>> announcer: this is al jazeera. ♪ hello, and welcome. you are watching the news hour live from our headquarters here in doha. in the next 60 minutes a new syrian offensive, activists say hundreds of civilians have been killed. families leave ramadi and the iraqi army tries to clear out remaining pockets of isil. and we'll bring you the latest on the fifa corruption investigation. and you are looking at live
pictures from valley park in the u.s. state of missouri. the governor calling in the national guard to help out. ♪ top story on the news hour, the syrian army backed by russian air strikes says it has made huge advances. the new offensive is in a strategic area on the main hold connecting the capitol to damascus and dara in the south. hashem ahelbarra joins us live from turkey. hashem what more do we know? >> reporter: the fighting continues, peter, and we're getting reports from rebel commanders on the ground that they have regrouped over the last two hours or so, and launched a counter offensive. they say they have destroyed
vehicles, and they have managed to control some of the areas. but it remains a fast-moving situation for both sides. the problem that the rebels face as we speak is the russian air strikes. they have been launching air strikes, pounding rebel positions across the area, and if that pattern continues, there are huge concerns that the rebels will lose the area. >> reporter: as far as we know, is it just russian air power in the skies over this region, or are other elements of the u.s.-lead coalition joining in as well? >> reporter: in the area over the last few weeks there has been an attempt by the government to recapture the -- the eastern and western part of the city. the syrian army was backed by the russians and also shia militias and mainly fighters
from hezbollah. on the other side you have different rebel factions. you have any nusra front, and the free syrian army brigades. some of those brigades are armed and trained by the americans. the problem these brigades face is they have never been able to be a united front, huge divisions between them fsa and the nusra front. and this has been one of the weakness of the opposition to not be able to stage a counter offensive under one command. and i have been talking to the politicians and the opposition-armed commanders over the last few days, and basically what they have been saying, as the russian air strikes continue in the coming weeks, the rebels are going to be defeated in different areas, across the country. >> hashem thanks for that. now in the central african
republic voting well underway in the much-delayed elections. the country has been marred by violence, after the overthrow of the president more than two years ago. a alliance of fighters, known as the seleka overthrew the government. and then the leader was sworn in as the interim president. in response to a surge of violence against the civilians, france sent in 1600 soldiers in december of 2013. the leader resigned the following month after being widely criticized for not doing enough to stop the attacks. by 2014, the u.n. sent in a peace keeping force of 12,000 soldiers. in july 2014, the seleka rebels and a mostly christian that tha
-- militia took over. the elections have been postponed four times. tania page is at a polling station in the capitol with more. >> reporter: some polling stations opened very late, and some opened without any election material and that was here in bangui, where things should be most organized. the head of the african union observer commission said their biggest concern was some people have been turned away. some people haven't received their voter cards, and although they had been told if they turned up with a receipt and another form of id, they would be able to vote. but there has been a breakdown in communication. people want this election to mean an end to sectarian violence that has rocked central african republic. everyone has their finger dipped in ink to prevent them from
voti voting again. some say that voter cards have been for sale in the markets. there has been intimidation two weeks ago, but so far on the whole this election is moving forward peacefully and calmly, but a single killing can lead to days of violence and for that reason, the new commander, the head of the united nations peace-keeping force here, says his troops are on alert, they are ready to respond aggressively and swiftly to any flairups. the u.s. says coalition air strikes have killed ten isil leaders this month. meanwhile the iraqi prime minister has been emphasizing that the recapture of ramadi was an iraqi operation. baghdad differs with washington on how long it will take to
ful fully defeat isil. >> reporter: this man has plans of his own to attack other western targets. the u.s. militaries says it killed the man on december 24th, and that he was one of ten isil leaders targeted this month. >> our ability to dismantle their facilitation stations, our ability to take away some of these executioners, and extortioni extortionists, that eats away at their ability to instill fear. >> reporter: the obama administration has long talked about the need to attack isil on in fronts, financially, and through social media, but it's a the military campaign that has captured the most attention. indeed, the u.s. has spent much of the last few days praising the iraqi millster -- military's
success in driving isil out of ramadi. >> translator: we will chase isil and go after them from one neighborhood to eat and raise this flag and purge this land from the last member of isil. we tell the people here, the people of mosul, that we are coming to liberate you from isil, and isil will be defeated and flee as they were defeated in ramadi. >> reporter: analysts say abadi's failure to mention the u.s. wasn't an oversight. >> the prime minister is trying to say this is iraqi's taking control of their own destiny, because if it looks like this was more u.s. operation than an iraqi operation, this, again, would fade into the narrative that it's the west that is struggling with groups like isis. >> reporter: while iraq and the
u.s. are celebrating what they call progress against isil, there is a split on the way forward. abadi says 2016 will be the year iraq kicks isil out of mosul. the u.s.'s view, it might take longer. rosiland jordan, al jazeera, washington. iraqi forces and sunni tribal fighters say they are tightening their grip on the city of ramadi after recapturing it from isil. the sweeping and clearing up operations are underway there, but isil has launched a counter offensive. so looking at the time line of the past, what, 36 hours or so -- we'll go to that in a moment. first let's have a listen to the very latest. >> reporter: isil fighters claim they have carried out a number of attackings in central and eastern ramadi after iraqi forces say they have captured most parts of ramadi and are helping people to evacuate now. some families have come out and said this.
