the news continues live from london, so keep it here. >> this is al jazeera. >> hello there i'm julie mcdonald, this is the newshour live from london. coming up: russia announces its withdrawing its main force from syria. as talks take place in geneva to end the five year conflict. refugees stranded in greece wade a flowing river in a desperate attempt to reach macedonia. >> an al qaeda linked group said it carried out the attack on ivory coast. we're in hong kong where
conservationists are trying to save a special treat from extinction. i'm robyn here for sports. coming up. >> hello there, warm welcome to the newshour. russia has announced that it's beginning the withdrawal of the main part of its military force in syria. news came as talks begin in geneva to end the five year conflict. u.n. special envoy staffan de mistura, says he would like presidential elections within 18 months. who is at those talks? the syrian government has agreed to attend but the foreign minister says the post of syrian president isn't up for
discussion. only accept a transitional governing body and doesn't want president bashar al-assad to be part of that. russia on the other hand wants ethnic kurds included in those talks but they haven't been invited. i.s.i.l. and the armed group el nusra front has also been exclude he from thed from the t. staffan de mistura said there's own one way forward. our diplomatic editor james bays is there. hi there james. what about the imminent withdrawal of some of russia's forces? >> reporter: i think that's very, very important development julie and in fact we have come to the hotel where the syrian government delegation are based to try and get some reaction. no reaction so far. we know that president putin did inform president assad before making this announcement, an announcement he made while he was with his defense minister. he said in large part they have
fulfilled their objectives in syria. they started the withdrawal from syria the main part of the russian force. and asked his foreign minister sergey lavrov to intensify the russian role in the peace process. a lot of questions b at this stage because russia has been absolutely key, the trump card in many ways for assad regime as we come very close to the fifth anniversary of the war in syria. russia played a ski role particularly in new york at the u.n. security council. those vetoes that russia cost back by china very important for the assad regime and then the big game change are and that was in september last year as world leaders were gathering. russia sent in their military support, sood was o assad was ok
burner. russia has achieved a change of the balance of power on the ground in syria certainly boosted assad and in fact boosted russia, an outcast, back at the international tom -- top table. what's not clear is why is president putin doing this now? has he just decide that he's done enough to hypothesis president assad and the odds are stacked in his favor, and they can lock in the games militarily or is it something bigger? is he thinking it is time to change horses and no longer back the president of syria? that's not at all clear. >> and james this news comes with the backdrop of staffan de mistura meeting different parties to this conflict. tell us what's happening there. >> reporter: yeah, we've been
having the new talks because of course they collapsed weeks ago, they've reconvened these talks and both sides are here in geneva, i think a worrying evening potentially for the syrian delegation because they face testing times. there's talk of transition now, transitional period towards free elections and it comes as they've lost the back of their most important military power. but today they met with the u.n. special eng invoice. here ienvoy. back in geneva for the latest round of syria talks. this was the government delegation led by bashar al jaffray, he's been here before. but the main envoy from u.n. says this is different. >> this is a moment of truth. >> he told reporters there was no plan b for syria.
if the talks fail, he says there will only be worse bloodshed. >> the mother of all issues acknowledge political transition. >> reporter: in the first meeting with the government delegation there was no sign they discussed that yet. ambassador jaffray said it was too early to discussion transition. the role of assad is nonnegotiable. >> translator: in diplomacy the final framework is very important to achieve substantive success. the main committee will meet mr. de mistura on tuesday. for them the idea of political transition is simple: a clear change meaning the removal of president assad but their spokesman admits the other side is never likely to accept that. >> we know the mentality we're dealing with because you know it's not the suffer of five
years, it is a suffer of 40, 42 years, in the role of sood the father and you know the son. >> reporter: getting these talks restarted was hard enough. but now they must deal with the most difficult core issues. james bays, al jazeera at the united nations in good evening. a middle east policy expert at a think tank here in london. davis very warm welcome to the program thanks for being with us. >> thank you for having me. >> what do you think about the beginning of withdrawal of russian forces? >> hot off the press so to say of course. would i not get excited about this until it is clearer -- i would not get excited about this until mr. be putin has a tell graphing of intentions and so forth. how this is designed to perhaps also affect the geneva dynamic.
