warnings of a humanitarian tragedy caused by the battle for aleppo. the u.n. calls on turkey to open its border to syrian refugees. ♪ hello there, i'm felicity barr, and this is al jazeera live from london. also coming up, two passenger trains collide head on in southern germany. nine people are confirmed dead, more than a hundred are injured. new hampshire decides sanders and trump look to claim their first wins in the u.s. presidential primaries.
and demands for the south african president to repay money that was spent on renovating his home. ♪ hello, the united nations has called on turkey to open its border with syria to let refugees cross. tens of thousands of people have arrived at the crossing after fleeing intense fighting in aleapt poe. the government has stepped up its offensive there, backed by russia air strikes. with the border camps already full some are having to sleep in the open with just the clothes on their backs. syria's government is trying to surround aleppo, hoping to cut off lebl -- rebel supply lines to and from turkey. zana hoda sent this report. >> reporter: it's their jobs to watch the skies.
civil defense engineers are on alert whenever they hear the sound of jets. as first responders to the scenes of attacks, these volunteers have been busier than usual. russian air strikes have intensified since the offensive began in aleppo over a week ago. volunteers say they are the only hope for those who may be trapped. >> translator: there are some people who are leaving the city because they are afraid of the siege. god willing it won't happen, but regardless volunteers and our families decided to stay because we need to help the people and fighters who chose to stay. >> reporter: civilians are increasingly helpless. doctors and nurses are overwhelmed. they work out of makeshift clinics because hospitals have been reduced to rubble after years of war. medical workers are now preparing for the worst. the government has besieged
areas in other areas of syria, where people continue to die due to lack of food and medicine. >> translator: we will stay here and remain steadfast, but the medical supplies we have are only enough for month and a half. >> reporter: the armed opposition use whatever weapons they have, but their opponents control the skies. nevertheless they say they will not withdraw. >> translator: god willing they can't lay siege to aleppo. we have a military plan to confront this. we promise our brothers in syria, we will fight. >> reporter: there are many front lines in the province of aleppo, the opposition has lost territory in the countryside, but they are still fighting back. with the help of russia and iron the syrian government is close to ensieshg ling the city of aleppo. it wants to cut the rebel's lifeline. it has already managed to disrupt their supply lines.
>> reporter: there are towns like this where opposition fighters are still holding ground. it is strategic to preventing the government from cutting off the highway that links the city to the west. this battle is not over, but the opposition is under a lot of pressure. the threat of losing its heartland is real. stephanie decker is also on the border, and joins us live right now. the u.n. refugee organization is calling on turkey to open the border because of the influx, but what has been the reaction on the ground? >> reporter: turkey is saying that it is dealing with them in a very capable manner. it says it is providing for them just as well in the buffer zone as they are here. and they already house over 2.5 million syrian refugees. so say are saying because there is around 11,000 on the border, at the moment they don't see the necessarily to let them in, but
if there is a need they will do so. we spoke to a lady that managed to cross illegally just recently. and people do want to come to turkey because of these air strikes. they don't want to leave as they homes, but that's the nature of this war. her husband is still inside. she calls him every day. he is trying to cross every day, and she says it has become impossible. you have tens of thousands of people on the move, a lot of them north of aleppo. that town is also at breaking point. an incredibly difficult situation. we spoke to doctors without borders today, and they said these camps were already housing 53,000 internally displaced persons before this offensive. so incredibly hard to control
and to get aid into these areas, because of the violent conflict that this war is. so it's incredibly challenging. but at the moment the borders remain closed. turkey is bringing in aid, but it's not enough for these people who just want to get to safety. >> stephanie decker live there. thanks so much. russia's foreign minister sergei lavrov said on tuesday russia had proposed a concrete plan to resolve the syrian crisis to the united states. lavrov said that washington was studying that proposal. let's get more on this developing story, joining us live from washington, d.c. is al jazeera's rosiland jordan, we have been hearing in the last hour the secretary of state has been talking about the issue of syria, ros. what did he have to say? >> well, what the secretary of state john kerry was meeting with the egyptian foreign minister at the u.s. state department in the past hour on tuesday, and he was asked about
the ongoing situation to end the syrian civil war, and the fact that peace talks have been suspended until february 25th, and basically the secretary repeated his criticism of moscow, one that he has been making in several days. let's listen to what john kerry, the u.s. secretary of state had to say about the russian role in the syrian civil war. >> well, there's no question, and i have said this before publicly, that russia's activities in aleppo and the region right now, are making it much more difficult to be able to come to the table and to be able to have a serious conversation, and we have called on russia, and we call on russia again to join in the effort to bring about an immediate ceasefire and to bring about full humanitarian access. that's what this meet willing be about, and this meeting will tell a lot about the road ahead.
