>> only on al jazeera america. >> the world food program faces difficulties making its first air drop to the besieged town darazar. hello there, i'm barbara serra. also coming up on the program. iran prepares to go to the polls for its first election since agreeing on a nuclear treaty. kuwait and qatar are the latest countries to ban their citizens from traveling to lebanon. and calling head to the future the material which could revolutionize gadgets.
>> the u.n. says it has encountered technical difficulties dropping aid to the town of darazar. it has been develops in th develop--there has been developments in the planned cessation, in the last hour the syrian kurdish fighters, the ypg has said they will abide by the cessation of the hostilities. there's lots to talk about. let's go to more what is happening. let's speak with james bays as the u.n. in new york. so the world food program saying they've had technical difficulties.
>> we have no idea what the difficulties were. there is statements that they're having meetings on the ground with their partners that they would make a drop. it is clear that they did drop aid in deir al-zour, so we have to speck bait what was the problem. did the aid go to the wrong people, to the wrong place. remember in is a place surrounded by isil. i don't want to speck bait very further because we're getting limited information from the united nations but earlier on we were told this is a rare success, and then something has
gone wrong. >> let's talk about that cessation of hostilities. what are you hearing? >> actually these two things are linked about. you might think that humanitarian aid has nothing to do with this, but, in fact, getting humanitarian aid into besieged areas and the cessation of hostilities would be two things that that meeting in munich they would try to get the process of the talks of geneva back on track. there are a lot of discussions going on with different groups in syria talking with the syrian government, those who have regional players have been involved. anthe cessation of hostilities
are supposed to take place in just two day's time at the start of saturday in syria. one added hearing is that there is likely to be an u.n. security council meeting just hours before it comes into effect, and we're hearing that it's likely, too, that the u.s. and russia will have a resolution ready for that meeting to put to the vote to endorse the whole idea of cessation of hostilities and give it one extra push. >> james bays with the latest. thanks for the update. well, russia's cease-fire negotiations are being held with rebel groups in five syrian provinces. the russian and syrian presidents have spoken about the deal. the kremlin confirm thad his government is ready to assist with the planned cessation of hostilities. rory challands has the latest
for us from moscow. >> it has been a very busy day of telephone diplomacy for vladimir putin. first he spoke to bashar al-assad. remember a few days ago assad said that he wanted to carry on fighting in syria to retake the whole country. russia essentially was forced to tell him to shut up, and it does seem now that bashar al-assad at least on paper is pledging commitments to the u.s.-russian brokered cease-fire plan for syria. after that putin spoke to the saudi arabian king, rouhani, iran, and benjamin netanyahu. the message from all of this seems to be to the united states and to the middle east region that russia is a power broker and a force to be reakenned with. you get a real sense of washes optimism coming out of the kremlin right now. i believe they believe they're on the cusp of achieving two of their main goals. the first one is to shore up
bashar al-assad and prevent him from some sort of chaotic collapse. but the second goal was to convince the united states that russia is essentially an equal partner and needs to be treated with due respect in the middle east. >> it's the final day of campaigning ahead of elections in iran. the first since the deal over the country's nuclear program. on friday there are going to be two elections. one for parliament and one for the assembly of experts. in the parliamentary election the main reformist group, the list of hope is led by by mohammed who served as vice president on the other side the grand coalition of conservativ
conservatives. the elections are seen by many as the important of the two elections because they'll choose the the next supreme leader. >> the talk is about the ailing economy and how much can be transformed by the lifting of sanctions. runways can resemble an aircraft museum with some airliners more than 30 years old. straight after the further deal was an order for 118 airbus planes including a dozen double decker aircraft. but many want to see the color of money coming into the country. this millionaire investment banker said that the scope is
massive. >> you have the largest market in the region. totally diversified. well educated people, natural resources, and a very large market for consumers. this is a market untapped for around ten years. >> oil is the bedrock of the economy. but iran wants to reduce reliance on it. investment areas including the car industry and a host of other lines of manufacturing. while the investment potential is big, will there be new jobs and better wages? these are the questions of voters. with the banking system that needs reform and bailouts people want to know when they'll see improvements, when cech afford to indulge again in iran's vast retail sector. she haven't had a limited effect on the rich while the poor became poorer. now conservatives and the hard liners have always been able to
rely on support from lower income families. if their living conditions improve, could that be changing? the answer is it could do because moderate president hassan rouhani is responsible for sanctions being lifted. but there is a question of timing. >> i think there is a lack of relations between iranians and the international community. at the moment there is lack of confidence and a lack of knowing each other, and to get to know each other more, to get familiar with the iranian business with it we need more time. >> and so it could be too soon for some voters to be convinced despite what appears to be increasing support for moderates and reformists it may not be enough to see a parliamentary defeat for hard liners and conservatives. andrew simmons, al jazeera, tehran. >> kuwait and qatar are the
latest countries to ban their citizens from lebanon. it's because of an escalating row between saudi arabia and lebanon. last week saudi arabia decided to withdraw $4 billion worth of military aid to beirut. it accuses lebanon of being influenced by the political group hezbollah, which the kingdom has imposed sanctions on. it has expressed concern that lebanon has not supported it enough against its regional rival iran. well, the travel warning by saudi arabia comes despite attempts by the lebanese prime minister to reinstate his support for riyadh. many in lebanon are deeply worried about what is happening. >> reporter: it really breaks down along partisan and sectarian lines. you have sunni politicians here that have publicly urged saudi arabia to reconsider its decision. not just in retrying to recall citizens from lebanon or urging them not to travel here, but