of course there are a number of factors that we'll have to take note of the russian military presence diminishing at some point. but let's be absolutely clear, mr. putin is leaving because he has achieved what he has set out to do and i'm afraid -- >> what has he set out to do? >> mr. putin has set out to win this war on behalf of the iranian regime and the russians, with the revolutionary guard of iran and the firing power of the russian military very successfully executed this war, done exactly what they said they were going to do and what their intention is were. he can be quite justified in saying it has gone quite far in terms of his successes. the problem of course it is an utter disaster for the people of the region and western security that he's as successful as he has been. i would urge caution and
watchful waiting to see what his next move would be and the announcement in the diplomatic process. >> your view please on how this changes the dynamic. that was the word you used, how does this announcement change the topic that mr. assad may have with the syrian jeemen reg? somewhere. >> perhaps, changing the direction of those in power, but it's strange how russia wouldn't have some arrangements with its allies. the tragedy of the talks are doomed to fail on the basis that the imperatives behind the sides are totally and utterly incompatible. we've seen this from the very first moment and the united
states complaining regarding the attitude of the syrian government delegation with russian back of course and we've seen it over the rebels quite rightly, complaining how do you expect to move forward with this quagmire where you have the leader who is responsible for the butchery of hundreds of thousands of people and unwilling to go. >> we have to start somewhere. do you agree in some respects some talk is better than none or do you think it's better to get back to the drawing board and get all the parties around the table if that's possible? >> it's not possible to put all the opponents around the table because they have differing views. frankly one must describe to them a certain amount of culpability other than this process for going around for years of butchery while nothing was done on the ground to stop the butchery with any kind of effect. what has happened from the
beginning that side which is more serious about it, the tehran assad moscow axis has been prosecuting this war effectively and now progress towards some sort of victory of the most despicable kind of course. what is absent is the force for moderation, is a force that can put syria back together or find some solution and protect the announcemenanonymity. >> a president unwilling to exercise that power even when he sets the red lines. that i'm afraid is part of the problem that we face here. the new government would need to
be significantly in place, the folly of support, what happens is you give enough support to the moderate elements that can form the core of a future syria that the west can live with and that support is enough to stoke the problem with the jihadist elements. we have just seen al qaeda make victories during the ceasefire. the sefers was supposed to have -- ceasefire was supposed to continue, instead we've seen al qaeda make some gains. that is unacceptable to western security interests and indeed to regional stability. >> let me have you take out your crystal ball and look at perhaps what the short term will look like in the diplomatic process if we can call it that? >> i think it's very dangerous to make predictions that way. it does look like the united
nations is intent to try to roll this ball towards some sort of continuity that says that and come away with something that keeps the presses alive. i think they may succeed but they may not. i think the jury's out at a very difficult start. it's been obviously poarched several times, it but what can you get to the lump of the matter, the top man this butcher who has killed hundreds of thousands of people is not on the agenda as something to be resolved, it's very difficult to see how these moderate rebel groups can get behindfully kind of the process. this issue seems comfortable for the assad government and many something we would not want to see and something very
acceptable. >> thank you david. 8.4 mem syrian children have been affectby the conflict. an estimated 3.7 million have been born since the war began. seven million children are living in poverty. more than half the children who are refugees are syrian. born as rfertion since the war began, javier went to on jao one of the camps holding them. >> in february, rema became the 5,000th baby delivered in the u.n. hospital in jordan's biggest refugee camp. most are from dar everythinga province just across the border
with jordan. arrest and torture uf syrian teeng agers, more than half a million more are in jordanian cities strange the country's resources. the government has closed hundreds of kilometers of border with its neighbor. hundreds of thousands of lives are forever altered. >> translator: we were in the battle, the plane hit us. ten people, six were killed, rest injured. i was then taken oa field hospital. >> reporter: basay is going back to syria soon, born two months ago, and despite a recently ceasefire the wounded keep arriving. >> most of them at the beginning were gunshot or just bomb blast.
we have some cases now of mines. >> are this ten-year-old was hit by sla shrapnel. doctors in darra couldn't treat him. a lot of them come here to a program that tries to treat their psychological as well as physical wounds. jordanian therap therapist trieo make the children conference call of comfortable with the process. >> it affects our behavior our feelings. >> a generation of syrians learning to live with the legacy of war. javier, ajane arraf, al jazeera.