we are not blind to what is happening. we are all very, very aware of how critical this moment is, and russia needs to contribute in significant ways to sustaining the ability of the opposition and others to come to the table. and ros is any of this any sort of a sign of some sort of progress? >> reporter: well, it's really, really hard to tell. because also in the past hour, has come word as you noted about the russia's claiming to have sent a, quote, concrete plan to the u.s. that could help resolve the syrian political crisis, and we don't know what those details are, except that a short look at some of what has been put in the russian media indicates that the russian plan falls short of what has been called for in u.n.
security council resolution 2254 which is the immediate ceasefire, the start of peace talks and after a certain amount of time, new political elections to establish a new go in syria. we don't know, though, whether or not the russian plan even goes as far as the ceasefire part. that is something we're trying to find out. and we also don't know whether or not the u.s. indeed has received this plan from the russians. it is expected that u.s. and russian officials will probably have much to say when they meet in munich on thursday at the meeting on the future of syria, but we don't know whether or not there is an actual new plan. there's a possibility that the u.s. may say there is this u.n. security council resolution, and we really need to be sticking to the terms of something that was agreed to by the international community. >> rosiland jordan with the latest on that developing story from washington, d.c.
thanks so much. ten times as many migrants and refugees arrived in europe by sea in the first six weeks of this year as compared to the same period of 2015. the number of deaths has also soared. turkish coast guard footage has been released showing a dramatic rescue in the aegean sea. they found a man holding on to the bow of an almost totally submerged vessel. 27 died and six people are still missing from that boat. the islamic state of iraq and the levant has claimed responsibility for a car bomb in syria's capitol that has killed at least ten people. at least 20 others were injured in the blast in damascus. it was reported that an isil fighter dressed in a police uniform tried to ram his car into a police officer's club. when he stopped he detonated the
explosives. at least nine people have been killed in a collision between two trains in germany. both drivers are reported to have been killed and more than a hundred other have reported to have been injured. >> reporter: the two trains are thought to have hit each other at high speed. from the air, the devastation left behind is clear to see. on the ground firefighters used heavy-lifting equipment to gain access to part of one of the trains to try to free any passengers still trapped inside and carefully remove the bodies of some of those killed in this crash. a full-scale emergency response underway involving police, firefighters, and medics. the accident happened in a weeded area, difficult to saekz close to the river bank. rescuers attempted to need those
stranded anyway they could. deploying helicopters to help move the injured and any equipment which might be needed in the coming hours. >> translator: because of the confined space, we are rescuing the injured by air and then taking them to nearby hospitals >> reporter: the trains hit each overhead on and then partially derailed. >> translator: the trains must have collided at high speed. this particular part of the route allows for a speed of about 100 kilometers per hour. we have to assume the train drivers had no visual contact and hit each other without breaking. >> reporter: at least a hundred have been injured, many seriously, some being treated were still on the train. many of those on board were on their way to work when the crash happened. investigators are at the scene
trying to find out what caused the collision. emma hayward, al jazeera. and dominic kane is at the crash site. dominic tell us what is happening at the site of the accident right now. >> reporter: well, felicity this is about as close as we can get, the authorities not allowing us to go much further. behind me, through the trees over the other side of the river is the end of one of the two trains involved. we believe this was the train that was coming from this direction and further to the left is the point of collision itself. one of the things the transport minister said earlier on today is that the stretch of rail track behind me has an automatic braking system involved with it. but we know the trains truck each other at high seed, so the
