we'll see you next time. >> announcer: this is al jazeera. ♪ hello there. warm welcome to this news hour, i'm laura kyle in doha with our top stories. >> how many more will die in syria? lose their loved ones? be maimed for life or lose their homes if this opportunity is lost. >> after three years of fighting, both sides in syria's war meet to try to bring an end to the conflict. i'm barbara in london with
the very latest from europe. where anger and violence follows the death of three protesters in the ukrainian capitol in kiev. and wanted the woman who is said to be plotting the winter olympics. and we take a look at the duel tax system in parts of afghanistan. ♪ after three years of fighting, and more than 100,000 deaths, the syrian government and the opposition are finally sitting at the same table. buddies agreed over the future of president bashar al-assad is threatening negotiations even before they begin. we have correspondent covering all sides of the story for us.
but first let's get this report on the day's event from james bayes. >> reporter: it took almost eight months to get both sides to this peace conference, both the syrian government and representatives of the syrian opposition in the same room, along with representatives from 40 nations. ban ki-moon laid out the aim of the process. >> the geneva communique sets out a number of key steps, starting with the establishment of a transitional governing body, formed by mutual consent. including over the military forces and security and intelligence services. >> reporter: getting there, though, will be hard, just chairing this opening session
was a challenge for ban ki-moon. the syrian foreign minister's speech overran and the un secretary general tried to stop him. >> mr. prime minister, i'm sorry to -- can you just wrap up because you have only almost 20 minutes -- >> you live in new york. i live in syria. i have the right to give the syrian version here in this forum. >> reporter: in his speech, he seemed to add new complications to this process. he said if talks go to a second stage, it should be held on syrian soil, and he said any deal done in switzerland should be put to a referendum in syria, a country where no vote has been properly free or fair for more than four decades. as both anti-go and proassad
camps chanted at yelled at each other, the syrian opposition leader said he was fully committed to the un-led process, but expressed doubts about the syrian-lead government. >> translator: we completely agree with the geneva communique, and we want to make sure woe have somebody ready to go in this room who will be ready to go to a free delegation. >> reporter: they stressed that a solution should not be imposed by foreign powers, but should be the future roll of the assad family in syria, the united states made itself quite clear. >> this is a peaceful road map for transition, and the only thing standing in in its way is the stubborn clinging to power
of one man, and one family. >> reporter: they will all leave friday around the table talks start with both syrian delegations. the diplomat faces the biggest challenge of his long career. james bayes, al jazeera. >> now to zana who is also in montra. now that we're seeing these two sides sitting around the table it's pretty clear how much of a challenge it is going to be to get these talks underway. >> undoubtedly a very long, difficult, and complicated process, something the u.s. secretary of state john kerry saying this is just the begin. what we really saw today was the deep rivalry between the syrian government and the saudi government, which is by extension the rivalry in the region, and to a certain extent
the war in syria has become a proxy war. we hear the foreign minister say -- he didn't actually name saudi arabia, but he did hint and say the countries and delegates sitting here are responsible for the bloodshed in my country and the quote terrorism in my country. the saudi foreign minister saying that the iranian revolutionary guards need to withdraw from syria. so we need a consensus between these two regional powerhouses if we're going to see agreement on the house, but there's no doubt the international community wants this process to begin and reach some sort of outcome. it's not going to be an easy task. we saw the very best to discredit the opposition saying they don't have a political agenda for the future, and
stressing time and time again that the war in syria is one against terrorism. on the other hand you have the syrian opposition chief saying we are here and expressing or publicly committing ousts to geneva 1, something we didn't hear from the syrian government delegation. >> you mentioned iran there, they of course, become the assad regime and the biggest exclusion from this summit. iran's president is en route to switzerland but [ inaudible ] economic conference. he said that the geneva talks are doomed to fail. >> translator: considering all sides, i don't have much hope that this meeting can succeed in fighting terrorism, because some countries sponsoring terrorism are taking part. also i don't think it will succeed in establishing peace and stability, because the countries that created instability are taking part.
