fifa members vote on blatter's presidency bid amid the biggest corruption scandal in the history of world football. ♪ i'm lauren taylor this is al jazeera live from london. also coming up the u.s. formal i will removes cuba from its list of countries that sponsor terrorism. a former military ruler is sworn in as president of nigeria. and the u.n. stops short of listing the great barrier reef
of being in danger, but raises concerns about its future. ♪ hello. delegates from 209 fifa member nations are currently voting on the presidency of football's governing body amidst its worst ever corruption scandal. sepp blatter warned that it would take some time to rebuild fifa's reputation. his challenges is prince ali bin hussein from jordan. appealing for delegates support, sepp blatter said that he is the best man to lead fifa through this difficult period. >> translator: i wish to stay among you. i wish to play this role. i would like to continue with
you. this is a matter of trust, confidence, from you. to me it is a matter of respect towards each and every of you. you representatives of football federations everywhere i am at your disposal. if you wish me to continue this journey with you, i extend all thanks to you. >> the other candidate for the top job, prince ali bin hussein of jordan urged delegates to listen to their hearts as they voted. >> we want a governing body that is worthy of the world's game. i ask you for the honor of your confidence in me and call on you to join me because i know hand in hand we can deliver a new beginning for fifa. i will fight to honor every promise i have plead. and i ask for you, please do
not fight for me by giving me your vote fight alongside me for the future. >> how much longer are we going to have to wait andy? >> reporter: i think it is going to be at least another 30 minutes of voting. it's a rather strange scene in the congress which i have just some out of. there are two separate voting booths set up. and every member goes into the booth, puts their name on a paper and pops it into a box. and then it's a numbers game. there are 209 member associations. you need two thirds of those votes to win in the first round, and if we don't get that then we could be in for a second round of voting in which case a simple majority is enough. the prince of jordan sepp blatter's rival was speaking to
uefa yesterday, the european football authority, and he said then he thought he had 60 votes as well as the majority of support from europe. that would give him close to an overall majority i think that is ambitious. but if he can get to around 80 votes that would take it into a second round of voting and shake up the football status kwoe that sepp blatter has ruled over for the last 17 years. >> there has been talk about the impact of the sponsors getting involved and potential boycott from some nations of the next world cup, if sepp blatter does stay in place. how much is this real or is it just rhetoric at this stage? >> reporter: it's a huge step for anyone to pull out of the world cup. europe saying yesterday that they would have a meeting next week where that would be on the table, the idea of european football pulling out of the
world cup. it would in many ways make the world cup very uncommercial and that is what fifa is all about. we heard financial figures from fifa earlier today, their cash reserve just over a decade around was around $70 million. now it's $1.5 billion. and about a billion dollars is being invested in footballing projects all over the world. and that is why he has had so much support. he has made this organization into something that is very very profitable. and it was a six or seven-hour campaign speech effectively. he was on the podium three times explaining all of the great things that fifa had done. and he was the man to bring change. and prince ali was reading from its notes. he wasn't overtly impressive.
but blatter has had two decades of complaining for this job, prince ali has had just weeks. >> thank you very much indeed. and obviously we'll come back to you with the results of that vote. thanks. ♪ islamic state of iraq and the levant is claiming responsibility for a bombing outside of a shia mosque in saudi arabia. the blast went off during friday prayers killing four people and wounding four others. a man wearing women's clothes is said to have blown himself up at the mosque gate. last friday a suicide bomber killed at least 21 people in another province. >>to syria now where rebels from the al-qaeda affiliated nusra front are reported to have
killed 30 government soldiers and gained access to an important city in idlib province. >> reporter: another gain for syrian rebels in northern idlib province. a coalition of fighters which includes al-nusra fighters now control the town. it is thought to be the last major strong hold for the regime in the entire province. >> translator: thank god we liberated the town in just hour hours. i swear they ran like rats. >> reporter: after days of ongoing battles regime soldiers have left. the state's news agencies says government troops have pulled out. >> translator: some people are scared that the regime will destroy the town using barrel
bombs. >> reporter: reshl -- rebels have also moved on in the western countryside killing a number of government soldiers. days earlier rebels captured this town. last month they took control of idlib city the province capitol. the next major battle for these fighters could be president bashar al-assad's strong hold on the coast. in syria's palmyra, the islamic state of iraq and the levant is widening its control. these photos show a glimpse of one of syrias notorious prisons. tens of inmates were moved by government forces before they fled. further south a war of attrition is taking place. fighting is not over in the mountain range. hezbollah has announced it made big gains in the area on the
border with lebanon two weeks ago, but with fighters carrying out hit and run attacks more than 40 hezbollah fighters are said to have been killed since fighting started earlier this month. it's crucial for hezbollah and the syrian government. it's where both sides get weapons and reinforcements. fighting in syrias multiple battle fronts continue to intensify. too many warring factions with different agendas are battling themselves and government forces. it's not clear who will win the final battle. iraq's army is continuing efforts to retake the city of ramadi in anbar province around 85,000 have fled ramadi since it fell to isil forces. the united nations say iraqi forces are preventing many people from reaching safety. our correspondent has more. >> reporter: for ramadi the scene was frighteningly
reminiscent, the black flagged raised by isil last week an eerie echo of the one raised by insurgents a decade ago. >> ramadi is significant because it feeds into this notion that isis is on the march. it's a sunni majority city in a sunni majority province. it's significant because it's one step closer to baghdad. >> reporter: for the capitol of anbar province this type of threat is nothing new. between 2003 and 2007 the city is said to have become a base for foreign fighters who wanted to exploit sunny muslim anger towards the shia-lead government. until sunny tribes supported by the u.s. turned their weapons on insurgents and largely drove them out. this year however, it was largely iraqi security forces being driven out.