>> translator: when security was gone from anbar province, life was dead. even if they tell you they were living, that is not true. people that don't know the meaning of humanity came upon us. yesterday isil told us get out, we are going to booby trap the houses. god bless the soldiers. they are beasts with no humanity, they have no islam. >> reporter: when the process of evacuating families is completed, the iraqi forces still have a number of alcohol engineers, including a number of booby trapped houses, and other traps left by isil. in addition to that, they still need to control central and northern parts of ramadi, are still being held by isil fighters. a bahraini fighter jet has crashed due to a technical
problem, and the houthi's claim that it brought the jet down are incorrect. it was less than 24 hours ago when three soldiers were killed on the border with saudi arabia. palestinian families are demanding more international pressure on israel to release the bodies of their relatives. israel is thought to be holding the bodies of more than 40 palestinians killed in unrest since october. it is refusing to release them, unless the palestinian side agrees to keep the funerals low-key. 13 swiss bank accounts linked to fifa have been frozen. $80 million in assets have been seized in response to a u.s. request for legal assistance. the accounts were allegedly used for brides, corrected with the granting of marketing rights to football tournaments.
a columnist for world soccer magazine. what do you think -- why do you think they are doing this? >> well, this is the swiss and the americans working ever-more closely to try to unravel the trail of money that is suspected to have gone between various different fifa officials in various different countries, and obviously concerns the, really, the scandal that has overtaken the world football federation over the last three, four, five years. >> if these people are chasing a paper trail, that's going to take some time, surely. >> yes, it will take some time. the swiss attorney general has said that it could take quite a number of years. you have to bear in mind, obviously that in a sense the american authorities have a lead on this, because they have already worked extremely hard in tracing money, what they say is
money laundering, going through accounts in the united states. more than 30 people have been indicted in several marketing companies, and a number of people have already pleaded guilty to corruption charges. >> does this dove tail with what we have seen going on at uefa? >> no, not really. i don't think there is necessarily a direct connection. what has happened, of course, this past month is that the president of fifa sepp blatter, and the president of uefa, michelle plat tiny are banned for eight years on an issue concerning the payment of money from fifa to platini. >> it's a staggering amount of cash that we're talking about, but i guess that is a measure of how much money is washing around within the sport at that level.