nevertheless it is help freedom, democracy and freedom, we will be glad. >> why was there such opposition to iran being there? >> the syrian opposition considers iran plays a negative role in syria. they believe without the support from iran the syrian regime would have not been able to survive. if you talk to members of the opposition, they will tell you that iran is occupying our country, and just a to bring back what we were mentioning earlier, this is a rivalry that extends beyond syria. it plays out in iraq and lebanon, so this is why it is very, very difficult. now the syrian opposition, i have spoken to one of the delegates and asked them what do you have to fall on at the end of the day the regime has the upper hand militarily and now we're hearing they are making gains, and presenting a united
face. and his answer was we only have the support of the international x -- community. >> thank you very much. let's go now to where the heads of seven of the world's largest humanitarian organizations are working on the crisis in syria have issued a joint call. they have written . . . joining us now from the world economic forum is our correspondent joana hall. perhaps they will take some relief in seeing the humanitarian chief sitting there right next to ban ki moon. >> perhaps they are. and they will certainly hope
that she can make a difference and bring to bear the humanitarian and human rights organizations share here as they watch closely what happened not too far away from here. i'm joined by one of the signatories, the executive director of human rights watch. thajs for joining us. >> thank you. >> we listened to your colleague from world vision talked about the world failing to learn the lessons of cambodia and rwanda. and none of you it seems have very much faith in the process being followed as it is at the moment in mantra. why? >> that's to say the least. i listened to john kerry's opening remarks, and he said assad is committing these atrotties and doing these
terrible things? and i was thinking is he going to say we are going to put pressure on them to stop? no, his only answer was assad was doing these terrible things and we're going to get rid of him through a peace agreement. the question for me is what are we going to do in the interim? what are we going to do to stop the daily killings, and force assad to open humanitarian corridors so the millions who are desperately in need can get aid. john kerry's only answer is at some point we'll have peace. >> of course the other point that was raised this morning is if they don't reach agreement on humanitarian access, then the americans and russians must simply enforce it, the way they were so easily able to do it with chemical weapons. why aren't they doing that already?
it seems so obvious. >> that was the other problem with john kerry's remarks. the capitol that has the most leverage over assad is moscow. and i would have hoped that john kerry would be saying, russia we expect you to be using your influence, stop supporting this mass murder machine. start putting pressure on assad to end the killing. open up humanitarian corridors, do it now for the tools that are being used to kill 98% of syrians, since chemical weapons were response only for 2% of the death. instead kerry was praising russia. that kind of kid glove approach is doing nothing to put pressure on russia to open the corridors for humanitarian aid, which is what we need now. >> it is very much's kerry's
line that that kid glove approach was what got them to get rid of their chem chemical weapons. >> let's remember why russia played a constructive role. it wasn't because obama was making nice to putin. it was because obama was threatening force. putin is very concerned about his image. he is letting prisoners out because he doesn't want his pr effort to be tarnished. something similar can be done to syria. by stressing over and over that putin is implementing mass murder. that's the way to get him to stop. >> all right. extending the strong words that the seven heads of the seven
largest humanitarian organizations put out this morning. >> okay. jonah thanks very much. now let's cross to lebanon's valley on the border with syria, and let's not forget of course all of the people that are being talked about there in in switzerland, people like the ref fees in the camp where you are, what is it that they desperately need? >> well, obviously they are living in very difficult conditions. this is one of the unofficial makeshift shelters or camps that the syrians have set up themselves. it is actually very close to the lebanese syrian border. i'm going to show you how some of these people are living. as you can see, they make these tints out of plastic sheeting, fabric, whatever they can find. inside is obviously a very small space, usually a family of seven
or eight is crammed into a space like this. there is nothing more than mattresses here. communal toilets, nothing more than just the room you are seeing, and it's when it gets dark in the evening, that it gets so cold. and the concern is trying to stay warm. so the sticks on the ground are used for the heating. they put them inside this heater. they use it all night to stay warm, because it does get very, very cold here in the winter. and out here -- >> sorry, i just wanted to jump in. we did see a shot of a small television set. i'm just interested to know whether anyone is actually watching this conference happening in geneva. are they interested in it? >> we did speak to some families earlier today who were watching the news.
