the staggering numbers coming out of syria. the u.n. says half a million people are now living under siege. with the world news from al jazeera. also to come, staying at the helm, the vietnam's communist party reelects its leader for the second time. a wildlife siege in the u.s., the leader of which has told them it stand down. finds out what the government
that number is now 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 is a weapon of war is represent rehencible. he also said the security council needs to do more. >> you have authorised authorised
it hasn't ended, the acute suffering of the madaya's people. this report contains images some viewers will find disturbing. >> reporter: this man lived in madaya. he died on wednesday because, like thousands of his neighbors, he didn't have enough to eat. two days before this group of more trudged through
snow-covered streets carried the coffin of a woman. this man said they asked aid agencies for help. >> translation: we asked many groups but no-one answered. their hearts are colder than the ones of hezbollah. they left her sick and hungry until she died. >> reporter: food and medical supplies were trucked in a little over two weeks ago, but people are still in the grip of malnutrition. at least 14 have died since the convoy arrived. in addition to the dozens of lives claimed by hunger. locals say forces loyal to bashar al-assad still block the town. residents have been told to abandon their homes. there is fighting 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 leave will be shot or killed by our landsmines. >> reporter: the world food program says close to half a million people are cut off from food, 18 parts of syria are besieged. international pressure is growing on president bashar al-assad to allow more aid through. >> the syrian regime, governments, is responsible for blocking access to 915 of now 18 besieged area. that is a bad statistic. >> 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 interior minister says the
deportation process could take several years. sweden has taken in more refugees relative to its own population than any other country in europe. more than 160,000 people applied for asylum there last year. the u.k. says it will give sanctuary to unaccompanied child refugees from war torn countries like syria. britain and the u.n. high commissioner for refugees will identify the cases for consideration, but minors have already made the journey to europe will not be accepted. the iranian president is in paris for the second leg of his state visit to europe. he is expected to meet the french president francois hollande and discuss trade deals following the lifting of international sanctions over iran's nuclear program. his five-day visit to europe is the first by iranian president in nearly two decades. he says it is an important step
to strengthening ties between the countries. both sides in yemen's war should be investigated for crimes against humanitarian the u.n. says. the experts also want a commission inquiry into saudi- led coalition air strikes on civilian areas. almost 3,000 civilians have been killed since last march. an al jazeera news team that was held in yemen has now been freed. these are the latest images of the journalist after release. 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 journalist. there has been a show of force from sk and u.s. march ians on the day reports came out of north korea planning a long-range rocket launch. they've been holding joint training drills on the outskirts of zeoul, both sides embracing
the chilly weather. >> reporter: it's very much a show of force, a show that the u.s. and south korean marines can operate in all conditions, all temperatures. it comes at a sensitive time, just weeks after north korea's fourth nuclear test. it also comes on the day of reports in the japanese press citing japanese courses that north korea is preparing at this moment a long-range rocket launch. the international community would consider that to be a bralise particular missile test. this follows something of a pattern. they have often used a rocket launch after a nuclear test or, indeed, vice versa. this is really much a prelude to what will be a much bigger exercise, an annual exercise, clear resolve, which takes place every year later in february, but always creates tensions between south korea and north korea. this time around, just after
this nuclear test, is likely to do so again vietnam's communist party has reelected c hoshgs ong-- chong as leader. there is a transformation that will boost trade with u.s. and other countries. our correspondent has more now. >> reporter: vietnam's communist party drew its congress to a close on thursday morning. the closed door meetingss, 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 served for five years and he will serve for another five years. at his speech he said there were many challenges ahead and many opportunities for the country here. he said there is a lot of work that needs to be done. most likely he is referring to continued reform. also the economy and how things have been going for the country here. it has been going well.
