al jazeera america. siyrian for as they take the last rebel-held town of latakia province ahead of proposed peace talks welcome. i'm jane dutton live from the headquarters in doha. also coming up. >> reporter: protesters in egypt defy the government, ignoring an official ban on demonstrations to mark the fifth anniversary of the revolution. a cold snap sweeps through parts
of east asia bringing with it lower temperatures. we get rare access with the afghan troops fighting on the front line against i.s.i.l. the u.s. secretary of state john kerry says the question of which group should attend in direct talks between the syrian regime and the opposition will be resolved in a day or two. the summit in geneva has been delayed due to negotiations over exactly who will take part. a member of the syrian opposition and he says he is unhappy with the way the lead-up to the talks is being handled. >> there is pressure on us to give up the rights of the syrian people. these pressures are representative of pushing our delegation to head to the talks without any clear agenda, plus giving up the goodwill measures
addressing the humanitarian situation which has nothing to do with politics. therefore, we cannot tell our people who delegated us that we gave up your rights and headed to geneva without stopping the air raids or lifting the siege or releasing the prisoners or sending aid andrew simmons reports from a city near the syrian border. >> reporter: the u.n. special envoy on syria should have been sending out invitations to geneva on sunday. that didn't take place. now we're looking at possibly wednesday some diplomats say, but john kerry has stepped in again warning against any provocations by either side, what it called posturing. what has been happening is some elements of the syrian regime have warned that no concessions will be met to the opposition and the opposition itself, speaking from riyadh, a large group of the main body which represents both the armed groups, politicians as well, has said that it wants to see
prisoners released, it wants to see the syrians not using russian air power any more against civilians and it also wants to see some more movement from the syrian regime. it feels pressurized, according to a number of opposition figures. now, kerry has assured the opposition that it has a full support militarily, financially and politically from the u.s. a and he has knocked out a suggestion that some countries are no longer backing the opposition and he said that you can't make a horse drink water, but you can bring it to the water. there is a question mark now about whether the opposition figures will even go to the water at this stage. so a difficult position, very complex and very high stakes indeed while the diplomacy becomes more complicated, the syrian government is making gains on the ground.
syrian forces have recapped the last towns held by rebels in the province of latakia. russian air strikes backed troops on the grounds on the push to retake rabia. >> reporter: rabia is a small town, but it is captured by syrian government forces could mark a big setback for armed opposition groups. >> translation: units from the national armed forces have been able to take control of the area of rabia in the northern countryside of latakia. a series of successful operations have led us in the last two days to regain control of 18 towns and villages including rabia. >> reporter: the streets are now armed by bashar al-assad forces. it has been a key northern base for turkman fighters. it is estimated 20,000 people have fled from their homes in the mountains. >> translation: rabia was one of the opposition's biggest
strongholds. it was where they kept their supplies, ammunition and weapons for the area. many villages west were considered safe havens for the armed groups. it gave them safe passage to the turkish border for evacuation and supplies. >> reporter: the taking of rabia means the regime and the russians are stronger in latakia. they may now turn their attention to idlib still held by opposition fighters, including the al-nusra front. talks to try and find a solution to the syrian crisis are planned for this week. there is still doubt about whether those talks will go ahead, but in latakia syria's front line is being redrawn. rob matheson protesters in the cairo suburb have defied an fish ban to mark five years since the start of egypt's revolution. over the past few days there has been a rounds up of activists and thousands of homes have been
searched. the crackdown has been described as unprecedented. in the address the president said the government must enforce security and order. the revolution of 2011 was driven by egypt's young people, but five years on many feel betrayed by the outcome. >> reporter: it was supposed to be a new dawn. as millions of egyptians came together. people from all faiths, backgrounds and ages united in the call for a change. nearly 50% of the egypt's population is less than 30 years old. opposing football fans joined the protests. it started with a technical savvy generation that galvanised crowds through social media and mobile phone >> the youth were the leaders of what were happening.
