dozens of people killed in a series of bombings in damascus over shadowing talks aimed at ending syria's war. the world news on al jazeera. coming up on the next half hour, the new faces of politics in myanmar. a sign of the times on the streets of belgium as it perhaps for a security summit in the wake of the paris attack. why pilots in south korea are taking off in big numbers to
work for other airlines first the talks to end the war in syria and the saudi backed opposition says a meeting with the u.n. special envoy staffan de mistura was very positive. the group had threatened to walk away unless humanitarian concerns were addressed first. they're due to meet again in the next few hours. so let's get the latest from our correspondent who is live for us in geneva. yesterday we saw both sides talking to the media but not to each other. what can we expect today? >> reporter: that's right. yesterday was a pretty chaotic day. today what we've heard so far as the schedule so far would go like this. at some point in the next couple of hours at this hotel behind us
we're expecting that members of the syrian opposition and the high negotiations committee will be meeting to iron out how exactly they go forward so that they can agree on several points today. before they meet later in the day, possibly in the afternoon, possibly in the evening, with the u.n. for syria staffan de mistura. aside from that staffan de mistura will be meeting, as expected, with members of the syrian regime delegation. so there will be talks as we've heard so far with members of the opposition and members of the regime with staffan de mistura. besides that we don't know much yet. we don't know beyond if there will be any more talks, if there will be talks throughout the evening, what else to expect. it's going to be another day where we will just see hour to hour how this schedule may possibly change what, then, is the likelihood of a compromise being reached to allow the talks to go
ahead? >> reporter: right now the opposition has said on many occasions they're looking for some type of goodwill gesture on the part of the regime before they will commit to actually participating in these, whether you want to call them proximity talks for negotiations here in geneva. one of the things is being talked is the possibility-- tacked about is the possibility of the regime releasing prisoners. before today we heard that they wanted to see prisoners released, they wanted the siege to stop and they wanted humanitarian corridors to various towns in syria to be opened so people could get aid and food. so far as today, again - and there's a lot of speculation out there right now, but so far as today there is a lot of talk that there is a demand that prisoners be released and this is possibly being considered and pushed by both sides.
again, there's so much going on right now and the situation is so complicated and they've taken so long to even get both sides it to these talks, what may happen throughout the day we will have to wait and see thank you for that. meanwhile on the ground in syria i.s.i.l. is claiming responsibility for three bomb attacks which killed at least 60 people in the capital of damascus. it happened in a shrine in a mainly shia suburb. >> reporter: the trim blast ripped apart vehicles and shattered buildings and killed scores of people in the immediate vicinity. the attackers main target was a bus carrying shia militia men. this is a site of pilgrimage and a shrine. soldiers operate road blocks around the shrine. lebanese group hezbollah and
other militias have a strong presence there. many fighters visit the shrine before heading into front line combat >> i say mercy for the martyrs and a quick recovery for the injured. this will not stop us but will make us more resistant and determined. >> reporter: a car bomb had first been detonated near a public transport garage and that two suicide bombers then blew themselves up nearby as people were being rescued. the explosions happened just as delegates began convening in geneva for peace talks. the head of the syrian government delegation a link between opposition and terrorism. i.s.i.l. has claimed responsibility for the bombing more from our correspondent.
