a humanitarian crisis. the u nuchlt seas half a million people are still living-- u.n. says half a million people are still live under siege in syria. live from our headquarters in doha, coming up, no change at the top. the communist party reelects its leader for a second five-year term. the leader of an armed group tells his followers to stand down. retracing history, an epic journey across the arabian
desert the u.n. says the syrian government has ignored most requests to deliver aid to half a million civilians trapped in 18 areas. many are completely cut off from food, medicine and aid. opposition groups say they will not be attending talks in geneva on friday unless the bashar al-assad regime stops attacking civilians. more from our correspondent in new york >> reporter: the humanitarian situation in syria has gone from bad to worse. that was a key message from stooech o'brien when he briefed the security council. the numbers are staggering and troubling in syria-- steven-- but really the number that jumps out the most is the increase in the number of syrians living in besieged areas, areas cut off from any sort of regular aid. that number is up to 486,700
syrians that live in those conditions. of those 274,000 of them live in areas besieged by the syrian government according to the u.n., another 200,000 live in areas besieged by i.s.i.l. and about 12,000 in areas besieged by non-state armed groups such as the al-nusra front. steven o'brien said that the use of siege and starvation of as a weapon of war is represent rehencible. he also said more need to be done >> you have cross-borrowed assistance and you've taken action to launch a political process. but for the millions of people trapped under siege, mall nurished and lacking supplies, this council has not done enough. we have left those people with no hope. they believe the world has forgotten them >> reporter: he was very critical of the syrian
government. he said the government last year only approved 10% of the more than 100 requests by the u.n. to get aid convoys in to people that needed it the most. o'brien called this unacceptable and irnlgd the syrian government to do more to help. o'brien reminded the security council that the war in syria remains the most savage and brutal conflict of the 21st century scenes of starvation in the syrian town have led to an outcry. people are still in desperate need. a warning that this report contains images that some viewers may find disturbing. >> reporter: this man lid in the besieged town on madaya. he died on wednesday because, like thousands of his neighbors, he didn't have enough to eat. two days before this group of men trudged through snow-covered streets carrying the cough inof
a woman. the man filming this says they asked aid agencies for help. >> translation: we asked the res crescent sent and red cross and other organization organizations but no-one asked. their hearts hearts are colder than the hezbollah. they left her to starve to death. >> reporter: food and medical supplies were trucked in a little over two weeks ago, but they're still in the grip of malnutrition. at least 14 have died since the convoy arrived in addition to the dozens of lives previously claimed by hunger. locals say forces loyal to president bashar al-assad still blockade the town. hezbollah fighters are told residents to abandon their homes and hezbollah is reported to be battling the syrian opposition in nearby districts. >> translation: for more than 220 days now madaya and the surrounding areas have been subjected to a siege by
hezbollah and regime forces. anyone who tries to be leave will be shot or killed by a land mine. >> reporter: the world food program says close to half a million people are cut off from food, 18 parts of syria are besieged by fighters loyal to the opposition or i.s.i.l. pressure is growing on bashar al-assad to allow more food through >> the syrian regime and governments is p responsible for padlock access to 915 of the now 18 besieged areas. >> reporter: hunger continues to claim the weakest. the people of madaya are hoping for more aid convoys as food supplies run out again, that small hope is all some of them have left sweden plans to deport up to 80,000 failed asylum seekers. the minister told local media that it may take several years.
