east and my own organization saw two of the schools we had in aleppo bombed to pieces by aerial bombing this month. a center for the poor displaced was bombed more of the civilian displaced dead. every hour, in fact, that is wasted now from the talks started until we getting ament agreements means more displaced from the homes trudging in the snow and bitter cold in syria, 50 families every wasted hour. so we also expect sponsor, supporters and military partners of these parties who all sit in international support group for syria to do their job which is to put much more pressure for peace to do much more facilitation for peace they have the power to do that and let me
then as a humble humanitarian appeal in particular to five countries, russia and iran, the united states, saudi arabia and turkey to do all they can and not lose a single hour from this weekend on wards as we do -- we can as humanitarians reach the besieged areas all of them within days of the agreement, all of the millions are out of reach within weeks. we can do it. so finally if they lose this momentum i think they will live to regret it, the parties and their international sponsors will live to regret it for decades because it's not a neutral bad scenarios if we lose momentum now it will get much
worse and can get even worse. and people will then leave this place without hope, they will come here to europe, many more or other places so we cannot fail in geneva in the next days and weeks. >> thank you very much and thank you all, what a distinguished panel for bringing the dramatic situation in syria to us vividly and so grateful you are all here. as you heard it's about the human cost and as we said we hope the parties will come here to talk people, not politics. we will start with james al jazeera english then go to turkish, brazil and we go to ben and that is four on the list and james and tell us who your question is directed to please. >> well, it's directed to probably john but the u.n. security council has repeatedly said that humanitarian access should not be subject to
negotiation, it's a basic right of the syrian people governed by international humanitarian law and the security council's resolutions and yet in the coming days you are going to have parties who have been using starvation as a weapon of war and mr. staffan de mistura is going to be negotiating with them about humanitarian access, do you have any uneasy about that? >> a lot of uneasy about the fact that siege and denial of access is a tactic of war in syria. i have a lot of uneasy about that as do all of us and this is what we try everyday to try and make a dent on by trying to go to these places and reach the people and try to make even if a small difference as we have been able to do in resent weeks i'm sure you followed that quite closely. the securityouncil has been helpful to some extent, security
council resolution 2165 allowed us to reach more people across border because since july 2014 the u.n. was not able to do so and that resolution helped us to reach millions of people across border. have we been able to reach all people in need, no. earlier we said we have no less than 4.5 million today. despite the resolutions that we are not able to reach because of the actions of the parties to this conflict. so with the resolution there needs to be political will to actually affect change on the ground. sadly i don't think that political will is there yet, hopefully it will come. thank you. >> thank you. >> turkish news agency, i would like to know whether the russian air strikes will stop. >> we have been listening to
heads of the u.n. humanitarian agencies, different agencies of the u.n. handling the humanitarian situation in syria talking about the situation there, dire situation ahead of talks between the warring sides in syria later this week, on friday in geneva and there has been an appeal by all these leaders there that the heads of the u.n. humanitarian agencies for urgent access to allow humanitarian access to the people inside syria whether it's the children who are described as you know in desperate situation, the head of the unicef representative in syria saying there is a risk and entire generation of syrian children will be lost if not accessed urgently and hope there is expressed at the press conference there will be some sort of agreement later this week in geneva when the warring sides meet.
