syrian forces make advances as they take the last rebel held town in latakia province ahead of the proposed peace talks. welcome. i'm peter dobby in doha. also coming up we get rare assertion to the afghan troops fighting on the front line against i.s.i.l. the clean up begins along the eastern u.s. after a major
blizzard. plus. >> reporter: i'm andrew thomas on sydney harbour ahead of australia day. i will be explaining why some aboriginal australians see no reason to celebrate. for them 26 january marks invasion day. the u.s. secretary of state john kerry says the question of which groups should attend indirect talks between the syrian regime and the opposition will be resolved in a day or two. the summit in geneva has been delayed due to negotiations over exactly who will take part. a member of the syrian opposition and says he is unhappy with the way the lead-up to the talks is being handled. >> translation: there is pressure to give up the legitimate rights of the syrian people. the delegation has been
pressured to head the negotiations without i clear agenda. plus improving the humanitarian situation which is nothing to do with politics. we cannot tell the people they delegated us and we gave up our rights and headed to geneva without stopping the air raids or sending aid the director of the center for middle eastern studies at the university of denver. he spoke to us earlier about those disagreements. >> when the bashar al-assad regime says it doesn't want to speak to terrorists, that effectively means anyone who opposes the bashar al-assad regime is a terrorist. the approved list of opposition figures are those who are willing to acquiesce to bashar al-assad's attaining of power. i think this highlights the fundamental facade that is
called a peace process. the entire premise of this peace process that is being advanced by the u.s. and russia is based on this faulty assumption that somehow after five years of a near genocidal war they're suddenly going to show around a peace table and kiss and make up. what is being ignored is not just the facts on the grounds, the horrific violence, but we've seen this movie before two years ago in geneva. a similar initiative was started and down under the special services and the two sides showed up at the peace talks. they had nothing in common and nothing to talk about. i suspect that's exactly what's going to happen with this so-called vienna peace process while the diplomacy becomes more can complex games on the grounds.
syrian forces have held the last town held by i.s.i.l. in latakia. rob matheson now reports. >> reporter: in say small town but its capture by syrian forces marks a series position by armed forces. >> translation: armed forces have been able to take control of the city in latakia. it has led us in the last two days to regain control of 18 towns and villages including rubare. it is a stronghold of the community to which bashar al-assad belongs. for the last four years it has been a key northern place for turkman fighters. it is estimated 20,000 people have fled from their homes in the turkman mountains. >> translation: it was one of the oppositions biggest strong holds. it was where they kept their
supplies, ammunition and weapons for the area. also many villages west of rabeer were considered safe places for troops. >> reporter: the syrian government forces have been supported by russian air attacks. the taking of robeer means the regime and the russians are stronger in latakia. they will turn their attention to idlib still held by opposition fighters including al-nusra front. talks to the solution of the syrian crisis is believed to happen later this week. the front line for now has been redrawn the death toll from air strikes on the syrian city of deer az zchlt or has risen to 94. russian fighter jets had an attack there on sundays. women around children were
amongst those killed. protesters in cairo have defied a ban. there has been a round up of the protesters and thousands of homes have been searched. in a tell viced address the president said the government must enforce security and order. -- televised. it was driven by young people but five years on many feel betrayed by the outcome in egypt. >> reporter: it was supposed to be a new dawning as millions of egyptians came together. people from all faiths, backgrounds and ages united in the call for change. nearly 50% of egypt's population is less than 24 years old, so the youth were the driving force of the revolution. even opposing football fans, they joined the protests.