they have taken in more refugees per head of population than any country. more 160,000 applied for asylum in the country last year. vietnam's communist party has reelected chong as its top leader. the country's economy is booming because of increased trade with the u.s. it has now become one of the fastest growing markets in the world. >> reporter: veelt's communist party drew its congress to a close on thursday morning. in closed door meetings they selected the next leaders for five years to come. the general secretary, which is essentially the top leader of the communist party and the nation here, was reelected. mr chong had had served for five years. he will serve for another five years. at his speech he said there are many challenges ahead and opportunities for the country. he said there is a lot of work to be done. he is most likely referring to continued reform, also the
economy and how things have been going for the country here. it has been going well. that's probably what he meant by the opportunities, but the challenges could be said of what has been going on with china aterritorial disputes in the south china sea. he is essentially the leader of the nation, the leader of the communist party. there are still blankss to be filled in. that will come when they announce that in may myanmar's parliament is hoeding its last session with the outgoing government. the law makers made up mostly of the members of military and many handover power to aung san suu kyi's party. they swept to victory. the leader of an armed group occupying a wildlife refuge in the u.s. state of oregon has asked his supporters to stand down. ammon bundy and eight others were arrested during a shoot out with police on tuesday.
another protester was killed. the government accusing the government from illegally taking land from ranchers. >> reporter: a very interesting change for three and a half weeks now we've heard the governor of oregon, the f.b.i., local sheriff is the occupiers of the national wildlife refuge to leave, to just go home. today we heard the acknowledged leader of that group, speaking through his lawyer, saying it's time to stands down. this issue is in the courts now. please please stand down, go home, hug your families, legality us take it from here. clearly an indication that whatever happens here locally in south-east oregon at the refuge that has been occupied for so long, whatever happens here, whatever kind of resolution comes out, it's clear that the broader issues of land reform, land use and federal control of property here is not going away. this is a movement that we will
see again. ammon bundy and seven others were arraigned today in portland. they face federal charges, felony charges relating to impeding federal officers from doing their job. we may see more arrests in this case, but we haven't heard of any as of late on wednesday night. so as it stands now, there are at least five people we believe at that refuge, still saying they intend to stay and police and f.b.i. have a heavy presence on the very few roads surrounding that isolated refuge the spread of the zika virus was top of the agenda at a meeting of latin american leaders in ecuador. they say they have a joint responsibility to fight the virus. >> reporter: it wasn't on the agenda at the annual meeting of latin american and caribb acres n heads of state, but then the
speed of zika spreading could not be seen. >> translation: we are aware and will make an effort to cooperate with research, but we know that the only way to cooperate at this time is by sharing knowledge and experience. >> reporter: the virus which is believed to cause esevere neurological defects in now borns has had the most dramatic impact so far in brazil where some 4,000 babies have been diagnosed with microcephaly, a condition in which a child is born with a significantly smaller brain. regional leaders are scrambling finding ways to contain the epidem epidemic. many countries are planning on sending out the army on a search and destroy mission. hundreds of thousands of solers going house to house looking for still clean water in the most
unlikely prices. the perfect breeding grounds for the mosquitos. these measures can only diminish the spread of the epidemic, not eradicate the zika virus which is spreading like wild fire. that is particularly true during the hot summer months here in the southern cone where the conditions are ideal for the particular mosquito to breed. central america too is on high alert. >> translation: before we have a vaccine ready, there is only one way to solve this, which is by getting the population to help as well. everyone will need to fight this together, otherwise we will lose it. >> reporter: leaders recognise that for many of the be have impacketed countries could not have begun at a worse time. countries like a severe economic recession is crippling public health services still to come here on al
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the vietnam's communist party has reelected mr chong as its top leader. the 71-year-old says there's still a lot of work to do to maintain the country's economic growth. the leader of an armed group occupying a wildlife refuge in oregon has asked his supporters to stands down. ammon bundy and eight others were arrested during a shoot out with police on tuesday. the falling oil prices and the rising cost of the war against i.s.i.l. is a big price to pay for the iraqi government and their employees. civil servants have had their wages cut and they get paid every six weeks instead of monthly. imran khan has been meeting some of them in baghdad >> reporter: this woman works for the local government. she was happy to get a government job because it provided security and a steady pay check, or so she thought. the plummeting price of oil has left a big hole in the