they say that their momentum there is momentum today to reach agreement but have made again an appeal that all the sides in syria allow access to humanitarian workers so they can help the people of syria. now meanwhile inside syria the syrian army has been striking hard at rebel positions and they are gaining ground and leverage ahead of these proposed talks between the warring parties in geneva later this week. activists saying that government helicopters have been pounding the city of aleppo while russian air strikes have been focusing on the southern city of hama while they recaptured the town on the southern providence of deraa and it's a very significant victory for damascus because it helps the supply routes from the capitol to the south and russia air strikes are key to gains and moscow has admitted that its intervention in syria has helped reverse the
situation on the ground. here is al jazeera's gerald tan now with more on the syrian government's recent advances. >> the syrian flag flies again in sheikh maskin and it has taken the army weeks of intense fighting with rebels to retake this town in the southwest providence of deraa and state television showed military forces entering the town center after securing supply lines and reports to be continuing on the outskirts. the importance of the ruined town cannot be understated. it lies on the main road linking the capitol damascus with deraa the city where the revolution began nearly five years ago and government forces had given up much of this territory until russian armed forces began their military campaign last september and the intervention is being seen as a game changer. >>urned around 180 degrees for the regime since the russians
came in and just last summer the nusra front the al-qaeda affiliate was making gains in the providence and now there is a significant reversal which will affect the rebel logistics. >> reporter: russian jets carried out thousands of missions helping the syrian government regain control of territory nationwide and just recaptured the town of rabia a key base for rebels in the north earn providence of latakia and the russian bottom barrelledment is criticized for being discriminalment and they insist i.s.i.l. and other armed groups are being targeted and some human rights groups say the air strikes have killed more civilians than fighters. gerald tan, al jazeera. world diplomatic efforts are in full force ahead of the talks on friday, indirect talks between the warring sides as we said invitations to talks are said to be sent out in the
coming hours and sergei fedorov said it's impossible to reach an agreement in syria without inviting kurds to take part in the negotiations. >> translator: the fighters which the u.s. supports and who are fighting i.s.i.l. are trying to prevent them from participating in the syrian talks. this is our common problem. it's not simply unfair and counter productive it's a problem with the u.s., the u.s. believes the kurds are one of its closest allies in the fight against terrorism. i hope the u.s. will not leave this problem unsolved. >> and here is our diplomatic editor james base with more from geneva. >> nearly five years of warfare in syria whenever there has been the prospect of a diplomatic initiative we've seen an increase in the fighting on the ground. we saw it two years ago when last time there were talks here in geneva and i think the reason you're seeing military initiatives right now just days
before talks are about to start is because staffan de mistura the u.n. envoy who is going to deal with these talks, convene these talks said one of the first things on the agenda is get ceasefires in places in syria as well as humanitarian access and now i think when the various parties and in this case the syrian government here that possibly a ceasefire is coming soon they clearly try and make some military gains before that ceasefire because they know that once there is a ceasefire the military situation will be frozen so i think what you're seeing on the ground right now in syria and in particular in the last few hours in deraa is linked to the fact that there is prospect of these talks at the end of the week starting here in geneva. >> and while u.n. humanitarian agencies have been speaking about the dire situation on the ground in syria saying civilians are the ones suffering we have the u.n. residence humanitarian
coordinator and here is what he had to say just a moment ago. >> this is probably the most devastating crisis in the 21st century probably for much longer than that and it is true. so we come also with high expectations that the coming days and weeks will bring something different for syria. half of the population that lived in syria in 2010, half of that population is no longer living in the homes where they lived. >> and unicef's representative for syria under line the horrible plight of children who are caught in the war. >> syria is probably the most dangerous place on earth now to be a child. even the very simple act of playing is no longer safe. a few months ago 19 children were killed in a playground in homs as they were celebrating
the eat holidays. the same week six children were killed when a mortar hit a unicef supporter child friendly space in aleppo. and i will always be haunted with the faces of the mothers and the children of the school in homs during the memorial ceremony after a suicide bomber attacked a school and killed at least 30 children between the ages of 9-11. >> more than 300,000 syrian children who are refugees in turkey don't go to school. many work illegally trying to feed their families however a home grown initiative is trying to ensure that some kids get to class and andrew simmons reports near the border between syria and turkey. >> they should be in school but instead they are turning out whatever the weather to look for anything that might make them some money, paper, cardboard or
plastic that could be cashed in for recycling is what these boys are looking for. but they move on with empty bags. in turkey now the u.n. estimates more than 660,000 syrian refugees are of school age but well beyond half of them don't go to school. but here in the run down back streets there is a ray of light for these children, some warmth and some hope in a dismal situation. and it may be a small building but a group of volunteers with so much effort and so much enthusiasm are using just two rooms to try to start to educate 65 children with very little money indeed. this english teacher says most of their pupils are street kids or children whose parents cannot afford transportation money to get them to turkish schools and says it's difficult trying to help with the children's
behavioral and learning problems. >> very much not educated to do this and we are trying to do our best and looking for information, trying to deal with them with love and with passion and to do our best. >> reporter: the children get a snack before leaving at midday. it's the youngest of the pupils who are the most receptive to the teachers. this girl says i love this school. i come everyday. it's called the rainbow center, no one here is paid to teach. there is no religious instruction and no reference to politics. >> translator: the children who don't go to school because they have to work in the streets or wherever they lost their rights to a childhood and especially in education. it's all being taken away by the war. ♪ a tragic mix of poverty and conflict have left the children in this way.
