tv Weekend News Al Jazeera January 31, 2016 11:00am-11:31am EST
>> a series of attacks hit damascus. sixty die as leaders search for a way to end the war. i'm in geneva, the main syrian opposition block is here but are split on whether to join the negotiations. this is al jazeera live from london. also coming up, at least 65 are i would killed in a bomb attack in nigeria, boko haram is thought to be responsible. the zika virus spreads
further across latin america. the government of el salvador warns women not to get pregnant. we'll tell you why pressure is growing to ban the hijab in senegal. negotiations to end the violence in syria get off to a difficult start in geneva, the violence continues on the ground. at least 60 people have been killed in a triple bombing in the syrian capital. the attack happened near a shrine in a mainly shia neighborhood of damascus. isil claims responsibility for the blast. the u.s. secretary of state john kerry spoke about the situation in syria and those peace talks. here is some of what he had to say. >> in light of what is at stake in these talks, i appeal to both sides to make the most of this moment, to seize the opportunity
for serious negotiations to negotiate in good faith with the goal of making concrete measurable progress in the days immediately ahead. the world is hoping that both sides will move quickly to meet the needs of millions of desperate syrians, to reduce the pressure on neighboring countries, reduce the levels of migration, and to help restore peace and stability. the main topics on the agenda for those negotiations crude arrangements for a nationwide ceasefire and establishing a path to a political transition that will bring this conflict to an end in accordance with the geneva communique of 2012, and u.n. security council resolution 2254. while battlefield dynamics can affect negotiating leverage, in the end, there is no military solution to the conflict. our diplomatic editor james
bays is in geneva and joins me life now. kerry making appeal to both sides, just bring us up to date, where are those talks at right now? >> well, there are talks about talks, i think. everyone is in geneva, but they've not actually started any substantial negotiation. we've heard from both sides. we've heard for the first time from the government side, even though they arrived here first, it's the opposition, he spoke to the media first, the delegation i guess headed by syria's am boss deer. he said his negotiation was here on time and ready for talks monday. he said the opposition are delaying, not in the spirit of the invitation or the u.n. resolution that set up this process. in effect, he said they are not serious. >> we are not aware of the other party, including the special envoy and his team. they do not have a final lift of the other names of the parties. they have delayed six days and
do not have a final list as we speak. there is more than one delegation representing the opposition. we refer to them as the opposition parties, not party. >> it sounds like they haven't agreed yet how to proceed. >> they've had their meeting with the u.n. special envoy. he said he remained optimistic. that's the word he's been using throughout this process, that they would agree not just to talk to him but start actually negotiating. it's pretty clear, though, there is a split among the opposition of how to go forward. some of them want to see some concrete measures, they don't just want verbal assurances from mr. kerry and others. they want concrete measures on the ground, before they are going to actually sit down in these talks. they had a meeting, and it was a pretty stormy meeting. we saw argument as the meeting was ending, some berating each
other very angry. they went away to discuss in their various groups how to proceed. the next meeting to decide how to go forward, i'm not saying it's the final definitive meeting, one hour from now. we are watching closely for any sort of decision. of course they are listening not only to the people here but the people in saudi arabia and one member of the high negotiating committee told me they also of course have to bear in mind the comments coming from syria. >> the truth is what can i tell the people who are starving to death? what can i tell the people that daughters and kids are in prisons? they need a solution and we need to give them something. if we don't get anything from this pros, we are going to be all of us finished. we need to give the people something. those people in syria, they are suffering. we are here to help them. we are not the leaders.