they saw ban ki-moon speaking. they said, okay. we know this is happening, we're following, but we're not very interested in knowing all of the details, because we don't have high expectations. they say the conference comes three years too late. that it will be all talk. even the more optimistic say even if the conference come out with decisions, it's going to be so difficult to implement them such as ceasefires, because there are so many different rebel groups fighting on the ground in syria, especially the ones affiliated with al-qaeda, those are not part of these negotiations, and even if a ceasefire agreement is reached or there is a decision to try to reach a calm, those groups are not going to be part of that, and the people here feel that no one is going to commitment to any such decisions. so the expectations are quite low of though conference, people
aren't really following, but they say they do know it is happening. >> thank you. we'll be coming back to the syria story later in this program, and in other news also coming up . . . >> we'll being pushed away by local police who say we can't stand here. >> shrouded and secrecy, al jazeera and other media are prevented from covering court proceedings in china. [ sobbing ] >> also polio vaccination workers targeted again in pakistan. they say it is getting too dangerous to do their job. and in sport roger federer gets back to his winning ways with an old rival. reactions coming up later. ♪
three protesters are dead as clashes escalate between police and demonstrators in ukraine. let's get more from barbara. barbara? laura, eye -- ironically january 22nd is supposed to be ukraine's day of national unity. but three are now dead amid the violence. these are live pictures from independence square which has been the center of demonstrations. protesters stepped up their attacks flinging stones and petro gas. our correspondent has our report. >> reporter: riot mistaking aim and firing at protesters. [ gunfire ] >> on the fourth day of violence in kiev, they made it to the
demonstrator's barricades and dismantled them. then news that the fighting has claimed its first victims. >> translator: i carried one other guy and myself from the front line. he was shot directly in the heart and he died. >> reporter: as his body was brought out of the makeshift hospital and driven away, an uneasy calm returns at least for a short while. it's not clear how news of the deaths will change the nature of these protests, but for now people are continuing to arrive here at the scene of the clashes. as the protesters fought back, some said wednesday's events would only make them more determined. >> translator: even with this killing, they won't stop the protest. many more people will come in response. >> translator: i'm scared because of what has happened,
but i'm more afraid of our future and of this government which is criminal and lawless. >> reporter: but at this treatment center there is a feeling they could be seeing a lot more injuries soon. >> translator: the confrontation reached a new level after they killed people. it means protesters fight also use arms against the police. and the police will respond. there's a real danger of civil war in ukraine now. >> reporter: so far the fighting has happened in one small area, but this square remains a battle ground and focus of people's anger. dean barber, al jazeera, kiev. we are now joined live by our correspondent on the line. what is the situation in the square now? >> reporter: well, you could see pictures of the smoke and flames, the fires that have been set by the protesters.
i'm standing on the street between the square and the parliament building, a few thousand protesters, and it's more organized protesters running down with shields and various weapons to try to hold the line down there, there is a constant barrage of tear gas going off. we're also seeing water cannons used. it was announced on the government's website that they have authorized more weapons to be used. in warm weather that is not such a problem, but we're looking at minus 8, minus 10 already. so these water cannons, anyone who is covered in water is going to be in serious trouble because it is so cold here. >> we now have three deaths because of the violence. what is that doing to the resolve of the demonstrators?
