picked the past seven winners. that does it for us. i'm richelle carey. keep it here. ♪ thousands stream to the border with turkey as syria's government moves a step closer to encircling aleppo. ♪ hello there, i'm barbara sarah, you are watching al jazeera live from london. also coming up on the program. >> this is a victory that cannot be denied. wikileak founder julian assange says he has been vindicated by a u.n. fining that he should be allowed to walk free. burundian refugees say the government is sending agents into camps in tanzania to hunt
down its opponents. and while the u.k.'s art bubble may be about to burst. ♪ hello, thank you for joining us. syria's government and its allies are intensifying their major offensive around the country's largest city aleppo. military forces have captured the village as they tighten their grip around the province to cut rebel supply lines. the bombardment campaign has resulted in this tens of thousands of people fleeing and gathering at the border with turkey. zana hoda reports from the border now. >> reporter: the suffering is growing, tens of thousands of syrians are again on the move. those who have arrived to the turkish border are not being allowed in. these people are from the northern countryside of aleppo, many arrived on foot. many of them came with nothing.
there is no safe area for these people as the government pushes ahead with a major offensive in the province. >> translator: we left our homes because of the bombings by the russians, aryans, bashar, and the shiite army. we want erdogan to let us in. >> reporter: officially turkey has an open door policy for syrian refugees, but over the past few months strict restrictions have been put in place because of security concerns, and also turkey has been under a lot of pressure dealing with the 2.5 million syrians in this country. but those trapped in the battleground are also under pressure. villages and towns in the aleppo countryside have become waste lands. there have been hundreds of russian air strikes since the government's ground assault began earlier this week. and there have been dozens of civilian casualties.
the air strikes are not just targeting the front lines. neighborhoods have been hit. people have abandoned their homes, their livelihoods. the ongoing government offensive has cut through the heart of rebel-controlled territory in northern syria, this has severed the opposition's supply lines. a number of factions have created a joint command and are calling on all men in the area to take up arms. the opposition is fighting for its survival in this corner of syria, the last remaining strong hold in north of groups described atz the moderate rebels. and this is the 1 remaining road that supplies the eastern districts of aleppo city. for now the road is still open. keeping it that way is vital to keeping some 300,000 people supplied with basic necessities. it is the only way in and out, but the syrian military has said it is just a matter of time
before its troops and their allies reach this junction. that would allow them to close the circle around the city, and yet another opposition-controlled area in syria would find itself under siege. let's go live now to the u.n. with the security council has been holding a closed session. gabriel elizondo is there. he joins us live. gabe, what do we know about what is being said? >> reporter: it is a closed session. it just ended within the last few minutes. cameras were not allowed inside. but i can tell you it was a briefing by staffan de mistura, the u.n. special envoy to syria, briefing the security council via video conference. he said and told the security council in very frank terms, we are told, why the talks in geneva broke down. he basically said a lot of what we already know, according to diplomats that were notice, basically saying that the syrian
government has some procedural issues that they wanted worked out before the talks would go forward. on the other side, he said, the opposition as we know came with some demands that they wanted to have met. in the end what de mistura told the security council we're told is that all sides agreed the increased fighting in syria was a big hurdle that ultimately lead dee mist -- dee mistura said the talks would be postponed. as diplomats from the security council went into this closed-door meeting before it started. they stopped and talked to us. and it was very clear that there is a very big divide on -- by the security council members on who is responsible for the talks breaking down, and how to move forward from here. let's take a listen. >> well, you know, it's bad
taste. it's not a good time for. [ inaudible ] point political efforts should be intensified. they should blame those who support terrorists. it's not the russians. some besieged area where freedom came in the last few days those things needed to be pointed out. >> they need to do what they said in the first place which is to be in syria militarily in order to fight daesh. if they would do that, we could be here talking about the conference that was so successful yesterday. and finally leading to antoine this conflict. russia signed up as a permanent member of the to resolution 2254, and that calls on all parties to stop airlinal bombardment. aallow humanitarian access. >> gabe as the diplomats debate who or isn't at fault about the talks being suspended, we have
seen thousands of refugees massing to the border with turkey, running away from the aleppo countryside to try to find safety. remind us what the underlying differences are within the security council to actually try to go ahead and solve the crisis in syria. >> that's right. i want to answer that, and i also want to give a little context to those who thoughts that you just heard right now. the russian ambassador was asked if russian engagement, the increase in russian air campaign in conjunction with the syrian army helped lead to the breakdown of the talks, and you heard his ones there. he said we're bombing the terrorists. of course you heard there also from the u.k. ambassador who said basically the russians need to look in the mirror, and they are partially responsible for this. so that's the divide that everyone is talking about right now. but the underlying issue is the