we are the servant of those people in syria who are suffering a lot. >> so we've seen disagreement for some considerable time for days now among the opposition. yes, they were persuaded to get on a plane and make their way to geneva, where i think the u.n. and other key parties felt perhaps they had a bit more leverage on them to persuade them to actually join the negotiation. that decision, though, still hangs in the balance. the next meeting, one hour from now. >> james bays live at those talks in geneva, thank you. in syria itself, up to 400,000 people are trapped by the fighting and are in need of emergency help. many others have died trying to escape to a better life in europe. zeina horde reports on syrian hopes for those talks in geneva. >> this is the reality in syria. the government because by russian air power is on the offensive. their focus now is on the
suburbs southwest of the capital, damascus. they are tightening the siege after opposition rebels rejected an ultimatum to withdraw from the area. the strategy is to isolate it from the nearby area, which is also under a government blockade. >> whether the regime can enter the area, their strategy is to blockade and starve the people and the fighters into submission, even while geneva is happening, they are tightening sieges and the airstrikes are increasing. >> many syrians opposed to the government support the high negotiation committee's decision not to engage in talks with the government. the committee wants goodwill gestures, an end to the bombardments and blockades, as well as the release of detainees before it agrees to negotiations. >> we are against the meeting in geneva. the regime is not serious about the talks. while it is present in geneva,
it is also bombarding us. >> people in rebel held territories are concerned. they believe washington is cooperating with the government's main backer, russia. the two powers are behind a u.n. peace plan that could see syrian president bashar al assad stay in office at least during the transition period. >> at the beginning, the u.s. publicly stood against assad but kept making false promises to the opposition and now their true position is in the open. the u.s. is not against bashar al assad. they accept him at the negotiationg table. the u.s. no longer hides the fact that they consider him the leader. >> assad's future has always been an obstacle on the road to peace. >> russia's intervention is believed to have changed the military and political balance in favor of president assad. recent bases have made the regime stronger and that is why the opposition believes it has little to gain by negotiating.
it is pushing for concessions before joining talks. >> diplomacy has so far seen only failures in this conflict which has become a war by proxy. many feel their voices have become irrelevant. >> syrians should be the ones to decide their fate. big powers have intervened and are imposing their decisions. >> they are not clues to a solution. we will be live from el 65 people have been killed in northeast nigeria. the attack took place saturday night. nigeria's military said boko haram is responsible. witnesses say suicide bombers targeted a crowd and fighters shot at people and set their
houses alight. a dozen victims are said to be burned beyond recognition. our correspondent joins us live from the nigerian capital, now. >> the number of exacts has gone up slightly because of the severity of the injuries recorded in yesterday's attack. the number. some residents are caught in now are more than 70 and moan of the dead children and women burned beyond recognition during last night's attack. the attackers launched the attack on two fronts, they came through a village and attacked it. they attacked the town setting
homes on fire as residents were fleeing. three saturday bombers infiltrated the crowd trying to run from the attacks and set off devices. most dead were caused by these saturday bombs that were detonated among the crowds fleeing the attack. >> is it a particularly difficult area for the security forces to keep control of? >> it's not a particularly difficult area for the security forces to take charge of, because you remember, the military just more than a month ago declared that technically they have over powered boko haram, but they are fighting a group that is so used to warfare, unconventional warfare and most of them have melted into the crowd, you don't know who they are, and when next they will attack. basically, the military is trying to keep control of areas they have taken over from the
boko haram site, and then tried to control the situation there. what we've seen over the last few months after the military declared victory over boko haram is the rise in suicide bombers. we're seeing these on the nigeria side. we've seen on the cameroon, niger and chadian side. lately over the last three, we have seen a slowdown until the last week when we saw a flurry of activity in terms which suicide bombings by boko haram in northeastern nigeria. >> thank you. the african union will not be sending peace keeper to say burundi. leaders discussed deploying soldiers to quell political violence that has claimed 400 lives since april. burundi's government objected and its president previously warned his country will fight any foreign forces trying to
enter. we have this update. >> the heads of state have decided to suspend any deployment of area troops to burundi without the consent of the government. they instead decided to push for a political solution to jump start an all inclusive political dialogue. they are sending a high level delegation to talk to government officials and to the president to try and convince him this say yes to a deployment of troops to that country, basically to help the local authorities in the disarmament efforts and also in the protection of civilians. the head of state also noted a complaint by burundi against its neighbor, rwanda, it has always criticized rwanda of arming and training rebel groups in refugee camps there.
