aljazeera.com. thanks for watching. syria is probably the most dangerous applies on earth now to be a child. >> an appeal for syria's most vulnerable humanitarian agencies warn an entire generation could be lost. welcome live from our headquarters in doha. also coming up, the syrian army retakes the key town, gaining leverage ahead of a new round of talks. stock market panic in china, investors sell their shares, causing the market to foul by
more than 6%. >> praying for a new life by thousands of ethiopia jews calling on israel to open its doors. >> if the current momentum is lost, all syrian parties will regret it. that's the stark warning given by the u.n.'s humanitarian coordinator in direct talks on the syrian crisis are due to get underway in geneva on friday. the war is described as probably the most devastating crisis in the 21st century. saying half of the population that lived in syria in 2010 has been displaced by the conflict. the june receive representative in syria says more than 250,000 people died in the fighting with children, bearing the brunt of 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 play ground in homs as they were celebrating the holidays. the same week, six children were killed when a mortar hit a unicef supported child friendly space in aleppo. james bays joins us live now from geneva. we were given information about the trauma people are suffering from there. did they propose what needs to be done? >> well, i think everyone is looking towards the talks that are supposed to start here at the u.n. headquarters in europe on friday. this news conference i think very deliberately timed to show the world the scale of the problem and what needs to be done and point the finger at those that will be turning up here in geneva, because they are the ones in the end that can
alleviate the human situation. let's discuss this further with one of those who is on that humanitarian panel. i'm joined by the head of the norwegian refugee counsel. let me start by asking you to perhaps look back, five years ago, start of the war in syria. we all thought it was a disaster then. could you have conceived at the scale of things now? >> no i could not and not even in my worst nate mayor nightmari think that we would have scenes like the second world war, like mid evil times, besiegement to starve civilians to death, millions of people be without reach from humanitarians like the red cross, no, it cannot be worse now. it has to change, and we need agreements now in geneva to change this. >> you talk about these horrific things but of course some of the
people responsible for these horrific things are the people coming here to geneva, the people starving people to death as a weapon of war, they're coming here. should you be negotiating with them about human access, because international law says you must have access, u.n. security council say you must have access. it's a bad precedent. >> it would be much better if we had gotten it up front, which is a right according to international law. i live in the real world. i haven't seen humanitarian actions really be given freely for years now and it gives me hope that in geneva, in this building, in four days, we will have the people responsible and more importantly, have the russians, the iranians, the americans, the saudi arabia thats and the turkish diplomats and they should all put pressure on the parties to grant access to the civilians and to end attacks against civilians.
>> address those who are going to be here. >> what i would say to them is we cannot wait an hour more without agreements, because every hour, 50 more families, 50 on average are displaced from their homes and they are now struggling through the horrific cold and snow, so we will put in front of them agreements, please sign, grant us access and stop attacks against civilians, and schools, hospitals and homes. >> if they granted access, in your estimation, how many could be helped? >> that's what's the magic of this. we could go into all the besieged areas within days after access being granted, actually within hours, many places, and to the millions in hard to reach areas and in crossfire, we could reach them in weeks either cross line or cross border frock neighbors countries, so please,
parties and sponsors coming to geneva, help us do that. now is the momentum. what we do not do in the next few days we may live to regret for decades to come. >> secretary general of the norwegian refugee council, thank you for joining us here. talks take place on friday, the invitations haven't been sent out yet and what's not clear is whether everyone has been invited is going to turn up, still a controversy on the opposition side about exactly who's going to go turn up, a goop of opposition including the main fighting groups in saudi arabia were drug up the list, like the idea of that so you had list but doesn't like the idea that the u.n. now i think pressure coming from moscow is extending that lift, so will those fighting groups on the so-called riyadh list still come is still a very big question. inside syria, the army is
striking hard at rebel positions, gaining ground and leverage ahead of talks. activists say government helicopters have been pounding aleppo while russian airstrikes have been focusing on the southern city. this comes at government forces recaptured a town which is in the southern province. it is a significant victory for damascus, helping it secure fly routes from the capital to the south. russia airstrikes have been key to gains. moscow admits that its intervention helped reverse the situation on the ground. we have a report on the government's recent advances. >> the syrian flag flies again. it's taken the army weeks of intense fight to go retake this town in the southwestern province. state television showed military forces entering the town center after securing supply lines.
