air." and a new spin on a board game to help young south africans deal with abuse. >> russian president vladimir putin has denied they killed civilians during airstrikes for the second day. russia's airstrikes mark the biggest middle east offense in decades. in the past 24 hours it's hit 12 isil targets, destroying a command center and weapons depots, but opposition groups say they're the ones being targeted. saudi arabia has criticized them, demanding that moscow end them. here's more. >> russian jets attacked a town
that's not an isil stronghold, mainly in eastern syria. instead this area is dominated by rebel groups that oppose president bashir assad, a russian ally. it's the second day of russian airstrikes, and there's concern who they're targeting. civilian casualties as russian bombs were dropped in homes and provinces. say the opposition, the raids focused on command and control posts not held by isil. >> translator: we urge before that the russians are interfering in syria, not to fight isil. they're intervening to prolong the life of bashir assad and support killing on a daily basis of civilians. >> saudi arabia has criticized the russian raids and demanded that moscow stop them. western governments including the uk and u.s. have questioned
president putin's intentions. the russian government has dismissed those concerns as part of a propaganda war and says isil positions are targets along with other groups. it has added layers of confusion to an already complex civil war. >> we all syria, democratic, a home for all ethic groups whose rights are guaranteed, but we have some differences as for the details on how to get there. >> the u.s., which is also conducting aerial bombardment against isil in syria has agreed to hold talks with russia as soon as possible to avoid clashing with russia's military. >> we agreed on the imperative of as soon as possible, perhaps as soon as tomorrow, but as soon as possible, having a military-to-military deconflicttion discussion
meeting, conference, whatever, whatever can be done as soon as. >> it was hoped a meeting between putin and obama would lead to a stop of the crisis, but now there's been an escalation. >> a syrian ambassador says russia's role is vital in defeating the group, and insists that moscow has been cooperating with his government in carrying out airstrikes. >> locations of al-qaeda are the locations of isil. isil is the main of al-qaeda. that's why hitting the al-qaeda locations, those helping isil, is the main goal and main
target. russia today is leading regional and international efforts to fight isil, and to fight all the terrorist organizations helping them today. >> let's get more from peter sharpe in moscow. peter, there's been a lot of criticism that russian airstrikes are in fact targeting opposition rebel groups, not just isil, and the syrian ambassador not denying that. >> yes, that's right. basically it's what do you call the people who are in support and fighting against the -- the assad government? they're termed terrorists. so that has allowed, i think, the russian direction on these people to be more wider spread than perhaps they're suggesting, it's just an operation against
isil. it does appear that not everyone is talking on the same page here, because we had putin's chief of staff only yesterday saying that the deployment, the airstrikes, will continue to be directed solely against isil. then we've had other information that the russian intelligence units are briefing syria's army on the location of all the opponents with the information they're getting on drones. so it is i think a deliberately confused situation. >> tell us about russia's airstrikes so far and what the international reaction has been. >> well, coming out of the states, there's been a clear message that -- that basically the russian motive is to protect assad, and to guarantee itself a
presence in syria after the war is over. they're basically turning a little toehold into syria with this weapons supply into a proper fighting base. and there's real growing concern from nato. for instance, they've brought in some very, very sophisticated surface-to-air missiles. there's no obvious use for them. isil don't have an air force that could threaten the base. and what the -- what nato allied commander phillip breedlove is saying, they're very worried that these surface-to-air missiles are being used to create an exclusion zone in the eastern mediterranean. >> peter, thank you for that. peter sharpe in moscow there. heavy fighting is continuing between the taliban and the afghan army. the taliban earlier had retaken some areas they lost overnight
to government forces backed by nato. at least 50 people, mostly civilians, were killed in the fighting. afghanistan's interior ministry says forces will not stop fighting until they retake the province from the taliban. >> the taliban has regained some of the territory it lost. what's the latest you're hearing? >> the latest information that we are getting from kunduz city, now that the government of afghanistan controls the city center, city center of kunduz city, but the taliban is still resistant around the center of kunduz city. people are complaining about they're being attacked, the civilians. afghanistan security forces are
not alone today. they were helped by nato special forces on the ground and also very strong air support by nato. both sides are using artillery, heavy machine guns, and also nato support are bombing the area. it's the civilians caught in in between. the taliban are hiding in the residential areas. >> the government says that it will not stop fighting the taliban until it's removed them completely from kunduz province, but the government has been heavily criticized for the way it's been dealing with the situation. lots of calls for resignations. >> exactly, shirley. taliban today, they also attack a couple of other districts around kunduz province. they captured a district in a province north of kunduz city.