>> yes, it is. for example, much of the inquiries in the united states has concerned the awarding of television rights and marketing rights throughout the americas for quite a long time. initially they thought maybe $150 million in bribes was involved they have since pushed that up to around 200 million. so that may just be the tip of a huge iceberg. >> thank you. plenty more ground still to cover here on the al jazeera news hour. a little later, why a government case against a plantation giant accused to contributing to forest fires in indonesia has been thrown out. i'm daniel lack in sa
saskatchewan. we'll be reporting on how salt lakes like this one can help the country cope this climate change. and south africa claptsings collapses on the final day. hundreds of people in the midwest united states are suffering due to severe flooding. nearly 70 tornados and almost 400 floods have left missouri and illinois almost submerged. rivers have raised to record levels. andy roesgen joins us life from valley park in missouri. the national weather service saying that missouri maybe hasn't peaked yet, the same as the mississippi. what is going on exactly where you are? >> reporter: well, peter, we're west of st. louis, just west of st. louis off of a major
interstate here. and the water has been rising steadily, in fact, probably a foot or so in the last three hours. you can see a lot of debris here. we have seen floating signs floating by, garbage in the streets. the water looks to be about six feet above the ground. the water in the last few minutes have been lapping up to the doors. all of this water is coming from the west. there is a river west of here. it has now crested at 25 feet. that's 20 feet above flood stage and it's moving east to where we are, and then it's heading on the st. louis and then into the mississippi, and that means that next up, memphis and new orleans are the major cities that are going to be expecting this water in the next few days. we know that there are about 18 levies here in missouri that they are looking at as
vulnerable levies that could be overtopped. this is historic flooding. it could top the record set in 1993. peter. >> how many people have been displaced, andy, and where have they gone to? >> reporter: well, we're trying to find that out right now. dozens at least, we're trying to get a handle on the numbers, because they are rising. they have tried sandbagging in a lot of places, and the governor says if sandbagging isn't working just get out. don't temp fate here. the water is certainly rising as it gets closer to st. louis there have been at least 13 deaths in the last few days because of this. including five foreign soldiers who were killed when their car was swept away. they were working in tandem with american soldiers at an american base called fort leonard wood. and they often do this. we don't know the nationalities of those soldiers, but they were
swept away on december 26th. the last of the five bodies was discovered in just the last 24 hours, peter? >> the national guard involved now as well, for them, what is their main priority? >> reporter: sandbagging is their main priority. and also securing the area, once the people leaves their homes and businesses get cleared out, they want to make sure there isn't any looting. the main concern is just putting down sandbags to try to prevent the water from lapping up where it does. if the levies is beached that is a big deal, because then there's no holding the water back. so that is the biggest concern at all for the national guard at this point. andy roesgen, thank you very much. days of uncertainty for tens of thousands of people in shelters who escaped flooding across south america. argentina, paraguay, and
uruguay, experiencing the worst flooding in years. our correspondent has been to concordia. >> 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. but the recent rain is complicating her situation even more. >> translator: i have nothing left. my children have no shoes, no clothes. i'm not sure how long i am going to live like this. we are told it is going to be weeks before the water goes down, and if it continues to reign -- rain, it will only get worse. >> reporter: she is one of the thousands of argentinians who have been forced out of their homes because of flooding. the river is not far away from here, and that's why authorities built this wall over a decade ago, to prevent the flooding of
this area. the problem is that this time, the rain and the amount of water coming from paraguay and brazil 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. juan says they are getting organized in case the water continues to go up. >> translator: the current situation could 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're seeing a lot of rain everywhere. >> reporter: the city is trying to cope with thousands of -- evacuees scattered across the city. many have lost it all. they are facing heat, humidity, bugs and disease. the local government is trying to distribute food, water, and mattress mattresses, but it's not an easy
task as there are thousands in need. >> translator: this is not something that happens all the time, all parameters have been broken. we're receiving help from around the country in trying to reach those that need it most. we have to learn from this so we can do better next time. >> reporter: for now people like this say they are trying to get buy for the next few days, but they know it could be months before they can make it back home. columbia is on high alert. firefighters are battling blazes in various conditions. a court has thrown out a case against a subsidiary to a plantation giant for contributing to the annual shroud of smoke blanketing indonesia. the government has accused it of burning thousands of hectares of
forest to make room for its crops. >> reporter: ahead of the verdict, an environmental group stages a protest to remind everyone of what is at stake. indonesia's people and it forest. the company was accused of starting fires last year that effected 20 hectares of land. the ministry of environment and forestry brought the lawsuit, seeking $570 million in damages. but the courts found the evidence lacking, and ruled in favor of the company. >> translator: why would the company need to change its practices. we have proven in court that our client has done everything in accordance with the law. >> reporter: it's a setback for the ministry, which only a few months ago suspended the license of several companies, including this one over this year's forest fires. >> translator: we are going to appeal this decision. it's not only to bring justice for the people of indonesia who
have been suffering all of this while, but also for the dignity of this country. >> reporter: forest fires and the resulting haze that blankets indonesia and neighboring countries has become an annual occurrence. straining relations are malaysia and singapore. this year's fires caused flight cancellations and school closures. more than a dozen people have died and half a million fell sick. this year's fires will cost more than $15 billion. some say small-scale farmers who use slash and burn method to clear land are to blame. others believe it is plantation owners who use the tactic who are responsible. but many agree it's lax enforcement of the law, and corruption in indonesia that allow the problem to continue. >> and because of this, then the company and then also the people will say, oh, we can burn as big
as we want, because they already give us the reason. it seems like then. i think it's not a good idea. yeah, i totally disagree, and am very disappointed. >> reporter: environmentals say satellite pictures show several hot spots detected, and they are worried that once the dry season starts in march, these fires could grow even bigger. the yearly phenomenon is unlikely to go away soon. an inquiry into the sinking of a chinese cruz ship that killed 442 people in june says a rare weather phenomenon caused the accident. strong winds, heavy rain and squalls hit the boat. the inquiry also recommends the captain should be investigated for possible crimes.