this is a very brazen attack by i.s.i.l. in the capital. what's the significance of the target of the bombing? >> reporter: like you mentioned, this is one of the worst bombings in the capital and this is a heavily guarded area. so a major security breach. the significance, this attack sectarian in nature. this is one of the holiest shrines. it is close to the site of the explosion. this really is a pilgrimage site for shias and at the end of the day it is protecting the shrines that galvanised and motivated many to join the fight in syria. i.s.i.l. claiming responsibility is in line with its policies because i.s.i.l. increases sectarian tensions by these attacks and i.s.i.l. can operate
in instability, insecurity and that is the way it is able to operate. the timing of the attack with talks in geneva, it is not clear if it was timed to coincide with this, but a message it is still a powerful force. i.s.i.l. was not invited on that negotiating table. in fact, they're the target of the international community because they have been pushing the sides to talk and close ranks because that is the only way they feel that they will be able to confront and defeat i.s.i.l. just separately, a senior u.s. fish is reported to have-- official is reported to have met with the y.p.g., and this is significant because they were not invited to the talks. what can you tell us about the meeting in kabani? >> reporter: both american and kurdish sources are confirming that a high-ranking delegation
from the international coalition against i.s.i.l. visited areas in the north-east of syria, clearly a rare visit. including obama's special adviser. he was among the delegates as well as british and french officials. we understand that discussions focused on military plans against i.s.i.l. we have to remember the y.p.g., the kurdish force, which is the backbone of the syrian defense forces, they have been taking the lead in the fight against i.s.i.l. and they have been the only partners on the ground of the coalition. some observers say that this visit, the timing of this visit is significant because the kurds are angry. they were side lined from geneva. they were asked to leave. the y.p.g.'s leader was in geneva and he was asked to leave. some is saying this is a show of support of the kurds, saying that we didn't forget you, showing that they're still partners. another point the u.s. and russia are struggling for
influence over the kurds. russia was the one pushing for the y.p.g. to be sitting on that table but turkey, an ally of the u.s., was adamant that a group called terrorist should not take part in the talks thank you for that. it is feared that at least ten thousand unaccompanied child refugees have gone missing since arriving in europe in the last two years. the law enforcement agency said thousands have disappeared and may have become part of trafficking or the sex trade. 5,000 are thought to have gone missing in italy alone. an e.u.'s investigation is welcomed by this man >> the fact that they're paying attention to minors because they
need protect. they are up to 10,000 and they could have fallen into smuggler's hands. we don't know and i don't think the authorities know what the real situation is, but we know a very large number of those coming across from afghanistan, from iraq and from syria are minors. sometimes they're with parents and other times they're on their own, but they're moving in great numbers into europe and they need to be cared for an 18-year-old palestinian man has been shot dead in the west bank. it happened after a palestinian police officer killed after fire itting at a check point. the palestinian death toll is up to 167 since the unrest began in october. the saudi-led coalition in yemen says that it will investigate civilian deaths during its air strikes against houthi rebels.
the announcement comes days after saudi arabia's ambassador spoke to al jazeera defending the accuracy of the coalition's pair campaign. he blamed houthi rebels for carrying out indiscriminate attacks. an historic parliamentary session has been held in myanmar to usher in the first democratic parliament in 50 years. n.l.d. government will officially start its term in april. our correspondent join us from the capital. this is, no doubt, a very advertise toric day, not only for myanmar by also n.l.d. and aung san suu kyi. what is the first order of the day? >> reporter: that's right. this has been a good first session. the inaugustaugural session is
over in a tricky transfer, a tricky relationship between a popularly elected civilian administration and the military because the military still keep a firm grip on power here. this is more like a power sharing agreement if you will. the military still have 25% of all the seats in parliament. they still have control over the key ministries. they also have the power of veto of any changes in the constitution. this is very much a government by compromise. yes, the n.l.d. is in power and they get to form the new government and frame government policy, choose the direction for myanmar, but they do so looking over their shoulder all the time of whether they have approval from the military. i think from the military's point of view their concern will be that they want to have a general facing various charges or corruption, which they might
do from the years of their administrative here. as long as they feel comfortable that that won't happen, i think this compromise will continue, that it will be an effective form of government, but these are interesting days they certainly are. it is an historic day for myanmar's parliament, democracy and political process. what about the victims of those genoci genocides, how do they feel today? >> reporter: that's right. i mean, the word that you hear time and time again here is reconciliation. from the top all the way down to the bottom. aung san suu kyi herself has said time and again that now is not the time for reprisals, it is a new time for moving ahead and making compromises. one of the big questions here, and you will remember after five
