we have not seen a catastrophe like this since world war ii. >> the u.s. secretary of state describes the deplorable situation in syria pushing the warring sides to talk. ♪ we have the latest news on al jazeera and coming up, a blow for donald trump and nail-biting result for hillary clinton in a vote for the long race to the white house. w.h.o. has a global emergency over the zika virus but brazil says the olympics will go ahead
and google over takes apple as the world's most valuable company. ♪ first to the war against i.s.i.l. and u.s. secretary of state john kerry is describing a catastrophe not seen since world war ii. he has spoken at a conference in rome involving 23 nae -- nations and highlighted iraq and libya and had strong words for syria. >> on the ground for the syrian people is unfathomable and have not seen something like this since world war ii and it's unfolding before our eyes and people in madaya eating leaves and grass or animals of one kind or another they managed to capture. people who have not had a resupply for months.
113 requests by the united nation to provide supply and only 13 have been granted by the assad regime. starvation is a tactic of war is against the laws of war and is being used every single day as a tactic by the assad regime so we need to speak out powerfully about the urgent need of geneva to deliver a ceasefire, to deliver humanitarian assistance and to get civilians from stopping being bombed on a daily basis. >> let's go now to hashem live for us in rome where the coalition talks are taking place and kerry was highlighting the suffering of civilians under threat and what is the strategy when it comes to taking on iraq and syria hashem? >> from the face of secretary of
state john kerry you can tell that the international coalition is now determined to find a way out of the crisis in syria and iraq and take on i.s.i.l. but their biggest problem i think they are facing right now is to balance two things, take on i.s.i.l. on one hand and at the same time find a permanent solution to the crisis in syria and why he is putting more emphasis on the need to put an end to the humanitarian catastrophe and allow aid to civilians trapped on the outskirts of the capitol damascus because the international coalition is worried about the fact that if the crisis continues this is going to further under mine their aim which is basically to defeat i.s.i.l. in syria and iraq because despite the fact they have launched a military campaign since the start of august 2014 i.s.i.l. still remains powerful in areas like raqqa and syria and northern
part of iraq so they need to have on one hand a balanced military strategy but know they can't win the fight if the situation is stable in iraq and syria. >> we know the political and security situation in libya is just as unstable if not more so realistically what can this coalition achieve in their battle against i.s.i.l. there? >> the international coalition has been monitoring the situation on the ground in libya and basically what we have been seeing is the following pattern, i.s.i.l. taking advantage of the political divide over the fighting between the different factions and establishing a stronghold that stretches east in a coastal area towards misrati and talking more than 160 kilometers a platform usely used by i.s.i.l. to launch attacks against europe. this is exactly why today the international community is going to look into potential scenarios
like air strikes against i.s.i.l. but at the same time they are hoping to see a national unity government established in libya in the coming days but the problem there is that against the back trouble and political divide the government is not going to be operating in libya in the near future and for the time being the international coalition is hoping to provide military assistance so allies in libya but going to rely on their own regular allies to find the most plausible way to defeat i.s.i.l. >> thank you for the update and hashem reporting for us in rome. we turn our attention now to syria and government forces there launched major offensive in aleppo and took a strategic lie important town where hundreds of families are leaving their homes because of the heavy russian air strikes on the area. dana has the latest in turkey near the syrian border. >> no let up the fighting
despite efforts in geneva to get the warring sides to agree on some sort of political settlement, army along with allies launched major offensive in the northern part of aleppo and being backed by russian air power and they understand heavy air strikes have caused civilian casualties, now the army is pushing north capturing town after town, the objective of this operation is to reach two loyalist towns the towns of noble and if the government is able to do that they will be able to cut the road, the last remaining road, the supply route that the opposition uses to reach opposition-controlled territories inside aleppo city and at the end of the day if that road is cut tens or hundreds of thousands of people will be under siege in opposition controlled districts in aleppo and we also understand that hundreds of families are moving north escaping the bombardment and this will be a
blow to the opposition why? cause the government pushes to the turkish border they cut the lifeline and supply line and it's not just that aleppo has symbolic meaning for the opposition and for those who believe in their revolution because this is the last remaining stronghold of groups that tight under the free syrian army, this is in one corner of syria and another corner of syria in is the province and there we are told people are starving and people are living under fear. >> reporter: dana there reporting and telling us the situation on the ground in syria but what about efforts to end the conflict? well for that we now go to geneva for the latest on the talks that are happening there, mohamed is standing by torus, mohamed it seems that russia is softening its position on some of the groups that are attending the talks, what does this mean? >> yeah, these indications today seem to be pretty significant.