the rainbow center doesn't pretend to be a school, or a temporary prop for these young lives. the children and their teachers can only dream of a permanent solution. andrew simmons al jazeera, turkey. now the world news it has been a miserable day for markets across asia when mainland china shared slumped to a low and dropped 6% to finish at the lowest level since december 2014 and it was compounded by panic selling, the low price of oil is having a major impact on international markets and benjamin is from the advisory firm china policy and says the plunge in the market make china's economy look worse than it actually is. >> we have seen a wild ride. there has been panic selling across the board for a number of months now and it's really a case of the animal spirits in action here in china, panic
gripping investors both individual investors and institutional investors and the panic is spreading to global endicies and part of what is happening in china and fueling the oil drop as well and things combining to lead to a general sell off across markets around the world but it's important to keep in mind that this ride and sell offices is sound and fury and not signifying a great deal and what i mean by that is despite these fluctuates many of the fundamental indicators of the chinese economy are still in really good health. malaysia prime minister cleared of wrongdoing in a long corruption scandal more than 680 million dollars transferred to his private accounts in 2013 but the attorney general says it was a personal donation from the saudi royal family and most of
it was returned. however more than $60 million remain unaccounted for. so we have more from kuala-lumpu. they have been speculating as to what the conclusion of the attorney general's report would be into his investigation over allegations of corruption made against the prime minister. well, those allegations have been tut to one side by a statement at a press conference on tuesday saying that the prime minister had done no wrong and that there were no reasons for anyone to think that the prime minister had done anything corrupt and that the donation of over $600 million was made by sources within the saudi royal family. but the actual scenario now leads to as many questions as it does solutions. there are questions within his own party as what has happened to the money and going to party coffers and questions about his
position, should he stay on as prime minister with this cloud still really hanging over him because the opposition is certainly not going to let this issue lie and that they will completely continue to hammer the ruling party as this country heads towards the general election within the next two years. do they want to allow them to step aside and lead into the next general election and perhaps the questions will be answered in the next few weeks. >> bodies of 13 people discovered after their boat capsized off the coast of malaysia and police believe those on board were illegal migrants and bodies of four men and nine women were discovered on a beach and search and rescue operation is underway to find other survivors. ten policemen killed after an insider attack in afghanistan
southern province, according to the district's governor police were manning a check point in the district when they were poisoned and shot dead. ammunitions and weapons were stolen from the security outpost and taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack. iran's president hassan rohani has arrived to meet the pope for a two-day stop over in italy and his first european tour since the lifting of international sanctions on iran earlier this month and live to jackie roland in rome for us and the all important meeting with the pope and not so long what are we expecting to come out of that? >> it's a very important visit because this is the first time that an iranian leader has met a pope since when mohamed came to the vatican in 1999 to give you some idea of the time that
elapsed and pope francis will be using the meeting or has been using the meeting to try to promote the cause of peace and of human rights, in particular he was expected to be urging, persuading president rouhani to use his good offices, his influence with the regime in syria bashar al-assad to try to promote the efforts to get peace talks started again. >> what is the purpose of this visit to europe? this first european tour of course since the lifting of international sanctions as we said, what is iran hoping to get out of this? >> this is all about ending iran's isolation both politically and economically. from an economic point of view, in fact, both iran and the west has a certain amount to gain from this and you have to
remember that ira has about $100 billion in frozen assets, assets in the west have been frozen as a result of those sanctions and those assets are now being released so iran has money to spend and clearly oil and gas sector which is creaking and needs new investment, new commitment, also with a commercial airline fleet where the planes are old and needs to be renewed and resent opportunities for western companies to do business and a slight caveat and it's these sanctions could be potentially reimposed if at any stage iran doesn't comply with the conditions of the deal so western companies just have to be aware of that. >> jackie thank you so much and live for us in rome. now to the u.s. where democratic presidential hopefuls have held a town hall forum less than a week of a contest of a campaign season and bernie sanders
sharpened attacks against hillary clinton and last chance from iowa voters for hear from all three democratic hopefuls assembled in one place and kimberly reports. >> reporter: it was a chance for iowa voters to pose questions directly to the democratic presidential candidates including hillary clinton, no longer leading opinion polls in iowa and struggling to overcome scandals of the past and win the support of young voters. >> i've heard from quite a few people my age that think you are dishonest but i'd like to hear from you and why you feel the enthusiasm isn't there. >> there is nothing to it. they throw all this stuff at me and i'm still standing. >> reporter: clinton used the stage to echo statements she made on the campaign trail and as a former secretary of state she has the most foreign policy experience to be president and took aim at the republican frontrunner donald trump for his statements against muslims. >> we need a coalition that includes muslim nations to
defeat i.s.i.s. and it's pretty hard to figure out how you make a coalition with the nations you need if you spend your time insulting their religion. >> reporter: the main rival bernie sanders acknowledged that clinton has considerable foreign policy experience he highlighted what he considers her biggest foreign policy in the state as a senator in the u.s. congress. >> hillary clinton voted for the war in iraq. >> as an antiestablishment candidate who pledged to overcome income and inequality in the u.s. by breaking up banks and reigning in wall street she reminded the voters for deregulating when her husband was president. >> i led the effort against wall street deregulation, see where hillary clinton was on this issue. >> reporter: despite polling showing clinton and sanders leading the race for the democratic nomination in iowa there is a third candidate governor martin o'malley who made the argument he is the best
man to overcome the racial tensions plaguing the united states. >> and yes black lives matter. >> reporter: despite o'malley telling his supporters to stand strong his biggest challenge is to prove he is still relevant in a presidential nominating contest that has become a two-person race. kim with al jazeera, washington. u.n. agreed to monitor the end of the civil war in columbia, the u.n. security council unanimously adopted a resolution which will see observers unarming rebels and inching towards a deal, the conflict that lasted five decades killed more than 220,000 colombians and displaced six million. columbia is now on the front of a historic achievement, forging a lasting peace agreement will not resolve all of columbia's challenges nor will it instantly help heal the deep wounds inflicted over the last five decades.