we were not into politics so we didn't care or know much about politics, who was right or who was left wing, just what was wrong and we should speak up to that. that was happening >> reporter: it was much later that organized groups and political forces joined the protesters, all calling for an ends of decades of injustice. in the 18 days it took the president to stands down, hundreds of protesters were killed. an electioned government mass been replaced by the military. many of those who became icons of the revolution are either in exile or in jail. some feel the outrage which fueld the revelation also deflated it >> the same tool that united us to topple the dictators eventually tore us apart. >> reporter: people like noble
peace prize winner and the president are living outside the country. this man has been jailed for five years for violating protest flaws >> translation: most i remember is the crackdown in cairo's square and its aftermath. despite feeling betrayed he says he also has a sense of accomplishment. >> translation: we always blamed the generation, how they never really moved up to towards what's going on, they never talked about the corruption of the mubarak regime and automatic of that. i think the revolution will be happening in the next five years. that will happen. >> reporter: five years on, a bloodstained chapter in the country's history continues to over shadow what many people saw was the people's revolution al jazeera's middle east analyst, good to have you with us. let's talk about what is happening today.
you have the protesters defying orders to take to the street. what are you hearing? >> i believe it makes sense for all these to take to the streets. yesterday i heard the president talking, he gave a speech yesterday and asked people to be patie patient. in order to ask people to be patient you have to give something in return. the same as anybody should expect back for return of patience, nobody can see it in egypt today. if we are talking about the civil, democratic state, one of the basic requirements for such a state is separation of powers. i do not see-- that's certified, isn't it >> nobody is seeing it happening in egypt, at least so far what is he giving in return? >> for me, i don't see that he
is given much in return. the pressures, the social, economic, political, that has been exerted on the majority of the people has been tremendous during the last three years. i believe that it is going to be wise of the president and the people around him to give something in return does he have a game plan? he has got what he wants, he has the country in lockdown, but what happens next? how is he going to take egypt out of the situation that it is? people have less food on the table now than they did five years ago. >> i believe in order to have a game plan in egypt, the president has to quickly work on the way of reconciliation. egypt is in a real quagmire and nothing is going to take egypt
out of this quagmire except for reconciliation. i'm talking about a political reconciliation, social reconciliation, something has to be given to the brat masses of the people who are in need, unprivileged, otherwise - great masses-- it is going to strike and strike very nasty thank you >> thank you iraq has summoned saudi arabia's ambassador after he criticized the use of shia militias in the war against i.s.i.l. he suggested that the armed groups are contributing to sectarian divisions in iraq. saudi arabia reopened its embassy in baghdad last month. it had been shut down 25 years ago after iraq invaded kuwait. the cold snap continues to bite in the east asia. china's says temperatures in the south and south-west will
continue to drop. >> reporter: the whole of china in the grip of these arctic light conditions from temperatures of minus 40 in the far north of the country down to just above freezing here on the south china coast, and all sorts of weather in between. in the main southern chinese city there was a flurry of snow yesterday. the first time according to one newspaper. that has happened since 1929. further north in shanghai temperatures there still stubbornly remaining at freezing. they should be at 8 degrees this time this year. north-east asia is being affected by the same weather phenomenon, this blast of polar air in south korea, the island off the south korean coast, having the heaviest snow fall in three decades. also heavy snow fall in japan with some parts of japan expecting monday up to 70 centimeters in taiwan 57 people have died in unusually cold weather. most of those who died were
elderly people in the greater taipei area where the majority of homes don't have central heating. in vietnam the problems are farmers animals are dying and crops are being damaged by the extreme drop in temperature. heavy snow and you ice is making roads unpassable. teams are working around the clock in towns and cities around the u.s. east coast to clear the damage caused by the blizzard. heavy snow has caused damage to buildings. people are having a slow commute. 27 people were killed in weather-related incidents and thousands of flights were cancelled. in the news ahead, about 400,000 children in ethiopia are at risk of severe malnutrition. it is the worst draught in hassle a century. -- half a century. plus the home that grows on you.