humanitarian difficulty in syria right now, with thousands of people trying to get to turkey, fleeing aleppo, the u.k. ambassador said while these talks were going on, there were over 200 attacks in or around aleppo, the french ambassador said that's essentially se sell -- telling the opposition, they need to negotiate, his words, with that gun to their head. but on one side you have the u.k., france, and the u.s., and its allies, saying a humanitarian effort needs to be in conjunction with political talks. they need to happen at the same time, and they need to involve some sort of ceasefire. on the other side you have the russians and their allies who say they will not agree -- and they are speaking on behalf of the syrian government as well, they are saying they will not agree to any sort of humanitarian preconditions. the russians say that political
talks are separate from humanitarian talks, and that you can't really deal with the humanitarian issue until you get the political talks going. that is the underlying issue facing the security council, and right now what we're hearing is there is no resolution to this. i will tell you, barbara, the next thing to look for is next thursday in munich. that's when the international syrian support group will be meeting in munich. that's an alliance of over 12 different countries, an alliance with a stake in the future of syria, they will meet next thursday where they hope to address some of these issues to try to get all sides back to the negotiating table. >> quite an ambitious aim there. gabriel elizondo with the latest from the u.n. thank you. ♪ wikileak founder julian assange says he feels vindicated after a u.n. panel ruled in his
favor. he has been staying at the ecuadorian embassy in london since 2012 after claiming asylum there following a sexual assault claim against him in sweden. now the u.n. panel says he has been, quote, arbitrarily declined. barnaby phillips reports. >> reporter: the sweet sensation of victory. that's how julian assange described this moment. after years of frustration and loneliness inside the embassy, he savored this appearance on the balcony. holding up the report which says he suffered arbitrary defense. >> what right does this government or the u.s. government, or the swedish government have to deny my children their father for five and a half years? >> reporter: in geneva a
spokesman for the panel says its decision was based on the fact that assanged has never formally been charged. >> five years the investigation is still preliminary, no charges have been brought against him, but still he is derived of his freedom. >> reporter: but the swedish and british government insist that assange is on the run from justice, hiding in the ecuadorian embassy. >> well, i reject the finding of this working group. it's a group made up of lay people, not lawyers, and it's right that he should not be able to escape justice. this is frankly a ridiculous finding by the working group, and we reject it. >> reporter: julian assange's wikileak posted thousands of
secret united states government documents. he says he fears that if he is sent to sweden, he'll be handed over to the americans. julian assange is back in the news, but it's not clear how much else has changed. the u.n. panel's findings are awkward for the british and swedish government. but the british police are still adamant that if julian assange steps on to the streets of london, he will be arrested straight away. perhaps the governments will now try behind the scenes to reach some sort of diplomatic compromise. otherwise it's still hard to see how this farcical standoff will come to an end. >> barnaby is live for us outside of the embassy in
central london. barnaby talk us through what might happen next. >> reporter: well, we know there were talks going on last year, barbara, before this u.n. panel produced its findings obviously between the swedish and the ecuadorian legal authorities, and the swedish prosecutors initially were saying, all right, if mr. assange is not extradited to our country, perhaps we could come here and question him. that, we understand was rebuffed by the ecuadorians, and they said maybe we could do the questioning on behalf of the swedish legal authorities and -- and question mr. assange on these allegations of rape which date back to 2010. perhaps that might be a face-saving compromise for all sides, something like that. i think the problem at the same time is that we have also seen
lines harden today and in some ways, it might be more difficult for everybody to climb down. you saw how contentious, frankly the british reaction was today to the findings of the u.n. panel, and you saw of course, that mr. assange is claiming victory. so the two sides obviously still some, some way away. i called it farcical, and it has dragged on for so long. of course there are serious issues underlying the -- this long standoff. the allegations of rape. mr. assange's liberty. and whether it has been taken away from him illegally or arbitrarily or not. and the huge sums of money the london police have spent patrolling the ecuadorian embassy. the british in a statement said they were utterly frustrated by
the situation. and i think that's the only thing that all parties to this situation can agree on. still lots more to come on the program, including health authorities try to contain an outbreak of a fever which has left more than 80 people dead in nigeria. plus an emergency situation in new york after a crane collapsed in the city. ♪