they captured another district where we are standing. so the taliban are trying to spread the fight in the north in many locations to get the focus out of kunduz. but the afghan government said, the only aim is for us, not to only only kunduz city, but clear kunduz province from taliban. >> qais, thank you for that. in the afghan capital of kabul people have been protesting against the taliban incursion in kunduz. hundreds waved banners against the taliban and expressed support for security forces. the president's government has been criticized for its response. coming up here on the program, former nigerian soldiers accuse the government of failing to properly equip in their battle.
>> i'm in the u.s. state of maine, where they're canceled two shrimping seasons because of climate change, and now there are fears lobsters could be next. >> and find out why australia's cricket team has called off its tour with bangladesh. the united nations has raised the palestinian flag for the first time, but it's overshadowed by the prime minister accusing israel's agreement in 1993, meant to be a basis for peace. >> raised for the first time at the united nations, the flag of the state of palestine, following a decision by the u.n. general assembly, observer
states, there are two, palestine and the holy see, are allowed to fly their national flags. the president was attended by palestinian president mahmoud abbas and the u.n. secretary-general. >> i hope a successful peace process will soon yield, when we unfold the palestinian flag in its proper place, among the family of nations as a sovereign member state of the united nations. >> however, the political process to lead to that day is deadlocked. in his speech to the general assembly, the president put the blame on the israelis, saying he needed to raise the alarm about recent violence in jerusalem caused by israeli incursions around a mosque, and told the chamber that israel had not been abiding by the oslo accord signed 22 years ago, he wouldn't
do so either. >> they leave us no choice but to insist we will not only remain the only ones committed to the implementation of these agreements while israel continually violates them. we declare we cannot continue to be bound by these agreements, and israel must assume its responsibilities as an occupying power. >> is this the bombshell president abbas said he'd drop or just an empty promise? there are more questions than answers. how will it change the way his palestinian authority work on the ground in the west bank, and what will be the reaction from palestinians there and in gaza? al-jazeera spoke to an official from hamas. >> it's just words, just a speech. talking about the occupation of the palestinian state, the solution, peace process, coexistence, peaceful negotiations, but they reach a conclusion that all these things were being lies, illusion.
>> the israeli/palestinian conflict will remain in the u.n. spotlight. the israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu speaks to the u.n. assembly on thursday. >> well, let's get some different thoughts on abbas al-jazeera' speech. we'll go to one of the architects of the 1993 oslo accord. good to have you with us on, jesse. you were on the inside, of course, when the oslo accords were being drafted. what do you make of president abbas' speech? will this herald a departure from that agreement? >> i hope so, but i'm not sure about it. i think he made a big mistake by reneging on his promise to throw a bomb in the u.n. general assembly, and hinting that he was going to cancel this.
i think it is a mistake to keep the palestinian authority, and the sooner the better. there is a precedent decision to put an end to its existence, and to hand over the keys to israel. i think that if that happens, then the world will be much more interested in our case, will come back to us. >> just not a framework for peace negotiations. they lay out the palestinian territories are governed under israeli occupation, and that would be difficult to dismantle, wouldn't it? >> well, i think that if it is backed under israeli direct occupation, then the government of the right, will have to reconsider its policy. i believe that this is perhaps the only way to shake the
ground, to shake the situation, and to bring the parties to much more serious talks between them in order to eventually get to a permanent agreement. >> okay. so you think this might be the way ahead, but given that israel hasn't ceased their settlement activities, and hasn't released palestinian prisoners, isn't abbas right when he says that israel hasn't been abiding by the agreement? >> well, you don't have saints in our story, and i believe there is a tough competition between the parties, who breached more. i would not be -- like to be part of it. i believe that mr. netanyahu in his speech later on today will excel in his answers to hamas, and it is not important and interesting for me. my question is how can we get to the end of the current situation? how can we get to the end of occupation?
