news never stops. hello, welcome to the news hour, i'm jane dutton in doha. coming up in the next 60 minutes. the invitations to the talks to try to end the conflict in syria have been sent out. syria is probably the most dangerous place on earth to be a child. an appeal for the most vulnerable. stock market panic in china,
investors sell their shares causing markets to fall by more than 6%. and the bolivian lake that has dried up, and with it, a way of life. ♪ we begin with those upcoming talks on syria, which are scheduled for friday. for weeks now there has been speculation about who will be invited and who will attend. within the last hour, the invites for those crucial talks in geneva have been sent out. let's go to james bayes in geneva. who got the invite. who is coming, james. >> we don't know. we simply know that the invites have been sent out, jane. it was a very short news release by the united nations, telling us that those invites have been sent out to the talks, again, saying that the talks start on the 29th of january. that was the date that was set
24 hours ago, it hasn't slipped yet, and they were set out in accordance with security resolution 2254. the process that lead to these talks, which was supposed to take place on friday was the so-called vienna process. bringing together all of the international and regional countries that have an interest in syria. early on they decided that jordan was going to come up with a list of the countries that would be deemed to be terrorists, and saudi arabia was going to come up with a list of participants from the opposition. since then, the security council passed a resolution saying it would be the u.n. that would be invited to this conference, and the russians said they were
unhappy with the list. the envoy has sent out the invitations and has expanded it beyond the list set up in saudi arabia. those on the saudi list, which is most of the armed groups fighting in syria, whether they will now come because they are not happy with the situation. >> this just shows how difficult these talks are going to be, james. >> reporter: extremely difficult, but i don't think they were going to be any other way, because remember what has gone on in syria. we're talking about 300,000 people dead. we're talking about a war that in a couple of week's time will be five years old, and we have had humanitarians talking about the situation, making it quite clear this is the worst humanitarian situation in the world. this is going to be extremely difficult, and if the u.n. gets
its way and they get this started, it's going to be very long winded. we believe this talks process is going to go on for a period of six months. then they are supposed to come up with transitional government. >> okay. james bayes let's leave it there in geneva, but we're going to talk about this more on skype. good to have you with us. what are you hearing about the invites if you don't have a sense yet of who has been invited, who would you like to see there to make it succeed? >> well, i don't have any inside information. at this stage the invites haven't been sorted out, especially in terms of who represents the opposition, then there's really very little chance that the u.s. and russia has reached a conclusion to more
substantive issues. but one big gap here is kurdish representation. in particular the pyd. the kurdish national council will be joining it as part of its own delegation, the kurdish national council has always been part of the syrian opposition. however, the more important kurdish faction by war is the pyd, which has taken a more neutral position, sometimes closer to the regime, sometimes closer to the opposition, it's the real military force on the ground, and it was not invited to the opposition conference in riyadh about a month ago, at which the opposition delegation was confirmed. so clearly the kurds have to be part of this, and russia has
tried to represent itself as pushing for the kurds. >> i am hearing the pyd hasn't been invited, so where does that russia and iran? >> iran was invited to the table at vienna and was there for part of the international support group that came up with the vienna communique -- >> i'm saying with the pyd not being invited. >> i understand that, but i'm just saying -- well, russia in particular is concerned with presenting itself as close to the kurds and protecting itself interest, which is ironic, since the u.s. is also doing that in effect. the russians shouldn't be given this opportunity to present themselves as the one party that cares about kurdish representation. this is a flaw for which the saudis are partially responsible. they only represent maybe 10% of
the population, but militarily, in the fight against isis, they are playing a much bigger role. and the failure to involve them opens the way for russia in particular to start challenging the credibility of the opposition delegation, and to start suggesting a second or even third delegation which would include other factions that the assad regime approves of. so i think kurd representation has to be present. >> how do you think these talks, if they do go ahead, how should they play out? >> they will go ahead. there will be a mere moeformali. we'll see a waste of time, and there will be questions whether there should be, if not a
complete cessation of violence. this at the moment is an opposition demand. i don't think they have the political force to insist on this. the u.s. it appears is keener on getting them to the table than worrying about preconditions, but if talks are to go ahead at any point, there has to be a reduction in the violence, and i'm afraid we don't see that on the cards. just today in the south, in that sort of mood, i think theyil cag their advantage without giving in on anything. so all of this is before we even start talking about power sharing. i think unless the u.s. and russia reach a deal on what goes on behind the scenes then the talks will go nowhere. thank you very much. u.n. agencies have warned that the situation on the ground is dire. they are appealing to all
parties involved to end the suffering of civilians. the coordinator says if momentum on the talks are lost, all parties will regret it. he has described the war on syria as probably the most devastating crisis in the world. and the unicef representative in syria says more than 250,000 people have 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 playground in homs as they were celebrating the eid holidays. the same week, six children were killed when a mortar hit a unicef supported child-friendly space in aleppo.