rwandan officials have always denied this. in rimadi, soldiers have been fighting pockets of resistance. isil holds significant areas to the north and west of the country, as well as parts of neighboring syria. the united nations appealed for emergency funding to help iraq respond to a going humanitarian crisis. the u.n. human coordinator said $861 million is needed to plug a shortfall in iraq finances caused by the collapse in oil prices. an estimated 3.3 million iraqis have been displaced by fighting between the iraqi armed forces and isil over the past two years. they are among 7.3 million people the u.n. says are in urgent need of help. it warrants that depending on the intensity of fighting in cities such as mosul, the number could rise to 12 million or
13 million by the end of the year. our correspondent imran kahn has more. >> with the fall in oil prices, iraq is facing a real shortfall in the funding for the humanitarian crisis. what the u.n. have said is they can raise, want top raise $861 million. the iraqi government need 1.56 and have 43% on that and are relying on the u.n. to raise the rest of it. the u.n. have said they don't have that money. they need to ask international donors to give them that money. there is real concern that the international community simply doesn't have the money. in europe, you have the refugee crisis there, a lot of you european countries saying we need that money to help people back home. we have a funding short fall in iraq and syria. although the u.n. said we need
this $900 million to help iraq out of this humanitarian crisis, that many needs to be raised. also, we haven't seen the fall of fallujah yet which will spark an international crisis. little still under occupation by isil. we will be seeing perhaps a liberation that have city or at least operation against that city some point this year, according to iraqi sources that will spark another humanitarian crisis and the u.n. will have to reas their physician. still ahead on the program, we're going to tell you why monday's caucus vote in iowa is so important in the race for the white house. i'm in india's capital. one third of all people have reduced lung function because of air pollution this winter.
zika virus. the government's advising women not to get pregnant p.m. we have a report. >> soon to be mothers in a hospital in el salvador, all worrying about the same thing, the zika virus is spreading fast, transmitted by mosquitoes. scientists thinking if the mother is infected, it could cause brain damage to the unborn child. the link has yet to be proved but the government has taken the step of warning women not to get pregnant for at least the next year. that's too late for cristobal who is suffering from the fever and rash.
eight months into the pregnancy, the risk to her baby he is lower. >> i wouldn't have got pregnant, i really would have wait for the outbreak to finish. >> the vice minister of health says this is just the tip of the iceberg. authorities only recently detected the virus here, but are already getting ready for the brain damaged children they think could be born in around seven months time. >> they started to discuss this to look at what special resources the system needs to give support to these children, looking at other countries to have the problem to strengthen our services. >> while contraception is used, one option women don't have is terminating their pregnancy, even if the fetus is brain damaged. a congressman for the capital city believes the no tolerance abortion laws need to be discussed in light of the zika virus threat. >> it's a debate we should take more seriously, to open up the defense of life not just the
babies, but the mothers, the family and the damage that can be generated to society. >> for now, the government is concentrating on the root cause, the mosquitoes carrying the virus. >> authorities are fumigating houses and public spaces all over the capital, but there's already 6,000 suspected cases of the zika virus. >> the biggest worry is not for now, but what the future may bring. >> in a caucus, more months in the u.s., presidential hopefuls have spent millions of dollars wooing iowa voters. we have this report. >> it's in homes like this that the united states will hold its first official votes in its presidential nominating contest. >> where is this caucus going to be held?
where are the people going to be? >> right here in the living room. >> this is where the caucus is? >> right here, yep. >> to caucus means to gather. you won't see polling booths or voting machines, people meet by political party at homes, community centers and church. the state of 3 million became prominent in the presidental election cycle. >> there was a series of changes in 1972 as to how our political parties would select their president of the united states, and iowa happened to go first that year. iowa has been first ever since. >> we will pass out slips of paper for you to vote on. >> the caucus is simple, supporters vote by secret ballot tossed in a hat or basket. the nominees for both parties are officially elected.