how can we assure that israel is a jewish and democratic state, and the palestinians live in peace, side by side with us, and not to exchange accusations and to win a race, which is totally futile. >> very interesting. thank you indeed for that. jesse live for us from vienna. ahmed joins us from gaza. y with ossi was saying actually not being bound by the oslo accord by the palestinians could be the only way to shake the ground and to get what palestinians finally want. what do you think about that? >> actually, i don't understand exactly what does that mean. all i have seen, that what president abbas has said, there is something great when he addressed the issue of oslo, and
why there's a israeli violation for all the terms of this agreement, threatening that he will call -- there are. who call for oslo agreement. something like this, i think in the speech that mr. abbas addressed for the first time, that israelis are violating the oslo accord and -- >> but just to be clear -- >> -- under occupation. >> -- does hamas agree that palestinians shouldn't be bound by the oslo accords? >> president abbas has said that's something we need. he said threatening palestinians because they are not implementing the oslo agreement. we would like to see the president is really serious about calling for oslo agreement. actually the situation worsen, that we are living in very worse
situation after oslo. nothing been actually giving -- especially for the palestinians, there's going to be a palestinian state. israeli expansion policy is still going on. 60% of the palestinian land has been confiscated. when it comes to the oslo, the outcome of oslo, after 20, 22 years, it's totally disaster to the palestinians. so i do believe what president abbas has said is positive, to say that we will look at the oslo agreement, if israelis have commitment to this agreement, they have commitment to any of these terms of the agreement, this is what we respect. if they are not, we will reject and -- >> that's the crucial question. the crucial question is, will president abbas follow-through with his threat? will the palestinian authority
be dismantled? there will be an end to security coordination in the palestinian territories? and many critics feel that, no, that won't happen. >> we know how is the palestinian president is so weak, because many of these terms of oslo agreements became facts on the ground -- i mean violating the terms of the agreement, became facts on the ground. can't change that much about this agreement, the president. if he's serious about what he's threatening, he should stop the palestinian authority, and that's not his intention, or any palestinian intention. but at least for something like this, strengthening the palestinian unity and really show the world community that we are the palestinian so united and we disagree with what the israeli occupying forces is doing for us palestinians, in
gaza or in jerusalem. that's the missing point in the president's speech, ignoring gaza, what the palestinian are suffering here in gaza, and also the issue of jerusalem and israel violating what's been agreed to in oslo. >> okay. good to have with us, ahmed. now there's been another explosion in a southern chinese town a day after a series of bombs killed seven people and injured more than 50 others. the latest blast happened in a residential building in a rural county. there were no reports of any injuries. that comes a day after 17 blasts on multiple occasions, including government offices. they were triggered by explosive devices delivered in mail packages. the government says it was a criminal act and a 33-year-old local man has been identified as a suspect. china is celebrating its
national day. more than 50,000 watched the national flag being raised in teemen square. the ceremony commemorates the communist founding of the people's republic of china 66 years ago. people's in western china are marking 60 years since becoming an autonomous region, but as adrian brown reports not everyone is celebrating. >> it was by chinese standards a low-key official celebration, held indoors. the setting, the great hall in a regional capital. a senior government official told the assembly guests that the region's stability was still being threatened by violent groups, the common enemy of all xinjiang's people. >> we must make a firm fist to
strike proactively on terrorist activities according to the low. >> celebrations were more muted here, and nonexistent in this nearby village. people we met here were old enough to remember when the people's liberation army marched in. >> when i first saw the soldiers, i was so young, i was so scared, i cried. >> but she says her life is far better now. >> we have enough to eat and enough clothes. life was really hard before. >> talking to foreign journalists carries risks, and so none wanted to give their names. this man complains of discrimination by han chinese. >> my boss was hung, but he stopped hiring people after those attacks carried us by the leaders. >> the government insists that they are treated equally, but
rules ban the men under 60 from growing long beards and women from wearing veils that cover their face. 60 years on, they have little to celebrate, say their exiled leaders. >> it represents occupation, colonization, a repression. they will be forced to participate in festivities that celebrate china's national day. they have no choice. >> xinjiang is a difficult place for journalists to operate. they were detained several times and warned not to talk to anyone. the police roadblocks reflect the official nervousness that follows a series of attacks in the region, including one a week ago. the government blames groups that want an independent homeland. china's government appears to have a twin strategy for this region. continue the campaign against those groups it blames for much of the recent violence while at the same time promoting this area as the bridgehead for a new