that's what he probably meant by opportunities, but the challenges could be meaning what has been happening in the south china sea. he is essentially the leader of the nation, of the party. there are still some blanks to be filled in for role of president, prime minister and others. that will come in may myanmar's outgoing parliament is holding its last session. the current law makerss are largely linked to the military. the army general turned president said there was a bloodless shift to democrat accuracy. on monday the winners will take charge. the verdict was overwhelmingly in favor of aung san suu kyi's national league for democracy. the leader of the armed group occupying a wildlife refuge in the u.s. state of oregon is asking supporting to stands down. ammon bundy and seven others were arrested during a shoot out with police on tuesday. another protester was killed. the group accuses the federal
government from illegally taking lands from ranchers. the virus of zika has been top of the agenda. brazil's president says they have a joint responsibility to fight the virus. our correspondent reports. >> reporter: it wasn't on the agenda at the annual meeting of latin american and caribbean heads of state, but the spread of zika spreading across the americas couldn't have been foreseen. >> translation: we will all make a cooperation to share knowledge and experience in relation to this virus. >> reporter: the virus which is believed to cause severe neurological defects in newborns 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 to find ways to contain the epidemic. many countries plan to follow brazil's example, sending out the army on a search and destroy mission. hundreds of thousands of soldiers going house to house looking for still clean water in the most unlikely places. the perfect breeding ground for the mosquitos. theeps measures can only diminish the spread of the epidemic, not eradicate the virus which is spreading like wild fire. that is particularly true during the hot summer months here 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: but regional leaders recognise that for many of the most impacted countries, the epidemic could not have gun at a worse time. countries-- begun at a worse time still to come on the program, we look at what the future holds for ivory coast as its former leader faces the international criminal court. plus. >> reporter: i'm in central colombia where el nino phenomenon is drying outlet largest river in the-- out the largest river in the country. e country.
welcome back. a quick reminder of the top stories on al jazeera. the u.n. says the number of people living under siege in syria has increased to nearly half a million people. the world food program has accused the syrian regime of stopping aid from reaching civilians. the leader of the armed group occupying a wildlife refuge in oregon has asked the supporters to stand down. ammon bundy and seven others were arrested during a shoot out with police on tuesday. the authorities in the iraqi city of fallujah are urging the government to help. people say there are 5,000 families are trapped. they're demanding the u.s. led keelgs intensify i.s.i.l.
the area was captured by the armed group in 2014. falling oil prices and the rising costs of the war against i.s.i.l. means the government is finding it hard. civil servants have had their pays cut and are getting paid every 6 weeks instead of four now. >> reporter: this lady works for the government. she wanted a job in the government because of security. the budgets has caused a restuk youring of the state's finances. that meant a 25% pay cut for her and she gets paid over 45 days instead of monthly. >> translation: there is a big fear amongst the employees. most of the employees are totally dependent on these salaries. if they are being cut, then we won't survive. so the government is effectively forcing people to seek other options.
maybe even terrorism. >> reporter: government leaders say that as soon as oil prices rise, salaries will be restored to previous levels and payments backdated. that cost will be huge. iraqi society heavily relies on government job. around 95% of the country's revenues come from oil. many people receive state pension. any cut in those pensions and payrolls means that there is a direct impact in places like this, iraq's markets and the ability for people to able to feed themselves and to look after themselves. 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 want to save money in case times get tougher.
>> reporter: specialists say that fear is well-founded. >> translation: state employees have the right now to be afraid about their salaries. the government's actions in such regard is mounting fear and pressure on civil servants. it coincides with the fast pacing international economic developments that over shadows iraq's economic situation. these fears will continue >> reporter: even the most optimistic of assessments say the country face more tough times ahead for the next 12 months at least. when the cost of the war against i.s.i.l. are tabbingored in, they are are doubled. people live from one pay check to another with little idea when things will improve turkey says 20 fighters have been killed after they attacked the army in the southern cities. three soldiers also died in the
fighting. thousands of people have left the area which is mainly kurdish because of an extended curfew. nearly 600 people have died since the military launched an offensive in the region a month ago. al jazeera has formally launched arbitration. the claim is over what the network says is a breach of international law and a breach of the qatar-egypt bilateral agreement. it followed a long and deliberate campaign by the 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 freedom of expression, rights and the approximately of journalists where the egyptian
authorities have broken that, every international agreement to which they are a party, in addition to the violation of international law and other conventions. the highest number of conventions they have broken is in this instance the former president of the ivory coast is due to go on trial in the international criminal court in the netherlands. he is accused of committing crimes against humanitarian. his supporters say that his political rivals could be accused of the same crimes. >> reporter: competition for the ball is fierce. this square is a place where friends can have fun. most of them are too young to remember what happened here, but under their feet was a mass grave. the bodies of this man's nephew and son were ex-humid here. they were entaned with 18
others. they were killed by the president after he lost the 2010 presidential election. >> translation: after the 2010 election, my young brother and nephew were killed in my house. we are politicians. why should they kill us? it's not our business. they should not have come and killed us. >> reporter: the country was gripped by violence for months. 3,000 people were killed, but there was the back of the international community and eventually his fighters over ran. he was reelected in october. during campaigning he spoke a lot about reconciliation, but many people here accuse him of victor's justice, of punishing those who stood against him while ignoring the crimes of those militia loyal to him. he was handed over the international criminal court along with youth leader. they're facing four counts of
crimes against humanitarian including murder and rape. he has never been held to account even though the u.n. and human rights watch also accused his forces of the mass killing of civilians. he has always denies involvement. these women say the country will never heal properly. two of their relatives were killed by men loyal to him. >> translation: it really pains me to know that president gbagbo is in the haiging ue. >> reporter: in the build up to last year's election her son was arrested at a meeting. she says he is a political prisoner in a country where deep divisions lie just below the surface. digging into and understanding it's violent past may one day help the next generation overcome it sudan's president has ordered the re-opening of the border with south sudan.