battles of reported to be continuing on the outskirts. the importance of the ruined town cannot be overstated. it lies on the main road linking the capital with the city where the revolution began nearly five years ago. government forces had given up much of this territory until russian armed forces began their military campaign last september. the intervention is being seen as a game changer. >> things have just turned around 180 degrees for the regime since the russians came in. just last summer, the al-nusra front, the al-qaeda affiliate was making gains in the province and now, there's the significant reversal, which will affect the rebels. >> russian jets carried out thousand was missions helping the syrian government regain control of territory nationwide. it's just recaptured the town with a key base for rebels in
the northern town. the russian aerial bombardment is being criticized for being in discriminate. the kremlin insists isil and other armed groups are being targeted. some human rights groups say the airstrikes have killed more civilians than fighters. gerald tan, al jazeera. >> al jazeera has the latest on the fighting. he's in turkey near the border with syria. >> up until october last year, the syrian regime's forces were really looking at the risk of defeat in the syrian civil war and then the russians stepped in. russian aerial bombardments particularly have helped the syrian regime make considerable territorial gains. a lot of those have been in the northern mountains of syria. this is the one side the coastal areas controlled by the regime and further in land, you have idlib, controlled by rebel forces, so important territorial
gains there being made by the syrian regime acknowledge latest capture, the more territory you control, the stranger your negotiating hand in any negotiation or talks that are going to take place on syria's future. >> there have been twin bomb attacks in syrian government controlled city of homs killing 22. hundreds of others were injured when a car bomb exploded near a security checkpoint. a suicide bomber set off a homemade belt of explosives, according to state media, isil have claimed responsibility for the blasts. it's been a miserable day for markets in asia after mainland chinese shares slumped to 14 month low. leading stock markets in shane high and shenzhen dropped 6%. they were compounded by panic selling by investors. the falling sale of oil is
impacting markets worldwide. today's plunge in the markets makes china's economy look worse than it actually is. >> we've seen a wild ride. there's been panic selling across the board for a number of months now and it's really a case of the animal spirit in action here in china, panic gripping investors, bolt individual investors and future investors and spreading to global indexes, where we're seeing other significant selloffs as a result in part of what's happening in china, also fueling the oil drop, as well. these two things combining to really lead to a general selloff across markets around the world. it's important to keep in mind that this tumult with us ride and these significant selloffs, a great deal of this is actually what you might call sound and furry not negativing a great deal. what i mean by that is that despite fluctuations, many of
the fundamental indicators of the chinese economy are still in really good health. >> malaysia's prime minister has been cleared of wrongdoing in a long running corruption scandal. more than $680 million were transferred to his private accounts in 2013, but the attorney general says it was a personal donation from the sawed royal family that most of it was later returned. more than $60 million remain unaccounted for. we have more from kuala lumpur. >> various media outlets in malaysia have been speculating to what the conclusion of the attorney general's report would be into his investigation over allegations of corruption made against the prime minister. those allegations have been put to one side by his 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 had done anything corrupt and that the donation of over $600 million was made by sources within the so you had royal family, but the actual scenario now leads to as many questions as it does solutions. the questions within his own party as to what happened to the money and should be going to party coffers, there will be questions should he stay on as prime minister about his position, with the cloud hanging over him. the opposition is not going to let this issue lie and will completely continue to hammer the ruling party as this country heads towards a general election within the next two years. do they want to allow the foreign minister to step aside and allow a new leader to take the helm. all those questions perhaps will be abced in the next few weeks.
still to come, the invitations for friday's syria talks in geneva have been sent out. we will be live with the latest on that, and the race for the white house, democratic president candidacy faceoff in iowa just days before a crucial nominating contest begins. the only way to get better is to challenge yourself, and that's what we're doing at xfinity. we are challenging ourselves to improve every aspect of your experience. and this includes our commitment to being on time.