road, reviving the fabled trade routes linking china with central asia and europe. this region is very strategic. the size of western europe, but with a population of just 11 million. it borders eight countries. the government denies repressing the culture. 60 years ago, the people here made up 90% of xinjiang's population. today it is less than half that. some worry that the silk road project will lead to even more chinese settlers, altering the balance still further. adrian brown, al-jazeera. >> let's get the weather now. there's a hurricane threatening the bahamas? >> a major hurricane, category 3 and above. if you look at the weather map, you can see it there. we'll come it to in more detail in a moment. meanwhile we've had a lot of
clouds and rain pushing up along the eastern seaboard of the u.s. and canada, associated with this weather front. we've seen some more impressive rainfall totals being reported, heading southward over the last 24 hours over new york and baltimore in maryland. it looks like as though there will be more rain to come in that area, but from a different source. it is of this particular hurricane. this is in fact the second hurricane of the hurricane season. category 3 status. could become a category 4 for a time. we've got gusts of 240. at the moment it's not doing much. it's a big threat for the bahamas, and will eventually move northward. the models takes it toward bermuda. so a lot of uncertainty from it,
but certainly looks as if there will be heavy rain pushing up over the south over the next few days, threatening much of the eastern seaboard. pray for the bahamas. looks like a nasty couple of days. >> richard, thank you very much. 20-meter wide sinkholes ooped ud up just outside london. the crater is 10 meters deep. several families had to leave their homes during the night. a leak and a water main is thought to have created the sinkhole. still to come here on this news hour, pro-government forces in yemen take two strategic prices from the rebels. we'll tell you what they are. plus -- >> i'm in afghanistan. the football league, where even the best players in the country, can't even enough from the sport to make a living.
>> welcome back. you're watching al-jazeera. russians president putin is denying that moscow's airstrikes in syria has killed civilians, calling it information warfare. he says the kremlin will coordinate with the u.s. to share information. opposition groups say they've been targeted instead of isil. heavy fighting is continuing throughout kunduz city between the taliban and afghan army. the taliban had retaken areas they had earlier lost by government forces backed by
nato. and president abbas declares he's no longer bound by the oslo accords, meant to provide a basis for peace. all right. so back to the war in syria, and russian's expanding military role there. many countries with conflicting agendas are involved. the u.s. leads a coalition conducting airstrikes against isil in syria. washington was also training fighters it identified as moderate. that is under review. russia has long been an ally of president bashir assad. terrain has been providing military support and financial aid. saudi arabia backs a number of rebel groups fighting the syrian government and it's opposed to russian involvement in syria. well, let's talk about the humanitarian side of all of this. we have a spokesperson of the campaign group, and joins us
live with beirut. good to have you with us. the russian president has been denying there's been civilian casualties from the russian airstrikes taking place in syria. what's your organization hearing about the fatalities caused by russian jets? >> well, i think that the russian president needs to double-check his facts. yesterday the strikes resulted in civilian casualties between people who died, including three kids, several women, and a number of civilians injured. later on today they struck, and we have already received report that there are civilian casualties. and notably one strike killed --
which targeted a group that killed a prominent military leader. so for no groups working on the ground, monitoring groups, i talk with lots of people, have actually confirmed that the russian airstrike targeted isil positions. >> so the reports you're getting, saying that russian jets were involved in causing civilian fatalities, these are credible eyewitness reports, are they? >> yes, that is correct. i talked with someone. later on today i talk with a doctor at the makeshift hospital. both confirmed with exact figures, exact names, the account of civilian casualties. >> okay. what effect will continuing airstrikes have on the civilian population? already a lot of people leaving syria. what effect is this going to
have? >> well, you know, russia has been acted as a protector of the syrian regime. they have blocked a number of resolutions at the u.n. level. we have seen a massive move of population in the last few months, specifically from regime areas, like 33,000 syrians leave in transit via lebanon to turkey and take boats to europe. these are strikes that russia now is conducting, will continue pushing civilians. and of course number of casualties from civilian side will increase. meanwhile sadly the world continues to watch. there's an obligation to protect civilians.