decades of military rule the civilian administration has a whole checklist of priorities to go through trying to undo years of isolation economically and diplomatically. this was a pariah nation. amongst those things we also have to choose, of course, a new president and that brings into the question the role of aung san suu kyi. she is not allowed to become president by the current constitution. there have been meetings between her and some of the former generals about whether that can be changed because it does seem to be the will of the people here, and beyond them i think the will of the international community that aung san suu kyi is the rightful heir and it remains to be seen just whether she can bring about that change because her position here - i mean, she has a very reveered position somewhere between a royalty and deity if you like. there is an expectation that she will ultimately become the next
president of myanmar thank you for that. south korea's pilots are taking flight. many are leaving the country's bigger airline for better pay in china and elsewhere and as our correspondent reports those left behind are threatening to strike. >> reporter: the flight simulators here are busy, training new.loots. this crew practices an emergency landing. is it is a prestigious job. so why are so many colleagues leaving the company and the country? >> the first reason is that the airlines cannot provide any hope for the pilots. the second reason is that there is a huge gap in salary compared to that of neighboring countries, especially china. >> reporter: last year 122 pilots left the company, more
than seven times the number than a year before. think third of them went to join the aviation boom in china, at double or triple the pay. korean air says the pilots earn $116,000 a year. >> 1.9% increase, so the gap is too big for us to talk with them. right now the numbers they're asking for is quite unacceptable. >> reporter: union leaders say the flood of departures is creating a safety issue. the proportion of pilots recruited from overseas is going up and it is said many of them don't have the necessary experience. the union's concerns about safety is unfounded and that they have the ability to recruit pilots. the current situation is far from ideal they admit. the other one is a geographical one. it is small size and it needs
pilots on domestic routes while flying many hours. >> in that case the labor intensity and the stress could be doubled up for the more frequent flight pilots. so when we are investigated by government, they don't call that frequency effect >> reporter: whether it be for more money, less stress or both, a growing number of pilots are opting for a one-way ticket, many of them bound for china still to come here on al jazeera, last push for the presidential candidates in the final hours of campaigning in the state of iowa. plus. >> reporter: i'm wayne hay in thailand where drought and politics are combining to make
welcome back. a quick recap of the stories on al jazeera. three i.s.i.l. bomb attacks have killed more than 60 people in damascus. it happened after the opposition met the u.n. special envoy in geneva. both sides have described things positive. yemen will investigate civilian deaths during their air strikes against houthi rebels.
it says it will appoint a committee to ensure civilians are not targeted. hundreds of politicians in myanmar have been sworn into parliament french and belgium leaders are held to hold an anti terrorism summit in brussels. there are concerns the meeting will not address the underlying social issues. our correspondent reports from brussels. >> reporter: on the surface life in brussels is deceptively normal. this popular market draws tourists and locals just as it has always done. the military patrols are never far away, a reminder of an active manhunt for the suspects linked to the paris attacks.
security levels have been relaxed but an attack is still possible and probable. but for many people life goes on >> if there is anything going to happen, it will. we see more police but that's about it. i don't really think a lot of people that will stop them on doing their daily business. >> reporter: when french and belgium politicians meet it will be for shared issues. it will show gaps in intelligence that both countries are eager to close. all but two men linked to the attack are from about belgium or france. salah abdeslam managed to escape paris passing through check points because he hadn't yet been identified as a suspect. experts are calling for better international cooperation. >> we have to share with the other countries. that is necessary. that has to be established, set
up, in order to get all the information about the suspected people. that has not been done yet. >> reporter: so far france and belgium have focused mainly on wrapping up security. france has carried out thousands of raids but so far only four terrorist-related investigations have been opened. for weeks the brussels district was the center of activity. many of the attackers had links here. today locals are eager to improve the area's reputation, but better security alone won't solve the neighborhood's deeper social problems >> translation: when there is more security, it makes people feel safer. threats don't disappear like this. we have to provide work and support and we have to change
things. >> reporter: the paris attacks were among the deadliest in europe since the second world war. people welcome greater security, but while the lure of aradical armed groups remain so too does the risk of more violence dozens of people have been killed in suspected boko haram attacks in north-eastern nigeria. gunmen opened fire and set fire to homes. some of the victims were children. boko haram has been stepping up attacks on villages as it loses territory to the nigeria military. u.s. presidential candidates have been winding-up their campaigns in the state of iowa. on monday republican and democratic voters will take part in the caucus results there are seen an indicator of votings.