you have russian foreign minister sergei fedorov putting up statements in which he is acknowledging the presence of groups here that in the past the russians had very bosiferously objected to and they are two armed rebel groups that russians from the get go labeled as terrorist and strenuously object they be part of the talks in geneva, now minister sergei fedorov saying they are here in a personal or individual capacity, they still done recognize them as being part of a negotiation committee and still see them as terrorist but this is definitely a softening of the tone and interesting the timing of it because yesterday we saw the arrival of mohamed, he is the chief negotiator for the agency, that is the main
syrian opposition negotiating body here, the high negotiation's committee and he is also the political leader of one of the groups we were just speaking about in islam so the fact that you are hearing this today from the russians indicates that they are more accepting of the presence of groups they have from the get go and shows how fraught these negotiations are and these talks here in geneva and had been so much difficulty to even get to this stage and now it seems there is enough pressure on the syrians and the russians there is more acceptance of these groups being here and the role they might play to get the talks going in earnest. >> the complications continue and mohamed thank you and reporting about the talks occurring in geneva. to iraq where a car bomb has
been set off in the city of ramadi where they are fighting to push i.s.i.l. out and we are in baghdad filing this report. >> reporter: this is quite a brazen attack by i.s.i.l. forces and they sent bombs on the base north of ramadi and the first got to the perimeter fence and blew it deadly cargo killing all least 18 soldiers and iraqi army said they neutralize before they got to the perimeter and a big blow to the iraqi security forces and said they are in charge of 95% of ramadi including the north and they have police that are now looking after the security there and expecting to see much more of these kind of isolated almost attacks taking place because i.s.i.l. still controlled the countryside around ramadi around and bar and still have pockets of fighters there and where the fighting is really concentrated in ramadi is to the east and the neighborhood and there is an
operation that is going on right now against i.s.i.l. forces that are within their neighborhood in the east like i said and there is 300 soldiers held up in the neighborhood according to the u.s. led coalition and 400 in the corridor that is east of the city so that will be a fight that will continue to take place, the iraqi army say this is a resurging of forces and expecting a fight back as they fan out in the countryside and try to take on i.s.i.l. in the outskirts of ramadi in the countryside of and bar providence. >> hillary clinton team declared vekry after an extremely close presidential nomination contest in the statement of iowa and program the republican and democratic parties are choosing who they want to stand in the national election later this year and on the republican side cruz beat donald trump and we
have more now from des moines. >> reporter: for hours it was a race too close to call. >> tonight while the results are still not known it looks like we are in a virtual tie. [applause] polling behind democratic rival hillary clinton for months and senator bernie sanders closed the gap with his antiestablishment message especially shifting the tone and dynamic of the democratic campaign. >> it is rare that we have the opportunity we do now to have a real contest of ideas, to really think hard about what the democratic party stands for and what we want the future of our country to look like. >> reporter: on the republican side the results of the iowa caucus were more definitive. >> god bless the great state of iowa. >> reporter: after spending millions of dollars and months of campaigning republican presidential candidate ted cruz was celebrating.