it started with the technical savvy generation that gallon n vannised crowds. we were not into politics. we just knew this is wrong and we should speak up to that. that's exactly what happened. >> reporter: it was a period of demanding political freedom, even walls became canvasses. it was much later that organized groups and forces joined the protesters, all calling to an end of tyranny and injustice. an elected government has been replaced by the military and stricter laws restrict contest and protest. some feel the very outrage which fuelled the revolution also
deflated it >> the same tool that united to topple dictators eventually tore us apart. >> reporter: people like this man are living outside the country. the prominent blogger and activist has been jailed for five years for violating protest laws. >> i remember the crackdown at the square and its aftermath. despite feeling betrayed he says he also has a sense of accomplishment >> we always blame the older generation who never talked about the corruption, about the corrupt regime. i think there will be a revolution happening within the next maybe five years. that will happen. >> reporter: five years on a bloodstained trap terror in the country's history continues to
overshadow what many egyptians saw as the people's revolution the iranian president is in italy on the opening leg of his first european tour after international sanctions were lifted. he will be having talks with politicians, business leaders and will also meet pope francis. he will then travel to france on wednesday where iran is in negotiations to buy more than 100 aircraft from airbus. iraq has summoned saudi arabia's ambassador after he criticized the use of shia militia in the use of the fight against i.s.i.l. the armed groups are contributing to sectarians in iraq. clean up teams working around the clock in cities across the u.s. eastern seaboard after a blizzard brought life to a stop, more than 80 million people have been affected. at least 28 people have died because of the storm. the latest now from new york.
>> reporter: the sun came out again and so too did people looking for help to dig their cars out of mountains of snow. >> anybody stuck, anybody trying to get out, some people had patience, some people don't have patience. when you go to a neighborhood and see anybody out coming outside clapping. >> reporter: new york city lifted a one-day ban on all vehicle traffic imimposed so that workers could clear away a record amount of snow. it was the second largest blizzard in 150 years. >> all it takes is one car to have stuck and that road is not passable and the ploughs can't plough that road and the situation quickly desends into chaos chaos. >> reporter: the shelters were not a haven for the homeless >> i had to spend most of my friend time downstairs in the station because it was too cold.
>> reporter: more than 10,000 flights have been cancelled and more than 4,000 on sunday alone. the airport struggled to resume operations after the snow storm passed. those serving washington dc remained closed until monday. so too did the capital's metro train system. road accidents acted for most of the deaths. >> i'm happy to report that there are so far no deaths in new jersey connected with the storm. >> reporter: at least six people died from exposure to the cold or from heart attacks as they shovelled snow. along the new jersey shore the blizzard whipped up tides that flooded some neighborhoods. some home owners are having to rebuild once more. despite the inconvenience some people were still able to make the most of it. in what has become something like a post-blizzard tradition,
dozens dressed up in costumes and participated in a huge snow ball fight. there was plenty of ammunition. the big test of the clean-up efforts will come on monday when millions of people across the north-east will return to work challenging the roads and public transportation systems that ground to a halt because of this weekend's historic blizzard, with whoever lived through it won't forget any time soon still to come here for you on al jazeera. portugal elects a new president who could be vital to the shaky coalition. plus how aerobics classes and some freestyling afterwards is helping older people in south africa suffering from
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welcome back. the top stories from al jazeera. syrian government forces have recaptured the last rebel stronghold in latakia. the u.s. says the dispute over which syrian opposition groups will attend the talks in geneva will be resolved soon. protesters in the cairo suburb have defied an official ban. there has been a round up of activists and thousands of homes have been searched.