>> inside syria, the army is striking hard at rebel positions gaining ground. activists say government helicopters have been pounding the city of aleppo, while russian air strikes have been focusing on the southern city of hama. this comes as government forces recaptured a strategic town in the southern province of daraa. it is a significant victory for damascus. russia's air strikes have been key to those gains. moscow admits its intervention helped reverse the situation on the ground. the syrian flag flies again in this area. it has taken the army weeks of intense fighting to retake this town in the southwestern province. state television showed military forces entering the town center after securing supply lines.
battles are reported to be continuing on the outskirts. the importance of the ruined town cannot be overstated. it lies on the main road linking the capitol with daraa, the city where the revolution began nearly five years ago. government forces have 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 turned around 180 degrees for the regime since the russians came in. last summer the al-qaeda affiliate was making gains in daraa province, and now there's this significant reversal which will effect the rebels logistically. >> russian jets have carried out thousands of missions helping the syria government regain control of cities nationwide.
the russian arab bombardment is being criticized for being indiscriminate. the kremlin insists isil and other armed groups are being targeted. some human rights groups say the air strikes have killed more civilians than fighters. bernard smith is live for us on the border. take us through what this means for the fight on the ground for the government. >> reporter: well, it is another very important peace of territory for the syrian assad forces to gain back. they had all but given up hope of getting this back. and the russians stepped in just as the syrian government looked on the verge, really, of defeat militarily in syria, and it's russian air strikes that have
helped the syrian regime make territory gains. they have done it particularly in the northwest of syria. on the one side you have the coastal areas under regime control and on the other side you have rebel-held idlib. there has been intense fighting going on there since september. of course behind all of that is a belief that with more territory under your control, the stronger your negotiating hand is if and when you come to any talks on the future of syria, jane. >> okay. that's there. look at what happened in homs. the atrocity that isil was behind. what does this suggest about the different forces on the ground and the impact this is going to have on the talks? >> reporter: well, yes, in homs we now understand at least 25 people have been killed by what was first of all a car bombing,
and then followed by a suicide bomber detonating himself to government-controlled check points. much of homs now under regime control. it was one of the cradles of the initial revolution against the assad regime, most of it now under government control. but isil is under threat elsewhere in syria, particularly along a 98-kilometer of the syrian-turkey border. isil is under an uncoordinated three-pronged assault, first from syrian kurdish rebels, then from other rebel groups and thirdly from regime forces all targeting isil for their own reasons, but it's a very important stretch of territory for isil, because it allows access to the turkish border. turkey of course has been under a lot of pressure to strengthen that border to make it harder for people and weapons to get
through, and turkey has done a lot to strengthen it, but it is still possible to get through that border if you know the right smugglers and the right routes jane. still to come, malaysia's prime minister is cleared of charges in a long-running corruption scandal. praying for a new life. why thousands of ethiopian jews are calling on israel to open its doors. and the australian open champion beats sharapova for an 18th straight time to reach the finals in melbourne. ♪ the pope has asked iran to work alongside other middle eastern nations to promote peace in the region. the president met with pope francis at the vatican. the leader is visiting italy as
part of his first european tour since the lifting of sanctions earlier this month. before we talk about the rest of his trip, what more did he have to say to the pope and the pope to rouhani? >> reporter: there was very little said publicly about the contents of that discussion. at the end the pope merely said to president rouhani. thank you for your visit, i hope for peace. and president rouhani replied please pray for me. what we understand took place during that meeting was the pope urging the iranian leader to use what good office, what influence he has with the regime in syria to try to advance peace talks. it's likely as well that the pope also raised the issue of human rights in iran, and it is likely that that was the only
