> picking from a field of 30 candidates, voters in the central african republic go to the polls to choose a new president. this is al jazeera. live in our world headquarters in doha. also ahead on the program. reinforcements come to ramadi to maintain iraqi forces' hold on the city. we have a live report. an indonesian court throws out a private case against a company.
keeping the home fires burning despite the health hazard of villages in india voters in central african republic are at the polls in a long delayed presidential election. the country has been marred since the over throw of president francios bozize since 2013. he governed car has been barred. miche djotodia was also unable to run. he was put in power by 2013 who overthrew president francios bozize. another is not allowed to stand, but that could all change if
anciet georges dologuele wins. the other leading candidates are martin ziguele, another former prime minister having ties to fighters, and a former foreign minister and most prominent muslim candidate abdoul karim meckassoua. from the capital of bangui, what is the situation like as people come out to vote? >> reporter: voting has started off here quite slowly. polling stations opening a bit late and one of the concerns over the selection was the lack of training of polling station staff. that was one of the reasons given for the latest three-day delay. the streets are quiet. we think people are just staying at home waiting to see how the security situation unfolds. voting can be a risky business here at the referendum. a couple of weeks ago fighting
broke out at several polling station here in the capital of bangui as some tried to intimidate others from taking part in the referendum. on some of the streets south defense groups sort of community watch groups have set up check points and they are not allowing certain types of vehicles down certain streets. that's because it has been known that people have thrown grenades from motorcycles and other types of vehicles. so people have a lot more to consider here when they go out to vote other than just who they're going to vote for. so let's now just take a look at a story we did out in one of the smaller towns called breea on the election preparations, the attitude there towards the vote and a disarmament program. these men have traded war for work. >> translation: i'm happy president francios bozize is gone. i put down my gun to work and
with others it can be done. >> reporter: this is the heart of the seleca rebellion when mostly the muslim were shifted from power. hundreds of thousands have thread their homes. the worst of the blood shed has abated but the country has been devastated. wednesday's election to replace an interim government has been delayed for five times. >> translation: it seems there was a technical problem with the printing of the ballot papers. candidates challenged their exclusion and won. so they had to be reprinted. >> reporter: this election material has just arrived a day before the vote. some of it needs to get to polling stations 175 kilometres away. it is a huge, huge challenge. breea is one of the poorest parts of one of the poorest countries in africa.
former president francios bozize neglected this region where the seleca tapped into feelings of discontent. the country has diamondss. >> translation: this country has never known good governance so the process has to start now, putting in place an accountable government. accountability is at the heart of getting this right, the sense that the government in bang eau can't do what it wants-- bangui. >> reporter: they hope the election is fair and peaceful. >> translation: i tell people in church to leave the past in the past. we need to find a new way of developing to build roads and fields. >> reporter: the fighters have been handing in their weapons for a place in the work program. we're told this is a fraction of what is out there, but as this country tries to move forward it has to start somewhere
clearly huge challenges ahead for the winner of this vote. how difficult is it going to be to reunite the country? >> reporter: it will be extremely difficult not only because of the last couple of years of sectarian violence, but i need to point out to underscore how volatile the country is, a couple of months ago a muslim man was killed in an area called pk5. that's a muslim enclave and that triggered days of violence here in the capital, that one incident, in which dozens of people were killed. aid agencies had their offices raid, some were evacuee aid. that-- evacuated. so there is a huge amount at stake. there are still many armed groups out there, still a lot of weapons in the country and i think this is just starts with an election, but i don't
understand that, there needs to be quite some fundamental changes in this country. if you talk to people here on the streets, they will say we are central africans and the muslims. that gives you a sense of the historical divide in this country and people's way of thinking. so some really quite fundamental buildings. the chris tense and other minorities feel as if they are united, that they have a common cause and that they feel they all count in this country thank you for that. the u.s. said coalition air strikes have killed ten senior i.s.i.l. leaders in iraq and syria this among. among them is charaffe al_mouadan who the u.s. says has ties to the mastermind of the paris attacks in november november. iraqi forces and sunni tribal fighters are tightening their grip on the city of ramadi and recapturing it from i.s.i.l.
sweeping and clearing operations are underway on the northern front. we're getting reports fighting in i.s.i.l.-held fallujah. our iraq there. the government is still celebrating in ramadi, some sweeping operations going on. the prime minister has visited. what is happening right now? >> reporter: there is a clean and sweep operation that is taking place. iraqi forces are up against explosive-rigged houses and . ramadi is very much a fight that is still continuing. in ramadi, the reinforcements are arriving, about 300 fighters, sunni fighters coming to the northern front, but in the north the iraqi forces haven't been able to rap tour these two important neighborhoods. one is more or less under the
iraqi force control but they're still coming understand attack and they're trying to advance. capturing these two neighborhoods would allow them access to the eup are hrates river. they can from there capture the two areas held by i.s.i.l. the prime minister and the military is keen to show that they are capable and they can defeat i.s.i.l., but this is very much an ongoing fight and it will take them days, if not longer, to clear and secure this whole city meanwhile it does appear that the government is turning its attention to other i.s.i.l.-held areas. >> reporter: absolutely. we heard the iraqi prime minister in a statement talking about mosul. today we're hearing that they're more confident that they will be able to take on fallujah. that is between baghdad and ramadi. it is an area that the iraqi forces have-- it is a dire
situation there. it is one of those strong holds where people have refused to leave despite being controlled by i.s.i.l. on the outskirts and other insurgent groups inside. the iraqi forces are confident, they've been seen as an army that failed. it couldn't hold on to its territory we're going to have to leave it there. the line is not great. it does keep breaking up. apologys to the viewers to the quality of the line. days of uncertainty for tens of thousands of people in shelters who have been escaping flooding across south america. with all of their belongings lost, people are poorly equipped to handle more rain. they're experiencing the worst floods in 50 years. our correspondent has been to the city of concordia.