also in trying to get saudi arabia to reconsider its funding of the military here when it comes to the arms deal. then you have politician who is are applied with hezbollah who have continued to support iran and continued to support iran and hezbollah, and who have been critical with what the saudis are doing here in the last few days. when it comes to the average citizen you hear a lot of frustration. this is something i've heard many times in the past covering lebanon that as much as i have. a lot of citizens feel they're caught. they say the government has come to a complete stand still. this country has gone without a president for two years because of the political gridlock, lots of that is due to the fact that the political process is tied on one end to iran and on the other end to saudi arabia. it makes it difficult to have governance going on here. people say these are citize
decisions that will have a bad affect economically on lebanon, which is a country where the economy is not doing well by any standard. that's just one of the reasons. they're concerned because of the syrian civil war continues to spill over into lebanon. they're worried that this will have much more bad effect on lebanon in the months to come, and they're hoping that something can be resolved, and they can get a more prosperous and more security country, which is something that the citizens here continue to call for. >> health officials in america are investigating more than a dozen possible zika infections which may have been sexually transmitted. the 14 cases all involve men who visited places with zika outbreaks and may have passed on the virus to their female partners who have not traveled to those areas. the zika virus is spread by mosquito bites and sexually transmitted cases are rare. meanwhile, the head of the "world health organization" is on a two-day visit to brazil to discuss the fight against zika.
margaret chan has met with various health officials to see if a vaccine can be developed against the mosquito-born illness. margaret chan spoke to reporters just a short while ago, and said it is up to every individual to do their port to beat the virus in brazil. >> the social mobilization led by the president talk about the importance of sustainability, to have regular actions by individuals and by families to make sure that mosquitoes do not breed in their homes. the science tells us and experience tells us two-thirds of the mosquitoes are bred at home. so every individual, every citizen can do a lot of things, simple things, not difficult, to protect themselves and to protect their families.
>> let's cross live to rio de janeiro. what else did margaret chan, the head of the who, what else did she say? >> well, one of the first things she actually did was to commend the brazilian government for what she said was their exemplary fashion in dealing with a very difficult situation. as you heard earlier she commented to the brazilian people to do as much as they can to protect themselves from mosquito bites. the problem is, however, when people want answers is exactly what the zika virus can mean with regards to possible side-effects or impacts outside of a rash or red eye or, indeed, joint pain. it has been linked to the steep rise of number of babies born with malformations and neurological disorders. this is what has people concerned. there is still no solid link between the two and the who chief said that herself. she said until there is a solid
link people should not be overly concerned. the problem is they are. >> and of course, a few months away from the olympics. in brazil a lot of money invested, a lot of worry there. it was interesting that margaret chan did try to reassure the country. the question is, is there anyone taking her reassurances seriously? >> indeed, she was quite confident in saying there was no need to be concerned about being in rio during the olympics. that the government and other health officials are working together. she said there is an international coordinated response involved in this because there is a global health emergency, and they're all working on a plan to basically give everyone in rio the maximum protection when it comes to dealing with mosquitoes during the time of the olympics. however, despite those words the fact that they don't know more in terms of solid information and links between zika and other possible effects people are still concerned.
>> our american story is written everyday. it's not always pretty, but it's real... and we show you like no-one else can. this is our american story. this is america tonight. >> welcome back. here is a reminder of the top stories on al jazeera. the world food program said that it's faced technical difficulties getting aid into the besieged syrian town of deir
al-zour on wednesday. wednesday is the final day of campaigning ahead of elections in iran on friday. that country will vote for its parliament and assembly of experts who then across the next supreme leader. health officials in the u.s. are investigating more than a dozen possible zika infections which may have been sexually transmitted. >> there is evidence that the lebanese group are solid with houthis fighting in the country's civil war. they plan to file a complaint to the united nations. iran and hezbollah have given vocal support to the houthis but reject accusations that they've provided military aids to them. reports of a draft resolution to harden sanctions against north korea.
the two powers have been in talks at the recent rocket launches and nuclear tests. the draft resolution will go up for a vote within the coming days. argentina's president is facing his first national strike by public employees and other sectors. he won the election promising to fix the economy, but workers are angry about high inflation and job cuts. and we have reports thousands have taken to the streets in buenos aires in opposition. >> it's been three months since macri took office. >> one of the first things he has done is to benefit the rich and not the working class. he's benefiting the mining sector and the agriculture sector and he fired state
employees. >> many took to the streets on wednesday. now they're trying to deal with a bad economic situation that the government of cristina kirchner left behind. over the last month macri has evaluated and fired thousands of state employees that he claims were political activists from the previous administration. they say that the government is firing people as an excuse to bring back argentina's past. >> they're shrinking the state and firing state employees and then they're going to allow companies to do the same. thousands of people will lose their jobs. >> wednesday. protests was also a test for the government as it is trying to gain back the control of the streets of buenos aires. in 2015 there was over 6,000 demonstrations in the city and that's another thing that macri would like to see changed.