time that that issue would have been raised during this visit to rome, since up until now the emphasis has been on economic cooperation. >> and the expectations on the rest of the trip, jacky? >> reporter: it's no coincidence, really, that rome was chosen as the first destination in this first official european tour by the iranian president since the lifting of international sanctions about ten days ago. it is clearly sending message to italy that the iranians are seeing new strategic partners, but in terms of political -- the political contexts, because the italians members of the e.u. but also have privileged relations with russia also. and they have to maintain good
commercial ties with the italians. so that period of sanctions in the perspective of the larger relationship is only a brief period, very much iran and italy wanting to emphasize it's back to business as usual, and president rouhani going on next to france. and france companies also very interested in exploring those opportunities. >> thank you for that, jacky. it has been a miserable day for markets across asia, after they slumped to a 40-month low. it is thought the losses were compounded by panic by investors. >> we have sign 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 spirit in action here in china, panic-gripping investors both individuals and institutional investors and that panic is spreading to global indices, where we're seeing other significant selloffs. also fuelling the oil drop as well. these two things combining to lead to a general selloff across markets around the world. but it's important to keep in mind that this tumultuous ride, and these selloffs, a great deal of this is what you might call sound and fury. and what i mean by that is despite these 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 corruption scandal. more than $860 million were transferred to his private account in 2013, but the attorney says it was a personal donation from the saudi royal family, and most of it was later returned. however, more than $60 million remain unaccounted for. >> reporter: there is media outlets here in malaysia 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 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 -- 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 will be questions within his own party as to what has happened to the money. there will be questions about the 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 a general election within the next two years. do they want to allow him to step aside and allow a new face to take the helm of the party and lead it into the next general election. all of those questions perhaps will be answered in the next few weeks. the bodies of 13 people have been discovered after their boat capsized off of the coast of malaysia, police believe those on board were illegal migrants.
the search and rescue operation is underway to find other survivors. the sri lankan government has destroyed ivory showing its commitment to stop the illegal trade. our correspondent has more from column bow. >> reporter: this haul has been concealed among sacks of plastic waste moving through the port of colombo. >> [ inaudible ] we had [ inaudible ] information [ inaudible ] to get downloaded. that is the main difficulty. >> reporter: on the international market ivory fetches as much as $3,000 a kilo, and one can only imagine
1.5 tons of ivory what that would bring. the ceremony to destroy this ayery, the clergy here as a tradition on this country, invoking blessings on the dead elephant, very much in difference to what happened a few years ago, essentially asking the responsibility of these tusks be transferred to the secretaryate. all of these tusks will go through the crusher, the resulting fragments will then be bagged up and will be taken to an industrial incinerator where they will be burned. very much what the central team is thinking behind this is showing there is no value essentially for contraband, and that poaching and the international trade will not be
>> this is what innovation looks like. >> can affect and surprise us. >> i feel like we're making an impact. >> let's do it. >> techknow - where technology meets humanity. hello, you are watching the al jazeera news hour. a reminder of the stop stories. within the last hour, invitations for friday's talks on the syrian conflict have been sent out. it's still unclear who will attend the negotiations in geneva. the u.n.'s humanitarian coordinator has described the war in syria as probably the most devastating crisis of the 21st century. u.n. agencies are calling on those taking part in the talks to end the suffering of civilians. it has been a miserable for markets across asia. leaving stock markets falling
more than 6%. more now on the diplomatic efforts ahead of friday's talks on syria. sergei lavrov has said the kurds must be allowed to take part in negotiations. >> translator: the fighters which the u.s. supports and who are fighting isil, they are trying to prevent them from participating in the syria 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 his closest allies. i hope the u.s. will not leave this problem unsolved. >> and rory challands has more from moscow. >> reporter: in recent weeks the fighting in syria has been going in assad's favor, and the russian foreign minister, i think is well aware that russia's air campaign has had at least some sort of impact in that. he said that russia's bombing