>> reporter: i don't think it's really changing. it probably makes them even more angry when they know that happened just earlier on today. but they are looking towards the presidential building, where we understand discussions are still going on. it's about three hours now that the president has been meeting the three main opposition leaders to try to hammer out some sort of an agreement. now we know that the opposition are standing quite firm to their demands. they haven't waivered on those. whether or not the fact they have been meeting after three hours is a positive sign. we understand some of the protesters are setting fire to vehicles outside as the protests carry on. everybody hopes there will be development, but nobody is willing to give up this fight. they have to be fairly strong and have great resolve putting
up with these temperatures and this constant barrage of tear gas coming their way. >> thank you, sue. security fears for next month's winter olympics in sochi have been heightened after four countries received deadly threats via email. it follows a search for this 22-year-old and two other women that they believe are plotting to attack the games. last year the southern city was hit by two suicide bombings. they left 34 dead and injured scores more. peter sharpe is in moscow. peter tell us more about these emails, these threats received by the four countries. how credible are they perceived as? >> well, they have been coming into the national olympic headquarters in countries across
europe most recently in britain. they are all exactly the same. they are written in russian and english, and they are threatening the lives of the young athletes who will be competing in these winter olympics that start on february 7th. now the actual emails themselves and one i must say hand-written letter had been forwarded to the police and the international olympic committee say they pose no threat, they pose no threat, they said. they appear to be written by a pub of the public in israel who has been known to write these sort of emails before. once again it just highlights the threat of terrorism at these -- at these olympics in the run up to the start of these games. >> well, the threat certainly, and now moscow is starting to put faces to the threat. they are looking for a 22 year old, what else do we know about the search and the woman
herself? >> well, she's 22. she is from dagestan, and they believe they have eyewitnesss that placed her inside sochi since january 11th. if those sightings are correct, and can be proved, then it means that she has got inside this security corridor. there are 40,000 russian troops, special forces, security intelligence agents with the assistance now of the united states. the fbi has sent a dozen fbi agents into the city, and another two dozen have been sent moscow. huge security operation in place with the americans offering a naval presents on the black sea if that should be necessary. so the russians are hoping this could go off peacefully, but the threat is growing and really taking over the buildup to the
games. >> peter thank you. and i'm going to have more news from europe a little later in the news hour. now back to laura in doha. >> barbara thanks very much. a senior pro government activist has been shot and wounded in northeastern thailand. he was shot twice after gunmen sprayed him with bullets in a drive-by shooting. he was at his home at the time. a state of emergency has been imposed after weeks of anti-government protests. the trial has begun in china of a human right's lawyer who campaigns against government corruption. he showed his defiance by refusing to speak. the founder of the movement who was charged with gathering crowds to disrupt public order and faces up to five years in prison. several supporters outside were
taken away and journalists including al jazeera's craig geeson. >> there's extreme sensitivity to this court case. normally we are allowed to stand over there. for this trial we'll being pushed away by local police who say we can't stand here. all of the media are being herded and moved out of the area. this didn't happen for the court case for others which shows how serious the central government is taking this case against this man. he is being charged with attempting to disrupt order in a public place because of a campaign that he started against education laws in china. he was campaigning for the rights of countryside children who are not allowed to attend schools and universities in urban areas. he was detained in july.
he was officially charged and arrested in august, and during his detention, he made a very bold statement about china's civil rights movement. he had this to say. >> however defeated and absurd this society is, this country needs courageous citizens to stand up and take rights, responsibilities, and dreams purposefully. >> we're now about 400 meters across from the court, and they are still pushing us back. this court case is only going to take one day. it is expected that he will receive a maximum sentence of about five years. it's a very secret court case. only two members of his family will be allowed to attend. still ahead, we'll be reporting from kathmandu where
hello again, a reminder of the top stories here on al jazeera. the syrian government and the opposition are sitting at the same table for the first time. delegates from more than 40 countries and organizations are meeting in switzerland to try to bring an end to the three-year conflict. iron's president says the talks in the switzerland are doomed to fail. iran was left out of the talks. and riot police have opened fire on anti-government protesters in ukraine. at least three people have died. after a two-month
delay -- nepal's government has met to set up a constitution. >> reporter: for 20 months this building has seen hardly any visitors. this is why nepal's new constitution is supposed to be drafted last november [ inaudible ] to write the charter on tuesday they finally took the oath of office. these long delays are not surprising. in 2008 nepal went through exactly the same process, but four years later the constitution was still not written. pressure groups have been on the streets to warn the assembly not to mess up this time. >> translator: [ inaudible ] program to get [ inaudible ] constitution within the deadline [ inaudible ]. >> reporter: the casts a -- last assembly was dissolved after
they failed to come to an agreement. the party who fought the state for ten years was then the largest party. this time around it was a distant third with the napoli congress as the biggest party. this is one of the few women represents the muslim community of nepal. her prior advertise are clear. >> translator: everyone in my district wants peace security and laws. when an offender is arrested political pressure gets the person released. we need the constitution written as soon as possible. >> reporter: 85% of the members in this assembly are now. but analysts claim it is not as inclusive at the last assembly. >> [ inaudible ] 42%, but in the
second [ inaudible ]. so they were not in the [ inaudible ] assembly, they were in the [ inaudible ] power [ inaudible ] democratic [ inaudible ]. >> reporter: the leaders have expressed their commitment to write the constitution within one year, yet two months on the same leaders have not been able to agreement on a government. this leaves the party sceptical. al jazeera, kathmandu. to afghanistan now, in some places people have to deal with a duel tax system. jane ferguson has the story. >> reporter: this is a government tax man collecting money. but just behind him are taliban tax men doing exactly the same.