north korea's top news agency says a top advisor has died in a car crash. here is victoria gatenby. >> reporter: very few details have been released about the circumstances surrounding the car crash that killed this man. the state news agency announced his death. >> translator: deputy to the supreme people's assembly died sadly in a traffic accident at 6:15 on december 29th at the age of 73. >> reporter: as secretary of the ruling worker's party, he was one of north korea's most senior officials. he was an experienced negotiator who played an important role in talks with south korea. in august he help diffuse tensions between these two sides
after an explosion killing two soldiers on the border. the south korean government has paid tribute to his skill and hard work during those talks. >> translator: we offer our condolences over the death, who worked together with south korea to achieve agreements. >> reporter: he was according to state media, north korea's leader closest comrade. but his death is raising questions about what is really happening inside north korea's secretive government. south korean officials say that kim ki-jong has executed at least 70 senior officials, including his uncle, since becoming supreme leader four years ago. >> this time it looks different, because kim ki-jong himself came out showing his condolences and we see many signs that there is some kind of surprise on their side. so unlike other cases where we
really had some serious speculations, this one -- i don't think it deserves as much of the speculation, but it looks likes and sounds like a traffic accident. >> reporter: the state funeral will take place on thursday. it's not clear what the death of such an experienced advisor will mean for north korea and its relations with its neighborhood. plenty more still to come on the news hour for you. keeping the home fires burning despite the health hazards in india. they may feel unwanted but refugees are helping boost the economy of one of greece's biggest city. and organizers of the 2016 rio olympics are facing some tough challenges. we'll have the latest. ♪
>> you did your research. >> you're one of the most prepared journalists i've ever known. >> go inside the lives of musical icons. >> i was given a gift... i think i've used it well. >> i want the ballet world to be given the respect that it deserves. >> and global activists. >> i feel compelled to do it, because if i don't do it, who's going to do it. >> revealing conversations you won't find anywhere else. ♪ welcome back. you are watching the al jazeera news hour. top stories so far this hour. the syria army, backed by russian air strikes says it has made huge advances on the main road connecting the capitol to
dara in the south. voters at the central african republic are at the polls today. the country has been marred by violence since the overthrow of the president by seleka rebels in 2013. iraqi families are being moved from ramadi as the battle for full control of the city continues. the military says some of these people were used as human shields by isil. now to a story that has broken in the past hour or so. israel warning it may launch a formal inquiry overspying accusations. ros what is the back story to this. >> reporter: well, back in 2013 there was a scandal as it were involving the obama administration when it was revealed that the administration had been spying on people, including the german chancellor,
angela merkel. after that broke, because of revelations made by edward snowden, the former nsa contract employee, the administration said it wasn't going to spy on its allies any longer. however, it turns out according to the "wall street journal" that the spying did continue on the israeli prime minister, benjamin netenyahu among others, also caught up in this the spying was the now president of turkey. now what happened is that the u.s. was getting this information about what netenyahu and his government were trying to do while the u.s. and the other members of the p5-plus-1 were trying to negotiate a deal with iran on its nuclear program. it has now come out that the spying basically caught up, not just conversations that the israeli government was having with its supporters, but it also caught up conversations that the
israelis were having with members of congress, and there are laws here in the united states that ban spying on u.s. persons, including members of congress. so this is a rather eyebrow-raising story, but at the heart of it is the fact that the israelis do spy on the united states and the united states does spy on israel, and this has been going on for decades. >> when you talk about edward snowden, ros, one remembers the wikileaks leaks, and the only thing that came out was basically every country in the middle east hat a problem with iran. they didn't really have a problem with much else. so if we view the conversations between israel and iran through that particular prism, perhaps the world is being a little bit naive to assume the u.s. wouldn't spy on benjamin netenyahu, because he was talking about iran. >> well, there was always a lot of concern and it wasn't very
heavily concealed to put it frankly, peter, that the israelis were trying to find a way to disrupt or scuttle the negotiations with iran over its nuclear program. and according to the "wall street journal", the u.s. used some of the information basically to send coded messages to the israeli government to back off. they site an incident with secretary of state john kerry basically announced that the u.s. was concerned that when netenyahu addressed that joint meeting of congress, that he might inadvertently release classified information, and they didn't want to see that happen. well, as it turns out, netenyahu didn't make any eye -- you know, make any revelations that could have jeopardized the talks. so there is the position according to some u.s. officials who spoke to the "wall street journal" that this was necessary