and now isil has a supply route that goes to within 130 kilometers from baghdad. analysts say it's no surprise iraqi army soldiers were ill equipped to fight and point to the policy of [ inaudible ] following the fall of saddam hussein and his party. >> there was a large purge back when the united states was occupying iraq there were subsequent purges by the maliki government of the army corps. so a lot of its talent has been pushed out of the armed services and into the private sector some of those people have gone and joined isis. >> reporter: experts say repression of sunni descent was for many a breaking point. >> all of the calls for unified government goes to the anbar
demonstration two years ago, when anbar asked for their rights and their -- their -- their calls to be part of the unified government. >> reporter: during that time agreed sunnis accused the former prime minister of depriving and marginallizing them because of his sectarian policies. [ gunfire ] >> reporter: protesters were killed as government forces fired at them. since then anger and animosity has only grown. now, the situation is even worse. as the united states and iraq engage in a war of words about who is to blame for failing to stop isil both also waged war on the streets against their common enemy. one still very much on the march. still to come myanmar promises to deal with the route cause of asia's migrant crisis as another boat carrying
saudi arabia. it went off during friday prayers killing four people and wounding four others. and fighters from the al-nusra front have captured the last government held town in idlib province. the united nations has dropped cuba from his list of sponsors of terrorism. let diabetes more from patty culhane from washington, d.c. so patty, why today? >> reporter: well it's all part of the process. we have known that barack obama wanted to do this -- >> sorry to interrupt you, patty. we'll bring back patty a little bit later on if we can. now myanmar's navy has
intercepted a boat packed with 727 people ah of its southern coast. it comes a week off it found a similar boat carrying around 200 migrants. myanmar does not consider the rohingya citizens and denies they are fleeing persecution. 17 nations, the u.s. and switzerland with met to discuss the migrant crisis. >> reporter: thailand planned this meeting weeks ago after the migrant boats were discovered adrift in the sea. packed with desperate migrants. many are still out there. nations directly involved and indirectly, like the u.s. came together to better coordinate the crisis at sea. regional countries agreed to set up an anti trafficking task force. thailand and malaysia also agree to let the u.s. use their air bases in the search and rescue
operation. but there was disagreement on the root problems behind the migration. myanmar accused the u.n. of inaccurately placing blame. >> finger point will not solve any problems. >> a legal status for all -- >> reporter: but the u.n.'s refugee agency says it is focused on stemming the deadly flow of people for the long term. >> we are not in the business of finger pointing at all. we are looking at this situation comprehensively, and that includes also looking at some of the root causes. >> reporter: the meeting according to those who set it up gave nations who have criticized the actions of regional players a chance to participate. >> this is an opportunity to really help in finding a solution. >> reporter: the u.s. and australia together donated over $6 million to help with the crisis. so the agreement at the end of the day was focused on saving those in danger. but the more difficult task that
had no resolution coming out of the meeting, and that's how to improve people's lives so they are not willing to put themselves in danger in the first place. nigeria's new president has vowed to eradicate the armed group boko haram, and rescue hundreds of kidnapped women and children. he made the pledge at his inauguration which sees him return to power three decades after his leadership as military director. >> reporter: he was sworn in as president of nighia by the chief justice at eagle square in the capitol abuja. it was an historic occasion because it was the first transfer of hower from one democratic leader to the other since the end of military rule in 1999. heads of state across africa and the u.s. secretary of state john kerry attended colluding
other vips. the outgoing president sat next to him, and he thanked him for accepting defeat during elections in march. after being sworn in the new president gave his inaugural speech. he said the world has come to expect the worst from nigeria, but nigeria had surprised the world in conducting a free fair, and peaceful election that brought him to power. he promised to fight corruption, unemployment and improvement security. >> [ inaudible ] all nigerians. [ applause ] >> it's a complete change for the image of africa. i think there's a sense in the u.s. something that frustrates me a lot, that nigeria and other countries can't have a peaceful election. and i think those days are over.