s the top stories on al jazeera. the syrian government forces have recaptured what they say is the last rebel stronghold in latakia. the u.s. says the dispute over which syrian opposition groups will attend talks in geneva will be resolved soon. protesters in the cairo suburb have defied an official ban to
not protest. thousands have homes have been searched. cold weather is causing major disruption across east asia. travel has been disrupted across japan after a cold front dumped snow across the country. temperatures in the far north of china have dropped to minus 40 degrees. the afghan government has held unofficial talks with the taliban in qatar. the group says its political office in doha is the only body authorised to carry out negotiations on its behalf reinforcing the authority of its new leadership. it first opened an office in doha in 2013. the pentagon has given wide authority for u.s. troops in afghanistan to hit targets linked to i.s.i.l. the afghan government is reporting progress after the group. there is an exclusive report from the district of action on the afghan pakistan border.
>> reporter: on the front line of afghanistan's fight against the islamic state in iraq and the levant it runs through a vast mountainous area near the border with pakistan. we had a strong army escort up to this military post. the government relies on these villages to keep i.s.i.l. at bay. >> translation: we are defending our country. it's our duty. >> reporter: after camera he tells me he doesn't have enough bullets to fight. the flag of i.s.i.l. is not far from here and that says it all. this is i.s.i.l. territory. afghani merged in afghanistan over a year ago mainly in the east of the country. afghan leaders say it is mainly made up of foreigners and that has attracted to the members of the taliban and al-qaeda. it's not long before we hear the first bullets. the army's 50 medical guns are
capable of subduing the fire. tense minutes follow and fighters take their positions. there has been fighting and clashes for the last half hour. we are about one kilometer away from the village where i.s.i.l. is present there. they have their flag in that village and it is clear i.s.i.l. is in control of that area. the afghan intelligence, military intelligence sources have told us that there are about 4,000 fighters from i.s.i.l. based in the province on the border between afghanistan and pakistan. it is very mountainous terrain. there are over 10,000 afghan security forces based in the province. they are tasked with fighting i.s.i.l. and the taliban. the commander says i.s.i.l. will be defeated soon. >> translation: they posed a
series threat in the beginning but we will defeat them by march. tell i.s.i.l. they don't have a footstep here >> reporter: the afghan ministry of defense says more than 190 i.s.i.l. fighters have been killed during the last two months. not far from the base in market is busy. for many here, i.s.i.l. is more than a threat, it is a reality. >> translation: the government controls the main roads and the bases of the i.s.i.l. controls the rest. they are carrying out executions. >> reporter: the army is over stretched fighting the taliban, but its battle with i.s.i.l. is different and won't be over soosoon malaysian police have arrested seven people suspected of supporting i.s.i.l. the announcement was made on the first day of the summit on radicalization and extremism.
the prime minister delivered the opening address. more from our correspondent. >> reporter: the prime minister made it very clear that malaysia would not be held hostage to terror and that he would take every step possible to make sure that those that targeted malaysia or threatened security would be arrested. he made no apologies of arrests being made. seven were arrested over the weekends in several parts of the country. these individuals were supposed to have material that would incite terror and would insfir others to incite terror. -- inspire others to incite terror. he abhorred the acts of violence that i.s.i.l. perpetrated and that nobody from malaysia would be allowed to move to syria to fight that cause. he also wanted to reiterate the help that malaysia has given to its regional partners and that
they are giving to malaysia. worrying about the attacks in jakarta, in beirut, in turkey and, of course, in paris. he went on to say that this two-day conference will of course allow security officers, junior ministers of the interior, from various countries, an opportunity to talk to each other and find ways of making sure that asia-pacific did not fall victim to any sort of terror violence a center right veteran politician is to be portugal's new president with his election victory to prove to be a counter balance to the center left government voted in last year. he is >> reporter: a resounding victory. he sweeps 52% of votes in portugal's presidential election, more than double that
of his nearest rival. >> translation: as president i will do everything to unite what crisis have divided, bringing portugal people closer, building bridges and healing wounldz, bringing positions closer. here the president can wield significant power in a crisis with a power to dissolve the parliament and fire the prime minister. it is a possible scenario too after october's dramatic vote resulted in a shaky center left coalition in government. >> translation: we must reconcile social justice with economic growth and financial stability. the present time is not easy, not in the world and not in europe. it is not easy in portugal. it is a time of uncertainty and challenge. >> reporter: the challenge will be how to balance anti austerity