refugees desperate to cross from greece to macedonia are wading a river. around 300 have left the idomeni border camp. 300 meters from the macedonian border. refugees refused to stop at a police cordon and found a break in the fence. macedonian police say they are taking steps to return them. mohammad adow is there. hi there mohammed. many have taken the sepp to leave. -- the step to leave. >> yes, julie, they are not only desperate but eager to continue their journey northward to more richer european countries and about midday today, about a thousand to 1500 of the refugees
toot matters into their own hands, much along the fence that has been holding them back looking for a place to pass to get into macedonia, there were dramatic scenes at a river that is very close to the village of hamilo which is not far from the macedonian-greek border where 81 men forms a human ring trying to help the young as well as the elderly and women carrying children crossed the first moving river that has been fed by the torrential rainfall. macedonian police have confirmed that they are holding 400 of the refugees who brirnlgd their border. bridged their border. within the first group that
tried to cross the river there were about three afghani refugees who died. four of them are missing, four are in hospital right now recovering after they were saved from drowning. now, charity workers here are saying that of immediate concern to them about 2,000 refugees who are going to spend the night in the cold. they have no tents, they have no shelter. and they are with children. and people who are sick. and they are going to be spending the night in the open. >> mohammed just watching some of these pictures here of people crossing the river, it was very emotional indeed. one woman cried when she was on other side. what are the plans for the people who remain in idomeni camp? i know the government is trying to dissuade people from going to the camp in the first place.
>> reporter: yes, indeed. not only are they trying to dissuade people from scoxg to co the camps but they are urging those who are in the camps to get out and go to shelters provided in different parts of the country, in particular, a used stadium and an old army camp into a temporary refugee camp to house the refugees. so far, they -- only 800 of them have accepted to go back an the camp which has very horrible condition and filthy conditions is what some of the people are running away from. >> mohammad adow joining me live from idomi. thank you. much more to come. palestinians are killed after opening fire on israelis.
we explore how children are being drawn into the worsening violence. the german chancellor defiant despite her party being challenged in elections. >> i'm going to sue her and everybody. >> why rafael nadal is threatening legal action. coming up later with rob beyn in sport. turkey's prime minister says it's almost certain that separatist terrorists are behind the bombing in ankara. funerals are being held by some of the 30 victims. more than 100 others were injured. there's been no claim of responsibility that prime minister ahmed davutoglu says
there is strong indication that rebels are behind the attacks. >> translator: 11 people were detained. their network has been exposed. there are interesting connection in this sense. there are almost serious findings that point to the separatist terrorist organization that is going to be revealed after the investigation is complete. >> mohammed jamjoom send us this yument. >> therupdate. >> it is a palpable deal we have watched all today, the threatening new reality they have been faced with oar over the past six months. this isn't the only attack, but the third attack that has targeted ankara. there was an attack in september, there was an attack
in february, and attack last night. at a time when the government has repeatedly said it is pulling out all the stops, where there are heightened security measures and security checks ought croot the country. the fact that these attacks have happened in the heart of the capital at this time really raising fears. one woman we soak with a bit earlier, she was with her family and said to us that this has happened so many times now that she's surprised that they weren't dead. we've seen forensic teams here throughout the day and cleanup crews. we have heard from some officials today, one telling us earlier that they were looking into the possibility that a female suicide bomb are might have been involved in the attack and this person was connected to the pkk. also government has conducted raids against pkk targets,
inside the government and turkish air raids targeting 18 encampments of the pc inside iraq. it seems like the government will keep conducting these raids, keep arresting suspects that they say are affiliated with the pc and step up their security efforts st. louis the cup. >> lets get the word from our guest, thank you very much for your company. what does turkey's current battle with violence at home and abroad mean for its ability to be a beacon of reconciliation in syria? the rest of the world to some degree is depending on it. >> turkey's position is incredibly difficult. turkey faces multiple threats
that of the domestic insurgency, and the pkk restarted its insurgency as of september 2013 and the faculty of i.s.i.l. cowk uctinconducting attacks within e turkish border. turkey's ability to help drive forward the solution in the civil war is becoming increasingly difficult. not least because of the problem that arose between turkey and russia in the past couple of months which is greatly debilitated turkey's hands in being a force to guide the country towards peace. >> and perhaps you could see change there based on the news out of russia today, that remains to be seen. now erdogan said they were
losing the battle against turkish security forces do you think that's the case? >> they are losing the battle in the short term. we are seeing tactical vic ris s for the be turkish military. we are likely to see curfews being imposed in the town centers in the southeast of the country and the insurgents are putting up a very formidable opposition to the security crack down. however e-however in the long run the be result is bleak. having an impact on the human element in the region which five years or ten years down the line is likely to have consequences. >> thank you very much for joining us, iggy sichkin, is
thank you for joining us. there's been an merge cabinet and security meeting, in ivory coast. by al qaeda in the islamic maghreb is claiming be responsibility. new footage has emerged, showing a bar clearing and moments later an attacker cear carrying a mace gun. the be attack was 30 miles east of the commercial hub. nicholas haque joins us. >> security forces are going to try to secure this exploifer that's still herexplosivethat's.
