pass after four years of civil war in syria, the u.s. says only negotiations with president assad can end the conflict. >> hello. you are watching al jazeera live from london. also coming up: at least 14 killed and dozens injured when taliban bombers target two churches. devastation, cyclone pam may have destroyed up to 90% of homes. a show of force from venzuela's
military as parliament votes on strengthening the president's powers. ♪ hello. it's four years to the day since the incidents which triggered syria's civil war on march 14th the syrian government began cracking down on demonstrations. five protesters became the first victims of the could be conflict. army did he have if we can't orderses announced the formation of the free syrian army. the next month hundreds of people were killed by government forces in the town of hammas. the opposition formed it's syrian national council. in august 2014, the syrian government was affordable care acted of hilling hundreds of civilians. by the following summer the islamic state ofra iraq two
months latter, the u.s. formed a coalition and began airstrikes against the armed group. among the latest victims, a group of people in rebel-held areas of duma. ant visits say as many as 20 people, including children died in airstrikes on residential buildings in the town just outside damaskas. dozens more have been reported killed and injured in the d. thousands of syrian children have been born in exile since that war broke out. many of them have only known life in a refugee camps. from jordan's camp in almafrac a report. >> born a refugee rather than a syrian national. al hassa in is three months old. nine members of his family have been crammed into this camp for a year and a half. his mother says finding diapers and medicine for her newborn is
a struggle. aham doesn't even have clothes of his own. mohammed said her nabors were kind enough to give away their children's old ones. >> i wish he could have a better future because he is suffering as a child. he is not being raised like his siblings were raised in syria. this one has nothing. not even comfort. >> children make up over half of the syrian refugees in jordan more than 90,000 of them are not in school. according to the u.n. refugee agency, many children who witnessed the war have been traumatized. >> since the start of the conflict in syria four years ago, more than 50,000 syrian children have been born in neighboring countries. most of those born here have not known or seen anything outside this refugee kamp. >> nomadi was born here his father says his two-year-old son is deprived of toys and a clean place to play.
>> all children in the camp belong to a lost generation. it's impossible for 1% of this generation to become successful they are going to grow up on the streets and become laborers. entire families have been destroyed. >> although the camp services have improved in the last two years, there are still unavoidable challenges. the camp can be dry and dusty and that causes respiratory problems among most children here in the summer many fall ill with dye rea. schools are widely available in the camp but some parents say their children have no desire to study because they have already missed a year or two of classes due to the war. and since they don't see a political solution in syria, they fear that this sense of hopelessness will stick with this lost generation of syrian children.
al jazeera. u.s. secretary >> how much of a change in policy is that? how significant is this? >> reporter: it's not a complete policy change because they have the whole plan of a negotiation they have supported for a very long time. it is the geneva plan for syria that all of the international community agreed to. yes, there were talks in the past with the syrian regime. they were between the syrian government side and the syrian opposition. the u.s. was involved in that process, but with russia as a gar antor of the process. what's different this time is that he is suggesting that
actually, u.s. diplomats would have to sit down with diplomats working working for assad. what was clear when the secretary of state spoke, though is he believes there really needs to be a new start to the political process right now. >> we are working very hard with other interested parties to see if we can reignite a diplomaticoutcom because everybody agrees there is no military solution. there is only a political solution. but to get the assad regime to negotiate, we are going to have to make it clear to him that there is a determination by everybody to seek that political outcome and change the calculation about negotiation. >> that's underway right now and i am convinced that with the efforts of our allies and others there will be increased pressure on assad. >> kerr road crew is on his way to where you are for talks on
iraq's nuclear program. where are we at with at possible deal? >> reporter: a lot of work going on. in fact, some negotiations taking place before john kerry arrived. the u.s. energy secretary is here. he is involved in negotiations. the iranians are here the iranian foreign minister is in the hotel behind me. john kerry, as we said will be here in a couple of hours' time. where we are right now and it's been a very long process and so many rounds of negotiations. we are the closest we have ever been to a historic peace deal between the p 5 plus 1, the have national community and iran. but as you know felicity when you go through a very protracted, long negotiation like this, you leave the most difficult stuff to last. they are very close, but there are still sticking points. i have to say there is a link with all of this and what we were just talking about in syria because if they manage to reach this deal it is still a very big if then that could have important implications in the