government's budget causing a restructuring of the state's violence. it has meant a 25% pay cut and she gets paid every 45 days instead of monthly. >> translation: there is a big amongst the employees. most of the employees are totally depend end on these salaries. if they're being cut then we won't survive, so the government is effectively forcing people to seek our options maybe even terrorism. >> reporter: government leaders say as soon as prices rise they will be backdated. around 95% of all of iraq's revenues comes from oil. about 4.5 billion people are on the state payroll and another 3.7 million people receive state pensions. any cut in those means that there is a direct impact in places like this, the iraq's
markets and the ability of the people to feed themselves and look after themselves. >> reporter: this man says shoppers are not buying as much as they used to. >> translation: the purchase power for people has declined because of the austerity measures implemented by the government. people used to buy extra. now they don't. they're trying to save money in case times get tougher. >> reporter: xhenists say that fear is well-founded. -- economists >> translation: they have a right to be afraid by their salaries. the government's actions is causing fear and pressure on employees. this over shadows the country's situation. >> reporter: even the most optimistic can see that tough times ahead for the next 12 months. with the i.s.i.l. factored in,
that multiplies. it is those with jobs who are suffering living from one pay check to another three al jazeera journalists held in yemen have been freed and these are the latest images of them after he was released. he was taken 10 days ago alongside his colleagues. they were filming in the besieged city of taiz. reporters without borders describes yemen as one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists. al jazeera has formally launched arbitration against egypt. it is a claim over what the network says is a breach of international law and an agreement. it follows a long and deliberate campaign by the egyptian government against the network.
an international lawyer says this lawsuit is important for the rights of journalists around the world. >> most parts of the al jazeera claim focused on the breach of the rights, freedom of expression and the protection of journalists where the egyptian authorities have broken and breached every international agreement to which the arab party, in addition to international law and other conventions, the highest number of conventions that they have broken is in this instance one of france's most senior politicians has walked out of the government in a row over new anti terror law. he resigned in protest at plans to strip people convicted of terror offences of their citizenship. >> reporter: she suffered racist taunts from the far right during her time as justice minister,
but in the end it was president francois hollande's controversial policy which caused french justice minister to step down. >> translation: i'm leaving the government because of major policy disagreement. i chose to be loyal to myself, to my commitments, to my struggles, to my relationships with other loyal to ourselves. >> reporter: her disagreement is over a proposal that if passed it would see french people who are convicted of simple terrorism offences stripped of their citizenship. >> translation: i've been a minister of justice in her place i would have resigned too. we don't do the opposite of which we fought all those years. >> reporter: the proposal was put forward shortly after the paris attacks on november 13 that killed 130 people. since that night, france has been under a state of emergency. it has also left to bear
increasingly at odds with francois hollande's security crackdown. >> translation: i'm happy to see this. she brought about rules that have weaken end our response. hopefully her leaving will bring a fnldz change >> reporter: one of france's few senior black politicians, she has been replaced by a supporter of the new laws. the measure known as the loss of narcotic clan goes before mps next week. the debate in france about tougher security versus civil liberties is one that will likely have echos in other countries around the world high unemployment in south africa has provoked the latest mass march by people demanding jobs. >> reporter: every day unemployed men and women wait in
line hoping to get work. >> it's very painful. it's too much, very painful because you've got families to feed and there's no money. >> reporter: most here are trained security guards. some haven't worked in years. >> there are a lot of people here who don't work. i think i'm one of the statistics. >> reporter: south africa's official unemployment rate is more than 25%. around the corner from the government job center in down town johannasburg, they marched to demand work. the main opposition party, the democratic alliance, say nearly 2 million south africans last their jobs in the past several years. >> our biggest fight is a job for fight, to for work opportunity. the first phase of our freedom was to get people the right to vote. the next one is that they make opportunities for south africa. >> reporter: the democratic alliance is seen to represent