had drastically altered the situation in the country, and has allowed the syria army essentially to narrow the amount of territory controlled by as lavrov put it, terrorists in syria. there was an indication, though, that the russias are aware that increasing reports are coming out of syria, footage and media reports, suggesting that russian bombs are having an increasing toll on the civil population; that civilians are dying. he said that there was no proof at the moment. nobody has been able to supply any proof that russian bombs had killed syrian civilians, and also he said there was no proof that the russians had been bombing the wrong militant groups. regarding whether assad himself was either persuaded recently to step down by the russians, that was an allegation contained in a report from london financial
times, or that russia offered him asylum, he denied both of those things. and then he went on to talk about other things, including of course, ukraine. he said that crimea essentially is a closed topic. we have nothing to give back, said lavrov, talking about whether crimea would ever be returned to ukraine. and regarding the implementation of the minsk peace agreement, he said that russia is fully committed to making sure that process happened and he repeated the assertion that it is kiev that has been stalling that process and making it take longer than it should have done. secretary general of the norwegian council said all those involves must about now. >> every hour 50 more families 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. we could go into all of the besieged areas within days after access being granted. actually within hours in many places, and to the millions in hard to reach areas and across fire, we could reach them all in weeks either cross line or cross boarder from neighboring 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. in the u.s. democratic presidential hopefuls have held a townhall forum in iowa. bernie sanders sharpened his attacks against his main rival
hillary clinton. it was the last chance for iowa voters to hear from all three u.s. docratic hopefuls assembled in one place. kimberly halkett reports. >> reporter: it was a chance to pose questions directly to the democratic candidates. including hillary clinton, no longer leading opinion polls in iowa. >> i have heard from quite a few people my age that they think you are dishonest, but i would like to hear from you, and why you feel the enthusiasm isn't there. >> they throw all of this stuff at me, and i am still standing. >> reporter: as the former secretary of state she has the most foreign policy experience to be president. she took aim at donald trump for his statements against muslims. >> we need a coalition that include muslim nations to defeat isis. and it's pretty hard to figure
out how you are going to make a coalition with the very nations you need if you spending your time insulting their religion. >> reporter: her main rival acknowledged she has considerable foreign policy experience, he highlighted what he considers her biggest foreign policy mistake. >> hillary clinton voted for the war in iraq. >> reporter: as an anti establishment candidate, who has pledged to overcome income inquality in the united states, sanders reminded iowa voters banks were deregulated when her husband bill was president. >> i lead the effort against wall street regulation. see where hillary clinton was on this issue. >> reporter: despite polling showing clinton and sanders leading the race, 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. but his biggest challenge will be to prove he is still relevant in a nominating contest that has become a two-person race. political leaders are trying to find a solution to the crisis in haiti, following the indefinite postponement of elections. that has caused more protests in the capitol. the president is set to leave office in two weeks, even though there is nobody to replace him. the israeli government has pledged to allow more ethiopian jews to resettle in israel. thousands of families were split up when israeli immigration program was stopped three years ago. >> reporter: the people in the photographs are relatives living
in israel. they are ethiopian jews who made the immigration to israel. under the so-called law of return, people who can prove they are of jewish discent can move them. these people say they were left behind, when israel ended its immigration program from ethiopia a couple of years ago. >> translator: i feel lonely here, because all of my family are in israel. >> reporter: israel has long been accused of using a loose definition of jewish decent to boost the jewish population. these people practice jewism. this person's parents and grand parents were allowed to settle in israel in 2003. he says he doesn't know why his
application doesn't accepted. his mother passed away in israel. he couldn't afford to go see here before she died. >> translator: now i hope i can go to israel before my father dies, even just for one day. >> reporter: israel ended the migration program, because it said there were no more people eligible. but the mere fact that many people here who have family members living in israel, suggest there are certain inconsistencies with the way that law is applied. according to the jewish agency, there are around 135,000 ethiopian jews living in israel. around 50,000 were born there. life for the migrants is not always easy. these protests were sparked by allegations of police brutality against an ethiopian jew.