>> the democratic caucus is a little different, supporters gather in the center of the room and then break off into groups behind the candidate they support and that's where things get a little intense. >> we'll have one faction coming in and visiting with another faction, trying to swing people to their side. >> the debate between caucus goers can be heated. still the results serve an important purpose. >> the iowa caucus is special, just because it was the first litmus test about what people are feeling about what they want in their commander-in-chief. >> everybody has to be in one place at one time, it means that if the weather is bad, it makes it harder for people to get to their caucus locations. of course, it's iowa, it's cold, there's a good chance of snow. >> despite months of courting voters, the results of the
iowa caucus could come down to the weather and whether supporters show up on a cold winter night. al jazeera, des moines, iowa. morn a third of people living in the indiana capital have trouble breathing. levels of pollution have reached historic highs. [ coughing] >> this is how he stays fit in new delhi. he used to exercise in the park every day until this winter when it started making him sick. >> i get minor colds, minor headaches. i feel my lungs are extremely heavy, and these are the problems that i never really noticed in the previous years when i was living here. >> a government survey shows one third of people in the city now have reduced lung function, mainly because of air pollution. while aurora doesn't know how badly he's been affected, his doctor advised him to spend less time outdoors. >> i used to run every evening and now i don't anymore, because
i feel like my lungs feel so heavy. every time i go, i go to a neighbor park to run, i actually come back feeling ill, because i can smell like the pollution out there. >> many doctors have seen an increase in complaints of breathing problems especially among children. the effects may last even after pollution levels decrease. >> once the pollution level goes down, infection rates go down, this will go back but -- we say that there may be a chance that -- >> with pollution levels now among the worst in the world, people are demanding the government act. >> the growing popularity of cars is one of the main sources of air pollution, along with factories and agri business. the state government is adding more buses and expanding the
metro rail network. it has had success in banning drivers to alternate days. in the short term, the government wants people to think hard about choices they make. >> if people want to reduce pollution, they can. if they feel they have to buy a car, maybe after five years, they'll do it. rising temperatures are expected to bring down the pollution in the air, making it at least more tolerable. restoring the city's air quality will need some clear thinking with a long term horizon. al jazeera, new delhi. in senegal is a growing fashion market for muslim women who wear veal. as attacks increase across the region, there is pressure to ban the hijab.
>> designing clothes for the muslim women, it's a business opportunity that simply can't be ignored. after working in paris, she started her own brand. customers ask for longer dresses and even the full veil. >> women, whether old or young, feel more respected wearing the veil, especially in conservative societies. it's a sign of confidence and trustworthiness. >> she and other designers are showing collections at the muslim conference, showcasing the diversity in fashion. some of it could be banned, saying veils pose a security threat. they are illegal in cameron, niger and chad, where somebody have been killed by bombs concealed under the robes.
organizers of this event are promoting fashion, not violence. >> i think it's a debate that is stigmatizing the wrong people. i don't have to follow the global trend, actually, it's saying in a way, let's create an alternative trend, this new islamic clothing trend and show people that i can be fashionable, open minded, that i can be smart, entrepreneurial, that i can bare without having to show my body if i don't want to that. that is the message we want to get across. >> the fashion is a growing market. last year alone it was estimated to be worth $230 billion globally. it's not just local shops making clothes like this, big brands are making clothes for muslim women. they, too, see an opportunity in the fashion.
despite the security threat and bans in place and debates surrounding the veil, it is believed the demand for clothing like this is only going to grow. we celebrate our era of terrorism. >> stevenson has spent his career fighting racism in the criminal justice system--the legacy of slavery and times of "racial terror" continue to impact the lives of african americans today. >> what we did to african americans between the end of