? well, by now hundreds of tonnes of toxic chemicals were supposed to have been loaded to trucks and moved to the syrian city. they would have been loaded to norwegian and danishships, taking them to an undisclosed location in italy to put on a u.s. vessel that would have been able to mix the chemicals with other chemicals and declare them
finished. this process has been delayed because the toxic chemicals are not under tracks. they had to go back to cypress, and they don't have a scheduled date to return. >> despite that, there seems to be an optimism that the 2014 deadline for chemical weapons to leave syria, can be med. >> yes, it's not just optimism to meet the deadline. according to u.n. officials, what is important is syria's capacity to produce or have arsenals has been reduced to zero. this is the term that u.n. officials are using. for them, that is what counts. the last process that was delayed is a technical issue. there are many reasons on why it didn't happen. we have to remember it's a challenging step. it's a process and a mission to dismantle a chemical weapons as
it goes through a deadly civil war. there are many groups and rebel groups on the ground, not only the government forces that you have to deal with to secure the roads. that's why they are optimistic and feel that the hurdles of natural and expected them. >> thank you rula amin. >> north korea's leader kim jong un said in his new year message that his country is stronger after getting rid of what he called factionalist filth. >> he made public comments about the execution of his uncle. jang song-thaek was the second-most powerful man in the country, killed after being tried for treason. >> translation: our party took firstly measures to get rid of the faction of sewerage that permeated from within. the party and revolutionary lines became solid by purging
the anti-party and antirevolutionary faction. >> well, analysts say the execution was to send a clear message to internal and external audiences. >> the whole process of purge and execution of someone - such person as jang song-thaek was to demonstrate that kim jong un is now in control of the country. he calls the shots. he knows the master plan for north korea. and it was a surprisingly, the statement that he pronounced. it was similar to the last year. he was talking about the improvement of relations with south korea, which now were, and last year were at an all-time low, on the brink of war. kim jong un was talking not only about his domestic affairs, the execution of his uncle as the core of the anti-party,
antirevolutionary faction which he praised, but talking about the international relations of north korea which look bleak. relations with south korea froze, and the relations with united states, not going anywhere. kim jong un was reiterating his wishlist to improve relations without suggesting a plan on how to achieve it. >> indonesia is launching the world's biggest health care scheme, wanting 240 people to have coverage. >> we are joined from jakarta. sounds like a great plan. it's underway in jakarta. how does it work? >> well, in jakarta that program launched in jakarta about a year ago, it was widely seen as a test run. when it was launched there were queues of confusion among
people. they are hoping to use it as a model so it can be implemented smoothly. today is a public holiday in indonesia. we are not seeing volunteers at health care clinics. so far in jakarta the system is running smoothly. you can't use it as a comparative. jakarta is a capital city, and there are health care facilities than in second tier cities and the rural areas. >> it should be noted that we are seeing protests from workers organizations about this new scheme, why is that? >> because they are saying the scheme doesn't cover all the poor people that need health care insurance and access to free medical care. now, as the - the program at the moment, the government says it will benefit 86 million people. a lot of labour, welfare organizations say the number of
people is higher than that, as high as 120 million people. somehow these are classified as near poor. they don't have free medical care, and have to pay a premium. even a premium of $250 a month is too high for some caught in that category. >> you touched on this, indonesia being a huge country. what are the logistical challenges of reaching the people. but the islands that indonesia has. >> it's a vast ashing pel ago. we have spoken to a health expert that says in some remote areas you have one general practitioner for 30,000 people. that's a system that has been implemented across the country. the government is giving them five years do that. they need more doctors and
general practitioners. it needs 12,000 more. the company produces 7,000 a year. the government says that by 2019 they will have enough doctors. they also need to increase the number of health care centres across the country. at the moment it's 9,500. that figure has to be more than 3,000 for it to provide adequate health care for all its citizens. >> thank you are for joining us from jakarta, the capital of indonesia. the people of latvia has switched spending habits. coming up, how the new year was welcomed in, along with the new euro currency. >> and landmarks in athens gets painted and polished as greece takes over the european union. the people want something in return.