barricades meant to hold back the water have been breached. >> reporter: this woman is hoping to go back home soon. she has been living in this tent for days since her house was destroyed by the floods. the recent rain is complicating her situation even more. >> translation: i have nothing left. my children have no shoes, no clothes. i'm not sure how long i'm going to live like this. i am told this will be weeks before the water will go down and if it continues to rain it will only get worse. >> reporter: she is just one of the people who have been forced out of homes because of flooding. the river is not far away from here and that's why northies built this wall over a decade ago to prevent the flooding of this area. -- authorities. the problem is this time the rain and the amount of water was so intense that it flooded other
parts of the city. authorities here are monitoring the barricades built around the city and tried to prevent the situation from getting worse. one says they're getting organized in case the water continues to go up. >> translation: the current situation can continue until march, so we need to be ready. that doesn't mean that everything will be under water until then. we hope not, but the weather is changing. we are seeing a lot of rain everywhere. >> reporter: the city is trying to cope with thousands of evacuees who are scattered in different shelters around the city. many here have lost it all. they're facing heat, humidity bugs and disease. the authorities are trying to distribute water and food. there are thousands in need >> this is not something that happens all the time. the parameters have been broken. we are receiving help from around the country and trying to
reach those who need it the most. we have to learn from this so we can be ready next time. >> reporter: for now, people like this woman say they're trying to get by through the next few days, but they know it could be months before they make it back home flooding woes continues in the u.k. a 300 year old bridge has collapsed in north yorke she. large sections of the bridge broke up and fell into the river. the bridge had already been struck due to structural concerns. pipes have been exposed forcing locals to flee the neighborhood in fear of a gas leak. at least 13 people have died storms. records levels of storms have shut roads in m issouri arcs. the national guard has been
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republic. ramadi has been recaptured where sweeping and cleaning operations are underway. hundreds of thousands of refugees have arrived in greece this year, many of them fleeing war in syria. some tourism has declined as a result, but some businesses are getting an unexpected boost from new arrivals. our correspondent reports. >> reporter: it is greece's second largest city with a population of more than a million people. the city's coastline is the major tourist attraction, but it's also an hour's drive to the border with macedonia which is the main crossing point for refugees to the rest of europe. over a million refugees have passed through greece in 2015. many of them went through this city and that has brought much needed cash to the local economy. >> translation: some of the refugees came here with money to
spend and get by. as far as the economy of the city is concerned, all restaurants, cafés and boutiques, all shops have a positive boost. >> reporter: cheap hotel rooms have been in demand. the hotel association says more than 25,500 syrian refugees have booked a room for a night or two in the first half of 2015. that number is expected to rise because there are other refugees from different nationalitys. >> people, mainly syrians, which which had some economic ability, stayed in certain hotels for one to four days, but this was just a passing point. there are some people who make
mon money. i understand the same way make money, the turks make money when they're passing through, they go to boats and go to lesbos. >> reporter: at the special station near the border with macedonia, refugees are stranded. they can wait days before police allows them to continue their journey. that means they spend more money to eat and drink, boosting trade for local shop owners. >> translation: it is very big. it has become an industry. they ask for biscuits, sweets and sugar, and basic stocks. >> reporter: demand for transport has picked up through the normally quiet winter months. buses cost at least 25 euros per person. business is good. this driver tells me he trance ports about 200 people a week. greece says the refugee crisis
in 2015 is costing it hundreds of millions of dollars, but they're also helping some greeks and their businesses flourish refugees in the town in western germany have been banned from buying and setting off fireworks to mark the new year. authorities are worried about the possible fire risk in refugee shelters. they've said loud bangs can fear those who fled from war zones. a band has been alleged as the mastermind of the russian crith particular who was begun-- critic who was gunned down. it was ordered by an interior ministry soldier. investigators have been accused of a cover up. a court in indonesia has thrown out a case against one of the companies accused of crypting to
the annual shroud of smoke that-- contributing. -- goes through the region. they've been accused of illegally burning thousands of crops of area. more from our correspondent. >> reporter: this is a huge blow. it brought the action against a company deliberately accusing it of deliberatelily starting fights in 2014 to clear its plantation. the ministry was seeking nearly 570 million dollars in damages. the court says it did not present enough evidence for it to find in favor of the ministry. the ministry officials we spoke to say they are extremely disappointed by the verdict. they believe they presented enough strong evidence. they believed it should have been a simple open and shut
case. they were able to prove that the fires that were burning were happening on land that belonged to the company. this company also happens to be one of the companies that had its licence suspended in recent months because of this year's forest fires. some say the forest fires are due to small farmers that use a slash and burn method to clear the land for agricultural use. this is allowed in the traditional community but only to two hectares of land. environmentalist say it is large companies to blame. it is the cheapest method to clear land and they're responsible for the large-scale fires that happened. many more say it is the than forcement in indonesia that allows this problem to continue indonesia has called off the search for any survivors of a ferry that sank this month. 63 people were killed and three still missing in the south-east.
