number of pilots are opting for a one way ticket, many bound for china. al jazeera, seoul. you can keep up to date with all the news all the time on our website, aljazeera.com. the very latest on all of our top stories there. caucus day, after months of campaigning, iowaens set to pick their candidates in the first presidential contest. the world health organization talks the zika virus as the outbreak continues to spread. ladies and gentlemen, welcome to diverse t.v. diversity dominates just weak after oscar nominations are criticized for being too white.
this is aljazeera america live from new york city. after 18 months, hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousand was ads, it call comes down to this, the iowa myanmars, the first contest of the 2016 campaign. the candidates are in. al jazeera is live in des moines does it appear that voters in the hawky states have made up their minds or are there a lot of undecideds out there? >> there is so much low hanging
fruit in the state. the latest bloomburg polling shows 30% of likely democratic caucus goers and 45% of gop caucus goers still haven't made up their mind and these are the undecided voters that presidential candidates are going after like hawks. >> we'll be passing out slips of paper for you to vote on. >> iowa holds its first in the nation caucuses today. over the weekend, it was all about the final push to get the candidates' message across and gotten the votes. hillary clinton told voters she's the most experience and most electable. >> i know the hard choices that face a president. if they're not hard they don't end up on the president's desk or in the situation room where i spend many many hours. >> bernie sanders pitched himself as the alternative. >> the status quo is simply not acceptable. we are going to make fundamental
changes in our economy and in our political life. >> the latest polls show the top democrats in a dead heat, the margin a bit wider with the republicans. donald trump predicted many endorse him rather than his rather than his closest rival ted cruz and he criticized the state of the economy under president obama. >> when i look what's going on with jobs, with trade deals, when i look at what's going on with this horrible iran deal where we pay $150 billion for absolutely nothing. >> while the stakes are high in iowa, a win in the caucus doesn't guarantee anything for presidential hopefuls. many past winners have not gone on to take the presidency or the nomination and the process now has another challenge, the weather. a storm is bearing down on the state. >> everybody has to be in one place at one time. it means that if the weather is bad, it makes it harder for people to get to their caucus locations.
of course, it's iowa, it's cold, there's a good chance of snow. >> candidates are hoping their own blizzard of last minute grassroots campaigning will overcome the weather. >> we can't roll the dice. literally millions of americans are counting on the men and women gathered here today to look every candidate in the eye to vet us, to say don't listen to what we say, look at how we've walked. >> 2008 entrance polls, taken with the caucus goers walked into those precincts show a fifth of caucus goers still had not made up their mind at the moment they walked into the precinct, so up until the very last moment, there is still voters up for grabs. >> with all those polls, all the speculation, there is still so much we don't know.
when will we know who actually won? >> this year is a new software problem that allows results to be calculated much quicker. by the end of the evening, we should know who the likely nominee is for each party in the state. >> all right. tut on a coat, please, thanks. iowa long held an outsized influence, even though the state has a smaller population than the city of los angeles. we explain just how the hawkeye state earned its first in the nation status. >> it's well known that iowa is the first in the nation to weigh in on the presidential race. less well known are the quirks behind it's caucuses. in 1972, it was only by chance
that democrats in iowa scheduled their caucuses earlier than everybody else. 1976, republicans in the state joined it. >> i'm running for president. >> when jimmy carter did well that year in iowa, and went on to win the white house, iowa cemented its first in the nation status. drake university's dennis goldberg said with it comes a process which is unlike ballots. >> you've got to be at your caucus site on a monday night, be prepared to spend possibly a couple of hours there and you have to hope there's no blizzard, that the car starts and there's nobody sick in the family. >> public buildings like churches, schools and libraries are among the places used as caucus sites in the state's
1,681 precincts. in rural areas, a caucus might be held in a private home. once inside, rules are different depending on the party. >> after hearing for surrogates for candidates, they write their choice on a piece of paper. votes are counted and returned to precinct officials. for democrats, it's most of complicated. >> people have to physically stand up for their preferred candidate. in this year's three person race, they will say everybody in favor of hillary clinton go to that corner, everybody in favor of bernie sanders, go to this corner. everybody in favor of martin o'malley, go to the other corner and everybody undecided or undeclared, go to another corner. then, these are called preference groups. >> in order to be viable, a preference group has to have a certain percentage of support of those present at the caucus. if it doesn't meet the threshold, the group is dissolved and others try to win over its members. >> people are enticed to go over, even if it's a preference group for hillary clinton, sanders people may say come on,
you don't really support her, you really want to support bernie, so there's lots of horse tradings and cajoling like that. it's really interesting to watch. >> iowa's system has its pitfalls. iowa had egg on its face in 2012 when party leaders declared mitt romney the winner of the republican caucus. >> first place, governor mitt romney with 274 votes. >> only to announce two weeks later, there had been a miscount. rick santorum was the actual winner and many argue that mistake cost santorum all important momentum. this year, iowa is working to make sure history doesn't repeat itself. mary snow, al jazeera. the justice department today plans to announce an investigation into the san francisco police department. the probe cups as the department faces scrutiny over the shooting of mario woods in december, increasing racial tensions and sparking calls for the police chief to be fired.