measures. the port gees with be-- port gees have been suffering since a bail out years ago. the economy is slowly gaining momentum but unemployment is still over 11%. the president who takes office in march says he will address these issues while ensuring the stability of the current government. gerald tan more demonstrations have taken place on the streets of haiti. it happened on the day when run-off elections to choose the next president were supposed to take place. that was called off on saturday. there have been accusations of fraud during the first round of the votes in october. former vice president says a deal to reach a unity government has collapsed. the august deal was meant to end the civil war which began in 2013. he says he won't sign an
agreement until the president drops plans to increase the number of provinces in the country from ten to 28. >> this agreement states ten states. even the transition in constitution of south sudan, but the government is insisting that it should be 28 states about 400,000 children in ethiopia are at risk of severe malnutrition. that's according to the charity save the children. it is pushing for the u.n. to raise the alarm. the country is facing its worst drought in half a century. they're concerned about how it will affect 300,000 new borns in the next six months. more than 10 million people are in desperate need of food an aid right now. six million of them are children. john graham is head of save the children and he said the 100 million dollars received from
international donors is not enough. >> it's acute malnutrition, the last stage the children have in malnutrition. what we have seen, especially initially in these areas where the animals have died, the children were cut off from milk and so on, they just lose all of their nutrition. when you get into severe acute malnutrition and we're expecting 400,000 children to fall into that this year, by then if you don't get therapeutic assistance, then the mortality rights are high. we have a great opportunity this year to head off the kinds of suffering that we've seen in previous years, especially in 1984, but we have to have the resources. the window is getting narrow. if we don't get food aid pledged by march of this year, which is only a little over a month away, then the food will search not be able to arrive in the country in time to be distributed to people during what we call the hungry season. we have to be very direct now.
this is not a time to be nice, to be diplomatic, children's lives are going to hang in the balance. we have to say thank you very much to those who have contributed already, the united states, the u.k., the european union, but that's only a fraction of what is needed here. you've got to do more. for those countries who haven't done anything yet, countries like japan and germany and france who have contributed little or nothing, step up. secretary general, step up. push so that we can get those resources and prevent the suffering and push now. we haven't got time to wait it is often referred to as the noble prize for architects and this year's prize has gone to an architect from chile. >> reporter: this man is an architect obsessed with the needs of his time. a time when by miss calculations two out of five billion people will be living in cities oundz the poverty line by the year
2030. -- under >> this means we have to build a one million city per week with $10,000 per family. >> reporter: he has already started. here in chile with a revolutionary social housing design that has made him one of the youngest recipients of the world' most prestigious architectural award. >> the means with which we have to respond to this phenomenon has no precedence in human history. >> reporter: when he was hired to rapidly rebuild a chilian city destroyed by an earthquake, he came up with a solution. >> instead of producing tiny units, we asked ourselves why don't we think half of a good house and we thought it was efficient to make the half that a family will never be able tool achieve on its own and then allow families to do their other
half with their own timing according to their own needs. >> reporter: it is called participatory expanding design. here poor residents moved from this to this. homes that families built on by adding more bedrooms, or a terrace or balcony or a shop, and not only in the outskirts of the city but right in one of the wealthiest districts. these residents used to live far away and travel for hours to get here. now they work and live in the same area which improves their quality of life and in turn reduces the inequality gap. that is the point. although his multi million dollar prestige projects have won him critical acclaim the world over, he seems most proud of his social architecture which include public spaces alongside public housing >> public space by definition is what improves or not the quality
of life for free in cities. >> reporter: architecture that he hopes will ultimately stands the test of time let me just remind you quickly about our website. that's there on your screen. you can access it at aljazeera.com mexico. and every year, wages have stayed the same for the people that harvest that produce - sometimes the last people to touch the fruit bought by u.s. consumers. but after years of long, hot days and stagnant pay, workers left the fields and took to the streets to demand better working conditions - and a living wage.