there are methods to do that. definitely the world has the tools to do it. a no-fly zone in the north and in the south would provide, and can provide, syrian civilians with a hasten haven, safe havene they can be protected, away from assad's bombs. >> thank you for speaking with us. interesting thoughts there. yemeni forces have retaken control of the last strategic strong hold for the rebels in the province. while the gain is the biggest for the coalition forces in several weeks, fighting only seems to grow more complicated in the rest of the country. here's a report. >> as the war grinds on in yemen, the terrain gets more complicated and the toll more
severe. here in army troops are claiming what they call a strategic victory. backed by sawed audi coalition force, after days of heavy fighting, they retook control of the mareb dam. their aim is to cut supply routes. their celebratory mood is clearly on display. >> we are now at the dam, god willing. >> despite the increase in air raids in the past several days, they're still in control. there's anger against the attacks by the saudi-led coalition. >> where is my house? i no longer have a house. i no longer have furniture. no more home. no more anything. >> here residents are furious after a reported airstrike on a yemeni wedding party that killed
131 people. while the saudi-led coalition has formally denied any involvement, calling the reports completely false, many villagers blame the arab coalition. >> what are the strategic targets that you've been hitting exactly? you hit a wedding party, a wedding tent. women and children. you killed women and children. are these your strategic targets? >> while local residents and witnesses say coalition aircraft had carried out intense raids in the area in recent days, a saudi official told the european parliament that his country is abiding by international law in its military campaign. with more than 2,000 civilians killed during six months of fighting, more and more aid agencies worry about the overall impact this war is taking on a country whose population, the most impoverished in the region, was already suffering even before this conflict began.
>> yemeni government forces has also retaken control of the strait between the arabian peninsula and the horn of africa. this strait is a vital route for trade. fighters have expanded their presence in western yemen last year, around this all-important maritime corridor. two turkish soldiers have been shot dead on their way to work by suspend kurdish fighters iin a southern eastern province. dozens of security officers and hundreds of fighters since a cease-fire deal collapsed in july. now some nigerian soldiers say they're not being given the proper equipment to combat boko haram. they accuse officers of stealing equipment. >> these photos of a military
training session were taken by nigerian army soldiers from the third armored division, without uniforms or equipment, they're being trained to fight boko haram in niger state. the soldier who took the photos asked us not to show his face, because he fears he could be jailed for speaking out. >> how could somebody be training with ordinary clothes, no rifle. >> the soldier is one of hundreds accused of desertion. they were ordered to be reinstated to boost the number of soldiers fighting boko haram. this soldier thinks money is being stolen. >> it's unfortunate that people have decided that's the only way of making a living.
>> soldiers also say the army has failed to rehouse their families. these are the living conditions of some of the wives and children of soldiers who have rejoined the army, sent to fight boko haram. there's more than 50 families living here. there's no electricity, toilets, or running water. the reinstated soldiers lost their homes when they were sacked. >> it's not impossible >> army commanders say the claims are untrue. >> you don't have to always train in uniform.
>> the soldiers say they can't focus on fighting boko haram until conditions improve. >> i'>> hungry soldiers, no equipment. what's going on here? what's happening to the military? >> well what', what's happeninge military, you need to look back at what happened to the nigerian military in the last 30-60 years. corruption of past military ramsey. because of that culture of corruption, a lot of money into
private pockets. i>> so this is a historical problem, but, you know, nigeria madhas a president who made an election promise to defeat boko haram. shouldn't he looking into this? >> definitely. with the caliber of the leadership in the military, this is a key problem they need to loolook at. this is a key issue the government should be looking at. i believe that the current leadership of the military should definitely be looking at it, otherwise i don't think we would want our military to be treated by this kind of scandal, especially in view of fighting
says it expects 1.4 million refugees to flee to europe by the end of next year. the figure was originally put at 850,000. most of the refugees are escaping violence in syria and other middle eastern countries, making their way to europe via the mediterranean sea. the agency said those numbers could rise even further. the south african government is supporting a new board game for schools, which is meant to address a serious issue. the game teaches students about sexual abuse, how to prevent it and how to report it. tanya page explains. >> each roll of the dice lands the players on a new question, designed to educate young people about domestic violence and sexual abuse. it's called the life board. >> make a symbol for a rape awareness campaign. >> it's being developed by a foundation which helps victims of rape with the support of the south african government. it will be available in schools across the country.
