less stress or both a growing number of pilots are opting for a one way ticket, many bound for china. al jazeera, seoul. you can find much more on that story and everything else we have been covering here on al jazeera at our website. the address is on our screen right now, aljazeera.com. the american people getting their first official say in this year's presidential election. the world health organization holding an emergency session to discuss the next steps in fighting the zika virus. a deadly series of attacks in damascus overshadowing talks to end the conflict in syria. ladies and gentlemen, welcome to diverse t.v. >> one hollywood awards show dial up the diversity.
this is aljazeera america live from new york city. i'm del walters. the big night is almost here in iowa. they are set to hold the first contest of the 2016 presidential elections. after 18 months, hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of t.v. ads spent inside, the place you are looking at is the capitol dome of des moines, the center of the political university today. iowaens will take part in caucuses tonight. the candidates are making a mad dash to try to get support. hillary clinton has a slight lead over bernie sanders, but it is inside the margin of error. >> on the republican side, donald trump leading with 28%, ted cruz with 23% support of the vote. al jazeera is live in des moines. the caucus is starting at
7:00 p.m. local time. any indication as to how many votes are up for grabs? >> there are so many votes up for grabs. according to a poll by the des moines register and bloomberg, a full 30% of potential caucus growers and 45% of gop caucus goers have not decided. this is why candidates are aggressively trying to get those votes. moments ago i was in a coffee shop where hillary clinton, her daughter, chelsea, along with her manager walked in just to get coffee. were there not for the fact a dozen secret service surrounding her, you would think she was any other person. as she shook hands and took selfies, she was sure to ask one question, are you caucuses for me tonight? because she knows that so many of these younger voters are critical to her success. now we are in the east village section of dough money, iowa. it's very fashionable downtown
area, a few blocks from the state house where mostly these younger voters that everyone is targeting where they live. this is the key demographic everyone wants, bernie sanders, hillary clinton, trump, ted cruz. >> also, in 2008, there was no record turnout, barack obama was the young upstart at that time. it has been said that we could see the same this year. what's normal and what's driving the numbers up? >> that's a very important question. if you look at the perspective, only about one in five iowaens typically caucus. that's it. now during 2008, when we had record turnout, two in five caucus, a 100% increase. this year, they are expecting quite a few more caucus goers in large part because there is so much interest in this race and they are trying to be more inclusive. on the republican side, they are making it possible for military servicemen to absentee participate. on the democratic side, they are
saying anyone who is not in iowa, who's a registered democratic can telecaucus. their going to call in to a giant conference call and make their voices known. this is for anyone not in the state. in this way, they are trying to make sure they get at many people as possible. because of this, numbers will likely be raised. >> live in des moines, thank you very much. let's go to dave leventhal, the senior reporter for the center of public integrity joining us from washington, d.c. dave, thanks for being with us. if anything can be said about campaign 2016, the rule books have been thrown out. hillary clinton i guess leading now by a razor's edge object donald trump by on the republican side. >> here's the big difference between polls and caucuses, polls, you get to do in the privacy of your own phone, on the internet.