it cannot undue what happened in via-valecenci and and when it ends a new chapter can begin. >> translator: today is a very important day for columbia. with the resolution adopted by the security council, we see the light which means the end of the conflict is closer. as a colombian i know that i can absolutely see in all colombians the optimism and the illusion to finally achieve peace after 50 years of conflict. >> to australia where some australians observing the national day and arrival of the first white settlers but for aboriginal it's known as invasion day and have taken to the streets of sidney calling for the date to be changed and andrew thomas was there. >> there are more than a thousand people here and the 26 of january is not a day to celebrate it's a day to mourn and for people here it's
invasion day, the anniversary of the moment that europeans effectively white settlers move here and started pushing aboriginal people off their land and see no reason to celebrate that. at the very least people here think the date of australia day should be changed so it doesn't fall on a date that people here see as a big occasion and people here think it continues to this day. aboriginal people are much more likely to be in jail than nonindigenous people and far less likely to have jobs at all and good jobs to the educational achievements are lower even today aboriginal australians are not even recognized in australia's constitution and reads that australian was uninhabited when settlers arrived. >> what is happening in australia and committing genocide over indigenous people of australia. >> translator: i live here and
see the prejudice and you open your eyes and listen to conversations on trains and things to think oh, my god we have to educate people. >> we still have policies that actually that are in place that when you look at them actually discriminatory towards aboriginal people. >> reporter: so the speech is over and people will march to the center of sidney where there will be a rally to mark invasion day and should be said for the vast majority of australians the 26th day of australia a day to celebrate with parties and celebrate what is to be australia and the people don't mind that at some other point in the year, it's the anniversary on the 26 of january that bothers them and think more respect should be shown to aboriginal people in australia. >> celebrated republic day showing off arsenal of military commitment and french resident francois hollande joined modi in new deli and signed a deal for
36 french war planes and need to agree on the price and france wants to sell nuclear reactors to produce electricity. sri lanka government destroyed 2 1/2 million dollars of confiscated ivory and buddhist ceremony was held to celebrate the dead elephants and more from columbo. >> reporter: this is concealed among sacks of plastic waste packed in a container moving through the port of columbo. >> 75% of the containers in the township and we have no information to get unloaded, that is the main difficulty. >> reporter: now essentially on the international market ivory fetchs as much as $3,000 a kilo and one can only imagine one half tons of ivory a that would hold. in terms of the sri lanka authorities here, the ceremony
to destroy the ivory the clergy and is custom and blessings on the dead elephant in difference with what happened a couple years ago when the former president wrote to customs asking that responsibility and custody of the tusks be transferred to his secratarite but will not encourage contraband and the crusher will see the 359tusks going through it the course of day and then it will be weighed up, essentially bagged up and will be taken to an industrial incinerator where they will be burned. now very much what the central sort of theme and thinking behind this is showing that there is no value essentially for contraband and that poaching and the international trade will not be encouraged. >> british explorer attempting to cross antarctica alone
without help has died, 55-year-old henry became ill with a bacterial infection and was 50 kilometers to the end of his adventure. more news on our site al jazeera.com. velshi. "on target" tonight. donald trump has taken a big lead in iowa. across the country he could run the table for the gop thom nation. plus the spoiler for the race, could it be new york's former mayor michael bloomberg? just seven days until the iowa caucuses, the first voting of the 2016 presidential nomination. donald trump is again the man with the momentum.