last week, i spoke to the eu representative, if he had reek a moderini. she said if they reach a deal here, it could be a unique historic opportunity to remake the framework of the middle east. now, that, of course could have implications for syria because remember, iran is syria's closest ally. iran has troops on the ground in syria syria, so a nuclear deal here could be more imports than just a nuclear file. >> james bays live from lausanne. more iraqi malisha members are heading back to tikrit. military commanders say the offensive to reclaim the rest of "the sun"ni city is briefly on hold until reinforcements arrive. al jazeera has obtained exclusive footedage from the front lines of the battle. jane araaf reports from baghdad. >> five kilometers northeast of tikrit, this counter terrorism units is pinned down by sniper
fire. is ill specializes in snippers and explosives and here, it's used to deadly effect. this battle last week is an education of why taking to tikrit is slow going. the counter terrorism battalion is an elite unit u.s.-trained. they have been deployed from nearby camp spiker to clear the road for advancing soldiers and malinc. a men. in just a few minutes, they lost five of their men on the battlefield. seven were injured. this is a side of the war not normally seen. the military and malitias won't disclose how many have died in battle. to fleshout isil gunmen the troops set fire to the fields. as isil retreats from around tikrit new evidence of a massacre has emerged. near the village of abuajil. health ministry workers on saturday found some of those
believed killed near camp spiker last august. >> we have come today to open up the graves and lift the remains and then transfer them to baghdad. there, we will take them to the forensic labs to get their dnas and match them with the victims' families. >> the malitias who took back this town 13 kilometers from camp spiker say there are 400 bodies spread across four grave sites. they are believed to be some of more than 1,000 unarmed military recruits left undefended who were killed by isil making it not only tragedy but a huge political issue in baghdad. unlike the iraqi army collapse when isil rolled into iraq last june no one is running from this fight. in the past two days, shia cleric has reactivated his dumpilyant militia. sending members of the peace brigades to reinforce fight
nerds tikrit. camp spiker is a rallying call. these fighters chant: we are going to avenge our brothers four-fold referring to the dead recruits. they are just setting off. they haven't seen the fighting yet. >> iraqi military leaders are confident they can retake tikrit. u.s. officials share that view. but victories like this come at a very high cost. the unknown hundreds of soldiersn and militia men who have been killed in battle or at the hands of isil and the uncertainty of how far the desire for ref less than go. jane araff, al jazeera, baghdad. at least 14 people have been killed and donorses more injured in two bomb attacks on churches in pakistan. tabletal fighters have claimed responsibility for those attacks which took place in lahor. the latest: the pakistani taliban timed its attacks to apparently cause maximum did he have station. the two churches in lahore were packed with catholics and
protestants attending sunday services. there was chaos in the moment after the bombs exploded within minutes of each other. . >> i was on gord inside. a small gate was opened. suddenly, there was the sound of a blast and the gate was blown away. i quickly turned around and all of these splashes of blood fell on my clothes. after that we got busy with the rescue efforts. >> sundays's attack was the worst on the community since a devastating double suicide bombing in the northwestern city of pashawar in 2013 killed more than 80 people. this time the bombings were in the uhanibad narianed home to more than 100,000 christians. >> today in lahor, our churches were attacked. we strongly condemn the act and demand the government provide protection to all places of worship of all religions including muslim prayer places and pakistan minorities are insecureu secure and we want security. >> lahor is the capitol of
panjab. the city is generally considered peaceful compared to other areas of pakistan but attacks happenve been increasing after the government's failed attempts to hold peace talks with the taliban last year. >> christian community leaders say the government isn't doing enough to ensure their safety and that attacks like this show there are targets. victoria gatenby, al jazeera. >> camille hyder sent this update from islamabad. >> the attack against the churches in lahor is an ongoing strategy of targeting not just the security forces but, also the minorities here in pakistan. there have beendad deadly attacks against the shia community, and the christian community. interestingly, the two bombers were not able to get inside the churches where there would have been even her year damage and more loss of life.