>> tonight is a victory for courageous conservatives across iowa and all across this great nation. >> reporter: less impressive and still strong finish for donald trump who went in the caucus polling in first place, he was uncharacteristically humble as he thanked his supporters. >> there were 17 candidates. i was told by everybody do not go to iowa. you could never finish even in the top ten. we finished second and i want to tell you something i'm just honored, i'm really honored. >> so this is the moment they said would never happen. >> reporter: most surprising was the show by senator rubio who promised if he is the presidential nominee he would rebuild the u.s. military and defend gun rights that has been eroded after a white house. >> after 7 years of barack obama we are not waiting any longer to take our country back. >> reporter: pollsters predicted a low voter turn out
because of the snow and that wasn't the case and thousands lined up to declare their support for the candidates. >> tonight i have to tell you i'm suspending this presidential bid. >> reporter: martin o'malley and republican mike huckabee ended campaigns after finishing with less than 2% support. hillary clinton had the most to lose in iowa falling from the position of frontrunner and trails the bernie sanders going to new hampshire and once clear presidential nomination is now distant and instead ahead is a grueling fight. kimberly with al jazeera, des moines, iowa. still to come on al jazeera a new twist in an alleged corruption scandal involving the malaysia prime minister and why greece is setting expulsion from the free travel zone in europe. ♪
beyond the quick cuts, beyond the soundbites. we're giving you a deeper dive into the stories that are making our world what it is. welcome back, quick reminder of the top stories and the government talk about continues and they are accepting two as terrorist groups. i.s.i.l. car bomb killed 18 iraqi soldiers north of ramadi and two bombs were repelled during a check point and the government controls 90% of the area after heavy fighting in the last two weeks and hillary
clinton campaign team declared victory after an extremely close contest in the state of iowa and senator cruz edged past donald trump to win the republican vote. the world health organization declared a global health emergency in response to a growing number of birth defects in brazil and their possible link to the zika virus and who expert says it's considering the relationship of microencephaly as guilty until proven innocent and what does this alert mean? we explain. >> reporter: the world health organization the u.n. health bodies declares an emergency when a situation is regarded as serious, unusual or unexpected and must will have regional or global implications and may require immediate international action and in case w.h.o. responded to a spike in the number of suspected cases of a birth defect called
microencephaly in brazil and doesn't know exactly how many cases there have been but it strongly suspects the zika virus is the cause. >> a coordinated international response is needed to improve surveillance, detection of infections, congenital malformations, detection of and neurological complications. >> reporter: it's these babies born with birth defects over the last few months in northern brazil who are at the center of the emergency. initially 4180 suspected cases of microencephaly were reported, of those only 270 have been confirmed but there are fears these numbers will grow. >> there are to major questions that need to be answered why outbreak in brazil is so big and is the link the possible link between zika infection and microencephaly is that real and will scientific data support that and this is what declaring an emergency will allow, that releases funds and releases
resources so that people can study and answer these questions. >> reporter: until we have the answers governments in the region are stepping up fumigation and er ratification and recommend women delay getting pregnant and governments are blamed for helping create the problem. >> in 1970 that mosquito had been wiped out of brazil but the brazilians let down their guard and the mosquito came back and they created a tinder box for which zika was just a match. it really is their own fault this has come about. >> reporter: w.h.o. declared emergencies of this type before in response to swine flu, polio and ebola, the last time when ebola swept through west africa it was slow and costing thousands of lives and since then w.h.o. makes changes and
more responsive and acted swiftly in declaring an emergency but it will be this handling of the situation in brazil and the wider americas over the coming months that will be the real test. meanwhile scientists around the world are looking for solutions including genetically modified mosquitos and the program in el salvador is simple but could prove just to be as effective and john holman reports how a fish may be a crucial tool. >> reporter: you could be looking at at least part of the answer to the zika epidemic, here they are called sambo fish and they love eating the larvae of mosquitos who transmit the virus and health worker found out about them three years ago while desperately searching for a way to stop dengae feverer in the coastal village of san diego and then she started the first breeding program and the fish
are eating the mosquitos. >> translator: we have had great success and zero cases of dengue thank god because the fish is in control in the community. >> reporter: as mosquitos disappeared the skeptical villages have been won over and now they deliver the fish to houses and restaurants all over town, even the village school gets a regular supply. >> translator: there were loads of mosquitos in the school but now we have the fish and the tanks so they don't come out any more. before the children used to wear pants because they got bitten so often but not now. >> reporter: now the zika virus is threatening el salvador the government is taking notice and wants to expand the program across the country which suffered years of mosquito-carried diseases and thrive especially in the watertanks in poor communities
