♪ ♪ the second day of meetings in vienna. it's the fires tame all sides have taken part in talks on the conflict. the u.n. secretary general ban ki-moon has called for flexibility in negotiations. mohamed jam ron reports from the alaustrian capital. >> reporter: in vienna the stocks may be about syria. but on thursday focused turned to another country. >> translator: we believe that iran is a government and a country that's been a positive force in the region and you can for the put conditions on iran's presence therefore no conditions were placed on our attendance at these talks if there had been we would not have accepted that. >> reporter: iran's foreign minister takes a seat at the negotiating table for the first time. the importance of his presence was made ever clearer when u.s.
secretary of state john kerry walked from his hotel to hold a bilateral meeting with is receive. while the new need diplomatic push to find a political solution is in overdrive the talks in the austrian capital offered a start juxtaposition to the reality on the ground in syria. >> we have reached a point when there is a feeling that military formulas are leading nowhere. given the russian intervention as you know which has been a game changer it has caused the acceleration of a political solution. it realizes without a parallel political con cleat, substantive type of governance in syria, we will not be able to end the conflict and certainly not be able to fight and win isis. >> reporter: where bombs continue to drop and displaced
citizens continue to flee. bridging the ideological divide over syria will be more difficult than ever. in these discussions, the u.s., saudi arabia, and turkey stand firmly behind the syrian opposition. while russia and iran continue to support the regime of syrian president bashar al-assad. in the past four years, every other attempt to forge a political solution to the syrian crisis has ended in relative faifailure. raising the stakes at a time when it seems expectations are relatively low. >> i believe it is already a rather compromised relevance commitment to all the sides to be here tonight and tomorrow to come together to sit together, this is already very relevant starting point. only one week ago it was very difficult to anticipate. >> reporter: the mood one of extremely guarded optimism. the fact that regional arch
rival saudi arabia and other i ran will be sitting at the a table together is a very big development. but what results that may yield is for now anybody's guess. mohamed jamjoon, al jazeera, vena. >> the key players at the negotiating table include the united states, russia, turkey, saudi arabia and as mohammed jam ron explained there, usually iran. but also important is who is not there. no one is representing syria's opposition groups and the syrian government isn't attending either. the biggest su stumbling block n the table is the fate of bashar al-assad. while different parties have softened their stance a little. the u.s. and arab wants assad to go while russia and iran want him to stay. u.s. officials are hopeful an agreement can be reached on a transition that will see assad step aside. just this week he issued a statement saying he would not
consider any political initiatives until after, quote, irradicating terrorism. let's talk now to know ham he had jamjoon he joins us live from the austrian capital vienna. a busy day there, what's on the sketch foul vienna? >> reporter: sami, we are expecting shortly a statement from french foreign minister, that should be happening we are told within the next half happen our, then in about 90 minutes, two hours from now, there should be the plenary session started at the hotel imperial behind us where the diplomats will be talking throughout the day. i must just add what you mentioned a few moments ago really under scores how different things are here versus the reality on the ground in syria. there have been many attempt in the past to try to affect a political solution to the crisis in syria whereby diplomats meet in various world capitals even when agreements have been forged in the past as the geneva
agreement was in 2012. that has yet to make any impact on the ground and the fighting in syria. the fact that neither the opposition nor members of the regime of president bashar al-assad are actually here at the talks really underscores how there really is a world of difference between what's going on here ask the talks here, no matter how serious these world leaders are in trying to think do up with a compromise and a reality on the ground in syria where not only the war continues to rain unabate the but the humanitarian crisis continues to rage by the day. >> the reason why there is so much excitement about this meeting is because it was the first time you have all the world powers involved indirectly in this conflict sitting down and talking together, right? >> reporter: absolutely. that is a very di big deal.