a woman charged with helping three inmates escape a jail in southern california will be formally charged today, she'll be arraigned. all three inmates are now back behind bars. >> the fugitives are behind bars again and officials focusing on potential conspirators. >> we're active live investigating other suspects who may have helped in the escape. >> the jail's teacher is accused of helping them with the planning phase. investigators say her relationship with one suspect went beyond the classroom. >> she visited him several times and developed a relationship with him and it seems to be more than just a casual friendship relationship and so she started doing his bidding to some extent. >> it ended outside a whole foods saturday when a man spotted a stolen van carrying
at least two suspects. he alerted police and the race to catch the men played out on police radios. one man was arrested a block from the van with witnesses nearby. >> lay down, hit the ground, get on the ground. he did. he did. and they just captured him, handcuffed him, put him in the wagon, got the other one on the other side. >> police later arrested the other suspect hiding inside the van. the third escapee had surrendered to police on friday. >> from the very beginning and i told you we were going to capture these individuals. >> the trio broke out of the orange county jail on january 22, cutting through a steel grill in their cell and rappeling down the jail facade on ropes made from bed sheets. stepping up the fight against the zika virus, the emergency talks today to figure out how to stop its spread.
after the e.p.a. said it notified the public water system. melanie houston is the director of water policy at ohio water council. she said there are multiple players of accountability designed to prevent this kind of thing from happening. >> we do have local water treatment facilities, and there is -- that's the first point of responsibility for keeping drinking water safe, but the back stop is really in ohio, our state agency is the ohio e.p.a. they oversee these local drinking water fashion sits. really, both agencies are accountable to the public, and a need to follow the laws. in ohio, our state lawmakers do not have to wait to take action. we have encouraged our state legislators again to look at improving our law where we can, things like increasing our public notification time, which
we've seen as simply too lengthy in our law, making sure that we have better testing, and also making sure that the enforcement is there, and that penalties will be given when these local treatment facilities are not upholding their obligation again to keep drinking water safe. >> houston says old lead pipes and corrosive water caused the problem in sebring and that is the same combination blamed for the water issues in flint. >> world health leaders in geneva this morning for an emergency meeting on the zika virus, cases have been reported in 20 countries and territories across the americas. it is spreading explosively. the agency could be close to declaring an international health emergency. robert ray is live in san juan, puerto rico. robert, there in san juan, one of the reasons you're there is because there has been a rash of new cases and now the c.d.c. has new information about people infected in the u.s.
tell us about that. >> good morning. just off the phone with the centers for disease control and prevention in atlanta. to tell aljazeera america that there are five confirmed cases now of people, pregnant women with the zika virus in the united states. that doesn't mean that they have gotten the zika virus while they were in the u.s. they tell us this is travel related, but they are monitoring the five who have contracted the zika virus in the u.s. here are 19 confirmed cases right now in puerto rico. according to health officials, no pregnant women. these numbers keep changing, the five cases in the u.s. we just found out. we talked to a health official for puerto rico about how worried they are about the transmission on the island. >> we're certainly very concerned. we have the recent memory of the very vivid memory of the
introduction of a virus in 2013 that spread like wildfire. that was easier to detect. there's a lot more symptomatic individuals, anywhere from 70% to 90% of individuals know that they have chickengunya. for seek doe zika virus, 80% dow signs. it will be a challenge to monitor how well the disease is spreading throughout the island. >> let's talk about why it's so important to keep an eye on pregnant women who have contracted the zika virus. there is an outcome that creates small or deformed heads in babies because of the virus. it's just a terrible be situation for anyone who is pregnant that has it, so health officials are making sure that they're on top of that very early on and they're going to make sure that anyone who is
pregnant really is monitored 24 hours a day until they figure out exactly what to do. remember, there's no vaccine or cure for this virus. >> just so we're clear on this and viewers are clear, my understanding what health initials have been saying is there is a suspected link between birth defects in children and the virus. it's not a proven link just yet, is that correct? >> correct. that's correct. suspected link. exactly, yes. >> so tell me more about this meeting in geneva today. what can we expect from that? >> sure. world health organization meeting in geneva today to talk about the zika virus. remember the last time they met was for ebola in 2014 and they took a lot of criticism because many people said while they didn't come together fast enough and they could have helped prevent the 11,000 death that is ebola caused, but they're meeting today and tomorrow, expected to call this an
international emergency, a global response so they can get a head start on trying to start the zika virus from going all around these countries here in north and south america. they also have said that there's a potential for the united states to see up to 4 million cases of the zika virus by the end of this year. we'll see what happens in geneva, but clearly a very concerned crowd there. the beaches below are packed, but there is still folks talking about the zika virus. nobody wants to get its. >> thank you so much. in colombia, one city is fighting the mosquitoes that is rapidly spreading the virus. city workers are fumigating and educating residents on eliminating mosquito bleeding grounds. more than 2,000 pregnant women in colombia are known to be in effected with the view with us. more troubling on negotiating to end the war in