a massive clean-up is underway after a blizzard. at least 28 people were killed in weather-related incidents and thousands of flights were cancelled. the afghan government has held unofficial talks with the taliban in qatar. they say the political office in doha was the only entity authorised to carry out anything negotiations on their part. >> translation: it is a chance for us to announce to the world that we want peace and dialogue. we want to resolve the problem of afghanistan through a peace process. this is our main message. unfortunately we are being accused of not wanting peace and insisting on war. we want peace and dialogue if the other party wants it, but if the other party insists on war, killing and displacing people, then we will react. >> my assessment is that it was
a good beginning. there was a positive spirit from all sides. a number of key issues were discussed and i could see that there is a common ground that we can build on and if we properly build on those common grounds, i'm hopeful that it will lead to formal peace talks the pentagon has given wider thart for u.s. forces in afghanistan to target those of i.s.i.l. our correspondent has this exclusive report from the district of achin on the afghan/pakistan border. >> reporter: on the front line of afghanistan's fight against the islamic state in iraq and the levant it runs through a vast mountainous area near the border with pakistan. we had a strong army escort up to this military post. the government relies on these
villages to keep i.s.i.l. at bay >> translation: we are defending our country. it's our duty. >> reporter: but off camera he tells me he doesn't have enough bullets to fight. i.s.i.l. is not far from here. their flag says it all. this is i.s.i.l. territory. i.s.i.l. was in afghanistan from over a year ago. afghan say it is made up of foreigners and that it has attracted to transform the members of the taliban in al-qaeda. it is not too long before we hear the first bullets. the army's 50 millimetre calibre guns are capable of dub duing the incoming fire. tense moments follow and fighters take their positions. there has been fighting and clashes for the last half hour or so. we are one kilometer away from
the village where i.s.i.l. is present there. they have their flag in that village and it is clear who is in control of that area. now, the afghan intelligence, military intelligence sources have told us that there are about 4,000 fighters from i.s.i.l. based in the province on the border between afghan and pakistan. it is-- afghanistan and pakistan. it is very mountainous terrain. there are forces tasked with fighting i.s.i.l. and the taliban. the commander says i.s.i.l. will be defeated soon. >> translation: they posed a serious threat in the beginning, but we will clear the areas and defeat them in march. tell i.s.i.l. they don't have a footstep here. >> reporter: he says more than 1 the 0 i.s.i.l. fighters have been killed during the last two months - 190. not far from the base this market is busy.
for many here i.s.i.l. is more than a threat. it is a reality. >> translation: the government controls the main roads and their bases. i.s.i.l. controls the rest. they're carrying out executions. >> reporter: the afghan army is already overstretched fighting a resilient enemy, the taliban, but its battle with i.s.i.l. is different and won't be over soosoon calling continues in china where temperatures are dropping. >> reporter: in the grip of these conditions from temperatures of minus 40 in the far north of the country down to just about freezing here on the south china coast and all sorts of weather in between. in the main city of gwanjo, there was a flurry of snow
yesterday. that is the first time since 1929. in shanghai temperatures there still remaining below freezing. they thub around 8 degrees this year-- should be around 8 degrees this year. in the north this blast of polar air. we are seeing heavy snow fall. the island off the south korean coast having the heaviest snow fall in decades. also in japan with some parts expecting monday up to 70 centimeters in taiwan 57 people have died in unusually cold weather there. most of those who lost their lives with elderly people, with the majority of homes do not have central heating. while in vietnam the cold snap there is causing problems for farmers. they say the animals are dying because of the cold. crops are being damaged and heavy snow and ice making roads
impassable. the french president francois hollande has paid tribute to ghandi's. he is on a three-day trip to the country. he will have talks with p.m. modi later today. a center right veteran politician is to be portugal's new president. he could prove to be a counter balance to the center left government voted in last year. he is promising to promote consensus across the political scene. gerald tan has more. >> reporter: a resounding victory. this man sweets 52% in portugal's presidential election, more than double that of his nearest rival. >> translation: as president i will do everything to unite what
crisis have divided, bringing people closer, building bridges and healing wounds. >> reporter: in portugal the role is largely ceremonial but the president can wield significant power in a crisis. it is a possible scenario too. after october's vote resulted in the center shaky position >> translation: we must reconcile social justice with economic growth and financial stability. it is not easy, not in the world and not in europe. it is not easy in portugal. it is a time of uncertainty and challenge >> reporter: the challenge will be how to balance anti australia territory - austerity measures. the portuguese have been living with high taxes and low public sector wages since a bail out