>> even though we're in here, we're still human. >> how harsh conditions affect people on both sides of the bars. >> why did scott take his own life? >> the jail. >> some people might be scared to speak out but i'm not. i'm telling the truth. ♪ time now for a reminder of the top stories on al jazeera. tens of thousands of syrians
amass at turkeys border as they flee the fighting in aleppo. and russia's ambassador to the u.n. says saudi arabia's proposals for a ground operation in syria are in bad taste. and julian assange said he feels vindicated after austin underpanel found that his three-year stay in london amounted to arbitrary detention. there is a master plan to rebuild the country's mostly kurdish region in turkey. he promised to invest the equivalent of nearly $9 billion to help restore security. the pkk had been demanding an independent state since 1984, but since december it has narrowed its demands. peace talks resulted in both sides agreeing to a ceasefire in
2012, and hopes were high for annen to the conflict, which has killed more than 40,000 people. but that collapsed in jewel last year, after a suicide bomber linked to isil killed 32 youth activists during a peaceful protest. the pkk then attacked police accusing the government of not doing enough to stop isil. since then the violence has escalated, and turkey has launched a major crack down on the pkk. they say the army has killed hundreds of pkk finders and civilians across the area. this is what the prime minister today. >> translator: we have seen that many social wounds have resulted since last year, as a result of terrorist attacks. we have announcing a social organization. all wounds will be bandaged.
half of burundian refugees have found themselves in tanzania. but as malcolm webb reports refugees inside the camps are scared and worried that their voices are not being heard. >> reporter: this camp in tanzania is moment to more than 40,000 refugees who fled ongoing violence in neighboring burundi. we were only allowed to visit refugees who has been screened by the u.n. refugee agency. the u.n. said it for their protection. several other people wanted to speak to us, but were not allowed. so we contacted them by phone after we left. >> translator: the camp is not safe. we live in fear of burundian government militia who are in
the camp. >> reporter: many name particular individuals who they are age engineer -- agents sent to track members of the opposition. they said they have conducted kidnappings and killings. several more said a group of dozens had left the camp in november, believing they were joining an armed rebel group in burundi. they say they later learned it was a trap set by government militia and most in that group were killed. one man told us he was among them. >> translator: some of our group were tied up. weer were loaded on to a truck and driven away. my friend and i jumped off and ran away to the border where we met more government militia what killed my friend. >> reporter: the burundi foreign minister told us on the phone that the allegations were
baseless. the u.n. said any of the refugees should have been allowed to speak to us and that senior u.n. officials were not aware of these particular cases. >> if we had solid evidence, of course it would be our duty to -- to try to do something about it, but through the go we are not responsible for actually security and safety. >> reporter: screening the constant flow of new arrivals in the camp is not easy. here police search their baggage for weapons. the tanzanian government says it was at not aware of the allegations. >> the government has been very strict. in fact whenever we have spotted any kinds of activity that they are trying to yes, they are kind of a recruitment, we have taken serious measures. only last week, some refugees were actually apprehended and taken before the courts and charged. >> reporter: meanwhile, a leaked u.n. report accuses the rwandan
government of recruiting and train rur bundy refugees to fight against the government from this camp. rwanda denies it. the refugees say they just want a place to be safe. malcolm webb. al jazeera, tanzania. >> we spoke to burundi's prime minister once again where he denied the government is sending militia to camps. >> if there are some activities of that nature, it how old be up to the government to address those facts. so i only heard from -- you know, of those allegations from your journalist. i have never heard anything -- anything of nature before. in any case anything that happens or takes place i don't know the borders of burundi is
not the responsibility of the government of burdenry. more than 80 people in nigeria have died in a new outbreak. the deadly virus is transmitted in food and drink that is being contaminated by rat waste. and the health authorities are struggling to provide adequate treatment. >> reporter: this is the infectious diseases unit at the mainland hospital. one victim of the fever died here. several have been given treatment and discharged. but there are still patients suspected of carrying the disease which is spread through ingesting rat waste. they include this man. he does not want his identity refeel veal -- revealed because of the stigma of the virus. >> after a few days she started
experiencing like malaria or whatever. i was told that it was the fever. i wept. >> reporter: he is not sure how rat waste contaminated the food that lead to his fiance's death, and he thinks he will be cleared of the disease. but those who are suffering experience vomiting, back ache, bleeding, severe swelling, and rashes. the outbreak has lead to a massive increase in demand for rat-killer product. more than 50% of those who contract the disease die. the government blames the outbreak on a popular food that is stored outside of markets in often unhygenic conditions where rats roam freely.