caucuses aren't like primaries or going into the polls. it's a public pronouncement of a candidate. that could change things for people on the fence, maybe supporting donald trump or ted cruz but could be convinced by friends and family who are going to be in that middle school jam or fire haul as saying no, no, vote for marco rubio or chris christie or somebody else. on the democratic side, you've got hillary and bernie running neck and neck and that can be a fight from city to city, town to town. >> will any of these candidates be made or broke in iowa. if they had cruz fails to win in iowa, will that mean the end of the cruz campaign? >> the iowa caucuses will almost certainly not make any candidate. nobody is going to win the nomination based on how they finish in iowa. at the same time, you are absolutely right, candidates could be broken. i think it's a stretches to that
ted cruz would be broken except if he had a disastrous unexpected finished. ed second or tear candidates, jeb bush, rand paul -- >> you think the bush campaign could end in iowa, that i had could end up being his waterloo. >> waterloo, iowa, very popular campaign stop. even finishing fourth, fifth, or sixth, or seventh in iowa, he will probably move along to new hampshire, even south carolina to see how he can go. jeb bush has a super pac that has raised tens of millions of dollars. we saw financial reports that came in last night that we were writing about that showed he had $58 million in a supportive super pac, a group that can raise limited amounts of money for candidates they like. this gives him the ability to% on and go forward in a way he
couldn't except for that money. >> we are talking about the amount of money he has, but when you realistically look at iowa, the people who win there don't generally win the general election. his brother did. huck bow and santorum did not. why is it going to be the death nell for him? >> iowa in kind of a twist of fate knocked them out of the race or delegated them to non-factors. it could be a situation in iowa where going into new hampshire we have one, two, three fewer candidates on the republican side than at this moment now. at the very least, it's going to soften up a few so if they bomb
out in new hampshire, it's pretty much lights out for them on the republican side. >> dave as always, thank you very much. hour live coverings of the iowa caucuses beginning tonight at 7:00 p.m. eastern time. we hope to see you then. world health leaders meeting in geneva phon the zika virus. it is spreading explosively. an international health emergency could be declared with 20 countries and territories claiming cases. we have more from san juan, puerto rico which is facing a rash of new cases. >> the c.d.c. in atlanta tell aljazeera america that there are now five confirmed cases of the zika virus in pregnant women in the united states.
let's listen to what she says about how serious it is. >> as with the in there ducks of any new disease to the area, there's a lot of anxiety as to what does this really mean. unfortunately for zika, we don't have that many answers. all we know is zika is an old disease and mate its appearance to the rest of the world in 2007 in the pacific, and then it really exploded. >> now there's no vaccine or specific treatment for the zika virus, just prevention. it causes birth defects in beaks, it is said. there is no vaccine for the zika virus. that is why today, in geneva,
the p.h.o. is meeting to talk about whether or not they want to ramp up the escalation or call this an international emergency, a global response. they have been criticized in the past for not doing things like this fast enough in 2014 with ebola crisis that killed 11,000 people but now are expected to convene tomorrow, again, and we'll see what they say about the progress here moving forward with the zika virus. but there is a potential for up to 4 million people to contract zika virus in the north american territory by the end of this year alone. robert ray, al jazeera, san juan, puerto rico. there are still a lot of questions about the zika virus. 8% of people don't know they have it. symptoms include five, rash, joint point or muscle pain. there have been people getting sick because of blood transfusions or sexual conduct. there are no vaccines to prevent
or treat it. doctors say get plenty of rest, drink plenty of water. tylenol can be taken to help with pain. the cloud hanging over chipotle may be beginning to clear. the c.d.c. expects to declare an end to the e-coli outbreak. it has been over two months since a case was linked to the restaurant. no one has pinpointed the cause. the problems beginning in october and spreading to nine states. more trouble this morning in the negotiations to end the five year long civil war in syria. ably blasts there killing more than 70 people on sunday in damascus, isil claiming responsibility. those ceasefire talks are now on hold. the u.n. envoy organizedding the talk wants to meet with the opposition. he melt with the government sunday. james bays has more from geneva. >> both sides are here in geneva and there are talks taking place. there are no actual negotiations.
the formal proximity talks with both talks at the same time here in the united nations, they haven't started. from the opposition side, i think there's a little bit of a fudge here. initially they said they wouldn't come unless certain conditions that are in the u.n. security council resolution that created this process were met, the lifting of sieges, stopping of bombardment and the release of prisoners. none of those things have happened. some in the opposition want to keep this process going, they don't want to walk away, and so for now, they're having meetings but saying those meetings are about addressing their concerns rather than actually negotiating. i think they can keep this fudge going for a few days but as i say, there are some in the opposition delegation, particularly the armed groups that say we really need to see something concrete on the ground in syria or we will walk away, so i think a few more days of this slight confusion and then i think there will need to be a clear decision from the opposition whether they are
going to stay and negotiate or whether they're leaving. >> that is al jazeera's james bays for us in geneva. 17 dead following the suicide bombing in afghanistan, officials saying that a man got in line with police recruits in kabul and set off his explosives near the gate of the building there. 25 others have been injured. the taliban claims responsibility for this attack. when we come back, back behind bars, police catch three escaped california inmates. they are still looking for clues how they managed to escape in the first place. >> as the caucuses begin in iowa, hillary clinton back on the defense over her emails.