and people not just in this community and throughout central america rely on stored standing water to wash dishes or clothes because there is such a shortage of it but that does mean there is an ideal breeding ground for the mosquitos in their very homes. the program is trying not just to keep mosquitos down but also to help the young volunteers stay out of trouble. in one of the most violent countries in the world, 14-year-old is the project star zambo catcher. >> translator: this really helps me not to get in trouble and bad habits and i'm more focused and help the community. >> reporter: the great thing about the fish once they eat the mosquitos you can eat them. >> they taste really nice. >> reporter: perhaps it's an unfortunate end of the hope against zika, san diego, el
salvador. a former minister filed a lawsuit challenging to clear the prime minister of corruption and last month he avoided prosecution over a financial scandal which he received almost $700 million from the saudi royal family and they said it was a donation and most of it was returned but the new lawsuit alleges strong evidence of wrongdoing by the prime minister. french president francois hollande called on united states to lift sanctions on cuba since the arrival of europe since taking over for his brother fidel and aims at boosting economic ties between the two countries. 8,000 refugees from the islands to the mainland port and refugees were reportedly trapped in the greek islands due to a ferry worker strike and move comes amid eu criticism of athens failure to control the
flow of arrivals. greece threatened by the eu with expulsion from the free travel zone if it fails to stop refugees and migrants from passing through, the warning comes as aid groups say there has been a spike in people smuggling at the northern border with macedonia and we report from the greek-macedonia border. >> reporter: on this greek border you can see how dysfunctional management of the refugee crisis has become and macedonia on the other side is only letting through afghans, iraqis and syrias and akmad brought up in syria is in a better position than others much like him. >> i met others from lebanon and they are palestinian and they have papers and they are not allowed. they took them back to athens. >> reporter: these so called illegals have no choice but to risk the mountain passes and forests and the macedonia police. this algerian is prepared to try
it again for a third time. >> must stay inside but stay outside and stay there and sleep here and sleeping there. >> reporter: what are the police like in macedonia? >> police in macedonia shouting and like this and do your hands like this and go flat. >> reporter: the border camp has pakistan, iranian, morocco and others who never have a chance of asylum and eu condemn condemned greece for letting them through and praise macedonia for keeping them out. the expulsion of the open borders area if they keep allowing everybody to come through but the government in athens insists it can't be the place where all the refugees and migrants end up and so the buses keep coming. the consequence of that is that there is an absolutely flourishing trade here now for people smugglers so every night
it's the same the gang on the macedonia side, hire migrants to show others the way and off they go in the woods where they are robbed by other smugglers or beaten by the macedonia police. >> good luck. >> reporter: the greek police watch them all go the darkness and they did nothing. the next morning another 1200 arrived just down the road, many will have asylum claim and others will not and another 6,000 are on the way from athens and there is little sign of greece trying to stop them >> they say you can tell they send them back to athens but the rest of them with false papers i don't believe the greek realize they have those kind of papers or not. >> reporter: so this early in the year some things are already becoming clear turkey cannot stop them from making the sea crossing and greece cannot control the borders and the eu is counting instead on macedonia
which is not a member state to be its new frontier and it's out of control and it affects and violent gangs make a fortune from on the greece macedonia border. stepped up for this year's carnival celebration and cautious following mass assaults on women in cologne and this is explaining carnival to refugees and other migrants and thousands of party goers are expected to take to the streets across western germany. apple is no longer the world's most valuable company and it's now alphabet which owns the internet search giant google and alphabet topped the list after it released a fourth quarter earnings report that showed huge growth and alphabet is worth $568 million and apple has $535 billion and apple has a downturn
in sales since the first time of its haunt ch eight years ago. michael houston is a market and list and explains how alphabet managed to surge past apple. >> i think one of the things that google has made most of its money from is essentially what we know of google, google maps, google search, youtube but what it did a few months ago is it split out the research and development business and the other best part which looks at things like drivable cars, google glass in order to give investors more transparency about where an awful lot of the r and d money was actually going and i think it's this new transparency that has given investors a lot more confidence on how google is spending its money and has posted much better revenues for the fourth quarter and posted profits of 16.3 billion over all and what it has
also shown that the other best business has lost $3.6 billion but i think it's that transparency that has encouraged investors it's heading in the right direction and continuing to innovate. >> more on our address at al jazeera.com. look at the harsh reality of the american dream. presidential candidates are making lots of promises designed to appeal to middle class voters. that's no surprise. one obvious reason is that more than half of americans still, still identify themselves as middle class. that's after a great recession that knocked many people out of the middle.