>> "inside story" takes you beyond the headlines, beyond the quick cuts, beyond the soundbites. we're giving you a deeper dive into the stories that are making our world what it is. lets take a quick look of the top stories. the u.n.'s humanitarian coordinator described the war in syria as possibly the most devastating crisis in the 21st .
it comes at direct talks on the syrian conflict are due to get underway in geneva friday. activists say government forces recaptured one of the most important towns in southern syria. it is on the key supply line linking damascus to the city. it's been a miserable day for markets across arab after mainland chinese shares slumped, leaving stock markets falling more than 6% following a further fall in the price of oil. the russian foreign minister sergey lavrov has said it's impossible to reach an agreement in syria without inviting kurds to take part in the negotiations. >> the fighters which the u.s. supports and who are fighting isil, they're trying to prevent them from participating in the syrian talks. this is our common problem. it's not simply unfair and
counterproductive, 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. >> talking about who will be invited and who not, the invitations have been sent out. james bays joins us live. what are you hearing with the invites? >> very short notice being sent to correspondents who cover the u.n. confirming simply the news that invitations to the syrian participants have been sent out. interestingly it adds in accordance with the outlines in security resolution 2254. why they are saying that, it's about the controversy of who should send out the invitations and who decides who should be on the opposition delegation. this is the so-called vienna process which let's to talks which are supposed to take place
friday. saudi arabia was given the job of coordinating the opposition. saudi arabia took that to mean they are coming up with a lift. they came up with the so-called riyadh list. since then, the russian said that is not representative. it has lots of fighting groups on it but isn't have civil society. it doesn't have wrist of the kurds, they say, on the list. that pressure from moscow, i think has been brought to bear and we know that the list of people invited is broader than that riyadh list. exactly who the names are, the u.n. are not going to announce a list of names, we understand, so it's for us now to approach all the key players and see who's got an invitation or not. then of course the next big question, are they going to accept the invitation. the big question there will be on armed groups on the so-called list. now the list has been widened. are they still going to take
part in the process, because we are days from the new deadline set for the start of talks, which is friday. >> ok, as soon as you find out who's going, who's been sent an have it, let us know. >> the taliban said it was behind the killing of 10 policemen in afghanistan's southern province. the district governor says officers were manning a checkpoint in the district when they were poisoned, shot dead. ammunition and weapons were stolen from the security outpost. the pope has asked iran to work alongside other middle eastern nations to promote peace in the region. iran's president rouhani met with the vatican on tuesday. the leaders visiting italy as part of his first european tour since the lifting of sanctions an tehran earlier this month. >> bernie sanders sharpened attacks on hillary clinton. they took to the stage along with martin o'malley in iowa. it will be the first state to
hold its nomination contest next week. we have the story. >> it was a chance for iowa voters to pose questions directly to the candidates, including hillary clinton, no longer leading opinion polls in iowa. she now struggles to overcome scandals of the past and win the support of young voters. >> i've heard from quite a few people mage that they think you're dishonest, but i'd like to their from you why you feel the enthusiasm isn't there. >> there's nothing to it, they throw all this stuff at me and i'm still standing. >> clinton used the stage to echo statements she's made on the campaign trail, that as a former secretary of state, she has the most foreign policy experience to be president. she took aim at the republican front runner, donald trump, for his statements against muslims. >> we need a coalition that includes muslim nations to defeat isis, and it's pretty hard to figure out how you're going to make a coalition with
the very nations you need if you spend your time insulting their religion. >> bernie sanders acknowledged hillary clinton has foreign policy experience but highlighted what he considers her biggest mistakes as a senator. >> hillary clinton voted for the war in iraq. >> as an anti establishment candidate who pledged to overcome income inequality, sanders reminded iowa voters banks were deregulated when her husband, bill, was president. >> i led the effort against wall street deregulation. see where hillary clinton was on this issue. >> despite polling showing clinton and sanders leading the race to the democratic nomination in iowa, there's a third candidate martin o'malley saying he is the best man to overcome the racial tensions in
the united states. >> yes, black lives matter. >> despite o'malley telling supporters to stand strong, his biggest challenge will be to prove he's still relevant in a presidential nomination contest that has become a two person race. political leaders are trying to find a solution to the crisis in haiti following the definite postponement of elections. a runoff to the successor of the president was canceled following allegations of fraud by the opposition candidate. the president is set to leave office in two weeks, though there is nobody to replace him. >> in this environment, there won't be an election while the president is still in power. we are discussing the situation and there are scenarios that could occur. in the end, we're going to have the second round after the government gives us power, which will be after february 7th. >> the united nations has agreed to monitor the end of the civil war in columbia.