the group with the best answer wins a point. >> most people like thinking. so i think they're going to learn more from it if it's in a game. >> doesn't matter if you got a wrong or right answer. just give each other advice or new information about saying no to this. >> the issue is important in a country with high levels of violent crime. almost every week there's another horror story of a child or baby being raped. that's why this mother will never leave her 18-year-old disabled daughter home alone. >> it's very difficult to raise a special child. i can't go and look for work at all. i can't be away from her in case she's raped. >> it's a fear shared by many parents here. the scale of the problem is huge. unicef says in subsaharan african countries 1 in 3 girls
and 1 in 4 boys suffer sexual violence before they're 18. most of the 300,000 people who called this hot line last year just needed advice, but 16,000 calls were serious enough to be referred to police. police officers also watch over students playing life board. they're here to explain the law and spot students whose reactions indicate they're victims of abuse. time is running out to educate the students in their formative years. >> hopefully molding and shaping and changing the attitudes of the youth today will create a bit of a safer environment for tomorrow. >> whether they're wrapping, drawing, or talking about it, the result is the same. an easy, fun conversation about a serious topic. >> britain's prime minister is visiting jamaica, where he's ruled out paying reparations for british involvement in the slave
trade. caribbean countries accuse european countries of being responsible for slavery and genocide in the 17th and 18th centuries. the calls for compensation have threatened to overshadow david cameron's trip. singapore remains blanketed under a haze caused by forest fires in indonesia. the thick hate has caused health problems and flight delays across singapore as well as neighboring malaysia. it's become an annual problem in the region due to the so-called slash and burn technique used to clear forests. coming up, celebrating a long overdue win. that's after the break.
>> in maine, lobster decline in stocks could be devastating for the region. here's a report. >> the tail fully develops, and they're able to swim fully. >> it's known as the superman, stage four larva lobster, its claws recently emerged and extended. the economic future of maine depends on whether it will manage to grow a shell. where everyone goes here, the lobster's importance to the entire coastal economy is clear, yet there's only one place to find out if the lobster has a future in maine's acidifying
waters. >> a student was working on it? >> yes. >> that student is jessica waller. >> the cause for worry is that we don't know enough to worry. >> in fact, right now the lobster catch is booming in the gulf of maine, because lobsters have migrated north to escape warmer waters further south. but water temperatures are rising here, too. shrimping seasons in the gulf have been canceled because the change in climate has led to population collapse. could the lobster be next? they might continue their northward migration. there are fears about disease and predators. jessica waller is investigating another effect, a lowering of the ocean's ph level, acidification. >> right now the ph is 8.1. the predicted ph for the year 2100 is 7.9. that's a huge change in ph.
>> some places in the bay, the acidity is enough to be dissolving clam shells. >> the state senator is fighting for funding needed for extensive research in what he feels is an existential threat. even with maine's economy at a threat, climate change denial stretches from the governor to the statehouse. >> it's a matter of ideology, largely in the republican party, not being willing to see the effects of climate change, in this case with the warming that's happening, that's moving some of our experience northward, including our lobster. the ocean acidification, which is an entirely different effect, the same root causes, the greenhouse gases. >> it's a fear expressed in vulnerable communities around the world. the lack of urgency in confronting climate change. >> hit home really fast. and we've got to be -- we better
have our stuff together, you know. we've got to be ready for action of some kind. >> acidification is intensifying. thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars now rest on what jessica waller discovers. >> let's go to sports now. andy? >> australia's cricket team has been advised not to travel to bangladesh because of security concerns. an independent security assessment found a risk of terrorism in bangladesh targeting nationals. they promised extra security for the squad, saying the team would be given the same level of projection afforded to visiting heads of state. the welsh side have made three injury-forced changes following a win over england. they've had five days to recover
from the match. a win will put added pressure on host england ahead of their game against australia on saturday. >> all this hard work. it's not just the week of the england game. it's going back three or four months. for me it would be an easy one. i know the players won't be in the wrong mindset going into the figi game. >> i never gave up, showed great spirit to get the win. at the same time, do i want to put a lot of emotional energy into that game? that's the question for them after all that emotional energy that went into that victory. you know, can they back up again after a short turnaround? >> looking ahead, if australia can defeat england on saturday, the hosts will be out of the tournament and into the history books with as the worst-ever performing hosts.