this is where they sprayed bullets right across here. midday sunday there were so many people sun bathing here and they all fled inside the hotel. come with me here pfn if all fled inside the hotel to try to find a spot, safe spot. this is where the ivorian officials attacked. there are 500 french soldiers here and these resorts here on the coast are very popular with french ex patriots living here in ivory coast. >> still ahead here on al jazeera: we'll tell you why the next few days will be crooubl in the race for president of the united states. plus, why 65 miners have taken to the streets pollution. >> i'm town ya, child supporting
>> these people have decided that today they will be arrested. >> i know that i'm being surveilled. >> people are not getting the care that they need. >> this is a crime against humanity. >> hands up... >> don't shoot. >> hands up... >> don't shoot. >> what do we want? >> justice. >> when do we want it? >> now. >> explosions going on... we're not quite sure - >> is that an i.e.d.?
>> welcome back.a quick remindep stories on al jazeera. the russian president vladimir putin has warned he will pull his troops out of syria. >> i believe that the goal set out for the ministry of defense and the armed torse forces has l been fulfilled. that's why i ordered the ministry of defense as of tomorrow to order the pull out from the syrian arab republic. hundreds of refugees desperate to crows from greece to macedoni macedonia have evadd authorities by crossing a river.
third palestinian was shot dead after a car was rammed into an army vehicle injuring two people inside. those latest fatalities are part of a current wave of violence which has escalated since october of last year and have left 128 palestinians and 28 israelis dead. nadim baba has the story. >> reporter: they might look carefree but these palestinian youngsters are becoming more and more used to seeing violence on a daily based. daily basis. i was just ten meters away when they shot him. he fell to the ground. there was blood coming out of his mouth then the soldiers ran towards us. they all ran away and they shot two other boys in the leg.
since the current wave of attacks started last october almost a quarter have been under 18. this shows 14-year-old after his arrest. he carried out a stabbing attack in occupied east jerusalem along with his 15-year-old cousin who was shot dead. in some cases they were even younger. 14-year-old was arrested for allegedly carrying a knife. she is currently serving a four and a half year sentence in an israeli jail. her family have no contact with her. >> translator: they removed her father's work permit and imposed a heavy fine on us. we miss her when we sit down o r a meal. it is very hard on the family. >> reporter: at the age of 12 she is the youngest but there
are over 400 palestinians behind bars, and juveniles make up over half of those jailed. it is part of a disturbing cycle of events. s. >> israeli forces are allowed to use live ammunition. which will increase the hypermilhypermilitarized zone. children are forced to pass through checkpoints, they are forced to interact with soldiers every day in their daily life. >> it is hard to say what the long term effects of her experiences will be on her and her family. nadim baba, al jazeera, occupied west bank. german chancellor angela merkel says she will continue with her policy despite her party's heavy loss he.
huge gains in three states, sunday's poll has been widely regarded as a referendum on merkel's approach to the migrant crisis. dominic cain has the story. >> monday morning and people are enjoying the late winter sunshine. outwardly, life is going on as normal but politically, the landscape has shifted. now one of in four people in this state supports the wide ring antirefugee party afd. >> i have voted afd because i don't agree with the policies of the chancellor. she must learn first and foremost to think of her own people. >> reporter: german people have called this a referendum against her policies. they say this is costing her and her coalition partners votes. but she says her refugee policy will not change. >> translator: it was a hard day for us. the refugee policy was a
defining theme for the loam locl elections. we're working on a solution but not there yet. >> reporter: no such doubts for the afd. they see sunday's results as a vindication. >> germany and greece are the only countries that have not realized what the other 28 countries want to control. again to achieve that we can help, asylum seekers, real asylum seekers and refugees but keep out migrants in the first place because to treat migration we feed migration laws and we haven't got a proper migration law in germany. >> despite their apparent success the road ahead for the party is rocky. although they have a presence in half of all germany's state parliaments none of the main parties will work with them and a majority of voters do not
support them. >> translator: that is a frchltc has performed too well i'm not happy about because they are too far to the right. >> reporter: the christian democrats governed well, but impossible what it means for the federal grand coalition nationally is another question. dominic cain, al jazeera. tuesday is a big day in the u.s. presidential race. delegate rich states ohio and florida and they are a must to win for both republican and democrat hopefuls. the next few days will be crucial in deciding who will be the candidates for the presidential election in november. here is allen fisher. >> people are wake up and help is on the way! >> reporter: the campaigning is a little more desperate, language a little more charged, the stakes a great deal higher.