question will be looked at. >> the two drivers die as well. and that makes it even more difficult for the investors doesn't it. >> reporter: that's right. the only tangible evidence that the authorities or investigators will be able to glean is from the black box recorders. we understand the authorities have reclaimed two of the three black boxes, and the third was still stuck inside one of the trains concerned. that will be crucial to -- in establishing what exactly caused these two trains to strike each other at such high speed. this is a one-track stretch of rail line so logic will dictate the two trains should not have been allowed to be on a collision course. and we know the investigators who have already begun their work are trying to get to the bottom of that question. and clearly also the other main
element in this incident now is to try to care for those who have been very badly wounded in this incident. we understand scores of people were very seriously wounded as you heard there. and obviously the authorities will be caring for them and trying to get information to their loved ones about what has happened here. >> thanks dominic. ♪ now voting has begun in new hampshire in the first primary to elect a republican and democratic nominee to run for president. new hampshire is always the first state to hold a primary, that is a state-wide ballot, and sets the scene for the presidential election. a record 55,000 people are expected to cast a vote. bernie sanders leads hillary clinton in the democratic race, and the polls have tipped donald
trump for a win for the republicans. now to alan fisher in manchester new hampshire for us. and most people are voting right now, but in the next couple of hours, but one tiny part of the state has already voted. what happened there? >> reporter: a little place called dixie notch, since 1960, they have cast the first votes in the new hampshire primary. it started as a publicity stunt for the local hotel, but it has become engrained in new hampshire politics now. they gathered there just after midnight to cast their voteings. and four votes were cast in the democratic primary, and the winner there was bern. he claimed all four votes. on the republican side there were five votes cast, and the winner was john kasich, and just behind with two votes was donald trump. now you might think, that's not a lot to worry about. but the interesting thing is the
first results to be cleared from new hampshire. the campaigns are always very keen in dixie notch that they do well. because they like the narrative of the title winner being attached to their candidate until the rest of the polls close. so the winners in the very first election, john kasich on the republican side, bernie sanders on the democratic side. >> the polls have been predicting a sander's win for the democratic vote, and a trump win for the republicans, but those polls can't always be relied on, can they? >> reporter: that's right. in iowa we were told that donald trump was going to win there. and a new pundits said that wasn't going to be the case. here the polls are suggesting on the republican side donald trump will win by about 20 points. the polls can get it wrong here, and the reason for that is
because of the number of independents in new hampshire. on primary day they can turn up at the republican primary or democratic primary and say i want to vote here and then pick whichever candidate they want. the polls are saying donald trump by 20 points, with ted cruz coming next. and then there is a big batch of clears with marco rubio, john kasich, jeb bush, and chris christie all together in a similar sort of group. so donald trump needs a win here. he didn't win in iowa. if he doesn't win here, he can't go around saying i'm going to win so much as president you are going to get sick of it, and not win the first two contests. donald trump according to the polls is looking at a 20-point win. if hillary clinton can reduce that to 10 or 15 points that would be seen as a good result for her, given that bernie sanders has built up this
momentum in new hampshire. but new hampshire always throws up a surprise. we always see something different. bill clinton was the one back in 1992, hillary clinton winning just eight years ago, so let's watch for this. the big one could be john kasich. he is doing very well, and could be the surprise here in new hampshire. >> interesting to see what happens. still to come on the program, how a dispute between store holders and police in hong kong, turned into a riot. plus. >> i'm jessica bald win in london at a new exhibition devoted to leonardo da vinci. not the artist but the engineer.
welcome back. and a reminder of the stop stories. the united nations has made a desperate plea to turkey to open its boarder with syria to let refugees across. at least nine people have been killed in a high-speed collision between two trains in germany. both drivers are reported to have died. and more than a hundred people have been injured. and voting has begun in new hampshire in the first primary to elect a republican and democratic nominee to run for president. south africa's president is facing a legal battle that could force him to repay millions in state funds that he used to renovate his home. the case was brought against opposition parties to combat what they are calling corruption and coneyism.