work, and that they are basically not apologizing for it. >> rozland, thanks very much. the french foreign minister has condemned last week's violence in corsica. jonah hull has more. >> reporter: the french interior minister was here on the mediterranean island in the capitol to see for himself the aftermath of damage caused when on christmas eva fire was deliberately lit here in this housing estate, largely populated by immigrants. the intention to lure firefighters in, who were then attacked. and then nationalists marched through the center of town chanting anti-muslim and racist slogans. he said he was here to condemn all forms of violence and racism. but france has a huge amount of work to do to begin to bridge
divides. the far right front national party may not done as well as expected, but here in corsica, corsica nationalists have just taken control of the legislature with immigrant communities like this perhaps feeling less and less welcome. a new set of u.n. global goals comes into effect on january 1st. in india more than a million people die every year from indoor air pollution. the reason? many people burning toxic materials in their homes. it is a wide-spread practice, despite other cleaner fuel options. >> reporter: life is simple here in the village. this woman begins her morning by making food for the family.
she sits like this twice a day, every day. and it isn't pleasant. >> translator: i start coughing times because of the smoke >> reporter: it's a similar story in hundreds of thousands of villages across india, where cooking is done in or near the home. and most of these old-style stoves use dirty fuels. smoke gets inside the home and lungs. there are villages all over india where this type of stove is the only option. but 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. >> translator: food doesn't cook quickly on the gas stove. we don't like the taste either. this is better. >> reporter: but researchers say that preference for the old ways is hurting their health. the stoves are placed in a
courtyard or outside of the home, but the smoke easily travels into the nearby home where it is breathed in by everyone in the family. >> translator: burning cow dung creates different sizes of particles. the smaller particles get deep inside the lungs and have a worse effect. the smaller the particle, the worse the health problems it causes. >> reporter: experts s say -- switching to other stoves would have an immediate effect. >> translator: the amount of time a person sits in front of the stove cooking effects them. if you use the gas stove, there is very little smoke created. with an induction stove you don't see any. the lesser the smoke, the lesser the health effects. >> reporter: but changing habits is hard. wood, charcoal or dung are easily available. campaigns have focused on finding cheap alternatives and distributing them.
but those have yet to reach the vast mass -- majority of villag villagers. private cars will only be allowed in new delhi on alternate days according to whether their license plates end in odd or even numbers. it is hope it will stem the huge number of vehicles out on the road. the chief minister says residents must take responsibility for cleaning up their city. scientists and governments are looking for ways to reduce emissions. scientists in canada say they may have found a natural process. daniel lak reports. >> reporter: they call this the dead sea of canada. little m little man tu lake. rivers flow in, but not out,
evaporation makes it even saltier. but there is a spa, like the real dead sea and it has been here for decades. >> in the 20s and 30s people came from all over to bathe in the water, and put the mud on themselves. >> reporter: aside from this lake, where tourism and taking the waters has been popular for decades, they are seen as somewhat of a nuisance. but they may be performing a very valuable service. researchers at the university say that such alkaline lakes ak soesh atmospheric carbon. their chemistry stores the carbon in mud. more than a million tons a year, up to a third of the carbon
dioxide out put of the farms. >> we don't have to do anything other than just make sure that we don't drain them. you know? i think lakes have really been under appreciated in the carbon budget just because total surface area welltive to oceans and forests, they are not huge. but the rates at which they are processing carbon is far, far faster than say the open ocean. >> as oceans become more acidic, they soak up less carbon. environmental activists say this is exactly the kind of science that should transform our approach to the world's carbon problem. >> we need good applied science to figure out how we actually achieve this. if we can use the applied science to set out what we need to achieve, we can hand over to
the economists and social scientists to figure out the detail of how we get there. >> reporter: so far governments aren't doing much with this research, but there is excitement building over how it might be applied. and the salt lakes of the north american prairies could be part of the solution. daniel lak, al jazeera. refugees in a town in western germany have been banned from buying and setting off fireworks to mark the new year. the authorities are worried about the possible fire risk in refugees shelters. it is also feared that loud bangs could stir up bad memories from those leaving war zones. some greek businesses say they are getting an unexpected boost from the refugee arrivals.