there had bees in the past to get iran to the negotiating table when they tried a political solution. iran is one of the primary backers, along with russia, of syrian president about shar al-assad and his regime. in the past those effort neversr came to fruition it's not the iranians didn't want to show the u.s. didn't want the iranians there now because of this renewed push and the staff sewer of iran in the region after the nuclear deal was signed. because of all that have and more frank lurk now the iranians are here with the blessing of the u.s., because the u.s. as well as other international powers don't believe that anything can happen unless iran is at the table. the fact that you have the regional arch rivals iran, the backers of president bashar al-assad and then saudi arabia the backers of the syrian opposition along with turkey and the u.s. and so many other countries, actually sitting across from one another negotiating table, that is a very significant development. whether or not, though that, can
actually make a change here today, nobody yet knows. as i mentioned in the report and as we talked about yesterday many times, the diplomats that have come out, the few that have actually spoken to the president here, very, very guardedly optimistic and seem to be setting the bar very low in their public statements. everybody has said this is going to be extremely, extremely difficult. sammy. >> all right, mohamed jamjoon there from vienna, thanks for that. russia has prevented the go ahead to create the world's large of the protected marine zone off antarctic ca. it's a vast expanse of water 2.2 million square kilometers. let's look at what scientists and governments have been fighting so hard to protection. the cold nutrient rich waters are central to life on earth feeding the world's oceans. scientists argued human activity is putting this carefully balanced ecosystem at risk. well, for the fifth consecutive year governments have argued for
two vast areas in the southern ocean to be designated marine protection areas or mpas the first is a 1.25 million square kilometer area. the second more than 940,000 square kilometers in east ant arc at this ca. when combined it would being the biggest protected marine zone off limits to commercial fishing available for research and able to flourish. andrew thomas is in australia where the apt action tick marine commission is meeting. this isn't the happy ending that a lot of activists and governments were looking forward to then. >> reporter: well, sammy the meeting is still going on downstairs and haven't made their formal announcements but we are hearing it is unlikely they will be agreed to they are ye. very disappointing. base as you say for five years
straight now they have tried to agree these marine park areas and yet again it seems they will be blocked. we are hearing that china, at the last minute, is now agreeing to one of those two areas becoming a marine park area. but that rush is al jazeera is still not on board. there will be further meetings between now and another meeting in a year's time. the hope is that a meeting then can set the marine park up. i am joined by mark -- by mark epstein from the antarctic and southern ocean coalition. mark, let's go back to basics, why do you believe it's so important for these marine park -- marine protected areas to be established. >> right. we talk about marine protected area and marine reserves, meaning don't take zones. they are important because they live up to what the cons vair -- the commission for the continues indication was create dodd. this is help preserve and
conserve the 10,000 species that live in the southern oceans. but also because they provide climate reference zones that are increasingly important as climate change accelerates in the world. >> reporter: because there are species of creatures that live nowhere else. >> that's right. four species of penguins, one of them is actually expanding but two or declining rapidly. we want to understand why that's happening. >> reporter: now, i know that you are formal observer, so you can't say too much about what is happening in the meeting. is there a sense of disappointment there that this probably isn't going to go through this year again? >> there is a sense of disappointment but a little bit of light you remembered our feet as well because china -- because we have seen a change this year. one of the two countries last year as you said was china and russia said no and blocked it. the way it's run is there has to be consensus all 24 countries and the european union have to say yes. this year one of those two has changed are supporting the raw
sea. and that creates encouragement. at the same time there is still the east apt arctic which is another propose and we hope a series of other marine protected areas will come in the next few years to come. >> reporter: mark, thank you very much. so we should know formally whether the countries are in agreement or not in a couple of hours time. if as it looks these marine protected areas still not agreed to this year, the delegations will go back to their home countries, they will meet informally over the next 12 months and back here again 12 months from now when they hope they can get russia on board and agree to this important safety zone for the apt arctic. >> let's see how it end, andrew a.m. as, thank for that for now. still to come on al jazerra, as thousands of refugees continue to make their way to europe, questions about who needs help the most. plus. >> a parole for something that you can put in your pocket.