syria. three blasts killed 70 near damascus. isil claimed responsibility. the talks have been paused until the u.s. envoy can meet with the opposition. he met with the government on sunday. >> there is a meeting planned for this afternoon with mr. staffan de mistura and the meeting will mainly and actually exclusively focus on how we can get the implementation of international humanitarian law regarding air bombings by russia and the regime, rewarding the prisoners, detainees, as well as the besieged areas, of course, which are suffering and need urgent, very urgent relief. >> al jazeera has more from geneva. >> both sides are here in geneva, and there are talks taking place. there are no actual negotiations. the formal proximity talks with both sides at the same time here in the united nations, they haven't started. i think from the opposition
side, there's a little bit of a fudge here p.m. initially they said they wouldn't come unless certain conditions that are in the u.n. security council resolution that created this process were met, the lifting of sieges, stopping of bombardment and the release of prisoners. none of those things have happened. some in the opposition want to keep this process going, they don't want to walk away, and so for now, they're having meetings but saying those meetings are about addressing those concerns rather than actually negotiating. i think they can keep this fudge going for a few days but as i say, there are some in the opposition delegation, particularly the armed groups that say we really need to see something concrete on the ground in syria or we will walk away, so i think a few more days of this slight confusion and then i think there will need to be a clear decision from the opposition whether they are going to stay and negotiate or whether they're leaving. >> that is al jazeera's james bays for us in geneva.
17 people are dead following a suicide bombing in afghanistan. officials say a man got in line with police recruits in kabul. he then set off his explosives near the gate of a police building. twenty others have been injured. the taliban has claimed responsibility for that attack. new details emerging this morning in a series of deadly attacks in nigeria. witnesses say gunmen fire bombed huts and opened fire on civilians in a northeastern village saturday. at least 86 people were killed and dozens more badly burned. the attackers are believed to be members of boko haram and also tried to storm a refugee camp but were fought off by troops. a diverse cast of characters. >> change is inevitable, so might as well wrap your mind around it and let's go. >> the screen actors guild celebrates diversity on the heels of actors so white controversy.
federal investigators are expect to release more details today about a fatal train crash that happened last year. it was on may 12 when an amtrak train derailed near philadelphia killing eight, hurting 200 others. at the time, the national transportation safety board pointed to the train going too fast as a factor in the crash. today's report may include black box data and transcripts of the interviews with the train engineer. the birth of a nation took
both the grand jury prize and the audience award at the sag awards. it's a historical drama set in 1831. the film star said he put everything he had into making that film. another winner was a documentary about anthony weeper, the movie took home the documentary prize. it days his run for mayor of new york in 2013 and his sexting scandal. >> we have more. >> ladies and gentlemen, welcome to diverse t.v. >> actor idris elba summed up
the tone of the awards. he was not nominated for an oscar. queen latifah won for playing bessie smith in h.b.o.'s "bessie." >> growth is important and paramount. change is inevitable, so you might as well wrap your mind around it and let's go. >> taking home two trophies for her work in orange is the new black, laura prepon praised the diversity of the cast. >> this is the face of diversity. thank you so much. >> the results of the sag awards stand in stark contrast to the oscars, which nominated no actors of color this year for the second year in a row, sparking debate across the industry and on twitter with a
hash tag oscars so white. >> to some extent i have to say i think the academy is getting something of a bad rap on this particular issue. people might be surprised to know basically in the last 15 years that 15% of the nominees have been people of color. that's not great given that the country is 35% to 45% people of color, but it's not miniscule. >> some tweeted sags so black hash tag. another tweeted: >> another person wrote: >> we have become a society of trending topics. diversity is not a trending topic. >> viola davis won, queen latifah was nominated a couple of years ago, beasts of the southern wild, selma, 12 years a slave nominated for best picture in the last few years, so there is progress being made. it's not great, but there is progress. >> voting for the sag awards
ended friday, more than two weeks after the debate erupted over the lack of diversity in the academy awards nominations. one of the world's oldest carnival celebrations kicked off in italy at a foggy square. many wore wigs and period costumes. the square was jampacked for the spectacle known as the flight of the angels. the festival ends february 9, 1 day before the start of lent. thank you very much for watching. the news continues next live from doha. join us tonight, beginning at 7:00 eastern for our live coverage of the iowa caulk r. caucuses, 18 months getting here, we made it folks. keep it here on al jazeera.
>> hello, welcome to the news hour. we're live in doha. coming up in the next 60 minutes. 20 dead including new afghan police recruits after a suicide-bombing in kabul. syria's opposition said it has had assurances for relieve on suffering people as warring sides are push to the engage in talks. stepping up the fight against zika. how genetically modified mosquitoes are buying used to throw the virus.