>> they socked it to us the last couple of times. there's nothing we can say in this room that's going to make any difference. only way things will be different is on the field saturday night. that's where we've got to show our colors. >> one other game coming up on thursday, a group d clash between france and canada. france has won 2-2 so far. canada yet to register a win. now brazil knocked out. their coach being sent off for abusing the referees. two of his players followed late in the second half. first that challenge, and then an elbow there. sport beaten 4-1 on aggregate. now afghanistan's top football league is in its fourth year. the matches between eight regional teams are welcomed diversion for afghans preoccupied by poor security and
a declining economy. for the country's football stars playing in the league doesn't bring wealth. jennifer glass reports from kabul. >> afghan footballer comes from modest beginnings. his face is on display at his father's food stand, where chicken soup or a boiled potato costs about 15 u.s. cents. most of the profits go to supporting his football career. his metals and trophies decorate the tiny home he shares with his parents and eight siblings. on the field, he leaves that world behind, to concentrate on the one thing he loves, football. he's a forward for the premier team eagles of the hindu kush. last year they finished second in the league. fans say the beautiful game shows afghanistan in a better light. >> the football is very important, because this is a big chance to show the world that afghanistan is not just a country for war, but it is a
country for peace, for sports, for everything. >> for many, it's just a great day out, a chance to cheer something on, to share national pride. >> these are the best players in afghanistan, but their salaries are nothing like what their contemporaries make in other countries. these players only get about $160 a month, only for the three months a year they play in the league. >> for players from wealthy families, that doesn't matter, but for someone like him, the oldest son in the family, it adds a lot of pressure. >> i'm a man with no education. how much longer can i play football? in afghanistan, you can't make enough money to survive. this money isn't enough to pay for my own transportation. >> one day he was so upset, he got a razor and slashed his arms. his mother and sisters bandaged him, but the pain remains. >> my wish is that there will be
a day when they can get out of this poverty. we can be like other people. we can have a car, our own home. >> for a couple of hours a week, he finds escape on the field. on this day, there's cause for joy. >> our team worked hard and god gave them victory. i feel really happy our team has won this match. >> he says the happiness doesn't last long. then reality returns. he knows he must find a way to make football pay through a sponsor or a place on an international team. if he can't, he will have to give up his dreams of being a sports star and take over his father's business. jennifer glass, al-jazeera, kabul. >> jensen button will still be playing next year. no mention was made of button's teammate alonso.
the toronto blue jays are celebrating their first divisional title in more than 20 years. canada's only mlb franchise getting the win they needed in the american league east. the blue jays did it in style, beating the baltimore orioles here 15-2. the pennant is toronto's first since 1993. that was the year the blue jays won the second of back-to-back world series titles. this title assures the blue jays a spot in the five-game american league division series. okay, plenty more sports on our website, of course. check that out. al-jazeera.com/sports. serena williams calling an early end for her season. our top story there. more from me later on, but that's it for now. >> andy, thank you so much indeed. we'll see you for a bit more sports in the program. that's it for this news hour. we will have all the day's development straight after this break. do stay with us.
>> russia denies causing civilian casualties during its air strikes inside syria. i'm shiulie ghosh live from doha. also coming up, not giving up, afghan security forces says they won't stop fighting the taliban. the future of the oslo peace accord is up in the air. plus -- >> i'm in the u.s. state of