>> that has all the component of its society to live properly and to reach, reach it, and today we have a terrible war it's necessary to have important exchange first of all, one needs to fight even more effectively against terrorists of dash and isis, and then we need to organize the political transition. and, of course, mr. bashar al-assad who is responsible for large parts of the syrian drama
he cannot be the future of syr syria. at one certain point in this political transition he must no longer be in power. and we need to protect the civilian population which requires both to prohibit the bombing and to make possible the access of emergency services. so we are going to talk about all of this. and i hope that the work this morning will allow us to progress. thank you. that was france's foreign minister peeking there in vienna where up to 20 nations are gathering to discuss a course out of the syrian war there. with him stating the priorities from the french perspective saying the need to fight dash, as he put it or the acronym of isil in arabic to organize the political transition. and said it clearly that from his perspective assad the syrian
president, cannot be the future of syria. and at some point in the political transition should step aside. he said there was a need to protect civilians by preventing bombings. let's transition, of course, we'll bring you more from that gathering that's going on in vienna, let's transition now to another hotspot and fighting has intensified around the southern yemeni city of taiz. at least 45 houthi rebels and eight fighters loyal to president happened see were hadn thursday. doctors without borders want security guarantee to his continue working in yemen. gerald tan reports. >> reporter: the sky has been the greatest advantage for the saudi-led coalition in yemen. since march, jets have launched strikes to dislodge houthi fighters and their allies loyal to former president saleh. both sides are locked in the fierce battle for the city of taiz attacking each other from
opposing hilltop on his thursday. but the saudi-led coalition is also being attacked on a different front. it's facing mounting pressure for bombing a hospital in sadder district ran by the medical charity doctors without boarder. >> it's very clear the hospital was bombed by an aerial bomb, so a bomb from the coalition, there is only the coalition occupying the skies there. >> reporter: one this nurse was injured in the attack on monday. footage take he go are en of thh show the facility in rubble. >> translator: this is the hospital hit by saudi-americana agrees ors the destroying the only hospital in the district that serves dozens of surrounding areas, this is the only hospital they can go to for treatment. >> reporter: the u.n. has repeat the its condemnation of the bombing again blaming the coalition. for its part the saudi government continues to deny responsibility. >> we have provided the
coalition forces with the exact coordinates of the hospital. in turn, these coordinates were placed within the for bid en targets accordingly this hospital could not have been targeted by the coalition force eforcesforces. >> reporter: thousands of civilians have died. and many aid agencies are saying yemen is becoming too dangerous for them. gerald tan, al jazeera. palestinians have called for a day of rage across israel in the occupied west bank. on thursday is rally forces shot dead two palestinians in separate attacks in hebron. the israeli military said in both incident the palestinians stabbed soldiers. palestinians dispute thoseth and they fired on palestinian protesters near the cities. the palestinian president said 14 people were injured.
six sick palestinians and nine israelis have died in unrest since the beginning of october. qatar's foreign minister is warning some of the worst violence between israeli and palestinians may be yet to come. he has spoke to al jazeera. >> you are offending 1.5 billion muslims when you talk about al-aqsa in palestine that you are pr provoking the whole musls before. we have raised the flag saying it's very dangerous that the west bank started the third inning aintifada. >> reporter: do you believe this is a third inning a intifada? >> i believe so. i believe so. if the occupation is still there, if the settlement is still spreading, then we are going to see one of the worst inning aintifada. >> you can watch the full interview with qatar's foreign minister on up front on friday at 1930 gmt.
chaos has broken out at the border between so leave i can't and austria. hundreds of is lie lum seekers tried to try over the barrier. you could see them being kicked off by the police. the police say one of officer was injured when he was punch ed in the face. seaisyria's war is the main cauf the refugees cries but not all are syrian. some from argan dan, bangladesh and pakistan there is a push to send them back to their home countries because they are viewed as economic migrants. robin walker reports from the border. >> stymie found here from kabul. the other we fouled on the road in eye rap. >> reporter: friendships have been forge odd this journey like he and his new family from afghanistan. he is just 16 years olds, aged by a conflict which returned to his hometown this month.
>> it was awful. awful situation all the time. [speaking at the same time] >> i don't have eye school. i don't want anything. i lost my family in -- on the way off iran and afghanistan. >> reporter: getting asylum may not be straightforward for him, because he e.u. considers many africans to be economic migrants and wants to make it easier to send them home. there is a cargoing on in afghanistan and yet there is an intention to facilitate their return, that doesn't seem to make sense. >> there is at the moment a recognition rate of the 40% among the afghans, so, of course, this would be an individual questioning to see in which situations they live, whether they can go back or not go back. we'll see about what is happening in the war, the situation, will it be improving. >> reporter: most refugees are from syria. but an estimated 25% of those entering austria are from