rights groups say the ethiopian community in israel has long suffered racism and discrimination. the israeli government has announced it is setting a new criteria, so that people in ethiopia claiming jewish decent can be reunited with their families in israel. the jewish agency which helps organize the immigration of jews to israel, denies occasions 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 sums of money to bring people from africa to serve as full-fledged citizens of that country and not for other purposes. so i they really speaks to israel's reason for existing.
>> reporter: many of these people pray for what they believe will be a better life in israel. where they can see their loved ones again. charles stratford al jazeera, northe northern ethiopia. joining us now is ben hartman. what is being donetsk? is anything being done to allow these ethiopians to return home? >> well, i there is a process in place, the relaunched program that you mentioned that was announced a couple of months ago. and that process will play out. it is the latest final badge of ethiopian jews that have been announced. and the question is what connection there is to judaism, and for a lot of people there are a lot of controversy attached to them. many have family here so there is an issue of family reunification. regardless of the reasons why
they are coming, or how many end up coming here, they will face some problems and issues. the community deals with very difficult issues of poverty, unemployment, education, and police brutality, and things like this. >> i'm just wondering how those -- how those affected by this deal with the poverty issue considering the discrimination that they face in israel, the way that they are treated. they are not treated like israeli citizens. i'm just finding out that half of them live in poverty. in 2013, israeli forcibly administered birth control injections to ethiopian jewish women. i mean, they are treated pretty badly there. >> the forcible birth control administration that is a whole other story, that's not an entirely correct way to characterize it. they gave family planning to
women, there are questions on whether all of them necessarily understood what they are taking. but they are treated as israeli citizens, and have all of the rights as other israeli citizens, however, they face problems that immigrant populations face. they are black, and come from a country that is very far from the countries where the ruling elite descendants came from. >> you say they have the same rights -- excuse me -- ben -- >> -- long family connections that a lot of these stronger segments of society have, so they are very much marginallized. but it doesn't mean that they are not treated -- >> they say they don't have the same rights. we have seen several protests. even benjamin netenyahu said he would look into how they are being treated in the country. >> right. there is certainly racism that
they feel from the wider israeli population, and particularly from the police. there is a lot of issues of police brutality, mistreatment by police, abuse from police. that's where the saw the protests a year ago, last year, we were dealing with the issue of police brutality, specifically but also on socioeconomic issues like poverty and the failure to integrate them. and police have made some efforts to address that. they have launched fact-finding studies and things like this. and new programs for reaching out to the ethiopian community, but it is going to be a hard process. >> okay. we're going to have to leave it there. good to talk to you. thanks for having me. the emperor of japan has arrived in the philippines. japanese troops occupied the philippines during the second
world war, democratic relations has been restored 60 years ago, but there has been no apology to women who were captured and forced to be sex slaves. >> reporter: fighting for justice. these women have kept silent most of their lives. traumatized and ashamed of being forced into sexual slavery during world war ii. this woman is nearly 90 years old. she clearly recalls the day she was abducted. >> translator: one janese soldier started to rape me while the other two held my arms and legs down. when he was done, the other ones started. even though i was screaming because of the pain my body was in, they kept at it. >> reporter: she is one of almost 200 philippineo women who first dame forward 25 years ago.