>> reporter: the government says it is doing all it can to stop the virus, but it is having difficulty getting the antiviral drug that stops it. >> we have all of our response teams. the contact tracing, diagnosis, case management. i do not think we have enough public health collaborators that can make the diagnosis. we might need assistance. >> reporter: the government says good sanitation, hygiene, and fumigating rat-infested locations should see the outbreak come to an end soon. one person has been killed after a crane collapsed in new york city. the victim was sitting in a parked car in lower manhattan when the crane's boom broke and lands across several vehicles,
smashing their roofs. an investigation is underway. the global art market is worth an estimated $70 billion. after the economic crisis, few sectors bounced back quicker with some work doubling in value in only a few years, but industry experts are warning that the art bubble may be about to burst amid concerns over falling oil prices. neave barker reports from london. >> reporter: it's auction say at christy's. a sale reserved for the super rich, works by picasso and other modern masters fetch millions of dollars apiece. >> sold. >> reporter: with many works snapped up by rich chinese buyers who ensure prices remain high. >> this is estimated to be 11 to $15 million.
>> reporter: this picasso broke auction records. >> $160 million. it's years. sold. >> reporter: at this high-end, art is an asset to be traded, but experts warn the market may be ready for a slump. researchers at the university of luxemburg have been analyzing the results of millions of sales over 30 years. their findings show that art sales fluctuate like other commodities, and now we're heading for a big dip. >> a lot of people who are specialists of the art market have been expecting the market to cool down, and i think we're seeing it this year. i think we saw it top at -- in may last year, and since then, we have seen a bit of a cooling. will it collapse? i don't think so. will it hit a downward trajectory? i think we're seeing that this year. >> reporter: christie's sold $7.4 billion in art last year, a billion less than it sold a year
earlier. falling oil prices and concerns about a slowdown in the chinese economy are worrying the world's wealthy. but it's the smaller commercial galleries that are feeling the squeeze. the problem is that there's now too much art and not enough buyers willing to hedge their bets on lesser-known talent. it has forced some to close their doors all together. >> it's really difficult, because obviously in london, property prices are so enormous, so it's hard to maintain a sentence london presence these days, and i think that's the biggest threat to young galleries. and it's really sad, because there's no way they can sustain their presence and support younger artists if they can't afford their overhead. >> reporter: art and money have historically gone hand in hand, but as the wealthy tighten their purse strings, the entire art
market could suffer. you can find out mup more on everything we have been covering on the program on our website. there is the front page. the address, aljazeera.com. and there our top story, thousands heading to turkey as the syrian offensive on aleppo continues. ♪ ♪ >> president obama is expected to make remarks on the economy very shortly as the markets dip in response to a disappointing jobs report, despite unemployment hitting an 8-year low. the closing of wal-mart stores takes a heavy toll on the rural communities around them. >> i really don't think these kinds of attacks by insinuation with worthy of you, and enough is enough. >> things get heated in