five years ago. the economy is slowly gaining momentum, but employment is still over 11%. the new president who takes office in march says he will address these issues while ensuring the stability of the current government. gerald tan more demonstrations are taking place on the streets of haiti. it happened on the day when run-off elections to choose the next president were supposed to take place. that was called off on saturday. there have been protests since accusations of fraud in the first rounds of the vote. that vote took place in october. there is a new push for australia to become a republic. all about one of australia's states and territorial leaders have called for remaining ties with the monarchy in london to be severed. that usually comes up for
australia day. >> reporter: the skies were grey but on 26 january last year there was still celebrations in sydney harbour for australia day. this day the weather forecast looks good, but on tuesday some won't be celebrating. many aboriginal people think that the date is a date to mourn. it marks the an verse rae of the landing in 1788 of captain arthur phillips' first fleet and the start of the first british colony on the lands now known as australia. that was a colonial invasion. >> it was an invasion. there was no collusion between the people who lived here and the british. the british just came in >> reporter: to those here they're planning a march to mark australia day, which they call invasion day. it began a period of history when aaustralians were initially
massacred by white settlors and later marginalised. today they are seriously disadvantaged compared to many migrants >> i don't think any aboriginal person should be celebrating australia day. every single one of our people will say i will not sing the national ath them on this day because i'm an aboriginal person in this country and because this hurts my people. >> reporter: many indigenous people, though, will be taking part in official australia day events and organisers say they're sensitive to what the day means >> it's important for us to recognise that australia day is a complex day for indigenous people, but the great thing that has happened this year is that there has been wonderful engagement between day, the australia day council and the indigenous community >> reporter: for those protesting, the biggest issue is the day. the national day should have nothing to do with the rival of captain phillip over there in 17 will 8. instead, it should mark the birth of this country on 1
january 1901 when six states became the commonwealth of australia. marking january 26 instead is to some offensive. >> 1 january should be australia day. that would be in line with their own history. this is in line with the history of creating war against aboriginal people. you can't acknowledge that. >> reporter: next year australians will vote on whether to change their country's constitution so that it recognises the country was inhabited before white settlors arrived changing the date of the country's national days they say should follow elderly people suffering from depression in south africa rarely have access to help, especially in the poorer communities in that country. now a new exercise program for elderly patients is helping them to fight depression. it's all about exercise. our correspondent went along to find out more.
>> reporter: it's probably not your usual aerobic class in south africa. these are between 60 and 80 years old. some of them have trouble keeping up but they say that is not going to stop them. >> i'm finished. i can't run. >> reporter: i saw you exercise. >> yeah. exercise is all right. running, no. i can't run. i can't jog >> reporter: the group says one in five south africans have mental health problems. this helps fight depression >> sometimes you have stress and you have to get out of stress. and be really healthy. you feel strong. >> reporter: group leaders say as many as 90% of depressed people over 65 don't get help. many come from poor communities. so many elderly patients don't easily recognise the symptoms of
mental health problems and depression. sometimes exercise alone is not enough. >> enough is enough. maybe it will be better if i die. then there is a very last stage of depression whereby you need to get attention immediately. you have to be put on antidepressants immediately. >> reporter: for the class here, meeting five days a week for at least four hours seems to be what the doctor ordered. >> sometimes i get upset, so that's why i have to exercise and being with other people. it will help. >> reporter: even after their work out some still wants to keep going. the classes are not just a chance to catch up with friends and make new ones, it is helping
some senior citizens to fight depression and maintain a healthy body as well as a healthy mind do checkout our website if you have a spare couple of minutes. aljazeera.com. you can talk to me at twitter. you can talk to everyone on the team here in doha. there is a facebook page as well. to protect your property from drones that might be flying over head. students that go hungry every day in third world countries in the world. i'm adam may and this is third rail. the g.o.p. is in turmoil with establishment candidates for president running well behind insurgent billionaire donald trump.