it was carrying 118 passengers and crew when it ran into trouble in the rough seas. 40 people were rescued. the north korean leader has died in a car accident. he was the secretary of the workers party and head of the development that handles ties with south korea a. he was 73. over a million people die in india each year from indoor air pollution. the reason, many people burning toxic materials to make fires in their homes which produce poisonous smoke. it is a widespread practice despite other cleaner fuel options. our correspondent reports. >> reporter: life is simple here in this village, as is the cooking. this woman begins her day to make food for her family. she sits like this twice a day
every day and it isn't pleasant. >> translation: i start coughing sometimes because of the smoke. the cough and smoke makes my eyes water too. >> reporter: it is a similar story at hundreds of thousands of villages across india where cooking is done in or near the home. most of these old style stoves use dirty fuels. smoke gets inside the home and into the lungs. there are villages all over india where this type of stove running on wood or charcoal or dung is the only option. even when there is an alternative available, the preference is still for these. in this village some also have a natural gas stove in the corner of the home, but it's rarely used other than for making tea. >> translation: food doesn't cook icly on the gas-- quickly on the gas stove. we don't like the taste either. this is better. >> reporter: preference to the old ways is hurting their health. the stoves are placed outside of
the home into a courtyard. >> translation: smaller parcels burnt get deeper inside the lungs and have a worse effect. of all the problems smoke causes, the smaller the particles the worth the health problem it causes. >> reporter: switching to other stoves would have an immediate and noticeable effect. >> translation: the amount of smoke created and the amount of time the people sits in front of it affects them. if you use a gas stove there is very little smoke created. with an induction smoke, you won't see any. >> reporter: changing habits is hard. wood or charcoal or dung are easily available and cost less than regularly buying a natural gas cylinder. campaigns by the government and ngos have focused on finding chief alternatives and distributing them, but those have yet to reach the vast majority of indian villagers
rescue workers in eastern china have found eight survivors in a collapsed mine. they have been trapped with nine other workers for five days. food, water and other emergency supplies are being sent down to the men 220 metres below the grounds. they're trying to bring them out by drilling the rubble. chine has promised to supply nepal with fuel. supplies from india stopped after a new constitution was adopted in september. protesters have been blocking roads at the border. they say the constitution discriminates against them. it says it is not safe for the trucks to cross the border. a man has been sworn in as burkina faso's new president.
he was sworn in by the constitution all court. the former prime minister blaze cam porao was over thrown in october 2014. as the new year approaches, al jazeera is looking ahead to some of the big stories of 2016. one of those is the troubled preparations for the summer olympic games. there is concern about polluted waters in rio. >> reporter: in a city famous for its beaches and carnival, having a good time is a way of life. rio de janeiro has history in sporting the world cup soccer matches in 2014. add to that the pride of making history. this is the first olympic games to be held in south america.
>> translation: it is going to be wonderful and rio is going to welcome them with open arms. >> reporter: more than hassle of the budget comes from private money. the city is taking full advantage of using existing venues from previous sporting events like the world cup. the city says construction ask on time and on budget. unlike the world cup when some stadiums were finished only days before the games began. >> translation: there are two kinds of olympics, games that take the benefits out of the city and the city that takes the benefits out of the games. we're taking full advantage of having the olympics in rio. >> reporter: in 2015 the city held 20 test events, including the triathlon, but people are raising concerns about the site expected to hold most of the sailing competitions. here at the bay athletes may have to compete while smelling raw sewerage and seeing garbage
floating by their boats. the city promised the olympic committee it would clean up the bay significantly, but now officials admit it may not be done to the satisfaction of athletes. they may have to be held elsewhere. in this neighborhood that was bulldozed to make way for the olympics. this one refused to leave even though she was offered a flat and money. now that most of the 344 families who used to live here have taken the buy out, she has decided to move, but feels a sense of loss. >> translation: it is not that anyone is against the olympics, it's that they destroy people here. the community, everything. >> reporter: another big concern is drug games and spill over of the violence inside the city's area. city officials say things were calm during the world cup and they expect the same with rio
2016. if you're thinking about going to the biggest sporting event on the planet, seven and a half million tickets are available. more than hatch cost $30-- half cost $30 or less much more on our website, al jazeera.com. >> it's christmas eve and u.s. soldiers are preparing for their last month in afghanistan. about 40,000 are still here. by the end of the year there will be just 8,000. we traveled to afghanistan in the midst of this transition.