democratic voting is change in ooib. >> reporter: there are now just hours until the iowa caucus and the message from both republican as well as democratic presidential candidates is one thing, and that is voter turn out, that they all say will make the difference in the result in the iowa caucus. that is especially critical given there is the threat of snow. both the democrats, the main rivals, hillary clinton as well as bernie sanders urging their supporters to come out but it is donald trump who is taunting supporters saying they should not be afraid of a little snow and they need to come out and show their support. another group changing the outcome of this potentially in iowa is the growing demographic of hispanic voters. they are mobilizing saying they're determined to put a stamp on the outcome of the iowa
caucus >> what i say if you're a candidate, if you want to talk to the latino community, if you're outside saying that you're going to deport all their family members, they will not open the doors to you. >> reporter: they came out strong in 2008 and 2012 and they're determined to do the same in the federal election, but also in the iowa caucus. there is a roughly 200,000 turn out that is expected for the iowa caucus. the goal of the latinos in iowa is make a showing of approximately 10,000. that would put them at about 5% of the voter turn out here and they hope that that will be enough to elevate the issues they care about in a changing demographic and political u.s. landscape the world health organisation is meeting on monday to decide whether the zika virus outbreak should be declared a global emergency. u.n. health agency has warned
the mosquito-born virus suspected of causing birth defects is spreading across the americas. it says up to four million people are likely to be infected this year. representatives from affected countries will meet the w.h.o.'s emergency committee in geneva. more than 10 million people are need of urgent food aid in ethiopia due to a drought. ban ki-moon is due for a trip on sunday. the thai government has been drilling wells for search of water. the annual dry season is expected to be one of the worst on record because of the el nino system. wayne hay has been in the country's north-east. >> reporter: in parts of thailand water has become a very
precious commodity. the government ordered the drilling of around 6,000 new wells to try to help people through the dry season. at the moment the water is for domestic use only. it is being rationed and sent to homes in rural areas where people are growing increasingly frustrated by the drought. >> translation: it affects everyone around here. we rely on rain for living our lives and farming. i don't understand why we don't have enough water >> reporter: without a lot of irrigation it's atoo too dry here to grow r ice more than twice a year. they have been told not to use any water on their fields. rare clouds and light rain offer some hope, but no change for this woman who normally grows soi beans at this time of year. >> translation: i don't have enough water to do anything now. we can't even use water in canals provided by the
irrigation department. >> reporter: there are creative sources of food and income left in the fields, but thailand's economy is struggling and on the back of a slump in r ice experts last year, it is a worrying time: this is not just an environmental issue, but also a symptom of thailand's volatile political situation because governments come and go so quickly, real national issues like developing a sustainable water management plan are neglected. the irrigation department says the problem is a lack of water storage. >> translation: our water management plan is based on scientific and academic research and results. we don't have enough dams orz reservoirs to keep the rainfall >> reporter: others disagree. they believe governments don't work with farmers and lack of seasonal farming >> they don't use the forecasts
for the next three year or four year what will happen. so there is a risk management. if you don't do risk management, you can have a problem like this. >> reporter: the risk now is that the dry season may extend beyond may and begin to affect planting of the next r ice crop which is due to begin in june. surging in polls. ben cardon who supported the hillary clinton campaign if her pragmatism can overcome the ideaism of bernie sanders. the group behind planned parenthood facing prison time. will their indictment discourage other activists. and thoughts on press freedom after a smear campaign against one of america's finest reporters.