they are outraged the taxpayer has to foot the bill for the renovations. >> reporter: thousands of opposition supporters, push, shove, and march through the city center. they are going to south africa's constitutional court where judges are hearing a case on whether the president should repay the bill for improvements to his homes. >> we want to witness that he signs an [ inaudible ] entire nation of south africa and the world that he is going to pay it back. >> we are here [ inaudible ] because we are 100% sure there is corruption here. >> reporter: when they arrive at the courts, things get a bit rowdy, for safety reasons and crowd control the police tell protesters they cannot go any further. police are trying to contain the situation, they have put up this
barbed wire to separate the protesters from each other, and stay away from the court. after unofficially refusing to pay back the money, the president now says he will. opposition parties say the president should not be allowed to repay on his own terms? . they want the highest court to respect the authority of the office, of the public protester, an independent body that's supposed to hold people to account, even the president. these protests are happening a new months before a local election. >> i think that the opposition parties have tried by all means they will try to squeeze any political mileage out of this and take it into the local election, rising to the credibility of the anc. >> reporter: haru matasa, al jazeera. rallies are continuing in gaza in support of a
palestinians journalist on hunger strike. israeli authorities arrested and imprisoned him without charge. the high court has suspended his ruling because of health concerns. there is a tight security across hong kong following a night of violence. our correspondent has the latest. >> reporter: bricks and stones pulled from sidewalks thrown at police. smoke bombs and fires lit up the street which just hours before was the seen of new year's celebration. this area turned into the setting for what many are now called hong kong's fish ball riots. it started when a government department cleared the streets of illegal food stores many selling a local delicacy, fish
balls. members campaigning for more autonomy sent an online message asking supporters to support the street vendors. the hong kong government condemned the protesters actions. >> translator: we can never toll vat that, and the police will spare no effort to arrest the rioters. meanwhile i would like to deliver my condolences to the police officers and news reporters injured in the riot. >> reporter: police fired two gunshots in the air, saying that an officer's life was under serious threat. they are also investigating whether the riots were organized rather than spontaneous and expect to make more arrests in the coming days. by late tuesday workers has begun cleaning up the streets while families continued their lunar new year holiday.
many say the protests are more than just about food. people are also questioning the timing of the government's crackdown on the illegal food sellers as they have traditionally been part of chinese new year's celebration. >> reporter: the violence comes at a time when many are expressing concerns about their freedoms and the tightening control by the central government in beijing. [ inaudible ] general has died in jail in the hague. he was convicted of genocide in 2012. he was serving a life sentence for his role in the 1995 massacre. he was considered the right-hand man of the bosnia serb leader. with works including the mona lisa and last supper, leonardo da vinci is regarded as
one of the world's greatest painters, but he also predicted many scientific breakthroughs. and that is the subject of a new exhibition in london. >> reporter: putting the final touches to a new exhibition devoted to the design and engineering of leonardo da vinci. he designed a diving suit more than 500 years ago. >> at the time he wouldn't have had the materials available, but it is so interesting that he had this thought, and i think you could look at that suit and think that's not so far and different from something we might wear today. >> reporter: under water exploration fascinated leonardo as did flying. many of his notebooks filled with detailed drawings weren't discovered until the late 19th century, when progress has surpassed his vision. the model were built for an italian exhibition to
commemorate his 500th birthday. bat wings, birds, all studied carefully. his designs took inspiration from nature. >> he said you have to understand how air works. you have to understand a lot more than just the immediate problem. >> reporter: leonardo was largely self taught, unrestricted by many particular discipline. so he set his genius to many things. what you get from this exhibition is the sheer scope of leonardo da vinci's genius. he envisioned cars, planes, armored vehicles, so many things that we use today. his inventions reflected nature. even today the natural world influences design. a german robot is a contempt rair example of engineers, using
leonardo's genius, looking at nature for progress. jessica bald win, al jazeera, london. and you can find out much more about many of our stories over on our website, the address to click on to is aljazeera.com, aljazeera.com. ♪ ♪ record turn out and large number of late undecided voters could play the spoilers in nadim baba's new hampshire primary. president obama releasing the final budget of his presidency. the director of national intelligence going before the senate to discuss home-grown terrorism. and the city of ferguson, considers major reforms to its troubled police department and a hefty price tag. ♪