>> let's show the world that democracy is alive. >> reporter: this can be the definitive week. is two states up for grabs, john kasich in ohio and marco rubio for florida. donald trump is leading in the polls there. >> trump wins for our five states on march 15th, you could come up with a path mat cal reason as to why he couldn't clinch a majority of the delegates but he should be on the way to the nomination i would think. >> get out of here and go home to mom. >> reporter: that hasn't prevented him from taking a lead in the renal race and difficult to stop. ted cruz is trump's main opponent. >> the problem for him he's reasonably close in the delegate count but the south is basically
done voting, that was supposed to be his region but he didn't do well. donald trump did well in most of the deep south which is where you ted cruz was supposed to do well. >> reporter: hillary clinton is supposed to rack up a number of delegates in ohio and florida. >> giving bernie sanders a right to stay in the race a little while longer at the very least. he did a couple of very good things for himself. he beat expectations and done better with black voters than he has ton in any other primary previously. if he continues to do well with black voters, which has been his achilles heel, he can stay in this race and be competitive. >> investigation of hillary clinton's use of an e-mail server, some commentators believe that will still change the flow of the race.
>> sanders could inherit the democratic nomination, if hillary clinton was indicted or something like that. >> ultimately maybe a defining moment in the u.s. presidential race. allen fisher al jazeera washington. thousands of miners have gone on strike, they took their fight to the street of the chinese province on saturday, demanding their employer pay more than six months worth of outstanding wages. china is trying to do with an overcapacity in its industrial and mining sectors. there was word that some were arrested. adrian brown has the latest now from beijing. >> reporter: this was a very big protest. we haven't been able to independently verify some of the pictures that we've seen on social media. but certainly they show miners clark with police, miners with
their family incidentally. they gathered outside the offices of the mine on saturday demanding to be paid, saying in many cases they had gone from 12 to six months without being paid or receiving benefits. the question is this is what we have seen over the weekend a sign of what may be to come in the months and years ahead as china embarks on this delicate task of trying to shut down some of these big loss making inefficient steel mills and mines. choinl hachina has poured moneyo these establishments to keep them going but that model can no longer continue. so the question now is how hard they wield their ax and it may well be that in this particular town they wielded the ax too hard. now, the governor of this province had denied that the workers were owed money.
in fact he actually made that statement at the national people's congress here in beijing, chinese parliament meeting at the moment. but then he backtracked a few hours later saying what he said a few hours earlier was a mistake which caused even more anger. hong kong was named the ager wood exa capital in recent year. debra clark has the story. >> reporter: woodland protected make the area popular for likers. but these residents are not here to like. they are here on patrol looking for criminals. >> still alive i think they will come back later to cut the other part. >> augustine and a team of local
villagers are witnessing the disappearance of an agar wood. internationally protected. >> they cut down more than 50 trees, i think within two weeks. >> the trees oil or resin is sought after but only for traditional herbal medicines but for incense. oil fetching more than gold. and with the treep all but wipel wiped out in china, they feed the luke r lucrative internatiol trade. >> they take root of hong kong out of our earth. >> the problem is not just in this park. it's in a number of country parks across hong kong. villages are increasingly
reporting signs of illegal harvesting and what they believe is the work of gangs from across the border in mainland china. if this kind of activity continues the fear is that this tree which is threatened will become extinct. this is the first legal plantation ever agar woods, most are young but sustainably grown. hoping to replace the illegal trade and feed an industry up to $12 billion u.s. per year. >> in a shop very close to here that's a value that $1 million u.s. for an ager wood bracelets. >> it is the older trees that are considered the most valuable. as well as prayer beads and incense it is used for artworks.
preservationists want the government to step in. >> the trees will disappear in hong kong. >> the fate of this rare scented wood does not look good. >> still ahead on al jazeera. joint russian and eu effort to find life on the red planet. and in sport the big names make their entry into cricket's t 20 with india taking on new zealand. details coming up next.