>> a live look at des moines, iowa, the center at least for now of the political universe. they are getting ready for the caucuses tonight. americans will get their say in the elections, the candidates is yourying for support. our reporter ran into hillary clinton at a coffee shop. poles show donald trump is leading. that is a picture of the meeting in the coffee shop. hillary clinton with a slim lead over her closest rival, bernie sanders. clinton defending the latest controversy over her emails, dismissing concerns over emails deemed top secret.
clinton saying they should no longer be a campaign issue and called out republicans for posturing. >> this is very much like benghazi, george, the republicans are going to continue to use it, beat up on me. i understand that, that's the way they are, but after 11 hours of testimony, answering every single question in public which i requested for many months, it's pretty clear they are grasping at strauss. >> it's not clear if the emails were top secret when they were sentence or classified top secret later. the caucuses are different in the way that voters meet and decide. al jazeera's marry snow explains. it's well known that iowa is the first in the nation to weigh in on the presidential race. less well known are the quirks behind it's caucuses. in 1972, it was only by chance
that democrats in iowa scheduled their caucus earlier than everybody else. in 1976, republicans in the state joined them. >> i'm running for president. >> when jimmy carter did well that year in iowa, and went on to win the white house, iowa cemented its first in the nation status. drake university's dennis goldford said with it comes a process which is unlike ballots cast over the course of the day. >> you've got to be at your caucus site on a monday night, be prepared to spend possibly a couple of hours there and you have to hope there's no blizzard, that the car starts and there's nobody sick in the family. >> public buildings like churches, schools and libraries are among the places used as caucus sites in the state's 1,681 precincts.
in remote rural areas, a caucus might be held in a private home. once inside, rules are different depending on the party. republicans have the more straightforward process. after hearing for surrogates for candidates, they write their choice on a piece of paper. votes are counted and returned to precinct officials. for democrats, it's more complicated. >> people have to physically stand up for their preferred candidate. in this year's three person race, they will say everybody in favor of hillary clinton go to that corner, everybody in favor of bernie sanders, go to this corner. everybody in favor of martin o'malley, go to the other corner and everybody undecided or undeclared, go to another corner. then, these are called preference groups. >> in order to be viable, a preference group has to have a certain percentage of support of those present at the caucus. if it doesn't meet the threshold, the group is dissolved and others try to win over its members. >> people are enticed to go
over, even if it's a preference group for hillary clinton, sanders people may say come on, you don't really support her, you really want to support bernie, so there's lots of horse tradings and cajoling like that. it's really interesting to watch. >> iowa's system has its pitfalls. iowa had egg on its face in 2012 when party leaders declared mitt romney the winner of the republican caucus. >> first place, governor mitt romney with 274 votes. >> only to announce two weeks later, there had been a miscount. rick santorum was the actual winner and many argue that mistake cost santorum all important momentum. this year, iowa is working to make sure history doesn't repeat itself. mary snow, al jazeera. let's take a look at that history on the democratic side. barack obama, john kerry, al gore, all of them winning iowa. obama's eye was not win in 2008 established him as the front
runner. republicans mike huckabee and rick santorum won iowa but went on to loose the election in 2000. george bush won iowa and the white house. bracing for a major winter storm, although not affecting the caucuses, the storm is forecasted for this evening worsening overnight. in southern california, a powerful storm hammered that region. at least one person was killed, the storm as you can see, uprooting dozens of trees, downing power lines and prompting flash flood warnings. thousands there are in the dark. >> in california, the woman charged with helping three inmates escape a jail in southern california is going to be arraigned today. all three of the men are now back behind bars. >> the timing i was are back behind bars again that escaped a
southern county jail. >> a jail teacher is accused of helping them with the planning phase. investigators say her relationship with one suspect went beyond the classroom. >> she visited him several times and developed a relationship with him and it seems to be more than just a casual friendship relationship and so she started doing his bidding to some extent. >> their eight days of freedom ended outside a whole foods saturday when a man spotted a stolen van carrying at least two suspects. he alerted police and the race to catch the men played out on police radios. one man was arrested a block from the van with witnesses nearby. >> lay down, hit the ground, get on the ground. he did. he did. and they just captured him, handcuffed him, put him in the wagon, got the other one on the other side. >> police later arrested the other suspect hiding inside the van.