afternoon began stan. now, in many instances, i have seen people of different nationalities coming together but i have also noticed some resentment over who is most deserving of asylum. a dentist from damascus asked me why i was interviewing afghans. the e.u. wants to sends back afghans that it considers migrants. >> okay. that's our position, yeah, because we are in need here, not afghan staff. they have to go back to their country actually. there is no war. >> reporter: the idea of reaching safety only to facing sent home evokes hollow laught laughter. they have given up everything to make this journey. and they say there will be no going back. robin walker, al jazeera, on the austria slovenia border. the u.s. government is preparing to release 6,000 prisoners to reduce overcrowding. the inmates are all held in
federal jails. they have been serving sentences for nonviolent drug crimes now considered to be unjustified. patty culhane has more. >> always having fun. >> reporter: charles ford say man who really likes to talk about his brother todd. >> comedian, just he demands the room. always has. he's got that certain aura about him. >> reporter: his pictures so an inseparable pair always smiling growing up in the poverty stricken side of washington dc. but this is where the pictures stop at 24 years old, todd foster in his first run in with the law, was found guilty of a nonviolent crime. dealing crack cocaine. along with seven others, they possessed a combined 15-kilograms and that meant his sentence, life in prison. no chance of parole. >> you sell drugs, you do your time, whatever, but life without parole for something that you can put in your pocket, no. i never -- i would never see that in a million years 67 the
judge had very little discretion because federal law requires mandatory minimum sentences basically eights formula that looks at the type of drug, the quantity, the circumstances, and that adds up to the sentence. the independent commission that oversees sentences just changed the formula reducing the time future and past prisoners will have to serve. shaving an average of two years of prison time for drug offenses. but for people sentenced to life, it means they will know freedom. part of the reason, money. the u.s. spends $80 billion a year on prisons and they are overcrowded. almost half of the inmates are there on drug charges. congress is considering lowering the penalties further but that has its critics. >> it will drive the crime rate up because these people are unfortunately they are going to go back, many of them, to 'do what they did previously and that is victimize the public by selling poison, drugs, co rain,
methamphetamine they are poise i understand no destroys lives. >> reporter: the vast majority of people that get out end up back in prison. ford knows the challenges they are facing. >> with me in his life, of course there will be -- he can go anywhere. you want to say, hey, you can call somebody, i am there. so i will be here. i will be tied like this. i gotta make sure he right. he going to be good. definitely going to be good i promise you that. and he going to -- he ain't got no choice but to do the right thing. >> reporter: after 21 years of thinking there was no hope of freedom, now he'll have a chance to find out. patty culhane, al jazeera, washington. cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide the number of cases in latin american countries is almost twice that of more developed nations. a new report shows while cancer care still needs urgent attention it is starting to improve. the oncology commission says the portion of people covered by
some health insurance has gone up from 46% to 60% in the last two years. latin american countries, particularly brazil and argentina are starting to address the shortage of cancer specialists. and a number of countries in latin america have devised national cancer plans including ecuador, peru, el salvador and part rico. colombia has also expanded its social insurance program to cover all types of cancer as alessandro reports. >> reporter: she has stomach cancer and has been doing kimmo for 15 months, she has subi subsidized insurance that covers her treatment but leaves her for weeks waiting for the medicine to be authorized. >> translator: because of the delay he gets an infection in her lungs, i don't understand why this happens if this medicine is part of the national health plan to terminal illnesses the doesn't wait.
>> reporter: cancer mortality in colombia are almost double the rate for european countries or the united states, however the ability to treat and diagnose here cancer here has improved in he cell years. the government has devised a national cancer plan and institute aid single benefits package for the entire population. today 96% of colombians have some form of health insurance, one of the highest rates in the hemisphere and by law it covers all types of cancer, the challenge, though, today is to insure quality care for all. this doctor work at columbia national institute that provides affordable healthcare for low income patients. >> translator: the way the system is regulate right now doesn't insure comprehensive character the law requires medical attention but doesn't require the quality of the attention and that quality is not measured. >> reporter: that's particularly true for those who live in
remote regions whose diseases are rarely detected on time. >> translator: where we come from there are no specialists and none of the doctors di deted my daughter's breast cancer we traveled all wait here and now they are telling us that the tomber is too advance today operate. >> reporter: the colombian government says they are taking steps to secure patients sooner. >> translator: today almost 60 days past between the first suspicion that something is wrong and the care. so the challenge is to reduce at that time and have our system operate as a network, who does the diagnosis has to be better connected with primary and inter need yacht care units which is critical to improve survival. >> reporter: with the aging of the country the number of cases is expected to rise so more needs to be done ask soon to increase the odds of survival where those that get sick in the part of the world where cancer has too often been a death
sentence. al jazeera, bogota. you can get more on all the story that his we have been telling you about if you head over to our website aljazeera.com. we are back at the top of the hour with another full bulletin of news plus i'll have an update in a couple of minutes, so don't go too far. >> each year, nearly 12 million arrests are made in the united states. >> is this pretty full for you guys? >> no, no this is just average, i guess you could say. >> okay. >> that's the population of los angeles and new york combined, booked into thousands of local jails. >> do you know how long some of these men have been held here? >> mmmm.