>> welcome back. a quick update now on our top stories. you've been watching us on al jazeera, you know the russian president vladimir putin has ordered his troops to start pulling out of syria. that comes as those talks are going on in geneva to find a diplomatic, political solution to the five year conflict. a spokes imran says if the russian pullout is serious it might give a hope to the talks. now scientists have spent five decades now sending space crafts to mars in search ever life. so tar what they have discovered is the presence of methane. , russ and the european union have sent expeditions to particulars.
tarek bazley has administer. >> there are seven orthopedickerorthopedicorbiters. research has discovered the presence of liquid water, some below the surface of the planet and how mars' atmosphere was depleted by solar winds. the big question whether there's life on the planet remains unanswered. that's why the european and russian space agencies are sending the xo mars trace orbiter to the planet. in particular it will look at the presence of methane and whether it's being produced by active volcanoes or gas belching mike robes. >> trying to understand the origin of the methane and where ton surface of mars and when it's being produced and how it
is destroyed is very important. >> water in a liquid fork has been seen on the platen's surface before, i think we need to understand what the water is with depth. because if you want to land people on there, they're going to need drinking water and you don't want to carry it with you. >> the xo mars mission will also land osmall lander onto the surface, this will give it an opportunity to test it's landing capability particularly in dusty conditions. along with existing spacecraft another from the u.s. and india are suspected in the next two years. more about the red planet and its role in the formation of our solar system. tarek bazley, al jazeera. now the sports news with
robyn in doha. >> julie thank you very much. later, the house re relegation. is form he reel madrid boss rafael benitez. >> now we are thinking about how many points we are thinking about newcastle. it is a difficult match. they are in dangerous position, i can think about why, there are so many good players, they spend more than $100 million and i think it will be another difficult match because they are to fight to survive. >> the main thing now is, we have ten games, it doesn't matter if i'm the manager, worst
manager, head coach whatever. we have ten important games and i have to concentrate on that. after those ten games that we will stay in the premier league after these ten games. >> fifa has cancelled two asian world cup qualifiers to be played this month. the country currently suspended from the play, national stadium, several current stars like stephen gerard, because of that fifa suspension. the super10 stage of crick cricket's 2020, india taking on new zealand. the tournament taking on next week, india many people's favorites to win are in group 2 loongalongside new zealand.
ken williamson capturing the side, following the retirement of brendan mccallum. >> we are playing better cricket at home and it's important we make adjustments for the tournament. we made good preparations in uae and mumbai also. the conditions can be slightly differently so we'll have to see those again tomorrow. >> this is going to be far more challenging. you have teams from all over the world competing and if you look at both the groups, the teams are very strong. very evenly matched. and yeah, it's going to be tough. but, you know, we would like to focus on our strengths, the oppositions do not matter for us so much. >> russia's hopes of being able to compete at the rio olympics hang in the balance, the world
antidoping agency, have band the country from international competition, state sponsored doping in the country. president craig reedy says he would reanalyze, after maria sharapova admitted she tested positive for banned drugs. are sports fans are demanding answer he. >> public's confidence in sports was shattered in 2015, like never before. the public mood has soured, cynicism has prevailed and there's a general feeling that they're all at it. >> reporter: tennis's raffa
nadal, denied accusations that an injury in 2012 was as a result of a positive drugs test. >> there are a couple of times that i heard comments like this. and that's what this is going to be the last one because i going to sue her and i'm tired about this. to listen to heard that comments from a person that should be serious because was a minister of a big country and a great country like france. i'm going to sue her and i'm going to sue everyone who want to comment something similar in the future because i am tired of this. >> nadal was speaking after his second round win in indian wells. this was nadal's first match of the tournament was given an opening round bye. towns in south africa are getting on their bikes.
escaping a life of poverty and crime for many of them. tanya paige reports. >> it is soccer not cycling that many south african cyclers are inspired by but bmx is a sai safe place for u for township ko hang out. many youngsters come here with physical and mental scars and in need of guidance both on and off the bike. >> their resilience patience of the kids, in terms of leaving his or her household hungry but coming to train just to make sure he or she achieves their goal. maybe the guardian was drunk last night, he makes it sure he's here at 4:00. >> reporter: there is emphasis on academic achievement as well.
the opportunity to be sports stars, draws these children in. if they don't have good academic standards they could have their bicycles off there them. before they are allowed to ride they have to study. the academy provides tutors for children struggling with their lessons. the walls are covered by inspiring pictures, both this boy's parents were killed by the hiv virus. he's the biggest fan of the star rider. from the school bus he makes a quick stop at the one bedroom house he shares with his grandmother. he is happiest on his bike. >> there is a lot of gang sisterrism, lots of violence especially here. that's why i chose the academy.
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