white interests. racist comments on social media caused out rage earlier this month, but it does have a significant amount of support. the president and the government controlled by the african national congress is promising to create more jobs. it has a national development plan that aims to crack the unemployment level from 25 to 6% within 15 years. the plans are focusing on infrastructure development, improving education and fighting corruption. the anc has been in power since 1994. it remains the most popular party, especially with the black majority partly because it helped to end apartheid. >> it will make no difference to the outcome of unemployment other than to remind people again that this is one of the biggest challenges facing south africa. >> reporter: the local government election is expected
in a few months sudan's president has ordered the reopening of the border with south sudan. frontier was closed in 2011 when they became independent. on monday south sudan president ordered his army to retreat five kilometers from the border. severe drought in colombia is having a severe effect on farming, fishing and oil production. our correspondent reports now from the ma dpshgs dalena river. the whid spread water shortages are being blamed on the el nino weather phenomenon. >> reporter: the river here, the greatest waterway reduce in places to a humble stream. where water once flowed, sand has formed. for days fisherman here has been throwing his net under the
blazing son without catching a single fish. >> translation: there's nothing. for eight days we haven't caught a thing. we're just throwing away money in gasoline. this river was always abundant with fish. we have never seen anything like it. >> reporter: the empty stalls at the local fish market confirmed that. >> translation: it has always been the most time of the year, but the river is so-- abundant time of the year. the fish can't reproduce. many families count on the industry. >> reporter: with the river at its lowest levels, dead crops affect growing communities. experts say el nino is to blame caused by the warming of the pacific waters. relief is some time away. >> translation: we think it will continue for the entire first semester of 2016 and its effects will keep intensifying at least until the ends of march >> reporter: the forecast is
also grim for colombia's oil history already hit by low prices. almost a million barrels travel down here each month, but in january less than 20,000 were moved-- 200,000 were moved. some barges lie empty while workers struggle to finds passage. >> reporter: in normal circumstances each tug boat would move half a dozen of these filled with oil all the way to the port. that's the equivalent of 50,000 barrels of oil on each trip. the journey would take three to four days. right now it can take up to a month when they manage to get through. >> translation: years ago the river went down to 90 centimeters, but this is no precedent. there are just 15 centimeters at some points. >> reporter: the last time such an intense el nino hit the country in 1997 it caused deaths
and billions of dollars in losses. there are no estimates of what the final tally will be this year, but millions of people who live along this river are already feeling the pain an epic journey across the arabian sder d-- des, ert. our reporter saw the modern day explorers arrive in doha. >> reporter: 49 days trekking across the world's largest expanse of desert culminating in this. these men have walked a million camels. they repeated a historic journey completelied 85 years ago when explorers relied on natural
water sources and the hospitality of tribes >> many things have changed but the hospitality of the people hasn't and that has been the same throughout. >> reporter: the 1300 kilometer trek took them from salahal through to saudi arabia to qatar, a journey made easer these days by satellite navigation >> we used gps at the end of the day, but we used the shadow because we've been walking pretty much due north. so the noon shadow is pointing north. you can use nur shadow to november vat. >> reporter: he made history in 1931 when they made it across what is known as the empty quarter because it is so dry, large and inhospitalable. that made it onto the newspapers around the world. that inspire in this one, which
may get others to think about what they can do these days >> they will be inspired because maybe some people will not believe it, you know. somebody will cross the biggest desert in the world. these days, you know, because i cannot do for maybe two or three days >> reporter: the 2016 team was joined for part of the trip by a relativive of the original explorer. >> this is his grands son. >> translation: i will never forget this trip made by my grandfather 85 years ago. i am very proud. >> reporter: the desert has not changed much since then, but the start of the end of the journey have, as recorded back then. >> the final line, he came over a hill and there before us were the towers of doha but it is incredible. >> reporter: in those days it look liked this. it is a slightly different scene that greets this team of people
85 years on, but no less an achievement of a modern day journey for all the latest new zealand and analysis, you can always head to our website. the address is right there on your screen, at aljazeera.com [ ♪ ] thanks for joining us on america tonight. drop by drop, flint michigan, already awash in a flood of troubles. it now finds itself facing even more under heavy pressure. michigan