>> the government said blocking traffic is illegal and these why they have laws in place to prevent situations like this one. but people hearsay that's against the rights to demonstrate. that's why they've come to the center of buenos aires to challenge the government. >> macri's challenge will be to get the country's economy moving without losing popular vote. yes. >> has very good numbers. he started with 71 approving rating. he lost five points. he's in the high 60s. the challenge for macri will be how to remain popular besides having to make all these political transformations. >> in the coming months, thousands have vowed to continue showing their anger on the streets.
>> ireland will go to the polls on friday. the partlimentry election is seen as a test of the government's management of the economy. the country narrowly avoided financial catastrophe years ago but it has now since enjoyed unprecedented growth. but not everyone stands to gain from the country's changing fortunes. >> when ireland goes to the polls on friday, ashley and her family will be affected from this government-paid hostel and they don't know where they'll be housed next. house building stopped and rents soared leaving hundreds of low-income families homeless. this is the flip side of ireland's economic recovery. >> we could not find property that was affordable enough for us and the three children. it was the difference between paying the rent and feeding the kids because we didn't have enough money to do both. >> this is the recovery those in power want you to see.
here the sun shines on the irish economy. building work stalled during the financial crisis has begun again. ireland has become a poster child for what uster ity can achieve but there are winners and losers. >> the beneficiaries of the recovery of those with high skills, multi lingual and the losers are those at the bottom of the income distribution with low level skills. the prime minister is hoping for re-election. they believe the recovery is down to them. and they may soon make irish political history if he wins the lion's share of votes in back-to-back election since irish independence. a lot of his growth and support has come off the backs of the irish economy. but some say the change in ireland's fortune is not filtering down to the rest of
ireland's society. many are calling for deep seeded social reforms. >> what would you say that the recovery is not filtering down to everyone. >> that's true. that's why we need a second term to do the job that the people have given us. of course you can't take a country that is bankrupt five years ago and build it up in that short time. >> in the last five years the coalition government has made big cuts to welfare, education, healthcare and policing. the irish people have reluctantly accepted it, but on voting day the government that's brought both pain and prosperity may find itself punished in the polls. neave barker, al jazeera, dublin. >> video has emerged of a violent confrontation of an university rugby match in south africa. it shows black protesters clashing with white players which resulted in several people being injured. the violence of the university of free state comes after a wave of race-related protests on
south african campuses over the last year. [singing] >> now the management and coming down to engagement. >> i'm an english student. i'm studying english. because that have i know that two-thirds of classes are in english. it's not a majority-speaking language. and they claim that most resources go to africans, which i can say for a fact that's not true. >> the look of mobile phones has changed dramatically in recent years with devices relying on the innovative use of new materials and technologies. however one material more than any other is poised to reshape the next generation of phones. from the mobile phone congress in ba barcelona.
>> 200 times stronger than steel but invisible to the eye. graphene with remarkable properties. it conducts electricity and when it's printed on to plastic film it's flexible and cheap alternative to silicon and metal-based electronics. >> it is at the same time very thin and flexible and extremely electrical conductor, the combination of properties is very difficult to find in any other material. the electrical conduction is a building block for many of the applications. the european union spending $1.2 billion over ten years on research into graphene. it was heralded as a wonder material, something that could transform electronics, the way we build cars, aircraft, and even the way we make our clothes but it's difficult to mass
produce its quality. which is one reason why the mobile known makers--phone makers have been slow to incorporate it. when used for gloves or printed on flexible film experimental applications for the material has been demonstrated, and phone makers are interested. some are doing their own research. but the man who won the nobel prize for finding graphene say there is a host of other materials that offer even greater promise. >> what we're talking about is the family of graphene rather than graphene alone. collectively they hold much more power than only graphene because where graphene cannot do something there are other materials which we know can.
>> the next generation of electronics may be the focus here but in the years ahead these one-atom thick materials could see scientists completely reengineer our material world. al jazeera, mobile world congress in barcelona. >> now facebook has given the thumbs up to several new emotions other than it's traditional "like" button. the social media network has succumb to public demand and introduced a variety of new buttons just to help you express yourself just a little bit better. the new five buttons, here they are, love, grief, sad, haha, and wow. they're emotions that have been rolled out worldwide. they remain conspicuous by its absence. >> it is the extension of the like button and it would like you to react stories to your
friends. not by just liking it but expressing a variety of emotions. we've heard feedback from people that they wanted more ways to be expressive because people share a variety of things on facebook. >> more on the website, www.aljazeera.com. >> my family, a part of them, they get killed. and i don't like to see people get killed. those people that died, that was really close.. i miss them like i don't really going to -- i can't really be on them. >> in 2015, nearly 3,000 people were shot in chicago.