they were stopped at the gate. the explosions were so powerful that the gates were ripped out of their foundations and thrown several meters away. now, interestingly, after the attack there was considerable anger. the christian community coming out on the street. the government then negotiating with them to try and diffuse the situation, but it showed that the taliban, pakistan is trying to say it can strike soft targets across the country and, also, target the minority communities in pakistan. still to come on the program, thousands protest on brazil's most famous beach calling for the country's president to be impeached. find out why the cost of living and not security is dominating this year's elections
welcome back. a reminder of our main stories here on al jazeera. activists say up to 20s people have been killed in a series of government airstrikes in syria. the attacks come as the conflict enters the 5th year. the u.s. secretary of state john kerry saying there mutt be a political, not a military solution to the conflict. fighters loyal to the shia clerkic, al jazeera has obtained footage showing the counter terrorism unit trying to out is isil fighters close to the city of tikrit. the pakistan taliban said it
carried out an attack on two churches in lahor. 14 people have been killed. many others were wounded. aid agencies are warning the death toll is likely to rise after cyclone pam tore through the island nation early on saturday. eight people are known to have died so far. kim vanell has the latest. >> this was a study traditionally built house in port vila. this is all that's left. it had with stood two previous cyclones and after cyclone pam, this family is homeless. it's a scene repeated over and over across the tal port vila. the roof of this home has been torn off completely. from this hill position the scale of the devastation becomes clear. jehlen stanley owned what was a waterfront shop. everything has been destroyed.
>> the winds come in. everything, the glass windows smashed. >> thousands are now homeless focused on trying to survive. one aid agency beliefs up to 90% of homes in port vila have been damaged, but the worst damage, it's thought, will be on the outer islands. risky workers warn the death toll is likely to rise. >> it's absolutely critical. we need contact as soon as possible so we can really get an idea of the extent of the devastation and what we have seen in port vila and how it is affected is a good benchmark and we can only assume complete, complete devastation. >> now that the winds are dying down, healthlp is starting to arrive. with 65 islands to assess the task ahead is daunting.
>> it's going to be a quick recon answer is flight over the runway there to have a look at how badly the small island has been hurt and then on ground to port vila. >> thousands spent a second night in emergency shelters on saturday. more who have been made homeless are expected to arrive. this tiny island nation is coming to grips with what's being called one of the worst disasters in the pacific. vim vannel al jazeera. >> egypt's president marked the final day of a major economic conference at shamal sheik which has drawn millions of dollars of investment. $11,000,000,000 were made for infrastructure projects in egypt. gulf arab nations announced 12 and a half billion dollar aid package. president sisi has fixed on restoring the economy. >> egypt is 200 or $300,000,000,000 in order to
rebuild, to give a real hope to the 19 million people of egypt to live and work. still, we are waiting for more. >> that's why i urge the developed countryies, the european countries, the americans and china to participate in long-term projects in egypt and egyptians will repay the investment. >> israel holds elections on tuesday. security normally dominates voter choices but for many the high cost of living is the main issue of concern this time around. al jazeera. >> isnaror and his family put together gift packs for family and friends. the treats will be handed out during the jewish holidays but the carefully chosen sweets are more expensive this year. >> everything costs so much now. you go to the market to buy something. you have to stop yourself because if you buy this item or that, you will be short of money the following week. schneo says he isn't only
struggling with the riseing cost of food but his rent. >> 4 out of tennisisis struggle to make ends meet every month. part of the problem is a shortage affordable housing. >> we are showed around the family's 40 square meter apartment which is about to be more cramped with a new baby due in five months. >> my wife and i both work. we make average incomes, but our rent is so high. even if we made more money, it would still be difficult. we can't even think of buying a place and getting a mortgage. >> the high cost of living has led to small street protests in cities like tel aviv in the weeks ahead of the march 17th general election. it follows massive protests in 2011 when hundreds of thousands of israelis rallied against rising costs. since campaigning began, the leading lekud and voting parties