>> reporter: thousands of supporters tried to get in to watch the ceremony. >> [ inaudible ] best man for the masses. his character, his movement is for the masses. but why today [ inaudible ] today now we need to show our happiness as the masses of this country. we come to the eagle square the security agencies did not allow the masses to be there. why? >> reporter: celebrations to mark this historic occasion are taking place across nigeria, but a -- now the hard work begins. police in burundi say there has been a gan today in attack killing at least one person. there have been weeks of anti-government violence in burundi. >> reporter: another attack in the capitol, the second in a week, and people are scared. when it happened the crowd in
the back ran out to see what is going on. and one man said we are so scared. the international community has to come in and help. >> we live in fear. we don't know what can happen any time. so it's a [ inaudible ] thing that [ inaudible ] is okay. you can see, no one is working, no one has appetite of living because we don't know what will happen next. >> reporter: there will be a parliamentary election and then a presidential election in june. and people fear they will see more of these attacks. the police are trying to calm people down. a lot of people are concerned that the closer they get to the controversial presidential election, where the president wants to run for unconstitutional third term more of this could happen. yemen's houthis are reported to have moved detained leaders of the opposition to military positions where it is feared they will be used as human
shields, and the fighting has caused many schools and colleges to close, but some are struggling on. >> reporter: this teacher makes his way to class. he teaches at a school in sana'a but since the war began student numbers have fallen and working conditions have become more difficult. power cuts a lack of fuel air strikes and bomb attacks are just some of the problems facing teachers. >> the situation has worsened. many teachers are undergoing massive difficulties and handicaps which they are working to get over them. as we can see, the war has inflict serious -- serious and adversarial impact on the way teachers are teaching. >> reporter: this is one of his students. she is taking english language classes, but says studying in a war zone is not easy. >> we are [ inaudible ] bombing and explosions everywhere and
[ inaudible ] and we are under the pressure and like not having that clear mood to study or get information. >> reporter: before the war this classroom would have been packed with students. now there's only nine. the drop in numbers has meant a cut in teachers's pay and many are struggling to make ends meet. >> the salary has fallen so badly, nowadays because of the income and the low number of students and because of the war, fewer students are registering, and that's why few teachers are left. a teacher may have a class. >> reporter: with peace talks delayed the fighting continues and the education is disrupted, but she is one of the luckier ones. for many others going to school or college is no longer an option and won't be until the war ends. many grandmothers in kenya
have had to take care of children who's parents have died of hiv aids. one group of grandmothers in western kenya have decided to head back to the classroom to help future generations. catherine soi has their story. >> reporter: vowels are today's lesson at this village kindergarten in western kenya. these children are orphans. most of their parents have died from hiv aids and a few classrooms away is a special group of students. grandmothers who have been left behind to take care of the orphans. they may be old and frail with wisdom that can never be naught classroom, but a few years ago they decided to get back to class and study basic arithmetic writing and reading. this is the oldest of the lot at 96 proudly shows me her work. she can write to ten.
>> translator: going to class is very tiresome but i have to keep coming to get smart and see how can i help my grandchildren. >> reporter: the volunteer teacher livens it up with music. here they sing about the importance of education. >> most of them know the benefits of education, so they would urge their children to go to school to learn. >> reporter: after class some of the ladies slowly make their way home to wait for their grandchildren who are still in school. >> reporter: this is where celine lives with her six grandchildren. she is now able to at least monitor their progress at school. so she's ready for them when they return. their parents died seven years ago, and she is the sole provider. >> translator: what pains me most is the fact that they rely on me but i am growing old, and
i'm not able to take care of them as well as i would like to. >> reporter: but she and the other widows operate a small business together here hands that have weakened still have the energy to prepare small rolls of dough for baking. on this day they are making prisry which they will sell and share the profits. they tell us it's enough to get by. chinese authorities have destroyed more than 600 kilograms of confiscated ivory. china is the world's largest importer of tusks, but authorities have begun taking a hard chance on the illegal trade. united nations heritage committee has decided against declaring australia's great barrier reef as being endangered. it's a blow for environmental groups who had hoped it would horse australia's government
into cracking down on the industrial production that they say is effecting the reef. >> reporter: coal export ports will being built along the nearby coast, dredged mud is being dumped at sea, unesco had threatened to put the great barrier reef on its endanger list. the move would have been hugely embarrassing to australia's government. so it has announced a curb on development and a ban on dumping at sea. >> reporter: already we have seen a 16% reduction in nitrogen and a 28% reduction in pesticides according to the figures. the action has been enough to persuade unesco for now not
to include the reef as endangered. it still wants greater attention paid to the impacts of coastal development and is concerned about the loss of corral and fish to date. environmental groups stress australia's government has not been given the all clear, but are disappointed that the in danger has been applied. >> i turn 30 this year in my lifetime half of the reef is gone. if half of the sydney opera house or sydney bridge had been demoll demolished there would be no question we would say it's in danger. >> reporter: they are disappointed that the in danger label won't be applied. australia's government spent hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying unesco members not to declare the reef in danger. it says that past bad practice has been stopped.
unesco's draft decision suggests australia's government has just done enough but the custodian of the reef is still on watch. plenty more stories for you any time on our website. the address for that is aljazeera.com. the economy takes a dive the brutal winter causes americans to slow their spending and companies also cut back. major step forward in the u.s.'s relationship with cuba. more rain falls on texas and even the rescue workers need rescuing. now the forecast calls for bad weather again this weekend. world soccer