>> hello again. the top stories on al jazeera. thousands of south sudan troops are on their way to retake the town of bor from rebel fighters. new year's day offensive threatens to overshado talks between the government and rebel negotiators due to begin in ethiopia. north korea's leaders says getting rid of factional filth has made the country stronger. the new year message was the first comment about the execution of his uncle last
month >> firework displays welcomed in the new year at cities around the world. the biggest bang in dubai, setting a record for setting off 400,000 fireworks. >> it's the fourth day that three al jazeera journalists have been held in custody in egypt. producers mohamed fadel fahmy and mohamed mahmoud hadn't moved. peter greste is in cairo, and the cameraman mohamed fawzi has been released without charge. al jazeera demands that its staff be released immediately. >> the pentagon has announced it's transferring three detainees. they are the last ethnic chinese to leave the camp. it won't allow them to be sent to china because of concerns
they'll be persecuted. >> passengers on a russian ship trapped for a week in south africa are stranded. a planned helicopter rescue ha to be called off because of winds and rain. three icebreakers failed to reach the vessel which is carrying 74 people. >> viktor yanukovych called for unity in his new year's address. opposition protesters are continuing the call for his resignation. viktor yanukovych says 2013 has been the most difficult in the history of independent you grain. overall 2013 was a year of protest, through protest and national roundtable talks. political disputes and dialogue. >> we are taking the path of understanding, a national console tags. i am sure the political squabbles of last year served to
strengthen us. >> the latest from independence square. >> you can hear the celebrations in independence square. people are in high spirits, coming out in tens of thousands. opposition leaders call on them to do. 2014 will be an uncertainly i can't remember for ukraine, still a divide for the government and the people. the president spoke to the nation. and had some concessionary words. whether it will turn to change in 2014 is anybody's guest. for now, at least in ukraine, a lot of celebrations. >> latvia joined a group of companies reintroducing the yooura, only 20 years ago after independence from the soviet union. we have this report from the capital. not everyone is convinced.
>> braving below zero temperatures, latvian residents ring in 2014. at the stroke of midnight marking a new year and currency. outgoing prime minister making the first withdrawal of euros from a cash machine. >> first, it's going help us to reduce interest rates. second, we are very small and open economy. we do around 70% of foreign trade in euros, it means that we spend a lot of money reversing the currency. >> latvians saw three currencies. but that doesn't make euro adoption simpler. >> everyone is celebrating the new year. not everyone is happy about the
currency changed. there has been a big government publicity campaign to inform people about the euro switch, and most, if not all have appeared. >> translation: i bought a starter back of euros, that's it. >> i was prepared for the euro, i kept them in my wallet for a year. >> i'm not ready. i thought the euro change was too fast. >> businesses displayed prices in euros since october and will be forced to continue for another three months. euro sceptics stay latvia shouldn't have moved to an unstable economy. >> many have joined the eurozone and ended in an economic crisis. >> the euro change is symbolic. the country continues to align itself closer to the west.
the lat viian people posting to a future. >> greece is rotating president say of the european union. an important role, offering the country to rebuild its image. we have more from athens. >> athens is refurnishing its image - re painting the building where it signed its e.u. membership treaty to host the european council. the riot ravaged square has a new look. a fragile return to normalcy. greece will spend up to $68 million on the presidency, a thousandth of next year's budget. >> money should go to deprived citizens. sips we are doing it, we should
put greeks first, get the dignity back and renegotiate the package. >> it reminds me of the olympics. we spent a lot of money, got a lot of visitors. when it was over it was alone again. we should get something for it. >> the intention of a presidency is good for tourism. bigger issues are on the agenda. >> greece decided over moment us events. during the 2003 presidency europe split in two camps over the second gulf war and so new member states came in. jobs and illegal migration are most acutely felt in greece. >> greece has been footing half the bill for illegal immigration into europe. it wants more help. the economy comes first. slow disciplined steps nursed the deficit to a primary surplus of 1.1 billion. it wants sacrifices recognised.