have struggled to offer a voting reform plan while keeping the focus on the key issue of security. >> this has become a symbol of government ineptitude of how the bureaucracy here is unable and, perhaps, unconcerned with meeting the needs of every day israeli, the average israeli. >> economic analysts put much of the blame for rising consumer costs on israel's vast and high important taxes aimed at protecting local farmers. a shortage of housing is blamed on a lack of land reform inside israel while the government spends billions of dollars on the expansion of illegal settlement inside the occupied west bank. somewhere many israelis don't want to live for either political or practical reasons. whatever the case until major parties offer a solution to these many problems people like yonishnao and his young family
will continue to struggle to make ends meet. al jazeera, west jerusalem. >> venzuela's parliament is meeting for a vote on whether to allow president nicholas maduro to rule by decree for six months. maduro says the law is needed to maintain peace in his country and defend it against hostility from the u.s. saturday was the start of a 10-day military drill involving eighty,000 venzuelan troops and 20,000 civilians. it was in response to u.s. sanctions imposed after washington designated venzuela a national security threat. let's go live to the capital and speak to virginia lopez. is there any doubt maduro will get these extra powers? >> nobody is expecting it to not go through. the government party holds the majority of the congress. we are expecting that any minute now the congress right behind me will approve maduro's enabling
law. this would entitle him to rule by decree which means basically he doesn't need to consult the congress for any pass of the law. sper show sure the law will go through, there has been a huge anti-imperilist march for later on. i think you can hear music and see the people beginning to gatherer before going to the presidential palace where they are expected to show their support to president maduro. >> how has opposition been react to go this virginia? >> well the opposition is very worried on many counts. there has been an increasingly criticism maduro is more and more intolerant of any dissent, even be from coming within his party ranks but we are six months ahead of article article articleae elections here there is the added fear maduro will use this basically to rally support in light of the decree in his popularity which is
nowata historic low of 22%. some of them have said that maduro will use this to just go out and campaign throughout the country ahead of the article articleary elections. others fear it would begrapher and you will see an increased clampdown on dissent al jazeera's virginia lopez reporting from the capitol. thanks. protesters have taken to the streets of brazil to call for the president over a corruption scandal at a state-owned oil company. four dozenflictions her governing coalition have been implicated in kickbacks at the petrobras oil firm. she was head of the company for seven years when much of that corruption was said to have been taken place. yousef is the presiding over
budget cuts fueling the discontent. brazil 54 passengers died after their bus plunged down a ravine. the bus was carrying evangelical droiingsz a religious event in a neighboring state. at least six survivors have been treated in hospital. >> the paris kosher supermarket where four hostages were killed in january by a gunman has re-opened. it has been two months since the attacks. the shop has been repaired after suffering severe damage. people laid flowers and othertributes in solidarity with the victims. customers and the shop's management want to show that life is stronger than barbarity. myanmar has denied carrying out a bomb attack in a sugar canefield killing four people. china says the myanmarese air aircraft dropped the bomb.
. >> the chinese foreign ministry and chinese military have made stern warnings to myanmar. we have the caseyty to save gard the border areas and protect the life and property of our people. >> two planes have collided mid-air and crashed during a practice session for a malaysian air show. the pilots managed to parachute stosafety. the planes are part of an indianesian aerobatic's team. more than 100 defense teams are prepared to attend the show. >> hong kong has held the annual open day. the event was clothes to anti-government protesters. they were denied a chance to look around the home of the chief chief executive. hundreds of police were on stand by to stop further protests calling for greater democracy from the chinese governments. al jazeera sarah clark reports from hong kong.
the annual each day where thousands of people line up to get a chance to tour the home of hong kong's chief executive but this year a small group of protesters joined that queue. some were yellowing yellow clothing and others holding yellow umbrellas in support of the pro-democracy movement they were moved from the line and denied access. >> they don't let me go in there china ease new year poster. we need a true democracy. we are in a critical movement political reform, you know. the governments say there are their political proposal. if it's true democracy, why debts they let me put this poster inside? >> arounds 300 police are on duty here at government house after threats remain large numbers of anti-government groups might try to access on