they say they were september as sex slaves. they are still waiting to be recognized officially, and offered an apology think begovernment of japan. the imperial military use of sex slaves is not up for discussion. they signed an agreement in 1956, and though that focused on rebuilding infrastructure and developing industry, the philippine government considers the matter of wartime sexual slavery, closed. japan has become the largest aid donor to the philippines, now the two countries are also strengthening their defense cooperation. that could see japanese forces back in the philippines. >> i think the philippine government hasn't done too much as far as comfort women are
concerned. i think they are giving greater priority to this large aid and bigger political issues. unfortunately that relegates this aspect of history to the back door. >> reporter: women like this one, don't want to be cast aside. >> translator: no matter how hard it is for me, i am still here, just to ask for our due, for what was done to us by the government of japan. >> reporter: every year there are fewer of them left, but beyond compensation, they long for an official apology from the japanese government. only then they say can they start to reclaim the dignity taken there them 75 years ago. the second largest lake in bolivia has completely dried up. en neen you has been blamed for its decline. our correspondent reports.
>> reporter: there was once water as far as the eye could see. this lake covered more than 2300 square kilometers. it used to provide more of bolivia's fish, and was a temporary home to thousands of migrating birds. now it's all gone. bolivias second largest lake turned into a sanctuary for dozens of fishes, and now only bugs are left praying on their carcasses. this fisherman showed us where the pier used to be. his boat has been turned over. only a few weeks ago he was still fishing here. >> translator: since 2014 there was a strong wind blowing. the water, the birds, and algae began to disappear. we were helpless. now the lake is completely dry. the only thing left are our
tools, boats, and memories. >> reporter: nearly 150 families are moving out or have already left. the government of the region has declared it a natural disaster zone. it's governor says he is willing to find ways to bring the water back, but at though same time is hoping that rain will come. >> translator: in the meantime, we will implement breeding farms, but we must find alternatives to water sources. although i'm convinced rain will fill it again. >> reporter: the lake has dried up in the past, environmentalists say now it is different, they are partly blaming the el niño phenomenon. el niño used to be ever 10 to 15 years, but now it is more recurrent. it is also partly because they
have diverted water supplies. byologists says the fate of the lake is irreversible. >> translator: [ inaudible ] no matter what the government does to save it, the lake is a dead case. >> reporter: this fisherman agrees. >> translator: now we have to migrate to a city. now my wife has to beg in the streets. that's how we are surviving. >> reporter: but he is not ready to give up a life on the lake just yet. he is guarding his net and boat, and hoping that somehow, one day, the water returns. al jazeera, bolivia. coming up in this sport with jo, one month to go until the fifa presidential elections. fine out how the main candidates are faring in the race to succeed sepp blatter.
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♪ jo is here. she has got the sport. >> jane, thank you so much. to the australian open first, and serena williams has reached yet another grand slam semifinal. she kept up her dominance over maria sharapova to book her place. >> reporter: the 3rd of july, 2004, that was the last time maria sharapova beat serena williams. but since then serena has won every single encounter.
tuesday's match was a replete. but it was sharapova that started the better, breaking williams in the opening game. but then serena came back to win the next set. williams says that sharapova brings out the best in her, and that was hard to argue in the second set. and before sharapova had a chance to catch her breath, she was facing defeat number 18. williams winning 6-4, 6-1. >> she is an incredibly intense, focused player who was number 1 and has won so many grand slams for a reason. so when you are playing someone like that that is so great, you have to come out with a lot of fire and intensity. >> reporter: this young man probably wasn't around when roger federer won his first grand slam title, but he might get to see the swiss win in 18.