neither side seems phased. this is how things get done here. >> translator: in these areas the taliban walk around with their guns. there's no government here. we're only two people here from the government. they don't precious us. there's no problem for us. >> reporter: the minors have a difficult job, gathering limestone in an atmosphere of compromise. both sides of the war are being paid. this commander says he is collecting the tax for this islamic emrate of afghanistan. that's what the taliban called the country when it ruled. >> translator: there are different people working here in different sizes of trucks. according to the weight of the truck we take taxes from them. >> reporter: the driver's they the taliban tax is simpler.
corrupt police officers are the main problem. legal tax and extortion from government police are one in the same to them. >> translator: the taliban just taxes us once, then they don't stop us on the road to take more money. but we also pay tax to the government and they take more money from us, here and in kabul. >> reporter: for the group the money it collects here is as important as maintaining a semblance of its own government. prevent shall and national government officials did not respond to al jazeera's request for comment on the situation. it is not clear how long this area has been operating under the kabul government and the taliban. what is clear is that both sides seem willing to accept each other's presence. let's go back now to london and join barbara again for more
news from europe. in europe there is a fresh attempt to cut carbon emissions across the continent. levels measured in 1990 need to be cut by 40% in the coming 16 years, but there's confusion over how that can be achieved, and environmental groups say the figure isn't nearly enough. in germany the coalition government has been meeting. here is angela merkel a little earlier. >> translator: securing the economic effectiveness of germany, a sustainable economic effectiveness, means a secure supply of energy that is environmentally friendly for us. it will be a project of the entire german government and not a project of one minister alone.
>> let's find out what that means in practice. nick spicer is live for us in berlin. gurney -- how would it effect germany specifically? >> well, angela challenge is how does she transition this economy into a green one. this came right after the fukushima nuclear disaster, she announced she would shut down germany's nuclear plants by 2022. there had already been in place a system of subsidies for companies that generated wind and solar energy, however, the cost of subsidizing those technologies has grown expo poen
in shally. once you shut down the plant there was more use for nuclear energy coming in from france. more use as well of the highly polluting brown coal. the average german household owner has seen his or her electricity bill go up by $350, that said germans are very committed to green energy. >> it is quite a bold ask from the european commission to cut levels by 40% in 16 years. are any of the countries in the euro zone and eu ready for this? >> it's actually -- the announcement today looks good on
paper, but the people who are fighting to have a more green production of energy, green peace and so on, activists here in germany as well, concentrate on an omission today which was that the european commission has given up on setting a target of renewable energy production in european countries. this is all taking place under pressure, the people who are part of the ecological movements from big industry, david cameron coming under special fire. the commission has to face economic facts around the world. energy costs are 50% lower in the united states, 20% lower in china. they can't go as green as they might like to, whatever the activists in the streets would like. >> nick thank you.