>> reporter: it is greece's second largest city with the population of more than a million people. the city's coastline is a 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 2013, many went through this city, and that has brought much-needed cash to the local economy. >> translator: some of the refugees came here with money to send and get buy. as far as the economy is concerned all restaurants, cafes, and boutiques have seen a boost. >> reporter: 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. in that number is expected to rise because there are other refugees from different
nationalities staying at different hotels. the city's major says greece is not after the refugees money. >> people, many syrians, which had some economic, you know, ability, they stayed in the hotel for one, two, three, four days, but this was just passing point. in a crisis there are some people who make money. i understand that the same way we make money the turks make money when they are passing through. they load them to boats and go to lesvos. who knows how much money they get there. >> reporter: at the border here, refugees are stranded. they are wait days before police allow them to continue their journey. and that means they spend more money to eat and drink, boosting trade for local shop owners.
>> translator: it's very big. it's become an industry. they ask for biscuits, sweet and sugar products, and basic stuff like socks and scarves. >> reporter: demand for transport has also picked up, but there have been refugees to the boarder for at least 25 euros per person. this driver tells me he transports about 200 people a vehicle. greece says the refugee crisis in 2015 is costing it hundreds of millions of dollars, but the refugees are also helping some greeks and their businesses flourish. okay. going to pause here on the news hour to talk about some technology stories. a roman catholic priest a has been suspended for using a hover board. this video went viral. in it, he can be heard clearly
singing a chas song. the diocese says the priest will now, quote, spend some time to reflect on the event. apple has settled a tax dispute with the italian government. reports say think iphone and ipass maker paid $3.4 million to close the case. apple which has its european headquarters in ireland has consistently said it does pay every dollar of any taxes that it owes. now those were just a couple of the tech stories we're using for a wider discussion about technological advances this year. space xlanded it over rocket back down on earth in fact. the concept of the driverless car, that's catching up on us. here to take us threw those and other break-threw stories is roger heightfield. it says you are the first person
to bounce a neutron off of a soap bubble. that's a completely different conversation. bath time in your house must be a laugh a minute. >> it is. >> gene editing, that's the tech story that everyone thinks, oh, i'm scared of this, but what are the pluses of that? i think there are an awful lot of pluses, and i think it's giving us an incredibly precise and reliable way to edit dna, and i think what you have got to realize is it comes at the same time as we know how to turn one cell type into another. you can take a skin cell and change it, say, into a sperm, egg, or brain cell or whatever. and we also know how to turn genes on and off. so you put all of these technologies together, and you can envision a day where you can
take a patient with a serious days, you can grow their cells in a test tube toe figure out which drugs to treat them. you can think about changing people's white blood cells when they have cancer, or even treating serious hereditary diseases, so although there is a anxiety, there is huge potential to do some good. >> and video game technology. what is being hind that? >> well, a company in the u.k. has pointed out that psychologists are beginning to get very interested in video games, because you get really sucked into the world of a video game, some of these experiences. they are great distractions for if you are feeling stressed, and it is beginning to do serious research in the u.k. and also in new zealand and elsewhere in
developing special video games to deal with things like depression and stress, post-traumatic stress and so on, where you are using things that we think of, the down sides of games, which is being a bit cut off from reality, not noticing what is going on around you, but as a way to treat people who have serious mental illness, and it's a big problem, and it could be that in a couple of year's time you might have an apple on your smartphone which could help you deal with stress for example. >> and car-to-car communication. what is wrong with just driving your car. [ laughter ] >> why do i need the guy beside me at the traffic lights to have his vehicle talking to my vehicle about a traffic jam that is two miles away? >> well, i think if you look at the possibilities of car-to-car communication, there have been estimates that an enormous