the third escapee had surrendered to police on friday. >> from the very beginning and i told you we were going to capture these individuals. >> the trio broke out of the orange county jail on january 22, cutting through a steel grill in their cell and rappeling down the jail facade on ropes made from bed sheets. when we come back, a diverse cast of characters. >> change is inevitable, so might as well wrap your mind around it and let's go. >> the screen actor's guild celebrating diversity in the wake of the oscars so white controversy.
>> federal investigators are expect to release new information about the fatal amtrak crash last year on may 12 near philadelphia. it killed eight, left 200 injured. at the time, the ntsb safety board said it might have been speed as a factor. today's report may include black box data and transcripts of interviews with the engineer. also today, the justice department expected to announce an investigation into the san francisco police department as they face scrutiny over the shooting death of mario woods back in december, sparking racial tensions and calls for the police chief to be fired. last night's screen actors guild are hailed as a win or diversity, a big change from
what we are likely to see at the academy awards. >> welcome to diverse t.v. >> actor idris elba summed up the tone of the awards. he was not nominated for an oscar. queen latifah won for playing bessie smith in h.b.o.'s "bessie." she said years wants to more diversity. >> growth is important and paramount. change is inevitable, so you might as well wrap your mind around it and let's go. >> please, don't be mad at me. >> taking home two trophies for her work in orange is the new laura prepon praised the divorce city of the cast. >> look at the stage, this is what we are talking about when
we talk about diversity, color, creed, sexual orientation, thank you very much. >> the results of the sag awards stand in stark contrast to the oscars, which nominated no actors of color this year for the second year in a row, sparking debate across the industry and on twitter with a hash tag oscars so white. >> to some extent i have to say i think the academy is getting something of a bad rap on this particular issue. people might be surprised to know basically in the last 15 years that 15% of the nominees have been people of color. that's not great given that the country is 35% to 45% people of color, but it's not miniscule. >> some tweeted sags so black hash tag. another tweeted: >> another person wrote: >> we have become a society of trending topics.
diversity is not a trending topic. >> viola davis won, queen latifah was nominated a couple of years ago, beasts of the southern wild, selma, 12 years a slave were nominated for best picture in the last few years, so there is progress being made. it's not great, but there is progress. >> voting for the sag awards ended friday, more than two weeks after the debate erupted over the lack of diversity in the academy awards nominations. >> finally, a new project on kickstarter bringing a bit of science fiction to the garden. a gardening kit for 11 tating a bonsai plant, the project raising $560,000, seven times when they wanted, the crater says it works with magnets in the base and inside the spongy moss ball where the plant seems to grow and levitate. the news continues live from london next.
check us out 24 hours a day at our website, aljazeera.com. ♪ a suicide bomber strikes in kabul killing 20 people, the taliban claim responsibility. ♪ hello i'm barbara and you are watching al jazeera live from london and also coming up, on the program syria's main opposition groups arrives for talks with the u.n. special envoy after giving assurances about the humanitarian situation and myanmar politics and hundreds of new mps are sworn into parliament and a national emergency