now it's back to laura in doha. barbara thanks very much. we're going to take you back to our top story, the syrian talks in switzerland. joining us from the conference is a research fellow at imperial college in london. we have been hearing the syrian government delegation today reiterating that president bashar al-assad will not be stepping down. but of course the main aim of the opposition is his removal. so do you see these negotiations moving forward? >> i think it's too early now to judge whether the negotiations will move forward, because they haven't yet started. all we saw today was a ceremony attended by 30 countries and a show of support to the peace process, and that's a good sign, and it's also a good sign that the two syrian delegations have now come together and sat down
in the -- in the aim of achieving a political -- a political solution. so in that sense, it is promising. however, we know that the hopes are very high, but probably the expectations are not so high given all of the challenges and on stack ls. >> absolutely. not to take away the enormity of what has happened today seeing these two sides at the table for the first time. but, it stands, doesn't it, that neither side sees the other as legitimate? >> well, i think -- i think as a start in position, you -- you wouldn't expect very warm welcoming by either side or the other. now we have also an opposition that is very partially represented. the coalition had major difficulties in putting itself
together in order to attend the talks. over half f its members withdrew and we know the coalition doesn't even represent the syrian opposition, let alone other factions refused to come. so you have certain dynamics that make it very difficult to accept the coalition themselves are representatives of the syrian opposition views. this -- this is an obstacle. that's why -- that's why the syrian government delegation is stating that they do not see them as legitimate representative of the syrian opposition. >> okay. and also -- >> however -- as a starting -- >> -- government delegation. excuse me for interrupting. because the other side as well, we had the foreign minister who got reprimanded by the un chief ban ki-moon for being inflammatory in his speech and not being very helpful.
>> i think in -- in peace talks it's important to review the background and then put forward a political vision. the -- what was perceived as inflammatory, i think is referring to the minister's review of what has been happening over three years. don't forget for a while violence on the ground that was committed against the syrian state and destruction of the syrian state was ignored. so i think that's what the minister was trying to refer to. but i think the -- the tone is what was described as inflammatory was the minister -- all that he was trying -- i think what he minister was trying to do was to reflect the mood of the syrians who remain resilient against now -- against now three years of stretched crisis -- >> absolutely. there was a lot of talk about
the suffering on both sides of syrians inside -- >> yeah, absolutely. [ overlapping speakers ] >> see these talks starting on friday. what happens beyond that, though? >> that's very difficult to anticipate. i think everybody knows that it was -- it was -- it was such an achievement just to get the talks starting on friday. no one knows what will happen after the first day. the -- i think it's very positive that the talks will take place in closed doors, because that will allow the two delegations to put aside any tendency to appeal to the public, and really engage in genuine talks. i think that's a very good thing to do, and the fact they are talking to each other in the same room is promising. and what needs to be bear in mind is all syrians have been
effected by the crisis. this needs to be kept in mind in the minds of those who are sitting down and negotiating -- >> okay. >> -- because three years of the crisis has really, really warn -- it has affected the state, it has affected the state institutions, and the economy. it has left over 8 million syrian people below -- >> yes, we're going to have to leave it there. thank you very much for taking the time to join us. now health workers giving polio vaccinations in pakistan have been attacked. it follows an incidenting on tuesday where police officers escorting another polio team were attacked. the funerals have been held for the officers killed in that bomb blast. a bicycle exploded here their van on the border.
health workers say their job is being increasedly difficult because of the violence. for more on this, let's join the doctor that heads the national polio monitoring team. first of all give us an idea as to why these workers are being attacked. >> if you can ask me, we still in problem [ inaudible ] because who is the meaning of these innocent people in pakistan who have a job to really protect children from the disability and from the problematic situation in their live. still nobody has claimed who is doing this wrong job, but
definitely because, yes, we know there are people -- there are people who are really, really creating problem for those workers who are playing the role in pakistan, but definitely, you know, the government of pakistan is so much committed and it is our goal to eradicate polio from pakistan -- >> but how is the government doing that? how much of a campaign is there in the country to teach people about the benefit of these vaccinations. >> right. you know when we faced a problem in 2012, immediately after that, the national secretary guideline was established in in pakistan and then according to that every proven shall -- head of the
proven shall government should have [ inaudible ] headed by the home secretary -- >> but it is clearly not working. and that is my point. and these workers are being paid just $2 aday for putting their lives at risk. >> i know about that, because the situation of pakistan you know very well, and this is not a problem in one area of the country, but because if you can see [ inaudible ] we are facing problem in pakistan -- pakistan is facing problem, because even then we have a safe system for polioer ratification, and even on the [ inaudible ] prime minister and chief minister, so that is in place, and the secretary [ inaudible ] are in place. they have a responsibility to sit and review the security
situation before the campaign, every campaign. and at the district level. we have a [ inaudible ] and the head of the police, head of the police department, he or she is -- is a member of that committee, and according to the -- according to the secretary guideline, every district -- every area, mostly the problem area, where we have a security problem, they have a responsibility to really review the situation and provide the security of our -- >> very difficult. doctor thank you very much for joining us there from islam ma bad. >> thank you. and now time for sport. >> thank you so much. [ inaudible ] has set up a blockbuster australian match against roger federer.