he will have his fans hopeful that he can win in melbourne. >> i feel like i'm competitive at the top. i can, you know, beat all of the guys on tour. it's nice to end the last three rounds as consistent as i have been. >> reporter: the last grand slim victory was in 2012, and that was the last time he beat novak djokovic in a grand slam. against the 7th seed, everything seemed to be in working order for the five-time champion as he won in straight sets. djokovic can now look forward to a 45th meeting with federer in the finals. football now and japan's under 23 team have qualified for
the rio olympics after they reached the final in doha. they were taking on iraq in the first of two semifinals on tuesday. the japanese took the lead in the 26th minute. iraq equalized just before halftime with the game heading for extra time, japan scored in the 93rd minute to claim a 2-1 win. the second semifinal kicks off in about a half hour from now. the qatari's are looking to qualify for the first time since 1992. the game takes place in doha, it's rather chilly there, andy richardson joins us from there now. let's talk about the first game. quite an incredible finish for japan, but all isn't lost for iraq, is it? in >> reporter: that's right. iraq now go into a third,
fourth-place playoff. there really is an added dimension this time, because the winner will go to the rio olympics so three teams to go through from this tournament. as for japan, it's their sixth straight time at the olympics. agot -- they got as far as the semifinals five years ago. and for iraq they have only ever been to the olympics once before. that was in 2004 when they had a sensational run to the finals. and lost to italy. but they are still in a chance of getting to rio. >> and qatar play south korea where you are there in doha. it's not just about the olympics, though, for qatar, is it? >> reporter: absolutely not. the national coach, felix sanchez, formally the barcelona youth coach, saying the tournament of course is a win in itself to get to rhea -- rio,
but everything in qatar is about building towards the world cup. a huge amount of time and money have been put in this team. a couple of years ago, the under 19 team, the majority of which are in this squad, won the asia title. and they bought two teams in europe. and ten of the squad here play for one of those two teams. in european football, toughening themselves up mentally and physically. and at the senior level, the team is unbeaten in the 2018 world cup qualifying. they are desperate to qualify for world cup before they host it. >> we are now just one month away from the election that will
decide the new president of fifa. the five candidates have now been formally confirmed by football's world governing body. lee wellings takes us through the front runner. >> reporter: the [ inaudible ] is the front runner. but there are five candidates. fifa has confirmed this by writing to all 209 federations. but of course there are questions about his human rights record in bahrain, and it -- promises to still be a difficult period. the secretary general of uefa initially stood in for fifa. he is making up ground. this week seven south american
federations signed a pact to back him. of course he has plenty of support in europe. he is a really serious contender. prince ali has difficulties putting onout an event in brussels this week, amidst confusion. [ inaudible ] is a complete outsider, as always with fifa there will still be plenty of twists and turns ahead. the iaaf investigation committee will investigate the championships. u.k. athletics chief claimed in a radio interview that he had been told brown envelopes had been handed to voting iaaf members before the 2011 decision. london was awarded the championship ahead of doha.
that was later giving hosting rights for the 2019 event. on the cricket now, and a 20-year-old has become the youngest south african bowler to take more than 10 wickets in a test match. he took 6 wickets in england's second inning. they won the test, but england won the series? this >> the first test match, i only got 3 wickets and got smashed everywhere, so you have to enjoy these moments, and when you look back on it, it doesn't always have to be in the moment. when you look back on it, you can really be proud of what you achieved. >> that is all of the sport for now. >> that's all for us as well,
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syria's government makes further gains from the opposition, as the u.n. formally invites the opposing sides to talks in geneva. ♪ hello there, i'm felicity barr and this is al jazeera live from london. always coming up. denmark's parliament overwhelmingly passes a law allowing police to seize valuables from asylum seekers. malaysia's prime minister is cleared of corruption, although $60 million remains unaccounted for. and the iranian president's post sanctions tour of