debt forgiven. a palpable need tore dignity and lost sovereignty and some believe this is the greatest opportunity on offer. >> the great concerns have to deal with the people in europe, associating greece with a normal state of business. getting out of the emergency frame of mind and becoming again is a normal economy, a normal country in the euro. >> european parliamentary elections in may are expected to usher in euro skeptics, reinforcing political extremes, a show of solidarity during greece's presidency may go a long way towards countering that. >> 1 january marks 5 years since cuba's communist revolution. there seems to be movement in the relationship between cuba
and the u.s. the first commercial flight in decades between the florida keys and havana landed. >> it takes just 15 minutes to fly from key west florida to havana cuba. it has taken 50 years for this flight to take place, even though president obama gave permission for the resumption of commercial flights in 2011. the rules are strict. 10 passengers and crew are able to make the journey. if u.s. citizens want to disembark, they need to be involved in an official program or have close relatives on the island. tens of thousands of americans have been travelling to cuba each year since the restrictions from reduced. 460,000 in 2012, 350,000 of whom were cuban americans. it was a point made by the u.s. secretary of state in november. >> each year hundreds of thousands of americans visit havan e.
hundreds of millions in trade and remittances flow from the united states to cuba. we are committed to this human interchange. >> that statement, along with the relaxation of rules by the u.s. and cuba for cubans visiting the u.s. have led to speculation that the embargo may be lifted. veteran observers say it's unlikely to happen soon. >> the administration would have to go to congress and can't get a budget pass. the budget is shut down. can you imagine what would happen if the embargoed question came up. it would start a feeding frenzy. nonetheless, the handshake between bam yes and castro stokes the fact that things are
changing. >> the first thing is getting cuba off a terrorism list. there's no basis. the state department recognises that. there is a possibility that that might happen because cuba has been important in the negotiations between the f.a.r.c. and columbia and the columbian government. >> they add when the u.s. is certain that they are not seeking regime changes in havana, will the neighbours become closer. >> every year, innovations and technology promise to change the way we live, work and accumulate. some have, others are little more than a passing fad and disappear. >> we take a look at some new technologies that could define the year ahead. >> here are the basics of the how to use glass. >> hype and years in development.
2014 will see google's glass eye wear will go on sale to the public. >> the same goes for smart watches that link to the phone. some are on the market. tech giants apple, google and microsoft add their offerings. >> bitcoin is freedom. >> some predict we'll see the rise of currencies, like the bitcoin. values are volatile. some say they have the potential to disrupt payment systems. traction fees are almost zero. you can put it in any currency you want. a lot of people are seeing it as a virtual safety deposit box. once you have the money in the bitcoin universe, you can use it wherever you want. the interaction will be done through the mobile phones. >> i believe watson has the potential. >> supercomputing and artificial
intelligence are set to enter every day life. ibm has given developers access to watson, the world's smartest computer. it's a vast analytical power and ability to understand language could transform finance, medicine and an online search. >> artificial intelligence can do that. it monitors what you say, do and what your activity is online. then you get a search engine specific to you, rather than general populous. >> in 2013 we learnt how spy agencies track us and read communications. now there's demand for secure and encrypted email and mobile messaging. >> this led to the rise of apps like snapchat. >> when you share the photo it deletes itself after the person saw it. there won't be a tangible record. we are learning that the internet will not forget.
it's a new idea taking hold quickly. >> they are in show business, but hollow graphic or 3d images are being developed for video calls. >> they are expensive. in time developers hope their vision of the future will be part of every day life. >> well, people around the world rang in 2014 with more traditional firework festivities. let's revisit the moment. [ cheering and applause ]