number of lives could be saved each year, if one car knew what another car was doing. and there are some big manufacturers like general motors, and mercedes who are just about to roll out cars that can talk to each other. and when there are enough of these on the road, you can imagine that things like pile ups on motor ways when they are shrouded in fog and things like that, would be much more unlikely. and in the longer term, it is paving the way towards autonomous cars. there has been a lot of research in various places where these simple autonomous cars have been noodling around the roads, and once you get car-to-car communication set up, you are one step away from driverless cars, and that will completely change our relationship with the car. >> thanks so much for coming on to the news here on al jazeera. enjoy bath time a little later
tonight. talk to you soon. >> okay. take care. time for sports news no bubbles here is farah. >> peter thank you so much. england moved quickly to clench a win over south africa. in the first test of their four-test series. art graham has more. >> reporter: when play resumes south africa needed another 280 runs to win, while england needed another 6 wickets. with only two runs added this man got the prized wicket of the world's top ranked batsman for 37 with just the 3rd ball of the day. and with his dismissal, south africa's chances of saving the match were all but over. wickets continued to fall. [ cheers ] >> reporter: stephen fin quickly
got four wickets between them. with the home side only adding 9 runs, languishing at 143-8. while j.p. did his best to hold the innings together, he was left stranded on 26 as we ran out of partners. south africa lost their final six wickets with just 38 runs. >> beare pretty happy. we have got to be careful with recovery in the next few days. >> reporter: it was only england's second test win away from home since 2012, and south africa fourth defeat from their last five tests. >> hopefully 2016 can be a turn
around. it has been a very [ inaudible ] test -- test year for us. >> reporter: the world's highest-ranked team only had a few days to discover their form, with the next match beginning on january 2nd. following a short christmas break the spanish la liga continues on thursday. a win for rafa's side will send them to the top of the table for a few hours at least. barcelona take on their opponent a little bit later. >> translator: i would like to make a [ inaudible ] at the end of the season. we don't get any half season awards. as for the titles we have won, they are already in the history of the club, and no one can take them away from us. lebron james scored 34
points to lead his team to a win over the denver nuggets on tuesday. and the oklahoma city thunder beat the milwaukee bucks. oklahoma city winning 131-120. the boston bruins beat the senators to end an 8-game losing streak. the bruins went on to hammer the senators 7-3. and a brawl between the two sides broke out near the end of the game. the teams are set to play each other two more times this season. now as the new year approaches, al jazeera is looking ahead to some of the big stories of 2016. one of those is -- rooe you's
preparation for the 2016 olympics. natasha ghoneim reports. >> reporter: in a city famous for its beach and carnival. having a good time is a way of life. they also have experienced hosting an international sporting event. it hosted 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. >> translator: it's going to be wonderful. and rio is going to welcome them with open arms. >> reporter: more than half of the budget comes from private money, and the city is taking full advantage of using existing venues from previous sporting events like the world cup. the city says construction is on time and budget. unlike the world cup when some stadiums were finished only days before the games began. >> translator: there are two kinds of olympics, games that
trach the benefits out of the city, and the city that takes the benefit 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 environmentalists are raising concerns about the site expected to hold most of the sails competitions. here, athletes may have to compete while smelling raw sewage, and seeing garbage floating by their boats. the city promised to clean up the bay significantly. but now officials admit their efforts may not come close to satisfying the athletes. the sailing events may have to be held elsewhere. memories and protest graffiti are what remain of a neighborhood bulldozed to make way for access into the area. maria, initially refused to
leave. even though the city offered her money. she has now decided to move but feels a sense of loss. >> translator: it's not that anyone is against the olympic, it's that they destroyed the community, everything. >> reporter: another big current is drug gangs and spillover of the violence. city officials say things were calm during the world cup, and they expect the same with rio 2016. if you are thinking about going to the biggest sporting event on the planet, 7.5 million tickets are available. more than half cost $30 or less. natasha ghoneim, brazil. that's all of your sport for now. >> thanks very much. lots more news on the website of course whenever you want to, aljazeera.com. up next, barbara is waiting for you in london. we'll see you very, very soon. bye-bye.
syrian troops backed by russian air strikes fight their way into a rebel-held town in the south. ♪ hello there, i'm barbara sarah, you are watching al jazeera lye from london. also coming up, central african republic votes in on election that it is hoped will bring stability after years of violence. a state disaster is declared in missouri, where rivers are still rising. north korea's kim ki-jong loses another top aid as a senior official dies in a car crash. and syrian