it was closed in 2011 when the south became independence. on monday the president ordered his army to retreat 5 kilometers from the border. south africa is estimated to be the worst off in africa when it comes to alcohol consumption. the drinking habits are being setback by the company p country's status as an emerging market. a series of corporate deals and ad campaigns are seeking to expand the market. >> reporter: a weekends afternoon here. this is a favorite spot for people looking to spend the afternoon drinking traditional beer. it is made from maise and water. at 35 cents a pint it is popular. the younger generation of consumers is spending its money elsewhere. this is just one of six taverns in this block. like all the others, it is packed on a saturday afternoon. most of these customers have already been here for hours.
as the hours go on, the drinking takes its toll. the manager says he regularly attends responsible drinking workshops offered by the largest beer producers in africa. >> we need to make sure that people recover after having a weekends off drinking. so we close at 12 o'clock on sundays so people can get rest so they can go to rest. we don't want people to lose their jobs because they're most of our customers. a group would have a market value of 275 billion dollars. sab miller providing access to a growing african market. >> many countries in africa, there are a lot of illegally produced beverages that did cause an awful lot of damage.
sab produced beer from a cheap way. they will be looking to capitalise on that >> reporter: while the department of trade and industry says alcohol contributes about 5% of the gross domestic product, the medical journal estimates that alcohol abuse costs the economy double that. this social worker see many people. we have a lot of young people come in with cases of substance abuse. once we assess the whole situation where it started and what led to what, it is only then we get to find that this person is abusing alcohol and they're not really social users as they call themselves >> reporter: according to ab bev volumes of beer are expected to grow by 44% in the next 10 yearyears heavy rain has caused
widespread flooding in the occupant west bank. power supplies were hit and roads made impossible. some residents had to be rescued from their flooded homes. in colombia there is severe droug and it is d d drought and it's shutting down a river. it is being blamed on el nino. >> reporter: this river, the greatest waterway reduced in places to a humble stream. where water once flowed, sand islands have formed. for days this fisherman has been throwing his net without catching a single fich. >> translation: there's-- fish. >> translation: there's nothing. for eight date we haven't caught a thing. we're just throwing away money and gasoline. this was always abundant with fish. we have never seen anything like
it. >> reporter: the empty stalls at the local fish market confirm that. >> translation: this has automatics been the most abundant time of the year, but the river is so low, that the fish can't reproduce. many families here count on the industry. >> reporter: with the river at its lowest levels, water shortages and dead crops are around the surrounding communities. climate experts say the el nino weather phenomenon 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 end of march. >> reporter: the forecast is also grim for colombia's oil industry, already hit by low prices. almost a million barrels normally travel down here each month, but in january less than 200,000 were moved.
some barges lie empty while workers struggled to finds passage. in normal circumstances, each tug boat would move half a dozen of these barges filled with oil all the way to the port. that's the equivalent of 50,000 barrels of oil on each trip. it would take between 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 points at 15 centimeters. we have been working for a month without making a delivery. imagine the crisis. >> reporter: the last time such an intense el nino hit the country in 1997, it caused deaths and dill i don't knows 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 don't forget you can keep
right up-to-date with all the day's opening stories, and find out more about el nino which is affecting so many parts of the world, with very different kinds of weather than expected, 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