he took on the bulgarian on wednesday. the spaniard struggled with severe blisters on his hand. he fought back to take the next two sets on a tie break. and wrapped up the match 3-6, 7-6, 7-6, 6-2. >> i knelt that the biggest problem was the turf because that -- something like this, then -- you know, produce me a problem for the rest of the match because when you lose the confidence with one shot and one important shot, then you are not able to play with calm the rest of the shots, so i [ inaudible ] improve that. >> reporter: he faces roger federer in the last four. the swiss was back to winner form. he won the first two sets but
then missed two match points in the tie break. and the final set, murray was struggling to keep up with his opponent and eventually could no longer hang on, as the four-time champion stills the win. >> definitely a sense that today, you know, i am back physically and, you know, my explosive out there. i can get to balls. i can -- you know, i'm not afraid to go for balls, and of course, you know, last year at times you couldn't do it, but important that i can do it now, and i'm looking forward to -- to the next match and it was a great game on many levels today, not just physically. >> the big shot came in the women's draw where defending champion victoria was knocked out. she was beaten in this the quarter finals 61, 5-7, 6-6
west brom striker is calling on the english football association to drop the race charges against him. he is k accused of performing a racially aggravated gesture. he says he is not anti-semitic or racist. no stadium, no match. that's the threat from fee fa to a brazilian city struggling to get its city ready for the world cup. >> reporter: under six months until the world cup, and the stadium in the city is still one giant construction zone. a flurry of vehicles and activity. the $160 million stadium is so
far behind schedule that fifa's secretary general gave the city an ultimatum to speed things up or risk having the world cup pulled from the city. >> on the 18th of february, we, meaning the local organizing committee, the go, the city, and fifa will have to decide if the level of work which will be done between now and the 18th of february give us the confidence that the stadium will be ready to organize and to [ inaudible ] games. >> reporter: this is big because it's the first time anyone from fifa has ever publicly admitted that maybe one of the host cities will not be ready. but with tickets sold and four matches scheduled, changing venues now would be highly complicated and a slap to brazil. something the sports ministering wants to avoid.
>> translator: all of our energy is being put into taking measures that guarantee the stadium for the world cup in 2014. this was the effort we are making. >> reporter: fifa officials are spending the week touring several of the host cities most delayeded. six of the 12 promised stadiums are not yet completed. and fifa is ratcheting up t pressure. but brazilian officials think they will get everything done in time and are annoyed by what they perceive as heavily handedness on the part of the football governing party. for now fifa isn't completely ready to officially pull the world cup, but it is moving in that direction. south africa's george
[ inaudible ] is in the lead in the masters, and some big-name players aren't too far behind. european number 1 quickly returned to form. he is on 4 under. earnly ellis is on also in contention. this chip in at the 18th helping him. but [ inaudible ] concluded his round with three birdies to finish at 8 under par. in the nba kevin durant scored 46 points to lead the thunder to a win against the portland trail blazerers. the heat beat the celtics 93-86. lebron james lead the way with 29 points. this was the celtic's 10 straight road loss. >> and that's all of your sport for you. >> laura thank you very much indeed. stay with us, i'll be back with the full bulletin of news
i thank them for the courageous decision they have made. welcome to al jazeera america, i'm del walters, these are the stories we are following for you. new revolutions about that chemical spill in west virginia. you spoke for 25 minutes -- >> i came here -- >> no, please -- >> trying to make peace in syria, even though the peacemakers are having a tough time. and al jazeera america continues our series with