the u.n. security council adopted the resolution which will see international observers monitoring the disarming of farc rebels. after years of negotiations, their leaders are in tune towards a deal. the conflict lasted five decades and killed more than 220,000 colombians. >> today is a very important day for colombia. 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. >> the sri lankan government destroyed almost $3 million worth of african ivory seized three years ago to show commitment to stopping the illegal trade. a buddhist ceremony was held before the trucks were crushed to offer blessings for the saw
therred elephants. >> this had been concealed among waste that was moving through the port of colombo. essentially on the international market, ivory is $3,000 a kilo. one and a half tons of arrivery, one could imagine what that would hold. the ceremony to destroy this ivory, the clergy here invoking blessings on the dead elephants very much inch difference with what happened a couple of years ago when the president asking that responsibility and custody of these tusks be transferred to his secretary. the government making it clear
they are not going to encourage trade of contraband. the crusher behind me will destroy all of these tusks going through it over the course of the day. the resulting fragments will then be weighed up, essentially bagged up and taken to an industrial incinerator, where they will be burned. now very much what the central sort of theme and thinking behind isis showing there is no value for contraband and that poaching and the international trade will not be encouraged. the vile government pledged to law more ethiopia jews to resettle insrael. as charles stratford reports from ethiopia, families were split up with the israeli immigration program was stopped three years ago. >> the people in the photographs are relatives living in israel. they are ethiopian jews who made
immigration to israel. under israeled so-called allow of return, people who can prove they are of jewish descent can move there. in this village, these people say they were left behind when israel ended its immigration program from ethiopia. part of this family left in 2013. >> i feel leanly here because all my family are in israel. >> israel has long been accused of using a loose definition of jewish descent to boost the countries population. these people practice judaism even though many ancestors converted to christianity. her parents and grandparents were allowed to settle in israel in 2003. this man doesn't know why his application wasn't accepted. his mother passed away in israel. he couldn't affording to see her
before she died. >> now i hope i can go to israel before my father dice, even just for one day. >> israel ended the immigration program in 2013, because it said there were no more people here eligible under its law of return. the mere fact there are many here who have close family members, including parents and grandparents, who have already living in israel suggests there are certain inconsistencies with the way that allow is applied. according to israel's jewish agency, there are 135,000 ethiopia jews living in israel. 50,000 were born there. life for ethiopian immigrants is israel is not always easy. protests last year were sparked by allegation of police brutality against an ethiopia jew. rights groups say the ethiopian community in israel long
suffered racism and discrimination. the government announced a new criteria so people in ethiopia claiming jewish descent can be reunited with their families in israel about that the jewish agency which helps organize the immigration of jews to israel denies accusations that the government has applied the law of return arbitrarily when and how it sees fit. >> ethiopian immigration to israel is the only example that i'm aware of of a western democracy investing humongous sumles of money to bring people from africa to serve as full fledged citizens of that country and not from other purposes. i think that that really does speak to israel's reason for existing, israel's ideology of serving as a homeland for all jews around the world. >> many of these people pray for what they believe will be a better life in israel, where
they can see their loved once again. charles strait tornado, al jazeera, began da, northern ethiopia. you can find out more about their journey to israel by logging on to our website, lots of other news there, as well. aljazeera.com is the address. wall street could be heading higher after another bad day across asia. the president laying out new rules for underage prisoners. planned parenthood cleared of misconduct, its accusers facing felony charges instead. thi